I tore my ACL in a farm accident (OK, got run over by a cow). and had an autograft (patellar) and medial menisectomy 10/06/2005. Also had some MCL tears but no repair there.
My surgeon was a little cautious, and frankly I didn't feel like running for months, though I did well in PT, got full range of motion quickly, and enjoyed low-impact stuff like exercycle.
I also had some staples to fix graft that had to later come out.
Anyway, today I'm running 4 miles 3 or 4 times a week and hiking on other days, and just started adding big hills. It feels pretty good, but hard to say how much of soreness/stiffness is due to knee vs just out of shape.
The main thing is there is definitely "noise" and a feeling of "stuff" in there that is new. To someone else's point who posted - it's not a "normal" knee anymore. PS, I just turned 51 in Jan.
But my OS says this is OK, may diminish over time, and even with no meniscus he doesn't recommend any reduction or change in activities. He says getting arthritis involves a host of other variables they don't fully understand.
kkress - it's great that you started up this chain again. Welcome to the ACL club ! Patellar graft is supposed to be the longest to recover from - but also the strongest - it's what the NFL guys get. Anyway, as a 'city kid' I actually think it is totaly cool that you got run over by a cow. Too bad the cow trashed your knee. (Me? I was skiing in terrain I had no business to be in.) When the injury first happened, the first orho doc (I went through 3 before I found one I liked) told me it would be 9 months at the earliest tha I felt "normal" again. I secretly didn't believe him - it seemed like such a long time. I just passed the 9 month mark - and he was right. Now I am almost up to 6 miles on TM and can work up to a respectable 8mm. Also, all that weird "noise" you describe (I had a lot of it ) has really really diminished. Walking doesn't hurt at all anymore. I have hope. My challenge now is to not come back too fast. I am hopig to run a fall '06 marathon.
Hey roejewski how you doing ?
I see you've received a lot of responses. I hope this has helped. I figured I'd join in. I had ACL surgery back in 99, with scar tissue removal in 2001. I never ran a marathon until AFTER my surgery. Do not be afraid to log the miles. What you do need to be most careful of is keeping that leg strong, and flexible. Those are the most important. Also, pay attention to the areas you now lack because of the surgery. We all know nothing is quite like it used to be. For example, my hip flexor on the affected side tends to be really tight, so I have to make certain to keep it extra stretched. Good luck. You'll be back.
I'm new to this forum, but am writing about my pending ACL reconstruction. I was hit by a car 4 weeks ago, lucky I guess that the ACL tear (and MCL sprain) is the worst of it, however I finally BQed and was raring to go. For a while I was optimistic that I could still run Boston, but my knee is very unstable and a few times when it has "given out" while running, it has really hurt. So I don't think 26 miles is a good idea.
Which makes me want to get the surgery soon so that I can be ready for next year. I just don't know whether to go with a patella or hamstring graft. Thoughts? Also, how quickly after the surgery are you at least mobile and able to go to work. I live in NYC, and have to be able to get on the subway.
Thanks for any insights!
I am really sorry you got hit. You asked for advice so here goes - I would definitely get the surgery even though it is a real bear to climb back from. If you don't get it - you run a 75% increased chance of ripping your precious cartilege later on because your knee will always be unstable. And you will have a hard time skiing or hiking. You can run w/o an ACL - but good luck running w/ no cartilege. I had my surgery in early May '05. For 2 weeks you lay in bed in a weird leg machine and take pain killers and watch movies. Then you go back to PT and work on your shrunken up leg.(OUCH!) I was on cruthes or cane for a while but could navigate subway (most people are nice.) At 6 weeks you feel like you are making progress - then again at 10 weeks. It's 3 steps forward, one step back. I was back on the treadmill (little increments) by 10 weeks. I reinjured my MCL at 5 mos. for coming back too fast. To be honest - I think the big milestone is 9 months post op. - I just passed it and I can walk w/o pain; can run to catch a bus and am up to 6 miles at a time outside at a decent clip. But I am 50 yrs. old - so you will come back quicker if younger. And I had cartilege repair too, which was in and of itself a major deal. I did a ton of research on the grafts and I went with hamstring. Cruise around the net - there is a ton of info. on it. Cadaver creeped me out and patellar is a longer come-back adn a bigger scar. BQ - congrats - but I would be reluctant to run on a sprained MCL and ripped ACL. Write back if you need more info or advice. Good luck.
I just had ACL surgery December 21. I had a cadaver ligiment put in instead of the Hamstring or Patella tendon. The surgery went well, I was off the pain medication in 2 days. I was back to work 5 days after my surgery and getting around as good as you can on crutches. 7 days after the surgery my doctor said I could start weaning off the cructches. By that night I was motoring around without cructches! I started PT Jan 4, 3 times a week. Within 2 weeks they put me on the bike. Once I got the clearence to ride the bike I was off to the gym. Just so that you know I have had a remarkable recovery! Within 5 weeks of my surgery my doctor had me on the treadmill and running again! It wasn't alot, actually just a tease but it felt so good to run again. I am now 12 weeks post surgery and up to running 5 miles again. So, I would look into the cadaver option. I have not regretted it one bit and found that I have recovered much faster, than the old traditional way. I still go to PT 2 days a week until the end of the month. Look at all of your options. After my surgery I focused on getting to PT. I have taken PT very seriously and did the exercises they asked me to do at home. This was my only form of exercise after my surgery and I looked forward to my PT days! Also, prior to my surgery I was in the best shape I have ever been in and I really think that helped for a fast recovery. If you need support or have any other questions I would be glad to help you out! Good luck with your surgery.
