Comments for ACL surgery and recovery

Excerpt: Details on my ACL surgery and recovery. Includes photos! Read the whole article…

Bill Flitter
November 12, 2004 12:37 PM

That's sick! Get well soon.

November 12, 2004 3:45 PM

Further to my 'I'm feeling much better about my up and coming operation' comments on the other page, I'm now trembling again!! Photos.. not always a good idea to look huh? Just out of interest/to compare. I'm booked into hospital for 3 nights and have been 'forced' to take 4 weeks off work (albeit my job does involve more walking around than normal). The speed of your recovery and getting back to normal really is inspiring! Annette (again).

Richard Harris
November 13, 2004 2:49 AM

I came to your site to check some MT stuff, only to discover you've had very much the same operation as me - I had my left ACL rebuilt after a skiing accident, using my hamstring to provide the graft. That was 12 years ago and I'm still cycling, running and powder skiing without a brace. The prognosis is good :-) All the best with the rehab! Richard

Sasha Bratic
November 17, 2004 10:51 AM

I tore up my ligaments playing soccer and I had my ACL surgery on June 8. I started running (not very fast) 4 month after surgery and I hope that in December I can start playing soccer again. My surgeon told me I can ski in January but first season I have to use brace. My experience is not bad at all, after surgery I had pain only first two nights and I had to take two pain killers. Rehabilitation is slow but the more you work with you leg, more you can do every day, and that push you further. Today is five moths and nine days since my surgery. I am running faster but still afraid to go full speed. I still feel that my knee is not fully recover but I feel too that it is getting there. Try to go to gym at least 4 times a week, and be persistent, and everything should go back to normal.

November 17, 2004 3:52 PM

I had my acl surgery on Oct 28/04. I thought my knee was feeling better although now it seems to be getting worse. My first physio session is tomorrow and I'm hoping that doing physio 2 to 3 times a week will help me to a speedy recovery. I still can't bend or straighten my leg and it's very hard these days trying to lift and carry around my 5 month old son who is starting to get heavier and heavier as the days go by. My back is taking a real beating. I know that I have a long road of rehab ahead of me and as for playing soccer again, I will be thinking long and hard about it. I don't ever want to go through this ever again. Jennifer Toronto, CAN

Alex A
November 17, 2004 11:08 PM

I torn both my ACL and MCL 6 weeks ago(basketball). The doc told me i had to wait for the MCL to heal before they could even think about surgery on the ACL. Mean while i have been going to pt once a week. I have my follow w/ the doc next week. Any idea when I will actually go into surgery? It's pretty frustrating getting back to where i have no pain, just knowing that it's going to revert back to where it was before. How long were you out of work? (i have an office job) The worst part is not knowing when everything will transpire.

November 19, 2004 10:51 PM

I had Allograft on my left knee Nov. 5 I felt very good about this as my doctor also repaired my torn meniscus same knee and I was up and about the day of surgery. Same this time around. No pain for the most part and walking with the brace on. Day 2 I get a fever that goes to 101 and then back down. Day 3 fever though now neve higher than 100 and down to 97.7 Day four the same and into doctors office to draw out fluid for a sample to test for bacteria. All test negative. It is now 2 weeks since surgery the swelling seems to be going down but I still have this fever, Though still never going higher than 100 I am starting to wonder if the graft is failing. Has anyone ever had an experience with this? or read about this anywhere? Good luck to all

Desiree G
November 21, 2004 5:33 PM

I got surgery on my ACL three weeks and four days ago. It was very successful. I can put full pressure on it, walk straight, and fully extend my leg. I am having a very fast recovery and i feel great. My PT is moving me right along and i am very anxious to play basketball again. My team opened up their season this weekend and watching them play made me want to work harder to recover faster. It's very hard but overall i am kind of glad that it's happened to me. I never realized how important basketball and my health really were to me. I took my first jumpshot in four months the other day...I know it was a dangerous thing to do but i just could not help myself. I feel like i'll be ready to go again in January.

Ken Torreggiani
November 22, 2004 10:49 AM

I tore my ACL in a Taekwondo Black Belt test. My Doc wants to do surgery and use Donor tissue. He said it is common and 1 in a million chance of Hepititas. He says they have done hundreds of these and very sucessful. I will be on my feet in a week. Any suggestions.

Brian Preston
November 22, 2004 11:29 AM

I'm 36 and I ruptured my ACL June BMX racing. I had a petallar tendon used to reconstruct the ACL. I'm currently in week 12 after the surgery. I'm still going to physical therapy, which might end in a few weeks. I also developed tendonitis in the patella. From what I'm told this is common in an petallar tendon for this type of surgery. They use 1/3 of the tendon and a piece of bone from the knee cap, (patella) and the tibial plateu. My Doc said he prefered doing it this way and prefered using my own tissue instead of a cadaver. There isn't any rejection factor if you use your own tissue. Anyway, I'm looking froward to BMXing and Mountian Biking again in a few more months.

sharon b
November 24, 2004 8:53 PM

I had ACL surgery on Nov. 3, 2004 and I'm a teacher. Any comments as to when I could possibly go back to work? Any other teachers have this same surgery. My problem is that my classroom is about 1/2 mile from the office and all of the walking with my children.

Francisco Silva
November 25, 2004 12:58 PM

I had surgery done on September 20, 2004. i am only 16 years old and i have been attending phisical therapy for two months now. i tore my acl and the cartilage on my left knee playing soccer. My recovery has been quick but i still cant run or dont have the strength to jump on one foot. i still feel pain on my knee and i am very frustrated because my cant run properly and i fear i wont be able to play lacrosse in college. i hope i recover quikly and to be able to play lacrosse in the begining of the new year.

