Jump to content

ACL Recovery time


Jaypro
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Baller
I haven't had a reconstruction but had 2 patellar dislocations. My wife had a total reconstruction. It is really different for everyone, but I would say pay really close attention to your nutritional intake, and your physiotherapy. Make sure that you don't go overboard too soon, and really stick to a strict PT program. I believe typical recovery is usually around 6-8 months, but could be sooner.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

@Jaypro I had ACL reconstruction and meniscus repair 10 years ago. Recovery time depends on your level of fitness and age, however I would say less than 6 month before water time could mean risk.

The ACL repair came a long way they place the graft is less vertical improving knee stability.

2 Key things from my experience is getting as much movement before surgery. If you can't bend your knee fully before surgery, it is unlikely you will have full movement after if ever.

The second is PT. Don't wait. The day after surgery as much as possible will make a massive difference. There are plenty of PT exercices that you can do including stationary bike...

Finally get a brace for when going back to the water. this is not for support but for preventing knee rotation to the point of re-injury. It is also great for confidence. Common brands are DonJoy, Breg, CTi.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting topic. I am in Canada and our system is more passive than other countries when it comes to this type of surgery. Currently I am 40 and have what I recently found out is a torn ACL for likely the last 2 years. I have skied and been very active over this time frame, running, water skiing, working out and playing hockey. I know my physical condition has allowed me to do this. I am also dealing with a meniscus tear too which is more of a hindrance at this time. Everyone is different but I fortunately have very good stability --considering.

 

Recovery from what I have learned is about 9-12 months for the ACL surgery (spoke with 3 surgeons). Athletes can get it done sooner (7 months or so), but for the average person it can be almost a year to full recovery depending on age.

 

At this point I am focused on PT and staying active. My long term plan is to treat either the pain or instability, and currently I am good in both areas. That said I am not naïve to think I will not need some form of surgery down the road or even a knee replacement. Yes I am currently getting a DonJoy brace fitted as a few other non ACLers are using them for skiing both on the water and downhill.

 

Keep us posted on your progress and I am happy to share mine should anyone feel it would help their decisions or strategy for dealing with such a common injury.

 

Matt

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
I've never had an ACL surgery but have been through two foot surgeries and will have another in the next year or so. In my experience it's best to follow whatever your doc and PT say. It only takes one fall to undo what your surgeon fixed so take it slow and remember that one year off is worth all the time and money saved not having a second ACL surgery.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

Had ACL reconstruction at age 61. With excellent PT guided by a sports therapist, I was back in the course at 6 months and 1 week. I solidly passed Biodex leg strength testing first. And, like a previous post mentioned, I wore a Donjoy brace for about 5 months. Do use a sports therapist because you can do too little, or too much, or simply do things that are bad for your graft.

You still have several weeks and should do as much leg strength and ROM work that you can get in before surgery. Especially focus on the same exercises you will do in post surgery rehab. Work hard on quad strength and full knee extension.

Do you know which graft you are going with? Patella tendon, or hamstring? I went with the two hamstring graft, and very glad I did.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
I had an ACL reconstruction via patellar graft 2 years ago. With a lot of work I was skiing 3 months after surgery and was "fully" recovered by 8 months. I use quotations because I'm not sure you can ever truly fully recover from something like this, but I have no issues running and skiing
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
I tore my ACL and MCL in a jump crash last summer. I had ACL surgery with patellar graft. It was 6 months before I started to slalom and trick and 10 months before I started to jump again. I cannot agree more with just how important the PT is to your recovery
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

@Jaypro I tore mine on Jan 10th when I was age 42. I had it replaced with a cadaver on Jan 23rd and skied nationals in Aug. I was on the water skiing 22/28 off in June. The cadaver route is less invasive and recovery time is quicker. You will feel very good in a few weeks if you follow a good PT program but from 3-6 months out the ACL is very weak due to cell regeneration. At that point it is very porous and your own cells have not yet taken over. You need to be very careful to not re-injure it at this point. The hardest part of recovering from the patellar or hamstring graft is healing the place where they remove them from.

 

Good luck with your recovery

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depends on a lot of things as already stated

Graft selection is a big decision for you. If you and your surgeon elect hamstring, patellar tendon or quad tendon autograft, initial recovery will be a bit longer but graft incorporation will be much quicker than a cadaver allograft.

PM me if you would like

And yes, I do all types depending on the patient

Good luck with your surgery!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

Only other advice I have is to not think so much of the activities you might be missing out on as you recover. Focus on rehab as your new passion. Small strides at first, but then as you progress you will find a lot of satisfaction in how much more you can do, more ROM, and more strength you gain each time you do your therapy and workouts.