You are all amazing. I tore my Cartlidge October 04 only to discover after the MRI that I had a ruptured ACL from an old netball injury. Knee was always a little bit unstable but no problems til the torn Cartlidge. Had surgery on the cartlidge but the chicken in my opted not to have the reconstruction. Due to a young family, A shift work husband and no family support. I have been running since July 05 no problems with the knee at all. I am not good at lateral movement srequired for basketball etc. But no having this operation has not affected anything else I do. I am training for my first HM as when I was laid up with the bad leg all I wanted to was run and have set my self this challenge for July 06 Gold Coast Marathon Australia. I admire all of you that have had the rescontruction and returned to running.
Thank you all for the helpful responses. There isn't much out there for runners with ACL tears. As my OS said, it's not a runner's injury.
It sounds like you were all relatively pleased with your choices. Janelle, I so wish I could just skip the operation
I could live the rest of my life without skiingbut for whatever reason (probably meniscus damage, which has now been diagnosed as well), my knee is unstable--and unpredictable. I ran the Brooklyn 1/2 marathon 2 weeks ago (20 minutes slower than last year) and had no problem (except my other leg hurts, I'm sure from over-compensating for the ginger treatment I give the ACL-less one). And then, I'll be strolling along and walk off a curb and practically fall into the street. And when it gives out it hurts like hell, and of course it does more damage.
I'm still deciding between hamstring and allograft. I want to recover as fast as possible (while I'm 46 and age works against me, I'm in better shape than I was at 26 so I'm hoping that works for me), though I think the PT is pretty prescriptive. I thought the reason you couldn't run for 3 months was because the graft needed to, well, graft, more than the pain getting in the way? It's encouraging to hear about running in 2 months. How long are you in the brace?
marycrow - the only thing you can count on with time is that it will pass. When I was injured and on crutches it seemed like I would always be that way. Fast forward - less than a year later - I just came back from a 7mile run along the waterfront and then I swam a half mile. I feel SO great. I have so much appreciation that I can run again. Everything I went through with my leg (ACL reconstruction and simultaneous microfracture surgery for meniscus repair) is as if it is from another life - and I am a better athlete now for all the PT and all the non-running exercises I do to keep my leg strong. It sounds like your leg is really shaky - but it is a big choice to get the surgery (I felt like I had no choice my knee was so trashed, event though the first ortho I went to recommmened that I should live with the the injury because I was over 40. (!!!!) ) If you get the surgery - reach out to us and we will help you through it - and it will pass. Guaranteed.
Sounds like you're feeling great!!! Awesome!!! I'm feeling great also, and today was my last day of PT (Kinda sad, I'm going to miss them). I'm running well and you said it right. I too am running stronger than before and it's only been 3 months. I ran 6 strong miles this morning. I'm so glad I had the surgery now. I still have some soreness but, it's very tolerable. Do you have any races planned?
MaryCrow, if you need support or help answering questions we are always here! I would seriously consider the surgery. I can't believe how stable and strong my knee feels now. My PT's were wonderful people too. They taught me some very helpful things while I was there, that I know I will continue to use.
Hey skypenny, one thing that I have started doing was incorporate cycling into my workout routine. It's helping with my endurance without all the jarring movements from running. I can feel an improvement in my leg strength. One leg is still stronger than the other, but hopefully they'll start to equaly out soon.
marycrow - Hi goodluck with the surgery I am 39 and like yourself now in better shape than I was at 26 too. Good luck with your decision most people seem to have the op and I must say my surgeon and most of my friends thought I was mad not to go ahead with it but my PT was very supportive and said the choice was mine and if I was prepared to not have the lateral movements I once did then no prob I live in Australia and skiing is not high on my agenda so the decision I made suited me. From all the wonderful positive responses to this thread it seems that people make great recoveries and are back into running better than ever. Maybe the time being unable to run increases your love and perspective of the freedom running brings. Good Luck with your decision and please keep me posted.
Thank you so much for these inspirational messages! Check in after 4/26 when my surgery is scheduled. Fortunately, I have a laptop and wireless, so I'll be online a lot! Happy spring running folks....
I ran 19 miles this week : ) That is the most miles in over a year. My knee feels OK - a littel twingey, but I think it will always feel like that. The big test will be when I start the double digit long runs again. I should know after my first 14 miler if I have another marathon in my future. I am thinking of maybe signing up for the Cape Cod marathon in October. I ran it a few years ago (my PR) and it is a nice course. That is my "maybe" long term goal. I don't run too many organized 10ks because I don't like getting in my car to go somehwere to run. And my friend who I used to occasionally race with moved to Florida. So mostly I run alone. It suits me. Congrats on graduating from PT. I enjoyed my PT (all 11 months of it ) but was happy to say good-bye. When I do run my next marathon, I am going to send my PT person a picture of me crossing the finish line. When I was in that passive motion knee machine I never thought I would walk again. : )
I just found this forum. My son has been sidelined with an IT Band problem since last August. He is a cross country/track recruit for the college he will attend in the fall, so this has been pretty upsetting for him. He has done everything possible to treat the IT Band and has gotten only temporary relief. He has seen every good sports medicine professional within hours of where he goes to school. The recent decision is that an ACL tear 6 years ago may be causing enough instability to prevent the IT Band from functioning properly. I think he is about to have the ACL reconstruction. I have read all your posts and now have a better idea of what he can expect during the recovery/rehab. Has anyone else had IT Band problems as a result of the ACL tear? It is hard to get information specific to runners when it comes to ACL issues- lots on IT Band, but not on ACL.
Thanks a lot.