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ACL surgery -- the pros and cons for someone like me

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Replies to: ACL surgery -- the pros and cons for someone like me

  • jazzymomjazzymom Registered User Posts: 3,676 Senior Member
    I didn't see the point in harvesting my own body parts if I could use someone else's.

    I agree with you there. Friends of ours chose the donor graft for their 16-year-old son when he recently had ACL surgery (and he has recovered quickly the way teenagers tend to do). Since the H is a surgeon, I figured they'd pick the state of the art for their son, so the allograft is looking like a good option to me.
  • 3boysnjmom3boysnjmom Registered User Posts: 534 Member
    My S tore his ACL 6 years ago playing soccer while in 8th grade. We decided to have him wait a few months as his growth plates were not completely closed. I believe he had the patellar tendon surgery. He is able to do most sports but has reinjured his knee but the orthopedist believes this is due to the extensive meniscus damage he incurred and not to the ACL. He is a risk taker and pushes himself so this is an issue as well.
  • jazzymomjazzymom Registered User Posts: 3,676 Senior Member
    Did he damage the meniscus in the first injury or in the second? Will he need to have surgery again?

    "Lucky" for me, the one thing I managed to not tear in my right knee is the meniscus. I'm not in any pain when I walk as long as I keep the brace on and avoid sudden moves that irritate the ligaments.
  • MomofWildChildMomofWildChild Registered User Posts: 21,836 Senior Member
    3boysnjmom- Do we have the same son?
  • tonerangertoneranger Registered User Posts: 3,723 Senior Member
    jazzymom - not sure if you ran into the "Tiger Woods" article in your research - it presents some interesting information. Good luck to you whatever you decide!
    Tiger Woods ACL Surgery
  • jazzymomjazzymom Registered User Posts: 3,676 Senior Member
    Thanks for posting the article, toneranger. It was interesting to me, since it seems to contradict the info I read on the orthopedic surgeon website --- that not getting the surgery can lead to higher risk for arthritis in the knee. My list of questions for the next doctor visit grows longer.
  • worrywartworrywart Registered User Posts: 1,783 Senior Member
    it seems to contradict the info I read on the orthopedic surgeon website --- that not getting the surgery can lead to higher risk for arthritis in the knee

    DS is away at school and was advised by an ortho surgeon there to have ACL surgery. I had a 40-minute telephone consult with the surgeon today and he also said that not doing the surgery increases the likelihood of arthritis. Don't know who or what to believe. He wants to use DS's hamstring. Is that the same or different from the patellar tendon? I am overwhelmed at the moment, hearing about 9mm drill bits and incidence of fracture of the femur or tibia during its post-graft convalescence, etc. Don't mean to imply that this surgeon was insensitive or flooding me with worst case scenarios. It was I who questioned him on everything and anything that could occur afterward.

    For those whose college-aged children have had ACL surgery, how are they now? Have they had a complete recovery? Are their activities limited in any way? Or have they resumed sports or working out?

    Yours truly,
    (NOW MORE THAN EVER) worrywart
  • great lakes momgreat lakes mom Registered User Posts: 2,729 Senior Member
    My son is still playing basketball and volleyball 5 or so years post surgery. Not much mention of it in years. Some local women my age have had the surgery, and have been happy with the result. The ones that haven't-seem to struggle a bit, wear braces, have limitations. I see this, and think they should have had the surgery perhaps, though the rehab is a commitment.

    Would think your S would want the surgery in your home town area, in summer. The aftermath took up a good deal of the summer between soph and junior year. But as mentioned above, he had extra immobilizer time due to repaired meniscus.
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 52,291 Senior Member
    Goo Best of luck to you, jazzy. This is a difficult decision. I had a knee injury in HS (though they never clearly decided that it was a ligament tear). I did end up with some joint issues, and although I was told I would probably have to have surgery at some point, so far I have not. I ski with support knee braces (those elastic ones with small wires on the sides, that velcro on) and other than becoming slower and more cautious with age, no other major consequences so far...
    Good luck!
  • MomofWildChildMomofWildChild Registered User Posts: 21,836 Senior Member
    My son completely recovered from the ACL surgery and it doesn't limit anything. However, he had ITB release surgery prior to that which did not work as well and that has limited his distance running. A good surgeon for the ACL and no worries, in my opinion.
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 52,291 Senior Member
    Apologies for the typo in my previous post, jazzy. Started to say good luck at the outset-- decided to reword it, and thought I'd backspaced but apparently did not. Oops :)

    As an aside, when my DH had his ankle surgery a few years ago, he really found the PT very helpful, but selected one with specific focus on rehabbing athletes. He was a marathon runner. Still runs, but not as much or as far. But he felt that finding the right "fit" with a PT was a good idea.
  • SoCalGal09SoCalGal09 Registered User Posts: 615 Member
    DH completely tore his ACL about 20 years back at 32. He was very athletic and wanted to be able to play competitive tennis, hit the slopes and play in whatever pickup game (basketball, football, etc.) that came his way. He chose to have the reconstruction surgery and used his patellar tendon.

    Fast forward to now, the knee (and sacrificed patellar tendon) are doing fine. He still plays competitive tennis and mostly snowboards -- easier on the knees and what the kids are doing. Ironically the other knee -- and back, and shoulder -- gives him problems. Ah, the joys of getting old(er).
  • mommusicmommusic Registered User Posts: 8,301 Senior Member
    I am having PT now for knee issues...pain in the tendons/ligaments around the kneecap. Fortunately it was only in one knee (no idea why) so I could put most of my weight on the non-painful one and get around just fine. I also have "loose" kneecaps!

    The specific exercises seem to be long, slow (boring) hamstring stretches and leg lifts. Next week he'll show me which gym equipment I can use. The idea is to strengthen the muscles and structures around the kneecap. I can already see much improvement in pain and am almost able to completely straighten the leg.
  • dstarkdstark Registered User Posts: 34,241 Senior Member
    Worrywart, i had acl surgery and part of my hamstrings were used.

    The surgery was a success. I was 38 at the time.

    Just find a good surgeon.
  • scualumscualum Registered User Posts: 2,864 Senior Member
    DS had it done two years ago - and was back playing college baseball the following summer. He'll be out there again this spring.

    Key is two things:

    1) find the best surgeon - not simply a good one but the best one in your area. Ask at your local college, professional sports team, even high school. Trainers at all of those places will happily tell you who they recommend. Look for someone who has done hundreds of these.

    2) Find the best physical therapist - not the one that is the closest to your home or office but the one who will do the best job for you in the long months of rehab ahead. You will be seeing a lot of this person - make sure you know who is going to be working with you day to day.

    It is not an easy recovery - but your knee will thank you for going through the process and the rehab that follows.
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