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Torn ACL and Meniscus - Will Bulletproof Knees Help?

For those who have had both injuries, in what has Bulletproof Knees helped?

I tore my ACL and Meniscus 8 weeks ago (confirmed on an MRI) but am getting a second opinion from a non-surgical orthopedic doctor. My knee feels better but I know there is something wrong with it, still.

well if you read my thread there are some great tips, depending on the severity of the tear you could be ok without surgery. I however play contact sports and as I found out partial ligaments just aren’t good enough for that. Before I injured my leg a second time I had rehabbed to the point where I was doing full olympic lifts, had no problem sprinting and in general good being. The problem was easing back into cutting, contact etc, the thing is that you never know when that freak accident is going to happen where the weakened ACL won’t be able to handle it. The meniscal tear is a fairly quick surgery to fix. Overall I think talking to your surgeon about what will work best for your future is your best option. If they recommend surgery then I would advise you to go through with it, just always knowing that you’re running on and 1 1/2 knees is discomforting

[quote]rehanb_bl wrote:
well if you read my thread there are some great tips, depending on the severity of the tear you could be ok without surgery. I however play contact sports and as I found out partial ligaments just aren’t good enough for that. Before I injured my leg a second time I had rehabbed to the point where I was doing full olympic lifts, had no problem sprinting and in general good being. The problem was easing back into cutting, contact etc, the thing is that you never know when that freak accident is going to happen where the weakened ACL won’t be able to handle it. The meniscal tear is a fairly quick surgery to fix. Overall I think talking to your surgeon about what will work best for your future is your best option. If they recommend surgery then I would advise you to go through with it, just always knowing that you’re running on and 1 1/2 knees is discomforting[/quote]

Well, the first doctor I went to is also an Ortho surgeon. He evaluated my knee, took an MRI and concluded that my ACL was completely teared and my meniscus was torn. He was very aggressive to recommend surgery and very quick to brush off explanations, hence why I am seeking the opinion of another Ortho doctor.

A little bit about myself - I am 24 years old, I injured my knee playing a game of pick up basketball. I played basketball competitively as a kid and in High School. Throughout college and after college I played but only occasionally. I love to workout and am seriously frustrated about this injury. Although it is not pressing for me to play basketball or any other sports, I just like to know and have the feeling of a fully functional knee so I can hold my own in any activity in life.

The second Ortho doc I will visit is a non-surgical doctor and he is from the Hospital for Special Surgery (number #1 hospital in the US for orthopedics).

I know some ppl talk about strengthening their quads, calves and hamstrings before surgery, but what leg exercises can I do safely that will not do further damage to my knee?

If your ACL is completely torn, surgery is your best option IMO. How did you tear it? Was it a contact or non-contact tear (Did you get hit and have your knee buckle or did you go to make a cut and have your knee buckle)?

Do you know the extent of the meniscal tear? The first doc may have seemed rushed because the tear was 8 weeks ago and he may prefer to get the surgery done before you have any more articular damage occur to your knee.

[quote]LevelHeaded wrote:
If your ACL is completely torn, surgery is your best option IMO. How did you tear it? Was it a contact or non-contact tear (Did you get hit and have your knee buckle or did you go to make a cut and have your knee buckle)?

Do you know the extent of the meniscal tear? The first doc may have seemed rushed because the tear was 8 weeks ago and he may prefer to get the surgery done before you have any more articular damage occur to your knee.[/quote]

I tore it playing basketball. I went for a rebound and when I landed on the floor, my knee just buckled in a twisting fashion and I went down to the floor. Doc said the ACL is completely gone and the extent of the meniscal tear is a complete tear. The injury occurred during the last week of June. I am seeing a second doctor (non-surgical ortho doc). I don’t have any insurance and am working a temporary job so I am in a very difficult situation financially. I want to be able to play some pick up basketball and I want to eventually train in Muay Thai or Boxing in the next year or two while continuing weight training.

Also, since you guys have had experience with this injury, what are some essential questions I should ask the doctor this week? I am doing some research as we speak and will make a list of questions, I am just curious as to your opinions.

Thanks,
Mario

Well first off, since you have no insurance, ask about costs. Also, discuss all possibilities in terms of what could happen during surgery (microfracture, meniscal repair vs removal, different graft options) and discuss how they each will effect recovery and return to participation in your activities, what the docs recommend, and what you feel comfortable with.

Just be open with your doctors, don’t take out frustrations from the situation on the doctor (that is one way to make the doc not want to work with you), let the docs know what your future goals/plans are, and be open minded to all options but don’t be afraid to discuss your opinions on the situation and ask why the doctor feels the way he does on specific situations.

[quote]LevelHeaded wrote:
Well first off, since you have no insurance, ask about costs. Also, discuss all possibilities in terms of what could happen during surgery (microfracture, meniscal repair vs removal, different graft options) and discuss how they each will effect recovery and return to participation in your activities, what the docs recommend, and what you feel comfortable with.