Bhushan G
November 29, 2004 7:38 PM

Hello, I fell and sprained a ligament playing basketball, and few weeks later. As it was heeling, a few weeks later (Aug 5 '04) I was at the coast, and fell and tore my ACL and Meniscus. ACL tear was bad, so was the menisus, but not so bad as the ACL. I went to the doctor and he drained out the blood out of the knee, and then I did P.T for 3 months. No improvement. So, they did a surgery on Nov 4 '04. He put the meniscus back together and reconstucted the ACL by using a hamstring, from the back of my thigh. I was on my major painkillers for a week or 10 days. So, I didnt acutally feel that much pain. Most of the time I was asleep. Now its been 3 1/2 weeks. I've been walking without crutches, but with the brace on, and it is locked out completely. I can unlock the brace during the day to 90 degrees. I cant bend my knee more than that because of the Mensical repair. It hurts when I try to bend it more than 80 degrees. Its normal, because I had 6 portals (holes) 3 for the first surgery 3 for the other. So, they said, that there was a scar tissue formed and it does hurt a little, and you will hear a pop whenever u try to bend it. This brace is not very comfortable, but you HAVE to use it. If not you will lose few degrees from your knee. So MAKE SURE you lock it, be4 you go to bed and you can unlock it when you feel like you are stabe while you are walking. The brace will be taken of in 6 weeks (3 more weeks to go :( ). Then I will be transferred into another brace. Its a slow healing process for me, because I had 2 surgeries. P.T is helping me very much. I cant play basketball again for 6 months. Im just waiting patiently. Hopefully I get healed soon. :)

November 30, 2004 8:51 AM

I tore my Acl this year rodeoing. 6 months is a long time to not rodeo. I am a junior in high school and I am soooo glad it didnt happen my senior year. Thank you for your story.

November 30, 2004 10:12 AM

I tore my ACL in May and was told I needed a reconstruction surgery. I went in for surgery in July and when I woke up found out the doctor did not do the surgery, but just did a ortho instead to clean up the cartilidge in the area. I am still having the same pains that I had prior to surgery, and am having a "loose" knee. I went for a second opionion and was told he wanted to do the reconstruction surgery with a cadavar ligament. I've now lost all this time and have already gone through one surgery. Was wondering if anyone has had experiance like this, or was I the only one to find the dummest doctor on the earth!

Ross Vanden Boogaard
December 1, 2004 2:00 PM

Well i have read all the stories and decided to add mine. I am 16 and a sophomore in high school right now. I also have had acl surgery on my left knee using my petellar tendon on Oct. 23, 2003. The recovery was good and i was back playing some spring baseball and summer baseball and basketball. This year i elected not to play football, but rather to play basketball because basketball is my favorite sport. This last weekend, Nov 26 and Nov 27 our basketball team was in a tournament. I started for our team before i got my surgery and now i was starting again. However, i started the game and played a whole half and in the first minutes of the second half i was going for a ball out of bounds to save it and i planted with my right knee and it shifted and i ended up tearing the acl in my right knee. So now i am scheduled for surgery on the 21st of Dec and am pretty bummed out about it. Hopefully i have better luck in the future because one more torn acl and i am done with sports for good.

Ed Cook
December 3, 2004 3:31 AM

I injured my knee playing football 2 and a half years ago. Having consulted with a physio who referred me to a specialist I underwent an ortho and they cleaned up my cartilage. Spent three months in phys and did exactly the same thing when I returned to sport. This time they did an ortho and told me I had a slight tear to my ACL but with the right phys shouldnt be a problem. After 6 months more phys it was eventually determined that my right knee had a positive pivot twist and a different surgeon reckoned ACL reconstruction would be the best bet. That was in May this year. The inital recovery was a lot like has been mentioned above, and straight line movement, cycling, running is now a doddle. Twisting and turning is the key - in my last consultation with the Doc he decribed the give in my knee as a 1, conveniently my good knee is a zero. The give is such that I am worried that I'll not be able to play sport again but the Doc reckons most people play with a 1. So Jenn, good luck, get the op done asap and you'll be laughing and no you're not the only one with Doc trouble!!!!!

December 3, 2004 3:33 AM

I injured my knee playing football 2 and a half years ago. Having consulted with a physio who referred me to a specialist I underwent an ortho and they cleaned up my cartilage. Spent three months in phys and did exactly the same thing when I returned to sport. This time they did an ortho and told me I had a slight tear to my ACL but with the right phys shouldnt be a problem. After 6 months more phys it was eventually determined that my right knee had a positive pivot twist and a different surgeon reckoned ACL reconstruction would be the best bet. That was in May this year. The inital recovery was a lot like has been mentioned above, and straight line movement, cycling, running is now a doddle. Twisting and turning is the key - in my last consultation with the Doc he decribed the give in my knee as a 1, conveniently my good knee is a zero. The give is such that I am worried that I'll not be able to play sport again but the Doc reckons most people play with a 1. So Jenn, good luck, get the op done asap and you'll be laughing and no you're not the only one with Doc trouble!!!!!

Meg M
December 3, 2004 2:51 PM

I just had knee surgery on august 16. i am only 13 years old and have had 3 knee surgeries. in may of 2002, when i was 11, i had knee surgery on my right leg because it was 2.5 inches longer than my left. i am a dancer with a preprofessional ballet company and i danced every night for long hours. so about 6 months or so after that surgery, i started dancing again. but my left knee kept on giving out or popping out on me, and let me tell u it was the worst feeling in the world. at first i did nothing about it, so i just waited. but it got worse. it swelled up and i couldnt straighten or bend it all the way. finally, i had a MRI and they found out that i didnt even have an ACL. it wasnt even there and my PCL looked torn (but it was only very thin and stretched) and i had torn cartilage. so november 25, 2002, i had arthoscopic surgery. all they did was fix the cartilage. after a while, i started dancing again, but dancing without an ACL is very difficult, since u turn and jump and its extremely hard on your knees. I had to wear a huge, metal, defiance brace around my knee that would hold my knee in place, so it was pretty difficult dancing with a metal thing around your leg. My ballet teacher didn't like it either, so I couldn't wear it to ballet anymore, all I wore was a little slip around my knee. this didn't support my at all, so my knee shifted and hurt alot. but i still did nothing about it and continued dancing hard on my knees for a few years. finally, once again, i couldn't handle it all. my knee was in very bad pain. So, I had another MRI and they found out that i had torn my meniscus. In august 2004 i had ACL reconstruction. they took my potella tendon and rapped it around my knee, making me my 1st ACL ive ever had. than they repaired my meniscus. it's about 3-4 months later and im doing great in physical therepy. my knee feels better 4 mtnhs after surgery than it did before i had it-i know weird. but ive never walked without my knee even slightly popping out of place. ive never danced without my knee in total pain (a few times i sat out of class because i fell on the floor with my knee in extreme pain) i obviously cant dance yet, but even with just walking or slow jogging, it feels so different and stable! im so glad i had this surgery, i feel like a new person.

