Go Back   Mountain Buzz > Other Chatter > Winter Buzz

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-08-2011   #1
kclowe's Avatar
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 453
Riding on complete ACL tear and meniscus damage?

I just got told by my ortho that I have a completely torn ACL and a tear in my meniscus "with fibers showing". Not really sure what that fiber thing means, but I get the feeling it isn't good. I probably can't get in for surgery until mid April. So, is it a bad idea to snowboard? Groomers only? Golf? I couldn't really get any decent answers from the nurse who gave me the news, so anyone out there have any advice? I don't want to make it worse, but I don't want to spend yet another season sitting on my butt if I don't have to. Its making me a little nuts!

How long before I can kayak? Row?

Any info would be great.



kclowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2011   #2
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
Sorry about the injury. I'm not qualified to answer your questions, but if I were you I'd sure question the quality of service you're getting from your orthopedist. I hope there's another consultation coming. If I had a surgeon who communicates my diagnosis through his/her (but it's a he, isn't it?) nurse and is unwilling to answer questions about activities, recovery, complications, etc. directly I'd go somewhere else. A 2 1/2 month wait time seems kind of long as well - this isn't Canada.

KSC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2011   #3
kclowe's Avatar
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 453
I hear ya'. I'm already all over that. I'm not so happy about it. I've got another call into the doc and I'm supposed to get a call tomorrow to let me know when they have an opening. Unfortunately, I'm at the mercy of Kaiser. I'd like to get in ASAP and start the rehab already. At least that way I can salvage most of boating season.
kclowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2011   #4
Blade&Shaft's Avatar
Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 227
The ole' ACL injury...

Sorry to hear also. Such a common skiing injury and it honestly just SUCKS. I tore my ACL (only damage done) Dec. 28 2009, had surgery Jan 12 2010, as soon as they could fit me in. You sound active and based on talks with my doctor, I immediately knew that scheduling surgery ASAP was THE ONLY OPTION (for me), all with the hopes that if I could get healthy by May then I could salvage my boating season. Resuming sports with no ACL may be possible to some extent, but with no ACL you are not able to support weight as your leg/knee needs to and you really are setting your self up for more potential damage/further injury. Your ACL:
  • Restrains excessive forward movement of the lower leg bone (the tibia) in relation to the thigh bone (the femur).
  • Limits rotational movements of the knee.
I know a few people who have torn their ACL and proceeded to not have surgery, but they play a lot of video games are pretty sedentary. However, I have read in recent(ish) news that perhaps vigorous rehad and PT may indeed lead to not needing to have surgery....
If I were you, I'd get a second opinion and start talking to people about doctors they might recommend. I had my surgery in Aspen, and Vail has some great doctors too. There are a number of options for surgery (cadaver graft, patella graft, I had a graft from my own hamstring to make my new ACL), but the sooner you can choose which is best for you the sooner you can start recovering after surgery. And it does suck, especially the first two weeks, but I tried to regard the whole deal as a necessary evil required to resume active life as normal. Now, just over a year out, I couldn't be happier with the results of my operation, I feel strong as ever, and really hardly notice that anything ever happened.
My strongest recommendation, if you do end up having surgery, is to attack the PT as fiercely and aggresively as possible; I most attribute this to my sucessful recovery, spending approx. 5 days/week on PT; I was on the bike the day after surgery. If your surgery is not for awhile, begin PT and try to get as strong as possible prior to surgery. And they give you (heady) pain pills for a reason, so use the hell out of them for the first few weeks.
Best of luck! Let me know if I can help with any other questions!
Blade&Shaft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2011   #5
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 328
I had a complete ACL tear years ago from snowboarding. It happened right after my mom dropped me from her health insurance without telling me, thanks mom. So, didn't have any health insurance and was a completely broke college kid and ended up just living with no ACL for about 5 years. I completely stopped snowboarding, stopped playing basketball, tennis, anything side to side. I could still run, hike, mt bike, and kayak. But I could only run for a couple of miles before my knee got really sore. Every now and then I would do something dumb like play a game of basketball and seriously twist my knee. I am lucky I did not mess up my knee worse. I finally got the thing replaced with a strip of my patelar tendon about three years ago. Recovery sucked, I was on crutches for at least a month, and then seriously limping for several months after that. I did enjoy laying on the floor high on vicodin for a week though. I would say, it took me 1.5 years to fully recover from the operation. My knee actually hurts worse now than before the operation, but it is way more stable, I can do anything that I could before I tore it. I will never be as fearless as I was though, going off huge jumps just doesn't appeal to me anymore.