Just be open with your doctors, don’t take out frustrations from the situation on the doctor (that is one way to make the doc not want to work with you), let the docs know what your future goals/plans are, and be open minded to all options but don’t be afraid to discuss your opinions on the situation and ask why the doctor feels the way he does on specific situations.[/quote]

Thanks. I will be sure to do that. Here is some of the information I have about the MRI:

-Small to moderate sized joint effusion, thin medial plica, and tiny popliteal cyst
-Bone marrow endema of the inferior popliteal cyst
-ACL is torn, probably in its midsection
-Broad regions of subchondral bone marrow endema within the lateral femoral condyle and posterior tibial plateau
-Small subchondral focus of bone marrow endema within the medial aspect of medial femoral condylye
-Signial adjacent to posterior horn of the lateral meniscus is felt to the due to prominent menisconfemoral ligament and meniscocapasular injury
-Mild diffuse thinning of lateral compartment articular cartilage

***No grade 3 signal is identified within the medial meniscus.

I did a lot of damage to the knee IMO

certainly sounds like it, before my second injury, i was squatting and deadlifting absolutely fine without pain, i worked upto that point. Ask your doctor what you are ok to train with. It will almost certainly be closed chain exercises but you seem to have a substantial amount of “other” damage to the knee which might limit some of the options. Doctor/Physio should be able to help you out with that and make sure to strengthen it as much as possible

i hate surgery, but when the miniscus and acl are torn that means surgery. excellent to get a second opinion, and make sure your second checks your pictures.
once you get things tied back up, you can get back to strengthening and rehab work.

mc

Yea, I just need to really develop a time line as to when is the best time to have surgery. I know for sure that my knee is messed up to the point where surgery is needed. I don’t have insurance and am working temporary so I will need to develop a strategy to attack this issue.

Just had my ACL reconstruction June 24, 2010. It will be six months before can do anything heavy. As of now I cannot get on a treadmill or swim! I can walk stretch and do a LITTLE leg press work… very light to build up strength. I go see the Doc once evey six weeks and twice a week physical therapy.

Remember the Dallas Cowboy that just tore his ACL? He is out for the whole season!! A total tear like mine. I will wait until January before i get back to hard leg work.

I tore my ACL last year and had the patella tendon graft in October of 09. At 6 months I was back to squatting 405 in a t-shirt and shorts, and last weekend had a meet, squatted 535 and hit my first 600 deadlift (9 months). It will get better, hang in there and do your rehab and physical therapy. Get your full extension, this is very important. Work your ass off in rehab and it will pay dividends for your knee.

I also used Bullet Proof knees and think it is a great resource to have. Get it right away as if I remember it has things to do to get your leg ready. The stronger your leg is before surgery, the faster it will heal afterwards.

Good luck, I know it sucks.

[quote] Matt wrote:
I tore my ACL last year and had the patella tendon graft in October of 09. At 6 months I was back to squatting 405 in a t-shirt and shorts, and last weekend had a meet, squatted 535 and hit my first 600 deadlift (9 months). It will get better, hang in there and do your rehab and physical therapy. Get your full extension, this is very important. Work your ass off in rehab and it will pay dividends for your knee.

I also used Bullet Proof knees and think it is a great resource to have. Get it right away as if I remember it has things to do to get your leg ready. The stronger your leg is before surgery, the faster it will heal afterwards.

Good luck, I know it sucks.[/quote]

Damn, congrats on one hell of a recovery man. Do you experience any pain with the patella graft such as when you bend? Some experience pain. Also, how long did you wait to have surgery? Did you tell your PT to rehab your knee as if you were an athlete? Those are things that I want to do. Thanks for commenting, you are an inspiration.

MarioX

I tore my ACL and meniscus in early April while rolling in BJJ. I met with three orthopedic surgeons before deciding to go ahead with the surgery, which was June 15th.

I decided to go for the surgery because I aspire to return to BJJ and other sports that require cutting (think rock climbing, skiing, etc.). In my experience, HSS is one of the best, if not the very best, hospital for knee reconstruction.

In the weeks leading up to surgery, I still deadlifted heavy (which for me meant a top set of 335) and squatted on an icarian machine. I echo the advice above to stick only with closed-chain exercises, but within that parameter to get those legs as strong as possible pre-surgery. I would also add that you should focus on proprioception exercises as well to get your mind-muscle connection as strong as possible (this includes exercises like balancing on your injured leg while brushing your teeth, shaving, etc).

Regarding the cost of surgery, I hear ya. The total cost can range anywhere from 15000 in a rural area up to 55000 in a metropolitan area. Discuss financing options with your surgeon, or as a temp employee, research third party insurance policies. For the monthly cost of a few hundred bucks, they usually cover you after deductible and co-insurance up to about 30 grand. Some hospitals may provide for a payment plan as well.

Everyone here who’s been down this road knows just how much the idea of surgery sucks and fills you with dread. Don’t let that cloud your judgment: done properly, ACL reconstruction and the attendant rehab will get you back to where you want to be and better.

Feel free to shoot any additional questions you may have.