December 8, 2004 5:03 PM

I tore my acl ((and had a mcl injury and a few other things that still effect me)) while riding a friends moped when i wrecked in late july '04 and got surgery in early sept. i started physical thereapy before surgery because it makes it alot easier after surgery to do physical thereapy. my acl was torn to the point where it wasnt even there and had shredded into a small bundle. i was put out for an additional hour in a half i was told because my femer wasnt shaped right so they reconstructed that. i was extrelmy tired and graugy by the time i had woken up. after surgery i was kinda passed out/sleeping for a good eight more hours before leaving the hospital....not to mention i was EXTREMLY drugged up. they put numbing shots in my leg and told me that they would wear off at about two in the morning..i woke up the next morning to get from the upstairs bedroom to the downstairs bedroom and it took 15 mins and alot of tears for me to make it..i couldnt even lay down without crying, the loratab did help alot though. i hated the feeling of not being able to do things so i forced myself to walk by myself after a few days in bed. i was practically bed-ridden for my sweet sixteen, but my friends threw me a suprise party at my house anyway. im still in physical thereapy two to three times a week and it will be 14 weeks since surgery tomorrow. ive worked really hard and learned how to push myself more. its been a great experience and i wouldnt take back this experience for the world. its taught me so much and although its been tough and painful its been something to look back and laugh about. i am a varsity cheerleader at my highschool which is a huge honor as a sophmore, but with my injury i have been limited as to what i can and cant do. im doing so good though that i went back to stunting a month early jumping and running two weeks early and small tumbling thee months early. i know i still have a long way to go but i feel that im a stonger person because of all this. thanks!

December 9, 2004 11:26 AM

Well my story is going to be a bit different i think. 2 years ago in my last basketball game of the year as a junior i tore my left ACL. I found a great doctor who did surgery and i told him i had to play football that spring. 4 and a half months later i was practice with the football team and started in our first game of the year as quarterback with no problems in myknee and it was only 5 months after surgery. I played basketball again my senior year and now play college basketball. This past summer in july i tore my ACL in my left KNEE AGAIN and i did a cadaver this time (pattala first time) and its been almost 5 months now and i am already back started to practice with the team again and plan on playing withing the next two weeks. My doctor is great and he said that i would gain nothing if i waited the 6-8 months that most doctors would suggest! So wish me luck i guess! love to hear your responses to this!

kevin katz
December 10, 2004 10:41 AM

i am interested in the comments here. most seem to be posted by young people. i am 51 years old and tore 95% of my acl (by mri results) 11 months ago whilst fighting at karate. i had a little discomfort at the time but now have no pain and no loss of function. i have not been back to karate and wont go skiing. i have walked alot and bicycled without any probelms. i can't make up my mind whether to have the surgery or not. are there any of you who are older and have had acl surgery. any comments? kevin

December 10, 2004 3:07 PM

Hello, I hurt my ACL in november of 2001. I hurt it in gymnastics doing a double twist on floor. At emergency, I had an x-ray. They treated for a torn ligament and torn meniscus on the side of my knee. After about four weeks of wearing a brace that prevented me from bending my leg, the doctor told me that I could go back to physio and training. So I started back, but my knee felt very unstable and it was always popping. It would get really swollen. One day, it really popped. So we went back to the doctor and he told us to schedule me for a MRI. After the results came back he told me that I had destroyed my ACL and that I would need reconstruction surgery. I had no ACL at all. However I was only 12 at the time and he told me I was too young to get the surgery. He wanted to wait until my growth plates were gone. I had to wear a brace for activity. I have had to go for Cybex at least once a week to keep my quads and hamstrings strong. Well, I went back to square one in gymnastics and after 3 years of trying to compete as a national athlete, I found that my knee was unable to hold me even with a custom brace, so I left the sport and started barrel racing. However, my brace got too small so we went back to the doctor and he told us that I was now old enough to get the surgery! I have now ordered my third brace. I will have to wear it for about a year after surgery. I am scheduled to get surgery on December 15, 2004. I hope to be back to barrel racing in high school rodeo by the middle of March, 2005.

Cristina Voskian
December 14, 2004 10:51 AM

HI, I had my surgery on August 4, I torn my left ACL, when I was taching my nice to do long distance jump, but I had pain one year before, when I was playing volley ball. I'm very active, I do Kick boxing, play tennis, voley ball, and swimming. I did my surgery bacuse I want my life back. I was home almost one weeks. They sent me a special machine, to bend my kwee, and I was doing that almost 7 hours a day. The second week I start with my phioterapy and I'm steel doing therapy twice a week, and going to the gym 3 times a week. I feel good, but steel, I'm not playing any sport yet, because I want to be sure, my muscle is strong. My doctor and my phisotherapist are great. By the way, I'm 41 and I love life. If you had your ACL injured, and you love sport, please do the surgery.

Jen S
December 14, 2004 11:56 AM

My experience with knee surgeries has not been pleasant. I have had two already and am preparing to have my third next week. I am actually writing this because I am really nervous and thought this would help release some tension. I first found out I had torn my acl in my first year playing college soccer. During the first week of practice my knee swelled up and I couldn't even bend it, that is when I had to get my first MRI. After my MRI everyone was astonished by the results, my acl had been torn for years and I didn't even know it. During high school I always had minor complications with my knee, but no one ever thought it was anyting serious. Well, I got my first surgery in October of my freshmen year, it was the worst experience of my life. I had never been in so much pain. The night after I was released I had to go back to the hospital and get a shot of morphine in my leg because it hurt so bad. Unfortunately things just kept getting worse, and in the end I found out that the surgery had not even worked. So I was back at square one. Luckily I got a new doctor to perform the second surgery, this surgery just involved cleaning up the last surgery and filling in the holes with new bone. I am now about to get my third surgery and I am deathly afraid. Thanks for taking the time to read my story.

Cristina Voskian
December 14, 2004 2:07 PM

Hi, I had my ACL torn on MArch '04. I did my surgery Aug 04,I had a great doctor, and I'm glad that I did it. I'm very active, I love voleyball, kick boxing, tennis and swimming. I'm doing P.T twice a week and going to the gym 3 times a week. I'm not playing any sport yet, I want to make sure my muscles are strong. I don't want to take chances, I want to be 100 % again. I did cadaver type. The pain wasn't bad at all, and I was home for 2 week. They sent me a machine that helps bend my knee, I was doing that almost 7 hours a day. That help me a lot. If you are active don't think twice juts do it.

December 14, 2004 3:29 PM

I'm 35 and have surgery scheduled to reconstruct my completely severed left ACL in early January. Possible meniscal tear, also. Like Jen S, my MRI revealed that my ACL has been gone for years. During high school football and baseball and clollege baseball, my knee occasionally popped out on me. I got used to it. Last fall, just a small step in old-guy baseball put me to the ground and I haven't recovered at all. It sounds like a meniscus, but the MRI wasn't conclusive as to that. If I know my knee, it's shot. If Jen S's experience is any indicator, it makes me very concerned that my recovery will be difficult due to the age of the injury. I can walk and run now, just no lateral chicanery! Options are to live with it and play no more sports, or have the reconstruction. I opt for the latter. Anyone else out there who's had my circumstance and done the surgery?

