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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

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Topic Date User
Knee Ligament injuries 27-Oct-2006 At 12:53:03 PM AlanD
I did my ACL a few years ago, also damaging the meniscus. The MRI is going to give to give a reasonable indication of the amount of damage that has been done, but not a definitive answer. That will only be found out during the operation. In my case the actual damage was more severe than the MRI indicated.

The main complication if you don't have surgery is that the joint will have arthritis within a few years. From what I've read from people who put off the operation, most eventually go in for the operation, just to deal with the arthritis. Another issue is that if you havenít completely torn the ACL, any subsequent damage you do will cause inflammation and a lot of pain, basically youíre just tearing it again and again. Stability of the joint will always be an issue, I found before I went under the knife that if I stepped onto uneven ground un-expectantly, the knee could just buckle and Iíd fall over.

With the operation, if you do all the phsysio work, you won't notice much difference in the knee's performance from before you did the damage, in my case there is no loss in flexibility. The only post op problem I have is terrible cramps in the quads from near where they took the graft from and this is from dehydration after exercising, so it can easily be dealt with. The thing that takes the longest to recover from are the mental issues, i.e. loss of confidence in the knee, again that takes time.

With either option, you have a life time of exercise ahead of you, with no operation requiring continuous work to keep the muscles surrounding the knee as strong as possible. You can be a little slacker if you have the operation, but it's important to make sure the supporting muscles are as strong as possible when you are doing activities that will be putting the knee at risk, i.e. skiing.

As for specific exercises, go see a physio that deals with sports injuries. Once you have the flexibility and strength back, they'll give you the exercises you need to keep doing like weight sessions, riding the bike, running, skipping, etc. Once the flexibility and strength is there, with or without the operation, climbing is possible. I think I was back indoor climbing within 10 weeks of the operation I just had to be careful for a few months not the twist on that leg, when there was any weight on it.

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