[quote]MarioX wrote:

[quote] Matt wrote:
I tore my ACL last year and had the patella tendon graft in October of 09. At 6 months I was back to squatting 405 in a t-shirt and shorts, and last weekend had a meet, squatted 535 and hit my first 600 deadlift (9 months). It will get better, hang in there and do your rehab and physical therapy. Get your full extension, this is very important. Work your ass off in rehab and it will pay dividends for your knee.

I also used Bullet Proof knees and think it is a great resource to have. Get it right away as if I remember it has things to do to get your leg ready. The stronger your leg is before surgery, the faster it will heal afterwards.

Good luck, I know it sucks.[/quote]

Damn, congrats on one hell of a recovery man. Do you experience any pain with the patella graft such as when you bend? Some experience pain. Also, how long did you wait to have surgery? Did you tell your PT to rehab your knee as if you were an athlete? Those are things that I want to do. Thanks for commenting, you are an inspiration.
[/quote]

I do have pain on my graft if I kneel on it. That is the only time it bothers me, and my ortho said that it may continue for a year to a year and a half with that. I don’t kneel much, so it doesn’t bother me too much.

I tore my acl at a meet on Aug 29 and my surgery was oct 10, so in the neighborhood of 6 weeks.

When I went for physical therapy I made sure to explain my situation and the weights I was lifting so they knew I was not some 80 yr old woman that doesn’t exercise or anything. They adjusted accordingly.

[quote] Matt wrote:

[quote]MarioX wrote:

[quote] Matt wrote:
I tore my ACL last year and had the patella tendon graft in October of 09. At 6 months I was back to squatting 405 in a t-shirt and shorts, and last weekend had a meet, squatted 535 and hit my first 600 deadlift (9 months). It will get better, hang in there and do your rehab and physical therapy. Get your full extension, this is very important. Work your ass off in rehab and it will pay dividends for your knee.

I also used Bullet Proof knees and think it is a great resource to have. Get it right away as if I remember it has things to do to get your leg ready. The stronger your leg is before surgery, the faster it will heal afterwards.

Good luck, I know it sucks.[/quote]

Damn, congrats on one hell of a recovery man. Do you experience any pain with the patella graft such as when you bend? Some experience pain. Also, how long did you wait to have surgery? Did you tell your PT to rehab your knee as if you were an athlete? Those are things that I want to do. Thanks for commenting, you are an inspiration.
[/quote]

I do have pain on my graft if I kneel on it. That is the only time it bothers me, and my ortho said that it may continue for a year to a year and a half with that. I don’t kneel much, so it doesn’t bother me too much.

I tore my acl at a meet on Aug 29 and my surgery was oct 10, so in the neighborhood of 6 weeks.

When I went for physical therapy I made sure to explain my situation and the weights I was lifting so they knew I was not some 80 yr old woman that doesn’t exercise or anything. They adjusted accordingly.
[/quote]

Why did you decide to go with the Patella instead of the hamstring? Also, best of luck with the recovery man.

2nd Ortho Doc told me I have a full ACL tear, partial tear of the lateral meniscus. He mentioned that I should not rush to get surgery but should have it done within the next month or two.

To strengthen my knee, the doc recommended I go on the stationary bike for 20-30 minutes everyday.

[quote]MarioX wrote:

Why did you decide to go with the Patella instead of the hamstring? Also, best of luck with the recovery man. [/quote]

Usually, each surgeon has a preferred graft type, patellar or hamstring. However, the surgeon makes the official decision once they’ve opened up(everyone’s body is a little different).

[quote]MarioX wrote:

[quote] Matt wrote:

[quote]MarioX wrote:

[quote] Matt wrote:
I tore my ACL last year and had the patella tendon graft in October of 09. At 6 months I was back to squatting 405 in a t-shirt and shorts, and last weekend had a meet, squatted 535 and hit my first 600 deadlift (9 months). It will get better, hang in there and do your rehab and physical therapy. Get your full extension, this is very important. Work your ass off in rehab and it will pay dividends for your knee.

I also used Bullet Proof knees and think it is a great resource to have. Get it right away as if I remember it has things to do to get your leg ready. The stronger your leg is before surgery, the faster it will heal afterwards.

Good luck, I know it sucks.[/quote]

Damn, congrats on one hell of a recovery man. Do you experience any pain with the patella graft such as when you bend? Some experience pain. Also, how long did you wait to have surgery? Did you tell your PT to rehab your knee as if you were an athlete? Those are things that I want to do. Thanks for commenting, you are an inspiration.
[/quote]

I do have pain on my graft if I kneel on it. That is the only time it bothers me, and my ortho said that it may continue for a year to a year and a half with that. I don’t kneel much, so it doesn’t bother me too much.

I tore my acl at a meet on Aug 29 and my surgery was oct 10, so in the neighborhood of 6 weeks.

When I went for physical therapy I made sure to explain my situation and the weights I was lifting so they knew I was not some 80 yr old woman that doesn’t exercise or anything. They adjusted accordingly.
[/quote]

Why did you decide to go with the Patella instead of the hamstring? Also, best of luck with the recovery man. [/quote]

It is what my surgeon wanted to use. He said it is the strongest of the three and the same one he recommends to his NFL guys. He’s the expert and has never steered me wrong yet, so I did what he suggested.