Comments for ACL surgery

Excerpt: A surgery has me sidelined for a few days. Read the whole article…

October 27, 2004 5:44 PM

I had that surgery last year in September. The recovery totally sucks. Do what your physical therapists says. The time to heal is pretty much up to you. Now, a year later... I don't even think about my knee at all. However, I am not playing basketball on it either. I have a desk job though, so I have to force myself to work it. I do this through swimming. For now, just keep popping pills and watching TV. It's pretty much all you can do for the next week or two. take care and good luck, Lono

November 6, 2004 10:55 AM

Hey Im only 15 and had ACL reconstruction in early May , and i just now can start to play sports. The recovery really sucked and physical therapy was no fun.But dont worry you can get through it, just do whatever the doctor said and you'll be fine! and take advantage of people doin things for you while your on cructhes !!! Keri = ]

matt whitehead
November 8, 2004 8:44 AM

I injured my acl last spring and had surgery on it, recovery is tough but manageable, this year i was back on the football field and it poped again . It really sucks, cuz i have to have another surgery, but i've done it once so i can do it again. But dont give up, do the therapy and you will do great, that couch time really sucks though.

November 9, 2004 6:17 PM

I'm age 46 and I am very active. My ACL and MCL are both tore not sure whether to have ACL surgery or to have it scoped. Could you please give me some advice? Thanks!:)

November 16, 2004 8:38 AM

I had ACL surgery in January 2004 and learned the hard way that not following the rehab regimen is a VERY BAD MOVE. I apparently took the months of March thru July "off" from rehab, spending it in bars shooting pool and going to the beach. I had so much fun that I don't remember much of it.. Now it's November and my quad/hamstring are still not back to normal. All my buddies have stopped asking when I'm coming back to play soccer... it's embarrassing to explain that I didn't care enough about my leg to do the work. Is there anyone out there as stupid as I am? I guess what I'm wondering is if there's still hope... if I'll ever be able to get my knee strong enough to play ANY sport..?? I'd even settle for badminton at this point.. Consider this a warning to all you pre-oppers out there... Cheers.

November 17, 2004 10:24 PM

I tore my acl around 3 months ago and got it reconstructed 1 month ago. I went to rehab for that 1 month but now it feels good enough that I don't have to finish up rehab and I can just do the workouts at home. How long will it take me to get back running? How long will it take me to get back into playing sports? any tips pointers?

Natalie Murphy
November 19, 2004 4:26 PM

Hi, I had ACL reconstruction 1 year ago. The people who think they can skip any of the rehab suggested by your doctor and PT are in for a rude awakening. You will never be the same if you dont follow what your PT says. Please finish, or pay the price, the things you will learn in the passing months of PT you will use the rest of your life to keep yourself and your knee strong.

November 23, 2004 5:32 AM

I tore my ACL and I am trying to decide whether to have surgery or not. I will only have four weeks off between my surgery and coming back to school. Will I be able to walk after four weeks. Please any advise will be extremely helpful. I am really not sure and everyone says that the rehab is so bad that i am truly scared thanks

November 23, 2004 8:59 AM

I torn my ACL and cartilage 1 month ago. I saw 2 doctors, one suggested that I should get surgery done for both, while the other suggested to hold off the ACL surgery and see how I feel after cartilage surgery. Not sure which one to follow. Also, what is better, my own tissue, or a cadaver tissue? My reviews talk about pros and cons of cadaver, but doctors seem to like that idea..

November 23, 2004 3:40 PM

Don't listen to the horror stories. I had a cadaver graft installed on November 11. It's now November 23. I haven't used my crutches in a week, I have full range of motion and no pain, although some minor swelling still remains. Today was my fifth PT session since November 15. I spent 10 minutes on a stationary bike at 80+rpm, 12 minutes on a treadmill at 3 mph (faster than most "healthy" people walk), and leg pressed 150 pounds 30 times with my "bad" leg, as well as other assorted training. I have three pieces of advice for success with ACL surgery. One, do some research and find a doctor who specializes in and has a strong reputation for ACL reconstructions. Two - if you can, spend 3-4 weeks in PT PRIOR to your surgery, getting as strong as you can. This will reduce your recovery time and post op pain. Three - Commit yourself and have a positive attitude about your recovery and your PT. Remember, after your surgery you're no longer hurt, you're recovering. My e-mail is if you want to discuss it and get motivated to recover.

December 4, 2004 12:44 PM

Hi all. I had my surgery a week ago on Friday 26th and I can't quite believe it! My pain levels are good actually, very bearable and only take the odd ibuprofen if required - definitely not daily though. I've had a hamstring autograft, absorbable screws rather than titanium. Suffering a little tonight - keeping swelling down is key to maintaining pain free movement so feet up, as usual. I completely agree with Chuck re the positive attitude to PT after surgery.. its all in our control. Thanks to Adam and this comments page for pre-surgery motivation! Looking forward to losing the crutches! Take care everyone. A

December 4, 2004 10:33 PM

I am now four days postoperative and have logged a tremendous amount of time on a make shift recovery bed in my living room. This is my second such surgery, the first having been about nine years ago on my other leg. This time around has been much better, more pain free and less emotionally trying. Despite my relative experience I can offer no true secrets for a swift or fuller recovery. I know this though, it is work, much of it painful, but all of it necessary. As both Chuck and Annette have mentioned a positive attitude will certainly take you further, as will resolve. To this end I offer my own mind set. The last time I was normal was that brief moment before I was hurt the first time around. After that it has been a continual process of recovery. There were, and will be, few days off from that vigilance and yet even that was imperfect. We can only commit ourselves to doing our best. If that includes a career performance again in our chosen activity or "just badminton" we should all marvel at our progress from the state I am in at this moment. We, along with our caregivers, repair our bodies and are whole. Despite the frustration and discomfort, I am grateful for the chance again to prove myself worthy of a challenge. And I hope that this also means I am more appreciative of the time when I am mobile again. I wish each of you the best possible recovery.

Jackie Judy
December 16, 2004 6:31 PM

have a torn acl and cartilage, trying to decide if to have just surgery on cartilage or have acl surgery also. I am 48 years old. open for any comments and suggestions. love to scuba dive and not sure if I don't have acl surgery if it wii affect me climbing ladder to get in boat. Thanks for any advice.

December 20, 2004 3:43 PM

i am 3 weeks post opp, need to know if i sould push my knee through the pain when bending and straightining.

December 20, 2004 10:31 PM

I had a full ACL tear playing soccer causing meniscus damage as well in Oct of 2003. Because of potential loss of extension, I had the meniscus done, and am scheduled for the ACL in a week. For strength, not having an ACL is not a huge problem, my knee is fairly stable. I do a lot of work activities, bending, lifting, crawling. So I am doing the ACL. I think it is not uncommon to have the surgery's seperate. The meniscus recovery time is pretty quick and easy, whereas the ACL is a minimum of 6 weeks of focus on knee rehab, (or else) I feel a little panicky... Carol

December 21, 2004 7:46 PM

I completely tore my ACL and severely sprained my MCL in October of 2003 going up for spike at a volleyball game. No physical contact from any player. But my knee didn't show the classic symptoms of an ACL tear. My doctor would pull on my knee and I was in no pain and that test was supposed to determine whether my ACL was torn. The day after my injury my knee wasn't swollen and my physical therapist told me my ACL was good and strong. My doctor wanted to wait 2 weeks before an MRI to see if it would heal by my next visit he said to waited me to wait another 2 weeks again. Finally my mom and I got sick of the non improvement of my knee and schedule an MRI against his orders. Comes to find out I was walking on a completely torn ACL for a month and my doctors didn't even no it. I had surgery the next day and spent the night in the hospital which was the best decision I ever made. I was on morphine then got on vicodin which made me sick, so for the first week after my surgery I was on ibuprofen for my painkiller. I went through 6 months of rehab at times which was painful. A suggestion for anyone who has this injury is to do exactly what your PT wants you to do in your training. Don't skip session and do whatever extra work you can do with permission by you PT. 8 months later I was catching in softball again but with pain and swelling after games. I wore a brace during volleyball to prevent the injury. Also train when you are not in sports because I haven't been in volleyball for a month and my knee has been hurting a lot because I'm not active as much as I was. If you have any questions ask me and I will post my answers.

December 23, 2004 4:24 PM

I recently found out that a tore my ACL. I am an avid horseback rider and was wondering how long after my surgery (Jan 12), would I be back on the horse. I completly tore the ACL and they are making a new one out of my Hamstring. I really want someones opinion and personal experiance on the after facts of surgery.

December 29, 2004 4:22 PM

I'm glad I found this site before having my ACL & meniscus surgery exactly one week ago (December 22). The comments I read were right on target, especially the advice about exercising BEFORE surgery. I had the reconstruction with an allograft, and everything went smoothly. My expectations were realistic and based your many first-hand accounts. Today, one week post-surgery and four sessions with the therapist accomplished, I feel I'm making progress. The pain is manageable (use lots of ice!), and I'm following the PT exercises faithfully. I'm already glad I had it fixed; it was very unstable after the injury and I was afraid to try my "normal' activities and exercise. Good luck to everyone - keep up the good work! :-)

January 6, 2005 1:18 PM

I'm glad I found this site. I tore my ACL playing basketball without contact. I had ACL reconstructions with a meniscus repair 10 days ago. The first five days I was sick as a dog from the Percocet than from knee pain. I'm glad it's over but I find it so hard to keep faithful with my at home PT exercises. It hurts and feels extremely uncomfortable. I want a full recovery to go back to my athletic life but I feel like I'm pushing to hard to bend my knee. My PT wants me to be at a 80degree angle by next Tuesday and I can't seem to get past 50degrees. It's very discouraging. My surgeon told me yesterday to start weening myself off of the crutches so I started attempting that today. Do the PT exercises get any easier?

January 10, 2005 8:13 PM

Tiffany, yes they do get a lot easier. By the third week after my surgery I was riding the exercise bike for 10 minutes each day for PT. Just do all the exercises that your PT tells you to do and don't slack off. It will help you in the long run! Trust me!

January 12, 2005 8:15 AM

Tiffany, YES PT GETS EASIER!! Keep at it. I was doing it every 2 hours at the beginning.. now I'm off the crutches its harder to stick to but I pay for the laziness in physio!! Don't force your knee.. that's the main thing. Do a little every session, I used a rubber flexi-band thing under my foot, pulling on it firmly but gently when I thought I couldn't improve the angle. I had to achieve 90 degrees in a week and did 100!! Now it comes on its own! Try to improve on each performance each session, I'd recommend 4-5 sessions a day if you can remembering.. LITTLE (ie 10 bends or so) BUT OFTEN! Keep the swelling down with ice and/or leg up on cushions for as long as poss in the mean time. I'm doing so well at the mo but not super-fast recovery as some have done. Slow and steady. Best of luck!! Annette

January 12, 2005 8:18 PM

Hello, I have a torn acl and meniscus. I am about to schedule surgery after having seen a few doctors. A choice is to use my own ligament or a donors. I've read that donor's are not as strong. Any suggestions on this or surgery in general. Jim

January 15, 2005 11:31 AM

Jim, when I had my surgery they took some of my hamstrings as my new ACL. Ever once and awhile I have problems with my hamstrings tightening up but I don't know whether other people who have had this type of surgery has gone through the same thing as me. Good Luck with your surgery!!

January 21, 2005 5:41 PM

Hi Jim, I need your opinion as well as any other, whether to go with a patellar graft or a cadaver tissue. I am only 30 and wish to return to playing basketball and other high impact sports by the end of the year. My ortho recommends a cadaver tissue, but I am a little sceptical of his choice. My own patellar tendon is very strong and healthy. Is cadaver tissue going to be strong enough to allow me back to playing these sports or should I insist a patellar graft? I would really appreciate your opinion. My surgery is scheduled for the 7th of feb.

February 9, 2005 5:52 PM

I'm getting ACL surgery on the 15th for the second time. i tore my acl a year ago playing field hockey and i used a cadavar. i tore it again 9 months after the surgery playing field hockey again and this time i'm not so sure which i should go with. my patellar is not that strong, the cadavar didnt work, and the hamstring is said not to be too good, any suggestions?

February 16, 2005 2:38 PM

I tore my ACL and meniscus playing basketball 3 months ago and I am scheduled to have surgery on March 18th. I think i'm gonna use the hamstring option but I't not sure if thats the way to go. I'm also really scared about the operation b/c this is my first surgery and I am freakin out just thinking about it. I am 21 years old and wanna play sports again in the future. Anyone have any tips or comforting words before i go into surgery?

February 19, 2005 3:06 PM

Hey Victor, just hang in there buddy... I had my surgery on the 22nd of December (patellar tendon graft) and even though the recovery feels so slow just work as hard as your PT permits and you will see lots of benefits... You will be able to play again but dont even think about that at the beginning... Just concentrate on getting your leg strong and keep the swelling down :)

February 20, 2005 2:16 PM

I had acl surgery on 2/17. It went well and there has been little pain. A donor ligament was used. The surgeon will inspect on 2/21. Jim

Another Jim
February 23, 2005 9:42 AM

I tore my ACL on Feb. 2 (basketball), but the earliest I could schedule surgery was April 7. Does that sound like an inordinate wait to anyone? Don't mean to sound petty here -- I'm committed to the surgery (and whatever it takes to make a healthy recovery) -- but I don't want to sit around worrying that things are getting worse.

Ashley Krukowski
February 24, 2005 4:34 PM

hello, I am 18 years old and I tore my acl jumping off the stage during basketball practice, I did not have surgery but I continued playing basketball a month after I tore it. I had to wear a knee brace so I could run. I am a little scared to have surgery!

February 28, 2005 4:39 PM

Hi, I just found out about my ACL injury and will more likely than not need surgery. The thing is I'm also a graduate student and am avoiding having to take time off from school if possible. My question, is how quickly can you have surgery done?

March 6, 2005 7:21 PM

i'm 17..i tore my acl & meniscus on january 3rd in a basketball game -while- wearing a donjoy knee brace because of an injury to that knee from soccer that september ..i had let that heal and thought that would be enough but i guess not, oh well.. i'm having surgery march 17th and am really nervous..i wondered if there are any tips for post op..just even random things to get through the healing process..i've been told a lot about post op and rehab and taking that seriously but i was wondering if there were any little like "tricks of the trade" that would make life easier while on crutches and while healing..any comments would be really appreciated..thanks :)

March 8, 2005 9:43 AM

I'm 25, work a full-time office job, go to grad school 2 nights per week, and play 3 sports throughout the year. Just a little background to make my testimony legit. I tore my ACL playing basketball on Jan 22. I had surgery 4 weeks later (2 weeks ago). Doc said typically you need 4 weeks to let it stop swelling and such before surgery can be as successful as possible. (See Trent Green as an example of surgery too early) To all those scared about it, DON'T BE!!!! Be scared about it giving out and hurting like a mug! Tearing it in the first place is the most pain you'll experience. Get a good knee doc and you'll be golden. Do EXACTLY what he tells you. If he says stay off it, STAY OFF. If he says work it, WORK HARD. Both doctor and therapist have said I will probably be ready for softball sometime in late April or May. Bottom line: The surgery is worth it. There's only a 3-7% chance you'll tear it again. And all leaving it torn will do is wear away your cartilage (sp?). Plan on 1 week of NO ACTIVITY, 1 week of very light activity, and then a gradual ramp up of therapy.

March 10, 2005 5:27 PM

Hi I tore my ACL on the 7th of October 2004 and had it done on the 4th of MArch 05. The doctor did not see any downsizes in doing it so late. In fact my knee after PT became more stable and I expect my recovery time to be shorter because of that

March 12, 2005 5:47 PM

Yea, like the rest of you, I tore my ACL in a basketball game (December 10th 05), I had the surgery 5 weeks ago (February 4th 05). It was not bad at all, I'm about to start rehab and I's excited about it. I gotta be ready next Fall for college ball. Getting the surgery is the best way to go if your planning on remaining active.

March 14, 2005 7:56 AM


Brian Dew
March 15, 2005 9:29 AM

I am going to have acl surgery next month and i was just curious, how long until I am able to just walk around without crutches?

March 18, 2005 7:30 PM

Brian Dew, I was off of crutches and somewhat walking about after a week or so. Good luck with your surgery!!

March 19, 2005 9:28 AM

I recently tore my ACL in my left leg skiing. My OS wants me to have pre-op physical therapy for 4 weeks, 3x's a day. Then surgery...He said that I would most likely be out of work for 6 weeks. Is that normal? It seems like a long time. I want to fully recover so I will follow the Doctor's orders, but I was wondering how quickly everyone else returned to work. I start my first day of pre-op physical therapy on Monday. Wish me luck Thanks to everyone for support. It's nice to be able to read and see other people's stories. I don't feel so alone. Oh and I had another quesiton---Am I going to have to live on the couch after surgery. My bedroom is quickly will I be able to get there. Can you sit on your "bottom" and pull your way up. Leslie

Adam Kalsey
March 19, 2005 9:48 AM

I suppose it depends on your work. I had surgery at 9am, was home by 1pm, and put in a couple of hours of work that afternoon. But I work from home with a laptop, so it's easier for me. If you're on your feet all day at work or climibing ladders, then you'll be off for a while.

March 19, 2005 9:50 AM

Opps. I made a mistake in my last post... I said 3x's a day..I meant 3x's a week for the pre-op therapy. I chose to have the patellar graft. I hope it works out to be the right choice. I am 25 and not as active in "real sports" but I love to ski recreationally. And I don't want to make a choice now to never be able to do physical things in the future. Any advise would help.-Thanks-Leslie

March 19, 2005 4:16 PM

Hello everyone, I put a post up a couple weeks ago and just had my acl and meniscus surgery yesterday, 3/18. Started at 7am and got out by 11:30am. I'm glad I found this site because it really eased my fears about having it done. There really is nothing to be scared about having the surgery as long as you have an excellent doctor. I had pre-op therapy once a week for a month and the doctor said it will help the recovery go by more smoothly. One word of advice, TAKE your meds whenever you're supposed to b/c if you dont, it will be a long night. It gets you drugged up but you'll be thankful for taking it. I had to crawl up the stairs backwards and it wasnt too bad. Going to the bathroom is probably the hardest part. Just standing up and having to go pee got me all nautious(is that how you spell it?). The first night gets kinda rough but its nothing anybody here cant handle. Just make sure you have people looking after you cuz they are golden to u during this time of need. My ankle is pretty purple but i think its cuz i've been icing my knee every 4 hours and elevating it pretty frequently. Is that normal? My bandage is also pretty bloody, is that normal as well? I also get itchy all over my body, dunno if its the side effects from the anesthesia. If anyone can tell me about their experiences, that would be greatly appreciated. Good luck to all of you getting it done in the near future. You'll be glad you got it done when all this is over.

March 19, 2005 4:21 PM

Does anyone know a good website showing success rates between using hamstring, patella and cadaver? I was also reading about using grafts from your good leg. Has anyone done this?

March 21, 2005 11:01 AM

Jess, the therapy for 4 wks is about right. I don't know about being out of work for 6 weeks. I'm 25 with an office job and I missed 2 weeks. If you can stay off it, or better yet, elevate it, you should be good to go much sooner than 6 weeks. I'd also consider making downstairs your bedroom for at least the 1st week. I slept on the couch. When they say to stay off it, they mean it. Being literally on your back as much as possible is the best way to go. You might find that you could go upstairs, but you may just not WANT to. So be lazy, get comfy on the couch, and get to know Regis & Kelly a little better.

March 22, 2005 7:42 AM

Our 13 year-old daughter tore her ACL and lateral meniscus playing soccer 3/04. She had the hamstring graft reconstruction done 4/04, and made a successful return to sports six months later. She then suffered a buckethandle tear of her medial meinscus 1/05 playing basketball, and had repair surgery 2/05. She is now out till May. Are there any success stories out there from those who, after similarly bad luck, have successfully returned to sports and avoided additional surgeries? Thanks!

March 23, 2005 5:43 AM

Victor, i just had my surgery on the 17th..and i fully understand the itchiness and the swollen ankle! i stayed in the hospital the first night..i had trouble catching up with the pain and i had a later surgery as well.. it was nice having the nurses taking care of me. i remember my face being itchy and i just thought it was a reaction from the med or IV's or whatever. and now that im home my ankle is swollen and starting to discolor. i had my first PT yesterday and i'm still sore from it! but i can already see improvement. well gotta go get back to icing, best of luck to everyone :)

March 24, 2005 12:00 PM

This is to 45 year old "Debbie" posted on 1-19-05. I am close to your age & ACL situation. I didn't know your e-mail so please e-mail me at & put in description "ACL from Debbie". Looking forward to hearing from you.

March 24, 2005 1:05 PM

Hi Everyone~ i tore my acl about 5 months ago. but i am only 13 and my growth plates were still open so i couldnt have surgery. but now they are starting to close and i am scheduled for surgery on the 18 of april. i am getting really nervous and i am kind of scared because i have never had any sugery anywhere before and i dont know wat to expect. if anyone has some encouragement for me and some info for me, i would greatly appreciate it! thanks so much! ~Shauna~ send me an email!

March 26, 2005 8:35 PM

Hi Paul, Here are some abstracts from the medical literature about the relative success of various types of ACL grafts (achilles tendon allo, patellar allo, and patellar auto). As you can see, some experimental results suggest that the patellar autograft is the best, while others seem to show no difference between allo and auto. I apologize for this large-sized post, but I hope that it provides some useful scientific knwoledge to folks out there. To throw in my own two anecdotal cents to the general discussion for those considering surgery, I had an ACL patellar bone-tendon-bone allograft surgery on Jan 5 (and after a somewhat unpleasant first week) I would characterize my recovery as slow and steady, without major complications. I am still not able to fully squat down fully (maybe 60 degrees), but I have 120 degree passive rage of motion and maybe 5 degrees away from full extension. I experience some clicking and knee locking when I walk, but the frequency of this is seeming to decrease as I walk more and more. In honesty, I cannot say yet that the operation was worth it, as I was close to asymptomatic prior to surgery (when not performing sport, that is), but I also don't think it is fair to judge success only 11 weeks post-op. Indelli PF. Dillingham MF. Fanton GS. Schurman DJ. Institution Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA. Title Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction using cryopreserved allografts. Source Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research. (420):268-75, 2004 Mar. Abstract Primary ACL reconstruction historically has been done using autograft tissues whereas allografts have been limited to revision cases and patients who are older or with lower physical demands because some animal studies suggested a slower biologic incorporation rate. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the cryopreserved Achilles tendon allograft in primary ACL reconstruction in a consecutive series of athletes. Fifty consecutive patients with a strenuous or moderate preinjury activity level, as defined by the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC), had ACL reconstruction using cryopreserved Achilles tendon allografts secured with bioabsorbable interference screws. Five patients were professional athletes. The average age of the patients was 36 years (range, 17-50 years). A 3- to 5-year followup study was done in all of the patients using the IKDC form. Tunnel widening was measured in the lateral radiographs at the widest level. The overall outcome was normal or nearly normal in 94% of the patients. No failures were reported in this series. Forty-six patients (92%) returned to their same preinjury sport activity level. The average KT-1000 side-to-side difference was 2.3 mm. Average tibial tunnel widening was 2.7 mm (range, 0-6 mm); no significant correlation was observed between increased tunnel size and a fair or poor clinical outcome. This experience shows that favorable results can be obtained with cryopreserved Achilles tendon allografts in athletes in whom avoiding donor site morbidity may be an issue in terms of a prompt return to sport. Chang SK. Egami DK. Shaieb MD. Kan DM. Richardson AB. Institution University of Hawaii Orthopaedic Residency Program, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. Title Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: allograft versus autograft. [Review] [35 refs] Source Arthroscopy. 19(5):453-62, 2003 May-Jun. Abstract PURPOSE: This study was performed to compare the minimal 2-year outcome of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction using bone-patellar tendon-bone (BPTB) allografts versus autografts, both augmented with an iliotibial band tenodesis. TYPE OF STUDY: Retrospective review. METHODS: Forty-six of 52 BPTB ACL reconstructions using allografts and 33 of 37 BPTB ACL reconstructions using autografts were followed up at a mean of 2.75 and 3.36 years, respectively. All patients had an iliotibial band tenodesis. Evaluations included the Lysholm II scale, a questionnaire, physical examination findings, and KT-1000 arthrometry. RESULTS: No statistically significant differences were seen between groups in Lysholm II scores or in any subjective category. Most patients (91% allograft; 97% autograft) had good to excellent Lysholm II scores. Sixty-five percent of allograft patients and 73% of autograft patients returned to their preinjury activity level. More allograft patients complained of retropatellar pain (16% v 9% for autograft patients). Fifty-three percent of allograft patients versus 23% of autograft patients had a flexion deficit of 5 degrees or more when compared with the normal contralateral side. When comparing KT-1000 side-to-side differences, we found no significant differences between groups. Ninety-one percent of both groups had maximum side-to-side differences less than 5 mm. Three allograft patients (6.5%) had traumatic ruptures at 12, 19, and 43 months postoperatively versus none in the autograft group. All three allograft patients who sustained postoperative traumatic ruptures had received fresh frozen, nonirradiated allografts. CONCLUSIONS: Results of ACL reconstruction using allografts or autografts augmented with an iliotibial band tenodesis were comparable. The BPTB autograft should remain the gold standard, although the BPTB allograft in ACL reconstruction is a reasonable alternative. Siebold R. Buelow JU. Bos L. Ellermann A. Institution ARCUS Sportsclinic, Pforzheim, Germany. Title Primary ACL reconstruction with fresh-frozen patellar versus Achilles tendon allografts. Source Archives of Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgery. 123(4):180-5, 2003 May. Abstract BACKGROUND: In recent years, there has been an interest in the use of allografts as an alternative graft for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction to reduce potential donor-site morbidity resulting from the harvest of autogenous tissue. Nevertheless, in the literature, the use of allografts for primary ACL reconstruction is controversial due to a higher failure rate and the potential risk of disease transmission. METHOD: In this retrospective study, we evaluated the clinical outcome of 251 fresh-frozen patellar vs Achilles tendon allografts for primary ACL reconstruction. Patients (average age 39 years) were operated on between 1993 and 1998, and the mean follow-up was 37.7 months (range 24-74 months). We were able to follow up 225 patients (89.6%). According to the different types of allograft, we divided the patients into two groups: group P with patellar bone-tendon-bone allograft (BTB; n=183) and group A with Achilles bone-tendon allograft ( n=42). Clinical evaluation consisted of a history, an examination, IKDC Score, Cincinnati Knee Score (CKS), Cincinnati Sports Activity Scale (CSAS), KT-1000 testing, and standardized X-rays. RESULTS: According to the IKDC, the outcome was normal or nearly normal in 75.3% in group P and 76.2% in group A. Overall rating according to the CKS was an average of 85 in group P and 82.9 in group A. CSAS was 79.6 in group P and 84.8 in group A. The object ive stability measured with the KT-1000 showed an average side-to-side difference of 2.1 mm in group P and 2.0 mm in group A. 4.4% of group P and 2.5% of group A were considered a laxity failure, and 10.4% of group P and 4.8% of group A re-ruptured the reconstructed ACL. In summary, there was a significantly higher failure rate ( p<0.001) in group P compared with group A. CONCLUSION: Satisfactory clinical results can be achieved with the use of allografts for primary ACL reconstruction. Comparing Achilles tendon and patellar BTB allografts, the Achilles tendon-bone allograft seems to be advantageous for ACL reconstruction as the failure rate was significantly lower. Nevertheless, the total failure rate appears to be much higher compared with autogenous ACL reconstruction, indicating that the use of an allograft for routine uncomplicated primary ACL reconstruction offers few advantages. Therefore, autograft tissue remains our graft of first choice for this procedure. We advise reserving allografts for revision procedures where suitable autogenous tissues have been previously compromised, where a contraindication for autogenous tissue harvest exists, or for multiple ligament surgery. Harner CD. Olson E. Irrgang JJ. Silverstein S. Fu FH. Silbey M. Institution Center for Sports Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA. Title Allograft versus autograft anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: 3- to 5-year outcome. Source Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research. (324):134-44, 1996 Mar. Abstract Sixty-four patients whose knees underwent anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction with nonirradiated allograft tissue were compared with 26 patients whose anterior cruciate ligaments were reconstructed using autograft tissue 3 to 5 years after their operation. Detailed symptoms, activity-level, and functional outcomes, physical examination, and instrumented knee testing were recorded. No statistically significant differences were found except a higher incidence of loss of terminal extension in the autograft group. These differences were small and not considered clinically significant. Laxity and knee scores were similar in both groups. According to International Knee Documentation Committee ratings, overall outcome was normal or nearly normal in 48% of the allograft patients and in 38% of the autograft patients. Overall subjective rating with the Cincinnati Knee Score was 85.8 for the allograft patients and 84.5 for the autograft patients. Allograft tissue provides an acceptable alternative to autograft tissue for reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament. Indelicato PA. Bittar ES. Prevot TJ. Woods GA. Branch TP. Huegel M. Institution Department of Orthopaedics, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville 32610. Title Clinical comparison of freeze-dried and fresh frozen patellar tendon allografts for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction of the knee. Source American Journal of Sports Medicine. 18(4):335-42, 1990 Jul-Aug. Abstract The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcome of freeze-dried compared to fresh frozen allograft tissue used as a substitute for a ruptured ACL of the knee. In addition, the incidence of any graft rejection phenomena was recorded. Forty-one patients with ACL deficient knees underwent reconstructive surgery using a patellar bone-tendon-bone allograft that had been freeze-dried (Group 1, N = 14) or fresh frozen (Group 2, N = 27). All patients underwent the same implant technique and rehabilitation program. Followup ranged from 24 to 36 months. The evaluation consisted of subjective, objective, and instrumented laxity testing (KT-1000, MEDmetric, San Diego, CA; and Genucom, FARO Medical Technologies, Inc., Montreal, Canada). There were 31 males and 10 females. Eleven (79%) patients in Group 1 thought their knee was "normal" or "improved," and 25 (93%) in Group 2 thought the same. In addition, 10 (71%) patients in Group 1 denied any "giving way," compared to 26 (96%) in Group 2. The mean Lysholm knee score in Group 1 was 86/100 (range, 22 to 100) compared to 92/100 (range, 59 to 100). Clinical examination included the Lachman test and tests for anterior drawer sign and pivot shift. Postoperatively, Group 1 patients had the following results: Lachman test--seven Grade 0, six Grade 1, one Grade 2; anterior drawer sign--eight Grade 0, five Grade 1, one Grade 2; and pivot shift--seven Grade 0, five "trace," and two "present."(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

March 28, 2005 10:43 AM

Eric..Read This!!! This is specifically for Eric. I had surgery on Feb 22 (vs your Jan 5). I am at 131, doing squats daily as part of therapy, walk with no clicking noises, and am fully extended. I'm not sure if we had different procedures since you used the big long name of it. Just wanted to post you a word of caution that you might want a 2nd opinion because it sounds like your progress may be a little slow....especially the straightening of your leg.

March 29, 2005 7:27 PM

hey guys. i tore my acl over spring break skiing in Colorado. It was in a little bit of pain after the inncodent but I could barely feel it. Its now 2 weeks later and im scheduled to have surgery a week from today. Im only 14 years old and my growth plates are still wide open. I have read on the internet that it is unsafe to have reconstruction on open growth plates because it will effect my growth. My doctor recomends it though. Is this safe? Please email me at if you have any comments! thanks

April 1, 2005 9:17 PM

I have a completly torn , ACL in conjunction with severe MCL damage. My doc is going to operate, using a donor. I probabley have the only non-sports related injury on this site. Great site by the way!! I own a 150lb puppy that is lacking in the manner department, he ran in the house and toke me out. So here I sit watching daytime television, wondering if I should go to a internet college, dowload some gangsta ring tone or watch Oprah! So my point and biggest concern is what is the average recovery time? My doc said 10 days, completley down, 6 weeks limited mobility and 6 months to obtain "back to normal". Please help! Again this site is great and I am thankful I found it! Thanks!

April 3, 2005 1:27 PM

I tore my ACL during cheerleading competition the summer before my junior year of high school (2001). This happened in June. In August I had a Patellar Tendon Transfer. For two to three weeks after my surgery i ran a fever of around 104. The doctors all said that everything looked normal (looks can be deceiving). I returned to school when it started (on crutches). And by the middle of the day i noticed a greenish-brown liquid leaking from my incision. Realizing that this was not normal, i made a visit to my doctor, where he stuck a needle into my knee joint and extracted this disgusting looking fluid. He immediately realized that i had an infection and sent me directly to the hospital. He met me there about an hour later and i had an emergency surgery. The infection had been so bad that it completely distroyed my tendon graft and the screws just fell out of my bone. His only option was to clean everything up and sew me up with a hollow knee. Till this day i still had no ACL, no patella tendon, and 1/3 of my meniscus cartilage removed. I still have the option of using my hamstring or a donor tendon, but i went through so much pain, that i dont think i will do anything. So if you have ACL surgery- be very cautious!! If you run a fever- tell you doctor to check for an infection and not just assume that it is a stomach virus. If you have any questions or comments email me at

April 5, 2005 4:03 PM


Paul P
April 5, 2005 6:02 PM

I'm 38yo. and tore my acl 3 weeks ago playing indoor soccer on turf. I have a partial tear of my meniscus and MCL, however, I am already in rehab with pretty good mobility. I went to a prominent Sportsmed. Dr. who is recommending not having surgery. There is always a chance of reinjuring the knee. (by the way, I dislocated my shoulder playing soccer in the Fall) This suggestion took me by surprise, as I was trying to decide on which surgery to have. Do any of you know someone who continues to be active without their ACL?

April 10, 2005 8:46 PM

im having acl reconstruction surgery this thuresday(4-14-05) i hurt mine by getting knocked off a 12 foot ladder at work,( i worked in the rv industry.) back on july 26th,2004. had the scope done in dec, and thats when the doc found out it was an acl tear. mri didnt show problem is my range of motion still is not good, even with all the pt. im worried that its going to be even worse after surgery.has anyone ever had this problem to please e-mail me at

April 11, 2005 2:39 AM

i had an ACL surgery in 2003 on my right knee when i was a freshmen playing basketball. i was 15. then in 2004, as a sophomore, i tore mt ACL and meniscus in my left knee while playing basketball as well. i was 16. i had been on crouches for 6 vweeks, in the full leg brace for 2 months and had therapy for 6 months for each knee surgery. it was hard work but i managed to get through it. now i am a junior (2005) @ the age of 17, playing basketball and softball. i am doing great. i hope many blessings and aloha to all who are going through, went through or will be going through surgeries. MAHALO & ALOHA *:)

Michael L
April 11, 2005 8:33 AM

Hi like Mari I also have ACL surgery scheduled for this Thursday. I decided on a petillar graft. I am completely motivated and excited about the surgery. I tore both my ACL and my MCL. The accident happend on March 17 while skiing and I have been completing pre op therepy since then. I have 0-128 degrees of motion and the swelling is almost gone. I am a Marine Corps reservist and am an extremely active cyclist, runner, swimmer, anything outdoors. I have a great OS here in Golden Colorado and am assured my knee will be as good or better than it was before, after about 6-8 months of rehab. This is a great support site! Good luck to everyone in this condition. If you would lke, please contact me at STAY MOTIVATED!! Semper Fi!

April 13, 2005 5:02 AM

-Spring of 04 I was playing the last lacrosse game of the season for my High School Club Team in Virginia. I put my right leg forward with weight on it, as I was hit in the leg with a defenders helmet as he fell. I had the immediate "pop" that is common and thought it was dislocated. Obviously, after MRI etc. I was told my ACL was gone, small meniscus tear, and bone bruising. At 17 years old, I had the surgery June 16th, after beach week, and then worked my ass off all summer. By 5 weeks I got rid of my brace, started getting more active, and eventually got back to snowboarding in January 05. After more training I was back on the lacrosse field this year, and led the league in scoring for the first 5 weeks. -Then on a trip to Rome, Italy for spring break I was skateboarding and hurt my left knee. The doctor assured me that it was not my ACL, and it was a contusion or meniscus tear at worst. However, after I took an MRI, the doctor's first words over the phone were "I am soo sorry". Another ACL tear. I was in complete shock. Now I am deciding when to have surgery, as I am 18 and this is my senior year. My parents urge me to have it May 13, while I want it July 6. I dont want to be limping up the stairs at graduation! I was really depressed to hear that I tore another ACL and could not play lacrosse, or other activities this year anymore. This site helped to chear me up though, as some of you have also had multiple surgeries. Thanks and good luck to all of you.

April 13, 2005 10:39 AM

Hi Paul- I tore both of my ACLs in a car accident when I was 19. Since I was playing college baseball I had to have surgery. The doctor only wanted to do one leg at a time so the rehab would be easier and I wouldn't need a wheelchair for 6 months (which makes since). After having the 1st surgery on my right knee and having a full recovery from my right knee we decided surgery on my left knee can be avoided if my legs were strong enough. So, we only scoped my left knee to remove any torn cartilage and did not have ACL repair. After a quick recovery from the scope I was back on the field and never had any problems. I'm 26 now and still very active with basketball, baseball, tennis, raquetball, skiing, wakeboarding, and cross-training and I don't have any problems with my repaired ACL (right knee) or my un-repaired ACL (left knee). My point is you can still be very active without your ACL if you weight train your legs and get them strong. You can't cheat yourself though!

April 13, 2005 11:59 AM

I tore my ACL and MCL and all that fun stuff August of '04 playing soccer! Worst pain of my life!:( I'm getting my surgery on May 26/05...I get the patellar graft, but there's other stuff that's wrong too, but the surgeon says he'll find out more about it once he gets in there...anyways, how long for those who have had this done before you can swim...I'm supposed to be going to the dominican the first week of July, and I'm not sure if I can go laid up will I still be do you think? email me! Cheers! Sarah :0)

Chris Hulet
April 14, 2005 2:25 PM

I tore my ACL and MCL playing football at my high school Loy Norrix in Kalamazoo, mi. It was the worst experience of my life. I tore it on Sept. 18th 2001 and had my sergery on nov. 27th 2001. I was playing quaterback and it was the first play of the game. It was a pass play and since nobody was open i decided to tuck and run. I made a strong cut and tried to spin but i ran into one of my blockers and someone else fell on my leg and i completly tore my ACL and MCL.

Marcia English
April 14, 2005 3:20 PM

I had orthroscopic knee surgery on 9/9/04 for a torn miniscus. Prior to the injury in 8/04, I had had no problems. Following - wow! I've never recovered from the surgery. Has completely changed my life - the surgeon just tells me the surgery was a success and can't get rid of me fast enough. Has anyone out there also had a failured arthroscopy knee surgery? Marcia English

April 14, 2005 10:51 PM

Hi, I'm 18 and tore my acl about two months ago. I'm going to have surgery after spring quarter in june, and am trying to decide what kind of graft to get... patellar or hamstring. Any advice?

April 15, 2005 6:51 PM

Today i just found out that I tore my ACL. It all happened while I was playing soccer in a park and planted my foot in a whole. My knee popped twice and I went down. The funny thing is I don't remember it hurting at all. I just got really scared because I thought my knee cap was going to be way off to the side. I never though I would be one of the girls this happens too. I have played soccer ans other sports since I was 5 years old. I have never recieved a serious injury before. I have never missed a season. I am now 19. It seems like 14 years was not a good enough streak. The worst part is I got a full ride scholarship for two years at Texas Southern Unniversity in Houston. I was planning on moving into an apartment in the middle of this August. With my injury and August just five moths away. I have to rehab faster than you can say "Hey Ya'll!" I was so excited and anticipating this sooo much. I just hope I am strong enough to do this.

April 19, 2005 10:42 AM

Well, I had my surgery 2 .5 weeks ago. They used a patella graft and things are coming along nicely. The pain is still definitely where the graft was from in the front.The Fla. Panthers Hockey tean doctors repaired the acl and carved about 30% of the meniscus away. then they found a bad tear in the cartilage so Im on crutches for a little longer (total of 4 wks while the holes they drilled into the cartilage to provide a new 50% cartilage cover heals). The crutches suck. Im active yet Im extremely dependent. You cant shower, must be careful as hell everywhere, and cant even carry a damn thing anywhere- but its almost over and then just the brace for more weeks. Also, my knee is still swollen above it and the bruising expanded to my foot. Also, im noticing that my leg is shrinking from non use!! Anyway, surgery is a piece of cake, never nausea, pain is decent but ice and pills should work for most (i drink a bit much so they dont really wrk for me- immunity?!)...I hope I can be the athete I always have been but its scary. Im 35 and at 5"10 could still dunk until this. I dont know....

April 24, 2005 6:23 PM

I'm 15 and tore my ACL and meniskus in february '05 in soccer. It was the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. (I've also torn my right quad and had a contusion to my left hipbone.) Anyways, I just had my surgery 4 days ago. It's been hard and I'm suffering from depression, which the doc says is normal. I'm really trying to be brave and get through it all, and I'm going to listen to EVERYTHING the PT and doc tell me to do with recovery. The thing I really am debating is starting back up with soccer...I don't want to go through any of this again. Also, it may not be like this for everyone, but for me the narcotics made me sick and nausiated, have made me faint, and gave me the worst nightmares you could imagine.

April 24, 2005 11:27 PM

I was playing football for fun with the girls in college, and I made a sharp turn to tackle someone- when I heard a pop and I was on the ground. It was extremely painful. Some guys got me some ice, and I thought I had just bruised it. Being a stubborn and independent woman, I wouldn't allow anyone to help me walk back to the dorms. In an hour, the pain was so intense that I couldn't walk. I went to a Doctor to make sure I was ok, and the Doctor said I was fine- and that I didn't need an MRI or anything- so I just went about my buisness and decided to wait until Christmas to have my Doctor look at it. When I went home to my personal Doctor, she informed me after I had gotten an MRI- that I had no ACL at all and meniscus tearing. I was so ticked off because I could have avoided unncessary pain if I would have known right away about the tear. So, I'm getting surgery this summer in a few weeks and hopefully it will go well. One thing is for sure, I'm sticking to swimming and pilates- no more goofing around with football!

April 25, 2005 11:05 PM

i know how all ya all feel i'm 16 and i've had a total of 5 knee surgeries in the last year (7 surgeries total over the last year!) i tore my acl and mcl last feb 04 when i was 15 one of the worst pains of my life! worked my ass off and 3 1/2 months later i was able to do basketball camps. couldnt play very hard but deffently able to make my mark on the camp. then this year again playing basketball tore my acl in my right leg. always trying to see the bright side of things is that its only my sophmore year, and i have an extra month of rehab before summer then i had last year. had surgury a week later, felt like shit, starting getting better, about a week later i had to go to the ER for back,side,and stomach pain. (hurt 100 times worse then hurting my knee) i got soo sick over the week i lost 20 lbs in a week, couldnt walk, see straight, half of the time couldnt see @ all, fainted. finally my check up appt, my doc had a bad feeling from the way i felt so he checked my knee for staph infection. sure enough i did, one of the worst ones he's ever seen. then in that afternoon got my knee flushed and my acl removed, next day got a centeral line put in my chest (pretty much a big fat iv for an antibodic that i had for 6 weeks) and then the next day i got my knee flushed once again. during my 6 weeks of hell i got to watch my team go to state, had to do rehab knowing that i'll be back laid up a @ 0 again in a few weeks but i was feeling so much better and i could walk. so 6 weeks ago i got my centeral line out, 5 weeks ago had another acl reconstruction surgury once again and i'm doin pretty good. rehab is slower then i wanted but i've started shooting again, just went to prom, and i'm just starting to totally see the bright side of everything once again. so ya all that have gone through surgerys i totally feel you pain and you can deffentally get through it, it'll just make you a stronger person in the end ~~~Peace~~~

April 29, 2005 9:56 AM

Hey i had a partial tear in my ACL from a basketball injury that occured in 2002. I just continued to be active by wrapping my knee up extremely tight, but i then again almost tore my acl completly playing Paintball in the woods. I knew it was time for something to happen and since i currently am in the process of trying to become a NJ State Trooper i need a good knee to run on in the Acadamey. I got reconstructive surgery on April 20th, 2005 by a doctor who operates on the NY/NJ Metro Stars. It was a very good choice in doctors for me. Its been a week and 2 days i already started physical therapy i am bending my knee 90 degrees by myslef and 110 on the machine. I walk around my house without crutches but use them elsewhere just incase.

peg bell
May 1, 2005 9:54 PM

my 16 yr old daughter just had acl recons with patella tendon graft on March 23, after basketball injury on Feb 10, 2005. The first two weeks were horribly painful -- not much steady sleep, pain medicine was bad on her stomach, knee was just so painful. However, now at just about six weeks she is in terrific pain, swelling or stiffness, walks almost perfectly and she has full extension and flex...she feels like she's ready to run but knows that she should not. Her quads look a little more normal now and her calf muscle iscoming back. The reason for such improvement is partly just the time has passed but mostly -- she does the excercises and walks a lot. She was very athletic before and has no intention of giving up on lacrosse, field hockey and maybe even some more basketball. Lacrosse is what she plans to play in college so might drop the basketball. Anyway, it's normal to be depressed at first but just stick with the PT plan and you will feel better and better. Patience is a great thing. Question: Anyone out there so happy with their functional brace for playing sports that they would recommend it? So many choices!! email us at Thanks!

May 6, 2005 7:08 AM

im only 14 and i just tore my acl april 28 ((i think??)) im due for surgery on may 18 which is only in 12 days. im kinda lucky because i get to have the surgery so soon. i was doing pretty well and i was off crutches ((which i guess our suposed to before surgery)) when i twisted it on the stairs. i had friends over and luckily they caught me, because soon after that i fainted; which had never happened before. i always seem to be doing well, then get more and more set backs. i'd REALLY appriciate some success stories and encouragment. ((sp??)) feel free to email me but say something about the acl in the subejct so i know its not just some random person. thanks!!

May 6, 2005 11:19 AM

I'm 17 years old and I tore my ACL during a basketball game on Feb.1. I decided to play my tennis season and did rehab so I could have range of motion without getting it fixed. I got a custom brace and have run and played without pain for 4 months now. But recently I decided I was sick of being hurt, and frustrated with not being able to play my best. I am getting surgery on May 23 and would like any advice about it. I am very nervous and scared something will go wrong. Please email

May 16, 2005 9:06 AM

wow, i look forward to the fun i am about to endure. on mothers day i was "stunting" with my friends in Detroit and while riding a wheelie with my right leg hanging out for balance, i brought the motorcycle back too far and slammed my leg into the road. dropped my bike, but worse, when i stood up-my leg bent backwards and inwards. that was the strangest feeling ever and i almost got sick. went to the hospital(at my girlfriends demand) and found i tore my acl, mcl, fractured and chunk of bone off my knee cap. it has been a week and going to see my doctor for the third time to go over my MRI report to see if need surgury or cast. everyone keeps telling me different times of rehabilitation, i am a bit worried. either way it cannot be worse than the discomfort and pain i have been feeling. now that the fluid on my knee, the black and blues and soreness have kicked in, i have had difficult times sleeping and hobbling around, and the vicadin es, wow talk about upset stomach and feeling woozy. anyhow, going today to find out the status of surgery, i got a bit of an idea what to expect by reading some of these posts, thanks!

May 17, 2005 11:44 AM

Hi everyone! I'm 4.5 months out of surgery and am doing good. I got full range of motion but seem to be suffering from atrophy and patellar tendinitis. My leg is still very small, has anyone had this problem? How long does it last? I thought my leg would have been bigger by now but it's as if the muscle is just pure flab. I got so discouraged I went into the gym and started doing squats and reverse squats way to early. It really aggravated my knee. So now I'm back to rehab for ultrasounds and ice and stem to get the tendinitis down. Anyone experienced this? Anyway, I am so glad I was able to read everyones post on their surgery and recovery. Hope everyone is doing well. It's going to be longer than I thought to get back on the court but I'm positive I'll get there. Thanks everyone!