December 15, 2004 6:02 AM

I've had a bad meniscus for years. My ACL was torn in a car accident in April. After getting my Dr. to appove an MRI, I have sugery scheduled for Feb 1st. Both meniscus and ACL (same procedure as above). I believe is referred to as bptb (bone-Patella tendon-bone. I've linked the site and try to update.

December 15, 2004 3:00 PM

It varies... my dad had surgery on his.. and was back riding bicycles within the month, and up moving around almost immediately after the effects of the anesthesia wore off. My friend's mom had the surgery done at about the same time, and was still hobbeling around with a cane nearly a year later.

December 16, 2004 9:24 AM

Hi All: I tore my ACL and meniscus on Oct. 9 2004 and had reconstructive surgery on Friday Dec. 12, 2004. My pain was excruciating due to postoperative swelling. The pain is manageable when Im sitting or lying down with my leg elevated. That said, when I get up to walk a little on my crutches, the pain is almost unbearable. My surgeon informs me that the swelling is causing all this to happen. At day 4 I was re-admitted back to the hospital overnight to help alleviate my pain so that I could sleep. They gave me morphine and painkillers throughout the night, and I still had trouble sleeping. My Dr. says that the knee looks good, but the swelling is more than he usually sees after surgery. It's now 6 days after surgery, and the swelling is still pretty significant. I cannot start PT until this swelling goes down, but I have been doing several exercises on my own at home with lots of pain. Does anyone have suggestions on getting this post op swelling under control? Best regards, Nik

December 19, 2004 8:15 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 you can email me at sorry about the long post

December 20, 2004 3:55 PM

for paul, do it mate i was in the same way.i had mine done on dec 1, for the first week you have pain but after that you just enjoy the time off work and go swimming every day.

December 25, 2004 10:19 AM

Everyone's stories really illustrate how different all the surgical procedures are and of course, how differently we all respond. I had my ACL surgery exactly 4 weeks ago. The graft got stuck in surgery so I've got a rather large scar down to the top of my shin, unlike Adam's nice and neat ones illustrated. I've not had any pain at all really and have been very very lucky, I appreciate this. I was aware of the problems with swelling for PT so I would completely recommend lying on your back for hours and hours and hours for the first 1.5-2 weeks, leg up, dead straight as high as poss with ice/cold things packed around your whole knee for as long as you can bear. It may feel painful to straighten your leg so much, it feels almost forced, but its invaluable to do the full extension from day 1. I was lowering myself onto the floor every 2 hours to do basic physio movements, flexing at the ankles, pressing the back of my knee into the floor and then raising the leg in that dead straight position. I've got weak quads so could only manage 3 leg raises in one session but have got this up to 10 now, holding the pose for a good 10 seconds. Nik in particular and anyone with pain after surgery, I'm thinking of you.. remember mind over matter.. this will help.. be strong and good luck. Oh.. and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

January 1, 2005 10:44 PM

I was playing softball for our school team and slid into third base. I got up and felt my knee wobbling, but I ran home,went walking around thinking it was just a minor thing. I went to the hospital and got out to stretch my legs and my knee popped. I chose to have surgery and I stayed overnight. My knee was stiff and I had barely any muscle tone in my quads. It took about 5 1/2 weeks to be completely off crutches,because my leg was so weak. I played volleyball after 4 months but was still slow and limping. My knee also does weird cracking noises when I straighten it out sometimes. Keep to therapy! Remember that progress doesn't always go at the same speed as others, and I learned that the hard way.

January 3, 2005 12:28 PM

I had my surgery 2 weeks ago tomorrow and didn't have much pain at all, mostly just stiffness due to swelling. The swelling was pretty intense at first but I've been icing it and exercising it, and it's starting to look like a knee again. My foot swelled up a lot at first, too, and my doctor said that was because the brace restricts circulation. For about four days now I've only been wearing my brace when I go out, and around the house I leave it off. This has helped me improve my mobility a lot and drastically reduced the swelling. I can hobble a little without the crutches if I have to but I'm still using them partial weight-bearing most of the time. I got on an excercise bike 2 days ago and was able to pedal a little, but only excruciatingly slowly. The leg lifts and quad tightening exercises I've been doing have caused a noticable improvement over the last 2 days or so, and I'm planning on trying the bike again tomorrow.

January 3, 2005 7:12 PM

I torn my ACL and blew my meniscus up sliding into thrid base. I had the hamstring replacement done, somewhat like Adam. When I woke up from surgery, my back was in tremendous pain along with my pelvic from the femoral block. The doctor had no explaination for why my back hurt and why my right side of my leg was numb. It has been 12 weeks since my surgery and my leg is still numb. Has this type of thing happened to anyone else? I am concerned that my doctor may have done something wrong and is hesitant to say anything. Your comments will help me to decide what I should do.

Lawrence C. Hartung
January 4, 2005 12:24 PM

I had ACL surgery in Jan. of 1989, before the ACL could be repaired I needed Miniscus surgery first. I was 40 years old and injured my left knee by attempting to set a 25 ft. light pole in the ground. When that healed we did the ACL. The procedure was very much like yours, using the Ham String to replace the ligament. When this particular procedure was performed on me by DR. Frank Nichols, Fort Atkinson, WI it was a realitvely new way of repairing the ligament, so I received a lot of attention form a lot of courious Orthopedic Surgeons. My recovery was a lot different than yours. I was in the Hospital for 4 days, I was fitted for a Lenox Hill brace and a few weeks after that and i was on crutches for 6 months, after which I began Physical Therapy that lasted every bit of one year. During which time there was no sports activity at all, and no work. I was very aggressive with the therapy, which was to my benefit. To date the ACL surgery knee is a lot tighter than the other one. I have had no problems with it, other than I do notice that at times the left leg does not seem to lift as high during a walking stride, causing the toe of my shoe to catch on throw rugs etc. But other than that I have a strong knee that has not held me back at all.