Getting back on the water is your end game, and your motivation.

Best of luck to you @Jaypro

Give us an update after your upcoming surgery.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

Listen to @Zman

 

PT can be painful but even worse is the mental game. Keep yourself positive and you will get better faster. Keep things in perspective, 50 years ago you would be sidelined. Do what you have to now so you have years of fun in the water. Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
I had ACL surgeries in the 90s. Back then the preferred path was the patella graph and I have to say my knees are very strong. I would strongly consider the patella graph as I have heard the other graphs are weaker over time. There seemed to be a trend to not use the patella for a while because the recovery was harder and longer. Back then I was playing college football and had trainers that got me back on the field in 4 to 5 months. The key is to have a focused trainer that is focused on getting your range of motion back as soon as possible. This is a painful process and takes hard work. This is where most fail to get back to before injury form. So like most stated rehab is so critical not only in the time of recovery but your performance after. I wish you the best on your recovery.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

I had ACL reconstruction at 37 years old, Pt very important, I used the stationary bike a lot and was back at work fairly quickly (one month) but i wished I had stretched and got a better range of motion earlier. Its still limited ten years later.

I had a slalom at 3 months, but that didnt feel right and is a vulnerable time, at 4 months though with a Cti brace I was back on the ski and going to tournaments. Six months should be plenty of time. I also enjoyed the recovery period and have trained better/more consistently ever since.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@cragginshred I posted on this above and now my meniscus is become a major issue, I need it cleaned up for sure and have the ruptured ACL (both on back leg). What I am struggling with is that I am stable outside of the joint crap going on due to the bucket handle meniscus. I get the sense the best bet is to get both items taken care of but up here in Canada we have little control of when we get in for surgery...I am hoping to get lucky with a date before xmas which would leave next season a realistic outcome for me.

 

My question is: if I cannot get in asap, I was thinking about doing the meniscus and then seeing how I do and if things deteriorate having the ACL done in the spring time if when it's required. I appreciate any feedback from a fellow skier with surgical experience.

 

Matt

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

@Fraser You can see above, I have experienced this. Your meniscus might be a problem now because your knee is not stable without an ACL and you're still very active. Good for you with that!

Good news is your overall knee strength and ROM should be very good.

You should try very hard to get that ACL surgery in before year end. Then work very dedicated on your rehab with good PT help to push you, and keep you from going to fast.

First summer back, wear a DonJoy Defiance. You will hardly know you have it on. A little protection if you crash, and a little added stability.

The following summer you will hardly know you had the injury.

Good luck man.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@zman Thank you. I have a DonJoy and I agree it likely all needs to get done. I've been without ACL for 3 years and skied hard with no issues/no brace therefore my curiosity of not getting the ACL done if I cant get in quickly. See the surgeon tomorrow.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

As an update, I skied all summer and skied to a PB this summer. I waited a full 6 months and I had a hamstring graft. Knee feels tight at times, mainly to not stretching prior to skiing. When I do it is fine. After the first few weeks I never thought about it. I did move to a MOBS binding this summer and really enjoy it. I came out of it 4 times, thanks @mmosley899! Headed to the boarding school next week!!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@jaypro ... Just now seeing this post, but might as well add my input.

 

To date: 3 ACL replacements .... first surgery I used my hamstring for a new ACL ... was working great until I over worked in the gym, and then being dumb tried to squat to much ... collapsed on the squat and re-tore the ACL ... Second surgery I used my quad for my new ACL ... And I love it, my ACL feels extremely strong, this was all on my right knee (5 months apart). Recovery time from the 2nd surgery was about 10months, (jumped 200 a malibu open 10 months post opt)

 

Then the 3rd knee surgery (left knee). took the quad route again ... I got more aggressive with my rehab and off the water training ... jumped my first pro event 6 months post opp.

 

All and all, I still have knee pain, my cartilage is pretty toast, but i elected to keep my torn cartilage in there rather than pull it all out and have bone on bone issues. I have good days and bad days, but my knee stability is very strong, my ACLs feel very solid. With enough adrenaline and advil I'm still jumping far with no problems. So take your rehab extremely serious, if they ask for 90-degrees of range of motion, give time 100-degrees, keep the rest of your body fit, get a solid knee brace (CTI) and you'll be having fun on the water in no time!

 

Zack Worden

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

Definitely agree with @MrJones on the 6 months. They claim your graft is not near 100% until 12 months or more. Also, at 6 months the biodex machine strength tests showed my surgery knee was stronger than the uninvolved knee in 3 out of 6 tests, close on the other 3. And, I wore the DonJoy all summer.