May 21, 2005 9:30 AM

I tore my acl skiing in March. Both the doctor in Tahoe and my orthopedic surgeon who are both familiar with acl tears could tell fairly easily that I tore my acl. All they did was to hold my leg above my knee and pull the lower part of my leg out. Because the leg with the torn acl pulled out a good 1/2" or so more than my other leg, they determined that my acl was torn. The mri then showed that I also tore my miniscus. I am scheduled to have surgery in June. I've been walking around pretty normally, just going a bit slower than normal on stairs. Once in a while I feel pain, and it mainly seems to be above my knee, which I fear may be my petallar tendon. My doctor is recommending surgery using the patellar tendon. Has anyone else felt pain over the knee pre-sugery, then had the surgery using the patellar tendon? If so, were you able to recover and end the pain over the knee? Also, any suggestions on reducing scarring?

May 24, 2005 4:39 PM

Im 17 and an avid athlete of 7 sports. During my first rugby game of the season 3 weeks ago i twisted my knee and have found out that i tore my ACL, MCL and meniscus. Im not in alot of pain but the doctors are keeping me on crutches. I cant quite bend it maybe 30 degrees at most but havent had any physio yet. I need surgery and i guess im in for a long recovery 6-9months i hear until sports again. I guess no rugby during first year university?? someone please tell me otherwise!!! in need of major advice! thanks laura

May 25, 2005 6:37 AM

Hey all! 4 years ago I was downhill skiing and made an attempt at an emergency slide stop. I caught an edge and POP, my ACL was gone in my right knee. After an hour of ice, I actually went back skiing and about halfway down the hill felt a major instability. Had an MRI about a month later and confirmed the injury as well as a meniscus tear. Went through some range of motion theraoy and put off surgury for four years. I just had my ACL surgery last Thursday May 19, 2005. I had the Patelar tendon autograph. I am now walking on my own with crutches occasionally. Swelling is about 20% of the original from six days ago. My range of motion is about 90 degrees. I would really recommend to anyone thinking about delaying surgery, don't. get it over with.

May 25, 2005 8:41 AM

Hi everyone! I am so glad I found the site, I just wish I would have found it before my surgery. Reading other peoples experiences has really given me motivation and hope that I will have a full recovery. I had ACL reconstructin surgery on 05/09/05. It has been 2 1/2 weeks and I'm just starting to feel somewhat normal again. The first week was horrible because of the pain and the upset stomache. Finally my OS and I found a pain med. which didn't make me so sick, but it makes me really tired and a bit "out of it". I am trying to cut way back on the medication because I have a 3 yr. old daughter who I really miss spending time with, considering I am a stay at home mom. My mother-in-law has been a great help watching my daughter everyday for me. It is important to let people help you when you have the surgery. TAke advantage so you can get better, but don't forget to give them big thanks too. I'm still on my crutches, now 2 1/2 weeks post op., although I'm putting pressure on my foot, I'm not sure if this is normal or not. I'm working hard at pt and looking forward to a full recovery. OH I should say that i tore my ACL on 03/25/05 while running down a large dirt hill with my daughter. We were holding hands and she fell, but was ok, I came to a sudden stop and I heard a few loud popping sounds and felt immediately sick to my stomache. After seeing my os and having an mri I found out that I had torn my ACL. I'm glad I had the surgery because I do want to get back to a normal active lifestyle. And again this message board has been really great because I know I'm not alone and that the pain will go away. Thanks and good luck to everyone!

May 27, 2005 4:38 PM

I had ACL and meniscus reconstruction surgery exactly 5 weeks ago yesterday. before surgery, i was in PT for 3 weeks 3 times a week and did the exercises on my own every day 3 times a day. its very annoying to do that everyday, but it did help.. alot. my pt told me i would not be able to lift my leg on my own for awhile, and the day of surgery i lifted myself into my own bed. because my meniscus was so badly torn, i was on crutches for 4 weeks, that was the worst part. i think about 3 weeks into pt post op i had full range of motion back and i am walking on it now with a brace. my advice, do as much PT as you possible can on your own, push yourself to your pain limit, and let your physical therapist stretch you!! in the end its all worth it. if you have any questions or just want to talk (i would love to) email me at

May 29, 2005 2:29 AM

Hi everyone, I went to skiing on feb, 2005 and thorn my riht knee`s acl and menuscus.I am going to have a surgery on tuesday May 31st. Wish me luck.

May 29, 2005 3:39 PM

I'm reading about all of you who had surgery and were not using crutches much after only 2-2 1/2 weeks! I had acl reconst (patellar) done four years ago and recently fell and tore it again in the same knee. at the time of the fall, i fugured i'd damaged some cartilage or something but not acl. im having surgery again using cadaver tissue (creepy, but its better than using the tendon from my good knee and the OS says hamstring cant be used becaused of the tunnells drilled out for the first surgery). my current surgeon (not same as the first), says i will be on crutches at least a month. im 37 yr old very active female and dont know if this has anything to do with age, but he seems more conservative than some of the other OS's. dont look forward to the next 6 mos

James Newberry
May 31, 2005 9:37 AM

I just had acl surgery last Tuesday and it caused me to miss a great trip to Austin to play golf. The surgery went pretty well but I am still in some pain. They did not give me a passive motion device, but I found that if i move my leg as if it were in one that it helps. After surgery I was given different pain killers, but none on them really made a HUGE difference. I tried generic vicodin, lortab, and percocet. I should start pt today and I get my stitches out Friday. I can't wait to get back on the golf course. Believe it or not I tore my acl helping some good friends brand calves. I landed funny and it went sideways I guess. I thought I did not hurt it too bad so I started walking in circles to walk it off when all of a sudden it just twisted and I collapsed. Recently I have experienced a strange pain when I get out of my recliner. See, most of the day I sit in my recliner with a pillow under my leg with the ice on and off of it. Whenever I would get out of the chair to go do something my knee would start stinging and burning I guess cause the blood would rush to it. So I started moving my leg up and down, and trying to bend it like it were in a passive motion device and it really helped. I am pretty sick of sitting around watching re-runs of surreal life and american chopper. The occasional golf tourney chears me up though. Well if any of you guys want to talk about your surgery with me email me at

June 1, 2005 10:24 AM

Here's some encouragement for everyone: I'm 3 months and 1 week post surgery (patella graft). I'm finishing up therapy this evening and have been playing in my 4 softball leagues (at about 80% of where I'd like to be) for almost a month now. There's nothing special about me other than the fact that I did exactly what my doctor said and worked very very hard in therapy and at home to get back up to speed. Keep in mind I didn't say 100%. I'm still very careful not to go all out and risk injuring it again. I do still get sore and definitely need to rest my leg if I do too much, but I hope I can encourage anyone going in for surgery here soon to just push through it, stay the course, and know that you'll be back up and at it before you know it (although it will seem like forever sometimes).

Juan Gaviria
June 1, 2005 3:53 PM

I'm having an autograph ACL reconstruction on my right knee tomorrow (june 2nd) and I'm very bored about walking with crutches and not eing able to do exercise. I torn it skiing in Vermont in January and have been procastinating about the surgery, especially since I had to attend a U2 concert in Boston! In 1996 I had an ACL reconstruction on my left knee and meniscus repair...I guess my knees aren't very good. Just wanted to share the pre-surgery fear!

John F.
June 1, 2005 5:35 PM

Had ACL reconstuction and meniscus repair on 5-25-05. Other than being on crutches for 4-6 weeks, I find the worst part of the whole ordeal has been the anesthesia and effects of the pain meds. I was fearful of the pain so I took the pills religiously at first. They made me feel awful, so I switched to ibuprofen and I find now that I only need to take that only occasionally, the pain isn't really that bad.

josh gipson
June 2, 2005 10:07 PM

i am only 16 i tore my acl and meniscus during a football game my junior year in high school, i am now going to be a senior. i had reconstructive surgery done march 10th it is now about 11-12 weeks past my surgery, and i still cant run, i have been going to pt 2 times every week since about 2 weeks prior to my surgery. and i just wanted to find out if this is normal or not. you can email me back a with some answers thatks.

June 3, 2005 2:24 PM

I just had acl reconstructive surgery a week ago yesterday on May 26th, 2005. I am only 15. I had the same surgery in the other knee almost 3 years ago when i was 13. I tore the other one when I was in 7th grade but I had to wait to have surgery until i stopped growing. I had to wait about 11 monthes to have my surgery. During that time i could't really do any physical activity excpt pt. I had the surgery in Dec. and worked with the trainer at the high school that I now attend(i was still in middle school) and got stong enough to play soccer in March. In my state, eigth grade girls can practice with the high school teams and then play in games once school is out. I hadn't been able to play soccer for about a year and a half before that but i worked my ass off and made varsity as an 8th grader. So i just want to tell all of you just work hard. Do whatever your pt tells you. Be determined and you can do anything. Now I tore the other acl and and I am going to work just as hard to get back in the game next year.

June 3, 2005 8:05 PM

Hi all was reading about all of this. I was just told after like 3 months ago I have torn my acl also. Just wondering if you all had the surury did you go home the day of the surgery. I need to be able to walk a week after the surgury. But in reading I did not see that anyone was walking on there own in a week. I am not sure if I should get the surgury or not? My knee goes out alot but was thinking of putting it off a while longer like for another year I am not sure. Any info would be great thanks. Val

June 6, 2005 5:49 PM

I postponed my ACL surgery for 4 months until I finished with my classes. While I was waiting I went to the physical therapist three times a week to gain strength in my leg. I found that after the surgery I was strong but not enough to walk. That came several weeks after intensive therapy. You have to work real hard but it is worth it in the end.

June 6, 2005 8:57 PM

I just had ACL surgery about 10 days ago and am starting therapy. Do you think my progress would move any quicker if I took a pain killer before therapy? It's still early in this process and I am already beginning to get frustrated as well as losing my motivation.

June 8, 2005 12:43 PM

I just had ACL reconstruction last Wednesday June 1, 2005. So, it has been a week and I am very surprised how painless it has been so far. I don't know if I am just lucky, but thought I'd share a few things with people going for the same reconstruction soon. FYI, I had the hamstring graft. First, they gave me an IV. Then a nerve block for the front of my leg. Then an eppidural. I was very nervous goig into the surgery, because I am quite squeemish. None of it really bothered me once I calmed down and let them do their work. The worst part was probably the IV, actually. During the surgery, I watched the whole thing and was quite alert. The operation took about 1-1/2 hours and my biggest fears were: (1) Not being able to pee so they wouldn't release me...and having to eventually need a catheter. (2) Getting nausius from the anesthesia. I was told that the nasauia comes from the general anesthesia and is not as common with the eppidural. They were right...I only had some very minor nasiua, but never while laying down. Very controlable and I didn't get sick once. By the way, I had no problem peeing, either, so I was pretty happy. These were the two things I read on other internet sites where people seemed to have problems. The Dr. prescribed Hydrocodone which must really, really help. I took 500 mg every 4 hours and felt virtually no pain after the first 48 hours. The first 24 hours were tolerable, but there was definitely pain "behind" the knee (the nerve block was working on the front just fine). The good thing was, the pain only occurred when I had to get up. By the 2nd day, I felt extremely good and was up on my crutches and moving around...even putting weight on the knee. While this was all promising, I developed a 201 degree fever the next day. I think my body was telling me to slow down, which I did...along with taking additional x-tra strength Tylenol. By the 4th day, the fever was gone and I was feeling good again, but I learned from my lesson and am still taking it easy. I could also walk without crutches by the 3rd or 4th day. Towards the end of the 4th day, I started getting severe pain on my shin. It was excrutiating and I called my Dr. He said it would go away within 3-4 days and is normal. We upped the Hydrocodone to 1000 mg every 4-6 hours. It's one week later and I still have the shin pain. The knee is great and there is virtually no pain associated with it as long as I am careful. I go for my 2nd PT tonight. One more thing, I did wait for about 5 weeks after the accident until I had surgery. Like everything else, I am not sure if this helped or not, but I am feeling great and just wanted to pass along what has worked (so far) for me.

June 9, 2005 8:59 PM

LEFT KNEE:: Aug. 2004, I tore my ACL in my left knee... I went to the doc. and he told me that i needed to wear a knee brace, because it wasnt so bad.. so i got a huge Donjoy Knee Brace, and started to play again in early October. Well 2 days after i got my brace and was able to play again, my knee went out again, this time, i was out for a week or so, and i started playing again. At the end of October, my knee went out, once more.. and i ended up getting ACL and Medial Mencuis surgery... I started rehad a day later, and was on cruths for a few weeks, but was able to put weight on it. RIGHT KNEE About 4 months after surgery, i was able to do some light running and cutting in Rehad.. and i noticed my right knee started to act up (i hurt my right knee back in 2002) so i went to get an MRI, and I found out, that I tore my Menicus, to the point that they wanted to do surgery. And I had a slit tear in my ACL. My doc told me, after my 6 months was over for my left knee (which was on may 25, 2005) i could idther get surgery for my acl and menucis in my right knee, or wait and see what happens. And after being out for 6 moths, all you want to do it play right... well i am takin the chances on playing again.. even though last week, my right knee gave out... Im good now, and it doesnt hurt, so i hope everything is fine with it. Im going to say, if you tear your ACL all the way, and you have to get surgery, you should do it. It isnt all that bad, and rehad may hurt, but it makes you feel 100 time better about everything. JUst thing positive, and at the end, your knee feels so great. :) ashley age: 16

June 10, 2005 1:28 PM

Hi! Everyone out there had a ACL and Meniscus surgery same as I do. I just had my knee surgery about one week ago and i'm barely starting to feel a bit better during second weeks. I'm so glad that I had found this site and i had read everyone story about ACL surgery it makes I felt that i had make the right decision about my ACL surgery. At first I was very scared about the word "SURGERY" even though my Doctor had talked to me that ACL surgery was a basic surgery but still i i'm so scared. But finally, i had the surgery done and now i'm very happy about it. Even though there's so much pain during the first week but now i'm doing okay during the second weeks. I just want to said to all you people out there thinking about getting your knee surgery it is the best decision to do it because you can get back to your normal activities that you still want to do. Oh....i should said why i need to the surgery for...I was playing Volleyball for fun at the park on 3/27/05. I jumped up to hit the ball and i lost my balanced when i landed i heared a popping sound on my knee after i went to ER and they didn't do much thing to it then i went to my DR he sent me to see specializing and i got my MRI done that's when i found out that i torn my ACL and Meniscus. Well...that it about my story and wish the best luck to all you people out there that need to do the ACL surygery.

June 13, 2005 12:14 PM

Hi, I am going in for ACL surgery on 6/29/05. I was wondering just how immobilized I'm going to be for the first couple of days. The deal is that I I'm trying to decide if I should have a family member come to help out afterwards. They live in Minnesota, I live in St. Louis so it's not the shortest trip for them. I have friends who can get me to and from surgery and can help if something really major comes up. Soooo, am I likely to be able to slowly move around my house and order pizza so I don't starve those first couple of days? Any thoughts would be appreciated. thanks.

Michelle Mancebo
June 15, 2005 8:05 PM

Hi, my name is Michelle and I am 19 years old and I just recently found out that I tore my ACL. I have been playing sports and SOCCER since I was about 6 years old and have never had a serious injury. I was playing indoor soccer trying to stay in shape before summer training. I was just leaving a JC college to finally play soccer at a 4 year!!! I was just wondering, since i am trying to be able to play next season and am planning on getting surgery soon, if I should get an Autograph or an Allograph done? I do not know which one is better???? Thanks

June 17, 2005 8:01 AM

While at work 04/02/05, I unjured my knee falling off a ladder (yes, that took some talent since I fell on my back) Because it was a work related injury I was sent to a horrible hospital that work had approved where I must say my experience was less than appealing. I was in a great amount of pain and my knee had sweeled up to three times its normal size. The hospital did not ice it for me or give me anything for pain. THey stuck me in a brace said I didn't break anything and gave me crutches. I was later sent to a different doctor who sent me for an MRI, a fun experience as my knee kept spasming to the irritation of those administering the test. At this point I thought I was just being a baby about it, but when I got the results I found out I was a victim of the terrible triad, my acl was not even visible on the MRI (a bad sign), the cartilidge was torn, and the MCL was stretched out. Needless to say I was told I would need to have surgery, because the doctor wanted me to go through physical therapy and because I was in my senior year of college and wanted to graduate the surgery was scheduled for 06/01/05. Physical therapy was tough, or at least I thought so then, but the doctor was happy with the results and thought that my knee had less damage than they hadoriginally suspected. Unfortunately, when he actually got in there on the day of surgery he was very wrong and it was much worse. My ACL was completely torn as well as two large cartilidge tears, my kneecap had relocated itself and basically flipped over moving down my shin, to top that all off I had a chip in the bone that was beyond a fix. I made it through surgery, but was shocked at the amount of pain I was in as well as throwing up everything that I was being fed, I also managed to pass out during a sponge bath, not my shining moment. Today I am about 2 and 1/2 weeks post-op, the pain has moved from sharp stabbing to aching. I am being put through the paces in physical therapy, but it is really helping me. I am so glad that I had the support of my family and friends during this time and know I could not have done it without them. It really helped to read other people's experiences and I thought I should add my own so that those who are headed towards surgery know what to expect. It isn't going to be easy, but recovery is there and your physical therapist is your friend even if they may seem like they are trying to torture you. Just keep smiling!

June 18, 2005 9:14 AM

I am a 20 year old college student. I tore my acl in February playing ultimate frisbee. At first, the doctors at my college's health care center and a local specialist were confused by my injury and diagnosed me incorrectly. My main symptom was that I was unable to bend my knee more than 90 degrees-- it took me 3 months to regain full flexibility. Finally, after my knee collapsed twice more (leaving me in great pain and unable to walk for several days each time), I saw an orthopedic surgeon who immediately found the problem. I found this site the night before my acl surgery (9 days ago), and it really helped me calm down. I was so nervous! I was most worried that the surgery would be painful-- as it turns out, it really wasn't so bad. I only took pain meds for 3 days. If you're about to get the surgery, don't be worried. I promise I'm a much bigger wimp than you! The best advice I can give is to make sure you have someone who will take good care of you after surgery. I was unable to do anything at all for myself for 4 or 5 days--I couldn't get food, take a shower, put on my brace, or even move my leg up and down off the bed without help. I still can't walk without crutches, but I now have no pain and have regained much flexibility (about 100 degrees). The recovery has been pretty quick. Good luck to all of you with acl tears and undergoing the surgery. You'll get through it.

June 20, 2005 5:50 AM

Im having and ACL reconstruction done with Key hole surgery (Arthroscopy ) Just out of curiosity do the comments come from open knee surgery patient or Arthroscopy patients. Im told the recovery is quicker as its less intrusive. please reply Sue

June 27, 2005 8:02 AM

I'm 41 years old. On May 28, 2005 I was jumping over a fence to retrieve a volleyball (stupid me) when my left knee "popped" and gave out. I immediately knew something was wrong as I couldn't stand on it. I hopped to the urgent care where they manipulated my knee and took an x-ray. The doctor said it looked like everything was ok since there was no pain or swelling, so they gave me crutches and told me to rest, elevate, ice, etc. The next day I was getting out of the car and as I bent my leg my knee suddenly clenched and started to spasm very painfully for a few moments. Then throughout the day, my knee, thigh, and calf started swelling up. I used the crutches religiously and didn't put any weight on the leg at all. If you've never used crutches before, it's a real challenge to get around because you have to think ahead how you're going to do just about everything. I had to develop a technique for getting in/out of the bathtub, in/out of the car, going up and down stairs, etc. I made another appt. to see another doctor since my leg was still swollen and I knew something must be wrong. He gave me a knee immobilizer, which is a foam rubber thing you wrap around your leg and secure with velcro straps, it has metal ribs in it to keep you from bending your leg. He told me to go ahead and walk without the crutches, that "nothing bad can happen while you have the brace on." So I quit using the crutches. It was kinda challenging to not use the crutches since in the week I had them I'd gotten very dependent on them and I was afraid not to have them at my side, it was like a security blanket. But it was very nice to be able to "walk" on two legs again. Just from the week and a half or so, my left leg was very weakened and felt tired from so much walking, and it would get hot in the brace. The doctor also scheduled me for an MRI and sent me to meet with a physical therapist. The physical therapist gave me some exercises to help me get my knee flexibility and strength back, since during my time on crutches and in the brace my leg got very stiff. I found that as I walked and used my leg more, the swelling went down. I also have been getting more and more range of motion with my knee and it is much more flexible now after 4 weeks than it was at the start. I've quit using the brace because it's so hot with it on that I think the heat promotes swelling. I haven't had a problem except every now and then my knee will buckle so I've learned to be careful with it. Sometimes I even forget that something's wrong with it. The MRI showed that I had a "completely blown" ACL. The good news is that everything else in the knee was ok, which gave me more confidence to use the knee, knowing that it would support weight, etc. I have started going up and down stairs, and walking on it normally. I do my PT exercises every morning and evening. My knee is stiff in the mornings until I limber it up with the PT exercises, a hot shower helps also. I'm scheduled July 15 to have an ACL reconstruction with patellar tendon allograft. There was an option that I could just "live with it" but I want to be as close to 100% again as I can be. I hope I can get through rehab quickly since I already had plans (spent $$$) to go elk hunting in the mountains next November, walking on uneven ground, walking up slopes, backpacking, carrying weight, etc. That's my goal, and my challenge. I hope that since I'm doing so well already I will be able to rehab quickly since not as much ground to regain. At least I already know how to use crutches. The doctor says that most people he operates on can be up and around in a week or so, so that's what I'm hoping for. I've never had surgery before so it will be an interesting experience, I'm a little nervous about being put "out" but I guess they're the pros who do this all the time so I will just have to trust. It's a little weird to think about having a tendon from a dead person inside me, but I guess since I'm listed as a "donor" on my driver's license I'll be able to "pay it forward" one day. After my surgery I'll update on my progress.

June 27, 2005 7:12 PM

Well, compared to some of the postings I read here, I am an old timer at 33. I tore my ACL and had pretty extensive cartlidge damage when I got taken out diagonally from behind playing indoor soccer. Ouch! I was on crutches for several weeks before the surgery and four weeks after. I agree with some of the suggestions about making sure someone is around to help take care of you after surgery. I had a pretty tough time for the first 4 or 5 days and I am somewhat a trooper. But each day got better. I was driving after a week (don't tell my MD) and even got the hang of the one-legged shower dance! I am now 10 months out and have almost full function back of my knee but it still aches sometimes. It is killing me to not be on the field yet but the day is coming soon and I am trying to be patient. One thing I would caution people about is for each day you are on crutches it takes something like three days to gain the strength back you are losing. My legs were in pretty good shape before and I didn't think it would matter but it definitely does. Stay off the crutches as much as possible for a quicker recovery. And the sooner you can get into surgery the better. Don't wait. It doesn't do you any good. You still have to do all the PT afterwards anyway. Stay strong and good luck! One last piece of advice - don't eat or drink anything before surgery. What goes down will come up!

June 29, 2005 8:19 PM

Hi I am a 14 year old girl who tore there ACL when I was 13 playing soccer. I'm not sure what I did but I was at school and I was just jogging and I heard a crack and went to the nurses office. I was told that I had only hyper-extened my knee so I went home and was on cruches. I had a werid reaction cause my knee didn't swell up at all. I wasn't going to go to the doctor but then 4 days later I dislocated my other knee cap when I was walking around(not on cruches). I have a hig tolerance to pain so it wasn't that bad. I went to the doctor and they sent me to a sports medicine doctor who knew right away my ACL was torn. Just to make sure I then went to have a MRI. I had completely torn/ruptured my ACL. I was in physical therapy for 3 months. I had regained full range of motion within a week of therapy. My knee was much stronger but I was still unable to play sports. I have opted to have surgery because I play 5 different sports. I might get an artifical ACL or they will do something with my hamstring(I didn't quiet understand what he ment) I will also have bolts in my knee I was told, I don't know why. It has been 9 months since my injury and I am finally getting surgrey my last week of summer. I would like some information on how some others surgery went and how quickly they got back. I was told a half-year to a year. Please feel free to email me at

Joe Buckim
June 30, 2005 8:31 PM

I tore my acl and was told I have to have surgery. The Doctor told me that he could use a ligament from a cadaver or take my own ligament to repair the torn one. He told me that using the one from the cadaver would mean quicker heal time, less pain and faster surgery. What did you all do.

July 6, 2005 9:53 PM

Im 22 yrs. old and tore my acl dancing at a bar the night before Easter. (stupid i know!) I put off the surgery for as long as I could but now I go in Monday morning and I'm scared out of my mind. A girl actually came into my work tonight who just had acl surgery a month ago. Needless to say Im not feeling any better after hearing her story. I guess I was kidding myself thinking I'd be back out with my friends in a matter of weeks. The knee has really not given me any trouble since, an occasional ache and I can't kneel for long periods of time but I get the same comment from everyone, "You're to is something you NEED to do." While I am no soccer or football star, I do ride and compete horses so I guess it is something that "needs" to be done. Reading everyones comments helped alot and I'll be sure to post my surgery experience, im sure there won't be much else for me to do while im laying around my house. : (

July 7, 2005 7:06 PM

I am 30 year old software professional who loves the outdoors and sports in general. A lot of people who are more agressive players than I am get by without a single major surgery in their entire life but I had the misfortune of getting myself caught up in a scrimage where I had a choice between heading right into a girl and breaking my ACL. I chose to break my ACL by twisting to avoid the impact wearing my cleats. My foot stayed in one place and my knee twisted. So here I am reading the experiences of previous experience holders. I have not been to a doctor in 15 or so years and have no clue how to go about searching for a good surgeon. This happened on June 20th and got an MRI done on June 30th. I will defnitely go in for surgery as I just can not stay away from sports. I also have some bone abrasions between the femur and the tibia which prevent me from putting any weight on the leg. So currently going to a PT for strengthening my muscles (wondering why am I paying the cost of chivalry). I would like to get as many people together who are having ACL reconstruction and help each other in recuperation. It will be great if some one could point me in the right direction in how to choose the right ACL surgeon. My email id is Please feel free to ask for or give me any information you think I should have or in any way I can help (probably in rehab together) or if you need a buddy to recover with. I am in Falls Church, VA and have another 2-3 weeks to let my bone abrasion heal. Will keep you guys posted with my developments. Thanks again for your posts.

July 11, 2005 8:53 AM

Im 15 and i tore my ACL on Jan 11th 2005 at my high school bball game i had it repaired on feb 17 2005 and im still doing therapy i have my first soccer practice today even though i still cant play

Lisa Johnson
July 14, 2005 9:29 AM

I just had surgery July 5th, 2005 for a completely torn ACL and torn meniscus (happened while skiing, then when I was playing soccer, then when I was running…). I was on crutches for a week and then had my first follow up appointment. I am a very active person and even though I live with my boyfriend, he was not very helpful. I was forced to walk around a lot more than I thought I should (cleaning up after dinner, making dinner the day after my surgery, doing laundry, etc). During this appointment (note: my doctor is on vacation so I saw another guy) the doctor came in and told me to straighten my leg all the way. I was practicing that and had no problem performing that task for the doctor. Then he told me to bend my knee, I looked him, the nurse told me I needed to keep my leg as straight as possible and this guy wants me to bend my knee. I could not do it; actually I could hardly move or lift my leg. I felt like such a failure!! Then the doctor told me I should not need the brace any longer. I disagreed. I said that my doctor said I would be on crutches with the brace for 2 to 3 weeks. He said with just a torn ACL the brace should be gone and I should have a lot more mobility by now. I informed him that I also had a torn meniscus and he indicated that if I wanted to keep the brace on, then I should. I don't understand. Don't you think the doctors would talk to each other? I let them take my stitches out (ouch :) ) and they all left the room. My crutches were on one side of the room and my brace was on the other. After about 10 minutes of me just sitting there alone, someone came in and asked if I needed help. I asked the nurse if she could pass me my brace so I could put it on. I left the doctor’s office confused. When I got home I put one of the crutches under my bed and began walking around with only one crutch. The next day (yesterday) I did not even use the crutches. I have begun to practice bending my knee and making sure I can still straighten it all the way. I can bend it about 50 to 60 degrees now, but am not sure if I am moving too fast. Again, my surgery was 9 days ago. I did have my surgery done with a cadaver, not sure if that makes any difference. If anyone has advice on how fast I should be going with walking and stretching and bending, please send me an email at . THANKS!! Lisa J

July 18, 2005 6:44 AM

I had ACL reconstructive surgery on July 7th and it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I bent my knee 90 degrees my first day of physical therapy (the monday following my surgery) and was doing leg lifts the following day. The pain has been very manageable. I am definitely lucky that I decided to have the surgery in Kansas City so that my parents could take care of me (we also have an elevator in my house which makes my life a whole lot easier!). I was extremely nervous prior to my surgery, but I am thrilled with how easy it was. Physical therapy sucks but it's only an hour a day. My cousin had the same surgery a few years ago and said that she regrets not completing 6-10 weeks of physical therapy. Physical therapy is a must! Good luck everyone!

July 25, 2005 4:18 PM

I'm entering my 4th and final season of DI collegiate soccer...Of course in a summer preparation game I tore my ACL...I'm not new to this, I suffered the same injury 4 years ago prior to my 1st college season...However, last time around it was on the opposite leg...Dealing with it emotionally has been much more difficult this time around...Reason being is because I may have played my last meaningful soccer game...I was looking to go pro, or atleast make a strong case to play at that level...I'm currently debating whether or not I should attempt a comeback...Shouldn't I just call it quits with ACL surgeries to each knee? I had a cadaver graft done, and its held up well...Dispite all the great stories of people recovering quicky, I remember my rehab being just the opposite...It was very painful, and its something that Id never wish onto anyone...Any advice on whether I can compete with surgeries to each leg would be appreciated...Thanks, Dom

July 26, 2005 9:15 AM

Im going in on the 28th july 05. Im really nervous. Im having my ACL repaired. Also part of my hamstring removed and used as the new ligament. Not sure what thats called. Its not the surgery its the injections and being put to sleep that frightens me. Whats the tool they place in your hand so they can administer drugs? thats the bit that is scareing me. Does that bit hurt????

matthew farris
July 27, 2005 12:06 AM

Hi, my name is Matthew(22 years old) and I had ACL reconstruction with MCL repair on July 7. I have read a lot of stories on this site that truly have helped me, so I thought I would do my best in comforting others going through this bump in the road. I too was very scared approaching the surgery date , but as it turned out it?s not as hard as you think. If you are somewhat scared going in (as I was) they have this wonderful drug that pretty much makes you not care, even if it?s brain surgery their about to due on you. When I awoke it was not very painful, they had a pain pump in my leg that keep that area numb. After surgery it?s all up hill, I will admit it?s quite a big hill though, but nothing anyone can?t accomplish. Well after 3 weeks I am slowly progressing with each day showing signs of results. I have yet to walk without the brace, but it?s not long before I can throw this darn thing away; or maybe return it for the $650(I wish). All jokes aside the only thing you really need to worry about is using the restroom, it takes some skill that first week (J/K). To everyone having this surgery or any surgery, I pray everything goes well and you all have the strength to get through the hard times. Just don?t forget everything works out in the end. Anyone that has any questions for me or would just like to talk, please feel free to e-mail me.

July 28, 2005 4:25 PM

My 16 year old son hurt his knee 3 weeks ago at baseball practice. The family doc sent us to the ortho guy and just by examining said it was a torn ACL. When he went in this week for pre-surgery exam with family doc he said he really had good range of motion. Then yesterday ortho nurse called and asked if he had an MRI. Can they ever be wrong?? He is scheduled for surgery tomorrow??? Also, Joel is on the drumline for band and desperately wants to march by September? Will he be able to with a brace??

July 31, 2005 1:44 PM

Well, like a couple of people here, I too initially injured my knee in a non-sports related injury almost 2 years ago. I have a German Shepherd who loves to run about and at 9 months old didn't have a great sense of direction or space! ;-> She ran into the lateral aspect (outside) of my L knee, it buckled inwards & I collapsed to the ground. To make a long story short... after 8 months of physio, MRIs & minimal improvement I went for an arthroscopy that confirmed a grade 2 MCL tear, marked ACL laxity and meniscal damage. They cleaned up the cartilage, gave me a fancy GenII brace and sent me away. No major problems (while wearing the brace at least), either working, backpacking, running or pumping iron until this May. Went to a 24hr Cancer relay after pulling a night shift... decided to put on a big foam sumo suit at 2am with some co-workers and be stupid. Needless to say, I got tackled, the knee went "pop" and you can pretty much guess the rest of the story! I'm booked for ACL replacement on Aug 9th after a consult & definitive statement by the OS that I have a complete ACL tear and he "didn't need an MRI machine" to tell him that! It's nice to see an OS who actually knows what he's doing, instead of some old fart (my first OS) who cleans cartilage because he can't do anything else! The doctor says I'll be completely off work for 6 weeks and then back to light duties for another 8 weeks or so. He's talking about using an achilles tendon allograft if we can get it, otherwise it'll be the hamstring autograft. Either way, as long as I get a fully functioning knee out of the deal I'll be ecstatic... has anyone out there had the achilles allograft? If so, how was recovery? Any problems since?

July 31, 2005 9:26 PM

Hi All, what a wonderful site..... I am now 29 years old and managed to completely tear my ACL with a partial of the medial ligament whilst at a karate grading (a 105kg man dropped onto my lower leg and ouchies occured!!) the interesting thing about my injury compared to others listed above is that my injury occured ..... 7 YEARS AGO AND STILL NOT REPAIRED!!! ..... After about 5-6 weeks on crutches as I had (according to my orthopeadic surgeon) massive bone bruising, an MRI confirmed the damage, however I could not afford the repair work, it took about a month or so for the knee to really start to shape up (major muscle lose) and have been able to do normal things since. I don't do karate or any other sports unfortunately, but I am able to live a normal life without an ACL. My issue though is that I have two young children and suspect that as they get older I will be more active playing soccer etc and will run an increased risk of re-injury (have reinjured twice in past 7 years) ... so do I have the surgery now or not, payment is no longer an issue, just the "need" versus the pain and lack of mobility for a while. To finish - a question: do you all think that I will be better off than others due to the leg being back to "normal" muscle wise etc, or worse off due to the time lapsed and the re-injuries?

August 1, 2005 2:54 PM

I'm 18 years old and have had 3 torn acl's. All within 2 years of each other. I played High School Basketball. The first one was when I was a Freshman,2nd one 9 months later. I played some my Junior year but torn 3rd one. I played on with a brace and tore my meniscus. So had to have double knee surgery. PT is the most important thing in getting better. I have had so many that now I can not do any sports at all. I should have quit after my 2nd one but I thought it can't happen a 3rd time but it did. Just think about later in life. Talk to your doctors and listen to them they know what they are talking about I should have listened. I had to the last time because they would not release me if I went back. I became good friends with my doctor and PT's. Now I will be a freshman in college and want to be a PT. I have had my patellar tendon and a cadaver. I liked the cadaver better. No Hamstring. There is alot to having acl surgries. I can no longer run on hard surfaces and can only exicise on stationary bikes. I do have some problems when I do to much walking but you have to live with it. Good Luck to all of ya'll. I do know what you are going thru. And yes couch sitting is terrible. GOOD LUCK

Laura P.
August 1, 2005 8:33 PM

Hi....I'm a 37 year old ICU nurse and mother of 3. I completely tore my Right ACL on July 23rd. I was on Virginia Beach and a huge wave came and knocked me over and my body went one way and my right leg stayed firmly planted in the soft sand. I heard a loud pop and was unable to bear any weight on my right leg at all. I knew it was something bad. We drove straight home (9.5 hrs) b/c I wanted to go to the hospital that I work at. Long story short...MRI showed complete ACL tear and a small tear on the meniscus. 9 days later and I am finally able to bear weight on it. I'm alternating between using the immobilizer and not using it, and using one crutch and sometimes two. I was supposed to start a new job, go to Disney World, yadda yadda yadda. I'm having a cadaver graft done on 8/23. They don't have me doing PT prior to the surgery and I'm uncomfortable with that. I think I need to make a few phone calls tomorrow. I'm still going to Disney World for a week (8/13-8/20) and I'm going to have a motorized scooter while I'm there. Been to Disney enough times to know all you do is walk. I planned on being back to work in 8 weeks, even though the surgeon said I probably couldn't do 12 hour shifts. I'm very scared and very depressed. I don't play any major sports, but I do like to walk on the treadmill at the gym and I'd like to be a normal person and walk through the mall again and work at my chosen profession. I'm not asking to be a linebacker for the Patriots. All I can do is have a positive attitude and pray. I'm happy to have found this site....I'm tired of hearing only horror stories.

David B.
August 2, 2005 11:03 AM

I'm 41, I "blew" my ACL on Memorial Day while jumping over a fence. I had ACL reconstruction with patellar tendon allograft two and a half weeks ago. Everything went smoothly except that I had a bit of nausea while recovering from the spinal tap, and I kept throwing up so they admitted me to the hospital overnight. I was also very sweaty and itchy, and they had to insert a catheter since anesthesia evidently causes your bladder to shut down. But after staying overnight in the hospital, I got rid of the nausea and was able to urinate on my own, and was discharged. I was able to walk on my leg the first day, but used crutches for the first few days as a precaution. I took Vicodin every 4 hours, otherwise my leg felt like it had been run over by a truck and chewed on by a dog - very sore. I stayed in the easy chair with my leg up for about two weeks before I went back to work. I have been faithfully doing all the PT exercises I was given, and I have made good progress - the physical therapist says that my knee seems like 6 weeks post-op instead of just 2 weeks. I did PT for a month before surgery and I think that really helped, I had gotten almost full flexibility and mobility back before surgery. Now, I can walk around and only have trouble bending my knee past 90 degrees, but I'm working on that. Have a good attitude, do the PT (think of it as flexing the stiffness/pain out of your leg), keep your knee elevated and iced as much as possible, and have a stack of good books to read. Good luck!

August 4, 2005 1:03 PM

Hey, I'm 14 years old and getting ACL reconstruction surgeryv later this month. I'm really nervous. I've heard that it's not to bad as far as pain but I really want to know the method in which they administer the drug. I(s it and injection or a gas mask? I really have no clue and I can't find the answer anywhere online. If you could help me out I would really appreciate it. Thanks Mike

August 9, 2005 5:22 PM

i stain my knee back in feb.22 was out of work for 6 week went back to work and a month later i tore acl they did a scope on me and removed acl 3 weeks later i returned back to work for about 3 week had not gotten brace yet and was out and knee buckelled and i went down went back to doc and we r planing on surgery on the 25th of aug of 2005 they told me i would be out of work for six months any other thing i need to know to stayup and going and maybe return back to work sooner they r doin (hamstring surgery) i'm 36 and overwieght i work on my feet all day long as a mechanic on ag equipment. i'll keep u posted on the progress

August 10, 2005 4:48 PM

My story is a little different than most because I am recovering from bi-lateral ACL replacement with maniccous repair. What I have found is that bi-lateral would be a fairly rare experience. I had my surgery on June 7th. I had a manipulation 10 days ago along with scar tissue removal. I've been in therapy for 2 to 21/2 hours ( 2knees remember) and have been told that I will need a third surgery next week because I'm still 10 degrees short of straight and have very little ROM. I don't know what to think. I am extremely active. I do, or should say did, step aerobics or spinning 5 days a week, running...4 miles no big deal. Now I can't believe that my recovery is so bad. They say my body produces excess scar tissue and it's not normal. I'm feeling very discouraged. Help.

August 12, 2005 3:23 PM

hi everyone i have been having knee pain for a long time now i wne tot the doctor the first time when i dislocated my knee i went ot physical theraphy for 3 weeks then my orthepedideic said i could go back laying sports and now my same knee i dislocated is in extreme pain when walking and all where my pain is i htink i may have torn my acl and i dk if i should get my knee checked out cuz i am very active i am a dancer and i play basketball and teacndance also so if i di tear my acl i would be out of sports for a while os i dk if i should go ot the doctor and get it checked or just let the pain sditll be in my knee if you could help me ar givce me advise that would be great thnaks !

Allen K
August 19, 2005 4:40 AM

Hi everyone, Today is exactly 6 weeks from my surgery. I'm not 100% full recovered but i would rate somewhere around the 85%. The only things now that seem to be remaining is there is some scar tissue from where the drainage tubes where(by the way when they pull the drainage tubes out if you have them that hurts really bad so brace yourself and then its over!). I had my surgery in Germany and had to stay in the hospital 5 days after the surgery but hated that. I never signed up for the Rehab because I have always been into sports and very knowledgeable about what happens during rehab. I am however doing gymnastics. 2 days a week for 30 minutes then i go home on my own and ride the exercise bike while watching one of my favorite movies.I'm 28 years old and snapped it 8 years ago while falling off a running horse. I just avoided the surgery for a long time and everytime that the knee popped out I would rehab it myself so I figured what do i need to go to rehab for. Well, I kind of wish I did because they would have had better equipment than me at home but to wrap this up. At 6 weeks I now longer need anything to walk around the house and do regular type chores not even the knee brace. I practice jumping all the time and stretch roughly every 30 minutes to make sure everything feels right. I never ever force the knee though just work it to were it feels comfortable and that pressure starts to come in then i pull back and repeat.Everyday it gets stronger and more flexible, I took out(with the doc's ok) all the knee brace limits today. And all though it feels alot better and safer to have the brace on its time to go without it when I got for longer walkers where i speed walk i wear the knee brace and pay close attention to the level of the ground then go home and scretch into awkard postions but never to over extend then ice the knee and the next day. It feels better. every recovery is different for everybody, depending on your live style before and what you do after your surgery and I'm not a doctor just a guy how is recovering and feeling better about this daily.

mark L
August 19, 2005 11:19 AM


August 22, 2005 11:09 AM

I wish I would have found this place earlier. I had surgery 2 weeks ago. The MRI showed surgery needed for my meniscus and a torn ACL. I too as the surgery date approached got nervous. But the hardest part is the first couple of weeks after. Defintly take your meds and get ready not to be able to do anything. Bathroom breaks were tricky, you can't carry anything and make sure you have someone to take care of you for a while. I was also unsure when it came to using a donors or your own, I went with the donors which I am glad because I didn't want add more trama to my knee then needed. Surgery took 3 hours. I was surprised to find that they had used staples instead of stitches. Therepy sucks. Kelly I totally understand the question if you should use painkillers before therepy!! I do not, it will only catch up to us later with the stiffness. I can't lie, it's been a painfull couple of weeks but am glad it done. The first time I tore my acl was playing football heard the "pop" and everything and the doctors thought it was just sprained at first but then later found out on the MRI tears in my ACL. But decided not to have surgery. I fell off a ladder on Memorial weekend extending my leg out like I was steping on the ground and heard the final "pop" only to find completely have torn acl and have miniscus damage. Recovery time is harsh, stay off of ladders and stock up on some movies.

August 23, 2005 1:14 AM

Hey Everyone. i tore my acl playing basketball. and i didnt know to much about a torn acl. i just that i sprained my knee or something of the kind. but turns out that i tore it. and when i found out. i just started asking everyone about acls and surgery and trying to find out all this information and see if i am going to be able to play basketball again. well i dont have a surgery date yet i have to wait till my docs call me back. i just want to say thanks for posting your comments cause i read every last comment that everyone put. i wish everyone the best .

August 27, 2005 10:33 AM

- 16 year old female - Tore ACL playing soccer in April - Having surgery in two days - Looking for tips/advice for pre and post op that will lead to a healthy and comfortable recovery :D thank you

August 27, 2005 4:54 PM

To Mike the 14 year old awaiting surgery: My daughter is 14, too and she had the ACL surgery using the hamstring on July 14th. It's six weeks now and she is really doing good. The first couple of days were rough; stay off your feet and get rest. She actually liked the motion machine. Take the pain meds. Tell your parents to buy you an I-pod - it was a great spirit lifter for her! The therapist says she is ahead of schedule.

August 27, 2005 7:49 PM

I had surgery on my ACL in July and I want to know if it is possible I can return by basketball season? Our opener is on December 2, will I be back by then?Appreciate the help. thanks

August 30, 2005 2:24 AM

I'm 16 from Cyprus. I had my Surgery 2 weeks ago, I found my knee became very stiff afterwards! I have my physio today for the first time and I am hoping that I will get the movement back, it scares me that I cannot fully bend my knee. The main thing I want to do now is get off my crutches and start walking for myself!! I wasn't told how long I would be on crutches for and for me thats the hardest part, they are so annoying! I also have my stiches out on Wednesday, I was suprised to hear they would be in for 2 Weeks. I have a only just started to recovery and I have read all of your comments they will really help me!! Goodluck to everyone with their own surgery and recovery!! Kez

August 30, 2005 7:10 AM

I had surgery 2 and a half years ago and my knee still gives me problems. Nothing major, just stiffness and a little pain which causes a slight limp after I've been sitting for a while with my leg bent more than 90%. I then have to take 5 minutes to stretch it out, and it's very painful too. That's why I have to extend my leg periodically while sitting. It's mainly my fault because at the times that I was supposed be in rehab, I did other things and stretched out on my own time. I now realize that it was a mistake and I should've taken it more seriously. After doing alot of research, I see that stiffness is a common thing. I thought it was because I didn't stretch enough like I should've, but that still doesn't excuse the fact that I didn't do what I was supposed to do. I tore my ACL while playing flag football. You would think you wouldn't get hurt, let alone a major injury from flag football. Tell that to the guy who bulldozed me after my team kicked off and I shot down the field at full speed. I guess no one told him the rules, TOUCH ONLY. I'll never forget the sound and feel of the pop. I did more research and discovered that some pain is caused by scar tissue and slight swelling, Arthrofibrosis. After the scar tissue is removed, aggressive therapy is recommended. That's gotta to hurt and that's the price I have to pay for not going to rehab when I should've. Within the next couple of months, I'm getting the scar tissue removed and this time I'm doing the right thing.

August 30, 2005 12:31 PM

I'm 17 years old, aproaching my last season of high school basketball, who torn my acl in early July 2005. And I'm at the the point of choosing surgery or hold off surgery in mid-Sept til after the season. I played on it a couple times but it never felt like my knee(jumping and running). I'm getting mixed opions. My coach/uncle said i have no choice but to go ahead with the surgery. But my mom and a doctors assistant said since this is my last season in Dec. I should rehab until then, buy the best brace out there and play. I really need some opions because I am a D-1 prospect if I play this year. I'm also a b-ball junkey and i have been waiting for this sseason since i started high school. Help Please

Gary Brenner
August 31, 2005 9:59 AM

im 17 years old and i just found out i tore my ACL a week ago today. I can walk on it and only feel pain when bending it in the side of my knee from a bruise and swelling which the doctor told me will go away. Im a senior and i did it during football practice. i was brought upon a tough decision. to either get surgery and skip my senior year (which was out of the question) or get a knee brace, get some PT, and play the season, and get post season surgery. I need to play because if i dont i wont get scouted by ne college teams. i was just wondering if ne one had ne input on it to get back to me as soon as possible. thank you.

stepahnie mcdonald
September 1, 2005 10:34 AM

I had ACL surgery about a year and a half ago,I tore it while playing basketball, right before our season started, I was really upset but anyways, I really didn't have any problems while i had my brace, I could bend my legg just fine, but now I have more problems with it, Yep,now I cant bend my legg without getting a cramp!! The problem was that about a month after, my parents wouldn't take me to the doctor or the physical therapist, they thought it was a waste of money, and they thought I was just fine!!but I really wasn't, so I am a very good example that you should go to the doctor!!

stephanie mc
September 1, 2005 10:39 AM

if anyone ever wants to talk about their surgery , write me,!! I enjoy talking to everyone!!!

September 1, 2005 7:04 PM

It's great to read everyone's comments. I am 8 weeks out from my ACL reconstruct meniscus w/ the hamstring graft. I have had virtually no pain and PT has been great. I'm a martial arts buff and I think that's why recovery has been so easy for me. However, this week I notice I have a "clicking" noise on the outer side of me knee. I can actually see a muscle or something moving as it clicks. I see the doc next week and will ask him what's up. Anyone experience this clickage before?