Lawrence C. Hartung
January 4, 2005 12:42 PM

I had ACL surgery in Jan. of 1989, before the ACL could be repaired I needed Miniscus surgery first. I was 40 years old and injured my left knee by attempting to set a 25 ft. light pole in the ground. When the Miniscus healed we did the ACL. The procedure was very much like yours, using the Ham String to replace the ligament. When this particular procedure was performed on me by DR. Frank Nichols, Fort Atkinson, WI it was a realitvely new way of repairing the ligament, so I received a lot of attention form a lot of courious Orthopedic Surgeons. My recovery was a lot different than yours. I was in the Hospital for 4 days, in terrible pain, and could not be discharged until I had learned to get around with crutches. I was fitted for a Lenox Hill brace that I wore pretty much continuesly day and night for the first year. Physical Therapy began about 60 days after surgery, and lasted every bit of one year. During which time there was no sports activity at all, and no work. The brace was regulary adjusted by the DR. to allow for more leg straightening as time went on. I was very aggressive with the therapy, which was to my benefit. After being released from the DR. (2 years after) I would be seen and evaluated by him yearly for the next 5 years. During which time I would continue wearing the brace for actiovity other than walking. To date the ACL surgery knee is a lot tighter than the other one. I have had no problems with it, other than I do notice that at times the left leg does not seem to lift as high during a walking stride, causing the toe of my shoe to catch on throw rugs etc. But other than that I have a strong knee that has not held me back at all.

Lawrence C. Hartung
January 4, 2005 12:46 PM

I had ACL surgery in Jan. of 1989, before the ACL could be repaired I needed Miniscus surgery first. I was 40 years old and injured my left knee by attempting to set a 25 ft. light pole in the ground. When the Miniscus healed we did the ACL. The procedure was very much like yours, using the Ham String to replace the ligament. When this particular procedure was performed on me by DR. Frank Nichols, Fort Atkinson, WI it was a realitvely new way of repairing the ligament, so I received a lot of attention form a lot of courious Orthopedic Surgeons. My recovery was a lot different from what I have read with the other posts, looks like things have changed for the better. I was in the Hospital for 4 days, in terrible pain, and could not be discharged until I had learned to get around with crutches. I was fitted for a Lenox Hill brace that I wore pretty much continuesly day and night for the first year. Physical Therapy began about 60 days after surgery, and lasted every bit of one year. During which time there was no sports activity at all, and no work. The brace was regulary adjusted by the DR. to allow for more leg straightening as time went on. I was very aggressive with the therapy, which was to my benefit. After being released from the DR. (2 years after) I would be seen and evaluated by him yearly for the next 5 years. During which time I would continue wearing the brace for activity other than walking. To date the ACL surgery knee is a lot tighter than the other one. I have had no problems with it, other than I do notice that at times the left leg does not seem to lift as high during a walking stride, causing the toe of my shoe to catch on throw rugs etc. But other than that I have a strong knee that has not held me back at all. For advice, be aggressive with the PT, I have seen others who were not and to this day they can not straighten out the leg.

Lawrence C. Hartung
January 4, 2005 12:47 PM

I had ACL surgery in Jan. of 1989, before the ACL could be repaired I needed Miniscus surgery first. I was 40 years old and injured my left knee by attempting to set a 25 ft. light pole in the ground. When the Miniscus healed we did the ACL. The procedure was very much like the ones mentioned, using the Ham String to replace the ligament. When this particular procedure was performed on me by DR. Frank Nichols, Fort Atkinson, WI it was a realitvely new way of repairing the ligament, so I received a lot of attention form a lot of courious Orthopedic Surgeons. My recovery was a lot different from what I have read with the other posts, looks like things have changed for the better. I was in the Hospital for 4 days, in terrible pain, and could not be discharged until I had learned to get around with crutches. I was fitted for a Lenox Hill brace that I wore pretty much continuesly day and night for the first year. Physical Therapy began about 60 days after surgery, and lasted every bit of one year. During which time there was no sports activity at all, and no work. The brace was regulary adjusted by the DR. to allow for more leg straightening as time went on. I was very aggressive with the therapy, which was to my benefit. After being released from the DR. (2 years after) I would be seen and evaluated by him yearly for the next 5 years. During which time I would continue wearing the brace for activity other than walking. To date the ACL surgery knee is a lot tighter than the other one. I have had no problems with it, other than I do notice that at times the left leg does not seem to lift as high during a walking stride, causing the toe of my shoe to catch on throw rugs etc. But other than that I have a strong knee that has not held me back at all. For advice, be aggressive with the PT, I have seen others who were not and to this day they can not straighten out the leg.

January 4, 2005 3:02 PM

I have just been notified by my doctor, that I will have to have surgery on my knee! After over a year of dealing with the pain and going to therapy my knee keeps giving out. I was relieved to hear there is finally something that can be done to have my knee back to being somewhat normal. All of my joints hyperextend and my body is always sore, but it's my knee that keeps popping in and out! Which of course makes it very difficult to walk for any amount of time. I guess I'm writing this to kinda get my thoughts out and see if anyone else has any advise how to prepare myself. I know the recovery is going to be tough, I would just like to know a little more about what it feels like, what happened after, and just as much information as possible. I also have a job that requires a lot, so I just want to know what to expect. Thank you so very much!

January 8, 2005 1:05 AM

Hey, I just got ACL and meniscus--today. No pain yet--could be the drugs. I'm pretty tough, so I'll say "1" on the scale. If you'd like to mail me, go for it, as I'm a pretty quiet kid. I prefer not to take their painkillers, so it could be a rocky road. We'll see. I almost welcome the challenge. My email IS my email, so please don't abuse it. Paul

January 8, 2005 12:52 PM

Today is the day after surgery and I tried to go it without any pain meds. Oops! Not a good idea. It really does ache like hell without the drugs. I didn't put my email yesterday. If you'd like a day-by-day you can write me @ Paul

January 11, 2005 6:53 PM

I tore my ACL this past October in a football game. The doctor used the patella-tendon from the front of my knee. Surgery was two days before Thanksgiving and I spent one night in the hospital. Once I was home, they made me sit in a CPM (continuous passive motion) machine for 8 hours a day to get my motion back in my knee. The pain wasn't anything I couldn't handle so the only pain meds I took were to help me get sleep at night. I was supposed to be in it for two weeks...I hit the target degrees(110) in 5 days. I was able to walk around without crutches within two weeks and was told to ditch the brace. In the next two days the doctor cancled my PT because of how fast I was coming along. I still have exercises to do, but I'm able to do them on my own. A month after surgery I was able to jog but I had to be carefull. I'm about 6-7 weeks out...and the only way you could maybe tell if I had surgery is if you looked at my scars. I'm trying to get my strength back in my knee right now by going to the weight room at school. The only real pain I have right now is when I stretch my leg to both extremes (flexion/extension). I can pull my lower leg almost all the way back so my hamstrings are sitting on my calves. The doc. says I still have a few degrees on my extension but he has no doubt I will get them back. I'm 18 years old and I am planning on being back for track this Spring. If anyone wants to ask me any questions on my recovery, email me...(

Steve Mounnarat
January 17, 2005 5:20 PM

I just had reconstructive ACL and meniscus surgery on Friday. So far so good. I am on vicodin and have been since I left the hospital Saturday morning. Not much swelling or pain. Maybe the vicodin is working? Well taking it consistently keeps any pain at bay and I am very compfortable. I have been doing my PT since my surgery and have been able to achieve 90 degree flexsion, probably more if it were not for the bandages. I get them removed tomorrow with my first visit with my Therapist since the surgery.