@Fraser I have a friend who, like you, skis with no ACL in one knee, wearing her DonJoy brace. She does good and does not intend to have surgery.

For me, my knee was too unstable without the ACL. I did the two hamstring tendon graft and very happy with the results. Good luck.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

@jaypro glad the system is working for you! I was using my original system after ACL surgery on my left knee and have had no knee or ankle injuries from water skiing in over twenty years.

 

@fraser I had a partial ACL tear & meniscus damage on my right knee, without having the ACL repaired I continued to tear the meniscus even though I had the meniscus repaired multiple times. You must repair the ACL asap! It will take you at least 6 months of steady PT to get back to skiing, and longer to fully recover even if you are in great shape. Take your time for best long term results.

Mike's Overall Binding

USA Water Ski  Senior Judge   Senior Driver   Senior Tech Controller

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

It has been uplifting to stroll through here and read this thread. I tore my ACL, MCL, and meniscus Labor Day weekend. Went the patellar graft route for the ACL reconstruction. The MCL was a repair since it was torn diagonally over the length of it. Surgery was Sep 11, and I’ve stuck strictly to my instructions given by the doctors and PTs. I take each PT session seriously, trying to maximize what I get out of each session.

 

I do silently apologize to the boat every time I go through the garage, but I also use that as motivation to get back on the water next year. The surgeon seems confident I’ll be riding my skis by April, but I may take a year off from jumping just to build strength in and around my knee and be a two event skier for 2019. I guess I’ll see where I’m at toward the end of spring and make a decision then.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

Hi Chris. Sorry you tore your knee up. But, good choice getting surgery done, and great attitude! You are on the right track and will no doubt be going around buoys and tricking in April.

Ask your PT about getting Biodex testing in March time frame. And, get fitted for a brace. See you ripping at Ski Chaste next June.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

Something I read on here shortly after I tore mine, "you don't need an ACL to slalom ski, you need the ACL if you/when you crash".

I crash. And, my knee was just too sloppy without the ACL.

@BoneHead you may well be in the 10% who are copers and can do fine without an ACL. I would just be concerned about a crash, or some instability wearing out your meniscus far too soon.

But, good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

I had torn my ACL and meniscus (meniscus usually tears when you tear your ACL) —- it was my left knee and i am a left foot forward skier. when i was 35 yrs old in November 2012. Visited w/ 3 different doctors/surgeons to find out who i should go with. Had surgery mid December of 2012, I choose to do the cadavaear less invasive and fine for my age, i decided not to go with my own hamstring or patella.... Took PT seriously and went at it had, she the PT was like a drill sergeant. That summer of 2013 i just did 2 skis and at end of summer did very lightly slalom skiing. 2013 wore entire year a don joy brace during any activities. Following year of 2014 I was running half marathons, slalom skiing, barefooting, biking, etc..... all back to normal since then. This past spring i tweaked it with my son’s baseball and soccer team, iced it up and took it easy for 1-2 weeks and back to normal (i just watch certain movements)....

 

 

Moski

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@mmosley899 I am on a wait list and have planned to schedule the surgery for next fall (late Sept). I know I have to do the meniscus and ACL, as you stated without the ACL the meniscus will continue to tear. I am going to brace up while skiing this year and focus on ACL strength to try and limit the movement and chance of tweaking the meniscus again. Maybe I get in in the next month on the wait list...This site continues to amaze me in regards to the amount of information and experience one can glean!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
@Fraser good plan, except I don't understand waiting. The surgeons I used work with many pro athletes and they want to do ACL repair asap after injury, usually within two weeks!

Mike's Overall Binding

USA Water Ski  Senior Judge   Senior Driver   Senior Tech Controller

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am waiting because of our system up here. Do I spend 15k-20k to go private now or wait the 11 months for public funding. That's a whole other issue up here...our system needs adjustment to support both the public and private sides. @thager my ACL was torn in 2015 so it's almost disappeared as of my last MRI and the surgeon has no concern about that. The good news is I can ski in the meantime, in fact skiing seems to have the least amount of impact on my knee compared to any of the other physical activities that I do.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
@Jaypro I am pleased things have worked out so well. Are you on a single or double boot with MOBS? I'd be interested to know what your actual set up is, including which front binding and which rear binding/rtp you are using.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

@Fraser waiting (especially that long) will develop all kinds of scar tissue inside the knee. I understand you financially have your hands tied, and that sucks, but do understand that your surgery will be MUCH more invovled to make the repair. I say this as I’m currently in my surgeon’s office for my 6 week post-op evaluation.

 

Hope you get everything taken care of and back to full speed!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...