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anyone missing their acl?(10 posts)

anyone missing their acl?gimp
Aug 9, 2001 1:18 PM
I am just curious if anyone out there ruptured their acl and decided not to have it repaired. I don't it is really needed for riding but would love to hear from anyone who has elected not to have it fixed surgically. What impacts has it made on cycling (road and mountain) and any other sports you do? Obviously I just ruptured mine and am debating what to do.

Thanks in advance.
Why, you find one?grzy mnky
Aug 9, 2001 3:32 PM
Seriously you don't need it but an ultra buddy of mine road (and raced) for ten years w/out one and it really started to cause problems from a lack of stability. When they finally went in to rebuild it they found that the cartalidge was pretty worn out and shot. Then they pulled out a 1 cm square cube of "stuff". Gotta figure the thing is there for a reason. Oh yeah, the recovery from a full rebuild years down the road is worse than biting the bullet and getting it done now. The technology and techniques are so good now why would you NOT get it done? Can't figure out what you hope to gain.

Missing an ACL makes skiing a lot more difficult - all that compound bending and twisting. My philospohy has always been to ski on the best bindings that money can buy (Marker) and ski fast enough that you hit really hard and releasing is never in question. It's worked so far - and I have some hellacious wrecks to my credit. Racing usually requires that you crank the bindings so hard that they don't release that well...not good, but neither is an unintentional release.
re: anyone missing their acl?casati_rider
Aug 9, 2001 5:17 PM
I'm not missing an acl, but did have my right acl repaired. My doctor told be you can go without one, but you would like stability and it would be easy to over extend the knee. Either way, you'll have to have surgery to correct the problem. The bad acl will have to be removed. You may as well have it repaired while they're in the knee. Before warned that it takes a long time for full recovery. It took me better than 2 years before I was able to go pain free in the knee.
re: anyone missing their acl?Birddog
Aug 9, 2001 7:10 PM
29 years and counting with no ACL. I've only known for sure that I didn't have one for about 12 years though. I ride about 5,000 miles a year and I ski about 21 to 28 days a year, most as an instructor. Every once in awhile, usually in the fall I get a little instability, and I just strap on one of those chopat straps for a week or so. I'm a tool totin contractor by trade and very active at work or play. After all these years, the precautions I take are second nature, I never think about it. Off the top, the only thing that I can think of that I avoid is real deep powder and crud when skiing. I just can't take the "sucking action" that occurs in those conditions. Packed powder, fresh powder up to about 5 inches, moguls, and just fast cruisin are all ok. Up till about two years ago, I competed in about 5 triathlons a year and usually placed in my age group. I was, however, very careful when running. It seemed like the most risky situations were when I was running on streets or grass and I would tend to let my guard down. A pebble or uneven terrain could throw my joint out of whack. Running on trails and fire roads were no problem though, because i was always aware of the hazards.
When I got the diagnosis about 12 years ago, the Doc went all through the surgery and rehab with me and gave me an option of treating with PT. I took PT and after selecting, he said that I made the right decision. In his mind, since I had gone some 17 years or so without surgery and I had engaged in plenty of physical activity with rare problems, a little PT would get me back to normal. He said that I may need to be scoped at some time to get rid of the garbage that has to be in there, but so far I have had no problem My brother had it done about five years ago and his rehab took almost two years. My Doc said the secret to my success was the level of activity that I engaged in. If I was a couch potato, I would probably have to have surgery. I had my diagnosis when I had a minor blow out after moving from the Mtns to the city and lowering my activity level. After the PT I took up cycling to keep the knee in shape and I've never looked back. I hope this helps. For me, no repair was the answer for a number of reasons, not the least of which was being self-employed with no disability ins. I couldn't afford to take a year off.
re: anyone missing their acl?Birddog
Aug 9, 2001 7:31 PM
29 years and counting with no ACL. I've only known for sure that I didn't have one for about 12 years though. I ride about 5,000 miles a year and I ski about 21 to 28 days a year, most as an instructor. Every once in awhile, usually in the fall I get a little instability, and I just strap on one of those chopat straps for a week or so. I'm a tool totin contractor by trade and very active at work or play. After all these years, the precautions I take are second nature, I never think about it. Off the top, the only thing that I can think of that I avoid is real deep powder and crud when skiing. I just can't take the "sucking action" that occurs in those conditions. Packed powder, fresh powder up to about 5 inches, moguls, and just fast cruisin are all ok. Up till about two years ago, I competed in about 5 triathlons a year and usually placed in my age group. I was, however, very careful when running. It seemed like the most risky situations were when I was running on streets or grass and I would tend to let my guard down. A pebble or uneven terrain could throw my joint out of whack. Running on trails and fire roads were no problem though, because i was always aware of the hazards.
When I got the diagnosis about 12 years ago, the Doc went all through the surgery and rehab with me and gave me an option of treating with PT. I took PT and after selecting, he said that I made the right decision. In his mind, since I had gone some 17 years or so without surgery and I had engaged in plenty of physical activity with rare problems, a little PT would get me back to normal. He said that I may need to be scoped at some time to get rid of the garbage that has to be in there, but so far I have had no problem My brother had it done about five years ago and his rehab took almost two years. My Doc said the secret to my success was the level of activity that I engaged in. If I was a couch potato, I would probably have to have surgery. I had my diagnosis when I had a minor blow out after moving from the Mtns to the city and lowering my activity level. After the PT I took up cycling to keep the knee in shape and I've never looked back. I hope this helps. For me, no repair was the answer for a number of reasons, not the least of which was being self-employed with no disability ins. I couldn't afford to take a year off.
re: anyone missing their acl?peloton
Aug 9, 2001 7:36 PM
The thoughts on ACL repair have changed a LOT in the past ten years. Lots of progressive thinking people like Dr. Ricard Steadman have brought ACL repair to an art. I'm invovled in skiing, where we see lots of knee reconstruction. All the doctors I have talked to on the subject recommend reconstrution for an active person. You lose a lot of stability without an ACL. There is also a lot of cartilage and meniscus damage that can add up and cause future problems. Look for a sports doctor with an up to date knowledge base on ACL reconstrution though. You don't need to spend six monthes in a knee brace, this may even hinder recovery. I have seen a few athletes back on skis within six month of total ACL recontruction. This wouldn't have even been thought of just a few years ago. There are doctors out there that can do some great things. Look up Steadman on the web and I'm sure he could give you a referal to a very competent surgeon and rehab program.
Thanks for your replies...gimp
Aug 10, 2001 12:25 AM
I do have a great surgeon who just happened to reconstruct my biceps tendon just 4 months ago (hockey injury). In a month or two I was supposed to be ready to return to hockey and mtb riding. Then I blew out my ACL on Monday night playing soccer. I have been rehabing my arm and shoulder (scoped three places at same time as biceps tendon graft) and I don't know if I want to go through another six months of rehab. I love riding and have been back on the road for about a month. If I don't have it done then I know I will have some instability when I am involved in pivoting sports. Can give up most of those but I have skied since I was 4. My doctor says that I might be able to get away without one but I think he thinks it would be best to have it done. I really want to keep skiing so I think I will have it done. At least my deductible has been met for the year!
Thanks again for all your replies.
Get 'er done, gimpwhygimf
Aug 10, 2001 8:45 AM
Sport docs only. Get referrals (from athletes). Meet with 'em. Gonna use a graft from patellar tendon, hamstring or cadaver?
The doc should be tied to a good physio/rehab center. Who's the physio? Are they aggressive? Sport related? When you have your team, get 'er done.

