ACL surgery/PT Who do you like? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-05-2010   #1
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 60
ACL surgery/PT Who do you like?

Just found out I tore my ACL (not sure if all the way or not, MRI isn't clear enough). My first doc gave me the OK to try to rehab w/o surgery, or operate after paddle/mtn bike season. I like that, but should check out another opinion. I'm also curious about a good PT place in boulder. Any experience?


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Old 04-05-2010   #2
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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Sorry to hear that Greg. Best luck with a speedy recovery.

(seven two 0)-298-2242
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Old 04-05-2010   #3
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 99

I had my ACl and both meniscus's done 6 weeks ago. I can't offer much advice on surgeons or PT in boulder (I had surgery and pt in summit county), but I can offer this... if you can get away without surgery and your knee seems stable, do it till it's completely shredded. Surgery is gnarly and the first 2 weeks of recover suck fat ass. Consider looking into prolo-therapy. I don't have any experience with it but I've read accounts of a few treatments stimulating the tissue to heal itself.

If surgery ends up being a reality for you, shoot me a pm. I've got all kinds of recent experience/advice in regards to all that's entailed with surgery, recovery and PT.

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Old 04-05-2010   #4
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Mar 2010
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I lived 5 years without one, mostly because I had a massive snowboarding fuck up and tore a lot of other things at the same time and they couldn't fix them all at once. My doc recommended trying to live without it. It was ok for several years but getting a little older, more sedentary with career, I started losing the muscle mass that was keeping things together. Once in a while it would pop out of socket and be uncomfortable. I still snowboarded, biked and hiked but my knee started dislocating from time to time. It was always in the worst place, like wading across a slippery river, or on a hike. I started losing confidence in it and it was to the point where I wouldn't go backpacking anymore out of fear so it was changing my lifestyle. i had it fixed. Only a doc can tell you what to do. A lot of people live their whole lives without an ACL while others need it. Good luck. I have had 4 knee surgeries. It sucks every time. Can't help on the doctor thing but talk to your insurance first so you know just how bad they're going to rape you on uncovered bullshit, and don't go for those things.
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Old 04-05-2010   #5
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Bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Dr Andrew Parker in Denver did a good job with mine in Dec. Feels solid. I've had both done. The ham string is an easier recovery, and the allograft (cadaver) is probably even better. I don't recommend the patella graft, I still have issues with that one. Russ over @ Boulder Sports Med is a good PT.

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Old 04-06-2010   #6
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Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Yikes! Some scary advice dispensed so far...

Skip surgery until your knee is completely shredded?! Life without a meniscus sucks! And an eventual full knee replacement is a hell of a lot more painful than an ACL reconstruction. So is spending a significant portion of your life enduring arthritis.

There is no such thing as a completely torn ACL healing itself. As for partially torn--ask your Ortho surgeon. Mine told me it's impossible since the ACL has no significant blood supply.

As for patellar vs hamstring--flip a coin. Literally. You'll find very, very well-respected Orthos who advocate both options. I just happened to go with one who prefers patellar grafts. That was over 3 years ago and my knee has felt fine and pain-free since (I ski, mtn bike, hike, backpack, tennis, etc...)

Yeah recovery sucks balls, especially from a patellar graft. But skipping sports or enduring severe arthritis for the rest of your life sucks far worse.

Search until you find an Ortho you feel comfortable with. Get a second opinion from another ortho. Even if your insurance sucks, spending the extra dough on consultations from multiple doctors is worth far, far more than the eventual cost of a half-assed ACL surgery.

As for picking a surgeon--I don't know. I got mine done at Kerlan Jobe in L.A.--not much help to you. Who is the team Ortho for the Broncos? If he's good enough for multi-million dollar knees...

And if you do opt for surgery--make sure your surgeon is going to do the surgery. Seriously. Even get it in writing. You don't want to show up the day of only to find out that some Ortho grad with only 5 surgeries under his belt is going to do the surgery with only the supervision of your doctor. It happens.
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Old 04-06-2010   #7
your mother's house, hell
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Don't be an idiot! Get the surgery. ACL recoup is a cakewalk. I tore my ACL, MCL, cartilage, and chipped the end of my femur. They had to do microfracture on the surface of the femur. That was a tough recovery. No weight bearing for six weeks. I watched ACL's and even total knee replacements come and go while I was in therapy. I still started boating again at ten weeks. Most people can boat within four weeks after ACL... unless they're punta maximus types.
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Old 04-06-2010   #8
salida, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
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if you go the surgery route you might want to check out Steadman Hawkins clinic...Breck, Frisco and Vail offices....
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Old 04-06-2010   #9
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 60
Thanks for all the advice/info everyone! I've heard a ton about Steadman Hawkins in Denver. I'm up in Boulder so I don't think I can do PT with them. Open to more insight, keep it coming! And good luck to all of you who are in the same boat as me.
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Old 04-06-2010   #10
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 188
I did my PT with boulder center for sports medicine on Mapleton they see lots of ACL's.
William Ferris did the surgery but anyone in the Mapleton hill orthopedics PC could do an ACL for you.
The best thing to do is find a Doc that specializes in sports medicine and performs lot's of ACL's surgeries
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