ACL Injury and Continuing Training/Competing

I have been dealing with right knee pain and stiffness for about 10 days after suffering what I considered a minor training injury. My right leg is my back leg during the jerk. I dumped a snatch into my squat stands and it came back and hit my right shin. After about 2 days it swelled up significantly and I lost a good deal of end range flexion and extension. I have had a previous surgery on this knee about 5 years ago. At that time they removed approximately 75% of my medial meniscus and debrided a partially torn ACL. Today I finally had my employer, who is a Physical Therapist and ATC, evaluate it. He feels that I reinjured the ACL again and possibly whatever cartilage is left on my medial side. I have medial joint pain, effusion, lack of terminal knee extension, and most importantly a positive Lachman’s test. It this time I’m going to treat it conservatively with ice, high volt E-stim, compression, DMSO, and extra hamstring strengthening. I’m 35 years old and not wanting to stop training and get it fixed. I have a meet in 10 days that I have no intentions of skipping.

So my question is: who has dealt with this injury without surgery? Do you think its even possible to train and compete with an ACL deficit knee? Should I switch to squat jerking? Am I an idiot and just too stubborn for my own good?

BTW, I am a Certified Athletic Trainer and work in a physical therapy office. I am well aware of the anatomy and biomechanics of the joint and the lifts. I guess I’m being my own worse patient here.

I’m no Dr…but can you Jerk without pain? Doesn’t seem safe to train on if it you can’t jerk on it after your recovery methods.

I know when I hurt my MCL it was either a 2 week or 12 week thing the Dr said. It wasn’t 2 weeks and ended up being a 12 week thing. I walked with a f0cking limp for 4 weeks! I couldn’t turn on the knee at all so training for me was out of the window.

10 days doesn’t seem like much of recovery period.

Play it safe. There are more comps to go. I went to a comp with a wrist injury. Warmed up but couldn’t hold 100kg over head. I didn’t take a lift as I would have gotten no where in the end and would have made it worse and that would suck even harder!


As a competitor you want to go on and do well in the competition no matter what, but do you think that you would be able to return a performance you would be satisfied with? I know it’s hard to stop training, it is how I turned a minor injury into one that took several months to recover from. You should still seriously consider taking time to rehab this properly,even if it requires surgery.

You know the mechanics of the knee, and you know the instability it is experiencing if it is ACL deficient. No one wants an arthritic knee limiting their ability lift or enjoy life in general. Maybe I am just excessively conservative though, you know your body and your goals better than anyone else.