January 19, 2005 6:13 AM

It's been a week since my skiing injury. I have a torn MCL which needs to be rehabbed first. That's about 4-6 weeks. Then, if I'm going through with the ACL surgery, I'll start the PT to prepare for that. Because I'm 45 years old, my orthopedist said surgery was an "option" for me. I could certainly live without it and just use a brace when doing any activities which may have lateral movements. (skiing, tennis, water skiing, etc. All of which I do often!) I can't even imagine carrying a brace around with me for the rest of my life. Maybe if I were 70! My first reaction was to go right ahead and plan for the surgery. I would rather take the time out now to do it. I'm very active, in great shape, and do local road races and triathlons. I'm not ready to slow down yet. I would love to hear from others who may have done the same (MCL & ACL) and have had full recoveries. I'm disciplined enough to do ALL the PT. My doctor prefers to use patella tendon. Would love to hear from some of you "middle-age athletes".

January 19, 2005 5:48 PM

I'm 17 years old, a junior in high school, and I went through my second knee surgery on December 3, 04. About three years ago I had lateral release surgery to help stop my knee cap from popping out. I tore my right ACL playing basketball, I went and my leg didn't. I had surgery about 6 weeks ago. I can bend and straighten my leg all of the way. I am happier than I was before bc my PT is letting me do more exercises. The only thing I have to complain about is my doctor is really conservative and I probably won't run until 4 months after surgery or play until June. I guess I will be back in time for summer basketball.

January 20, 2005 3:19 AM

Hi, i have a question i got an acl surgery on friday 14 of january and the date i am posting this 20, and they have me on Tynenol 3 and is that like a strong thing compared to the stuff you guys use cause i feel pain and i dont want to be popping pills every 4 hours on the dot, and how do you sleep at night ? i sleep like a stick practictally with my face facing the ceiling, but i wake up in pain and my knee would be in extreme pain.

Elliott Koesling
January 20, 2005 12:32 PM

I have a question. I am wondering how I can tell if I tore/sprained/strained my ACL. Is it possible to just strain it and have it recover? I fell snowboarding about 2 months ago and my knee hurt. I got up and boarded down the rest of the hill (gingerly I may add). I walked to my car and drove home. My knee hurt but it wasnt too bad. I could walk and fully bend it. The next morning it hurt alot more. (Kind of like a sprained ankle) but througout the day it got better. Infact it was good enough to go to my works holiday party. I did a little dancing...but took it easy. It doesnt hurt any more at all but there are some time when I tweak it just right and it can hurt (maybe once a week this happens). I guess my question is, how do I know if I tore something....I would only assume you would be screaming in pain, but then again I could be wrong. I dread that I have to have surgery or something I feel for all of you out there with a bad knee. You can post here but do not hesitate to email me if you like. mail(at) Thanks Elliott

Steve Mounnarat
January 21, 2005 1:34 PM

It has been approximately 1 week since my ACL /meniscus surgery. I have not had any pain since the day of the surgery and I have been off of pain killers for almost 3-4 day and take advil as need for swelling and minror pain relief. I met with my Physical therapist today and I was able to achieve 118 degree flexsion and less than 1cm from full extension. However, I was able to gain full flexsion after a 20 minute leg stretch. I am ahead of recovery schedule and was placed on the bike for the first time today. It felt really good. My PT would not allow me to go full 360 on the bike but 350 and then reverse direction. It felt really good. Initially my surgically repaired leg fetl awkward. The supporting muscles that had laid dorment since the surgery were finally asked to fire and I had a tough time controlling this, spasmatic almost? I can begin to bear some weight in 30% increments in the upcoming weeks and possibly be full weight bearing and crutchless in 1 1/2-2 wks. This recovery has not been all cake. I do exercises on the hour every hour for almost 30-40minutes. By the time I finish and rest/ice for the remainder of the hour, I have to start up the exercises all over again. This begins at 9 am and lasts all day long until 10pm. But it works and my PT said I am ahead of schedule. Diligence is the key to my recovery. These first few weeks is most critical following your surgery, it will shape how quickly and how well you recover. No pain no gain right? So my advice is to get your pain under control and be diligent and don't cheat your therapy exercises. It gets easier every day and the leg gets stronger. The first exercise is always the hardest but after that its downhill. Keep you posted on my recovery.

Steve Mounnarat
January 22, 2005 3:55 PM

I have a question for anyone browsing or reading these blogs. I just recently had my ACL and meniscus surgery approximately 8 days ago, Jan 14,2004. Something really weird happened today. While I was doing one of my quad sets, right before full contraction I felt an awkward pop or sliding in the outside of my left knee. almost like something went in or out of groove. The only description I can give is that similar to your thumb when it pops out of joint for those "double jointed" individuals. There isn't any pain, just really awkward. My first reaction was that I blew my new ACL graft out. I don't see my PT until Tuesday and my surgeon not until Thursday. Can anyone provide some clues or have a similar experience an a possible explanation of what is going on? I'm somewhat fearful to continue my rehab exercises. Again it only occurs while in transition to full quad contraction. I feel the sensation on the outside of my left knee. The swelling in my knee has lessened. Does anyone think that the swelling is allowing some additional things in my knee to move or did I blow out another ligament? You can email me directly at -Steve

Ginny Barcelona
February 1, 2005 11:33 AM

ACL right knee injured on 30 Mar 04. Took over 4 months to get correct diagnosis. Have had other surgeries before, but this was the most painful of all. ACL was replaced with "doner" Wore brace from top of thigh to ankle for 1 month. Was on crutches for 3 weeks. Had to have front screw removed 3 months after surgery as it was trying to work itself out and was causing a lot of pain. Has this happen to anyone else? Been close to three months since screw removed. Have noticed that there is pain on the right side of the knee, and have had it "pop" on occasion. Again, has this happen to anyone after undergoing ACL replacement.