Basically, forget skiing for at least the season. I would bite the bullet and get the thing fixed as soon as you can, life is too short to be limited. If you don't get it fixed for awhile, you can still do lots of stuff though, get yourself a really good knee brace. Even if you get it fixed you will never be totally the same, there is a nerve that will never heal. But that doesn't mean that you can't be just as good, you will just have to adjust a little.

Get it fixed, do the PT, do a sport other than skiing for a year (like biking or kayaking), and you will be almost as good as new
Claytonious is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2011   #6
spartankayaker's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 70
Originally Posted by Blade&Shaft View Post
I know a few people who have torn their ACL and proceeded to not have surgery, but they play a lot of video games are pretty sedentary. However, I have read in recent(ish) news that perhaps vigorous rehad and PT may indeed lead to not needing to have surgery....
I'm one of those folks... Completely shredded mine (including miniscus tears) in a ski race in 1988 and opted out of surgery (which at that time was pretty extensive) cause I had booked a trip to Europe for after my high school graduation. Did extensive PT, got a brace and spent a shit ton of time working out and strengthening the muscles around my knee.

Since that time I've skied (anywhere between 30-75 days per season, depending on whether I'm in school or working... sadly, I'm working now), golf, scuba dive, WW kayak, and just took up snowboarding. I have some bad days, but overall my knee works... I just need to pay attention to what it's telling me. Will I need to have it worked on at some point, well shit yea I will, but it's still doing fine by me, so I'm hesitate to go under the knife right now.

Now, if I tore it today given current technology, I would probably look more seriously at surgery, but I can say from experience that opting out of surgery does not doom you to a sedentary existence where your X-Box is the closest you get to the outdoors.

Do some research, be honest with your docs and make the decision that is best for you.

Growing old is mandatory... growing up is optional
spartankayaker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2011   #7
Snowhere's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 844
I destroyed my ACL in my left knee ski racing back east in 1987. Back then, on the east coast, the acl replacement surgery was just not standard procedure. So they just removed what was left of my acl and screwed the other ligaments back into place.

I was back skiing the next season with no acl, but I had to wear a brace. The brace just did not allow my leg to go beyond the normal fully extended position. So the brace performed the duties that my acl should of. I skied with that brace until 2001, at which point I had to go under the knife to repair my meniscus. I convinced the docs to do a hamstring replacement at the same time.

Minus the acl all that time, I did not really miss it other than the brace was a little bulky to wear under my ski pants and I was always ready to take it off as soon as I finished skiing for the day. But after it was replaced I did notice quite a difference. My leg was so much more stable and generally much improved after my acl was returned to its rightful place. So if I were you, I would pick up a brace to use until you can get into surgery. Mine was a Donjoy, check out any medical supply house and I am sure you can find something. It just has to lock in the straight position to protect you.

As far as recovery, expect a couple of months. You should be off crutches in a couple to a few weeks after surgery, but everything will be weak and very tight. It will take physical therapy to recover. I remember kayaking about 2 months after my 01 surgery. Getting in and out of my boat was where it was dangerous. It felt like if I slipped, jerked or landed hard on my recovering leg, I would re-tear something. If you haven't been there you can't imagine how it feels. I still boated, but nothing to crazy until my leg was better.
Snowhere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2011   #8
kclowe's Avatar
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 453
Thanks for all the advice!!! I'm scheduled for reconstruction on 3/17. Wish me luck!
kclowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2011   #9
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,373
Originally Posted by kclowe View Post
Thanks for all the advice!!! I'm scheduled for reconstruction on 3/17. Wish me luck!
Good choice, good luck!
Phil U. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2011   #10
possumturd's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 451

Originally Posted by kclowe View Post
Thanks for all the advice!!! I'm scheduled for reconstruction on 3/17. Wish me luck!

I just blew mine on Sunday at Eldora. I don't have a definitive diagnoses yet but the MRI was yesterday. Dropping the images off at the Doc in the morning. I plan on a rebuild. We can misery in rehab together.

possumturd is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tear Aid reviews? BoscoBoater Kayaking | Gear Talk 2 06-04-2009 03:25 PM
time to tear out some dams... asleep.at.the.oars The Eddy 0 11-08-2006 06:24 PM
Flows damage Pueblo kayak course bwilkins Whitewater Kayaking 1 07-17-2006 10:02 AM
M is for Meniscus - Torn that is matobs Whitewater Kayaking 12 10-03-2005 05:29 PM
lower poudre canyon fire damage danab Whitewater Kayaking 1 04-03-2004 10:12 PM

» Classified Ads
Hala Daze

posted by Rendezvous River Sports

10' Cataract Oars

posted by rockinRio

10' Cataract Oars, rope wrapped, and two counter balances....

Fall Mountain Handcraft...

posted by YesitsMinty

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:08 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.