September 4, 2005 10:00 AM

Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences - it's helpful to understand the range of possible responses to surgery and rehab. I'm a 53 year old woman who ruptured her ACL and tore her meniscus while hiking on vacation. As an active person who loves to walk and who uses movement regularly in artistic and therapeutic processes, I have had a difficult time with my current inability to move freely. I have always used walking as my personal anti-depressant. I began physical therapy immediately, knowing that "pre-hab" could improve later surgical outcomes. I was surprised when my doctor told me that some people "live with" an ACL rupture without surgery. I'm not sure if it's because my injury is still relatively recent and I am still experiencing some pain, swelling, and instability, but I can't imagine just "living with" this if surgery offers the option of being able to move freely again. I also learned that I am considered too old for anything except a donor graft. I anticipate surgery before the end of the year, giving new meaning to "home for the holidays". Anybody post-50 either "living with" an ACL rupture or who has had the surgery recently?

Jarryd Samples
September 6, 2005 11:16 AM

im jarryd im 17 tore my acl last october got back to playing football in may then tore the graft acl in august and trying to decide if i should get the graft or the cadaver i like to kn ow how others feel about the cadaver versus the graft

September 6, 2005 9:00 PM

I had surgery 2 weeks ago on my ACL, i tore it playing soccer, i used part of my hamstring. It's hard the first week but i will be walking soon, i was told about a month and i would be walking again, in about 8 months i will be as good as new! Make sure you have strong pain killers that first week and a half, i am very good with pain and it still hurt extremely bad. i'm in pt now and doing ok. I have started walking with my crutches and i'm doing really good. if you have any questions or anything you can email me at

September 6, 2005 10:03 PM

I had ACL reconstructive surgery in February of this year. I still have bruising around my knee and on the back of my calf. Is that normal? 9/7/05

September 7, 2005 3:22 AM

Well everybody that was some good answer for me thanks alot :) today September 7th is my surgery day its 7:16am now i couldn't sleep just thinking about the surgery makes me nervos I have the Surgery 11:30am few more houres...i hurt my knee playing soccer at first i thought i just twisted my knee..and the doctor told me to stay off it for about 2 weeks...after that I went back to play soccer and i hurt it agian i was running with the ball as i tried change the direction i heard a POP and I went down as soon as that happend .. anyways i thought i'll write about it I will put this site into my Favorites and come back after the surgery someimte to write back how I feel and how the knee is doing ( wish me luck everyone ) i'll keep you updated if anyone wants to add me to their msn messeneger my email is ( )

September 7, 2005 7:15 AM

Hi I am recovering from ACL surgery and am 3 weeks post op. My surgery was on August 18,2005. I was amazed how fast the recovery seemed to be going although I must mention that I had gone to therapy for three months prior to surgery. However at the last therapy session the therapist added to weight (only 3 lbs) to the knee bends while on your stomach and now my leg is way swollen and I have a bit of a swollen mass on the back of my knee!! Obviously I wasn't ready for weight yet I guess. Has anyone else experienced this ??? It's disheartening since I was really pretty excited about my progress and now it's all stiff and swollen and uncomfortable again. The therapist has taped the back of the knee for support and that does feel somewhat better. Any comments are certainly welcome. Have a great day everyone!

David D
September 9, 2005 8:04 AM

I had ACL surgery on June 10, about a year after I completely tore it originally playing soccer. I used an allograph. My doctor likes to use cadaver ligaments for people like me (40 yrs old) because it is less trauma on the knee. Surgery was a breeze and I only took pain pills the first day after surgery. I have been going to physical therapy three times a week for 1.5 hour sessions. I was progressing quicker than normal until about 6 weeks post op. I have a problem with something catching under my knee cap/patellar tendon when I try to bend it after having it completely extended from a sitting position. It sounds like Brenda's clicking problem. My doctor said that they remove a portion of a fat pocket under the knee cap when doing the surgery so that he can see better and that it is probably related to that. If it is not better by my next appointment (9/16/05), he is talking about going back in to remove this fat pocket. I figured that maybe I was working it too hard and cut back on the number of days I was going to PT a couple of weeks ago. This has not helped and it seems to be getting worse. Has anyone had a similar problem?

September 9, 2005 9:36 PM

To Jarryd- My son had ACL surgery in March and started playing limited soccer on Tuesday. I found out limited soccer isn't part of his vocablulary and re-injured the ACL or tore the meniscus. We will find out next week which one. I was told by his physical therapist to use a cadaver if it is the ACL. Talk with your physical therapist, doctor and read all you can on the internet. Good luck.

September 10, 2005 2:43 PM

I had acl surgery Aug 19th, so I am 3 weeks post op. My knee still has fluid which is causing a lump on the back of my knee. I think it's called a bakers cyst. It's a bummer because it limits the range of motion. Is the back of you knee sore? If you can get the swelling down it should reduce the cyst. Does anyone know how long it takes for bone bruises to heal?

September 11, 2005 12:07 PM

I have ACL surgery scheduled for October 24th. I know they plan on the Patellar Tendon Transfer method and have told me to plan on spending the night at the hospital The information here is great to help me prepare for what to expect after surgery. One question I have, since I live alone and am very independent, should I take my parents up on an offer to spend a couple of days at their house after surgery, or tuff it out on my own? Thanks.

September 12, 2005 11:14 AM

Hi, I had meniscus, acl recon, and cartilage repair 4/1 this year. I did it playing basketball in Jan this year. My doc is fantastic, Fla. Panthers doc. He says go slowwwwwwww. I do rehab still 2-3 /week. Mostly weight bearing stuff. No leg ext yet ( patella healing?). Im in pain still. I cant run. It feels loose and make lotsa noise.Im 35, could dunk and run a 4.5 40 yard before this. Im 5'10, 175 pounds. My numbness to the side of my knee cap remains as strong, maybe a 3 x 4 inch area. Sucks. It hurts to squat and when i bump that area it hurts. Any suggestions? Any help from anyone? Thanks!!!!

September 12, 2005 10:52 PM

I am 47. I had ACL reconstruction (hamstring tendon) and medial and lateral meniscus trimming on August 31. I had a lot of swelling the first week, including my foot, ankle and calf. The doc sent me to the hospital in the middle of the night to get an ultrasound for a possible blood clot, but that was ruled out. The swelling has pretty much subsided with a little blow up off and on. I have had some pretty good stinging in the hamstring, but not too much pain in the knee. I started to drop the crutches at about 5 days, but developed this terrible "catching" feeling behind the patella and under the knee cap when I take a step or bend my knee (sort of like a cartilage lock). Some here have described it as a "click" but mine actually grabs for a second and can be pretty painful until I work it out. I go back to the doc in a couple days, but has anyone else experienced this "catching" feeling?

September 13, 2005 1:40 PM

I tore my acl a year ago and never knew until a month ago. i want to have surgery to get it fixed but the doc says my growth plates are still open and the surgeon might not even touch it. i wanted to know if any of you guys had problem with this. he also said if i wanted to take part in any sports i would need a brace to prevent my knee from giving. i just wanted to ask any of you if you used a brace if it helped to played full speed with a torn acl. thank you. email me a

September 15, 2005 9:10 PM

Mike -- I tore my ACL and had reconstructive surgery using the patellar tendon approximately 3 weeks following the initial injury. I did stay overnight in the hospital and was starting PT 2 days later. You will likely be in a bit of pain after the morphine from the hospital wears off (for me, it seemed to be right when I crutched in the door of my house). Take ANYONE's help whenever you can get it for the first couple of weeks, especially if you drive anywhere (PT for instance). Best of luck, and if you'd ever like to talk or have any more questions, I'd be glad to help at

September 19, 2005 6:53 PM

Hi, I had my ACL recon done on the 4th of August.. its coming on 7 weeks now and I am still 5 degrees short of full extension? i have tried everything, even getting people to physical push down with their full force on the knee whislt keeping only my heel on a raised object - as much as it hurts.. it physically just won't go. I have around 115-120 bend which is not great my PT says, but it's nothing to worry about. possibly it's because I didn't pay "too" much attention to the PTs early on, but its not like I ignored them totally - my surgeon is considering reopening via keyhole surgery as there maybe some tissue in the way or something - anyone else had straightening issues 6-7weeks post op? in particular for those who's reconstructions were using the hamstring graft? email me please... PS - i'm suprised at the number of ACL injuries!! I almost feel previleged!

September 22, 2005 7:56 AM

Hi all, I am glad that I am not the only one here with this injury. I feel as though 2005 seems to be the year of torn ACL's. That's somewhat funny. Well here is my story I orignally tore my MCL on July 28, 2005 and did not realize that I did that. I was playing basketball when this had happend. I went and blocked a layup on a fast break and my knee just buckled. On Aug. 2, 2005 thats where I blew out my ACL. I did this by playing softball. The pitcher and I ran into each other on a pop fly, we didnt hear each other I guess thats why neither one of us stopped running. Well I had my surgery on Aug 23. I opted for the hamstring procedure. My Dr. was telling me that this was is better for those who are still active in sports and it was better for younger adults. So I trusted his opinion and went with it. I will admit like everyone else here the pain after surgery was unbelieveable but was bareable with the painkillers. Well its going on a month since my surgery and so far so good. The only problems I have right now is that my knee is still swollen. I pretty much can bend my knee straight and almost all the way back. My PT is telling me that he is very surprise on how fast I am healing. Like everyone here says do the rehab and follow every directions that your Dr. and PT tells you. It looks like I will be able to play ball possibly by Jan. I hope. The pain now is okay I am take the pain that I am receiving from my leg. As for the crutches, I can walk without them but over the weekend I decided to do some exercising and walked about a mile and a half without my crutches and as of right now my calf is killing me so I am only using one crutch to help me out. I think if I didnt do all of that walking on Saturaday I think I would be walking without my crutches right now. Oh also about work, for those who have a desk job you should be able to go back to work after 2 weeks but no later than 3 weeks. Well I guess that's it. Thanks for reading.

September 22, 2005 3:34 PM

Hello all, I injured my knee on March 15 and only knew until last week that my acl was torn. I met a couple of doctors, and my only unanswered question is: should I do the hamstring tendon, or the patellar tendon? if you have suggestions, please email me.

September 22, 2005 5:50 PM

hey guys. I had acl surgery and lateral miniscus repair on the 8th of march last year. i did this playing basketball with some friends and walked on it for almost 5 months. I couldnt do anything besides walk, but it wasnt that bad. As for the surgery. I fell outside the hospital 3 hours after coming out of the OR. I took some pictures the next day with the doc and he said the screws had held up. As for pain, it still hurts, 6 months post op. but it doesnt hurt everyday. This is the kind of thing that feels normal 6 days a week but when it aches, it really aches. All i can say is strenghten the muscles around it and GET ON A EXCERCISE BIKE. good luck everyone!

September 22, 2005 6:17 PM

Good luck to all of u.. i'm a PT.. i deal with many ACLs.. and to just reply to the latest comment.. Ibby, i think you should wait before worrying too much about scar tissue (arthrofibrosis) being an issue for keyhole surgery, if it has only been 7weeks by now I am assuming. Listen to your PTs guys! not to blow 'our' own trumpets.. but if you dont.. you ma regret having the surgeries it seems the hundreds of you have had.. as you have been better off pre-surgery if you do not do the physiotherapy exercises as per required.. at home!!! A.K Mohammed

September 24, 2005 8:04 AM

Hi. I am scheduled for surgery (patella tendon method) on Tuesday. I am 43 and blew away my ACL completely, complete tear of meniscus and partial tear of MCL. I am post sepsis and still significantly weak and unable to use crutches and will need to be weight bearing using a walker immediatly. Foresee any problems with this? Also how soon after surgery did you start PT? Thanks

Cori Simpkins
September 25, 2005 6:12 PM

Hi everyone, I have been reading all of your comments and it helps to get info from you all. I tore my ACL last week playing soccer. I am 27 and at first thought I would never be able to play again. I am in physical therapy for the next 2 months before surgery because my leg will not straigten or bend very well. Im getting nervous because I have never had any type of surgery before. Im wondering how long it will take me to be able to walk again. Also, when can you actually take a shower with the brace on or off?

Marco Van Baster
September 26, 2005 8:53 AM

Had complete ACL tear playing basketball. I w ent with the cadaver option and had surgery in February. I followed all my Pt instructions and was back to playing in Mid July. Had been playing since then with a Donjoy brace for support. On Saturday, playing in a tournament, I fell down and felt pain in my knee. not sure what it is but hoping is nothing serious.

September 26, 2005 11:56 AM

I remeber twisiting my my knee playing soccer about 18 months ago, but being a stubborn sod, I lived with the pain for a few days and pretty much avoided excercise and strain until recently, my knee has begun to "buckle and "give out" on me. I've never been able to excercise too strenously as my knee stiffens up pretty quickly, and I can really only jog in a straight line with any confidence. I recently started a strength training program, so the increased effort has probably caused these episodes of knee instability that I've been having. Anyways, I went to see the orthopedic surgeon today and he's 85% sure I have an ACL tear, so I'm going for an MRI in a couple of days, and it looks like surgery is on the horizon. As a peri-operative nurse I see plenty of surgery and I'm pretty down with what to expect, even though Ortho isn't really my specialty. I'm fairly lucky that my best friend is the orthopedic charge nurse in our day surgery unit, so I'll be gettting VIP treatment from all the docs and staff if I do have to go in. It's great to see all the positive experiences here, hopefully I'll have one of my own to add soon. Cheers, Stuart

September 26, 2005 5:11 PM

I'm getting my acl done but, after the football season. would the brace really help or should i forget the season and opt for surgery?

September 27, 2005 12:01 AM

Hello my name is scott 19 years old .I just got out of the hospital today ,after haveing 5 surgerys in the last two weeks. I tore my ACL in a skateboarding accident about 5 monthes ago. I went to the docter several time before they diagnosed me with a torn acl ,about 4 monthes of it buckeling to be exact. Anyway finaly got to get surgery done about three weeks ago , and things seemed alright first week after surgery . After that week i started have real intense pain im my knee , so went back to docter got some fluid pulled and they fond out that i had elevated white blood cell levels, they took me back to OR and had my knee washed out.After staying in hospital for about two days test came back positve with staff infection in my acl graft. So they gave me another wash out of my knee , and also in same night they put cathader in my chest. They put me on six weeks antibiotic injections. After about a little over a week they called me back in and told me that the graft was still infected, and that they had to pull it back out and put me on more antibiotics . So two days ago i had my graft removed, and now i basicaly have to wait about two and a half monthes before i go and try it all over again . Well thats where im left today so hopefully round two goes a little better.

September 28, 2005 8:04 AM

I tore my ACL, and have a small break in the knuckle of my knee. This all occured in March of 05'. However, I could not have surgery cause my arm also broke in two places. I could not use crutches then, but my arm is almost up to par. The doc recommends a canavar, but I noticed from this site that this idea may not be the best. Can anyone suggest what the pro's and con's are for Canavar and Hamstring?

September 30, 2005 9:01 AM

I have been diagnosed with a completely torn ACL in my left knee. I'm ready to do surgery, but am second-guessing my choice of doctors. Any one have any recommendations for a doctor in the northern NJ or Manhattan areas? Also - any tips on autograph vs allograph?

September 30, 2005 1:15 PM

I'm 15. Tore my ACL sep. 6 in my first field hockey game of the season. Went to the ER and the doc told me i'd be back in two weeks. Knee swelled up that night and went to the ortho and had an MRI and told me ACL was torn. Ive had pt since then, and my surgery is oct. 7. Im looking for advice. How much school will i miss? Should i be able to play softball this march? Kinda nervous about the anesthesia. any comments will help thanks

September 30, 2005 6:53 PM

I'm a 54 year old woman with a complete tear of the ACL and torn meniscus. The doc also mentioned bone bruising he saw on the MRI. My story is a doozy... We were on a flight to Hawaii, when I was twisting to get into my seat (the guy in front of me was reclined...) I felt an "explosion" in my knee, and knew something bad had happened. When I tried to stand up when the plane landed, I fell. When I tried to step up onto the airport bus, I fell....I went to the ER in Honolulu, and an ER doctor said she thought it was just strained, but gave me a brace to wear. A week later, when I got home, my orthopedist ordered an MRI, which showed the complete tear. I have had 3 said I am too old, one said he didn't like to do ACL repair over 50, and one needs fixing...I am going with him...I am scheduled for Nov. 1, 2005. I have had to wait 5 mos. for the surgery, as the doc only does knee repair and is so booked up...When I went to the 3rd doc, he drained off 5 ounces of clear fluid and gave me an electric cortesone patch, which helped immensely. I am not athletic,have had NO physical therapy to get me in shape...(that makes me nerveous after reading all the posts...)None has been suggested. My knee feels very unstable. I have had a couple of close calls when stepping down, where I caught myself. I still have difficulty getting on and off the toilet. My doc says he is using a cadaver graft, as he has great success with it, and recovery is much easier. I would welcome comments from anyone...

October 3, 2005 9:52 AM

Well I want back to see my orthopod this morning to have a look at the MRI, and it shows a large non-functional tear in my ACL, with the possibility of meniscal tear also. He's going ahead with a provisional plan to replace my ACL with a hamstring graft in a month or so. We're waiting till we have the Radiologist's report before we make a final decision, but it looks like surgery for me. The good news is that the weight bearing portions of my knee look healthy and there is no significant damage to cartiledge or bone that can be seen. Hopefully the surgery will give me back me stability and help in reducing any further trauma to the cartiledge and bone in my joint. I'll keep you guys updated.

Eugene P. Robichaux
October 3, 2005 12:56 PM

TORN ACL I’m 40 years old in good shape. A little overweight but active. I am an Engineer and have an office job. I play softball from February to September each year. I’m owner of a cattle ranch which keeps me busy and moving in the evenings. I hunt deer from November to January. I have a lovely wife Susana and two young children, Blair 3 years old and Mariana 1 year old. On Good Friday, March 25, 2005, while playing Basketball, I twisted my left knee and fell. I felt my knee dislocate and pain shot up from my knee. At that point I knew I tore a ligament in my knee. About 17 years ago when I was about 21, I dislocated my shoulder weight lifting in College. So I have experienced this pain before. Although the pain in my shoulder was way more painful than my knee was. On the same day when I returned home, I decided to take a shower. The knee had minimal swelling, which had me thinking it might not be a total torn ligament. I heard that the knee would swell a lot when you tear a ligament. When I got out of the shower, the pain subsided but I still felt my knee to be unstable. Sure enough as I was getting out of the bathroom, it went out again. Not good. Saturday, March 26 I decided to go to the hospital. They took an X-RAY. Bones look ok. They gave me a splint/brace and a subscription of Vicodin. More or less a waste of time and money. I suggest waiting and seeing an orthopedic surgeon. I’m fortunate that Thibodaux, La. has a good orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Neil Maki, known as one of the best in the South. I read that its important to wait to have surgery, to let the swelling go down. This helps the surgery procedure and the surgeon perform his craft. My appointment was a few days later and an MRI was required to see what damage there was to my knee. That same week he read the MRI and decided to do arthroscopy surgery on my knee. I did not hesitate to agree. The surgery was scheduled for April 7, 2005. During the time between the accident and the surgery, I was able to walk without crutches. The pain subsided also. April 7, 2005, the day of surgery: 6:00 am arrived at Thibodaux Regional Medical Center – One Day Surgery Clinic. The surgery took about 2 ˝ to 3 hours. I woke up later that day with minor pain because of the morphine and anti-bodies. The knee was braced at a slight bend with an ice pack on top of the knee. The hardest thing to do during my stay at the hospital was to urinate. Man, it was rough to pee. Plenty of sleep was needed at this time. That evening the doctor’s assistant, Dr. Robert came in and told me the status of my damage and re-construction of my knee. They found some minor damage to my Meniscus (bruised, they poked at it to make it bleed so it can heal faster and complete.) Also, my ACL was torn. He said they took a large amount of tissue from the side of my knee (inside and just below my knee). He also stated that the surgery went well. I stayed one night in the hospital. April 8, the day after the surgery, not bad. Still finding it hard to urinate. I ate a little and drank a lot of fluids. Still under morphine and anti-bodies. I did not know the amount of cutting that was done around my left knee. Once the nurses got me off the morphine and anti-bodies, I was able to go to the bathroom. This was rough at the beginning, but it got better a few days later. Later that day I was visited by a Physical Therapist to fit me into a so-called brace. What a waste of money. I wore it only the rest of the day and one day at home. The brace was very uncomfortable, so I decided to put the doctors brace back on. Best move at that time. The therapist made me walk around with my crutches to make sure I can use them. Piece of Cake. A few days went by at home with the help of Vicodin and keeping the knee elevated and an ice pack on my knee I was able to cope. Pain was not that bad about a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. I was more uncomfortable than in pain. It was very hard to sleep at night especially on my back. I also unwrapped the knee to investigate the cuts after surgery. Not bad, had a few small incisions around the knee and two larger cuts, one below my knee about 2 inches long and another on the inside part of the leg just below the knee where the graft came from. It was also about 2” long. Can get around with crutches but limited. I had to keep the knee elevated most of the time. When I would walk around or lower my knee it would begin to throb and hurt. Lying down and watching TV was the best thing at this time. After a week passed, I wanted to visit the Doctor to find out what exactly happened and to find out when to begin Therapy. I heard of some horror stories of people who waited too long to begin movement of the knee with scar tissue taking over and having the doctor to re-visit the knee and remove the scar tissue so you can move the knee. The doctor wanted to wait another week to remove the staples. I started going to my office job the week after surgery but only a ˝ a day just because I needed to raise my knee above my heart and put ice on it for the minimal swelling to go down. The week past and the staples were removed and Therapy began on April 20, 2005 thirteen days after surgery. I go to therapy 3 times a week. I highly recommend going 3 times a week, this gives your knee enough workout and enough rest in between. I put an ice pack on it after each section to minimize any swelling and pain. The first therapy session, Clint Smith, therapist, measured my range of motion going both ways front and back. The first six session of therapy were light workouts to loosen the knee. On the fifth session I was able to go full circle on the stationary bicycle. Every time I leave the session, my knee feels better and has better range of motion. On the seventh and eighth session, we increased the weights and I was introduced to what I call “Misery” a 2x6 board with a block nailed on one end and two straps attached to it. This device is used to straighten the leg out and holds it for 7 minutes the first few sessions and for 8 to 10 minutes there after. There is a lot of pain associated with this but this is the main thing to help mobilize the leg (maximize range of motion) Its worth the pain. After the 3rd and 4th session I am able to walk better. May 13, Friday, about one month after surgery the Therapist massaged the patella to loosen it. As I started my exercise routine I began to feel my knee cracking with no pain. Clint believes its scar tissue and the knee loosening up. Had a good work out. Still uncomfortable to sleep. My knee has better motion when walking but I still have a slight limp. Began walking on the stationary machine. May 16, Monday we began flexing my knee to the back towards my buttocks. Little discomfort but not bad. Had a good work out. When I get up from resting, I favor my left leg bad. This hurts but only for a short period. Also, when I walk for a long time, my knee becomes sore. Therapist assures me that it will get better. Still uncomfortable to sleep. May 18, Wednesday knee is feeling better, good workout and the knee doesn’t crack as much. There have been good days and some bad days. The days after therapy the knee seems to be sore with a little discomfort. I use Thero-Gesic Cream and Toprocin to help with swelling, speed up healing and the discomfort. I still feel a sharp minor pain on the inside part of the leg just above the joint on the inside edge of the Patella. The therapist helps by massaging it. A week has past and the Therapy definitely helps to loosen the knee. Still feeling the little sharp pain and I still feel pain when I first get up from resting. June 1, about 2 months after the surgery still having little sharp pains, the Therapist added a good exercise to strengthen the top part of my leg above the leg. I leg press weight upward and hold for 3 seconds. This has greatly improved my walking, controlled the sharp pain and the knee doesn’t hurt after resting. I walk much better. June 10, Friday during the therapy, my knee began to extend straight out further. This felt good at the beginning, but as I began to workout on the tread-mill my knee felt unstable as I extend forward. I also felt pressure around my knee. My knee is definitely more flexible now. I’m walking much better. However, when I sit or lay for a long period of time, once I get up I have a hard time walking right away. Its July, knee has good day and bad days. I heard about glucosamine is good for your joints. It restores the lubricant your joints need. As you get older your body produces less and less of this lubricant for your joints. Bodybuilders and professional atheletes use it. Started taking Triflex from GNC. See the following Supplemental Facts: As a dietary supplement, take three tablets daily, preferably with meals. Serving Size 3 TabletsServings Per Container 40 Amount Per Serving % DV Sodium 100mg 4% Glucosamine HCl 1500 mg ** Chondroitin Sulfate, Sodium 1200 mg ** MSM (as Methylsulfonyl-methane) 900 mg ** ** Daily Value (DV) not established. Other Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (Natural Mineral Whitener) No Sugar, No Starch, No Artificial Color, No Artificial Flavors, No Preservatives, No Wheat, No Gluten, No Corn, No Soy, Yeast Free Storage Instructions: Store in a cool dry place. Warning: Keep tightly closed and out of reach of children. If you are allergic to shellfish, please consult with your physician prior to taking this product. *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I went to therapy every Monday, Wednesday & Friday up to August 19, 2005. My therapist was moving to another city so I decided to quit. I worked out a little at home. A couple of weeks went by and my knee is feeling fine. I guess it needed a rest. Its now October 3, 2005 nearly 6 months after the surgery. The knee feels better but I still feel some tightness and some inner cracking when I straighten the knee. It feels good. I now believe I will be able to play softball nest spring. What a relief. Sign Out…. Eugene P. Robichaux, P.E.

Dan Peters
October 3, 2005 10:33 PM

Well I'd just like to say that reading everyone's post makes me feel like I am not alone. No offense but I actually felt ashamed after I twisted my knee. In the last five minutes I have changed my mind. It's nice having everyone else around! DP

October 7, 2005 12:04 PM

44 year old surfer / snowboarder. Got blindsided at the YMCA playing b-ball. Player rolled on the floor and took out my legs from behind. An MRI confirmed a torn ACL. I have friends who have had reconstruction and some who have had no surgery. Most of the posts here are from surgery candidates. Has anyone opted out of surgery and been able to snowboard or surf without any major negative consequences? I have a trip to Snowmass planned for the last week of January which surgery would eliminate but perhaps by strenghtening my quad and hamstring and wearing a brace I could pull it off. Any comments? Thanks.

October 7, 2005 9:51 PM

Hi everybody, I'm 17 years old and I am a highschool senior. I was playing basketball pre-season open gyms which I participated in twice a day and I am very serious about my basketball and was considering college play for the future, possibly D1. Anyways, I had a fastbreak and i was dribbling down and a girl cut infront of me, i went to stop and turn and put all of my weight on my left knee and twisted. Heard a "pop" and literally saw bone sticking out of the side of my leg. My knee just buckled and hurt for about 15 minutes and then was just numb, didn't have much swelling but opted to see the doc just incase. Got an MRI 3 days after accident and turns out I completely tore my ACL and my medial meniscus. Now my first doctor told me that playing basketball my senior year was not an option in december and that in 6 months I'd be lucky to play softball, which I also love. He said that he'd do a patellar tendon graft and didnt give me much of an option for any other type of surgery. I went for a second opinion and was told that I really had 3 options for surgery.... patellar tendon graft, hamstring or cadaver allograft. This doc also told me that I could try playing on it and see how it felt seeing as I was able to walk and run on my knee with only a little unstability. So, a week after the accident I tried playing a game of prison ball at school and went to throw the ball at someone, twisting the knee and hearing the "pop" again.... now my knee is twice as swollen and barely flexible, walking is now an issue as I can't straighten the knee anymore. So it is obvious that I need surgery, but I cannot decide which type. From what I've heard the patellar is the "gold-standard" however recovery is slow and I am also the #1 catcher on my softball team and was counting on getting a college scholarship. I have heard that after the patellar surgery it is difficult for patients to kneel or crawl and that would be a huge issue for me. Also I have also heard that the hamstring has a possible faster recovery of 3-4 months, which I would love to be able to play for at least part of my senior basketball season or for at least state. I just want to get back to sports as fast as possible as I am extremely athletic and love to play all out. I was also interested in the cadaver allograft which seems to be the least in post surgery pain plus you do not have to recover from losing another part of your body. Please someone help, I really am confused and not sure which surgery to do and I just want to get it over with and on the road to recovery as soon as possible. I first tore my ACL and meniscus on September 22, 2005.... please e-mail me at with any comments or information, I could really use some help. I am in good shape and will work really hard at all PT just need to decide on surgery. Thanks!!!!!!!

Jordan McElroy
October 8, 2005 9:12 PM

I'm a 15 year old girl who is a sophomore in high school. I tore my acl right knee on Jan 24, 2005, while playing basketball, I was dribbling and just stopped and turned and down I went. After a MRI they told me my acl was completely torn and since I play 3 sports in high school, my only option was surgery. I had surgery on March 22, 2005 and had the patellar graft, thats what my doctor likes to do. The first several days after surgery were pretty bad, getting up and down was tough, but it got easier. Pt was the only thing that keep me going my therapist was great. Do all exercises (even at home) I was running after 8 weeks and I think it really helped me get back. I was released on sept 21 6 months after my surgery. I am now playing volleyball, and hopefully if I stay injury free I will be playing basketball in Nov and softball in spring and summer. The best advice I can give is listen to your dr, do your exercises and just start back slowly, you will get back,it just takes a little time and patience and YES you will get frustrated especially if you love sports as much as I do, but I am now feeling good with no pain or swelling at all. Good Luck to every1 out there!

Juan "MAGIC" Juarez
October 11, 2005 12:22 PM

I was traded to another team and it was hard in the preseason and practice to get to know the team and work with them. i was a threat in the league with my precision passing and my sweet jumper..I ended up making a team and we went 5 and 0 in our beginning season. The next game me and my friend where trying to see who jumped higher by dunking and i didnt stretch so when it came to game time i was warmed up. in the first 5 mintutes of the game i came down try to cross over and popped my knee. i hurt so bad, i was on the ground for about 10 mintutes. Then i try to walk it off and it hurt bad. i went to see a doctor he said i had pulled it, and to wait 8 weeks. So i did wait 10 weeks , i felt good went to play again and i jumped up when i landed it popped again this time it was worst then before. soi had a mri and had surgery. it was a b%#tch after with all the pain for two weeks. I have gone to some pt but its the same stuff i do the excercises at home and i stretch alot but im feel that some pt aint to much help. i have done better them my pt i think. its been 2 month and i can jog a little bit. my question is my team as made the championship and i want to play since i can jog alittle. i know i have a a good shot of playing thru the game and helping my team out.

October 14, 2005 6:09 AM

I am in the military, and I tore my ASL and meniscus. I am in an Airborne Unit and I am having surgury on my knee on November 1, this year. I want to know what do you think is the best type surgury for a person that is very active. I was thinking about the Bone Tendon Bone, but I don't know.

October 14, 2005 8:05 PM

To James: i just had what i think you are referring to which is a patellar graft as opposed to an achilles graft...i am 42 so my dr recommended a 'donor' (cadaver) which this procedure has progressed immensely from several years ago with the benefit being that you don't have to heal 'twice'..your knee plus the ligament that the surgeon takes from your quad. I am recovering ok...i had a femoral nerve block in addition to general anesthesia so that when the operation was done there is a lot less pain (until the block wears off!) I am using a CPM continuous passive motion machine to keep my knee moving about 6 hours aday and a 'game ready' unit whihc is a high tech ice pack for about 4 hours a day...since i have a lot of 'downtime' i'm happy to answer any questions you may have. I definitely recommend the procedure as I tore my ACL and sprained the MCL doing karate and without the acl repair would not be able to do any 'serious' sports again. good luck

October 18, 2005 12:02 PM

I had an acl tare in 2003 its 2005 now and I had pt right after but I completely slacked... I only did that for about six months till i moved away to college sue to college and studing I niglected the crap out of it. I started playing basketball agian and every one in awhile it will pop out like its very unstable .....Im not shore it is so unstable that it means i tore it agian or that my knee is so week that it is unstable and i could injure agian ... at this time I am un able to get looked at by a doc but know understand that you have to work very hard and im not shore if I have a life in basketball anymore. Its hard emotionaly but I will keep you guys updated hopefully someone can relate

October 21, 2005 4:08 PM

In Jan of 2003 I torn my ACL and had surgery in March, using the patella tendon as the graft. Recovery seemed smooth, with not to much pain. 2 years later my knee and quad feels great. On Oct. 3rd I had my other knee done with the hamstring graft. Recovery in the first 3 days were the worst, but following that I have been pain free and my progress improves every day. I go to PT 3 times a week. The PT for this surgery seems to be slower paced than the first, Dr. and PT saying you don't want to rush it.

Kim M
October 25, 2005 5:07 PM

I tore my ACL in a Volleyball game on 8-2-05, at the time I did not know it. I did not get to a specialist until three weeks after. Im 48 and consider myself an active person. I was scheduled for surgery on 10/31/05 but then someone mentioned to me that I should do some research before I have it done, talk to people who have had the surgery and ones who have not. So I have post-poned the surgery. I'm checking places for information on ACL and Im only getting more confused.....! Im mad that it happened to start with, and that my body is not like it was ....Surgery of any kind is not good, but messing with the knees.....Like someone else had said, its easier when your younger to heal, but I do not want that to be the decision maker. I like to deal with black and white, and this ACL stuff has to much GRAY AREA!! Please give me any advice. Thank you

October 26, 2005 9:32 AM

I'm a 41 year old female, and I'm having ACL surgery on November 9. I'm confused as to which graft to use (the patella, hamstring or cadaver). My doc has me scheduled for the hamstring, but I can switch in the next few days if I want. I'm leaning towards the cadaver, but there is not long-term data to support the use and it's a bit freaky. Is there anyone out there who used cadaver tissue several years ago and can comment on the stability and useability of the knee. How was your recovery?

October 26, 2005 5:31 PM

how long after acl reconstruction can you start lifting heavy weights again? for example 80% or your 1 maximum lift.

October 31, 2005 4:32 PM

Tearing your ACL and how you recover is all in your mind. I'm in the military and I lead a very active life. 2 months after my surgery (hamstring graft) I deployed to Iraq and spent 3 months putting more stress on my knee then most could imagine at 2 months post op; (load bearing 80 pound packs, walking on unstable terrain, etc). I followed my rehab regime and made it through the deployment. Today marked my 6 month post op date and the doctor has returned me to full duty. I'm a paratrooper and tomorrow I'll be making my first jump out of an airplane since the surgery. I hope my story can others and give you a positive attitude.

joseph biton
November 2, 2005 1:56 AM

hi i'm from the pihilippines and i had acl recon jus las oct 14. im one of the many people who has benefited from this site and the emotional help was really a good one. i tore my acl last july 14 because of a bad fall from basketball(two people fouled me while on air). i opted to delay the surgery and use crutches for 3 mos because i'll be missing my classes and eventually get delayed in grad had i been operated then. don't listen to those horror stories. each of us has a unique body and not everyone has the same acl problem. my doc used my patellar tendon graft(which is considered gold-standard generally)and though the first few nights were hell (the anesthesia fades, slight fevers and what-not), you'll get over it for sure. now i'm using an immobilizer and a cane and i can easily walk as days pass by. i've been doing pt sessions(3 visits right now) and religiously do it also at home. my quads ache a little since my muscles are building up and they get stronger as i do my pt everyday. don't worry about your torn acl. it really is hard at first, but eventually you'll get past it. i used to think i'll have a hard time to walk and stand but now, i've been able to walk w/o pain or whatever and can lift my leg whenever i want to. things have been great and this has been a great experience for me having been able to finish the past semester with good grades and still being able to recover and is still recovering from the injury. good luck to those who'll undergo surgery. the moment you tore your acl will be the most painful thing you'll feel. other than that, you just have to do some pain management (taking ibuprofen, and your antibiotics). email me in case you're interested with how the op will be. gud luck to you all!

November 2, 2005 5:53 PM

hi. im a 17 year old girl, a senior in high school. a week after tryouts for volleyball, i comptlely tore my acl coming down from a jump server.. had surgery on august 31st. surgery wasn't bad, just the anxiety and nervousness before. the 1st week out of surgery is pretty bad but is def. bearable. been about 2 months since surgery and im attending pt and doing all my exercises. being my senior year and training all summer for vb and bb, the emotional pain is worst (at least for me) than the actual physcial pain. after being an avid athlete in varsity sports for 2 years and a main contributer to the team , its extremly hard to sit on the bench after working so hard and dedicating your life to something. the best advice is to keep your heard high and stay determined (and make sure you have someone to help you for the weeks after surgery) . the minute you start throwing a pity party for yourself, you fall behind. if you want to get back for anything, you can do it. you have to maintain a positive attitude and be strong. this situation def. is very hard, but i know that it has already made me a much stronger and more confident person. its not the end of the world if you dont make it that way. good luck to you all, its not easy but you can overcome.

November 2, 2005 11:05 PM

I had an allograph (used a cadaver) done to repair my ACL after a college football injury left me with an expolded ACL a small tear on the MCL, a Mensicus tear and a seperated IT Band. So they operated on my 6 weeks ago repaires everything but the MCL because that heals naturally. After 3 1/2 weeks post op i had full range of motion with the knee. after 6 weeks i was back to a neoprene sleeve just to continue to give support to the knee. I have been told I am going to be able to play with in 5 or 6 months after the surgery thats full contact for football. The recovery is long and boring but its important. Work hard and you ll be fine.

Dana Owens
November 3, 2005 4:54 PM

Hey Kim, Goodluck! It's not a fun process. I had full ACL replacement and meniscus removed. I'm 11 weeks out and still in pain. Make sure that you're mentally prepared before surgery. The doc's don't mention that you get a sweet case of depression if your used to being really active and all you can do is lie on your back. Also, learn to love your CPM. It's huge in the recovery process. Good Luck!

November 6, 2005 6:54 PM

i'm going to have acl and menisus sugery in feb.and i want to know how it feels after surgery and how long would you have to wait before returning to sports

November 6, 2005 7:33 PM

I'm 18-years-old and I have had 5 knee surgeries. I tore my ACL 3 times, my PCL 2 times, and I've had a bone graft. I have to undergo one more surgery to replace my ACL & PCL....Go with the have less pain because they aren't taking any of your own body parts and the recovery time is shorter. The reason i've had so many surgeries is because I continue to play sports and re-injure it. I've used cadaver parts for all of my surgeries and wouldn't go any other way! If you have any questions about surgery or can contact me!

November 7, 2005 11:49 AM

In 1991-1992 I had ACL recoonstruct surgery where I used my own ligaments and tendents. The doctor never told me that if the ligaments and tendents are thin there is a 95% chance the surgery does not take. I where after surgery I had some movement and discomfort but it was berable. Finally I had to have surgery again on June 15 2005. I had authroscopic ACL reconstruct where I used a cadaver. I am kicking myself silly since I used the cadaver. I am still not back to work. Since I have constant swelling from my knee to my foot and at times more pain that what I had before. My job is a waitress so I need my legs. I have even had (3) 9 1/2 and (1) 5 1/2 back surgeries is 14 months and 2 months after surgery I was back to work. I used my own bone from my hips on the different surgeries. I wish I would of used my own now. It requires a little more time to recooperate but it is worth it in the mean time. All I want now is to redo the surgery with MY OWN hamestring. Then I know I will be fine. I will never again use a cadaver or anything else but my own parts. And the worst part is when there is a problem other doctors will not see you since they do not want to go against their coleges.

November 11, 2005 9:59 AM

I had ACL surgery in my right knee in 1999 in USA, from a snow skiying accident, used a cadaver acquiles tendon, did good, recovery=1 year. Hurt a lot. Had ACL surgery last Monday Nov. 7th. in Quito Ecuador Gracilis semitendonous graf was used, no pain, no swelling, the difference so far is amaizing, the only problem is that here there is no PT, you are on your own for therapy, that is why I'm looking for some instruccions day by day, found some but will appreciate the help. Today is my 4rth. day, no clutches, walking fine, and the brace?. how long do I have to keep it really?. 2 to 3 weeks says the doc. my email is

November 12, 2005 10:51 PM

Hello, 34 year old vol. fireman fell through a ceiling during SCBA training. The way I landed caused ACL injury, buckethandle tear in cartlidge and ligament damage. Had surgery a week ago. Doc removed ACL (I didn't know I could they could just take it out and live without it), repaired cartlidge and ligament. Doc says alot of time and pt will get me on my feet again. He said I can expect to wear brace during activities and future arthritis in knee. Trying to walk with out crutches a little and enjoying the pain meds! ;)

November 14, 2005 12:28 PM

I had torn my acl and meniscus 6 years ago and I am now going for my third ACL surgery in a month. I am very active and the injury keeps reoccurring. It has been a pattern of having this surgery done every 2 years and frankly I am getting exhausted from it.

November 14, 2005 6:40 PM

my son is 17 and tore his ACL completely snowboarding and playing football. I keep debating whether or not he should have the surgery which is scheduled this thursday. Any one opt not to have the surgery and do you regret it?

Jon Naile
November 17, 2005 11:36 AM

I tore my ACL an year ago, while playing soccer -- then went through a self-rehab programme and was able to run and do everything very well. As soon as I started playing soccer (2nd game) I reinjured myself and tore my meniscus as well. Scheduled to go for Surgery on Nov 29 -- my doc is leaning towards the cadaver option. I have to admit that dealing with the thought of someone else's parts in your is a bit disturbing. These were people that once lived and so on..... I want to know what other people with a allograft think about this -- and how they've dealt with this realization. Any allograft ACL patients, please write back.

November 21, 2005 6:56 PM

I am 15 and I tore my ACL playing summer league basketball June 7th, 05. I was on defense and turned and tried to run and my knee gave out. A friend from the crowd said she even heard it pop. It hurt, but later after thinking about it wasn't as bad as I thought it would. I went to the doctor right away and he said it was just a sprain, and that I'd be back within two weeks. I was glad that was it because I had a lot of other sports events coming up that hopefully I'd be back for. After 3 weeks of it not getting better and getting sick of missing games I decided to go to a rehab center to get their opinion. They were almost sure I had torn my ACL. I went to a really highly qualified doctor and just by doing one twist of my knee knew it was torn. I had an MRI and 10% of my muniscus was torn also. I had surgery July 26th. It went really well. The first couple days after surgery sucked. I was off crutches about a month after surgery and running about 3 monthes in. I had one setback where my quad wasn't "firing." so I had to use a shock type of machine, but the dr. says I've caught up. I am now 4 months from surgery and hoping to be back for the last month of basketball at the end of February!

November 22, 2005 2:03 PM

HI all I recently had surgery on my knee. It was much worse than I predicted. I had a basketball injury, where my body was pivoted and my knee popped when i landed after jumping towards the basket. At first the pain was excruciating, but after a while it was manageable. Within a couple of weeks I was walking fine, but that feeling that your knee would give away was always there. I knew from self diagnosis that my ACL was definitely torn. After a MRI my doubts were confirmed, not only was my ACL torn , but also my medial and lateral menisci were torn, requiring me to undergo a triad surgery. I was operated on Sept 21, 05. For those who have underwent or are going to undergo triad will agree the recovery period is much more than just an ACL tear. Its been 2 months since the surgery. I am off support now but still am wearing a brace. Another problem which requires extensive PT is that because of the nature of the injury your gastrocenius is very weak. I am still having difficulty bending my knee, but am sure that after an extensive PT it would be fine.... you just have to be patient and very dedicated to yourself and not give up. best of luck DJ

November 24, 2005 7:12 AM

Hi I got my ACL recosntructive surgery done (autograft) Nov 4th . Its in my third week of rehab. With difficulty I can bend my knee to 80 deg and -5 extension. Any clue as to whether this is any good? Also yesterday I had a minor( I am assuming) accident. My apt is a duplex and I was going down the stairs when I forgot that I need to keep my injured knee straight(it was without a brace). So I bent it abruptly and there was a shooting pain. The pain has reasonably subsided but I am afrais if I would have dislodged something in the autograft. Any experience/ anything would be very helpful. Can't go to the doc today coz it is Thanksgiving. Cheers Pritam

November 29, 2005 8:25 AM

Hi there, well i hurt my ACL and MCL in a knee on knee collision in my last hockey game on Nov 16. They initially said gr 2 MCL sprain and gr 1 ACL. I got my MRI done a week after and it revealed a complete tear of the ACL and MCL. Surgery is booked for mid Jan. I was just wondering how it goes after that. How long after surgery are you in bed for? How long does the pain last? How long after can i walk with the brace. The main thing for me is being able to get around. I know my hockey season is shut down for the year but im hoping to be ready for baseball playoffs in july/aug. can anyone please share their info with me. thanks in advance.

November 29, 2005 8:52 PM

Hi I tore my ACL playing soccer and I had surgery which went perfect. I am 14 years old and I didn't have to worry about my height because I am done growing. I am now in my 3rd month soon to be going on 4th i rarely have pain and have started jogging for a bit now. If you like sports or something that requires anything but pretty much going in a straight line get the surgery. it takes about a year to get better but it is worth it. I will be tested soon to make sure my knee is on track and I will be back to sports soon, about another 4 or 5 months. i will keep posting and if you would like to ask a question or something you can email me at

Alex G
December 3, 2005 5:52 AM

I tore my ACL, MCL, LCL, and both later and medial meniscus racing motocross. I just had my surgery 3 weeks ago. My doc used the allograft. It was an achielles tendon. He also used bioabsorbable screws. He took my meniscus out completely. It was damaged beyond repair. My MCL and LCL had already begun to heal by themselves and they will continue to do so. He never put me in a brace from day one. Also I was walking without crutches around my house the first day. The 3 things you need to do to have a good recovery are: 1. Control the swelling- I did this by taking 800mg of motrin 4x's/day. I also used a Donjoy Iceman to chill my leg. I was on it around the clock for the first few days. 2. Work on ROM (Range Of Motion)-Every hour for 10 minutes I would rest my heal up on the arm of my couch and let me leg go straight. Dont put anything under your knee to support it. It may hurt a little from the pressure of the swelling but eventually as the swelling goes away so will the pain. Also while doing this flex the quad(thiegh) muscles. Those are very important to a quick recovery. Then after that 10 minutes, I would grab my theigh underneath and just above my knee and work my leg back and forth to work on ROM. This will also hurt a little but it will get better over time. 3. Walk as much as you can without crutches but walk as close to normal no matter the pace. 2 days after my surgery I was tired of being at home and I drove myself to the mall. The mall is a 1 mile loop and I walked it without crutches. I was a little slow and a little sore when I was done but nothing major. I can't stress how important number 1 is though. That is the key to the other 2. The swelling is really what limits your ROM and holds back your recovery. When the surgery is completed the doctor will move your leg completely to test the graft. After that is when your leg swells so the movements of your leg and using your leg is not damaging anything. It's only helping. Another great thing to do is to get on a stationary bike as soon as you can do it, even if slow and sort of retarded looking. It will really increase your ROM fast. As for me since 2 weeks post op I have been pretty much moving around normally. I have almost full ROM and if I didnt tell you, you would never know I had surgery. My doc and PT are in awe of my recovery. Anyone can have similar results you just have to not be a baby about it and lay around with that I just had surgery everyone be nice to me attitude or it will take alot longer to get healed up. Also do your physical therapy. Thats important. Do some at home when your not doing anything else. Also do lots of leg presses before surgery to get those leg muscles strong. That helps as well. If you have any questions you can email me at -Alex

Alex G
December 3, 2005 5:57 AM

Pritam: In case you dont feel like reading my whole post, that shooting pain is normal. All that is, is from the pressure of the swelling against your patella. That graft is not going anywhere. Start taking alot of motrin. Take 4 advil 4x's a day. Its not for pain but for swelling and get on an exercise bike to get your ROM up.