Carole Kairys
February 8, 2005 3:10 PM

I had ACL reconstruction and a patella release on November 30, 2004. I have just finished the physical therapy my insurance will pay for. Now it's up to me ro finish my recovery. My surgery was two-fold. I had the ACL reconstruction hamstring graft and a Patella release to allow my knee cap to track properly. It was day surgery and took a few hours. Thank g-d for the ice pack take home apparatus they gave me as a going away gift. My knee was swollen up like a grapefruit for about a month and a half. It's been two months since the surgery and I can tell you that although it didn't seem worth it at the time, I know that the surgery will be worth the effort and time to recover. I haven't been able to hike, run, ski, etc. for over 10 years since I torn my ACL hyperextending my knee in a freak accident. I was told to do PT to strengthen my knee but never did and my ACL disintegrated until my ACL was completely gone. I wasn't able to do any sports because my knee kept slipping out of place. I would feel my kneecap slip out of place when I got out of the car...finally I couldn't take it anymore, the pain was annoying and I missed hiking and running not to mention the 40 pounds I had gained from not exercising. My surgery went well. My doctor, Dr. Lyle Micheli is one of the best orthopedic surgeons. He goes with the olympic ski team when they travel. He did my surgery in a few hours. Two weeks after the surgery he thought my swelling had gone down quite nicely. I regret to say, I haven't seen him since, he is quite a busy man! I went home from surgery groggy, happy to have the pain meds - percocet. I had to make sure that when the pain med was supposed to wear off, I had already taken the next one. The pain was almost unbearable but I slept in and out for about 3 days straight, only waking up to my alarm clock to make sure I took my meds and to hobble to the bathroom. The blood rushing into my leg was excruciating. I remember feeling like a little baby, crying, pitiful but at the time it was all I could do. I thought for sure I could go back to work after a week, but after having the double surgery it was not to be. The pain finally subsided after 1 1/2 weeks and I actually thought the pain in my hamstring would never go away. I was in a continuous passive motion machine for about a month but at that point I could bend my knee 80 degrees on my own and I thought the the machine, although very helpful early on, had done it's job. It is a very large, cumbersome machine that caused my boyfriend to have to sleep in the living room for an extended period of time. It's great if your loved ones are patient and caring throughout the early days! Mine was! I had crutches for over a month until I could finally bear 1/2 my weight without them. Now, over two months after surgery, I sleep without my brace, I can almost walk full tilt without my brace or a limp but my muscles in my leg are still very atrophied and I have to start building up my muscles again. I see my doctor tomorrow and I am curious to see what he has to say. I am anxious to work hard on my own to build the muscles and start working out again and feeling like I used to. I am a big pool player and miss my 9-ball game! It's been a long two months, but I'm told it usually takes at least 6 months to be back to normal. Needless to say, I wish it didn't take as long. I would recommend the surgery, but make sure you are aware, if you have double surgery, recovery takes longer and just when you feel you are getting nowwhere in recover, just remember how you used to feel with instability in your knee and remember when you couldn't withstand any weight on your leg and now you can walk without crutches. I still have a long way to go, but I know I've had two surgeries in one and I have to expect to take my time but in the end it will be well worth the pain, agony and inconvenience. I remember when I was able to finally get in my car and drive on my own without having pain from pressure on my hamstring! My commute to work is over 45 minutes, so I had some adjusting to do. Good luck to all and write me if you want some advice, stories or have questions. Both my dad and brother are doctors and my PT therapists are very well informed. Carole

February 17, 2005 6:05 AM

I just stumbled onto this site looking up information on ACL surgery and ligament tears. I tore my ACL back in 96 when I was in the Army. Took about 2-3 weeks to recover and I was pretty much fine and hardly ever experienced and pain from the knee though I was advised to have surgery I chose not to. Friday night I was out dancing with a friend of mine and twisted my knee and heard a loud pop. I was unable to put pressure on my knee without extreme pain and can not fully straigten out the knee either. I was advised at the ER to wear an immoblizer brace and elevate the leg and put ice on it 20 minutes 3X a day. And of course take my pain meds. The pain is almost gone unless I try and straighten out the leg completely or walk on it. As long as I use the crutches or slide around in my office chair the pain is manageable. I go into the doctor on Friday to determine what steps we are going to take next. I think my kneecap has slipped preventing me to straighten out my leg fully. I am almost certain this time that I will have to have surgery. It is refreshing to read all of these stories of recovery and know that I will be okay. I am the mother of 5 beautiful children and a wife to an awesome hubby. When things like this happen doubts enter my mind and it scares me to think that I might never be able to walk again. Seeing these really helped me to understand that this might be a major surgery but I will get through it and will be walking again soon.

February 17, 2005 11:09 AM

I am 29 years old. I've completly torned my left ACL in January 2000, in a sking accident. It took me more than a year to get to a doctor who told me what my problem was and recommended me for ACL reconstruction surgery. I got the surgery in April 2001. I've been doing pretty good for the last few years. I do not reggret having the surgery at all. If you love sports is essential having this surgery. Before it I had no stability in my left leg which was popping out all the time and was hurting me a lot. For the last few years I've been rowing competitively (I actually won a few medals), and I've worked out a lot. I had absolutely no problems rowing. I've recently decided to start race walking. I would like to compete in the World Master's Games (in both rowing and racewalking). I was wondering if anybody with an ACL reconstruction is a race walker and if he/she experieced any problems and could recommend anything. I can race walk decently fast. My problem is that I feel weekness in my hamstring (which was used for reconstruction) and after a while I feel my leg a little numb. I also have the feeling that one of my legs (the injured one) is a little bit shorter than the other one. It is probably because I have to extend the leg a lot, and sometimes I have to overextend. Do you think is detrimental to my leg to do this, or I just need to train my specific muscles involved in racewalking and everything will be fine? Thank you!

