Knee/ACL Surgery Question

<p>Has anyone had an ACL reconstruction- or been through this with a family member? Can you give me an idea of the recovery and rehab process? Unfortunately, it looks like Wild Child is heading in this direction as a result of an ACL tear 6 years ago. He was able to run without a problem until last August, and hasn't been OK since, despite every possible treatment. The current problem is IT Band, but is likely being driven by the knee instability due to the missing ACL. He has lost his entire senior year of competition and training, and this is all pretty upsetting for him (especially as a recruited athlete.....).
Appreciate any info from you wonderful parents and kids out there.</p>

<p>My D has had 2 teamates (gymnastics) tear their ACL's this winter. Both are looking at 6-9 months rehab. I recommend using a surgeon who works primarily with athletes. There are many ways to do this surgery and it does make a difference. Orthopaedic surgeons who may do lots of ACL repairs, but aren't sports medicine specialists may not really focus on how your son uses his leg. Our d had a meniscus tear and a meniscal cyst that took 3 surgeries and a change of surgeons to fix correctly. We ended up at the Univ of WA sports medicine clinic and she was back competing 5 weeks post surgery #3. Unfortunately for your son, ACL rehab is much longer.
Good luck.</p>

<p>ACL reconstruction usually has a six month return to sport with good rehab and in many cases longer. The sudden additional problem five years after the original injury may indicate an additional injury such as a torn meniscus, however that may slow up only the first half of his rehab program.</p>

<p>Thanks- the menisicus is not torn, fortunately. Return to running usually occurs a lot sooner than return to "cuttng" sports like tennis, football etc. That's the good news. Being about to do "straight-ahead" things like running is why it was never a problem before. In fact, it couldn't be repaired at the time since his growth plates hadn't closed. That took him out of lacrosse (whew) and soccer. Running was his main sport, and he really did OK until he went to Princeton running camp last August after mainly training on soft surfaces all summer. He has seen a top sports ortho (among the tens of doctors he has seen) in Philadelphia- he is the doc for the US Women's gymnastics team. His current doc-a wonderful athlete/sports doc who my son is currently doing an internship with- wants him to see a sports ortho at Temple. I think the Temple group works with the Flyers. The issue has been that some of the top PTs and other non-surgical folks say, "You operate on knees, NOT on MRIs." They didn't think the ACL should have affected the IT Band, but it seems that it has. It's never easy..... I especially love trying to handle this long-distance while I am in Texas and my son on the east coast.</p>

<p>MOM I sent you an PM.......</p>

<p><strong><em>The issue has been that some of the top PTs and other non-surgical folks say, "You operate on knees, NOT on MRIs</em></strong></p>

<p>I don't understand what this means lol - an MRI would/should be done - to see what other structures may be effected - may be able to help with the question of the IT band as it relates to the ACL.</p>

<p>My son just had ACL repair 4 weeks ago. He evidently slightly tore the meniscus a couple years ago, then playing touch football in a NYC league a couple months ago heard the pop and tore the ACL.</p>

<p>Sounds like you're in good hands...son's surgeon is NY Islander's knee man.</p>

<p>Son had a cadaver ligament placed. Evidently in that case the post-op pain is a lot less. Another crucial part of the healing---he was given a contraption that connected into some tubing and pumped ice water 24 hrs a day (we just filled the container with the ice) thru the tubing surrounding the knee. Cosequently he had very little swelling and not much pain. He took percocet about 3 days that's it. Two of my nephews had ACL repairs, neither cadaver and neither had the ice machine....they were in much more pain. </p>

<p>Your S being an athlete realizes the surgery is just the beginning---he has to work hard at rehab.</p>

<p>We have JUST been thru this as well - long distance. Kiddo was hit in the knee and then off a snowboard jump and that was all she wrote. Kiddo is a competitive boarder.</p>

<p>I would definitely suggest going the sports ortho way - my kiddo was seen/treated by her college sports med ortho specialist - and it has gone very well so far. Of course that was after lots of research - we decided to have the ACLR where kiddo is at college - has great medical resources and docs. The doc and the PT are very closely approximated. We were able to keep kiddo in school - missed 3 days total. The graft was from her own hamstring - not a cadaver one.</p>

<p>The very best thing we did do was to get a Polar Care 300 - an ice machine that is electric or hand pump - pumps ice'd water to a pad that is over the surgical site. The first few days are definitely quite painful and mobility can be problematic as well. I HIGLY advise that one keeps on top of the pain meds for the first few days - like every 4 hours and no longer. Once the acute pain is under control - it tends to stay that way with ibuprophen/tylenol.</p>

<p>My kiddo is now walking normally - has been 5 weeks - is able to do many exercises tho has alot of restrictions as well. - can ride a bike just about all she wants - can kayak - can start water walk/running next week - but NO running for ''4'' months!!! This has in all honestly bummed her out - and she is not able to do the job she originally had for this summer. She can do NO activities that will cause any type of 'pound' on that knee. One thing to keep in mind - from about 6-8-12 weeks the knee is at it's actual weakest point post-op and the kiddo must be very aware of this - the graft revascularizes during that time</p>

<p>It is a long rehab - depending on how well the kiddo follows the prescribed treatment - my kiddo won't be able to run til fall - and then will come the hard work of slowly increasing run time to prep for boarding season for next JAN!!! - kiddos goal - and realistic per the doc.</p>

<p>If there is anything I can help you with - please don't hesitate to write back to me - I am also a nurse BTW and my kiddo is a multi sport athlete - so I certainly understand where you are at this point.</p>

<p>Thanks, guys. The problem is that an ACL tear is not a typical running injury, so I am having some trouble finding any connection with the IT Band problem. I appreciate all the info.</p>

<p>MOWC, check your PM.</p>