December 3, 2005 7:33 PM

hey, i had my acl surgery on nov. 17. I was really scared. i injured it in dance practice and wanted to know about how lng does it take for me to get back out there dncing again. i miss being out there in the football games and all. Physical therepy sucks and i'm not really motivated.i need to talk to those who have had surgery or are going through the same as i get back to me at

December 5, 2005 2:28 AM

Everyone one that is reading the comments on this site should know that acl and meniscul reconstruction is not always as bad as some people have experienced i just had a acl reconstruction , repair on one menisci and removal of the other and i was walking on crutches for 1 week , walking without crutches and with brace for 1 week and im nearing week 3 and im still in some pain but heading quickly back to normal i have put up with this injury since i was 14 im now almost 21 and have endured years of embarrassing popping out and pain because of the idea that surgery was going to be such a major inconvenience eventually when i was backpacking around thailand and europe 3 months ago my knee came to its very end and i had to hobble back to heathrow and fly home , anyway surgery is fantastic although i did have one of australias best orthapedic surgeons well he only does knees , dont put up with pain and dont let your doctor convince you to try different ideas like pt instead of surgery JUST FIND A GREAT SURGEON AND BEG FOR THE 1ST AVAILABLE TIME SLOT i wish i had 6 years ago my life would have been heaps easier

December 6, 2005 5:17 PM

Hi, My 17 year old son just had the surgery on December 2, yes the first couple of days were painfull, but the knee is comming along fine now. He starts phisio tomorrow. The surgeon promised him he will be able to play hockey and football next season. Yes that is how he tore it, the first play of the first football game of the year.

December 13, 2005 4:41 PM

I had my ACL surgery on November 10 using the patellar tendon graft. I was walking without crutches at 3 weeks and will continue to wear my brace for a few more weeks. The more I read and hear from others, I am becoming concerned that my recovery will be a long one. My PT only wants to see me once every two weeks and at that brief session, I just receive some papers showing me examples of exercises. At 5 weeks post op, I am just now starting to do step ups and have had little instruction on a weight program. I am pretty dedicated to my own therapy on a daily basis, but I feel like my PT should be a little more involved.

December 22, 2005 4:01 AM

Hi i am 25 years old and have torn my acl and mcl. i have surgery dec.30 yeah right before new years eve how lucky. this site has been great! my injury is due to basketball. never got hurt while play in high school or college go figure. i will get a donor for my acl it seems to be the best choice for me. i do have a desk job so i would like to get back to work as soon as possible. i hope i made the right decision to get a donor. i want to heal fast and get back to excerising as soon as possible too. but i feel a lot better due to what everybody else has been going through. i will give my two cents afterwards. i not happy with having to depend on others.

December 22, 2005 7:31 AM

I found out yesterday that my 16yr old need acl reconstruction. The Dr. wants to use cadaver graft in fact thats all he uses and said if we prefer his own graft we would have to find another Dr. Any pros-cons to this kind of graft would be appreciated as I have not decided what to do. Theres all kinds of info but I'd rather hear it from someone who has used the cadaver graft. Thanks In advance.

December 27, 2005 11:51 PM

It has been very interesting reading all the postings re: ACL reconstructive surgery. I am 3 months (Sept 20) post-op and I am 53 years old. I ruptured the ACL by falling off of a step stool outside on uneven ground on Aug 26. My left foot went into a hole and my body lurched to the side, my upper and lower legs separating at the knee with a loud pop. I stood up, in great pain, and the leg kept separating in this bizarre manner. I never had injured myself and I had never had surgery before. I was in for an interesting next few months! I was astounded to read a posting saying that 2 doctors wouldn't perform the surgery on another person who is my age. That was never a question for me and my doctor. I am healthy and tolerated the arthroscopic repair very well. I had spinal anesthesia with a femoral block. I also had a very small amount of Versed to calm my anxiety right before going into the operating room. The surgery took about 1 1/2 hrs and recovery took about 4 hours, due to the slow return of feeling in my legs/feet after the spinal. I was given a prescription for Vicodin that I never filled; I only took ibuprofen. I also took aspirin, but that was only because I was wacko the first couple of nights and picked up the wrong bottle. Maybe that helped with fending off any chance of scary blood-clots! Once the femoral block wore off, the next day, I was very uncomfortable, but I couldn't say the surgery sites were very painful. What was painful was the back of my thigh, even though the autograft was taken from my hamstring and the incision was in the front of the leg right below the kneecap. It was also painful to stand up after laying down for awhile and having that rushing feeling go down the leg; very painful. My biggest problems have been with ROM and swelling. I was bearing weight on the leg on the second day, with the help of crutches. My latest dr appt was Dec 12 and he said to go without the brace as long as I was on flat ground, meaning at home and walking on even ground outside. I can even ride my horse again as long as I have the brace on. All in all, the surgery was not bad but the rehab is taking a very long time. I have always been very active and in good shape and love exercise, so I don't feel it is terribly difficult, but the process is extremely slow. I wish I had just broken a bone. Tendons and ligaments take a very long time to heal. I found the "why me" syndrome to be tough to kick too. But the third month was a turning point for me; I feel better and the future looks brighter. As I walk without the brace, sometimes the knee hyperextends painfully. My therapist says that is because it is still so weak and I still have alot of strengthening to do. Anyone facing this, hang in there, be patient, do what the doc and phys. ther. say to do and life will get better! And everyone over 50 who injures themselves, get other opinions if you are told by any doctors that you are too old to be repaired!

December 28, 2005 11:57 AM

I had acl reconstruction on my left knee done back in March and my doctor used my hamstring tendon, so I am 9 months post-op. Operation went successfully and my doctor said I would be able to get back to sports in 9-12 months. It's been 9 months and my knee is still not 100% and I am starting to develop some pain in my right knee where the knee cap is. I started playing basketball and football with a knee brace 3 months ago and I'm getting worried if both my knees will ever be the same again. Has anybody experienced pain in their other knee from over-compensation? I'm still not even 80% at full speed when I participate and I'm really scared right now. I'm not sure where to go from here, whether to stop playing, do certain exercises, or take medication.

Ashley Stewart
December 28, 2005 7:52 PM

Hey I'm 15 a freshman who made Varsity and i tore my acl in my first game though the first week i tried to over come the pain and kept everyone from knowin that my knee was hurt but that didnt work out to well i hurt my knee three times during practice befor i told my coach that my knee was seriously injured so she talked to my parents and had an mri the mri said that both my cartliges in my 'left knee were tore along with my acl i just recently had the torn cartlige surgery and i'm scared to death to have my acl reconstructed... Here in this little town i thought i was the only one in the world who has had this happen but to see all these other ppl and how they've has got back to sports really makes me happy.. But my right knee is startin to give me pain from puttin so much wait on it i wonder if both my knee's will ever be as good as they once was??? BUT HOPEFULLY MY SURGERY GOES WELL!!!!!! I still think im too young for all this :))

December 31, 2005 5:27 PM a senior in highschool, i was looking forward to my senior basketball season breaking many records at my school, and the looking for a highly anticipated track season, i already hold the record for my school and district in track shot put after my first year of throwing last year and was trying to go for more records in the state, however the past month has been a roller coaster...learned i might miss my entire senior basketball season because of a knee injury to my right knee so with the doctors permission, and no indication of any problems or risks, i decided to play in a scrimmage knowing it might be the last time i put on a high school uniform. I went down with a knee injury about 4 minutes into the first quarter, it was in my other knee, i was felt the pop, and was in major pain, but was told it was hyperextended and sprained. when i went in for my surgery on my right knee it was really good news, i tore my meniscus in my right knee , had the surgery on dec. 2nd, and went for a recheck on the 12th i was expecting to get released that day and play in a basketball game that night, thats when i got some horrible news, the doctor looked at my left knee, and i was informed that i had an ACL tear, i had surgery on thursday, and will miss my entire senior year of sports. i have a really long road ahead of me, i was lucky enought to already sign to a college on a track scholarship, so i am rehabing my both of my knees and getting ready for my freshmen year of college. i wanted to post on here because i dont want anyone to put their body at the same risks i did. one year of a sport or for me on night isnt worth risking much more. listen to your doctors and dont put your body as risk, you are much more likely to hurt yourself if you are trying to play on a bad wheel. get yourself healthy, you will have more chances to play your sports, basketball had been my life since i was 7 years old, if i would have given that up for one night, i would have much more of basketball to look forward to, my rehad is about 6 months till i can play basketball again, but i highly doubt i will, i have faced the fact that i have other things i need to do in life. again i just wanted young people to think about you future before making a decision that might change you life forever. im still on my pain meds, so i hope you can understand my post!!

January 2, 2006 9:34 PM

I just had an ACL reconstruction on December 21, so I am about 2 weeks post-op. I read a lot of these posts before I had surgery because I was afraid of what I was going to experience. But I have found that the surgery went 100 times better than I ever expected. The surgery itself was a breeze and when I first came out of surgery I was a little confused. By the time I reached the recovery room I was feeling great from the numbing meds that were put directly into my knee. I left the hospital about 2 hours later after having proved I could go to the bathroom by myself. For the first three days I was fully on pain meds which helped tons and I never felt pain until Christmas morning when I puked all my medication up. What a merry christmas! But after that day, everything has been going smoothly. Although at my last PT visit I only had a max of 72 range of motion I am trying to remain positive. I'm hoping by the time I go back to college I'm going to be close to getting off my crutches!!

Danny M
January 3, 2006 11:31 PM

I had ACL reconstruction using an Achillies tendon allograph on Oct. 13th 2005. Jan the 5th will be the all imporant 12 week post Op mark. This is the max time slate for the tendon to morph into a legit ligament. At 9 1/2 weeks I saw my PT and she, after examining me any my abilities, spoke to my Doc. She then cleared me to begin PT with weights...Weighted squats, hamsting curls, Leg presses, lunges . (along with the original set of excercies and the swimming, biking and upper body training) btw, joining a gym is essential for your own PT if your serious of getting back to playing at your previous level. The upper body training is great to keep you from gaining weight from the 4-12 week period. This was just the first suprise I got at that visit. Up until then, I've done every thing they told me do, AND not to do. I made sure I stuck with her timetable plus slacking was never a thought. If She says 3x per day, IT was done 3X per day, etc. The best news I got was that I was cleared to start running in one week! Halleluha! Which leads me back to the 12 week mark. This has been my first stage goal all along. My knee feels real good. I can squat all the down like they do in Vietman (That was just for visual no disrepect ) and stand using only my leg strenght. Actually, this was done for the first time yesterday. But man, I can do it! Doing anything more than your PT says can damage the tendond from securing itself to the bone therfore your surgery is for not at this point. DON'T do any weighted excercises before they say you can. If you look up and down this board, you'll gain the knowledge that going against your Doc./PT can and probably will destroy your allograph. You can bet the Doctor has heard it a 1000's of times more. They will tell when you can begin the next fhase of your therapoy. Boy, I could've and wanted to start running a month ago, but if I did, I would have to had cut the lunges and body squats and would have cheated, Now I can feel the muscle coming back real strong. I now feel the benefits to be mentally strong and discipline beyond what you feel capable of. Gaurd your allograph for those first 12 weeks and build your legs around it like it's was a new leg you were lucky to get back Cheers.

danny m
January 4, 2006 10:40 PM

-->NOTICE<-- ::revised draft:: I had ACL reconstruction using an Achillies tendon allograph on Oct. 13th 2005. Jan the 5th will be the all imporant 12 week post Op mark. This is the max time slate for the tendon to morph into a legit ligament. At 9 1/2 weeks I saw my PT and she, after examining me any my abilities, spoke to my Doc. She then cleared me to begin PT with weights…Weighted squats, hamsting curls, Leg presses, lunges . (along with the original set of excercies and the swimming, biking and upper body training {currently doing}) btw, joining a gym is essential for your own PT if your serious of getting back to playing at your previous level. The upper body training is great to keep you from gaining weight from the 4-12 week period. This was just the first suprise I got at that visit. Up until then, I’ve done everything they told me to do, AND not to do. I made sure I stuck with her timetable plus slacking was never a thought. If She says 3x per day, IT was done 3X per day, etc. The best news I got was that I was cleared to start running in three weeks! I do a 7:30 mile. (killing me not running)Halleluha!! Which leads me back to the 12 week mark. This has been my first stage goal all along. My knee feels real good. I can squat all the down like they do in Vietman (That was just for visual no disrepect ) and stand using only my leg strenght . Actually, this was done for the first time yesterday. But man, I can do it! Doing anything more than your PT says can damage the tendond from securing itself to the bone therfore your surgery is for not at this point. DON’T do any weighted excercises before they say you can. If you look up and down this board, you’ll gain the knowledge that going against your Doc./PT can and probably will destroy your allograph. You can bet your Doctor has heard it a 1000 times before . They will tell when you can begin the next phase of your therapoy. Boy, I could’ve and wanted to start running a month ago, but if I did, I would have to had cut the lunges and body squats and would have cheated, Now I can feel the muscle coming back real strong. I now feel the benefits for be mentally strong and discipline beyond what you feel capable of. Guard your allograph for those first 12 weeks. Build your muscles around your knee like it is a new knee you were lucky enough to get back. Kind Regads, DM

Michael Haworth
January 5, 2006 4:34 PM

I've got couple of concerns with my injury. I completely tore my ACL and I also tore part of my Meniscus Lateral in my left knee while snowboarding. The injury took place on December 26th, 2005. I was admitted to the clinic at the Ski Resort and after 4 x-rays of my knee the doc could see a fracture in my either tibia or femur (I can't recall which) that caused the doc to think that the barely visible fracture was due to me tearing my ACL off the bone (along with the fact that I heard it go "pop"!). I was advised go home follow the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) take pain and anti-inflammatory pills and see an orthopedic specialist in one to two days. The next morning I scheduled and appointment that day to have the orthopedic specialist take a gander at me. After examining me in a patient waiting room doc #2 advised an MRI. The MRI concluded that my ACL was completely torn and my Meniscus Lateral is torn. During my MRI my insurance carrier Kaiser Permanente had communicated to the orthopedic office that they would not cover my surgery by doc #2 and that I needed to return to Portland,OR for the procedure. (The injury occurred in Jackson, Wyoming). I was not able to get back to Portland until December 30th due to extreme weather conditions. Me and a copy of my MIR admitted my self to Urgent Care on the evening of the 30th. Where doc #3 called the Orthopedic doctor on call for advisement on my condition. The orthopedic doc on call gave an "over the phone" analysis that my condition was not considered serious enough to operate immediately so...many Kaiser offices and phone calls later. I'm scheduled to see another orthopedic specialist (doc # 4) on January 10th and hopefully surgery on January 26th. With all this down time I have had, I?ve been researching the heck out of the internet to try and find out what to expect with my particular combo of injuries. As far as the ACL surgery goes it looks like there are many methods being practiced with each doc emphasizing how their's is the best. The Patellar graft, Hamstring graft, Allograft, Achilles tendon graft, and even Quadricep graft and then it seems I have the option to either use mine or a cadavers donations. Then when it comes to the Meniscus tear it seems like either they try and repair it, if the tear is on the outside, where blood can flow and heal it, but if the tear is major and tears into the middle area (or a minor tear in the inner area) they either completely remove the meniscus lateral or just remove the torn material that may be limiting movement.Leaving me with tibia and femur cartilage on cartilage which I’ve read that a person who participates in high impact sports (such as me) that I could possibly be bone on bone in 3-5 years!?!? I'm 22 years old and in very very good physical shape. Im either running, lifting weights, Skiing (Skiing is most important to me I skied over 100 days last year, my life literally revolves around the ski season, that's how important it is to me!!!) backpacking, mountaineering, snowboarding or surfing. It is imperative that my surgery be suitable for a highly physical person. And I've become completely devastated over the past couple of days over all the not so enthusiastic research I've come to find. It doesnt seem like there's any surefire methods to fix me?!?! Is there an ACL surgery that will make me as good as new? Which method is best for me? Is there anything that can be done about my meniscus lateral? Is waiting a whole month before I have surgery, okay? Are there doctors in the Portland, OR area that I should be weary of? Additional info..currently (January 5th, 2006) with my brace off my range of motion in my knee is fine, I can completely straighten it comfortably and while standing I can fold it back (with minimal discomfort) to my normal range of motion. Though, I feel like I have zero stability from side to side when I take my brace off. I'm on crutches and I'm wearing the brace that doc #1 gave me. I don't know specifically what type of Meniscus Lateral tear I have, and looking at my MRI... well I'm not a doctor and I'm not going to state that the tear is something that it's not... i really don't know what type of tear it is I'm also concerned that I may be doing more damage to my meniscus lateral tear? I enrolled in college when arriving in Portland, cause I figured if I'm going to be handicap for a couple of months I should do something productive with myself rather than sitting on the couch collecting unemployment and popping pain pills. But I'm worried that all my hobbling around campus could possibly be damaging my meniscus lateral even further. I feel educated enough to know that my ACL is gone and I really can't further injure that. My concern lies with my meniscus lateral and it not getting operated on for a month? Is this a valid concern? If anyone else has gone through or is educated on or knows someone i could contact about these subjects any comments would be appreciated at thanks

danny m
January 5, 2006 8:02 PM

Mike, an allograft is a cadaver graph. Go cadaver, if you do an autograft (your tendon) recovery is months longer. Bieng you'll have two operations to rehab. If you want to get back into action next Winter, this is the best way. Sorry to say that this Winter is out for sure. An autograft is less likely to be rejected by your body, they say. But I have zero problems with the cadaver. Also, if the Meniscus is minor enough to be cut away, that should heal up right quick. If it's a big tear, DON"T elect to cut it away, have them stitch it up. This will save your lifestyle, but will take 6-10 months to heal.So, make sure you have both operations done at the same time! You're young enough to might want to push the recovery by thinking more is good. Be warned, If you try to defy nature, you can be dealt a serious blow by either blowing out your repaired knee, or blowing out your other knee. Yep, this phenomenon happens all the time by over depending on the non-injured extremity. If you're a trained athlete like I am, then this is the time to be religious on your training diet. You won't be doing any high level running until at least 4-6 months. put them chips away.... I had no other damage, just the complete tear of the ACL. Lastly, don't be fooled by the seemingly stable knee you believe you have. Your muscles are supporting the knee pretty good right now, soon, you'll be losing muscle and when you least expect it, it will collapse on you and you will experience that same god awful pain. Best you chill on anything risky on your feet. Don't go jogging, you can tear the meniscus more. dm

January 8, 2006 8:54 PM

Has anyone out there experienced problems that began AFTER the 2nd month? Surgery went great and I was walking without crutches in 1 week. I had very little swelling and pain, and I was even taking the stairs at 3 weeks. PT dismissed me at 8 weeks saying I was good to go, but ever since then things have been going downhill. Now, at 3 months after surgery my lower leg is swollen and my knee provides me with a constant dull pain. I saw the doc and he didn't really have any ideas- just kept telling me how unusual this was. I'm hoping it's really not that unusual. Anyone out there experience anything like this?

January 15, 2006 7:01 PM

I found your comments very interesting. Thanks for sharing your experiences. My son is seriously considering his third knee surgery. This time the doctor is suggesting using cadaver grafts for his acl and pcl. My question is do you have to take medication to prevent rejection of the grafts? My only knowledge is of organ transplant patients. I'd appreciate any advice. We are searching for any and all information on this type of surgery. Thanks. MaMa Bull

Rosie Lumetta
January 16, 2006 5:19 PM

Hi I'd appreciate some info from people who have received an ACL from a cadaver. My concerns are --- how will I be assured that it's not diseased? Do I have to take drugs to help prevent rejection? Any other info you could send me would be great. I've been skiing for 37 years and had my worse injury on Friday, the 13th, 2006. it was a little fall on the flats -- not even speeding --- but I turned too quickly and tore my ACL in my right knee. drop me a line at THANKS!! Rosie

January 16, 2006 5:48 PM

I just have ACL surgery on Jan. 9th, and i just finished 1st week of healing, i know there is a long way to go, but anyway, so far, the pain on my leg is become less and less, but i still cannot walk without crutches. because i still not able to lift my leg high and the only thing i can do is bend my knee a little bit and moving slowly on my bed. does anyone know how long i need to be back on walk? right now i am doing the flex-mate machine 2-3 times a day, about 1-2 hours each time, is it good enough? by the way, i haven't met my doctor yet, hope i can meet him by this week. hope the recovering is not that bad... god bless....

Rosie Lumetta
January 23, 2006 10:13 PM

Hi I'd like to hear from anyone who is 50 years or older and has had ACL surgery, combined with meniscus surgery; especially if you used an allograft for the ACL. It seems like most of the comments are from much younger people. I am a serious snow skier (60 plus days a year) so I feel the only option I have is surgery, BUT I'd like to know if someone HAS NOT HAD surgery and could still ski, golf or dance. My doctor believes in pre-op rehabilitation and it's been less than 2 weeks since my injury and already I'm walking ok without a brace. But I need to make a decision soon about the surgery. Pls write me at thanks Rosie

January 24, 2006 8:09 AM

Hi All- Great website..I tore my acl two weeks ago playing basketball and am going in for surgerey in a few weeks. I also have some miniscus tearing as well. My doctor says the best way to go is with the cadavar. I am going to do 2 weeks of PT before the surgery. Any suggestions out there to make it go any easier, and how are your success rates. I am an avid athlete, playing baseballa nd basketball and have competed in triathlons, marathons and other sports as well. Anyone get back into these after their surgery? Also, does anyone have any info on long term recovery? Thanks, Mike

January 25, 2006 12:04 AM

I am 27 and very athletic: I snowboard, I surf, I run, I swinm, I bike... I just had ACL repair surgery on the 18th of January. I fell off my bike way back in October and tore my ACL when I lost control going way too fast and trying to signal for a left hand turn. So you see I had to wait three months in order to get the surgery. In that time, my knee got stronger and stronger. But it was by no means as strong as the other leg. If I tried to run up stairs, for example, my left (injured leg) would go out and I couldn't make it up. But the leg definitely got stronger, eventually I could have started biking again and running in a straight line on a flat surface (like that's possible). I never debated about the surgery because I wanted a stronger leg. Now, it has been exactly 6 days after the surgery. I had wanted to use and auto graft (hamstring tendon) to repair the ACL, but in the surgery there were complications and they couldn't get my hamstring tendon. So now I have a cadaver. I have learned that there is little risk of rejection, I think because the cadaver tendon is freeze-dried, so it is not live tissue. With a cadaver though, there is supposed to me less discomfort in the long run. They are marginally the same, though folks with a cadaver tendon return to pre-injury activity a bit less than those with an auto graft (like hamstring or patella tendon). But that difference really depends on the individual. Because they attempted to get my hamstring, though unsuccessfully, I feel like I have a bit of experience with both. I can say that along my hamstring tendon there are welts, bruises, soreness and pain. So it seems that the cadaver surgery is easier because they don't have to graft your hamstring- making the recover a bit more comfortable and the surgery shorter. The first day after surgery, I had no pain-- pure anesthesia bliss, high if you will. I had general anesthesia including a femoral block. For some reason, the femoral block took almost 3 days to wear off with me, so I could not feel my foot for this whole time. It was all pins and needles. The Dr.'s were adamant that I should be generous with the pain medications, taking it every 5 hours without delay. But I didn't like the woozy feeling and stopped taking it at day 2. I wasn't really in pin- just uncomfortable. I do not sleep well on my back and really just wanted to move around. My butt was numb and it was such a production to use the bathroom. Days three and four brought no more pain. My foot got its feeling back. But the unexpected pain was all psychological. Only a week before I was nimbly walking around like normal. No longer surfing or running but I was mobile nonetheless. This week, I could not even lift my leg, stand or even flex my quads- a combination of swelling, pain, and atrophy. I realized that the long, long road to recovery had just begun. Day four, I dreamt I was riding my bike through the streets of New York. That the dream was so far from reality was quite a mental battle. It is Day 6 post surgery today. I haven't taken the pain medicine in days. I got my bandages removed and my Dr. praised me for managing the swelling (I am religious about keeping it elevated and icing regularly: no fancy machines, just ice trays and grocery bags-- good old fashioned style). After the bandages were removed, and I could finally scratch (thank lord), my pain did return. I am back on the Vicadin, and thank god! for having that at hand. When I stand up the blood rushes down the leg and literally you can feel it fill, which hurts like hell! I write all this to say, that the decision to do surgery is a personal one: you don't do surgery to only to walk again. Your knee heals on its own enough to walk. But if you want to do any level of activity with normality, then surgery is a must. I tried to snowboard before my surgery and was plagued with pain, discomfort, and uncertainty (what if I hurt it worse, I kept thinking). I would therefore, never ski without the surgery- if you tear a PCL, or meniscus, or other cartilage- you are in for much much worse. The pain is manageable (with ice, elevation and opiates). But I guess mental preparation is crucial: it is a long battle. It helps to have someone with you for the entire time you are at home. Fixing your socks, getting blankets, adjusting pillows, become major major tasks. Without my partner here to help, this would be a mess!!! My advice pre-surgery is: stretch, stretch, stretch. If only the hamstrings. I so wish I could touch my toes! I wish I stretched more. After all of this, I have a question if anyone knows- when does the standing/walking begin? I really appreciate this website and everyone's postings. I have read others, which are usually from pre 2000. I can see that the procedure has changed a lot in time, and so it is nice to hear from folks' recent experience.

January 25, 2006 3:41 PM

Hey Jah, I had surgery(BPT) graft on the 9th Jan 06, and in a weeks time the pain was reasonable. I stopped taking painkillers but now and again take a pill before bed, or Ibuprofen when I feel discomfort. I am still walking on crutches. The swelling is not that bad any more and I have taken a few steps without the crutches, but use them to help with the confidence. MY PT says I should be off the cructches by next week (Goal). I have about 100 deg flexion. But its hard with a BPT graft. I met a girl who did the hamstring graft and she was walking with a brace in a couple weeks without any problems. Hope this helps you. J

January 26, 2006 5:44 AM

I tore my acl Dec 2003 I just recently had surgery on it in July 2005, I really wish I did not wait that long but I did. I played basketball with it torn, but after having surgery it is like a miricle. I do think about it sometimes because I play basketball and I am on a swim team and it bugs me once in a great while. I am really happy I had it done!!

January 28, 2006 7:50 PM

I tore my acl in August of 2005 tryin to kickflip a 14 stair(skateboarding), anyways, I went to the doc and tehy said if I want to continue skating, they suggest the surgery, but I did not listen to them, after about a month tearig my acl, I was back on the board, doin the same stuff that I was capible of doing before, except doing high drops or just bending my knee all the way down. Then I was skating and then I tore it again on the simplest trick on a very small obstacle, it was very sudden, and did not feel very good. So about a month after that I went in to get the surgery, but they couldnt do it cuz it was to swollen, so they just took out some scar tissue(Nov. 18, 2005), after healing from that, I decided to skate again, and my real acl reconstruction was due on Jan 25,2006, cuz the swelling had to go down, but I couldnt help it and I decided to skate again, but luckily and thankfully I did not tear my acl again or injure it, but skatin after the first surgery I ripped some of my meniscus, and then I went to go get the surgery and the doc took part of my meniscus out, but all is good. But after waking up after the surgery it was not fun at all, I am still on crutches and it is still painfull, but the doc said about 2 weeks the pain should subside. And in about 4 to 5 weeks I should be able to walk again. But if any of you people get a acl reconstruction and want to get back to the sport you are doing, I suggest to get the surgery wherethey take 1/3 of your patellar tendon and replace it with our torn acl, that is the strongest graft you can get. But it is up to you, thatis the one I got. But do yourrehab, that is the most important thing you have to do, and after 3 months of your surgery dont think it is fullied healed, at this point it is the weakest, where the tissue and tendons are healing and regrouping. But about after 6 months you should be able to do your old sport again, but it will take time so be patient, dont rush things, in about a year or 2 you should be brand new and maybe even stronger! So cheer up and goodluck!

January 31, 2006 10:45 AM

About Acl graf choice....I know we are all concerned about the choice of graft, many of us my self, choose the BPTB because of the strength (which by the way is statistically comparable to other grafts, but has a longer track record). I spoke to an athelete from Germany (professional long jumper) and she told me that there is another choice for women. Because men have generally stronger muscles and ligaments, you can use an allograft from a male cadiver. She did this when she tore her acl and had to replace it. I suggest that you should look into this and ask your OS about this option.

January 31, 2006 2:16 PM

I tora my ACL and suffered from bone contusions 4 days ago going off a huge jump on my snowboard. I'm an athlete and a fit model, so I'm worried about the scarring on my knee if I opt for the patella graft. I also compete in snowboarding, so I need full use of my knee. It's difficult deciding on the type of surgery best for me right now. Is the scar on the front of the knee that bad?

January 31, 2006 2:16 PM

I tore my ACL and suffered from bone contusions 4 days ago going off a huge jump on my snowboard. I'm an athlete and a fit model, so I'm worried about the scarring on my knee if I opt for the patella graft. I also compete in snowboarding, so I need full use of my knee. It's difficult deciding on the type of surgery best for me right now. Is the scar on the front of the knee that bad?

February 1, 2006 3:11 PM

Great site and comments. I am 26, and I tore my right knee ACL the day after Chrismas playing basketball (great way to end and start a new year). It was non contact, I was just going towards the basket and it poped. MRI reveled ACL tear, LCL sprain, and menuscus tear. I went to a doctor that works with the Redskins football team and he recommended surgery since I am young and active. I decided with Hamstring autograft. Since I heard more negatives about cadavers and my doctor recommended against Patella Tendon. Didn't know this, but he said that it could weaken the knee because they are taking a piece of the bone out, and he had patients that have issues with it. I had 2 weeks pre operation physical therapy, and I highly recommend this since it really helped me mentally to be ready for the surgery. I could bend my knee at 130 degrees the day before surgery. I started at 105 and my left (good knee) is at 135. I got my surgery on 2/1/06. The procedure was much better than I thought it would be. I am actually walking around the house without my crutches right after surgery, and can go up and down the stairs one step at a time. I am little more nervous about doing the exercises my doctor and physical therapist told me to do right after surgery. Since I tend to cheat by using my hamstring during those exercises, I am feeling pain/soreness whenever I do them. I am excited that I finally have surgery and is on my way to recovery. I don't think i will ever be the same athelete again since I now get nervous when I watch sports. Good luck to everyone reading this and recovering.

February 1, 2006 6:47 PM

Wen, Can I ask who you're doc was? Sounds like you're also in the DC area. I have surgery on the 27th. The doc is preferring an allograph over autograph due to some other issues with the knee. The hamstring tendon was last on his list of choices. Thanks.

February 2, 2006 5:26 AM

I had an ACL reconstruction in early October(allograft) and, according to my doc at my last visit, I am doing very well, ahead of the curve on my rehab and on target to be back on unrestricted activity at 7 months or so. I would say my surgery experience was good, overall. The first week post-op was awful (at that point I was questioning why in the world I would do this to myself), but after that things improved drastically. I was in decent shape before the surgery and always had strong legs, so I was able to regain my quad strength and range of motion very quickly. I still have some minor pain in the knee(mostly climbing stairs), but that has more to do with the fact that my meniscus was so damaged that about 2/3 of it had to be removed. (I injured my knee years ago and just didn't want to admit I needed surgery, so I was constantly hurting my knee doing normal stuff). I can echo the advice of others on this blog: Do what your therapist tells you to do! Do your exercises and try to be as active as possible without jeopardizing the graft. It gets mundane and tedious, but definitely stick to your exercises. Good luck to everyone on your surgery and recovery!

February 2, 2006 8:47 AM

Wow, I'm so glad this emotionally supportive site is here. I'm 36 and I tore my ACL and meniscus on January 1st 2006, at 12:15 AM, you guessed it, New Year's Eve fun. I was bowling, which I do weekly and have for years, but someone dared me to bowl between my legs. Well it didn't work and memory kind of fuzzy, you know with Champaigne and all, but I evidently hit my leg with the ball. Any way my surgery is scheduled for 2-28. I have BPTB selected, for I was told it was the strongest holding. Ok then he hit me with the 6 weeks off of work. I was blind sided for I was thinking 1 week or so. I'm self-employed with a home day care, and care for 6 kids, 3 under the age of 18 months, and 3 that are just potty trained. I don't know what to expect. Reading some of your stories kind of helps, hearing that some of you are doing so well at the second or third week. My OS says we wont start PT untill after the second week, I'm just concerned becuase many of you started yours so much sooner. Is this delay good or bad? And, do you think I could get around good enough to watch kids after say the 3rd week. They do keep me moving, as I'm sure any of you with kids would know. Just keep me in your prayers, for I'm off work this amount of time without pay, and that right there is a motivation for a quick recovery. Please let me know if any of you have stories on caring for yourself as well as kids post-op. Good luck to all future surgeries and to those of you in recovery.

February 3, 2006 9:36 AM

Chris, my doctor is Raymond Thal. I had 2 friends that went to him for surgery, and athelete trainers that I know all recommended him. Interesting to hear that Hamstring was last on his choice, did he give any reason? I was told that it is the strongest muscle around that area and I will also recover with least amount of impact. It's 3 days after surgery now, I think I got too confident with my knee and was walking and standing around too much the first day. It would be really good if you have someone care for you for the first few days. I live by myself and every time I needed something is a painful struggle.

February 4, 2006 5:50 AM

I am 38 years old and never had any broken bones or injuries in my life! I completely tore my ACL playing basketball with friends in mid-January. My first doctor could barely read my MRI so I went and got a second opinion. My doc now is on staff with the Philadelphia Eagles as an Ortho. so I feel like I'm in good hands. I am in the presurgery physical therapy phase and expect that my surgery will be sometime in March. I'm not sure which remedy I will choose, my doctor will have a lot to do with that decision. Heather, I can relate to you most of all. I have 2 small children and I was so active with them all the time. I still keep up with them but I am most fearful of my recovery being laid up even a day and not being able to keep up with my kids. They have to be 2 of the most restless children in the world who never ever sit still and my days are LONG. I wish there was a way around the surgery but deep down I know I have to have it. My doc says I'll be able to return to all the things I loved to do, but I agree with the previous poster that in my mind there will always be a little bit of fear that it could happen again. I mean you just don't forget pain like that. God bless you all. I admire you so much.

February 4, 2006 8:52 AM

I just found I have get a second ACL surgery after my first 8 years ago. I've been fairly inactive the last couple of years as far high impact sports go, so I went to my ortho to see if I could ratchet things up a bit with the competetive sports. I was shocked to find out that not only is my ACL cadaver toast but my MCL was also torn. the ortho is going with the hamstrings this time. At this point I'm pretty scared. Half my knee acl cartlidge is gone from the first surgery and I'm not getting any younger at 34. The strange thing being I really haven't expericed any knee trauma to speak of since my surgery 8 years ago. ... Also I was wondering if any of you guys who have been in a similar situation put off surgery for a while? Say 6 months. I'm worried sugery might ruin some of existing job oppurtunities. Yes I know my priorities are screwed up!

February 4, 2006 8:54 AM

I just found I have get a second ACL surgery after my first 8 years ago. I've been fairly inactive the last couple of years as far high impact sports go, so I went to my ortho to see if I could ratchet things up a bit with the competetive sports. I was shocked to find out that not only is my ACL cadaver toast but my MCL is also torn. the ortho is going with the hammys this time. At this point I'm pretty scared. Half my knee acl cartlidge is gone from the first surgery and I'm not getting any younger at 34. The strange thing being I really haven't expericed any knee trauma to speak of since my surgery 8 years ago. ... Also I was wondering if any of you guys who have been in a similar situation put off surgery for a while? Say 6 months. I'm worried sugery might ruin some of existing job oppurtunities. Yes I know my priorities are screwed up!

February 5, 2006 6:56 AM

Hi everyone, I came across this website looking for info on ACL surgery and I have to admit it has calmed my fears a bit. I am 37 yrs old and live in Italy. I tore my ACL back in June playing indoor soccer. I have not yet had surgery for a number of reasons (new job, new baby, etc). I hope to have surgery in May using the hamstring autograft technique. My goal is to be able to start skiing again next season. My question is, do you feel that pre-op physio is worth it and when is the best time to start (1 month prior, 2 months, immediately?). Since tearing my ACL I have not practiced any sport or physical activity (other than walking). My knee is fairly unstable and when I bend it, it makes all kinds of grinding type sounds. Is pre-op physio more important if doing the hamstring technique? Are there exercises I can do at home, on my own to strengthen my knee? Is there a website that maybe illustrates the exercises? I will keep you posted on my progress. Best of luck to all of you! or "in bocca al lupo" as we say here in the Bel Paese! Gio'

February 5, 2006 5:26 PM

Hi guys..I'm having an ACL surgery day after tomorrow..I'm a bit scared,but I guess I have to go through this..I'm 27 years old and was an active football(soccer) player...Since I've got diagnosed with torn ACL last may,I instantly chose to go ahead with the operation,since that's the only way to be able to get back to sports.Since I'm a part of a team and my best friends are all football players,I am pretty informed about ACL injuries..Three of my friends allready did it,I'm doing it in 2 days,and another good friend of mine is due to operation in a month or so..The most important pre operative thing u have to remember is to train..train hard,harder than u ever did..Do a lot of leg-curl exercises,start with 2 sets of 15,add weight and another 2 sets of 15...U have to cry from muscle pain while u do them..Also train ur front leg muscle the same way,and do at least 20 to 30 minutes in bicycle..Remember ur recovery after the surgery,depends on ur work out before the surgery..The way the recovery works,is to build up the loss of muscle mass,which will happen after the operation by being the stronger the muscle is before the operation,lesser times it takes for it to gain previous strength and mass..And strength and mass u need for knee stability..I know i trained my legs a lot,and it wasn't easy..And I know the worst is yet to come,but I guess I must take one day at a time,and hopefully I will be back playing in 12 to 14 months of recovery.

Heather Miller
February 6, 2006 11:48 AM

To Begolli, your info on pre strengthening is helpfull. I was wondering what type of surgery you are having. Hamstring, cadaver or patella? My doctor has said nothing about pre-PT, I'm a little concerned. I have been doing a lot of stretching and squatting, but now I hear and feel the "popping" more than I did when I just walked. I hope you will have success with this one. Thank you Michelle for now I know I'm not the only one in this mommy situation. I will have my husband at home for the first week, but after that I'm on my own. I'm thinking I will end up doing way more than I should, not because I wont have some help, but just because, that's my job, and my little one won't understand why I can't just jump up and take care of his every whim. As for the other children I care for, I do have a 3 week period of other arrangements, but after that, who knows if I will be able to prepare 3 meals a day for 6 kids, while changing diapers on 3 of them. Good luck to you and all planning surgery and those in recovery.

Jean Hammock
February 8, 2006 3:20 PM

I probably tore my ACL 20 yrs ago snowskiing(no MRI),did physical therapy ilo surgery. I am 70 & an AVID tennis player (doublesonly). Over the yrs it occasionally "slipped" & an MRI 2 1/2 yrs ago confirmed the tear.I've been wearing a doctor prescribed brace since without incident until this week when it slipped doing tennis "drills" WITH my brace on. I'm wondering if I should go ahead & have ACL repair. The Dr. said it might leave my leg stiff, but I'm afraid that if I continue to injure it I might cause irreparable damage. Does anyone have advice? Does anyone know of someone my age having the surgery? I'm in great shape otherwise & very active.

February 9, 2006 9:53 AM

To Gio and Heather, I would recommend pre-op PT. It was helpful to me because my doctor doesn't talk much even when I asked questions. I was more comfortable discussion issues with my therapists. Also, I am going to the same therapists pre and post op, so she knows my body and problems before I had surgery. The exercises I did was different, I only had 10 days to do pre-op PT so we only did controlled muscle tightening and balance related exercies. She was very focused in getting my knee to bent and straight like my other knee. But if we had more time she would've moved onto weight training. Gio, check with your doctor, my doctor wanted 1 month of therapy before surgery.

February 10, 2006 11:16 AM

Thanks Heather and I wish you well too. I probably won't have surgery until late March and I guess I'm a little relieved. I want to get it over with, but I also want to get my knee straight. That is why I am in pre-op PT. I am understanding that if you go into surgery with a bent knee you will come out with a bent knee-for life! This is such a struggle for me I cannot believe it. I have no problem with the pain but I feel as though something is going to shift or pop and that scares me. I think anyone who experiences an ACL rupture is affected psychologically to some degree but I hope in time to beat this fear or re-injuring myself. To date, I don't think the pain has been bad at all and I am controlling it with some Alleve. I don't really have any swelling and no bruising. My knee looks so normal it's hard to believe it's such a mess in there! I can't wait to be able to run around with my little ones again. We should be grateful that this is all we have to deal with as so many others have medical issues so much more serious. At least we can be fixed. God bless all of you. Michelle

February 12, 2006 12:03 PM

I’m glad I found this site before having my ACL & meniscus & my MCL surgery, i go to meet my surgen next friday i injured myslef playing indoor soccer like 2 weeks ago n i can run on it n do everything on it the only problem is i cant bend it all the way myquestion is should i have surgery or no?

February 12, 2006 12:04 PM

I?m glad I found this site before having my ACL & meniscus & my MCL surgery, i go to meet my surgen next friday i injured myslef playing indoor soccer like 2 weeks ago n i can run on it n do everything on it the only problem is i cant bend it all the way myquestion is should i have surgery or no?

February 12, 2006 12:06 PM

I?m glad I found this site before having my ACL & meniscus & my MCL surgery, i go to meet my surgen next friday i injured myslef playing indoor soccer like 2 weeks ago n i can run on it n do everything on it the only problem is i cant bend it all the way myquestion is should i have surgery or no?

February 14, 2006 9:50 AM

14 Feb 06 Valentines Day!! My knee hurts like hell today. I tore my ACL Nov 28th in indoor soccer-no contact but I heard the dreaded loud pop. I am 44, and thought I was in good shape!! Anyway, the doctor wondered what he would do in my position, being 44 and not really interested in playing soccer again, etc.... He advised against the surgery for this reason. So I worked on the knee myself and actually it improved very quickly. I was able to play golf just last week, etc.. But, I had the occasional twitch of pain, etc.... As long as I was carefull, I thought it would be okay. Two days ago, 12 FEB, we had the big 10-12 inches of snow in DC., I took yesterday off to watch the kids (School out) and went to watch them go sledding. I started throwing snowballs, etc.... and just when I wasn't expecting it, I buckled over again and now it hurts like HE double hockey sticks, almost as bad as when it popped. I have decided with the help from you guys, that even at 44 and not really wanting to do serious sports, etc... that I can't trust my knee anymore. It could go out anytime, so I believe that the best thing to do is to have the surgery. I appreciate all your comments and frank discussion about the recovery, etc....My family is relocating to KY in 4 months, so I hope to be somewhat helpful during the move......or not.......... I just am not confident with having half the normal support in my knee. I hope all of you recover quickly. And perhaps I can post updates on my recovery as well. Drop me a line

February 15, 2006 8:04 AM

I tore my right ACL last week skiing. This will be my third ACL reconstruction in eight years, though the first on my right knee. Did I mention i'm only 25? I'm having a hard time with this psychologcally. I had always thought I was in good shape. I'm an expert skier and I hit the gym a few times a week. Its hard not to take this injury personally because it is indeed preventable. I also worry about time off from work and then commuting once I go back to work. I normally take the train and then walk. I won't be able to drive and even if I could, a garage pass is $300/month. I work in a corporate environment where the extent of sport-injury knowledge is golf-enduced hand arthritis. Its a pretty isolating feeling right now. I just need some words of encouragement from others who may be going through the same thing. Thanks everyone,

February 15, 2006 9:19 AM

Has anyone that received an acl donor ligament had any health problems afterwards? My 15 daughter had acl surgery 2 years ago, receiving a donor ligament & this past year has been in constant & various levels of pain from her thighs to her stomach, ribs, back, neck & now painful breathing, which despite many medical tests for many different diseases & infections, etc nothing has been found to be the cause. She's always been in good health & despite other sports related injuries this acl replacement was the most major & invasive procedure she's been through. Doctors can't find a cause for the pain & now I'm getting scared that perhaps the donor ligament may be the cause in some crazy way. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Ty

February 15, 2006 9:43 AM

Hello guys, I am still uncertain if I tore my ACL or how bad I tore it. I have been going to a Chiropractor because I thought he would help me but after 5 weeks it is just too much time and my knee hasn't gotten a lot better. I can't bend it much and when I try I feel tremendous pain on my left (inside part) of the knee. Do you guys have any advice for me? I'm afraid that you will all agree that I need surgery and should see a real Doctor but it is time to recover and get fix the problem. What are your suggestions? Thank you in advance!

February 15, 2006 1:27 PM

Amanda, does your job offer work from home options or maybe even flexible time option, where you work extended hours for 4 days and get a day off? I work in tech environment so I was able to work from home for few days before returning to work. For the first 6 days I didn't even think about driving. At 2 week after surgery I am still in agony after walking for more than 15 minutes. How far do you have to walk? Good luck though, I cannot imagine going through this again and you already suffered 3 times... Chris, I would say at least go see an Orthopedic. If you've been icing and the pain and swelling is not going away, something is wrong. Your doctor can't make you have surgery, it is your decision based on what you want to do in the future. I've had experiences with Chiropractors, they are great for back and neck pains but not much they can do about a torn ligament/tendon.

February 20, 2006 7:40 PM

I had ACL surgery on Feb14th and pain is tolerable. Met my doc today for post op and I am scheduled to start PT next Wed(14 days after surgery). Is that too late. I was advised to move my ankle till today and this morning I was asked to put some weight on the knee and try to move lwg up and down with the other leg supporting it underneath. Is this normal?? How long before I can walk without crutches??

February 24, 2006 8:18 AM

I've just got the results of an MRI following a "push over" accident on skis last week. Turns out I ripped out my ACL 17 years ago and have been skiing hard without it all this time. My big decision is whether to now have surgery to prevent further damage to the joint. My doctor says I don't need it as I've managed to ski hard and be active all this time. I'm 48 and live in a ski resort in Austria.

February 25, 2006 3:50 PM

Hi Pepper--glad to see that another 50+ is experiecing the mysteries of acl. I "exploded" my acl while downhill skiing. Went in to Dr 2 weeks post injury--had my mri last week and got the earlier diagnosis confirmed. I am a real driver adn I have been determined to rehab myself--back on treadmill for 45 minutes at a much slower than normal mph(3.2) and doing the bike for miles and miles. Using all the machines to help strenghten the hamstring and quads. I can walk without a limp after I get up and get it limbered up. I am an avid hiker adn skiier and the thought of not being carefree with activity really depresses me. I am also very hesitant to start the process of healing all over with no guarantee of normalcy. Have they given you any stats about prognosis with more mature patients?

February 25, 2006 3:51 PM

Hi Pepper--glad to see that another 50+ is experiecing the mysteries of acl. I "exploded" my acl while downhill skiing. Went in to Dr 2 weeks post injury--had my mri last week and got the earlier diagnosis confirmed. I am a real driver adn I have been determined to rehab myself--back on treadmill for 45 minutes at a much slower than normal mph(3.2) and doing the bike for miles and miles. Using all the machines to help strenghten the hamstring and quads. I can walk without a limp after I get up and get it limbered up. I am an avid hiker adn skiier and the thought of not being carefree with activity really depresses me. I am also very hesitant to start the process of healing all over with no guarantee of normalcy. Have they given you any stats about prognosis with more mature patients?

February 27, 2006 4:01 PM

Hi my name is carolyn and i torn my acl when i was 16 i was out of sports for 6 months then i got back in wearing a knee brace well at the beging of my senior year a meet a girl on the other team ( i was playing soccer) well she looked like she was able to run around and it looked like she didnt even realize the brace was on. well i got this new brace called AEBT alliance Functional knee brace. i love this brace my other one started to smell cause of all the sports i play. Well i wore this brace for a year and loved it trust me your daughter would have no pain wearing it (also a good plus there pain it any color you want lol) I will be honest with you i did tear my acl around nine months ago BUT it was not because of the brace my acl was not growing and my body was rejecting it. BUT i will tell u that the first time i tore my acl the pain was unbearable but the second time i tore it well i didnt even know it was the acl i thought was somehting miner but the doctor said and i believe also that the brace helped me b/c my ligement was rejected but i was still able to finnish my senior year sports. Also so advise from a person that tore her acl twice and is sitting on the sofa from a scope (clean out after the last surgery) that was just done 2 days ago exercise like crazy and dont push anything if your doctor says not to do something till a certain time listen to him. Hope your doing well during your recovery. If you have any questions please ask.

