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ACL(7 posts)

Oct 30, 2001 9:40 AM
I am just curious if others out there have had ACL recon surgery and how recovery went. I am scheduled for ACL recon in two weeks. I am having a patellar tendon autograft. I have found a lot of info on the net but wondered how other riders fared after surgery. From what I have read those in better shape before surgery have a much faster recovery. I am training for that date like it was a race and am feeling strong. Fortunately, biking is one of the rehab exercses! My questions specifically are: 1)How long until you were on a stationary bike? 2)How long until you were back on the road? Any stories would be greatly appreciated.
Why the patellar tendon autograft?Wayne
Oct 30, 2001 9:48 AM
Not that I'm an orthopaedic surgeon, but that seems like an odd choice for a cyclist. Why not hamstring or a xenograph?
Oct 30, 2001 10:32 AM
My choices are somewhat limited because I have already used the semitendonous tendon (one of the hamstrings) in my bad leg for a biceps reconstruction (hockey). Also, I suffered from Osgood-Schlatter (build up of bone? at front of tibia near insertion of patellar tendon) and the doc says probably better not to use my own patellar. I could take a hammie from my good leg but then it would not be my good leg anymore. I feel very comfortable with the patellar tendon auto after reading a lot about all options.
9 years on and still going strong...dupe
Oct 30, 2001 10:09 AM
i swam first for 8 weeks. couldn't recommend it highly enough.

the hardest parts are:

a) restraining from overdoing it. its always hard to guage but when feeling 100% still hold back. it takes time. for the first time in my life i had to learn about stretching before and after and excercise. spin light. your surrounding muscles will be compensating a lot so massage and rest is important.

b) refrain or take it easy if in a new relationship or on an anniversary etc.

c) cold weather. the only time it doesn't feel as strong.

my injury was sustained whilst playing rugby. was swimming after 4 weeks. riding a bike after 12 weeks.
you should be back on a stationary bike in half that time tho. allow for a few days rest interval after each run of activity.

there is some pain involved. remember that rehabilitation takes some bravery. but the recovery increases its momentum. mentally, it takes some resolve.

above all else every knee is different. see what works best for you. there is no reason with the right care and routine that your knee wont be as strong as before, if not stronger.

good luck

ciao, ben
re: ACLLazy
Oct 30, 2001 10:13 AM
I had this surgery w/ patellar tendon autograft 8 years ago. In the years since, this surgery has progressed quite a bit. I was in the hospital for 3 days and on crutches for 6 weeks. I have a few friends who've had this surgery more recently. It was an outpatient procedure, and they were not on crutches at all!

I have had no problems with cycling at all. About the only concession to my knee I've made is I switched from skis to a snowboard (more for my brain than my knee). I still play soccer and do all kinds of stuff and don't wear a brace at all.

I'm sure you'll make a speedy recovery since you seem to be in top form. Good luck!
re: ACLMark W
Oct 30, 2001 5:07 PM
I had to have the ACL recon about 5 years ago due to a indoor soccer mishap. The surgeon used the middle third of the patellar on the same knee to replace the ACL. For the first 6 months to a year the knee still felt weak and I couldn't kneel on the knee, the patellar had a feeling as if there was a cushion in front of it. After the op I didn't do all the pt they recommended and paid the price, three years until it was fully healed.

I have been back to riding for the last 2 years and have been gradually getting more ride fitness, to the point that I can now ride hills with no pain in the knee and competed in a 90km race that had heaps of hills. I main thing I found with pain in the knee on hills was the saddle height.

The best advise I have is to do all the pt they recommend but not to over do it. Keep in shape before the op so as to limit any muscle wastage and to keep weight down, surprising how quick muscle does waist away. You may also have limitations on the different sports you can play afterwards. My knee does not handle any impact sports (volleyball, squash, ...)any more, it just swells up.

Good luck
re: ACLNorm
Oct 31, 2001 4:09 PM
Make sure you choose a surgeon that specializes in these procedures, the better the doc the better the outcome. My story is much like the others and I was back on the road pretty quickly. PT is the key, you will be amazed at the muscle loss almost immediately following the surgery. With a lot of work on your own part your muscles will support your knee and it should be stronger than before. I rode the Death Ride 16 months after the surgery with no soreness. Choose your doc carefully.

Good luck