In the meantime, stay fit. It'll help.

After the procedure, Lots of Ice, takin' it easy the first 72 hours, then the work really begins. Focus on range of motion-stretch, stretch, stretch! Lots of Ice. You're an athlete. Get your range of motion.

As you're rehabbing remember: IT HURTS SO GOOD! And, while you're bringing your leg back, there are plenty of other body parts that can get stronger too.

You'll be biking and back in the rink before you know it - and be sure to get your ski pass - the best skiing begins in February.

Did mine - ACL/MCL - orthoscope - used a hamstring graft. The operation was done out patient. I'm 46, did the procedure last spring and continue with my active lifestyle. Skied 100 days last winter and bike 120/week. I was never fitted for a brace.

Let us know how it goes.
gimpnowharetomorrowwealldifferent
Aug 10, 2001 11:06 AM
Thanks for the reply. It is inspiring. I do have a good sports surgeon (he plays hockey too) and has done alot of knees. I rehabed my biceps and shoulder at a pro sports therapy clinic where many top athletes have gone and I am very comfortable with them. I think I have the team together. I already used my semitendonous tendon (one of the hamstring tendons) from my bad leg (grafted to biceps tendon for biceps rupture repair). I am leaning toward a cadaver graft cause I don't want to rob anymore of my own body parts. I am trying to get swelling down and working on range of motion. I only tore it last Monday. I have pretty good range of motion and have been to therapy already. Hopefully will have surgery in the next few weeks or so. I have to plan it around work schedule. Do you think I can still catch the end of the ski season? I bought the early bird special for a season pass in the spring and I hope I get to use it!
Thanks again for your help.
another gimpk mand
Aug 10, 2001 10:11 AM
I'm not sure if it's a full tear or partial but there's about 4mm of movement in my right knee which is not ordinary but not abnormal eaither. I was told I can get by without it if I didn't want to ski again. In the winter/spring ran 30 miles a week and now cycle 5-6 days a week with no problems or noticebale performance difference. However, I do plan on having surgery before winter. For most, it only gets worse.