ACL surgery... How long before I can paddle? - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 03-30-2009   #1
 
Glen Vegas, Florida
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ACL surgery... How long before I can paddle?

About to get surgery and wondering how long its going to before I can paddle?

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Old 03-30-2009   #2
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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2 weeks to 2 months. It all depends on your therapy and yourself. I had it done in April of 01 and was kayaking in May.
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Old 03-30-2009   #3
 
Boulder, Colorado
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Also depends on the type of operation. I had mine totally replaced with my patellar tendon. I thought I would be just fine in a couple of weeks, I ended up on crutches for several months. It has been well over a year and I am still not 100%.

But if they are just going in to clean up some damage you might be OK in a couple of weeks.
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Old 03-30-2009   #4
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Mine was a complete replacement too. I think it really matters what shape you are in going into the surgery. I am not saying you were out of shape Clay, I just remember the docs talking about that before they did the hamstring replacement and added some screws to reattach some torn tendons in my knee.
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Old 03-30-2009   #5
 
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I think the most dangerous (to your knee) would be dragging your boat to the put in.

I mean just imagine scramblin over boulders and such. That beings said, if you have a run in mind, that their is very little chance of you swimming and has easy access, (ie boat ramp) I don't see why you couldn't paddle as soon as you can walk, bend your knee all the way and stitches are out.
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Old 03-30-2009   #6
 
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Moscow, Idaho
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I had some dude's Achilles Tendon put in my knee to replace my busted ACL. Aside from infrequent urges to drown kittens and slaughter innocents, it works great! I was back in my boat as soon as I was cleared to get the incisions wet (I was limping around without crutches the day of the surgery).

My biggest concern after the surgery was carrying my boat to and from the river; in the boat my knee was fine. I toned my paddling down until I was almost done with PT- no high energy (big wave/hole) freestyle or creek boating that might involve portaging. After about four months I was back to my old tricks without much concern for the knee beyond be extra sure of my footing when scrambling around.

I doubt my doc would like that last part.
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Old 03-30-2009   #7
 
Evergreen, Colorado
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I had hamstring graft acl surgery in late feb of last year. I'd say around 120 days for 80% recovery (if you are already in decent shape and do your PT with discipline).

Most ACL re-injuries occur in the first 3 months after surgery, so take it real easy, you wouldn't want to go through it twice in 3 months. That's also why they want you in the knee brace the first couple of months.

I went fishing two months after surgery and was surprised how sketchy I (and my knee) was on rocky ground. It did not feel solid, and it kinda hurt.

But I was rafting without issue by July (but I still packed my knee brace in a dry bag, just in case)
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Old 03-30-2009   #8
 
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Local, Colorado
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4-6 weeks pending physical condition...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevdog View Post
Most ACL re-injuries occur in the first 3 months after surgery, so take it real easy, you wouldn't want to go through it twice in 3 months. That's also why they want you in the knee brace the first couple of months.
So true!

A few years back I had an ACL and meniscus rebuild in June after the runoff. I remember that I hit Shoshone with a brace on around 4-6 weeks afterwards, which was cool because nothing else was running and the water was pretty tame.

As long as you don't swim or really overdo it in the boat, your biggest danger is the put-in and take-out. I would definitely stay well within your boating ability/comfort zone.

Others' sentiments about your physical condition are spot-on, too. I'm built like Rowdy Ronnie Piper, so I didn't sweat it. You might not be so lucky...
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Old 03-30-2009   #9
 
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I'll be the betty-buzz-kill safety-freak, and recommend you think about being able to rescue someone that you are boating with (or a stranger). If you boat before you can be truly mobile, you might want to give that some thought, especially in making sure there are plenty of others to do the deeds if need be. Also, what if you get in trouble? Will you be able to self-rescue, if you have to swim?
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Old 03-30-2009   #10
 
Glen Vegas, Florida
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Thanks, for all the replies. With my surgery I guess I will be falling into the 3month to 4month for easy stuff and 6 for the gnar. If I hadn't done in my knee, I would be a few days off a grand canyon trip at the moment. And about to get on the middle feather with some of my boys. Oh well. I like books. And movies. And popcorn
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