Wesley Fuller
March 1, 2006 6:58 PM

Hi my name is Wesley. A month and a half ago I tore my ACL while playing basketball. The day that this incident happened, I was in a lot of pain, but a week later the swelling was down, so I thought that I was okay. I attempted to play basketball again, and about 15 to 20 minutes into playing, I injured myself again. This time the pain was bearable, but it really hurt. I then went to see my Orthopedic, and X-rays were negative. I was sent off to get an MRI, and that's when it was discovered that my ACL was torn. I had my surgery last Thursday. My Dr. used a donor tendon, which at first I was a little worried about due to the research that I had done. It seemed that risk of infection was the only issue with using a tendon provided by a donor, but that scared me. The surgery was a major success according to my Dr. I had to stay in the hospital overnight so that I could get the Antibiotics neccessary to help prevent infection. The night after surgery was probably the worse night of my life. I had never had surgery, so staying overnight in a hospital with the knee mobilizier, and IV stuck in my right hand, and not to mention the most uncomfortable hospital bed in the world. IT WAS A NIGHTMARE. The day after surgery the Dr arranged for a Physical Therapist to met me at my house, with equipment that I could start using to help regain flexibility. I have a motion machine, which is pretty cool, because you can use this machine while your watching TV, or sleeping. It flexes your knee at a slow pase, and you preset it to flex you knee to the level in which your comfortable. I also have a little device that connects to my knee via four plastic strips. This device sends shock signals to may knee that according to the PT intecepts pain signals that are sent from my knee to my brain. WOW Technology has gotten out of control! I had my follow up appointment with my Dr. today, and I was told that I could start putting pressure on my knee. He also removed all of the bandages, and cleaned all of the medication that was on my knee. I will be going to see him again on next week to have the sticthes removed. I will continue to keep everyone posted. I am sharing my experience with everyone, because ACL tears are becoming a really common injury amounst people that engage in sports, and other physical activites. I did not know this until I did research online. The minute the Dr. said I had a torn ACL I thought that I would never be able to play basketball again, or if I was able to play I wouldn't be as fast or as athletic as I once was. Sites that provide personal testimonals are limited, and I would have loved hearing about someone else's experince prior to going in for surgery. Please feel free to post any questions, or email me with any questions at I am determained to recover at 100%.

Heather Miller
March 2, 2006 4:30 AM

My surgery was on 2/28, but because of a lot of bone bleeding and massive pain (the nerve block didn't work), they kept me overnight. I had the patellar bone-tendon-bone procedure. I hope the first few days go quickly, cause I can't get comfortable and the pain meds (which are much needed) keep me "loopy". Me doctor said we would talk about PT when I came back next week to get my stitches out. To all of you that have gone through this, I am proud of you. To all of you getting ready for surgery or just in the post-op stage...good luck!

March 6, 2006 10:29 AM

My son, 19, just had ACL reconstructive surgery 3-02-06. He tore the ACL and damaged the latteral(?) meniscus. He did this while snowboarding. He was a lift operator on Vail and unfortunately this happened. He is 5 days post-op and doing real well. He has a CPM and a cryo-cuff that he has been using since he got home from surgery. They used a graft from his patella. I am so glad to have found this site. It has really helped us. I cannot believe how many people tear the ACL. And in every possible way!!!! I know he has a way to go, but he starts PT next Monday and thats when the real work begins I guess!!! he just wants to be back in great snowboarding shape by the fall of the first flake!!!!! I guess if I have any questions I will post them here!!!!

julio olivares
March 7, 2006 12:20 AM

hello tomorrow 3/7/06 iam getting my acl fixed with a cadaver part iam really excited becuase finnaly after 10 years of pain itwill be fixed i wish i had found this website beafore but anyhow iam really lookingforward tahnk youvery much

March 8, 2006 7:06 PM

I tore my ACL. Should I get surgery?

March 10, 2006 11:59 AM

2nd ACL surgery on 2/28/06 and doing fine. Had 1st ACL surgery 11 years ago and worked well until something re-tore about 11 months ago. This surgery was much less painfull and I have good range of motion already! Will start PT next week, but I'm very excited 'cause this time it seems much better than last (less pain & swelling). 1st ACL used patellar tendon, this time used ham string. Hope progress continues as well as it has so far!!

March 10, 2006 9:28 PM

I am about to go through surgery. I thank everyone who took the time to post their experiences (it has really helped me). I am so scared. But I know I need to go through surgery to get (somewhat) back to normal. I have a 3 year old who has been anticipating her mommy getting better to play again with her (as we used to). I am using the patellar graft (my doc feels that it is the tightest of all). I heard that the 12th week benchmark, you are at your most fragile due to that the ligaments being at its most vulnerable state. My questions are: When do they allow you to begin bending your knee? When do you usually lose the crutches? When can you bathe (1 week or 2 weeks post surgery)? I have a few steps (maybe 3) in front of my door...will I have a problem after surgery? I am sorry to post such silly questions...I am so nervous!

March 11, 2006 10:06 AM

I had my ACL reconstruction and lateral mensicus repair on May 20 of last year after playing 5 games of my high school soccer. I begin rehabing a week after surgery and continued with a ACL Bridge program 8 months after the surgery to get me ready for next year's season. But then 4 weeks ago I went to the first open gym to get back in to the groove of things, and 20 mins into my knee felt weird and couldn't put at weight on it. I saw the my Dr. the next day and took a MRI right away. He called the next day and told me I tore my medial mensicus. I'll be missing all of my jr. year of soccer. If anyone has gone through anything similar leave one on my myspace, I could use the support. Feeling pretty down about not being able to play....and any questions I would be more than happy to answer!

March 12, 2006 1:27 PM

heya, kristin .. i can not say that i have done the same thing, but i have torn my acl, and now can not play in my basketball leage thats coming up, i know how you feel thats all i can say ..... i hope your glad to know that your not the only one missing out. And 1 question... afer your dr found out you had a torn acl how longdid it tkae for you to have the reconstruction? freya

tom fletcher
March 14, 2006 1:46 PM

Hello: I am 6 days post-op. had the cadaver tendon and a great dr. at the hospital for special surgury in manhatten. the knee hurts like heck but i think its the meds that are making me feel so tired and napping often. thank you for the web site and would love to speak with anyone who has questions. tom

March 22, 2006 12:20 PM

I tore my ACL while I was skiing on 1/8/06. I didn't know what had happened for a few weeks. But I was limping and then using crutches and my knee was very stiff and swollen. When I finally started PT about two weeks later, it was an amazing relief, I got back my range of motion and strength very quickly. Those exercises are really the best. The point is to strenghten all the muscles that support the knee, like the hip, thigh, hamstring, etc. I was walking normally without crutches in less than a week! An MRI revealed that I had torn my ACL. I opted to have surgery and had it done last week on 3/17/06. My motivation to have surgery was to prevent further damage. One friend of mine continued to play sports on his torn ACL and now has completely damaged his meniscus cartilage which is wearing away and one day will require knee replacement surgery. I also want to prevent arthritis. My doc was reccomending hamstring graft, but after talking to friends and family thier major advice was: go with a doc who only does knees and that is his specialty and someone who deals with sports injuries specifically. Two of them also had cadaver and one had hamstring and she still doesn't have full strength back after 5-6 years with working out on a regular basis. (Although she did have a non specialist doctor, who did a bad job overall). Anyhow I opted for the cadaver graft. Surgery went really well, thanks to God. I was too busy leading up to it to get nervous and then while waiting my husband and I just sat around joking and laughing. By the time they wheeled me in to put me under anesthesia I was in a good and calm mood. I woke up a hour and half later. I also opted for a "home pain pump" which slowly drips local anesthesia into your leg for the first couple days after surgery. That was really nice! I was clear headed, didn't feel pain, and kept me in a positive mood. However, be aware that before it runs out of the drip anesthesia--start your pain meds an hour before! I was in the worst agonizing pain for the following hour or so, since I popped a pill, but it takes 30-45 minutes to set in and I wasn't used to the pain by that point. After that I realized I really needed to be taking pain meds on a schedule before I start feeling pain, so now I am totally fine. Don't be scared by that, just take the pills ahead of pain arriving. I am now on day 5 and feeling pretty good. I am looking forward to my first post op PT appmt this Friday. But I have been doing exercises my doctor told me to do 3 times a day at home. This is important, b/c your muscles do wither away quickly. So, so far so good. I'm looking forward to the day I'm walking normally again and can run and jump without a worry, but until then i need to remember to take it easy. best of luck to all of you out there. a lot of the questions being asked on this blog can be answered by a good doctor. if you're not getting your questions answered by the doc, talk to his assistant or find another doctor. Take Care and Good Luck!

March 23, 2006 12:42 PM

HI .. had ACL surgery 7 weeks ago and my knee seems to be locking ocassionaly as I >walk . has anyone else had the same experience?

March 23, 2006 3:08 PM

So happy I found this site....I'm 44, had a non-contact complete tear of the ACL playing basketball 15 months ago...lots of advice from other players--don't do the surgery, ice before playing, you'll be OK--but am in constant pain now, both knee and lower back (from compensating). Hamstring autograft surgery planned for April 4, thanks for advice to exercise the knee PRIOR to surgery, and I feel a lot better about the "auto" option. My orthopedist pushed the choice on me, but I am much better with it now....will post again after surgery....

March 26, 2006 5:56 PM

I tore my ACL last december 28th and I decided to had the surgery. I had it on March 9, so I have 2 weeks after my surgery, I had pain the first 3 days after the surgery but then I used my medication before the pain arrives. I had a little big of swelling. I started my PT last week I can bend my knee 85degrees but I still feel a lot of presure inside my knee how long did it take to have that sensation away??? Any recomendatio at this time for me. Any questions let me know i will be glad to give feedback about my experience. Thanks

March 27, 2006 10:19 AM

I had ACL surgery in 1994. My knee feels week. I am wondering what it is like to tear it a second time and how you know if it has been torn again. Has anyone experienced a second tear?

March 27, 2006 7:41 PM

i tore my acl and shortly after cracked my femur, which tore away some cartilage. crutches for 6 weeks then comes post op rehab. anyone with a similar injury?

March 27, 2006 7:41 PM

i tore my acl and shortly after cracked my femur, which tore away some cartilage. crutches for 6 weeks then comes post op rehab. anyone with a similar injury?

Audrey Smith
March 29, 2006 8:32 AM

I've had an acl reconstruction on both knees within a year apart. I tore my first one playing basketball my freshmen year. And then when i came back the end of my soph. year i tore my other one. I played for a year and then this past January i re-tore my "first" knee again. Now that i have done it so many times i really am not scared of surgrey and i know what to expect from therapy. I've used both of my patella tendons to repair my other knees so my doc. said i have to use a cadiver graph. Thats what im scared about. I also am not sure if i should take up basketball after the 3rd time with this. Anyway all those out there wondering about it, it's pretty easy to recover from if you do your exercises, its just a slow process!!

April 3, 2006 10:31 AM

I had ACL reconstruction surgery on Feb 3 and I am 8 weeks past. The swelling is normal, I still have some around my kneecap and where they took my hamstring for the graft. I am doing therapy 3 times a week and I was on a bike 2 weeks after my surgery. I recommend trying to get on the bike as soon as possible - 90 degrees of bend is when I went on the bike. Make sure you ice the hell out of it as well, since the swelling will only disapate with regular ice treatments. From there do the leg exercises, so not slack. The sensation in my knee lasted until 5 weeks, after that it was good. Now I can feel my knee being tight around the graft (scar tissue is replacing the hamstring). I also recommend hydrotherapy - the pool has worked wonders for me.

Ed Donnelly
April 5, 2006 9:17 AM

I tore my acl,menniscus and mcl last year playing soccor trying to keep myself fit over the winter, now being 38 years old a firefighter, a motocross racer and a soccor player i thought i was in great shape for my age which i was until a 10pm game of soccor that i was late for and did not warm up for (big mistake),no prizes for guessing what happened next.3 weeks later i had arthrosopic surgery,while the surgeon was inside my knee he found i had torn my acl but the good news he managed to fix (sew) the mcl and meniscus to which both are just great now. Now for work reasons i decided to have my acl surgery 10 months later to which i am in the ninth week of recovery,the nine weeks have not been easy, reasons being my bad leg resembles a toothpick because i was too frightened to do any sports or exercise the past 10 months (even bigger mistake )my advise exercise..exercise.

April 5, 2006 10:58 AM

I tore my ACL about 6 years ago, and now years later it is causing me a lot of pain. Was never able to return to pre-injury participation level, but now it hurts to even walk down stairs, and do everyday activities. Also have very little stability. So I am scheduled to go for surgery on Monday for my ACl, and possible Meniscus, and was glad to read all of your stories. My question though is do any of you know anything about possible problems from leaving it this long? Also have read about some people feeling nauseated, and in a fog for weeks later from the general. Any ideas on how to curb this? Thanks for your thoughts?

April 6, 2006 9:51 PM

Hi Pam Just had my ACL reconstruction yesterday. About your question - you can ask your doctor for a spinal block instead of general anestesia. That's what I had and it was a great experience (given the circumstances :)). You can also watch your surgery if you do not wish to be sedated..

April 7, 2006 1:47 PM

I recently tore my acl and I am now in the prehab program of getting strength back into my knee before the actual surgery which is in about 7 weeks. I think that i am mostly over the jitters about this. I've started doing the hamstring curls, the alphabit, hamstring and quadricep set. Well time to go spend some quaity time with the bike. How long did you wear your knee immbolizer after the initail tear?

April 7, 2006 9:52 PM

Pam If you have concerns about general anestesia you can opt for a spinal block. That's what I had 2 days ago for my ACL reconstruction. Mixed feelings about being able to watch your own surgery, but a great experience overall! Good luck.

April 9, 2006 1:39 PM

Any comments (pros or cons) concerning the use of the achilles tendon as opposed to the anterior Tibial tendon for a acl allograph.

April 23, 2006 1:36 PM

Hi I hurt my knee around three weeks ago in a game of badminton. X-rays didn't show anything and the doc. suspects a ACL tear. Will be getting an MRI done next week. Am on a immobilizer since then. it's getting better and I can limp without it now using a brace. Needed to know if it's good to try and start using the leg a little bit (like stretching etc) as the nurse suggested or keep it immobilized for recovery. Also, what are my options. This is the fourth week and I can neither bend nor keep my leg straight. I am really scared.

April 25, 2006 6:10 PM

I tore my acl January 11, 2005. I had surgery Feb. 8, 2005. It's been a little over a year and I'm trying to play basketball in college. Problem is, I lost so much weight after surgery and my knee is still weak. Are there any exercises I can do to regain muscle in my knee and gain some of my quickness back like when I cut or pivot?

April 25, 2006 9:18 PM

Hi! My 13y.o. has a "high grade tear" on her left knee. The first "Doc." I dodn't think I would even take my dog to :) I ended up taking her to a REAL O.S. Her growth plates are still open so...surg. in not an option yet. I have been researching the pro's and con's of the diff. grafts. i don't like the allo graft idea (sterilling CAN cause the donor tissue to loose it's streghth) Any thoughts on what would be best (using her own)??? My other delema is I have a lot of knee pain (both). I had an MRI done on one knee about three years ago. They told me I have an old tear in the ?????? ligament. And that was it, end of discussion. To give you a clue...(About 5-6 years ago) I was riding a (stand up) jetski for a few hours (great stress reliver) But I was on my knees the whole time. By the time I was done my knees were KILLING!! I had a VERY hard time walking to my car without looking drunk. I spoke with my daughter's OS about my knee also, he went on to show me his knees :) both had acl tears but only one was fixed. He showed that w/ the 1 not fixed he could easily push the shin forward from the knee (not a good thing!). I got home and tried this. If we would of had a contest I would have won by a long shot:( .... Has anyone had an acl tear but not have it fix for 5 or more years? Pro's and con's? Please feel free to email me: please mention acl in the subject. Thank you, Bendy P.S. Sorry it's suck a long post

kim blessitt
April 28, 2006 6:56 AM

my daughter had her acl replaced 1/16/06 she is a softball player & shot puter she started back playing ball in april and is 34'7'' in shot 2'6" off her pr.It cost $39500.00 to have her outpatent acl surgery here in kentucky. I would like to hear from some others about how much their surgery cost cant help feel that I am being taken advantage of because we do not have insurance.

April 28, 2006 1:31 PM

Hi Kim, I tore my acl on 2/5/2006 and had surgery on 3/7/2006 and I do not have health insurance either. From the hospital to phy. therapy altogether my surgery will have cost about $25000.00, my surgery was outpatient (my Dr. put a 23hr hold, so i stayed over night in the hospital but was billed outpatient) I reside in Oregon. I'm sure alot of stuff factors into how much it ends up being depending on the person. I'm doing good now except for the huge scars I have as the Dr. was going to use my hamstring but it was to small so he had to cut me again for the patella. I have to say it was worth the $'s quailty of life.

April 29, 2006 4:32 AM

Hey Ned, I have exactly the same case as you! 23/3/06 i was playing badminton AND my knee just popped... i was quite surprised as it is a non-contact sport like soccer or rugby... my knee felt loose later... then later, i fell again and i could not bend it properly and could not get full extension. x-ray showed no broken bones... but MRI showed a torn meniscus a little out of place, which resulted in a limited range of bending or extension... ACL was torn which results in instability. I had an op on 31/3/06 to sew the meniscus back in place and i could bend my leg from (0-90deg) ... also I could walk with crutches and a brace. Would be having my ACL reconstruction 1.5 weeks later... you may wish to email me at to find out more. Take care Ruth

May 2, 2006 10:34 AM

I had ACL surgery April 27, 2006. I am in my 40's and was struck by a snowboarder while skiing. I spent many hours at the gym and at home strenght training/stretching. I think it really helped! My surgery went great, although I threw up a couple of times in the recovery room. I took a celebrex before I went to bed that night and slept great. I can bend it fairly well, and start PT in a few days. I used a cadaver ACL since I am not a spring chicken and I think my recovery will be fast! It was not near as bad as I thought it was going to be.

May 2, 2006 1:37 PM

I had ACL reconstructive surgery done 3/23/06. Today is 5/02/06 and my OS still has me using crutches. He told me at first he recommended crutches for 6 wks. I had to get an MRI done 2weeks ago cause my knee "popped" and started hurting and swelling really bad. The MRI showed a lot of fluid around my knee and a small crack at the bottom of one of the screws in my knee holding the graft. My OS said it would heal itself with no weight on my knee and he had me doing that already cause of my knee swelling so much and the pain I'm still having. My question to anyone, Was you on crutches this long? I go back to see my OS 5/18/06 and he said I'll start my Physical Therapy then and will have P.T for 2-3 months. I've been doing small non-weight bearing exercises and can bend my knee some. Also, did anyone have a lot of pain inside your knee this long after the surgery. Anytime I'm up I'm using crutches so it's not any weight on it. Sorry it's long and Thanks in Advance.

May 4, 2006 9:43 AM

I had reconstruction (hamstring) surgery on 4/6/06. I am doing PT but had to put a hold on it due to an infection per the discovery of my primary care doctor. I really never used crutches because I could get around pretty good after the surgery. I just started wearing a knee brace from time to time. My question to anyone is how long did it take to get the swelling under control?

May 4, 2006 4:51 PM

i'm 15 and I tore my ACL playing soccer, i;m trying to decide which is better, cadaver graft or my own hamstring. i'm sorta leaning towards cadaver. please give me feedback ASAP. -alexis

May 6, 2006 1:44 PM

I'm 15 and I had a soccer game last sunday and a girl kicked my right above my knee cap. My knee cap popped and ever since i have been limping. My leg is 50 times as swollen as my left one and i am in alot of pain. It is now satirday and my dad said its nothing because he doesnt want to pay for X-rays. what is wrong with my leg!

May 7, 2006 7:27 PM

Alexis: you should consult with your doc. I used a cadaver replacement because I'm over 40 and my doc said my recovery would be quicker. I also know of a 20 yr. old gal who is a ski racer and had an ACL replacement this February using a cadaver ligament and she is getting ready for ski camp this summer! Her doc (US ski team) gave her the choices and they went with the cadaver. I'm doing REAL a little over a week ago and I have a little pain (comparible to bad cramps) that I will be happy to get rid of. I'm supposed to place only 50% weight on my "bad" leg, but will be using it "all the way" in about 5 days. My range of motion is really good! My dog jumped up against my knee and it didn't hurt or anything. I hope you do fine whatever method you choose! Good luck.

Jeff Moore
May 8, 2006 8:34 AM

I tore my ACL on 4.26.06 after someone fell on my leg at a concert. I have a huge trip planned this summer & don't want to miss that so I'm debating on whether to do the surgery now or to wait until the fall. All I want to do in the end is be able to snowboard again. Any chance that I'll be in shape for the winter season if I do the surgery now? Or should I just cut my losses & wait till the next year. Hmmm.... wow, this really sucks...

Jeff Moore
May 8, 2006 8:36 AM

I tore my ACL on 4.26.06 after someone fell on my leg at a concert. I have a huge trip planned this summer & don't want to miss that so I'm debating on whether to do the surgery now or to wait until the fall. All I want to do in the end is be able to snowboard again. Any chance that I'll be in shape for the winter season if I do the surgery now? Or should I just cut my losses & wait till the next year. Hmmm.... wow, this really sucks...

Chris Melton
May 9, 2006 9:32 AM

Jeff: I tore my acl on April 20 and am having a reconstruction with patellar graft on May 24. My orthopedist is a sportmedicine specialist and has operated on many college and professional athletes. He says the minimum recovery time to be able to stress the knee with something like skiing or snowboarding would be 9 months with many people taking as long as a year. I would go ahead and take the trip, as it is highly unlikey you would be able to snowboard next season. I had the same question of my orthopedist as we ski in the spring several times a year and he said to sit out next season.

Annie Lo
May 9, 2006 2:44 PM

Jeff...I tore my ACl and meniscus on the same day! I just have my surgery yesterday, the 8th. If you get the surgery in may, and work your butt off in rehab and do everything the dr tells you, you'll be ready in the winter no doubt..You have to have a positive outlook and be ready to work hard...also be confident in yourself! My leg is number from the groin to the front of my knee and I couldn't move it on my own even this morning...but i pushed myself to get myself into bed on my confident and good luck! I'm tryin to get back to my fall season!

May 12, 2006 8:48 AM

I tore my acl on February 10, 2006 i am no about 3 ,months out of surgery i used to play football but i am very scared that i will just go out there and tear it again if anyone would just give me some advice on wether or not to play again it would really help me i played on the line so my leg strenght is very important. Does anyone know if the brace actually helps you enough to keep it from happening again please help me if you can

May 19, 2006 4:26 PM

I had ACL surgery exactly 3 weeks ago, and my recovery has been terrific! My first 2 phys. therapy sessions were tough (pure hell) but now my range of motion is great, and I can walk my dog on her usual 3.5 mile route, and do some chores around the ranch. I'm off the meds, and I think my vacation is about over........There is no doubt I will be skiing by late December.

May 20, 2006 6:28 AM

Hi there, i tore my acl last march 25,2006 during a badminton tournament.I have gone to 4 doctors and 2 said yes-go ahead and have reconstruction and the other 2 said no to surgery.I'm really confuse. Now, I'm into rehab and see in a month or so if surgery is really needed. How long is the surgery? And how many weeks should i use the crutches? And how many weeks til i get back to my old competetive form? As of now, there are no pain signs on my knees. do a lot of one knee semi-squat and lunges.

May 20, 2006 7:46 PM

hi everyone, i just had ma surgery four days ago. the pain wasnt as bad as i thought it would be. i was so scared about the pain, that i took lot of pain killers which made me really lightheaded and drowsy. the pain is almost gone right now. still some pain when i move it. however, the bad thing is that i cannot do any straight leg raise. i dont know why i cant but everytime i try to raise ma leg straight into the air, it hurts and bottom of my leg wouldn't not leave the ground. so i just end up bending ma knee a lot. also the CPM machine is reallly painful. i didnt expect it to be this hard to keep ma knee moving all the time. the therapist said to have ma knee in the CPM machine for six hours. i can only manage three right now. however, i'm determined to work hard. if any esle had any trouble with the straight leg raise, can you let me know because im kind of scared that this isn't normal. thanks and goodluck to all.

May 22, 2006 5:11 PM

I tore my Acl back in Dec 2005. I waited until Feb 1 to actually have the surgery. At that time I did not have full range of motion I think it was at about 120 but the doctor wanted to do the surgery due to the length of time. I am now at 16 weeks and have been going to physical therapy 3 times a week and still do not have my range of motion back. I am extremely active and have done everything that I have been told to do from day one. I have read that about 10% of patients need a second surgery. I have gone back to the doctor and he keeps saying let's wait alittle longer. I know this type of injury takes a long time to recover from but by now I should have my range of motion almost back. I think I am still at about 120-125. Any suggestions on how long I should wait before I get a second opinion. I have been given the ok by the PT to start running which I have but it's pretty hard without my rom. Just wondering if you have had others in this situation. Thanks

May 23, 2006 5:21 AM

i tore my acl at end of 2005 while playing basketball but didnt know about it until much later,my knee now has no pain and has full range of motion accept for the feeling of looseness in my knee, i am going surgery on june only 17 and would wish to play high-impact sports in the future..does anybody know when i can start playing basketball???cuz i cant live without it...

May 24, 2006 8:27 AM

hi!! Terrence It seems that we had the same incident of tearing our own acls. I too tore my acl while playing basket ball. You know, i didn't hear any sound (bob..)that what most of them say when one tear his or her ACL. Did you hear such kind of sound from your knee, and did your knee swell up immediately after tearing your Acl?? As for me i didn't hear neither bob nor my knee swelled up. Innitially I thought it was just a minor and went on to play football and others, i experienced certain sharp pain in my knee, so i stopped playing for one ad half year, but untill recently (1st march 2006) i underwent acl surgery. So now it is almost three months, but the leg on which i had surgery has lost muscle, therefore it is quite unconfortable while walking. Ok, hope i will get your reply soon. Byeeee

May 24, 2006 11:14 AM

My daughter Mindy had an ACL reconstruction on October 18, 2005 after rupturing her ACL playing basketball during soccer season. She was out for the entire basketball season but was able to play lacrosse. In the last minute of the last lacrosse game she torn the ACL on her other knee. (two days age) The is schedule for surgery next week. This will be her senior year in high school and she is totally discouraged. Any advice?????

May 26, 2006 10:00 AM

Dudka: my doc told me NOT to do any straight leg raises for awhile...... Maybe ask your PT about it, but possibly it is not a good idea to attempt them for a few weeks.

May 28, 2006 4:39 PM

Dudka.... If you had a patellar graft, you won't be able to do straight leg raises for a while. When they puncture your kneecap to harvest the graft, your quad muscle shuts down. It will take some time for it to turn itself back on. Good luck with it all!

May 31, 2006 9:39 PM

i tore my acl at the beginning of my senior year (this year) before my final and much anticipated year of vb and bball seasons...i had my reconstruction surgery and played in my first bball game after 4 and a half months...i missed my entire vb season and around half of the bball season but i came back, helped our team into the section championship game and recieved all conferece...all of the hard work dedication payed off...i think the earliest anyones going to clear you is 4 months and thats pretty early..also, sports were my life but now looking back on the year, i realized that sports are fun and provide great expereinces but they are not everything. there's so much more to life than them, just have fun and remember that sports are not life and should not control your happiness. i had the most amazing year of my life and a lot of the memories don't even include my sports. but i know how discouring it is and what a difficult situation it is...just keep pushing yourself and remain positive. best of luck lizz

June 1, 2006 1:53 PM

I read alot of these entries before and after my ACL surgery....and nowhere did anyone mention this PAIN I am experiencing. I had an allograft ACL recosntruction and a medial meniscus repair exactly 1 week ago. I feel a "rush" in my leg whenever I don't have it elevated or try to walk on it (with crutches). It is I guess a rush of blood to my foot and the foot turns reddish. It is extremely painful and the feeling stays until I elevate it again. Has anyone experienced this?

June 2, 2006 6:37 PM

Adrienne: Can you get some Celebrex from your doctor? My surgeon only prescribed some painkillers, but I had some Celebrex in the drawer (my mom's for her arthritis) and it worked GREAT! I heard from some of the other folks at my PT's office that Vioxx was good, too, until they took it off the market. These are prescription anti-inflamatories.... Maybe ask for it. I only had to use it for a few days and it really helped the pain, which was mostly from the inflamation.

June 4, 2006 4:28 PM

I am 7 weeks post -op and everything is going well...0-130 flex but I have water on my knee joint and it is sometimes painfull to walk. they say it will go away and I hope they are right. I have developed this just about two weeks ago when they put me on a more aggresive PT protacal. I did have swelling right after surgery but that went away after a few weeks. This is complete different because it seems like it is right in the joint. will it go away in time????

June 5, 2006 9:29 AM

Hi. I had ACL surgery in April and I'm still in PT. This year would have been my 3rd year playing AAU ball, but I'm out this year, my junior year. So, I only have one more year to try to get a scholarship to play ball in College next year. It's been a difficult journey, but I know all of my hard work and diligence will pay off sooner or later. Hang in there!!! Hannah

June 6, 2006 11:09 PM

Hi! I had an ACL surgery May last year. I tore my ACL from skiing accident. Before the surgery I was assured that after the process, my knee will be as good as new. Had the surgery, experienced all the pains and agony post op, had physio therapy until Dec last year. Before I stopped going to the physiotherapy I asked my therapist if it's ok for me to go back to my usual sports activities (ie. running & tennis) and he said yes, and it looks like there is no need for me to go and see him anymore for more therapy so I did went back to playing tennis again. I saw my surgeon then and told him what the therapist told me. Dr told me to see him again after 6 months for follow up. Last May I got a call from doctor's office informing me of my follow up check up. It was an opportunity for me to ask the doctor as well about the swelling, soreness and immobility of my knee so I went. My surgeon then examined my knee, moved and twisted it around a bit and told me "i'm sorry, i'm afraid you need another surgery". That moment, I felt the world has ended. I was shocked! I asked him why and he said it's graft failure and it does happen that surgery could fail and I was unfortunate that I was one of the 10% of those unsuccessful ones. But then, they asked me to start on my physio again. Is this normal? Can I actually have therapy if I was diagnosed of a possible another surgery? There is always pain in my knee, specially around the knee cap and there's tightness internally specially when the weather is hot and very humid. Is this any sympton of graft failure? Appreciate hearing from anyone who's expert.

June 6, 2006 11:10 PM

Hi! I had an ACL surgery May last year. I tore my ACL from skiing accident. Before the surgery I was assured that after the process, my knee will be as good as new. Had the surgery, experienced all the pains and agony post op, had physio therapy until Dec last year. Before I stopped going to the physiotherapy I asked my therapist if it's ok for me to go back to my usual sports activities (ie. running & tennis) and he said yes, and it looks like there is no need for me to go and see him anymore for more therapy so I did went back to playing tennis again. I saw my surgeon then and told him what the therapist told me. Dr told me to see him again after 6 months for follow up. Last May I got a call from doctor's office informing me of my follow up check up. It was an opportunity for me to ask the doctor as well about the swelling, soreness and immobility of my knee so I went. My surgeon then examined my knee, moved and twisted it around a bit and told me "i'm sorry, i'm afraid you need another surgery". That moment, I felt the world has ended. I was shocked! I asked him why and he said it's graft failure and it does happen that surgery could fail and I was unfortunate that I was one of the 10% of those unsuccessful ones. But then, they asked me to start on my physio again. Is this normal? Can I actually have therapy if I was diagnosed of a possible another surgery? There is always pain in my knee, specially around the knee cap and there's tightness internally specially when the weather is hot and very humid. Is this any sympton of graft failure? Appreciate hearing from anyone who's expert.

June 7, 2006 3:22 AM

June 7th, Had ACL surgery May 31...everything was going well, no bad pain until yesterday when my dog jumped up on the couch unexpectedly landing 2 paws directly on kneecap. She weighs 40 pounds and it felt like the end of the world. I took pain meds all night and will talk with the PT guy today, Doctor tomarrow. Hoping no damage done just irriatation. I can bend it 95 degrees and do my leg lifts okay..but feels very tight, guess from swelling?

June 7, 2006 3:23 AM

June 7th, Had ACL surgery May 31...everything was going well, no bad pain until yesterday when my dog jumped up on the couch unexpectedly landing 2 paws directly on kneecap. She weighs 40 pounds and it felt like the end of the world. I took pain meds all night and will talk with the PT guy today, Doctor tomarrow. Hoping no damage done just irriatation. I can bend it 95 degrees and do my leg lifts okay..but feels very tight, guess from swelling?

June 7, 2006 5:12 AM

My son 15, has ACL and meniscus surgery in Sept of 05 after a football injury. He missed all of his freshman basketball season and returned to play baseball, he had a great season and has continued in to summer baseball. His high school starts basketball summer league today and he is going. His father and I are scared to death he will hurt his knee again but don't want to tell him our fears. Would like to hear from someone who went back to basketball after this surgery.....

June 11, 2006 6:37 PM

I have been active all my life, having come from a boxing family. So I started HEAVILY working out with weights in my basement while raising my little sons. I got to bodybuilding level, with NO supplements and just enjoyed being in that kind of shape at the age of 47. One think led to another, I became extremely active with my sons' programs and was participating in a parent-camp and totally ruptured my ACL. It was so bad and the surgery of reconstruction they do now was not being done in my area. My doctor sewed the ACL together and within days I was on physical Therapy. I hated the therapy as it wasn't challenging enough for me. The doctor gave me a year of total rehab, but I left the surgery and developed my own program with his permission (recognizing my knowledge in the fitness field). Within 5 WEEKS I was 100%, total range of motion and total recoop of my quads. When I went into get my Ronjoy brace the therapist asked who was the patient and my doctor proudly put his arm around me and said it was me! Anyway, I ended up opening and running my own gym and raising my sons there. The ONE son may be going professional in the field of soccer soon and they were always a step ahead of other athletes because of their fitness knowledge. I stress that because it IS up to YOU to decide how long your rehab is going to last. AND, I truly believe it's ALL mental. My son, the one who wants to go pro, has NOW had 3 surgeries - one on his hip (he's an amazing goalkeeper), one thermal shrinkage procedure (a procedure normally done on shoulders, but because the tears in the ACL were vertical and more of a stretch than tears, the doctor did the procedure) and it was awesome, THEN, he totally ruptured the same ACL a few years later, had total reconstruction (screws and all) and was in the net in 5 months performing 100% and was back as the starting keeper. Again, he is EXTREMELY mentally strong and determined and of course HAD to beat MOM's all time record, LOL. BUT, his surgery involved much more than mine. My knee is still intact at the age of 60, although I have arthritis in IT, but in most joints. I've always been very hard on my body competively and it has caused damage. But, both boys stay in shape and both are soccer players, so at the very least we set examples for our kids, and BEST of all can be out there playing WITH them as well. GOOD luck to all and I just wanted you to know you CAN do it!!! FAITH, DETERMINATION, MOTIVATION and, of course a great doctor helps!!!! God bless and good luck to you all. Oh right now I'm going through foot surgery and a real nightmare (feet are the worst). It seems I ruptured completely the foot muscle and tissue around it by let pressing 500-600 pounds and worst of all going up on my toes and doing toe raises at that weight. I'm not sure if my foot will ever be right again. I got the injury over 10 years ago and ran my business, did 4-riser aerobics on the injured foot, and now at 60 it because SO deformed and swollen I am forced to face this. A GOOD foot and ankle doctor is all but impossible to find here in the Wash. D.C. area. I've had one surgery and it's worse now than ever and doctors don't seem to understnad that you have horrible pain and don't want to help. Like, they do the surgery and magically you're cured and out of pain. The pain is unbearable, that comeing from a very strong woman. Again, good luck and I'm open to any advice - ONE being to find a lawyer.

June 11, 2006 6:39 PM

I'm sorry - I mean to say that I left the Therapy, as it wasn't ENOUGH for me - sorry for that.

June 12, 2006 4:12 PM

Ann: You are super woman, but I think you need a good martini.

June 14, 2006 7:57 PM

Jam.. I'm also having tightness and lots of cracking, grinding, and popping. Sometimes when I do leg extensions (no weight), it hurts like crazy. I feel a weird grind, popping when I rotate. I had my surgery in March of this year. I think that I have some cartlige (sp?) damage. My MRI said that I tore my meniscus, my gut instinct says I tore it. My Dr. said he saw no damage. Could he have missed it??? I also had ACL recon and meniscus repair 16 years ago...on the other knee. This is my 4th knee surgery, but my first on my right knee. I need advice. My DR. put me on therapy for 4 more weeks. He thinks that will cure the pain. I think I've got torn meniscus.....Do I seek another opinion???

June 15, 2006 5:09 AM

hi everybody.....i am 40 yrs.... very active..i tore my acl n meniscus of my left knee on may 3rd ..doing taekwondo....i was suppose to take a trip to india ..on june 25th...but am postponing it ...going in for surgery on june 22....i am not at all scared of the surgery...infact looking forward for i wanna get back to normal..asap...i am just scared of the first week after the surgery mostly every body has said its really sooo thankful to all of u for posting ur comments and encouraging people like us..who r going to go thru wot all u went thru and on the whole i have concluded tht if u follow wot ur doc n ur PT says u can recover faster n going to try n do wot all they say...good luck to every body....

June 20, 2006 4:23 PM

Glad to see that so many of you have the same problems as I do. The cracking, popping, odd pain during normal exercises etc. I'm a 27yr old Staff Sergeant in the USMC and I tore my ACL last November. Unlucky or lucky, not sure of which one was a complete tear with no meniscus damage at FEB 1st was the reconstruction and it was the patella tendon/patella graph vice the hamstring(do they do this anymore?). Just coming off of 2 successful Operation Enduring and Iraqi Freedom tours, I was in the best shape of my life. The odd thing I have to worry about, is the Marine Corps has a certain way of doing things, and I was wondering if any of you run, sprint, etc. I've got about two months left and I just started running today. My quadricep seems to want to take its sweet time in recouping. WHAT GOOD EXERCISES ARE THERE FOR THOSE OF US RECOVERING FROM SUCH A SURGERY? PLEASE HELP! Thanks and good luck to all. God Bless, Tim SSgt/USMC

June 21, 2006 11:54 AM

Tim: do a lot of 1/2 squats (to start) and jumping rope. Ride a bike for 1/2 hour/day. Refrain from anything that might cause your knee to twist, though. Increase your weight on the squats know what to do.

June 21, 2006 11:59 AM

TIM: p.s. Thanks for serving your country!

June 24, 2006 12:22 AM

is there anyone who can help me determine which surgeon i should choose when it comes to acl reconstruction? how do you know who is the best one to perform it? thanks for your replies. nenad curic

June 25, 2006 11:22 AM

I tore my acl june 6 of this year. MRI indicated a 95 percent tear. I was able to walk off the court and had no pain. My knee doesnt feel unstable but It pops on full extension. I do have a bone contusion with some swelling. THey tested my knee to determine laxity with a machine. There was a 4 mm difference. The surgeon thought that was acceptable and doesnt think surgery will be of benefit. Any suggestions? Also whats up with the popping on full extension? Greatly appreciate any advise.

June 29, 2006 2:38 PM

Mike... If you wait, you will more than likely tear the rest.....I did with my first..

July 7, 2006 5:27 AM

I have had three (3) scopes on my left knee and one on my right knee. I keep getting told before surgery that my ACL is torn and my MCL also. They go in and find out my cartlidge is disappearing and I need to have it replaced or a total knee replacement. But since I am only 33 years old. They want do total replacement. I even went ot a speciallist. He said the same. And I am not sure about cadvar cartlidge. Since there is a small chance I could catch a diese from it. But now depression has set in because I can't do things I use to and my job is also becoming a problem. I would like some ones oppion if the have had the cadvar cartlidge put in. Thank You.

Teresa Hilton
July 7, 2006 5:28 AM

I have had three (3) scopes on my left knee and one on my right knee. I keep getting told before surgery that my ACL is torn and my MCL also. They go in and find out my cartlidge is disappearing and I need to have it replaced or a total knee replacement. But since I am only 33 years old. They want do total replacement. I even went ot a speciallist. He said the same. And I am not sure about cadvar cartlidge. Since there is a small chance I could catch a diese from it. But now depression has set in because I can't do things I use to and my job is also becoming a problem. I would like some ones oppion if the have had the cadvar cartlidge put in. Thank You.

July 7, 2006 9:29 PM

Hi. My name is Jessica. I am 18 years old. Through the past year and a half I've been going through alot of knee injuries. In Sept. 2005, I stretched my MCL. In Dec. 2005, I re-injured it. Then in Feb. 2006, my knee cap started to dislocate. I've been in and out of therapy and doctors offices. Now I recently found out that my ACL is torn and that I will need surgery. I see a specialist in about 2 weeks. I am very nervous. I found your page on the internet. Is there any advice that you can give me to give me a heads up and what not. I would really appreciate it. Thank you very much.

July 9, 2006 3:06 PM

Ok, so I tore my ACL back in March. I had the surgery on May 30th and I have been doing really well. I was at Space Camp July 2nd the the 7th, so a little over a month after my surgery. I was sitting down like I did normally when I heard a really loud cracking noise on the right side of my knee. Everything still feels the same though. Whats it feel like if your graft fails? I had a patellar graft with screws.

Jamie Henderson
July 13, 2006 2:33 PM

ACL replacement surgery in December 2005 - very cool with spinal anaesthetic and being able to watch the surgery on TV. We're now in July 2006 and I'm about to go back to my second full contact rugby practice - I intend to be playing again in about two weeks. Jessica, don't be scared - you're young and you have the best chances for recovery, otherwise the surgeons wouldn't recommend it. the wierdest thing about the whole experience (and by far the most painful) was not being able to go the bathroom for a few hours after the surery as the anaesthetic wore off... :). 6 - 9 months of slow and steady exercise and everything should be fine.

July 20, 2006 12:59 AM

hi there i have had an acl and mcl and and cartlidge removed i suffer from depression etc my left knee cant support the right knee with crutches so have aid of wheelchair to help get around a week now on i am am still struggling walking but i know i have done the hardest thing that is go through the op so keep your chin up and think about what u can achieve when u have recovered i am 37 i played rugby for 7 years anf damaged both knees suspected cartlidge on left knee but thanks to the chair i am still mobile it is going to be worth it when recovered stitches out next week starting to walk a little chin up

July 20, 2006 9:00 PM

Hi, My name is Logan. I am 17 years old and i had reconstructive surgrey on my ACL and MCL, both of which i tore playing football in May. I had surgrey one week after my injury. Its been 2 months and i am already jogging some. The worst part of the whole experience for me has been the first 2-3 weeks when all i could do was lay around the house with my leg in a CPM machine for 6 hours a day. If there is any advice i could give it would be to do exactly what your therapist says no matter how bad it hurts. I promise, it makes such a huge difference. For anyone wondering if they should have surgrey or not, i would say deffinantly. Nothing about it is fun, but once its over, your knee will probably be much stronger than it was before you injured it. I am expected to be back on the field by mid september, which means my recovery has been somewhat faster than normal. It hasnt just happned like this though, i had to fight through some very painfull stuff for a while, but now, im so glad i did. I hope this helps, good luck to anyone else going through this. It will get better, i promise!

July 22, 2006 8:19 PM

After having her acl replaced with a donor graft this past year, my daughter's surgeon has insisted she always wear a customized knee brace by DonJoy for all athlectic activity. Though she saids she's ok wearing the brace it is very cumbersome & bulky, and it does slow her speed & agility during play. My husband would love to tell her to play without it, but I'm so afraid of her tearing it again. Is anyone else wearing any type of brace ? Or have you had good success without one? I'm confused because her surgeon said the replacement is stronger than her original acl but won't give me a clear answer whether it's ok to try to play without it. Have seen many other acl replacement players ( professionals included) playing with a much smaller brace or nothing at all. CAn anyone share with me your experiences with or without sport braces after surgery.thanks

July 23, 2006 3:01 PM

hey jessica...dont worry at all..acl surgery is not bad at all..i tore my acl on may 2nd 06..had it reconstructed on june 22nd i am a lil over a month...u just need to have a lot of patience thts ur physical therapy and u will b ok...there is no pain after the surgery at all..just take ur pain killers around the clock for d first few days..the day after d surgery was bad for me coz of the anesthesia wearing off my body gave me lots of nausea...ask doc if he can prescribe u something for it..incase u need it...u r very young so ur recovery should b fine...

July 23, 2006 4:43 PM

I'm 14, and I tore 40% of my acl and also tore my lateral and medial meniscus during my soccer game on 5/7/06. I was going full speed and after i rapidly changed direction i heard a loud popping sound in my right knee and two softer snaps after that. After visiting the orthopedist and doing some moderate physical therapy pre-op, i got arthoscopic surgery done on 6/27/06. During the surgery they unlocked my knee by fixing my bucket-handle tear in my meniscus' and did something called thermal shrinking to the remaining part of my acl. It's been almost a month and it is still a little swollen and i can only bend it to about 95 degrees and extend it to -3 degrees straight (as told by my physical therapist), but that is much better than before i got the surgery. Physical therapy is pretty painful but i know it will be worth it. Getting the knee straight is the most important part of getting your motion back. My orthopedist says i'll be off crutches in about two weeks and he plans on letting me play soccer again just in time for the fall season (with a custom brace), but he says if i can't pivot, twist, or turn i should get the acl reconstructive surgery. Overall, i'm doing better each day.

July 25, 2006 4:56 PM

I had ACL surgery on April 27th. (I was injured when a snowboarder hit me on January 5th.) Since then I have been lifting weights and working out 5 times a week and riding my bike a lot. I still cannot ride my horse (competitively) nor golf but I can hike like a fool so I guess I can start planning for hunting season. I wear my brace anytime I am on uneven ground (i.e. hiking, working with the horses). I am depressed that I cannot do all the things I want to do, but am just glad I didn't break my neck!

July 28, 2006 7:45 AM

hey Meredith , am really inspired by u i am also in my 40s...leading a very active lifestyle...i tore my acl doing taekwondo may 2 06...had acl reconstruction surgery { hammy }done on june 22 back in the gym..liftin wts riding bike and doing the elliptical u ,i also got depressed for a short period of time coz i cudnt do the things i really realy love to running..taekwondo etc..but then i read ur msg and thot how right u r..atleast i didnt brk my neck..lolll..thank u for posting tht msg coz it really lifted my spirit....god bless u.

July 29, 2006 10:27 PM

had my ACL and Meniscus done 7 days ago. They took the ligamant from my knee (supposedly the most painful and longest recovery, but most beneficial in the long run) And the motion is coming along. The whole transacion is not that painful. I don;t have a high tolerance for pain by any means, but the worst part is the first 24 hours after that you are golden as far a pain. That is if you take the med prescirbed as i did. I fyou don't follow instructions and try to stay ahead of the pain without over dueing it you will be able to tolerate it. I get the stiches out in three days and start Physical therapy sessions the following day So far i think the most important thing is to have someone take care of you for at least 10 days. Spotting you for therapy, meals, drinks, pills, ect. basically being pampered. My mom rules. Thank you mom. Make sure you have everything organized before the surgery. Again it is not as painful as people say.. you will be fine. Just get pyched for the surgery. Bring an Ipod and listen to 80's hair metal. I recomend AC/DC for the first night after surgery. You will need it that first night.. By the way i should mention that i was constipated for the first 5 days. That is the only side affect so far. I got a long time to go Good Luck

July 31, 2006 1:38 PM

Hi---I just happened upon your site. I had surgery 10 days ago and am a bit discouraged. I am 52 and in average shape. I had an ACL replacement and 2 miniscus tears fixed. I am still in a fair bit of discomfort and can not even imagine walking on this anytime soon. How much bruising is normal? I am continuing to get new bruises down the front of my shin ending up kind of pooling in my feet. Is this anything to be worried about? I get my stitches out on Thursday. How much should I be trying to move my knee? At this point the entire leg still feels like dead weight---I have very little range of motion. Any comments would be helpful. Thanks.

July 31, 2006 7:28 PM

okay, i am 14 years old. iM VERY iN ShAPE.. bASkEtball is my life. while in 8th grade i started on the 9th grade team. im a point guard and i just can't and wont get enough of basketball! my dream has been to play my 9th grade year and inprove so much , its the last year of junior high. its the summer before 9th grade. i tore my acl 4 weeks ago. and had surgery 2 weeks ago. my conference season in basketball starts in january.. exactly 6 months from the doing great in PT.. the 2 week range goal is 110.. and im at 116 =) so im doing good! im staying confident.. because im strong! just for all you people out there. stay strong..!! its not the end of the world.. even though it feels like it... just show people, i can do this! BBUUTTT my question is, does anyone think i could have a chance at playing basketball in january???

August 1, 2006 4:10 PM

Jean, Hang in there. Please do not get discouraged, it will only make the healing process longer. Some people have post-operative blues. Some people bruise a lot, others, don"t. It sounds to me that you had your acl replaced by your own tissue as opposed to a cadaver donation? Anyway, the bruising is probably because of internal bleeding which would be normal, especially if you had an autograft. My leg was yellow and blue for a month. Blood will pool to your feet also, that is just gravity. Right now your immune system is going crazy around your knee and is sending all sorts of fluids to it like white blood cells, red blood cells, osteoblasts, etc... I hardly had any range of motion in the beginning, but the PTs told me that I could do certain knee exercises immediately out of surgery. Have you spoken to your PT or your surgeon about your knee issues?

August 1, 2006 10:48 PM

Carollynne, Thanks so much for the comments. I see my surgeon Thursday for stitch removal and start PT after that. I am anxious to get going on that because I feel like I am in a holding pattern here and any progress would be encouraging. And actually I used donor tissue but guess I am just a bruiser. If you have the time drop me a line at and tell me about your progress. Thanks again.

Danica Floto
August 2, 2006 11:43 AM

August 21, the day Hello there, I am a 16 yr. old female on my way to surgery in a few weeks to fix my torn ACL and maybe repair some damage I have done to the cartilage as well. As it gets closer I become alot more nervous about this it seems as though it either goes well for people or goes really bad! I would appreciate it if someone would take just a few minutes to respond with just an overview of what I should be expecting? And really, how bad is it!? Sincerely, One Nervous ACL Patient

August 2, 2006 5:45 PM

hello Danica floto , DO not worry at all.....i had my acl reconstructed almost 6 weeks back....on june 22 06......everything is going as it is suppose to go.....there was no pain at all after the surgery..ofcourse i was taking Around the clock narcotics prescribed by the doc...but tht was just for a week..then only motrin and tht also when i cudnt tolerate the pain...for me the next day after the surgery was bad...the anesthesia was wearing off my BP dropped..i passed out in the restroom..lollll...and then the whole day i was throwing ask ur doc to prescribe u something u can take incase u throw up....besides tht everything was ok and is the exercises the doc gives u to do after the surgery and the main thing in getting back to normal is rehab ande more rehab....u'll b ok...u r just 16..i am 40 dont worry and have faith...all the best and do keep us informed abt ur recovery..its a long grind but its definately worth it and one more thing...patience...patience and lots of patience is needed...loll..GOOD LUCK

Danica Floto
August 4, 2006 1:38 AM

Nina, wow thank you very much this is much appreciated. Well today my so called information booklet came in the mail(3 half pages) Im not impressed, but that's our health care system for you. 17 more sleeps to go but I can't wait to get it over with. How soon in advance do you suggest booking PT? Is it mainly at home excercises? Was your surgery just a day surgery like mine will be? I found it some what odd that I have to bring my own crutches? And a 250$ brace in advance!!Grr..Well I guess I've done enough grumbling but much thanks Nina!!! And I will keep u posted. <3

August 4, 2006 5:00 AM

Hey Danica , U know its not at all bad as it seems..i have met other people who have had acl surgery done at rehab and every body is doing ok.....i was provided wid crutches by the hospi..i guess it depends on the doc and u r lucky ur brace is only $250..mine cost me $850....lollllllll....u know i was not told to book the Pt until i had my first follow up wid the doc...but then check wid ur doc he will tell u....well if u r really a self motivated person then u can do the exercises at home also but i have been going for PT 3 times a week and also doing the exercises at home n in the gym i workout ...but its always a good idea to go for PT...mine was also a day surgery..but dont forget abt the med i told u...lollll....ask ur doc for it in advance.....other than tht rent movies tv ..catch up on all the prog uve missed after ur surgery ..especially the first two weeks.....good luck once again..

August 4, 2006 5:04 AM

hey more thing if u have any ques..dont hesitate to ask..i wil try answering them ....i know how frustrated one gets before the surgery ..have gone thru tht my self....again its not really bad after the me..first two weeks r kinda slow but once ur rehab starts u will see improvement in ur knee everyday....take care

August 5, 2006 4:33 PM

I will be having ACL/Medial Meniscus surgery on Aug. 11... I'm nervous and excited! Never had Surgery before, but excited to get on with everything! I currently have no pain and have great extension and flexion! Have people with ACL surgery had the passive range of motion machine?? I'm wondering about that??

August 5, 2006 10:52 PM

hey danica, nina is right you have noting to worry about at all i had my surgury 3 months ago on my acl and it doing great my recover was amazing i wasnt sick or anything...what type of replacement are you having patella, hamstring or cadaver? bc the recoveries are all different for them. if you have any questions you can ask me as did you injure knee, do you play any sports or anything like that? <3 Lauren

August 7, 2006 9:04 AM

I am considering ACL surgery, does anybody knows the cost of surgery?

August 7, 2006 9:59 AM

Sorry, I actually do not know how much it cost because i tore mine in my lacrosse game for college so what ever my insurance did not cover the school picks up the rest of the cost.

August 8, 2006 8:56 AM

I tore my ACL playing soccer and had it fixed 1 1/2 years ago. About 6 months ago I started having swelling and pain at the incision site. (I had the hamstring procedure.) It would last about 4-5 days then go away. Since, it has become more frequent and now will not go away. About 3 weeks ago I went to see my surgeon and he said I have (I forgot the full name) an 'ITIS'. Obviously an irritation where the screw is in the bone. In the last 3 weeks, it has become apparant I have the 'screw backing out of the bone ITIS'. I can actually feel the screw now. Anybody have this happen to them? Any insite on what happens next would be great. Do they just take the screw out? What happens to the tunnel they drilled in the bone?

August 10, 2006 8:27 AM

Hello, I just had ACL reconstructive surgery this past monday(Aug. 7th, 06) and I go into the docs to have the bandages replaced/removed. So far everything seems to be alright exept I get some mussle spazims pretty well, and I can really feel where they took a part of my hamstring.

August 13, 2006 8:47 AM

Its now Sunday, 6 days after surgery. My knee still hurts of course. But now I am getting some pain shooting down to my ancle whenever I get to do something. Has anybody else heard or had this happen to you? Sure its normal, but just wanted to know how long it may last.

August 17, 2006 10:27 AM

Hi I am a sixteen year old female searching for some advice on thee ACL surgery. My surgery is this Monday, August 21st and man am I ever nervous. Anyways I have two questions if any one could help me out? 1) I just recieved the CRYO cuff and supposedly it's suppose to have a motor or something inside of it to pump the ice water and of course mine was not present upon arrival? Do I need the motor? 2) How am I going to sit in the front seat of the car I have about a 2 hour drive fromt he hospital back home afterwards any suggestions on a comfy and painloess position!? Much thanks, Danica

August 17, 2006 12:38 PM

I had ACL reconstructive surgery on Wed Aug 9 06. Took bandages off on the friday. Now a week later, swelling is down alot but still there making it hard to bend knee. Can feel where hamstring tendon is gone but no spasms as of yet. Ditched the crutches today too as I can walk fairly normal, bit of a limp but doc says weight bear asap. Have to start physio this week too, been doing some on my own and exercises hurt for sure but are supposed to. Still icing it a few times a day to reduce swelling.

Steve Worthington
August 22, 2006 1:46 PM

Hello, I recently injured my knee and would appreciate any advice/opinion on which procedure to choose in the reconstruction of my ACL? Should I use my own ligaments or those of a Cadaver? Please let me know if you have had the surgery and if one procedure is preferential to the other. Thanks Steve

August 23, 2006 6:39 PM

I am a 16 yr old male. I tore my ACL in a soccer game in April. I was told that it was torn and I had to miss the state championships. That was hard, but I got over it. I had surgery on May 30, and I am feeling very good now. Nearly 4 months after, and I'm feeling good. I have minimal swelling, and almost back to normal with flexibility. I can start playing in a few months. If anyone has anyone questions about the surgery and post surgery, you can email me at Good Luck

September 5, 2006 10:38 AM

Dear Steve Worthington: How old are you? I think most docs will use cadaver ligaments if you aren't a spring chicken or perhaps you are hoping to recover more quickly. My sister-in-law, who is a surgical nurse, used the cadaver method, and that was 10 years ago. My doc recommended it to me because of my age (over 45) and because I wanted to get back to hard-core physical activities. I have a young ski-racing friend who is 20 and she and her surgeon chose cadaver because she wanted to get back to racing as soon as possible AND, she can still use her own ligaments for future surgeries, if needed. There is a chance of contracting infection, but I think the chances of that are minimal. Good luck, whichever you choose!

September 14, 2006 7:29 AM

I am 25yrs old and I tore my acl on a New Year's skiing trip 2000/2001. It was my 3rd time skiing (3rd time is the charm!!!) I decided to go down a slope one last time after my friends when to the next slope when it all happened. I was going down pretty fast. As I was trying to slow down, I don't know exactly what heppened, but my ski on my left leg came off, and my right knee twisted, I felt pain, and that was it. I tried to get up, but that did not go very well. To make matters worse I was sitting on snow half way down the slope with no one to help me. After about half an hour, my friends started worring where I've got for so long and came back. They found me sitting on the snow. My ass was frozen!!!. I could not walk down the hill, so they had to get help. That was fun!!!!! They came for me with a big red sled, they stopped all the traffic going down the slope, and I was pulled down the hill for everyone to see. I went to a hospital, got an x-ray and was send back to the cottage on cratches. Back at home I went to see my doctor who said not to worry, it will get better. He did not send me to a specialist and did not mention anything about an ACL. My leg was swollen for a couple of weeks, but I did not make much of it because my doctor said nothing was wrong!!!!!!! My knee felt funny ever since, it poped a couple of times, but overall It did not bother me much, untill last summer when my injured leg fell through a whole in a deck (I know, I'm accident After that my leg started swelling like you would not belive. Finally, after 4yrs my doctor send me to a specialist. I found out that in the course of the last 4yrs I have completely torn my acl (there is nothing left of it) and I also injured my meniscus ligament. I had one surgery in February to repair my meniscus ligament, that was not so bad, I could walk up the stairs the same day. My ACL surgery is scheduled for January 2007. I'm not as afraid of the surgery itself as much as I am of the recovery. I have been told that I will most likely be off work for 2 to 3 month. What am I going to do with all of this time, it's not like I can go on a vacation. Overall, I kind of want to get this surgery done and over with. Does it really take that long to recover?

September 14, 2006 2:57 PM

I ruptured my ACL in 1989 and just had it arthroscopically removed within a week of the injury (reconstruction was not really an option). I only had one incident with instability 6 years later when I was pivoting a patient out of bed to a chair - there was a really loud pop and the pain dropped me on the floor. But the tests showed nothing of any consequence. So now11 years later I was getting out of a vehicle - in Nigeria where I was working - and I hyperextended my knee - it swoll up to the size of a canteloupe, blood was drained off of it twice and, now, three weeks later I am walking without toooo much of a limp. I am still being worked up - but the surgeon is hinting at reconstructing possibly both the ACL and PCL which is most likely torn. Ouch - I just want to go work abroad again. any comments or advice is welcome

September 16, 2006 6:49 AM

I had acl reconstructive surgery. I'm 16, will I continue growing or does this surgery stop me from growing?

September 18, 2006 4:16 AM

Joanna... Yes, it will take that long to completely recover...You shouldn't have to take that long off of work, unless you do something VERY physical as a profession. I'm a teacher...I only missed 4 school days due to surgery. I scheduled mine before spring break. That was in March. I also had an additional surgery Aug 31 to clean up some scar tissue, a ganglion cyst, and other debris. I only missed 2 days for that one. You should probably plan on taking 2 weeks off. You will never regret having the surgery since you won't be able to resume your activity level without it. Hope this helps... angie:)

September 18, 2006 9:48 PM

Hey everyone i just had surgery 7 days ago and i have a question to ask.How long should i wait before i start moving around (alot like at parties with a knee brace)?Is 7 days to early?And for everyone else the only pain i have (at 7 days) is my shin bone and thats because they drilled into it.but thats it and if anyone could please answer my Q that would be awsome.thanks and happy healing!!!

September 19, 2006 5:27 PM

Danny: I was having lunch with friends (and it included a few glasses of wine) within 3 days of my ACL surgery. I was at the health club in 7. I had my surgery in April, and have been working out diligently all summer and BOY, am I BUFF! Probably more buff than every before! I'm still not riding the horse but I did get on my motorcycle/dirt bike a few weeks ago. Even crashed (on my good knee) and it was a blast. Don't worry, I wore plenty of protective gear.

September 20, 2006 4:45 AM

My name is Katy Irby. I tore the ACL in my right knee about 10 years ago. I was 15 at the time. I did'nt think much of it because the doctor said it was just a strain. Then 6 years later, I went to an orthopaedic surgeon to have it checked out. He did an MRI and discovered that not only did I completely disrupt my ACL, but I also tore the medial and lateral meniscus. My relative took me to her doctor and he refused to reconstruct it. They operated on it, but I never knew what he did. Then a month and a half later I hurt my left knee playing tennis. The doctor did'nt x-ray it or anything. So 3 years later, I switched knee doctors and the one I have now scoped my left knee in March, 2005, and reconstructed it 5 months later. Now I am facing ACL reconstruction surgery on my right knee at the end of the semester. In regards to Joanna's question about the recovery time: having a positive attitude helps. It can determine how fast or slow you recover. I recovered from my surgery in 3 months instead of the usual 6-7 months. It also depends on the type of graft used. Research also helps. I can't wait till have my right knee done.

September 20, 2006 2:49 PM

Hi I'm Cory (14) i currently tore my ACL,MCL and Medial Miniscus at Football practice and will be getting orthoscopic surgery in three weeks. What should i be expecting for pain after the surgery and when will i be able to get back into sports?!

marc weiner
September 22, 2006 7:58 PM

hello fellow knee people. i tore my left acl skiing 03/06.had surgery later in 03/06.first & foremost, you must do the rehab!!! no cheating you will only cheat yourself!! good luck to all i will be back skiing this season.

September 26, 2006 6:24 PM

Kat: I remember having a good recipe for Daquiris was also a plus!

September 28, 2006 6:17 PM

I recently tore my ACL and I'm try to decide if i should have the surgery. I'm 17 yo and I play basketball for high school. If I have the surgery that it for my basketball (high school)career. Should I have the surgery or if I wait do you think i can play with a completely torn acl. I'm trying to play for a college after high school but what are chances of walking in.PLEASE HELP

September 29, 2006 2:41 PM

Hi, My situation is a bit different than anyone else on here. I am 58, a woman, and I have a 5 year old Grandson who is Autistic. he is VERY active, and does not understand about being careful, and such. We also live on very steep hills, and I have a horse. I am used to being very active, and love to take adventure trips. I ruptured my ACL two months ago, and am having the reconstruction next Wednesday, using my own hamstring. I didn't want to use a donor's, as I have Addison's and I have trouble with rejecting anything different in my body. I had to cancel a trip to Thailand that I had booked two days before! I have been doing my rehab exercises every day. there is still some pain in the knee if I do something strenuous. But I have to have a solid knee, as I am alone here with my grandson while I watch him. I can't risk falling and hurting something else! Being an Addison's patient, I am on steroids all the time. Hopefully the Prednisone won't slow down my healing. Any words of encouragement would be much appreciated. Thanks

October 2, 2006 6:59 AM

I am having acl reconstruction surgery on Dec. 13, 2006. They're using a patellar tendon bone tendon allograft. I have a hamstring construct in my left knee( my own tissue). I tore the ligament 10 years ago trying out for cheerleading. I waited 6 years to have anything done. My previous surgeon refused to reconstruct it. So I never knew what he did. Now I am 26 and really in severe pain. I have been taking Darvocet since I had right knee arthroscopic surgery on May, 31. I am a college freshmen and just tryng to get through the semester. I was wondering if there was a difference in recovery time with the allograft and with the autograft? What's the difference? Email me at

October 7, 2006 9:17 AM

I'm a 28 year old skateboarder who's been at it for 15+ years. I tore my ACL doing a pretty basic move (s/s pop-shuv over a 3' gap). The doctor had me wait about 1.5 months before having the surgery. He wanted me to regain most of my mobility before having the reconstruction. I decided to go with my own patellar tendon graft. The doctor said this was the most standard type of graft that athletes who intend to return to sport use. He did say the recovery would be a bit more painful, but in the long run you have the best chance of returning to your previous level of activity. I also tore my meniscus and "knocked cartilage off the back of my knee." Because of this cartilage damage I cannot put ANY weight on my leg for a full 6 weeks after surgery. I have 2.5 weeks of this left... The first week and a half after surgery were pretty tough. There was substantial pain and the pain meds had me feeling really weird. I had a hard time crutching around too being all drugged up. Anyway, I'm supposed to be back to skating again after 6 months post-op. I intend to do all of the rehab prescribed and then some. It's really hard (mentally and physically) to be confined to crutches for this long. I can't wait for the 6 weeks to be over. As soon as I get the okay I intend to aggressively train to get back to skateboarding. I'm going to use the time off to train and become more physically fit than I was before the injury. This should help prevent future injury. Good luck to everyone out there!

October 8, 2006 9:09 AM

Hey April Sept 29, So, are you having ACL surgery? Which type of reconstruction are you having/considering? Hyper-extended my ACL 14 years ago and recently finished the job. So, seriously considering surgery. I am also in my 50's. SV

October 10, 2006 6:17 AM

I am a 17 year old student who loves to dance. I am very active , I run , kickbox and do other contact sports.I tore my ACL an my meniscus. I am terified because this is my first surgery.What steps can I take to ensure a healthy and speedy recovery.

October 10, 2006 3:06 PM

Dear SV, Yes, I had the ACL reconstruction a week ago. I had the hamstring tendon autograft. I just couldn't get the hang of crutches, so I am using a walker, which I find much more stable. I can put weight on my leg, but the knee is still painful. One of the most painful parts of all this, is we think that when they were scrubbing my skin before surgery, they did it too hard. I have huge blisters (like 2" across) and when we took the dressings off the skin comes off with it. It is like a 3rd degree burn,very painful. But each day I am better, and I do all the exercises the Physical Therapists tell me to. He says I am doing great. So don't hesitate. My Doctor didn't even question my age. I would advise for a walker instead of crutches. But then, that is my personal opinion. Good luck, April

Dawn Melanie
October 12, 2006 12:32 PM

I tore my ACL 4 weeks ago, 2 days before a much anticipated Figure (fitness) Competition. I am scheduled to have allograft reconstructive surgery next week. I am eager to get this complete so I can start recovery. I am most afraid of muscle atrophy - which will negatively affect my fitness career. I will do all exercises prescribed, recommended and possible to help recovery.

October 13, 2006 10:06 AM

Dawn Melanie: It is definitely a plus that you are already in really good shape prior to your surgery. yes, you will have some atrophy, but the muscle will come back although it may take a few months. I had ACL surgery in late April. I started lifting weights and working out (lightly) within 2 weeks. It's been almost 6 months and I'm close to 95%. I've been lifting (hard and heavy) for the past 2 months and also riding my bike. I wasn't in as good a shape prior to the surgery, so your comeback may be quicker! Good luck!

October 17, 2006 7:55 PM

Hi Angie, thanks for responding. I spend most of my day at work on my feet, and most of my days are 9 to 10 hrs long. How long do you think I will miss work for. Any idea. Thanks !!!!

Dani Broder
October 20, 2006 9:15 PM

Hi, I'm fourteen and back in June I stretched my ACL to the point where I also had to have reconstrstructive surgery. I was playing soccer when it happened and It's now been a little over two months since the surgery (It was August 14th, 2006). It was my first surgery and I was really scared, but I'm fine now and I should be able to run in a month or two. I've been going to physical thaerphy ever since three times a week and I enjoy the challenge. One thing I remember was a day after my surgery, I had a hamstring graft and various screws and they drilled through bone, but the next day and for a while afterwards I couldn't tighten my calf without feeling really terrible pain, it was like my leg was wrapped in fire and was tightening, I don't know if that was just me or not. But otherwise everything went fine. I really want to go back to soccer, six months from August would by Febuary so I'm really hoping to play the. Follow your doctor advice, he knows what he's doing. Goodluck to everyone else out there.

Elizabeth Martinez
October 22, 2006 1:25 PM

I tore my ACL at the end of August. I have to get surgery on Nov.1. I'm nervous because i have enlisted into the Army reserves. I leave in June. Do you think I need more recovery time? If anyone reads this please email me.

October 25, 2006 5:28 PM

I too am having surgery on Nov. 1. I tore my ACL skim boarding after work in July. I am a surfer who was trying a new way to ride a wave. I strained my PCL and LCL too. I have autrophy badly in my leg and have struggled to regain the muscle. What do you feel like when you get home from this surgery? What about the next day? I am extremely scared of doctors - any suggestions on how to stay calm?

October 25, 2006 6:20 PM

I had a patellar tendon graft on Oct. 2, about three weeks ago. I also tore my MCL and medial meniscus, so the surgery was very complicated. I stayed on crutches for 2 weeks and did not go back to school for a full week after my surgery. I stayed in the hospital a night, but was on good pain medicines and was very comfortable. I am now walking almost without a limp, and will be out of my postop brace next week. I am planning on playing soccer by March and know that it will be a lot of hard work, but it is a reasonable goal. As far as staying calm, remember that it is a common procedure and everyone recovers. If you want to ask your nurse in the preop for a sedative, which will help calm you down a little. I would not be comfortable standing at work yet, so the recovery for that is probably 4 weeks at least, but then again, I had more than just an ACL reconstruction. Good luck, and remember, it could be way worse and you will get better. :)

October 26, 2006 7:51 AM

I had ACL reconstruction (hamstring) and meniscus repair on Oct. 19, one week ago. Injured it playing soccer in September. I was a nervous wreck the whole week before surgery, but I know so many people have had this done and have recovered just fine if not better than before. I just reminded myself of this constantly. The pre-op nurses were very kind and helpful with this aspect! Waking up from the anesthesia was not fun, I was very shaky and nauseous for a couple of hours. But I was able to get home soon afterwards and felt much better. I was given a cooler that circulates ice water in the pack on my knee. If you have that option it is well worth it! I had a hard time sleeping the first night and had weird sharp pain in my foot and ankle. I loosened the ace wrap on that area and it felt better. Rotating the ankle helps a lot too and seems to keep my calf from getting stiff. The knee pain has been moderate for the most part, the ice with the prescription pain meds. They also gave me prescription sleeping pills, and those have helped. Only being able to sleep on my back makes me feel creaky all over though. I went for my first post-op visit and they said the swelling is much less than they usually see. (whoever invented that ice pack machine is genius!!) I still have to use the crutches and brace but i start Pt next week. I know I still have a long way too go to recover but I think the worst is over. I know some people who did not complete the pt and they now regret it because they have not regained their ROM and strength. That has been the thing that has convinced me that I need to follow pt strictly. I would hate to have gone through all of this and not be able to enjoy the same activities as before.

October 28, 2006 9:00 PM

Hello everyone, I am 17 and I tore my acl on 10/23/06 playing soccer. I didnt really hurt it, just stepped wrong and ended up with a complete tear! I am scheduled for surgery (hamstring graft) on 11/7/06. I am soo nervous and have a few questions. 1.) is it possible to work super hard and be able to run sooner. I love to run and feel lost without it. 2.) Is my hamstring really going to feel gross?? whats the point of having surgery to make something else hurt? Are muscle spasms more common now? 3.) did anyone put on weight from not excercising? Will PT offer me some cardio work?? 4.) any depression setting in? I think im starting to feel it allready. Any tips or help would be awesome... Email me, just put ACL in the subject!!

November 2, 2006 3:17 PM

Jenny, I had ACL repair on the 20th of October and seem to be doing pretty well, I have my first pre-op visit next week. As far as depression...the third day after my surgery seemed to have really been the worst, my knee was extremely swollen and I even called the on call physician because I felt like the circulation was being cut off at my knee, THIS IS A NORMAL OCCURANCE, I am also in healthcare so sometimes we know enough to be really scared ourselves. You sound like a really active person as am I, the hardest part for me was being at home and not being able to get comfortable so if you have anything to help you sleep at night I recommend getting something. I stopped using my crutches yesterday because they are such a pain. My question to anyone who may know is what can I expect at this point, I really want to bend my knee but if feels so tight I am scared if anyone can give me some insight that would be great. p.s. very good to continue moving foot around after surgery to make sure calf doesn't get stiff.

November 7, 2006 7:50 AM

I had ACl reconstruction with a donor graft on aug 18 2006. I would highly recommend this type of graft to everyone, as i have had no problems what-so-ever with my surgery. I was on crutches for 3 days... I got my brace off after 2 weeks... and im on my way to a great recovery. It has been about 10 weeks since my surgery and I am running and lifting and doing all sorts of exercises. I am expect to be released in just over a month. Work really hard on your at home exercises.. they pay off! Don't get lazy whatever you do, or else you will pay for it later. Last, dont feel sorry for yourself! Get done what you need to get done.. and have that be the end of it... look forward to getting back into your usual everyday patterns.. :) Good luck!

November 7, 2006 11:46 AM

Shredded my ACL April 26th - allograft surgery July 14th. This is week 17. Working out at Bally's 3 times a week for my legs mixing in unilateral exercises with bilateral exercises. Squats, lunges, deadlifts, leg presses, leg curls, calf raises rotated in the 2 days...3rd day is reserved for plyometrics.

November 8, 2006 11:17 AM

kristi, hi. i had my ACL reconstruction operation-arthroscopy-last oct 24. the next day, the PT did me some routine and i was able to flex my swollen knee up to 45 degrees. the next day 72, then 92 degrees. i only used the crutches during PT session which is 8 minutes because i was doing well with flexing my knee and standing with just the immobilizer. no crutches, no walkers, no canes. in between PT sessions, i simulate the procedures like quads, gluts, SLR, heel slides, in my room. it hurts but only as much as i can tolerate. i did not let my muscles freeze. my PT told me to work both on healing the wound/swelling and flexion during 0-3 weeks. so far i have been standing and walking closer to normal, without limping. i am now working on the stairs, walking alternately. as to ur case, 0-3 weeks is healing period while you also work on ur flexion. swelling is expected until the 3rd week. a swollen knee is expected to be hard to bend. when swelling subsides, bending is easier. swelling can be taken care of by meds. you can also work on ice or cold packs before and after PT sessions or exercises. they help elimininate pain as well as swelling. if swelling persists, hot pack may be handy, working alternately with cold pack. at this time til 4 weeks, your flexion should already be 90 degrees. i suggest you use an ACL brace instead of crutches. ACL brace has dials for both extension and flection, keeps you mobile yet controlled in those aspects. you can adjust the dial depending on your progress daily. remember, don't twist your knee as you begin strengthening it as tolerated. twisting it may cause or trigger another operation which may be uncertain as to success of recovery. and you won't like more inconveniences. so slowly but surely make your knees work. increase pain tolerance daily as you exercise. good luck

November 8, 2006 6:39 PM

Hi everyone. I just stumbled upon this website. I tore my ACL during a hiking accident last Saturday, and will be doing surgery sometime soon. The docs when we to have full motion in my knee before they do anything. Does anyone here know if pain will be a reoccuring issue in the knee from now on?

November 10, 2006 1:01 AM

Jenny, I had a petellar graft that went great for the first 8 months. Then the bone plug pulled out while squating. After the surgery failed, the surgeon changed his prognosis and said that, in my particuliar case, my knee was reasonably stable without the ACL and that, even with a successful surgery, it would be foolish to participate in pick-up basketball and soccer. (Amazing how he originally said that the surgery was imperative and would release all restrictions.) Two other surgeons confirmed his opinion. I've been without an ACL for 8 years now. I run on roads and trails for miles without any problem. Cross country makes my knee swell. >> 1.) is it possible to work super hard and be able to run sooner. I love to run and feel lost without it. Keep in mind that the graft completely "dies" and revascularizes. That process takes 6 months to a year. The bone plugs must also fuse. That takes 3 months to 6 months. Those times cannot be accelerated by hard work. 3.) did anyone put on weight from not excercising? Will PT offer me some cardio work?? Gaining 10 pounds from reduced activity is the least of your worries. Once you acheive full range of motion (some people can't fully extend their leg after the surgery) and the ligament & bone heal, you can lose weight and get your cardio back in a month or two.

November 12, 2006 5:30 AM

On Sept 16, I went hiking instead of mattress-burning...and about a mile into the trail, slipped on a rock, and instantly knew that I'd messed up my knee. I heard a crack and it felt like someone had discharged an electric cattle prod inside my knee. It started to swell a lot, and it didn't feel like it would support my I decided that I should probably turn around instead of finishing the hike, and I walked back out, taking six inch steps the whole way (yeah for hiking poles!) Nat, at this point, pain is generally not an problem for me, unless I try to fully extend. From the time it happened, I started trying to get my ROM back by bending it 'til it hurt a little. Each day I was able to bend a little more in the morning (by evening it usually swelled up) Almost 2 mo. post injury, I still cannot fully extend my knee, but I can bend the knee as far back as my non-injured knee. My big issues is instability - I have a hinged brace right now, which I wear all the time except when I am sleeping, and also anything with a grade. Going up stairs is pretty painful. So, I haven't been really out hiking for 2 months now. 7 1/2 to go. I'm really scared about having the surgery (Dec 19) - especially the anesthesia. I'm a 27 y.o. woman with a history of being very active - this past summer I biked across the country. One of the most challenging things for me is that I was at a height of fitness that I've never known before...and now it's gone. I'm upset that I may never see that again. And I'm also upset that even if I do, I'm going to have to start that journey from scratch - complete with all the associated soreness of being out of shape. At least for now, I can still whitewater kayak, except that it's getting cold out for that this time of year. I'm a teacher, but I work in 5 schools, so I do a LOT of moving around (I go to 4 buildings each day, never in one building for more than 2 hours). I'm expecting that I'll miss 2 weeks of work, the one prior to vacation and the one following vacation. My supervisor has been adamant that I take care of myself first...he knows that I tend to push through injuries and try to get back to "normal" activities before I might be physically ready. I have stairs in my house, and of course, the only bathroom is upstairs, and my kitchen is downstairs. I'm scared about how to cope with the pain afterwards - I've heard a lot of people say that being sick from the pain meds is worse than living with the pain. My email address is through yahoo. If you have any tips or suggestions, write ACL in the subject line, and address your email to vlnvla at the provider listed above. Thanks! Chris

November 13, 2006 3:36 PM

For Chris- I, too, am a very active teacher so when my doc suggested I live with torn ACL last January, I was only too happy to oblige. Living with a torn ACL was not so much painful as awkward and scary-always felt like it would let loose. Went to a new doc who said my knee was a mess, extremely unstable, and if I didn't have surgery, I'd be crippled up with arthritis. Here's the part you've been waiting for. I just had surgery-allograft on 10/24. I was petrified, but all went well. I didn't get sick from anesthesia because I asked for antiemetic drugs. Pain pills-Lortab-worked great, but did make me sick and constipated after 4 days. The first 4 days were the worst, and after that I took ibuprofen, which worked OK. I'm 52 and was walking without crutches on the 5th day, and just went back to work today after 2 weeks off. It went well and I'm really glad I had the surgery. Good luck to you!

November 13, 2006 4:03 PM

I just had my surgery last week, Nov. 7. I had the allograft procedure with some lateral meniscus clean up too. It's strange but I've had almost NO pain, none. It's been almost a week and over the weekend I started getting a little deep ache on the inside of my knee but only when I moved it weird, like when walking on the crutches. I took Vicodin the night of my surgery, after I got home, and then again in the morning, just because I wasn't sure what the pain might be. I then started Tylenol and that's it. They have me on Relafen now so that's helping inflammation. The surgery isn't fun, but when it was over and I was in recovery, I realized I got all worried for no reason. It's scary but ultimately no big deal. Lights out, wake up, 2 hours later I was going home. I'm a 35 year old man and found one of the best surgeon's I could in the Los Angeles area and am glad I did. He didn't hesitate recommending allograft instead of Petallar. He said if I was younger, maybe. Anyone 25 and older he recommends the allograft. The infection scare is virtually non-existent (although I still get concerned briefly when I think about it), and the healing time is much easier I am told. Again, no pain, none. Crazy. I have complete extension and can flex it to at least 100 degrees but don't go much further until advised to do so...Oh, and there's no brace. After surgery they had my knee wrapped with an ACE bandage and some gauze over wounds, then the whole leg had a compression stocking on it. That's it, no brace, I went home on crutches that way. I have another visit this Thursday and they want me at 60-70% weight on the leg with crutches. The following week, 100% weight, no limp, no crutches. You can't speed up the healing process but if you do the exercises religiously you can help the knee in general. Right after surgery they put me on the "pedlar", a little contraption that had pedals, so I started spinning. I did that at home for 10 minutes every hour for 2 days. The worst part for me has been the cold I got! I think I'd rather have surgery than a cold, I hate being sick! Good luck to all. Sometimes reading too much makes things worse! I was expecting a tough week and it just hasn't been hard at all. A little boring, but not painful...

November 14, 2006 4:26 PM

Nat: A guy on a snowboard hit me going about 35 MPH and tore my ACL. That was in January. I had surgery in late April. Prior to the surgery I had to work out on a stationary bike and attempt to get a full range of motion out of my injured knee. I got pretty good ROM but it wasn't pleasant. It also wasn't REAL painful. Just the sort of pain that knaws.... I had surgery in late April. I've been lifting all Summer and Fall. I went motorcycling (dirt bike) in September wearing a brace and had a minor crash (I fell on my good knee!) and if I wear my brace I think I can get a little more aggressive. Lately I've been hunting (a lot of hiking) and will soon be back on my horse. (Posting or standing in the stirrups causes the knee to twist.) The lifting has really helped and I'm squatting more weight than I did in my 20's. The most painful part of the entire proceedure was when my PT attempted to bend my foot to my butt.....I about killed him! I think the whole key is get your quads/upper leg muscles real strong before returning to major stuff involving your knee. You'll probably end up with a nice butt, too. Ha.

November 15, 2006 11:25 PM

Damn. Well my surgeon will be a Kaiser Permenente surgeon in Irvine. I don't know if I trust them completely though. Can anyone recommend some good docs to me?

November 16, 2006 9:09 AM

Nat, Dr. Bert Mandelbaum in Santa Monica. He did my knee and is a true specialist. He's the US National Soccer Team's surgeon, and has seen alot of knees. Insurance is tough, getting them to cover it though...I have Blue Shield and asked for a 2nd opinion, which they approved, then they approved the surgery too. I'm on an HMO...Good luck, remember, your knee is with you for the rest of your life, so going to he best is wise, if possible (even if you have to pay a little yourself)...My 2 cents.

November 16, 2006 5:07 PM

Thanks for the information John! Kaiser has been a bit unacceptable in my opinion. I hurt my knee 1.5 weeks ago, and I tried to schedule physical therapy...and they couldn't fit me in until December 6!!! (5 weeks!) Plus I've heard stories. Sounds like a good surgeon you have...I'll look into it.

November 16, 2006 9:30 PM

I had ACL reconstructive surgery back in May. I'm nearly fully recovered and over the past few months, my knee has been popping and cracking. Is that normal? Did I reinjure myself?

November 17, 2006 4:36 PM

Nat, I would run for the hills if that is the treatment you're getting. An ACL surgery isn't an emergency situation but 5 weeks to start therapy? Wow, I can't imagine how they would treat you AFTER you had surgery...Again, it sucks, but I would see what you can do to get looked at by a specialist. It makes a ton of difference. I'm 10 days out and still am waiting for the pain to set in, crazy! Do you even have the option of out of network or going outside Kaiser?

November 17, 2006 5:04 PM

If I want to go outside of Kaizer, I'll just sign up for another Insurance company. Maybe AETNA or Blue Sheild. I'll need to look into that too. It's almost been 2 weeks since the injury. Swelling has gone down a lot, but I don't have my full range of motion back and my leg muscles have atrophied a bit. I may not have the strength to walk on it, and I'm using it as much as I can right now. I may need to hit the gym. How long was it until you were able to walk on your injured pre-op leg?>

November 23, 2006 12:34 AM

Dear All, Your suggestion please ! I had my ACL tear on 4th Nov, 2006 and the doctor has advised to go for surgery for reconstruction of the teared ACL, so will any body advice my the chances of recovery and any alternate solution by physio theraphy rather than making surgery. Since i have full time job and i cant take leave, please advice me.

November 23, 2006 2:32 PM

i tore my acl and meniscus 3 weeks ago while grappling (groundfighting) surgery is scheduled for dec. 6, 2006. wondering how hard is the tearing of the scar tissue and how long does it it take to get off crutches , i am so anxious to get back to training but i dont want to do it to

November 25, 2006 12:21 PM

Nat, I was able to walk on my leg normally the day after I injured it. I didn't have full range of motion (ROM), but could walk normally. It was a little swolen but not crazy. I waited a week or so before seeing the Doctor and nothing changed up until I had surgery. I did Pre-op PT to help strengthen the quads a bit which probably helped a little, but again, I could walk normally, just didn't have full extension (1-2 degrees short) and couldn't bend it all the way back either...Like I said, I hurt my knee on Sept. 17 and had surgery on Nov. 7 and my knee never improved over that time (after the first day anyway...)... Syed, sorry to hear about your knee. How old are you and how active are you? I went to a great surgeon and could have been working (sitting behind desk) the day after surgery if I had too (I had the allograft, cadaver tissue). It was nice to not have to do that, but I could have believe it or not. If you schedule the surgery for Thurs or Friday, you could have all weekend to recover and be back on Monday. The problem is you won't really know how you'll feel after the procedure, so it's a little risky to assume you can get back that quick. Maybe my case is rare, or my surgeon was great, or whatever, I don't know. And, depending on how active you are determines if you need the reconstruction or not, in my opinion. If you are not active at all, you might not want the surgery. But, my knee never improved up until surgery so it seemed like without the surgery, my knee was going to be limiting and sore for a long time, so I had the surgery without hesitating... Haywood, I wouldn't even think about training like you have been for at least 6 months, your Doctor will probably tell you the same thing. Going to an experienced Doctor is CRUCIAL!!! I've heard all kinds of stories and I know alot of Physical Therapists who have scene alot of knees and it all depends on the surgeon. My PT is amazed at how far my knee is already, I'm 2 1/2 weeks out of surgery, compared to others. It's all about the surgeon, I think. I was off crutches completely 1 1/2 weeks after (2 weeks was recommended). I can walk completely normally now and could the night of my surgery (with crutches). I had NO pain at all, none. And, tearing the scar tissue, I haven't had to do any of that yet, but my PT can't believe people get their knees cranked on to get ROM. Extension is the key, flexion comes after swelling goes down. I have about 120 degrees of flexion and have not tried to increase it at all. I'm working on full extension, almost there and I ride the stationary bike as much as I can tolerate. So, count out 6 months and then you can get back into more serious training. 8 months to a year for full healing to be completed, like nothing ever happened so you need to be a little cautious for the first year after surgery. And, 3 months after surgery they say the graft is at it's weakest so follow PT religiously and get a great surgeon and PT, very important... If you want to read about my story, I'm keeping a journal if you want to call it that...It's ongoing...

Matt Phares
November 25, 2006 3:55 PM

I tore my acl a long while a go and im about five weeks after have it reconstructed...I am able to run and jog on it but the doctors will not lcear to even ride a bike yet? How much longer until the graft is healed does anyone ahev an idea...i hade the patellar tendon removed from the front of my knee and now is my new acl.... anyone?

November 25, 2006 7:03 PM

I tore my acl over the summer playing basketball, but decided to brace and play my senior year of volleyball. The season was great and I never had a problem, however when I tried to get back into basketball my knee would give out a lot, even in the brace. So I opted for the surgery and I am having it done on Nov. 29, four days from now. I have three friends who had the patellar graft but I was thinking about the hamstring. Any thoughts on which one would be better? I hope to be able to play club sports in the fall next year, or even a spring high school sport if possible. Does either have fast recovery rates? Also, I really am dreading getting sick from the anesthesia, does anyone know of anything that could prevent the nausea and sickness post-op?

November 25, 2006 10:15 PM

Wow John. I don't know the extent of my injuries. I'm sure my ACL is gone. I wasn't able to walk on my injured leg though. I think I can now, but it's very week. It's been 3 weeks and I'm still using crutches.

November 26, 2006 4:37 PM

Matt, I don't know about the Patellar specifics, but I was riding the bike the same day of surgery...Now I'm on the stationary bike twice a day 15-20 each time...Again, I had the Allograft (cadaver), 2 1/2 weeks ago and my knee is doing great, I still can't believe how well it is doing...Sometimes I wonder if they did anything at all!! Follow the Doctors orders, everyone is different. I can't imagine why they wouldn't let you ride the stationary bike...Good luck! Marisa, I've read that they aren't recommending the hamstring for female athlete's as much anymore. It's not quite as strong and there are other reasons too. My Doctor (US National Soccer Team Surgeon) told me that if I was under 25 he would probably recommend Patellar, and he didn't even mention the hamstring. It was either Patellar or Cadaver...Good luck and get a second opinion if you aren't convinced! Nat, 3 weeks and you're still on crutches? Have you had an MRI and X-ray? You are very patient, if not! Something is not right if you are still on crutches. The ACL shouldn't be the problem as far as pain and not being able to walk normally on it...More than likely you have meniscus caught in the knee joint. I had a tiny piece of my lateral meniscus folded over in the joint and I couldn't get full extension or flexion. After surgery, that pain is gone.

November 27, 2006 5:49 AM

I had an x-ray, but the doc didn't think I needed an MRI. Kaiser Perm docs are always trying to discourage me from getting an MRI. I'm seeing the doc again later today and will request it. My leg muscle is very weak from the limited walking I've been doing, but the leg stretching and cycling have returned most of my range of motion. I've been scaring myself though....reading about the higher rate of osteoarthritis in people with knee/acl injuries.... fack. I'm not even an athlete. I just like long walks and hikes.

November 27, 2006 5:18 PM

hi i am 23 year old female with a torn acl and an extensive tear of my medial meniscus.iam very active i play both indoor soccer and netball and like to go the gym i fist tore my acl back in jan of 06 playing indoor soccer i heard a poping sound and fell down like a sack of potatoes i was in a lot of pain my knee swelled up after several hours of being in pain i finally decided to go to my local emergency room where they took x-rays and told me that i had just sprained my knee and told me to take a couple of day's of work so i did, 8 weeks later my knee was still swollen so i decided to go and see my doc and he sent me for a ultrasound and that confirmed that i had a partial tear of my acl and i had 6 weeks of pt, after completing my pt i returned to play in my final's of my netball team where i again hurt my knee as i jumped up to get the ball i fell and landed on my bad knee, went back to the doc's (it is now august) he put me tablet's for the swelling and sent me for more x-ray's and yet another ultrasound which confirmed significant patella tracking after yet another visit to the pt i was sent on my way. still in pain and a fair bit of swelling and with pin's and needles i went back to my doc's who then refered me to a ortho who then sent me for a mri which confirmed that i tore my acl and meniscus (it is now late november 06) and he told me that surgery is my best option for a full recovery and that i'll be of work for 6 weeks and will have to stay in hospital over nigth. i go back and see him in a couple of weeks and then hopefully i will find out my surgery date as i'm getting pretty scared because i've never been in hospital and i have a very low pain threshold. i have read everyone's stories which has helped me get over some of my nerves. wish me luck and i'll keep you posted.

worried nik
November 27, 2006 11:15 PM

hi guy's this site has been such a good help to me as i to tore my acl back at the start of the year after many long months my surgeon told me that i would have to have a acl reconstruction and that i'll have to take at least 6 weeks of work. iam getting very worried about the pain i'll be in after the operation. is it best to be totally under while they do the procedure? what type of anestheisa i should have? i have all these questions running around in my head it's driving me mad...i don't go back and see the doc for a couple of weeks and hopefully this is when i'll find out when my surgery will be i'm gettin pretty worried about everything as this will be my first surgery and first stay in hospital. i'd love to hear from anyone if you have any tips before and after the operation my email address is

November 28, 2006 9:43 AM

Nicci, sorry to hear about your injury, it's not fun but not the end of the world...Personally, I would question the advice your Doctor is giving you. 6 weeks out of work? No way, unless you are doing manual labor work, then it might even be longer than that...If you can work sitting down or you don't have to lift/move stuff, you can work almost immediately, in my opinion. Before my procedure 3 weeks ago, I thought at least a week of nothing before I could work or do anything. If I had to, I could have worked the next day after surgery. It's nice to keep the knee elevated so it wouldn't have been ideal, but if I HAD too...Everyone is different, but it seems like you are getting extreme advice, so make sure your Doctor does alot of these every year. As far as surgery goes, I would go with general anesthesia. I made myself worry, and it is scary, but when it's over, I thought I got worried and nervous for no reason. Tell the Anesthesiologist that you get sick easy and he'll give you medicine to help. I didn't get sick this time and I have in the past... I scoured the internet reading people's experiences and it helped me. I went in thinking it was going to be a big deal, lot's of pain...I have had little to no pain, period. On a 1 to 10 scale, the most I've had was maybe a 2 and that lasted seconds...Oh, I had cadaver so that is probably a little less painful than Patellar but I have no reference on that... Good luck, try not to worry, and make sure your Doctor is the best you can get, if not demand a second opinion with your insurance by a specialist...It's so worth it.

November 29, 2006 2:21 AM

I can only get doctors in Kaiser network. My own seems OK. He's young and he states that he's done about 150. John - I have a consultation with your surgeon coming up in a few weeks though. I might go allograft myself...I really don't want to lose hamstring or patella. Too much pain and loss of strength :|

November 29, 2006 9:13 AM

I have been walking off balance for quite some time. I've had steroid injections and epidurals in my lower back. I have been on every pain pill on the market. Nothing helped. I had P/T and massage therapy. Recently I stepped down and had such a shooting pain in my groin. It feels like my knee cap is dislocated. I have muscle weakness in my back and legs. I have degenerative disc disease...bulging herniated, dehydrated and have stenosis of the spine. I'm going for an MRI on my knee. I'm in severe pain with my knee and back and groin. I was taken to the hospital by ambulance. The ER pumped me with morpheen and sent me home. No meds are helping. I've been treated by a chiropractor. That is only a temporary relief. I'm to meet with a surgeon to discuss decompression or possibly fusion. I have heard horror stories about fusions. I'd really like to go to the Lazer Spine INstitute in Tampa, Fla. but my insurance doesn't cover it. I wish they had lazer treatment here in NY. It's less invasive surgery. For all those who have severe back problems my prayers are with you. I pray every day that there is a doctor out there that can help me. I have been suffering for 5 years. I just want some quality of life. I want to enjoy my grandchildren. I couldn't even enjoy Thanksgiving and I can't even enjoy Christmas. I can't sit, stand or walk. I love to bake and cook and I can't even do that.

November 29, 2006 9:55 AM

Nat, as long as you're confident in your surgeon, that's important. Mandelbaum is a great surgeon and this has been very easy for me, as crazy as that sounds...4 years ago I had surgery on my knee to fix ACL. It ended up that my ACL was fine and he (a different surgeon) just "cleaned up my knee"...The month after that surgery was much more difficult than my current ACL reconstruction with Mandelbaum...I'm convinced having a great surgeon is key...Good luck! Carol, sorry to hear about your health problems, definitely no fun. I'm not sure how we can help you but will if we can...Good luck to you too...

November 29, 2006 8:35 PM

I have ACL injury and medial meniscus tear. My doctor (Kaiser orthopedic trauma) said to try PT for a month and see how I feel before I decide to have surgery. I'm concerned bout the ortho docs and wonder how I can find out who does the most knee surgeries. From what I've been reading and heard from others I should get the surgery since an untreated ACL can make the meniscus worse over time. I a 54 year old mom of two 4th graders who keep me pretty busy and since I'm an older than many who have posted I'm afraid that the recovery time will be very long. My PT says about a month before I'm up and about doing "normal" activity. My main sport is running which I miss, but can live without for awhile. My doctor also said that if I do have surgery I should have both done (if it were just ACL he said I probably could go without). Does all this sound reasonable? I am thinking I want to have the surgery and start getting on with the recovery but my PT says that the PT beforehand will only help when it comes time for the surgery. Hoping I won't have to wait for a surgery date. Any comments and encouragement welcome

November 30, 2006 9:32 AM

Karen, it is true that without the ACL you could be damaging your knee faster than you normally would. Doing PT now is great but it only drags out the inevitable decision you have to make, whether to have the surgery or not. Does your knee hurt? Do you have complete range of motion with no pain? If you have pain, it's probably due to the meniscus injury and not the ACL. My wife had ACL reconstruction 5 years ago or so, she's 35 now. But, before that, her Doctor recommended just fixing the meniscus and not the ACL and just strengthen all the muscles to compensate and she'd be fine. We didn't know anything back then and went with it. After her surgery, she still had pain and her knee kept giving out on her. She then had the reconstruction and has been great ever since. Had we known what we know now, she wouldn't have had 2 surgeries, we would have done them both right away... Because your 54 I don't know if the advice changes. You said you run and are very active with your kids so chances are you're knee will give you problems and you might some day have to have a total knee replacement, hard to tell. I'd get a second opinion from someone outside Kaiser. Even if you have to pay for the office visit, it's worth it if that Doctor is an expert. I went to Dr. Mandelbaum in Santa Monica and it was the best decision I made. I'm pretty sure if he thinks you should have it done he would recommend the cadaver graft also, easier healing. That's what I did and I'm a 36 year old man. Good luck, it's a tough decision but getting expert advice is the best approach while doing your PT. One more thing, my knee didn't get any better between my injury date and surgery date. It hurt when I moved it wrong and my range of motion was pretty poor, so surgery was the best thing I did...

November 30, 2006 9:34 AM

Karen- When I tore my ACL last April, my doctor recommended the same- a month or two of PT. I didn't want to go through the PT because the chances of it rebuilding your ACL are low. You are going to lose almost all of your muscle mass after surgery, so it will probably end up being a waste of time and money. Like I said, I didn't do any PT until my sugery (torn in april, surgery in august) and everything with my surgery and recovery went and is going great. But just because you don't do PT doesnt mean that you should get lazy! I still ran and worked out a little bit before my surgery which probably helped. I would recommend to go for the surgery as soon as possible ( or that works out with your own plans)... it is so worth it. I'm sure there are certain things you can't do now with your torn ACL, so the sooner that you can get back to doing all the things you love, the better. Good luck! Any questions, just write back!

November 30, 2006 6:34 PM

John and Cassidy, Thanks for your advice. I made the decision last night after I wrote the post to get the surgery as soon as I can. I have a friend that sells the arthroscopic equipment to hospitals and knows the orthopedic surgeons at my Kaiser. He's checking for me on the top 2-3. I may try contacting Dr. Mandelbaum and see if he knows anyone in this area. The orthopedic trauma doctor I have said I would get both ACL and meniscus at the same time so that's good. I'll keep you updated. The pain comes and goes from day to day so the sooner the surgery the better. Hope I don't have to wait long to schedule.

December 2, 2006 4:43 AM

Hi Adam: Well, it's Saturday, December 1st at 6:35 in the AM I just took my 6:30 meds, Darvaset (2) Antibiotics (1) . I am having so much trouble sleeping. I had ACL recont surgery Thursday Nov 30th and I think since then I have only had about 3 hours sleep. I am exhaused, but very happy to be over the "Hump" I think. My surgery was approx. 9:00 in the AM Thursday. I used an Allograft due to my tender age of 48. This was my 3rd knee surgery. I had Left knee arthroscopic 1997 and right knee arthroscopic 2000. I bi-laterally have no ACLs ( Intil now...) . since 2000. Even though I'm not a youngster, I am physically very active. I ski, Play tennis, ballroom dance and unfortunately since I began to be unstable this past October, decided to have my acl done so I could continue to be active and aviod some arthritis especially on the left knee. Missing 2 ski seasons killed me but hopefully I won't miss next year. I am feeling pretty good since yesterday 4:00PM ( 1st day post op) Before that just plain sucked! I had so much bone pain the night after surgery I was wishing for a gun so someone could put me out of my misery. I soent the whole eveing talking to myself. Trying to go with the oain etc. Unfort, since this surgey is now out patient, I took the meds, keeping up wth them on schedule, but they just didn't hit the pain, or even took the edge off. Once the digital block that they gave me in my femor wore off, I was in intense agony. At 9:00AM gthe following day I called my surgeon and was told I could double up on my meds, plus take 2 advil. So even though yesterday AM was as bad or worse then the first night, I seemed to fall alseep finally for 3 hours and when i woke up Was almost pain free. And thank god, I have been pretty much pain free since then, It was like having a fever and having it break. I was so thankful not to be in so much pain. You know you read sites like yours and never think it's going to be as bad for yourself. Anyway, I am writing you now becasue I just can't sleep. I am so drugged up scared that the intense pain will return, but the drugs are also making me so anxious. So I sit and try to wiggle my toes. I have started weight barring, and have done ankle pumps since i got home from the hospital. My doc doesn't use a CPM machine. His feeling is he wants the swelling to go down first and then have the person get their range back themselves. My PT also agrees with his proticol. Yesterday was scarry because when I got up at 6:30 in the am walking back w/ crutches I tried to bare weight and wound up taking a fall. Fortuneately after so many years of skiing I knew how to fall so I wouldn't injure myself. But It scarred the hell out of me. I feel on my butt back ward and straight. My husband was right behind me so he got me up, but I was soo shaken thinking i ripped the graft. I hope I can get some sleep and cut down on the meds so I can stop being soo anxious. I worry about getting a blood clot, falling again and stupid stuff like that. But I am feeling really good right now. I have the continuious ice machine on my knee 3 hours on..1 hour off and it seems to work great. I also can bare weight and I'm walking with crutches with a lot more confidence. I admit the only walking that I've done since thursday nite when i got home so far is from the couch to the bathroom and back. I can't wait until I see my doc and the scar on Monday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my swelling is down eniugh so i can start PT. I really got in shape for my surgery lost 25 pounds..and worked out with strength training, stability stuff and boxing for 4 months to get in shape so hopefully i can bounce back with patience..but also quicker than if I didn't do angthing. My PT was really impressed with how i was going in for surgery. Well I'm getting a little drowsy now..thanks for your site and i will keep you posted on my progress. I just pray not to have anymore pain like I did the first night and second day of surgery. That bone pain is really a nightmare! How long until I can get a solid nite sleep? I'm exhausted. Leslie

December 3, 2006 12:20 AM

hi joanna i tore my acl in jan 06 playing indoor soccer, i went and had it x-rayed and the doc told me that i sprained it, and i to didn't think much of it i thought the swelling would go down in time (yeah right) 8 weeks later the swelling hadn't gone down so i went back to my doc he sent me for more x-ray's still no result he gave me voltaren for the swelling but nothing so i went back and saw him again and he sent me for another lot of x-ray's and a ultrasound this time and that showed i had a partial tear of the acl i went to a pt for about 6 week and i went on my way back to playing sports thinking that i'll be ok well that was not the case i fell on my bad knee again the pain was so bad it swelled up again so off i went to the doc and he sent me to a ortho specialist and then he sent me for a mri (thank god i was starting to think it was all in my head) and finally i got a answer i completley tore my acl and medial menisus so now almost a year later hopefully he can do something to fix my problem knee. has anyone else had to go through the long waiting process to get the right diaignossis? i would love to hear form you - my email address is plz put acl in the subject.

December 4, 2006 1:10 PM

Nicci: I injured my knee about two years ago. Since the injury, I just lived with the off and on pain. Most of the delay in getting a diagnosis was my fault. I put off going back to the doctor for months. In October 06 was hunting in New Mexico and re-aggrivated the injury. The pain became unbearable. I went to see my family doc and he imdediately ordered an MRI. This shocked me! I was prepared for the HMO runaround between PT and x-rays but I was wrong. I had my MRI last week and the results came ACL tear. Just waiting on a surgery date now. I was lucky I had a good doctor that didn't string me along.

December 5, 2006 12:22 AM

When I hurt my knee, I assumed that it just temporarily dislocated and popped back into place, since I felt/heard the pop. I went to ER as soon as I could, and they x-rayed me and gave me pain meds and crutches and knew enough to refer me to an orthopod right away. The next day, one of my friends whose blown his ACL told me what it was, so i jumped on google and started researching right away. I was already prepared when Ortho confirmed it with me. It took 3 days to confirm.

December 5, 2006 2:29 AM

HI 12 weeks ago i injured my knee playing football (uk) a very loud pop was heard right round the ground and a spectator was almost being sick. My knee felt very loose and i couldnt bare any weight on it. the next morning after icing and resting it all night i went to A&E and had an examination and was told i strained my medial. i was sent home and told to rest it. after about 3 weeks i began running and it felt fine, i then started to run in my local woods over all different levels of ground. I then took the next step of starting training again. this started well and after about 6 weeks i started ball work. at this point my knee crumbled under me. i went to hospital the next day again after ice and rest but this time my knee was really swollen. i was sent for any MRI which took about 4 weeks. after that i rang the hosptial and made an appointment to see a consultant about 2 weeks later. it was then confirmed to me that i had ruptured my ACL as a minimum and was refered to physio and a knee consultant. i have now been told i have to wait at least 6 months for surgery and a couple of months before i even get to see the knee consultant. I'm completly gutted football is a magor part of my life and i'm stuck now and i wont be able to play again till season 2008/2009 at the earliest. what can i do from now till surgery?

December 5, 2006 11:39 AM

Leslie: maybe you're sleeping better now...BUT, anti-inflamatories REALLY helped me, where the pain meds did little, at least on the first 2 days. Celebrex worked right away and if I hadn't had that, I would've been VERY CRANKY for a lot longer.

December 6, 2006 9:01 AM

Im now one week and one day out of surgery and its possibly been the worst time of my life..I tore my ACL two months ago playing a game of pickup football with some friends when my knee got nailed while I was running from the side which caused the infamous "pop" sound, its hard to get over surgery and what people tell you to do for instances "Get up and move around".."If you dont youll under go another surgery". These things can cause you to question everything including your own life, one month back I was set to go to boot camp for the Marine Corps, looks like I may not even get to do that, this may be the single most largest and depressing roadblock in my life. Ive now missed two threapy appointments due to being inmobilized and not being able to make it down the stairs I have to go down to get to the car, not to mention nobody including my family thinks an injury like this is very serious. As depressing as this is ive come to question my own likleyhood and my very own being and life, as well as im asure many in the past who have gone through this have done. Ive never had a problem with depression or anything to do with it and now something like this, that just crashes onto you all due to an injury.

December 6, 2006 1:00 PM

I read Scott's and Im with you .... all I do is cry because of being on crouches this long.. its been only two weeks since surgery and I'm going crazy... I can't do anything for myself ... the house does not get cleaned like it should, bills are falling behind because I can't work... and its Christmas... and I don't even know how I will be able to buy Christmas gifts for my loved ones... my boyfriend is not taking care of his responsibilities and he is not standing by me through all of this... he is just putting me through more pain... and today because we got into a fight ... he told me its not his fault I decided to get my surgery done now... its not his fault I can't work for how ever long... I'm freaken out and I'm all depressed... I'm not in that much pain at all....granite the surgery went great... but my biggest fear is if I teared it again... how do I know if I did ... and what if I do... I want through all this for no reason at all....

December 6, 2006 3:34 PM

I know how you feel I live in the midwest and we got nailed with snow and ice and im afraid to step outside or on a stair if that, my doctor told me if I dont get moving ill have to unger go another surgery and im not doing it, all I think is I shouldn't of gotten this surgery it almost seems as if no good is comming out of it, funny thing is my doctor told my girlfriend and mom id be up and off of my crutches in two it is over a week later and I can barlery get out of bed..Luckily when I got hurt back in October I knew I wouldn't be up and moving to buy any Christmas gifts so I got that all done way before surgery, only thing now is will I be able to move even to celebrate Christmas? I guess only time will tell. Only reason I got this damn surgery done now was because everyone put me into doing it family, girlfriend, friends. Everyone told me id be up and moving in no time. Yeah right..

Adam Kalsey
December 6, 2006 3:40 PM

Scott-- So get up and start moving. Seriously. The two things that are probably stopping you are pain and fear. The pain sucks, but you'll have to work through it. It's better than getting arthritis in the knee when you're 40 because you walked around with a blown ACL. The fear is something you'll just have to deal with. For a year after my surgery I avoided sports, worried that I'd blow out my knee again. Finally I decided that if I was just going to sit around feeling sorry for myself, I should have skipped the surgery and gone straight to a wheelchair. Talk to your doctor and physical therapist about your problems. You aren't their first patient to deal with this and they can help.

December 6, 2006 4:05 PM

Adam, Thanks for the advice honestly I do try and move but my leg feels limp when I get up like its dead weight almost like its not there but it is obviously, its hard to explain but im sure you know how the feeling is. As far as the doctor goes today was the first time I was able to talk to him since pre-op. My biggest fear is falling on ice and having to go through surgery again or falling down the stairs. I wasn't given any time of brace neither to keep it steady like some get which now if I had id feel a little more sucure walking down steps as well as on the roads. All in all though I havent used my injured leg under all my weight since mid October and muscle wise..well I don't exactly think there is any there right now, although I was able to walk with one crutch just a week before surgery. Any recomendations for being able to move around abit more?

December 6, 2006 4:06 PM

I feel all of your pains and aches...including my own. But thankfully I am not depressed rather psyched. Maybe it's because I did so much knee work prior to surgery or maybe it's because I've had 2 other arthroscopic surgeries to repair menicus one on each leg. So I know the commitment you need to get back fast. But 6 days post-op and I'm feeling really good except for the fact that I can't sleep through the night and I get pain around 2:00, 4:00 and 6:00 especially if my ice machine warms. Drugs... I'm only taking Advil, I only took 4 today. 6:00AM, 1:00PM before my first PT session. You really have to be in the right head for this surgery. I hate walking with my crutches I hate being in and sleeping with my immobilizer and i hate relying on my husband to bring me stuff. At the gym I have to ask the trainers to get me hand weights so I can work my upper body. My dog even got poisons accidently this week and I could not bring him to the vet. It was 3 days post op and I had to get my husband to rush out of work to bring him to the vet. I have had plently of frustration. And All week long I have been living with my husband in a studio apartment. And he's gotton aggitated with me. so I know what a drag is has been for everyone. But still we all have a long way to just try to find it deep within you to get pumped for getting back and getting better..better than before. It does happen and it will for those of you who are getting depressed. The hardest thing for me is slowing down. I had my first PT session as I said today 6 days post op ( Nov. 30th was my surgery) and I was told that I was way ahead. Maybe they told me becasue I'm old (48) or because they were being nice..but my place is pretty serious and trains serious athletes Knicks, Mets, Yankees etc. so I was excited. I was expecting pain, but all I got was measured and slightly pushed but stimmed and ice which felt amazing. I have full extension and had I never lost it. My doc does not like the CPM machine instead he keeps you in the locked position until he sees you 4 days post op, then unlocks it to 30-40 degrees. I have 81 degrees ROM awhich I pusjed through that stiff knee on my own in the last 2 days and although I can walk without my crutches I don't because I know I shouldn't. I have been allowed to use one crutch as long as I am in the immobilizer. And i hate that thing. Can't wait until I can take it and chuck it. Tomorrow I get to go on the bike and try to make a rotation. I'm excited because If I can do some rotations at least I can get some aerobics in. I need it for my head..we all need this kind of stuff to get ourselves out of our own ways. I'm use to working out 5-6 days a week 1-1/2-2 hours a day. And folks even though I lost 25 pounds for my surgery i still have a lot more I want to loose, so the quicker I get back the quicker I can back on the eliptical back to boxing and back to my weight loss program. Try and have a positive frame of mind. It does suck and pain does suck, but we will all get throught it at our own paces. Your head has more to do with a good recovery than your body. We're expecting snow too, so I worry about getting to PT with ice on the sidewalks ( I live in NYC) just becarefull, do your exerizes and try not to sit all day. Get a frtiend to walk next to you if you're not feeling comfortable. Get up and move around ( unless you were instructed otherwise) ICE as much as you can and elevate, even if it's a while since surgery. You can never do too much ice. Ice keeps swelling down. Sewelling keeps pain down. No feel better and can do use as much ICE as you can. I'd rather get addicited to ice which makes my pins and holes and bone pain feel better than loading up on all those drugs. I'm not off of drugs, I just take advil for the pain and swelling. But most of that comes at night. My wish is for pain free not sleepness nights. Pain free days and a fast recovery to all.

December 6, 2006 8:47 PM

WOW. After reading the experiences of patients in the UK, Canada, and Australia, I am very glad to be recieving healthcare in the United States. Here and other message boards that I've been to, people from those countries seem to have the most issues with misdiagnosis long waiting periods for treatment.

December 6, 2006 8:56 PM

Yeah only reason it took me so long to get surgery I went to threapy before hand because my knee was so bent up and unmobile they decided to get some movment back in it thinking it would help post-op surgery.

December 7, 2006 4:53 PM

I am five weeks post acl allograft repair and finally feeling like things are getting better!

December 7, 2006 4:53 PM

I am five weeks post acl allograft repair and finally feeling like things are getting better!

December 7, 2006 8:31 PM

One week post op- 2nd PT visit: -extention: 0 -ROM: approx 85 -recumbent bike rotation..slow steady rhythm..hurt during flexation, extension no problem. -heel lifts both feet then single heel lifts. 15 reps of 3x -gait training without cruthes, heel toe heel toe -walking without crutches -side to side movement standing infront of table, without holding on, lifting each foot, building to holding 5 seconds balancing on each foot. -stairs up and down -continue flex stretching, heel slides, quad sets holding 10 seconds, hamstring sets holding 5 seconds, ankle bringpumps and flexation, standing slides, sitting on edge of table with with good leg helping to pull back bad leg to increase ROM stim, ice, while ankle pumping: 20 minutes of pleasure

December 8, 2006 9:41 AM

I feel for you guys. I am 4 weeks post op with allograft. Luckily, I didn't have any pain, never, none. I was on this little bike an hour after surgery and did that for 10 minutes every hour for two days after surgery then after the drain tube was taken out I did it less. I iced my knee constantly for the first week then did it less often after. Now, I don't ice it at all, except after PT. Anyway, I'm going through a little depression too. I'm ready to start going again. Before the surgery I was doing triathlons and was very active. My body is aching to get going again! So that's hard, but I do know I'll be back pretty soon. I understand the feeling of your leg just hanging there. You have to remember you are starting at the bottom now, your quad is fried and needs to start firing correctly again. My leg felt week after surgery and I remember feeling like there was no support whatsoever. But, now, it's a little weak still but it is amazing how much better it gets with the exercises. And, if you tear your graft again, my PT said you'll definitely know it. I always ask him that because my knee feels like nothing was done to it, just a little soar and generally weak. So, I feel like there's nothing in there! But, there is, you just have to start slow and steadily work your way up. My PT told me before my surgery, that there will be a time when you feel like "Come on already, let's go, let's move!", and he said, that's a hard time because you feel great but you just can't jump into things... You have to move your knee! I never stopped squeezing my quad, bending it as much as possible, moving my ankle, squeezing my calf, back and front, etc...I would also put my foot up on the coffee table and let my knee 'hang' there to get extension...Just a little at a time, that really helped and felt good after. Bend, bend, bend. You won't be able to bend it very far because of the swelling, but bend it. I was getting 90 degrees immediately and it got a little better as I worked it out each time... You are not going to hurt your graft unless you fall in the shower/ice, fall down the stairs, etc...Start walking on it, putting weight on it, slowly at first. I was crutch free and walking normally 10 days after surgery. I never had a brace or immoblizer, just an ACE bandage. My doctor is aggressive and I'm so glad he is! Good luck, and start moving your knee! Remember that you had the surgery for the future, not for this 6 month long misery train. When you are healed, you'll be so glad you had it done. So, keep looking forward, set goals down the line, etc...I'm planning races that I can shoot for next year, that's my motivation...

December 9, 2006 2:57 AM

John, I see ur surgeon in about 2 weeks. Hopefully, I'll have a pain-free time too :- )

December 11, 2006 9:28 AM

Is anybody waiting for surgery? i have full ROM in my knee now but i'm still being sent to Physio and i dont know why. I can run etc.. but just cant turn etc.. i know it must be hard after surgery but i cant wait to have it at then i can start working towards something at the minute i'm just stuck and sinking into depression. i dont feel confident playing with my little boy in case i fall. David

December 11, 2006 1:48 PM

David, how long do you have to wait? I scheduled mine as fast as I could for the same reason you said. I just wanted to start healing! If your knee feels great, I wouldn't worry about playing with your boy, just don't run around and jump. Before my surgery, I still coached my 5 year old's soccer games and kept as active as I could. The stronger you are going in, the better off you'll be in the end, I think.

December 12, 2006 9:31 AM

John - The problem i'm getting is my knee often gives way and i'm in pain for a few minutes. i dont want it to give way when i'm playing with my little boy just in case he thinks he has hurt me if you know what i mean. i've been told the fastest time i will get surgery is 6 months if i'm lucky, but i havent been added to the list yet because the consultant is away. I'm having a right bad time at the minute sleeping any advise???

December 12, 2006 11:07 AM

6 months?? Seriously? Are you in the US? Wow. Sounds like your knee gives way a lot...Mine gave way once after my injury when I woke up sleep walking and jumped out of bed...I immediately woke up in crazy pain. After 10 minutes or so, the pain got better and I went back to sleep. When I woke up, I had to use crutches, it was bad. That's when I called to get my MRI moved up to that day and expedited the entire process... Anyway, not much you can do if you have to wait 6 months for surgery. Do you wrap your knee with an ACE bandage or something? Not sure that really helps, but it might. Also, not sure what you are doing with your son that makes your knee give way, but obviously, stop doing that. I didn't run at all after my injury, but still was up and about, throwing the ball, etc...Just be smart about it, sounds like you don't have much of a choice... 6 months?? Crazy. Where are you, I'm curious.

December 13, 2006 2:39 AM

UK! NHS job. i have no choice but to wait. i cant afford to go private. It doesnt take a lot for my knee to give and cause me pain. just a little twist or a sudden movement. I only ice it if it swells but other then that i have to just get on with it. I have to go to work and put food on the table etc.... i'm hoping if i keep ringing the consultants sec she will just get sick of me and give me an appointment to get rid of me!!!!

December 13, 2006 4:00 AM

Wow, you work for healthcare in UK and you're getting treated like that?! That's awful.

December 13, 2006 7:49 AM

At the minute there is nothing i can do i'm just playing a waiting game which is waiting for my consultant to get back from a holiday which i'm told isnt till the mid Jan!!! it didnt help me being wrongly diagnosed in the first place because i think i've done more damage now.

December 13, 2006 9:34 AM

Two weeks post op now today and I took my first shower god I feel like a real person seem to be turning better I can actually use the restroom again on my own I can get up and do move around abit more now I just need my leg to jumpstart and be strong so I can walk..endless quad sets it gets old after awhile but it helps also helps keep blood going, well see today how well I do in PT and ill see my doctor god do I hate seeing him unlike the Threapist he loves to move my leg around quickly and it worries me to death lol, time goes on and so does recovery.

December 13, 2006 7:42 PM

Well the two week post op didnt go as I thought it would..he said it wasnt good and now I have PT all next week everyday plus two doctor visits, also I might have to wear a cast day by day after each PT session just to get it straight..I thought I was doing something right with all the quad get it flat then it would be bent up again..alot of work ahead, but hey my favorite quote "theres always darkness before the dawn"

December 13, 2006 8:19 PM

My name is Danielle and i had acl reconstruction on my right knee my ninth grade year from plaing basketball in junior high. i am now in 11th grade and tore the acl in my left knee while playing soccer at my highschool. they used my patellar tendon. i am 3 months out now and it has been pretty emotional trying to fully recover for the second time. i have decided to give up the contact sports and just focus on track. im nervous about how they will hold up in the future although i have done everything possible in and outside of therapy. i just dont want to go through this again. any words of wisdom?

December 14, 2006 9:03 AM

Scott, whenever you are sitting on the couch or in a chair, prop that baby up and let your knee hang, to get extension. Don't support the knee, support the ankle, so gravity forces your knee down...Maybe you are already doing this, but this is important. It hurts a little, then bend it back up, staighten it out, it hurts, bend, etc, until you can just let it hang there with no pain...My 2 cents. All I did was that and my exercises and constantly move my ankle and flex my quad and calf muscle, almost constantly...Good luck!

December 14, 2006 9:36 PM

John, I tend to do that alot but for whatever reason my knee loves to bend back up the doctor said while I have PT all next week ill have to wear a cast each day after im done which doesnt sound to fun tomorrow is my last PT of the week so im trying hard to get my leg flat as it can be..right now its flat but that doesnt mean much I wouldnt be too surprised to wake up tomorrow and have it bent abit. Well see what happens though and thanks for the advice.

December 16, 2006 5:38 AM

My goals for ACL surgery are different from most other people's I think: My goal is: 1.) Prevention of further damage to Meniscus by possible instabilities of the knee 2.) Prevention of 'early' arthritis. By 'early', I hope I never have it. My parents are in their 60s and they don't have knee arthritis...I don't want to develop it either. But with this injury it looks like my chances have sky rocketed. I wonder though: What is the best graft in terms of Long Term results? Which one yeilds less problems down the line? I wonder.

December 27, 2006 10:49 AM

After 7 months of rehab, riding my bike and hours in the weight room, I went swimming for a mere 5-10 minutes and my knee spent the next 2 weeks in swollen agony. I will stay away from the pool (at least the swimming pool); it wasn't the heat that caused the inflamation but the action of my kicking (which was minimal) during the short swims. I hope nobody makes the same mistake I did......

December 29, 2006 12:56 PM way.... I thought Swimming was GOOD for the knee. That doesn't sound right...

December 30, 2006 8:34 AM

To Nat: I'm very sure you will have arthrits because I am only 15 and I know I have it because my knee is stiff and sore when it is cold. I have wore down some of my cartlige, it's impossible not to. A way to help that is glucosemine and condrotin(sp is wrong) but it does help. I don't think there is anything that is better or worse. It depends on what your surgeon perfers, thats what kind of surgery will have. My sugeron prefered a hamstring graft and I have no problems. I would say those are common goals for most people.

December 30, 2006 8:34 AM

To Nat: I'm very sure you will have arthrits because I am only 15 and I know I have it because my knee is stiff and sore when it is cold. I have wore down some of my cartlige, it's impossible not to. A way to help that is glucosemine and condrotin(sp is wrong) but it does help. I don't think there is anything that is better or worse. It depends on what your surgeon perfers, thats what kind of surgery will have. My sugeron prefered a hamstring graft and I have no problems. I would say those are common goals for most people.

December 30, 2006 3:10 PM

Kristy, did they remove a lot of your meniscus? Also, a LOT of people tell me about that problem when it gets cold. Weird.

January 4, 2007 3:17 PM

Nat, No, they only replaced my ACL, I completely blew my ACL. And swimming is good for the knee, you shouldn't have had any problems but it could have been the way you were kicking, I wasn't allowed to do any kicking for awhile especially a frog kick(what frogs do with there legs)

Adam Kalsey
January 4, 2007 3:30 PM

Talk to your doctor about swimming before you do it. A number of orthopedic doctors I've talked to have said that swimming causes a shearing force on your knee and could cause a graft failure if done too early after your surgery. As with any exercise or activity after surgery, discuss your plans with your doctor before you do something.

January 5, 2007 11:24 AM

I'm interestead in becoming a sports medicine doctor and I was wondering what kind of courses I might need to take? Any one know? I've looked on the internet but i'm not having much luck finding anything. thanks.

January 7, 2007 7:42 AM

I had reconstructive acl surgery 10 days ago using my own hamstring graft. In addition, I had a large tear of my meniscus in the far back part of the knee. My doc said that they had to twist and turn my knee quite a bit to get to the meniscus. I still have major swelling and bruising on front and sides of my shin. The pain is excrutiating when I first stand up after being on my back. I can feel the bloodand pain rushing down my leg when I get up. My question is this normal? Should I avoid walking with crutches and pushing PT while my lower leg/ankle is so swollen and bruised? I continue to ice the region and take OTC anti-inflammitory meds. Are there other things that will reduce the pain/swelling/bruising? Thanks.

January 7, 2007 3:58 PM

Thanks, Adam for the tip on swimming. All I know is, the swimming I did (less than 5 minutes total) caused major pain and swelling in my knee, after 7 months of great rehab work. I've also decided to "shelve" the skiing for this winter and wait until next year... I guess I'll be spending more time at the gym. Oh, well. My abs are lookin' awesome!

January 14, 2007 7:40 PM

Ryan: I had the same surgery except I didn't tear my meniscus. Continue to use the crutches! Don't get off the crutches untill your PT says you can, you can injure yourself by doing too much too quickly. for awhile the blood rushed to my leg as well but as much as it hurts make sure you get up through out the day and walk around (on your crutches) to keep the blood moving. Did you get vikaden given to you? If it's really bad take the most you are allowed to take. My schedule was to take 2 right before bed, 2 when I got up and 1 in the middle of the day and as the pain got better I took less.

January 25, 2007 7:11 AM

I'm 16 yrs old and on Nov 4 i was playing soccer and riped my Acl off the bone. I had Acl Surgery on Nov 17 and it has been going good since. I've been running and getting back into lifting again. I play soccer and field hockey, and can't decide if i should play soccer this up coming spring or wait till june and play field hockey, because i plan to play field hockey in college. Recently i was leg pressing 270 pds and it started getting heavy and hurting alittle so i stopped. That night it started feeling like someone was hammering a nail into my knee. I iced it that night but woke up with a bump under my knee where i would believe my screw is. Has anyone every popped their screw out weight lifting and has anyone gone back into sports after 4 mouths and everyhting gone good?

January 25, 2007 11:59 AM

Brittany, wow, you must be super-woman! 270lbs? I had surgery Nov. 7 and don't think I'd want to put that much weight on my knee at this point...I'm running and doing all that too and it feels great... My wife had hamstring acl 5-6 years ago...After several months, can't remember how many, our son bumped her knee, right on the top of her shin bone, just below the knee...She developed a cyst around the screw and she had to have surgery again to take the screw out and clean the cyst out...Not a huge deal, but another surgery nonetheless... Don't know if this sounds like the same thing, but I thought I'd pass it on. Your Dr. said you could start lifting that much?

January 25, 2007 7:56 PM

Brittany- I blew my acl (playing soccer) when I was 14 and had it fixed at 15. I wasn't allowed to even start running till 3 months. At 7 months I was allowed to do like 10mins a day of light kicking, it takes a year for your leg to completely heal. The biggest problem I was facing was doing too much too soon, and it sounds like to me that you are doing way too much too soon. You are risking re-tearing your ACL by putting so much pressure on it. Are you going to physical therapy? I waited a year before I got back into soccer competively. I have no problems but I can be a little sore in the cold weather. Kirsty

January 29, 2007 10:05 AM

I had acl surgery for the first time 3 weeks ago, recovery has been textbook, PT is the best, however, when are you finally able to get a good night's sleep? It doesn't seem to matter how good I feel during the day, I wake up stiff and sore, like I've been set back----I'm not able to get comfortable and consequently haven't had one good night's sleep.

January 30, 2007 5:24 PM

i need acl surgery and im so scared what happens i want to know step by step do you go to sleep or do they just put your legs to sleep how long is the surgery when you wake up are you sick,can you put weight on your leg riht away did anyone use someone eles ligament ??????????????/

January 30, 2007 7:54 PM

I tore my acl skiing on Jan. 1. I am having reconstruction surgery using a hamstring graft in mid-march, but was wondering what to expect until then. I go to school in KS but am from CO which is where my surgeon is, so I can't see him to have him assess my progress at this point. Right now I can walk pretty well, and bend and straighten a LOT more than I could, but definitely not all the way in either direction. I also still experience some fairly sharp pain in different places when I try straightening or bending it a lot, or when I try something like flexing my quads. There is also still noticeable swelling. I realize there is a lot of damage in my knee, so maybe this is normal, but I just wanted to make sure. What is all you all's experience with how your knee was doing previous to surgery??? I really want to be in the best possible condition going into surgery and rehab! I could definitely see a sports med. dr. here and am not opposed to doing pre-op therapy if that will help me later. But some feedback on others' experience with pre-op knee condition would be really helpful! Thanks!

January 31, 2007 5:55 AM

Marcey- It as awhile before I got a good nights sleep as well. Where you sleep, is it cold in there, even just a bit? That might be one reason why because I get stiff in the cold, also it's probably because you go all night long with out moving it therefore it gets stiff. It will go away on it's on, just keep working on PT and it will get better. Alicia- Don't be scared, there's nothing to it. When you go to surgery they put you to sleep and they inject your leg with pain killers along with the ones in your iv. You will fall asleep and they will do the operation. You will wake up in the recovery room and if your in pain at all they will give you something to get rid of it(they gave me morphine and got rid of it right away). You can't put weight on it for about 2-3 weeks(wait until your pt says u can). But before you go they will have you get up and walk around on the crutches. You might be a little sick but nothing really bad. I used my own ligament but that's just one of the many methods. Adrienne- Well I went to a sports med doctor, i recommend that. I also did PT, which I think it did help me a lot. It can't hurt you. Just ice your knee and use a heat pack as well. Don't ice for more than 20mins at a time though. Try using an anti-inflamatory med like ibuprofhen. My knee surgery went great and i'm back playing soccer competivily. If anyone has any questions you can email me at

February 1, 2007 6:01 AM

Hi, Adam. This site and the many comments that have been added have been a real eye opener for me. My daughter, Kristen, plays D1 lacrosse at a major university. Yesterday, she had it confirmed through a MRI that she had a complete tear of her ACL. Being a high end athlete and wanting to get back to competing, I'm trying to find out what will be best for her in terms of the types of surgeries that can be done. I hear different things about Allografts, Autografts, and now even the "double bundle" method of autografts. From what I have researched - only a few hours into it at this point, it seems like most doctors feel that the use of the patellar tendon would be the strongest for her type of lifestyle and sports. However, the med school at her university has ortho surgeons that use the cadaver donor method (allograft) and say they have had very good results with it in their athletes who have had this surgery. It also seems that a very important ingredient is the preoperative PT. Is this still as important for one who is already at an ultra high level of fitness and currently in hard training as the season was just about to start? I'd love to hear what others think based upon their experiences. I was hoping to get some real feedback from you and others like you who have maybe been in the same predicament - especially any who are very young (Kristen is 20) and play at a high level of sport and plan on getting right back into it as soon as they are healed.

February 1, 2007 8:41 AM

Dave, sorry to hear about your daughter. It's not the end of the world, just an annoying setback. If you've been reading the threads, then I'm sure you've read about my story. 35 year-old male, ACL reconstruction with allograft (cadaver) 3 months ago. I'm doing great, I didn't have any issues whatesoever and it hasn't been that difficult, at all! I got a second opinion with a specialist, the surgeon for the Men's US National Soccer team. His advice was that if I was younger, he would recommend the patellar graft (autograft), but because I was 35, family, busy, etc., he recommended the allograft. I am very glad I went this route, it has been very easy and I have no pain. The thought of a light pain everytime I kneel down or bend my knee with the patellar graft worried me. Anyway, from all of my research leading up to my surgery, it seems that the differences between the two types of grafts, patellar and cadaver, are small, the overall strength differences are minimal, at least at this point. And, their relative graft strength is way higher than the original ACL. So, I didn't get too caught up in that argument and just went with his advice, and I'm glad I did at this point. I'm still very active. Triathlons, Adventure Racing, anything like that...I'm going to limit, or stop, all of the cutting sports, which I don't do alot of anyway just out of fear of going through this again... I hope this helps, I'm not sure what the literature says about the differences in female athletes, but I would think it would be similar. So, I would get a second opinion by a specialist if you can, just because you can... Good luck!

February 3, 2007 9:52 AM

Hi I had acl & meniscus surgery in oct. was doing great By Dec almost walking normal. I had the patella graf which makes the knee cap very fragile. (BE CAREFUL) Middle of dec my knee gave out and i fell breaking my knee cap in 3 pieces. Back to surgery i went. THey put pins and wires in to hold it together. Now I am still healing can only bend my knee 45 degrees. My biggest suggestion for those having knee surgery of any kind DO YOUR PT and listen to them they know what they are talking about. I hope i will be able to do my job. Everyone tells me i prob wont but I am going to try. I am a truck driver so it will be hard. anyone know if i will be able to get back to truck driving? Good Luck :)

James Letsos
February 4, 2007 8:25 AM

I'm a 32 year old active male athlete with a recent ACL repair. I played sports all throughout high school and ran two years of track in college. This is also my second ACL repair! I first had the surgery in 1991 as a 17 year old with my heart set on playing college hoops. Well, that never panned out, maybe because of the tear, but who knows. My Dr., John Hefferon out of Northwestern, performed it both times. If you've never heard of John, he's a consultant for the NBA and WNBA, plus he worked with a guy named, oh, Michael Jordan for years as the Bulls chief orthopedic specialist. Even has the rings! Anyway, the first time he repaired my left ACL using my left patellar tendon. I've read quite a lot of things on line before my second surgery and I don't believe this is the "gold standard" anymore. I had surgery January 16th, so I'm almost 3 weeks post-op and I'm doing fantastic. I've got full flexibility extending, and I'm about 135 degrees when pulling my knee toward my chest. I'm way ahead of where I was as a 17 year old because of the way the procedure was performed. I remember using a CPM machine for 5 weeks the first time!! This time he used an allograft (cadaver) and the recovery time is split in half. Trust me, after blowing out my ACL twice playing basketball, I've become a knee expert. Swelling was minimal, and he only needed to use 4 scope holes to do the job. He actually had to make a 1 inch incision about 4 inches below my knee cap to get my old hardware out. He had used an interference screw in my femor and 2 staples in my tibia to reconnect the graft last time. He felt the staples could be removed this time and replaced with a screw. Let me tell you, that was the most traumatic part of this recovery. Because the staples were so imbedded after 15 years, he really had to pound me to get them out. I was on 2 crutches for about a week and a half just because of the pain from the staple removal. No pain whatsoever from the scopes. Now, after almost 3 weeks, I've ditched the crutches and am beginning to get the feeling of walking properly again. It's important to be conscientious of how you walk after this surgery because one false step could land you back in the hospital. Since my quads are extremely weak, my leg cannot support the full load of my step. You don't want to hyperextend quickly by mistake because you can do damage to the new graft. The reason I believe that an allograft is the way to go is mainly because of recovery time. I referred my cousin to John Hefferon almost 3 years ago now and within 3 months he was fully recoverd; 100%!! That's amazing if you've ever had an ACL repair. I mean running, jumping, cutting, a full return to hoops. And no brace. I was fitted for a brace the first time, and I'll probably have one again for about a year before going solo. On another note, I've run into a lot of people that have had this surgery and not all of them have had it done the same way, even when the same graft was being used. I've seen people that have scars on the LCL side of their legs as well as down the patellar tendon strip. I never understood that. I had 3 scopes and one 3 and a half inch scar after my first surgery. Now I have 4 new scopes and a 1 inch incision. But remember, the 1 inch incision was to remove my old staples; if this is your first surgery all you should have is the scoping, no cutting. But it all depends on your surgeon. Let me say that again, it all depends on your surgeon. So, research a lot of Dr's. and see how they perform it. I know some use a hamstring grafts and others use a patellar tendon graft. I'm putting my money on this being a fantastic procedure. Plus, my doctor has probably done this a few thousand times in his career. He really is the best in Illinois, if not one of the best in the country! If this posting helped anyone, please let me know and I will keep updating you guys on my recovery. Thanks and get well soon! Jimmy

February 4, 2007 3:09 PM

Hey Jimmy, sounds like your recovery is going alot like mine is...I'm 3 months out with the allograft and doing fantastic...Running, biking, mountain biking, etc...I even played baseball today with my kids, nothing crazy, but I really wasn't worried about anything... Like you said, the surgeon is so important, it really is. My PT says it's amazing the difference between his patients, the procedure is the same, but the surgeon isn't...Some are so much further along just because of the surgeon. It's worth getting second opinions and going to the best...This is your knee for the rest of your life. Good luck, it's really not a big deal anymore, as crazy as that sounds!

February 6, 2007 10:17 PM

John, Thanks for the reply. Everything with my knee is still going great. It's 3 weeks today since the surgery and I'm almost almost there with full range of motion!! I just have a little bit more fluid to deal with before walking completely normal. My gait is not exactly like normal yet, but it's getting there. I have come across a pretty big concern within the last few days, though. I've noticed more and more that I'm having discomfort where they injected the nerve block. Sometimes when I sit I feel a "shock" in my upper inner thigh. I don't really think that's normal 3 weeks out. I actually feel like a slight "pulling" sensation when I first stand, but it disipates after a few normal steps. I called my Doc and I'm going to try and get in this thursday. I'm a little worried because I'm very active in sports and if I can never run without extreme pain, I don't know what I'm going to do. Has anyone ever experienced this type of residual nerve block effect? I'm pretty sure I can pin point where they injected me because I can locate the most tender spot as I grip my thigh and push down along my inner thigh. I'm also experiencing some numbness just to the left of the injection spot. I was not awake when they injected me. Please let me know. Thanks, Jimmy

February 6, 2007 10:18 PM

John, Thanks for the reply. Everything with my knee is still going great. It's 3 weeks today since the surgery and I'm almost almost there with full range of motion!! I just have a little bit more fluid to deal with before walking completely normal. My gait is not exactly like normal yet, but it's getting there. I have come across a pretty big concern within the last few days, though. I've noticed more and more that I'm having discomfort where they injected the nerve block. Sometimes when I sit I feel a "shock" in my upper inner thigh. I don't really think that's normal 3 weeks out. I actually feel like a slight "pulling" sensation when I first stand, but it disipates after a few normal steps. I called my Doc and I'm going to try and get in this thursday. I'm a little worried because I'm very active in sports and if I can never run without extreme pain, I don't know what I'm going to do. Has anyone ever experienced this type of residual nerve block effect? I'm pretty sure I can pin point where they injected me because I can locate the most tender spot as I grip my thigh and push down along my inner thigh. I'm also experiencing some numbness just to the left of the injection spot. I was not awake when they injected me. Please let me know. Thanks, Jimmy

February 11, 2007 3:00 PM

I am a 36-yr old mother of 2 who has a complete ACL tear from skiing several weeks ago. I am having surgery on Thursday and decided to use the allograft after talking with my doctor. It sounds like everyone who has used the allograft has had a shorter recovery time. Has anyone found a website or any articles that show the risks of using an allograft instead of an autograft? I am a little anxious about it and it seems everyone I talk to has differences of opinion. Thanks!

February 12, 2007 9:01 AM

Andrea, I'm a 36 year old Dad of 2 and had allograft on November 7. I'm very happy I chose it over patellar. The recovery has been very easy, dare I say that...The first few days are not fun, but they were not a big deal either, for me... As far as the graft goes, if you read alot of these posts over the last several months, you will get other people's experiences and that will give you an idea...After doing as much research as I could too, I determined that both grafts are very similar after healing is over. Some say the patellar is stronger than the allograft. If this is true, it doesn't really matter to me because both are almost 2X as strong as our orignal ACL, so saying the Patellar is stronger, didn't sway my decision. The other factor for me was I trusted my surgeon. He has done lot's of knees and is the Men's National Soccer team surgeon, etc...He knows what he's talking about. He told me if I was younger, 25 or so, he would probably recommend Patellar, but older folks allograft just works better, easier recovery. And, with 2 kids, you are going to want to get around as quickly as you can... And, the fear of infection, my biggest concern, is almost non-existent now. By the way, I was driving a week or so after surgery, I could have driven the day after but didn't...I still can't figure out if I just had it easy or this is normal, but it was/is no big deal...I'm still doing PT religiously, 3 times a week or so... Anyway, if you other specific questions, feel free to ask, we'll all answer the best we can...Good luck, John.

February 12, 2007 2:25 PM

i had 80 per cent cartlige removed how long to recove and can i still play sport

February 12, 2007 2:27 PM

i had 80 per cent cartlige removed how long to recove and can i still play sport

February 13, 2007 7:44 PM

John -- Thanks for the words of encouragement. I am hoping for a quick recovery like you have had. Good luck to you. Thanks again! Andrea

February 15, 2007 12:58 PM

Andrea: I had allograft in April of 2006. My sister-in-law, who is a surgical nurse, had allograft 5 years before that. I would not worry.....and good luck!

February 18, 2007 4:30 PM

An MRI just revealed that I have completely torn the ACL in my left knee. It’s been at least 6 months since the injury that caused it (don’t ask why I waited so long for the exam). I have full range of motion and only slight discomfort after extended periods of exercise, but am noticeably unable to compete in field sports at a pre-injury level. I’m 29 years old, extremely active and surgery will take place ASAP without question, but the waiting list is long (5 to 8 months in my area for a reputable surgeon that I can afford). Any advice on what to do to prepare in the mean time? I’ve been lucky not to do further damage in the last 6 months so I won’t be cutting anymore. The gym will become my best friend, but I want to maximize the effectiveness of the leg exercises and cardio I choose to prepare for the surgery and recover faster afterwards without hurting myself further. On-line research has begun in earnest and I’ll probably read all 482 posts in this blog before I’m on the table, maybe someone can aid my need for instant gratification and bring their experience to the top. Thanks!

February 18, 2007 4:41 PM

Mat: You most likely can't play any sports until you have had surgery. The recovery time is about a year. Once your year is up you will have no limitations(or atleast you shouldn't). What kind of sports?

February 19, 2007 11:21 PM

Chris, that is a long time to wait for surgery, sorry about that!! I would spend my time trying to find a way to make it happen sooner, but I'm just not very patient with things like that... Anyway, start reading the posts here, they are very helpful, I found anyway... I would do anything you want before surgery except cutting to avoid further damage. Biking, hiking, swimming, weights, etc...Whatever doesn't aggrivate it, I would think...Maybe talk to a PT if you can to get some opinions... Good luck and after you read everything, post any other questions here that haven't been answered already...

February 26, 2007 2:47 PM

Hey im 15 and i tore my acl in august of 06 playing competitive soccer. I had the surgery done 4 months ago in the end of october and ive been going to physical therapy 3 times a week, since a week after the surgery. Everything is going good. The doctor said that its probably going to be 3 more months until i can play again but the physical therapist said that i can probably make it back in about 1 to 2 months (He was leaning more towards 1). Who should i listen to? I want to get back out on the field as soon as possible but i dont want to reinjure myself. I was also wondering if anybody had any advice for me to help prevent the injury from happening again when i start playing again.

February 27, 2007 12:41 PM

Matt, you could probably play in a month or so, but you are putting yourself at a greater risk of reinjuring it...I would play it conservatively and let it completely heal. Some say this takes up to 1 full year, but I don't know for sure. My PT tells me that the hamstring is the most important muscle in preventing ACL tears because it takes the blunt of the trauma, if it's strong, helping the ACL. I'm 3 1/2 months out of surgery and feel great, so if you are feeling like I am, you're ready to go! But, remember there is still healing going on that needs to finish...Good luck, and get as many opinions as you can from experts if possible...

March 5, 2007 2:58 PM

I am getting my ACL and meniscus repaired in 2 days. tore it skiing. I am in NY and am going to a great hospital, specializing in these surgeries, and with a very good surgeon. He is telling me I have to keep my knee in a brace completely straight after the surgery for 3-4 weeks. It seems to me, after reading many comments, that many of you had their knees bent right after surgery, my surgeon says it is the only way to go, with the knee straight for so long, but working hard in PT (he is sending me already in PT the second day after surgery) I need as fast recovery as possible. Anyone here who had to wear the brace straight for this long?

March 6, 2007 9:17 AM

I am going under the knife tomorrow March 7, 2007. I'm a little stressed about it. I tore my ACL on February 9th. It is a little frustrating to heal over the last month, only to take a giant step back. I think this forum is a great thing. I have read many of the posts. They have been helpful to mentally prepare for what is coming (mainly a long-stretch of PT!) Looks like you and I are having surgery on the same day Julie. My email is if you want to be part of a real-time support duo. I was inspired by the daily diary posted on here and hopefully I will stay true to my plans of creating my own. I'm considering posting my daily progress on this forum. Matt (age 33)

March 6, 2007 11:55 AM

Julie and Matt, good luck. Julie, sounds like if your Dr. is having start PT a few days after surgery, then you will be moving it alot. The brace may be for protection when you aren't in PT. To me, that would be annoying since I was walking normally 2 weeks out of surgery, you will still be straight legged, possibly still on crutches. The only protection I had was an ace bandage around my knee, that's it. You have to go with your Dr's protocal, I would think, every Dr. is different... My Dr's advice was move it constantly. I was squeezing and bending it the entire time I was on the couch for the first few days...He also had me use the pedlar device which is a mini-bike system (like the old bigwheels)...If you want to read my 'journal' of my ordeal it's I still can't figure out if I'm an unusual case or the norm...I had almost zero pain since day one. Crazy. It's not that big of a deal, in the end...It's a pain, but you'll be so glad you did it in a few weeks...Good luck!

March 6, 2007 5:11 PM

Hey... I tore my acl and probably my mcl on Feb 25th skiing. (radiology report from the mri says I did tear both but the surgeon isn't sure about the mcl.) I'm going to PT three times a week, and doing exercises at home on the other days. My question is this... I'm 48 and very active with sports, ( biking walking, tennis, not sure if I'll still ski though ) gardening and very active at work. (I'm an R.N.) From what I've read on a lot of these postings my age should not be a factor in the decision whether to have surgery or not. I respect the surgeon I am seeing ( he did my daughter's meniscus a few years ago and he works with the Olympic skiiers) But he is telling me that he would only operate on 25% of people that come to see him that are " my age". He asked if I played basketball or volleyball, which I don't but I think there are other activities that would be affected by not having the surgery. I would appreciate any advice about the age issue, and would also apprecitate hearing from anyone out there did not have the surgery and how they are doing. Thanks.

March 7, 2007 3:50 PM

Marian: It probably depends on how "active" you want to be from here on out. I am 48 as well, and had ACL surgery 11 months ago. My surgeon gave me the I really want to do this? After some review of the activities I enjoy, he said "absolutely" I should have the surgery. The past year hasn't been a lot of fun, BUT I did get back into the gym and my bod' is better than it was 10 years ago! p.s. Your surgeon should know that there are USSA Masters Ski racers who are in their 80's!!!

March 8, 2007 7:18 PM

i have acl surgery next thursday. i am in the middle of nursing clinicals. i have all of spring break (a little over a week) to recover. :) the hospital won't let me do clinicals on crutches...if i miss clinicals for a week...i fail the class. i am ARMY ROTC and if i fail the class, i lose my scholarship. is it possible to be off crutches in a week and a half?

March 9, 2007 8:01 AM

Katie, I was completely off crutches and walking normally at 17 days after surgery. Around the house I didn't use crutches after the first week. For you, I would say it's possible, but you never know. There is a good chance you just won't be able to do it. How long will you be on your feet at a time? You will be walking/limping very slowly even if you are off crutches at work, is this doable? 10 days out, I could have done what you are talking about, I'm just not sure if my recovery was the norm or not... Prepare yourself for the worst scenario, what happens if you can't walk without them? My guess is that because you will be very motivated, you will make it happen and be fine, but there is always the little nagging voice that says, what if.... Good luck!!!

March 14, 2007 9:06 AM

Hi guys. I just had acl reconstruction surgery thurseday the 8 and my post-op visit is on monday the 19. I will get my staples removed from my knee. I just wanted to ask if anyone had this done and does the removal of staples hurt?

March 18, 2007 3:39 PM

Whaaaaaaa T____T I FINALLY found the surgeon I wanted @ Kaiser in Irvine, CA named Ted Funahashi, and my f**king company decides to change insurance carriers and the last minute and is going with some weird one I never heard of named "Great West". Plus side is I may be able to have the operation under Bert Mandelbaum in Santa Monica, but the bad side is the long drive, and I REALLLLLLLLY loved the service @ Kaiser in Irvine. >_______<

March 18, 2007 4:34 PM

Nat, if you can have Mandelbaum do your surgery, JUMP at the chance. He is fantastic. He did mine Nov 7 and it was a piece of cake, no pain, none. I'm 4 1/2 months out and doing great, couldn't be better. I'm in Thousand Oaks, and the drive does suck to SM, but it's worth it. You'll have this knee for the rest of your life, might as well have an expert do the procedure. My 2 cents, good luck!

March 20, 2007 6:06 AM

meridith... thanks for your info. I saw the surgeon yesterday and we have scheduled the allograft reconstruction on my knee for April 3rd. I have done well with preop PT, and I am really looking forward to having a stable knee soon!!! Has anyone else out there had an allograft??? My surgeon says that's what the pro football players get.... ha ha. It's good to know that other forty something women have gone through this with good results.

March 27, 2007 3:18 AM

ruptured my ACL back in september and i've finally got my date. which is the 30th April, really cant wait to get the op out the way and get back on the road to playing football again.

March 28, 2007 2:42 PM

Hi John :-) I spoke to Mandelbaum back in December, and he recommended Funahashi @ the Kaiser in Irvine to me, which is how I ended up with that guy. I think Mandelbaum is very experienced and has high-profile clients. My only issue is that he has this strong opinion that allografts are the way to go in Primary ACL reconstructions. I'm afraid of allograft usage. Not for the small chance of viral infection, but the possible higher chance for bacterial infection, immune-graft rejection, depleted graft strength, and unknown variables when dealing with a graft from an unknown source.

March 29, 2007 9:14 AM

Nat, I completely understand your concerns. I put my faith in his opinions only because he has done this for a long time and does alot every year... He told me that if I was 25 or younger, he would recommend Patellar graft, but I am/was 35/36 and he said the small advantages aren't worth the extra healing time and pain. So, I went for it. I am 5 months out basically, early Nov surgery. I'm doing great, no problems, I'm doing an adventure race in a few weeks and another one in May. It hasn't really slowed me down. Who knows the long term, I don't but I have no reason to think it'll fail on me...The new ACLs are stronger than the original anyway, so I'm not concerned... I had no issues at all after the surgery, like the ones you mentioned above...I guess I could have AIDS and I don't know it yet, but I doubt it...And, I had ZERO pain from hour 1 after surgery, unbelievable... Good luck!

April 3, 2007 3:57 PM

Hi John, I think it's awesome that you're doing well. I'm 25, but you sound like you're in better shape than me :-D Your pain issues, or rather LACK of pain issues, is astounding. I don't know how you pull that off, and I only wish I were so lucky. (I'm pretty sure I won't be).

Peter Tham
April 9, 2007 9:15 AM

I'm 58 in SF Bay Area & considering allograft on my right ankle. I'd like to know the experienced surgeon doing this in the area. Thanks, Peter

April 24, 2007 7:44 PM

So appreciate everyone sharing their information. Have an 18 yr. old soccer player, going to play in college who just tore her acl. After reviewing all of the information, still having a hard time trying to decide which type of graft to use. Have read that the patella tendon is the strongest, but it doesn't seem to increase stability significantly enough to balance the possibility of serious knee pain. Would really appreciate any insight on how your decisions were made. I realize that physician preference may help make the decision, but we would like to be as informed as possible.

April 25, 2007 1:19 PM

Diana, everyone will tell you something different. Dr. Mandelbaum did my surgery...He's involved with the men's national soccer team and does alot of knees. I'm not sure if he gives different advice for women athletes but he told me that if you're under 25, he would probably do the patellar graft. But, I was 35 when I had my surgery and he whole-heartedly suggested allograft (cadaver). It has been great for me, I have no issues whatsoever and I am 5 months out of surgery... The risk of knee pain for the rest of my life scared me also, so I trusted his advice to go with allograft. The bottom line is use the best surgeon you can get a hold of. It makes a huge difference. If nothing else, get a second opinion from a specialist like Dr. Mandelbaum in Santa Monica, it just can't hurt. She's so young and she is going to use this knee for a long time coming... Good luck!!!

April 25, 2007 8:04 PM

Thanks so much for your response. Every bit of information helps.

April 27, 2007 6:17 AM

Dianna I am 48 and had the allograft acl repair on April 3rd. My surgeon told me he used the allograft because of my age. But the other day I met a 16 year old girl at physical therapy ( who is a very intense lacrosse player and plans to play in college) and the same orthopedic surgeon gave her an allograft as well . So... not sure if this info. helps. But with either type of surgery.... make sure you find an OS who specializes in KNEES. Good luck.

April 28, 2007 4:54 PM

Hi everyone. I feel pretty encouraged after reading through everyone's input. I have a complete tears on both my acl and mcl and a partial tear, sprain, on my lcl and a torn meidal miniscus. The plan is to allow the mcl and lcl to repair themselves, about 6 weeks, then go and repair the acl via allograft. According to my Dr., there is much less pain in recovery with this vs. taking a graft from my own patellar tendon. He hasn't done that in 5 years. My questions are: 1. Has anyone heard of the mcl repairing itself? 2. Dr. was a little vague on my recovery. Mentioned some pt but didn't really go into detail. Any input here? 3. How long after surgery until I can drive? Dr. said 2 weeks but I am hoping for sooner??? I know it can be individual but I am looking for approx. time. I have 2 kids that will just die if i can't get them to an occasional movie or something. :) 4. Also, they are calling me to set up delivery of some sort of ice thing from a medical supply company? Anyone know about this. Thanks for the input.

May 1, 2007 10:07 AM

Hey Brenda, the ice thing they are delivering is a device that circulates cold water around your knee constantly...I didn't get one, my insurance wouldn't cover it. I did fine without it, not an issue really. The only benefit I see is at night, but the water is only as cold as you make it, meaning you have to load it with ice, etc...Anyway, either way, no big deal... I was driving at 10 days, but felt like I could drive after my surgery, believe it or not. I didn't drive for 10 days just for fear, I heard that if you get into an accident it's automatically your fault because you are injured...Whatever, everyone is different, and my right knee was the injured one... I don't know anything about the mcl, mine was fine...I think I do recall hearing that it does heal itself, but don't quote me... PT is pretty important. If your Dr. isn't stressing post surgery stuff, I'd be concerned. Mine just told me to go and I relied on my PT to get me through it...It's really important so go to someone who knows alot about ACL reconstructions... When you have your surgery, move your knee as much as possible, I am convinced it really helped me. It seems weird doing it like you are going to hurt yourself, but you won't, just bend it and move it constantly, and squeeze your quad and calf all the time too. When I was on the couch, that's all I did, bend it, move it, and squeeze it. My Dr. also had me on a little peddle machine so I was getting decent rotation around helping it move and bend. It just keeps all the fluids in there moving... Good luck...

May 6, 2007 4:00 PM

I had my surgery on April 25-th. Hamstring tendon was used. I did not have any pain in my knee after the surgery but the part of the leg from where hamstring was pulled out was killing me. Anyway, do not under any circumstances try to avoid therapy. If your doctor is not stressing post-op therapy then there is something wrong with him. Mine asked me right before they would put me to sleep did I already make an appointment for physical therapy. So far I'm doing great, I have almost full extension and 95 degree flexion only after one week post-op. I don't want to go against those people who deciden not to go with surgery, but my doctor told me that I do not have to do it because my muscles are still strong. He also stressed what is going to happen when those muscles are not strong any more.

May 11, 2007 5:04 PM

I have my surgery scheduled for this Tuesday, May 15 and am getting cold feet. I tore my ACL and meniscus playing soccer last summer while I was 12 weeks pregnant so I had to wait until after my son was born before getting the MRI and seeing the orthopedic doc. After the initial injury I had 3 days of limping and pain and swelling, but after that, I have had no pain whatsoever, just no stability in my knee. I tried to play soccer again 6 weeks after giving birth and my knee, even in a brace just wouldn't hold up. I can't see myself living without soccer and not coaching my kids and playing around with them, but the cold feet of actually going into surgery is hitting me hard. All of the comments on this website are very reassuring and my doctor has said that I will be soccer ready and running around again in 6 months if I follow my physical therapy and such. I'm just wondering if anyone has gone through this surgery (I'm having the allograft done with cadaver ligament and then meniscus repair at the same time) with a young baby. It would be helpful to hear any of those stories...thanks!

May 11, 2007 9:47 PM

I am 46 years old,total tear my acl.Two weeks since my acl surgery, Hamstring graft. Great surgeon, left hospital with IV ball for pain(3 days) and ice cuff, first 4 days were rough,percoset leaves you constipated, slept on recliner. On 4th day walked upstairs, slept in my bed( stopped pain killers, just advil). Started driving on 7th day. No CPM machine,just leg straightening and tightening my quads, and slow knee bending.Today I am bending my knee about 120 degrees,walking no crutches, no brace, start PT in 2 days.Healing well, some tightness. Stay tuff and be positive. I will keep you updated on the next stage, physical therapy.

May 13, 2007 9:16 PM

Hi I have a partially torn ACL and am considering having the reconstructive surgery. I am just wondering how long should be be expecting to take time off school after the surgery? and how often should I expect to visit physiotherapy within the first month post-op? Furthermore, will I be able to sit on a chair for 10hours a day and have my knee flexed at 90 degree for most of the time within the first month? thanks for the help

May 17, 2007 6:14 AM

Alright i have a problem. I had sugery back in october and i jsut got released about a month ago. I started playing soccer again and my knee felt great but yesterday i went racket balling with my friend. I was running forward, then i stopped quickly and turned around fast after i hit the ball. When i did that my knee popped. It didnt feel like it did when i tore it the first time. It actually only hurt for about 5 minutes. Now today its hurting alot worse especially on the inside of my knee. The pain is not going away and i am nervous that i may have re tore it. There is no swelling tho so i dont know if i tore it. I need some help.

May 20, 2007 6:31 PM

Had my surgery 5 days ago and am walking with crutches and getting around pretty well. Still no driving or carrying things around the house (4 month old baby is relying on daddy a lot!!) All in all the surgery went very well. I hope that after my post-op exam on Wednesday I am able to walk without crutches. I don't know when PT will start, but am able to bend it about 90 degrees and do lots of quad lifts. Good luck to you all who have this surgery...

May 22, 2007 7:04 AM

HI had ACL recon using hamstring 3 weeks ago. Things started well. The day after surgery i had 85 degrees and that is now over 130 degrees. i was walking without crutches within 2 weeks post op on my PT advise. I have a real problem though and was hoping someone can help. When i am working on my extention for example rising my heal on something and letting gravity push my knee down to full extention after about 5 minutes i find that i can't striaghten my knee, its seems like its locked or like something is jamming it. after a while it frees up and i can bend it again. spoke to my OS and he thinks it might be scar tissue but wasnt 100% and i've been told to see if it gets better over the next couple of weeks. anybody else had or having this problem?

July 11, 2007 8:34 AM

Hi everyone!! I am 17 years old post ACL reconstruction on 11/20/06. I am doing a research project so I can try and get a scholarship for college and I am wondering if any of you out there could answer the questions below and email me the responses to You don’t have to include your name. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated-thank you sooo much!!!! Gender: Female or Male Age: Did you strengthen your surgical leg before surgery? Yes or No If you answered yes to the above question, briefly describe what you did to strengthen your leg? ________ Did you wear a brace after surgery? Yes or No Surgical Graft: Patellar Tendon, Hamstring or Cadaver Ask your physical therapist for the following information: Your range of motion one week after surgery: ____ Your range of motion two weeks after surgery: Three weeks after? __ Four weeks after? __ Five weeks after? __ Six weeks after? __ Seven weeks after? __ Eight weeks after? __ When did you reach your full range of motion? __________ Your information will be used for research purposes only

July 28, 2007 12:38 AM

Hi.. My ACL is completely torn, But havent undergone any operation till date. I can walk properly , but can't run and can't walk on the stairs. I'm worried that will my condition be more worst after operation. Please reply me , Can I survive without ACL surgery

October 8, 2007 8:51 AM

Hi Ashkar Well first of all let me just say the surgery is not that bad. How do I know? Well I tore my ACL in march during a martial art tournament, got operated in may and since then it has been about 5 months. Most of thigh definations are back. I am jogging,running( sprinting), up and down the stairs and wear no brace, actually I never did wear a brace. Said that , its not necessary to have the surgery ,my case was different, I wanted to get back to martial arts. If you are not much of a sports person then you can do without the surgery, but you better consult a doctor.

October 29, 2007 10:53 AM

I had ACL reconstruction in 1988 (cadevar ligament was used). I followed with six months of rehab and have to tell you that for the most part, I resumed a normal life with my knee until last week. I had an MRI a couple years ago (because I heard it clicking); and they said I had arthritis in my knee; but I wasn't in pain... I am now 52 and when the weather got very damp last week, my knee got as stiff as it did right after my ACL surgery. I figured by the next day, it would be fine.... not. It's been a week and I am still limping when I walk. My surgeon has since passed away; and I can't get an appointment for a month! I'm taking Aleve for the pain; it helps a little bit. Can anyone that had ACL recon years ago tell me what to expect now? Am I headed for more surgery? knee replacement? what?

kyliue lanham
October 31, 2007 3:39 PM

I had an ACL and cartilidge repair 9 months ago. I was going great guns until about 3 weeks ago. I started limping and I have pain all around my knee,I had clicking and it also feels like its separating. I thick i'm in big trouble. Has anyone got any feedback for me?

cindy fisher
November 9, 2007 6:34 PM

Nov. 9th I had ACL surgery with patella tend. 10 years ago. I have been running marathons for the last 3 years. Last week during a run my knee starting hurting. Had a MRI and I have alot of scar tissue. arthritis and another tear in thr ACL. What are my options? Will I ever run again? Heard there was a new surgery out but my Dr. says it need to be out there for 5 years-any answers

December 4, 2007 4:33 PM

I had an acl reconstruction 2 yrs ago (patellar) and have been great. However, all of a sudden I feel tightness on my knee and it doesn't feel like usual. I am scared. I also felt some movement inside my knee a couple of times but have not felt anything else except a weird strange tightness. Does anyone know what this is?

December 14, 2007 9:34 AM

I had ACL reconstruction in May of 2006 with allograft. Somehow the mechanics of my knee were changed from the initial injury. I also had a bad bone bruise at the time of injury which never fully healed and a piece of cartilage fell off. This went undetected by my surgeon for over a year even though I felt some stiffness and discomfort over the entire recovery. Today my graft is strong and tight however I can barely stand for more than 1 minute because of the bad mechanics in my knee has put an unusual strain on my poor feet. My surgeon is clueless and podiatrist is only treating the symptoms--pain. My knee has never been the same since surgery and it never will. Yes, I have full extension and full flexion. Big deal. Be very careful that those bone bruises heal up okay. I think because my surgeon brushed it off for so long I now have big time problems.

December 16, 2007 3:34 PM

I had acl and lcl surgery august was six weeks before i was allowed to put my foot down and only the ball of my feet. that went another three weeks and i was also in a brace. my injury occured june21. it took so long for surgery because my leg was so swoll. so i actually started pt almost five weeks before surgery. i got my injury playing baseball. i pivoted to throw the ball and my leg just grabbed somehow and bowed outward. my orthopedic said my injury was the kind he see in motorcycle accidents so maybe thats why i was moved along slowly.its getting better but its moving slowly.

Mary G
December 19, 2007 7:11 PM

I had left knee ACL Surgery in 1995 and they used the patellar tendon. I had right knee ACL surgery in 2006 and they used a cadaver and there was no comparison. The cadaver graft was great. Very nice and easy. I am still having hardware irritation on the left knee. On the upper titanium screw on my femur bone. Anyone else??? The doc said I need to have it removed, but that would be 8 weeks and no weight bearing.

December 23, 2007 9:14 PM

I had a ACL repair and not reconstruction (no screw was used just stiches). I was operated when my knee was still swollen and 2 days after the surgery, I was put under a cast which was to be for 6 weeks. However, I felt breathless, after 3 weeks, and the doctor removed my cast to see for clots. When all tests done were normal, I was put on an immobilizer rather than a cast. At the time of this tear, my ankle was swollen which became normal when I was operated and cast was put. But since the cast was removed, my ankle has again swollen. Any ideas: 1) Why is the swollen come back 2) Why did I feel breathless

January 13, 2008 6:36 AM

Hello every one I just has ACL done 4 days ago and my leg & foot are still very swollen and brused, Is this normal? I can kind of walk with out crutches but only if I can hold to some thing and even then not for too lng at a time. They did use screws in my knee. Should I be worried about the swellen and bruses? any help would be great. thanks

January 15, 2008 11:00 AM

hi Tammy, i had my acl surgery (allograft) fairly recently as well. Of course some swelling is normal and the bruising around your knee and perhaps even around your calf is from some hemmoraging. I iced heavily and took a motrin (800 mg) every 12 hours to control swelling. You should have a follow-up with your surgeon soon to check your progress and make sure there's nothing serious like a clot.

January 18, 2008 4:25 AM

"Blew out my knee skiing" January 3. Torn ACL/MCL and Mediscus. Doing physical therapy 3x week. Doctor says 4-6 weeks ACL Surgery. This physical therapy is painful! Now I have ACL/MCL aches AND muscle spasms. Why? I do have a brace and am supposed to wean myself off crutches (I'm down to only one). The mediscus tear wasn't complete so don't think they'll be surgery there. What am I in for? I am quite active, even though I'm 52 and female. What should I ask?

January 25, 2008 1:21 PM

I injured left my knee on skiing Jan 20. Dr. said I probably torn my ACL and MCL (MRI in a week to confirm). 3 years ago I had surgery on my right knee (torn ACL). Is recovery time after surgey longer with a double ligament tear compared to a single tear? And is their any advice to speed up my recovery other than PT

Jenna 4 Pack
January 28, 2008 8:27 AM

Help...have a question. I ruptured my ACL and tore meniscus about 2 years ago during Judo. I had the surgery and did all the rehab etc...Honestly was worse recovery than I would have every expected, but that is all in the past. Well recently I have had a strange hard bump appear on the inside of the knee. Went to the ortho and they xrayed and can see the bump but honestly dont know what it is. I am scheduled for surgery to explore. Couple things he mentioned was a piece of bone, or perhaps the autograft is backing out a bit, or lastly a screw did not disolve as should have. Anyone ever have anything like this????? I am worried...

February 15, 2008 9:08 AM

I just had ACL repair surgery-not reconstruction. My doctor did this while I was out and did not know before had it was a ACL tear. He thought it was just the miniscus. I am a litte upset because I really have not found many good results for just a repair. I had it done 1/10/2008 and I still have weakness and soreness. I have a second surgerical opinion scheduled in March. Is there anyone that can tell me about the repairs?

Romi Simmons
March 18, 2008 2:57 PM

injured my knee skiing...on Feb 9,2008...I tore my ACL and MCL going to have surgery on March 27,2008. I have been going to PT twice a week. Sometimes it feels like nothing is wrong with my knee...but when I move a certain hurts. Anyhow..I am a bit nervous...but I am confident...that I will recover. I hope I am able to run again and play baseball and even snowboard.

March 28, 2008 3:00 PM

I am a 51 female 5th grade teacher who decided to play in the teacher vs student football game and when I reach for a student's flag as they tried to get by me...which I managed to get...I heard a pop and went down! Needless to say I tore my ACL and also have a 1 1/2 cm tear in my meniscus which they are going to try to repair. They are using the hamstring to reconstruct my ACL. I am determined to be back playing football and basketball with my students as well as my usual skiing and hiking that I do. I have been working out at the gym on the bike for about 45 minutes everyday. My only concern is when will I be able to be back at work... My surgery is March 31st. The school district won't let me be on crutches and since my injury on the 8th of February I have been out. Can anybody give me some direction??? As far as PT I don't care if it hurts if it is getting better.

Mark Lane
April 14, 2008 10:47 AM

I had acl surgery on feb 29th 2008 and it has been one month after surgery. My leg fills greats. I dont wanna rush but when am i gonna be able to play basketball again?

Brad Yurk
April 22, 2008 8:23 AM

I had ACL reconstruction surgery on Jan. 18, 2008 using a cadaver graft. Things went good for about a month until my PT sent me home increasing my weight for my lifts and also increased my repetetions quite a bit. They said I developed tendinitis from the physical thearpy. The only thing is it has never went away and the pain and swelling are alot worse. have not had thearpy for over 2 months now cause of all the swelling and irritation. I went back to work 3 weeks ago to a mostly sit down job and have gotten worse. I saw my doctoe a week and ahalf ago and he gave me a cortizone shot to see if that would help with the inflamation and it did'nt even touch it. I went back to doctor yesterday so today I'mhaving surgery again to see if I'm rejecting the graft or whats going on to see why my leg has stayed swollen so long. I walk with a terrible limp. Is this something I'm going to have permament damager from? I'm 47 years old and have alot of living to do yet. It's very scary!! Thanks for any help or encouragement.

May 31, 2008 8:35 AM

This is my 2nd ACL surgery, and need advice. I first tore left knee ACL (and other 3 ligaments in knee plus cartilage) in 2001. Had another surgery in 2004, same knee, for more torn cartilage. Except for new injury this year, all was going ok This March, I fell on both knees....I believe I tore cartilage (again) in left knee, but they won't check, because we knew I tore ACL in right knee (said they work on worse knee first). I finally had surgery April 25, and while there's still swelling, the knee seems to be ok. The problem I have is the ankle bone (inside one) and shin right above the ankle. I have tremendous pain there, so much that you can't touch that area. Originally the doc said that's normal, due to blood pooling in foot, etc etc. But it's gotten worse, not better. At this point, I think he thinks I'm making it up....but it's intensely painful, hurts to even walk on it, and hurts more than the knee ever did. Anyone have any suggestions? I do the stretches, etc, but it really hurts the ankle and achilles part, and no-one seems to want to listen to me (I deal very well with pain, and am not a wimp...but something is not right problems like this with other knee surgery. Today is 5 weeks past surgery. Feel free to email me with suggestions at eajr81@

June 6, 2008 11:09 AM

I had acl reconstruction using a cadaver graft it now exactly 6 months. I have played basketball for about 3 weeks now with no brace but if i have not warmed my knee up and so some type of heavy movement on the knee i feel laxity that cause extreme pain but minor swelling told my doctor and really get no feedback as to if it is normal or not i was told to strenghten my hamstrings some more due to about an inche difference in thight size i do still have about a 3 mm + on a drawer test which doctor is aware of still he says this is normal and told me to come back in 4 months is he just brushing me off or this is normal in rehabilitation

June 13, 2008 2:01 PM

I had arthroscopic knee surgery to repair torn menicus and damaged lateral and anterior tendons. I had been doing fitness class called BODYPUMP for three years. The result has been rapid recovery. I was able to do modified work outs within two weeks after standard PT. Therapist cleared me for work with only 5 % loss of strength from surgical knee compared to non-surgical. Work-outs have been 3 times per week and continue to show strength gain and mobility. Bodypump seems to have been a major factor in improved condition going into surgery and rapid recovery after.

June 18, 2008 4:13 PM

I Had ACL Surgey It Will Be 2 Years In Oct And I Walk With Limp. My Leg Is Still Swelling .Iam On My Feet Alot Bartender . Iam Going To A New Dr Next Week . still Going To Thearpy. It Fills Like It Going To POP Out When I Walk. I Think I have Permament Damager .

July 14, 2008 7:11 PM

The pain is bad on and off throughout the day (this is evening of Day 4). I took dressing off at 48 hours per doctor and am able to shower. I do 2 sets of each exercise, three times a day (extension holds & leg lifts). Then the knee starts to hurt so I have been using ice in a ziplock pretty much continually. The worst part? That even bothers me more than the pain & swelling? It's the rash I have on my a** from sitting or reclining on my back for so long. I tell you, this rash is itchy and painful, although not very visible. I have used every topical cream or gel that I can find in our closet. Found something called Desonide that takes the edge off, but not for long. I have first follow-up appt. in two days and my first complaint will be about the rash LOL!

July 22, 2008 9:50 AM

my husband just had a total knee replacement in oct.07 and it never got better so just had it redone again on the 7-9-08 been two weeks tomomorow he is still in lots of pain could someone tell me how long the pain will last thank you

July 31, 2008 7:01 AM

my son had acl and pcl repair on both knees ,they were2years apart, he races motorcross. his last surgery was 3year ago. we sold his bikes. he just bought another one took it in a field near our home and came back with swelled up knee. the first time back on the bike. he hasnt been to the doctor yet. we are just hoping that it is badly buised that is causing the pain,but it is very painful for him he said he felt his knee pop out. and than pop right back in. but says it feels a little loose. has anyone had this happen to them these problem with a repaired knee before thank you pam

August 28, 2008 7:37 PM

Okay, I have read all these comments and it has been an emotional roller coaster for me... so are good and some are bad. My ACL, MCL and meniscus are all torn... I have not had any pre surgical threapy... It has been 4 weeks and I am walking with a minor limp. I have certainly learned alot... 1. I need to get into shape for the surgery. 2. I need to weigh using my hamstring vs a transplanted ligament 3. I need to get my schedule in order for my recovery. Great resource for getting information! Thank you

September 20, 2008 10:08 PM

I had the ACL Surgery with screws and all.10 yrs ago. Now I am having some problems again.It feels like my leg locks up on me and I can't straighten it or move it.I have to keep rubbing it and let it relax before I am able to move it again.The pain takes my breath away.Has anyone have this happen to them.I guess I'll call the doctor and get it checked out!

September 25, 2008 9:57 PM

My son had ACL reconstruction with "lars" techinque in Canada three wks ago. He was able to walk without cructhes or a brace two days after surgery. He is walking without a limp already. He has started jogging. He is a football kicker and actually punted a few times today. It hurt but he did it. He is not sure if he is going to play next wk or the following . The doctor said he could but it may hurt.They used the Artificial ligament as a scafold until his grows back so he is 100% strengh from day one. It was about a hour surgery and the doctor is amazing. As far as pain, he was taking vicodin but hasnt taken one in a few days so beside the pain from kicking he is doing pretty good. He has full range of motion, and it is pretty close to straight. He can almost lock it completly.The phyiscal therapists and sports trainer are if you want more details.

October 7, 2008 1:10 PM

I'm 42 unfit with multiple injuries. Small injury morphed into this ACL issue. ARG! Now am looking down the barrel of surgery. Have searing, almost sandpaper feeling in my joint-line. I want to know if people ever get their leg to be 100 percent again post surgery. No activity restriction? How soon to get to the no limp, no pain point? What about those poke holes? Do you now have ugly scars?

October 12, 2008 12:39 PM

In response to fox on 9/25/2008. Our son injured his knee last Friday night during his high school football game. He is a senior and like your son, also a kicker. We will not have a definitive diagnosis until the MRI this upcoming week. Your story is encouraging and would love to have more detail. Please email any info you have to Thanks!

October 17, 2008 3:44 AM

kiki: I would have loved to have heard an update. That 3mm doesn't sound right after recon. Did they use the KT-1000 on you? ~S:)

October 17, 2008 3:44 AM

kiki: I would have loved to have heard an update. That 3mm doesn't sound right after recon. Did they use the KT-1000 on you? ~S:)

October 17, 2008 3:44 AM

kiki: I would have loved to have heard an update. That 3mm doesn't sound right after recon. Did they use the KT-1000 on you? ~S:)

christina Gomez
October 17, 2008 1:33 PM

Hello everyone. My name is Christina Gomez and I am 18 years old. I just had surgery on Tuesday for my third acl reconstruction. I had a double bunddle reconstruction this time. This surgery is a lot more painful then other regular acl replacements but from what I heard well worth it. I am actually more behind in doing things now, and having a lot more complications (even though the surgery went well). It really sucks but you have to push through it.I actually continued playing softball without to much pain after my first two. The only things i have to say is make sure you listen to your therapist. It sucks, and is usually very painful but you have to do it. Think about the long run not the short term. And always remember there is always someone out there that has it worse then you! Christina Gomez

October 19, 2008 11:28 AM

Anyone do the double-bundle?

October 23, 2008 3:41 PM

I just found this website. Can anyone tell me if their knee hurt quite a bit following their ACL injury? My injury happened four weeks ago, but I still have swelling, walk with a limp and my surgery is four weeks away. I tore my ACL, bruised my tibia and femur and injured my meniscus, all because I landed wrong in a back flip. I'm 41 and very active/athletic. I am trying to get my leg back to "normal" as much as possible prior to the surgery. Any tips?

November 5, 2008 2:28 PM

I'm looking for info on multiple ACL injuries. I'm on #3 and going in for surgery in 2 weeks. The doc said that he may have to do two surgeries and he won't know until he gets inside. But, if the metal that's in from previous 2 surgeries causes him not to find a spot to attach the new ACL then he will have to take metal out, fill with bone graft and then I go home and heal. Then, I have to actually get the ACL surgery with the new smooth surface. I want to find out the statistics for having this happen after 2, after 3, etc. Anyone know?

Kristie Scott
November 7, 2008 7:27 AM

My son tore his ACL during football practice on 9/22/08. It is his senior year in high school and this injury has ended his high school season. He is depressed and not doing very well in school since the accident. He is 6'9" tall and was excited to play college basketball and now we don't know what to expect. We are going for a second opinion on the double bundle technique. From all that I have read it sounds like a good procedure. How do athletes and especially high school seniors get through this injury with any hope?

November 8, 2008 10:39 AM

Kristie: Wow...your baby has grown TALL! Its so cool that you are exploring all the options. I can't help feeling after all that I've read that the double-bundle looks pretty darn good. As far as hope..... I'm still on this side of the surgery, and think if I can get into post-op spirits will improve. Its the limbo and waiting....that kills ya. You want to wake up in the morning with a direction and this injury takes that its good that your are so understanding toward your son.:) If he gets the right surgeon and follows PT, he should be back with gusto. Lots of athletes come back better than ever because the training is so focused.:) Think of it as just a blip...not a sentence. He's got to have that leg for a life-time...and if he takes care of it properly will serve him well when he's chasing around his grandchildren.:) ~E:)

November 20, 2008 4:26 PM

Hi guys! It's been 2 1/2 years since I've had ACL surgery using a cadaver "part' and I'm 49 years old. THIS WINTER, I feel will be able to ski just like I did before my ski accident. I've been patient, been working out 4X per week and paying close attention to my quads, leg strength, etc. Last winter I thought it would have been "dicey" trying to go back to skiing the way I used to (I like fast groomers) but THIS winter, I know my knee will be in GREAT shape for WHATEVER!! So, if any of this is of interest to any of you, be patient. WORK OUT. Build strength....get strong. Don't rush the return. I can't wait to cruise this winter!!

Debbie S
November 22, 2008 7:48 AM

Meredith, thank you for your success story! It's stories like yours which give us encouragement and hope. Have a GREAT time on the slopes!! - From a 46 year old martial artist, 5 months postop.

November 30, 2008 9:32 AM

Hi! I had ACL surgery 3 weeks ago, using cadaver ligament. I did not have any pain at all, I used pain killers for first 4 days every 6 hours, after that just at night , not because of pain, it's just helped me to sleep. It is very uncomfortable to sleep with the brace. I was off crutches on 5th day after surgery. Week ago I had 130 degree range of motion, which is great! My PT is very happy . I started to use bike week ago and I am doing it every day 10-15 min. My knee is feeling better every day, sometimes I feel little pressure and pulling , but it is all normal. I think the most important is to be very optimistic and do everything what doctor and PT say to do. Also you have to do PT at home every day.

Ms Glitz
November 30, 2008 6:06 PM

Hi everyone. I am now 6 months post-op following a ski accident at Vail, CO. I had a hamstring graft and worked very hard at PT and chiropractor to get the "bad" knee strong again. I have now hired a personal trainer to take me to the next level - passing the "hop" test for my surgeon on Tuesday. It has not been easy - shed many tears, but the bottom line is, if you are committed to rehab, you will get there. I hope doc will tell me I can return to Vail in March to successfully ski the run that I could not finish. I am 56 years old and am doing serious jumping and stability exercises to get me prepared. Don't give up - there is light at the end of the tunnel for ACL patients!

Ms Glitz
December 2, 2008 4:44 PM

Woohoo........ I saw the surgeon today and the knee is strong enough to ski this winter. Don't give up hope - the hard work and pain are definitely worth it if you wish to return to previous level of activity and quality of life.

December 8, 2008 3:02 PM

My son is now three months post opt after LARS. he is a kicker. he was able to get back into the game at about five months post opt. the last game he played he kicked it into the enzone and was kicking about fifty yards at practice. he was hitting the score board on extra points at about 7 wks. We had it done in Canada and it was well worth it. he is running and rarely complains about pain. he will play college ball next year. please email me if you have any questions. it was not a easy choice to make but so glad we did it.

December 8, 2008 3:48 PM

sorry that was five wks post op that he played his first game and he a 37 yard field goal.He is now nine wks and is almost as good as before. emotionally this took its toll. the coaches were not resceptive of him coming back so soon so that also lead to dissapointment as he would have liked to play more.this lars surgery was amazing

December 12, 2008 6:24 PM

iam 6 weeks post op from my cadaver acl surgery and Iam still limping pretty good and dont have full range of motion. I have been going to pt twice a week and results have been slow. saw surgeon last week and he said if i dont improve in a month he will have to operate again to see if "arthrofibrosis" is present. Any body ever have this? My knee still feels very tight across the top is still swollen and hard to bend. Any thoughts would be apreciated.

Debbie S
December 14, 2008 3:10 AM

Why so much frenzy about rushing back into intensive sports? Isn't it better to make sure that the knee is healed and in complete working condition? There is so much that has happened in that joint, after any kind of operation, that is not visible from the outside. Are the risks really worth it? (This is health we are talking about after all). Is "rarely complaining about pain" OK? ...just a thought...

December 28, 2008 10:32 PM

why the frenzy, because he is 17 and his senior year and it was important to him. and of course we wee scared to death and still wonder. Regardless of what kind of surgery, he would have pain. as parents it was not a easy choice to make but after researching we went with the artificial ligament so he could play his senior year and will play college next year. He is doing great and is going snowboarding this wk and will be in a national kicking competion in Las Vegas in Jan. if he had the surgery here he still would not be kicking. it is four months post op if anyone has questions feel free to email me.

September 1, 2009 8:23 PM

I tore my ACL going on 2 months now from an ATV accident. I have no health insurance, but I already paid for the doc visits, and my MRI showing that, Yep, I COMPLTLEY tore it in half, along with fractures in my tibia bone which my doc told me I had to stay on crutches for the past 8 weeks to heal first before I could even think of surgery. Oddly enough, my mensicus was intact for such a hard blow. The Doc I was seeing was in Florida where I went to heal up for a while with the help of my parents. Well, I am now living back in Texas, and I missed my last doc apt., so Im not even sure if I should be off crutches, but I cant stand them anymore! Plus i really dont want muscle atrophy kicking in! I have never hurt myself before, and Im not active in sports or anything, although I am just 25, and DEF NOT lazy. The doctor I was seeing never mentioned pre PT...looks like its a big deal to do. My question is would it be worth coming out of pocket for pre PT or should I just get the surgery and then do PT? Im sared to be put under and go under the knife!

September 3, 2009 5:41 AM

Tiffany, you will definitely benefit from doing pre-op PT. But, you may be able to do it on your own or at a gym so as to keep costs to a minimum. You could probably get a home program from a PT. That's what I did.

December 14, 2009 1:52 PM

With all of the people who have submitted on this blog throughout the years, I wonder if anyone can speak to their experience of reconstructing the ACL with Tibialis allograft, and how it fared while playing football in High School or College. Did the allograft hold up? How long did it take to get back to playing football? My HS football paying son recently had an Double Bundle Tibialis allograft ACL reconstruction.

December 18, 2009 12:48 PM

I tore my acl and lcl playing volleyball. im in the 10th grade and was really scared. i have never had anything major happen to me. i had surgery september1. the first week sucked so bad. im currently going to rehab, hoping to get my leg/knee stronger for softball season. i have a college looking at me, and ive be keeping in contact with them, and im scared that if i tell them about my knee, they wont be interested. im really scared, that i wont be able to catch again. is there a chance i will ever be able to catch again?

January 7, 2010 6:58 AM

I have a different story than most here, I severed my acl in a moped accident (age 18 am now 47) had repair with an allograph at age 42 and meniscus repair 6 weeks after allograph surgery. So I lived 25+ years with NO acl and learned what I could and couldn't do and accepted my limitations. I now live with those limitations the worse being because my knee was so instable fo so many years I now am a total knee replacement candidate ( have to wait till age 50 for this ) and because I always favored the one knee my other knee is trashed. If I could go back in time, I would fix it immediately and not wait because the effects of the collateral damage just aren't worth it

February 24, 2010 8:57 PM

I just had ACL reconstruction surgery in 2/9/10. So I'm 14 days post op. I tore my ACL playing tennis in July 2007 but was unable to have the surgery @ that time due to a blood clot in my "bad" knee (DVT). I had PT instead to strengthen my knee & it felt pretty good but mentally I held back from everything I did because I was scared of additional damage. In any case a lot went on moved to another state & I messed the knee up again - washing the dog of all things. So I found a good OD and scheduled the surgery for this winter. I did research on the graft and went with the hamstring autograph because it was proven to be just as strong as the platela tendent with less long term pain. So far so good. Healing well, staples out, started PT day 3 post op, full extension, ROM about 85 deg (additional swelling due to being on Lovenox). Was able to walk with a brace since day 9 w/o crutches. Things I learned: the process is exhausting because everything takes more energy, your mind is ready to get back to normal before your body is, staying positive works wonders as do others prayers. Thanks 4 this blog. It's an aswome resource.

March 3, 2010 2:00 PM

I really thought that reading these posts start to finish would help me make my decision of what type of surgery to opt for, but I'm still very confused! (and I have to decide... yesterday!) I tore my ACL snowboarding a month ago, thought it was a bad sprain until 2 weeks ago when I had the MRI done. My doc told me that most 'elite' athletes will do the patellar graft and that for me considering the cadaver route was probably best. Thing is, I'm 27, I play pretty rough and I'm active in triathlons and adventure racing and I won't give up contact sports, winter sports, etc... Perhaps I'm not an 'elite' athlete, but i don't want to sell myself short. Also, I need to be back on feet pretty soon b/c I'm a bartender and I can't afford to miss work for more than 2 weeks or so after surgery. It seems like the healing process is a great deal shorter with the cadaver route. (this a bonus because my insurance is pretty lame and won't cover very much post-op physical therapy) I'm so confused! Hoping I'll have a revelation tonight! :o)

March 6, 2010 11:40 AM

I tore my ACL 2 years ago and opted not to have the surgery. I did well until around 6 months ago when I noticed my good knee hurt a lot. Fearing ruining my good knee, I had the ACL reconstruction 2 weeks ago using my patellar ligament. Everything is going well. I am off the crutches and only use my brace if I know I will be walking a lot. Will be starting PT next week and don't regret my decision at all.

June 18, 2010 5:42 PM

Tore ACL off femur bone while skiing March 2010. Got reconstructive ACL surgery this past Wednesday (6/16/10). Got tendon from donor. Am in extreme pain!! Just started getting painful spasms down my knee and through the front of my leg, on down to my ankle. Within the past hour have developed a slight fever of 99.4. Waiting to hear from my doctor at the moment!

July 17, 2010 8:31 AM

I am going into my 4th month since surgery. I have just started horseback riding on flat. I went to a show and had absolutely no pain but now it is coming back. I go to PT for 3 hours 2x a week and the gym everyday I DONT have PT. The first 2 weeks after surgery was absolutely terrible, the pain meds made me sick to my stomach and I was always exhuasted and my knee always bothered me in some way. At first I cried everynight... After the 2 weeks I started to get over it and relly jsut work on getting back b/c everyday I am closer to being back on my horse fully or back on the soccer field. The past months I have been happy and hanging out with friends not thinking about hjow much longer I have to go... now I am starting to get ancy and frusterated again. I am not trying to be cocky but I have always been the best player on my team for soccer... I am going into High School and my sister is a senior... The coach has known me since I started middle school and I was always prepared to start freshman year and my goal was to start the first ever highschool game. I have now torn my ACL and will never be able to complete that goal. I am also startingg to worry all my friends will be better than me now that they have had 6 months to prac while I havent touched a soccer ball in months. PT is starting to get frusterating but I know things will get better and soon enough I will be back playing sports. I am just so worried I will tear it again and go through all of this again but be way more depressed. My advice to anyone who tears their ACL is to think in the moment.. dont keep dwelling on how many months/days you have left...

October 14, 2010 10:39 AM

I wrote on here Feb 24, 2005....I tore my ACL in 2003 did not want surgery becasue I would be out of sports, it was the best thing that i had ever done, I went to see the Dr in beginning of July, he got me in 8 days later for my surgery. If you get it done, do not try to push it, honestly I joined the swim team at college and it was free PT becasue it's so good for it. Good Luck to all....

Concerned Mom Chris
December 5, 2014 7:48 AM

Why has there been no responses on this since 2010? Its Dec. 2015. This was an excellent idea! My newly turned 15 yr old son has complete ACL tear and bruised bones, nothing else. He was playing football on new turf with high cleats second to last game Freshman team mid October. He has played for years also loves Basketball, Baseball, Track. Breaks our hearts for him. He is scheduled for surgery with Rothman in Philadelpia for Bone Patellar Bone ACL surgery. He still has open growth plates and possibly the bruises. Any suggestions would be appreciated!!! After reading all of this I am now very confused on what would be best for him. He wants to continue playing all these sports but realizes hes out sophomore year. I like what I read about Lars the most so far. I think its in Boston now. Wondering how Fox's son is doing since his Lars in Canada from Dec 2008. Wondering how Kris the 16 year old soccer player is doing now as a 25 year old man. I need to research more and will get back if I hear anything back from these people. Praying for each and everyone of you, youve been through a lot!

sano sabu
January 23, 2015 7:23 PM

I am sano i have a legment injure in 2010,afftre iam serjuring 2011 i n my right knee ,affter year my right knee is perfectly clear but i hospitaliced in pails surjery in 2013 oct ,affter surjery my right knee the same legment problem go in ,i have some noise in walking time in my right knee ,dr what is the soluction pls tell me

April 7, 2016 1:27 AM

im 15 and i had surgery 1 week ago monday. right now its thursday started PT at tuesday and today the first PT was painful cant straightphen my leg to 0 degrees, i asked my PT is the leg immobilizer 0 degrees she told me yes and i was wondering why my doctor did not tell me to use the immobilizer and she explained that the doctor considered my age and the gamble, what gamble? You ask. The gamble is if use my immobilzer i will be stuck in a straight position and ill be walking with a stiif straight leg and cant bend it wherein if i dont use my immobilizer i wont get to straighten my leg only for like 10 degrees but i can go up to 100degrees (150 degrees) is the maximum knee fold. But alongside you all this is my 2 PT day and boy is it like hell the stretching they do to me it feels like im about to explode but i felt okay cause i know it for my own good i dont know what im up against for the past 2 -3 months but i hope this month will be the only bad thing about this injury ill be happy to go back to my sport (badminton). For all you guys out there and kids in my age and younger you guys can survive this i promise. Good luck and GOD BLESS everybody!

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