Mandee Felker
February 17, 2005 1:29 PM

I have recently tore my ACL and Miniscus during a snowmobile race. I was and still am absolutly terrified of having surgery. I decided to get on the internet to find out what the whole process consisted of. Im 18 years old and thankfully have never been this hurt before. My biggest fear is just the whole surgery issue. I dont know why but it just is. After reading this, I felt like everything would be ok after hearing a recovery surgery. Im afraid that something will go wrong and I wont ever be able to race professional Sno-X again. I wasnt sure which surgery I was going to get but after reading this I think I will take the hamstring apporach..Thank You! Best of luck to all in surgery and your recovery

February 24, 2005 3:16 PM

I tore my ACL and miniscuis in a softball game last May and I had to get the hamstring replacement. After a month or so I was fine and everything and now that softball is back in season I'm hoping to be able to play well again. Only problem is that whenever I run in the grass before practice... my hamstring starts to hurt like hell and my calf muscle tightens and it makes it hard to even walk... I was wondering if anyone knew how I coule fix that... I do lots of stretches before and after pracitce... but it still hurts. Its not even my knee thats botherning me:(

February 25, 2005 6:00 PM

I tore my ACL two weeks ago playing sand volleyball. (I live in Phoenix) When my doctor called me with the results on Mon he said we would discuss surgery next week when I come in. My knee hardly swole up and doesn't hurt, I'm just always expecting it to buckle again. I bumped into someone today who said he used to be an orthapedic doc. He saw my brace and asked me where the scar was. I told him I hadn't had the surgery yet. I asked him if I could pick his brain for a minute and he wasn't all that excited about the proceedures. He said a lot of it is hipe, the surgery doesn't have to be done. Course maybe he just said that because he wasn't in his office giving advice. At any rate, he wasn't the first to say I didn't have to get it done. I just know that at the activity level I'm at for my age (44) I can't see NOT having it done. Did any of you out there have people trying to convince you NOT to have the surgery done?

February 28, 2005 8:42 AM

I am a college basketball player and i have torn my left acl twice. Completely both times. My doctor was amazing and really liked to push through rehab. I actually started at quarterback for my high school football team 4 and a half months post surgery. I did not tear it again until 3 years later. I was then back playing basketball at 5 months. I did the patella graf the first time and a cadaver the second time and i am curious as to why people choose to do the hamstring? Everything i have read and the 4 or 5 orthopedic surgeons i talked to all do not like that surgery. The hamstring is one if the thee most common body part injured in sports and if you take a chunk of it for your new ACL your making it even weaker just making your risk even high for a hamstring tear or pull. Can anyone tell me why that would make sense?

March 4, 2005 11:55 AM

It has been about 8 weeks since my surgery in January 2005. I just got back from a business trip that took me from NY to Taiwan->Hong Kong->Germany and back home. It has truly been around the globe trip. My surgically repaired ACL and meniscus is still doing well. My surgeon did not give me a choice, I received a patella graft. I trust him, considering he knows what he's doing but he is also the head surgeon for a pro Hockey team. It appears that it was the best choice, as I have played soccer all my life, my hamstrings can use all the help it needs. I was transitioned into my functional brace about 3 weeks ago and had to fly immediately 1 week after this. For anyone travelling abroad, my only advice is to make sure you get hotels with a gym and bring your basic leg waits to do your exercises. The only problem is when your on business, your return to your your hotel is generally pretty late so option for hotels with gym hours that are either 24 hrs or open late and open very early. Make sure they have both cardio and nautilus equipment. Free weights do not help much when you're trying to isolate the knee to amazingly 5-10 pound resistance. Oh another thing, weight machines indicating increment 5,10,15 etc... do not respresent pounds, they are in kilogram. So beware you maybe pushing much harder weight than your knee can handle. My leg feels strong but I still have a bit of a limp when I am tired and walking. Otherwise, you would never know. When flying, my doctor prescribed me to some "baby aspirin" about 81mg to help thin my blood while in the air. It helps to thin the blood and avoid clots. Ankle pumps are key and constantly getting up and walking helps too, even if you are 30,000 ft in the air. Oh, it really helps if you fly either business class or make sure your travel agent gets you aisle seating so your not restricted to just a knee bend. Next goal, running!!!

March 6, 2005 4:36 PM

I tore my ACL meniscus (both) in a soccer game. I am a 29 years old physical education teacher (I had to get surgery) and am 3 weeks post surgery. I have partial hamstring and allograft (cadaver). I feel like I am progressing at a slow rate as I am just starting PT on Monday. I've been doing my exercises and using a CamoPed vs a CPM machine. Anyone else using one too or used one? I am only at about 80 degree flexion when laying down on my back. I can't stand the brace as it slides down my leg constantly and if I make it tight my leg swells at the bottom half. I don't mind crutches but I think I have to ditch the brace.

March 6, 2005 4:45 PM

Mandee, I think having the surgery is wise. I have not heard of anyone talking someone out of having it. I would honestly just recommend the allograft no hamstring. That's been the toughest part for me. It affects your calf too. My doc. said that most females don't have strong enough hamstring tendons and then they have to layer the allograft over it anyway. He did that with mine and I wish I had just said ALLOGRAFT only. I am 3 weeks post op and the worst part is the brace, it's annoying. Good luck to you. Oh, and being'll heal just fine!!

March 6, 2005 5:27 PM

I had snowmobile accident about 5 weeks ago, tearing my ACL and Miniscus. I had the surgery five days ago. I will be meeting with the doc on Tuesday to get all the particulars of the surgery. I've been in the Army 15 yrs and have had no major injuries. This was my first surgery and yes, it scared the hell out of me. I have a four inch long scar down the front of the leg from the kneecap toward my shin. Then another across the top of that about two inches. I just need to get back to my Army duties and will be happy. My surgeon is the medical doctor for a minor league baseball team. Can't be that bad then. Good luck to all.

March 7, 2005 12:17 PM

I had my reconstruction (ACL and mensicus tears) surgery 8 weeks ago. I now go to the gym 4-5 times a week, using a knee strap (to reduce the patellar tendonitis). I usually end up doing some weights (upper body, so it doesn't matter), 35 to 40 mins of elliptical, and sometimes leg curls, hack squats (regular standing squats are out of the question). However, it still hurts when I climb/descend stairs. Is that ok, how long will it last? I think my physio said I can start jogging pretty soon (a week or two). Would be great to hear from ppl who are at the same stage of recovery or can vividly remember the pain at this point ;-) Thanks, -Navin

jake T
March 12, 2005 3:59 PM

I had acl and miniscus surgery on march 1st i am a week and 4 days into recovery. At first it hurt like hell having to take vicodin to releive the pain as that started to progress i was in my machine that moved my leg and i felt a slight little pop like my knee was just readjusting nothing hurt but now as the days go by its starting to irratate and feel really awkward, the pain is pretty much gone but the awkwardness of my knee is still there, it feels like when ur double jointed or bone pops a little, im 18 and i did this starting football. Is this not normal? i see my doc. on tuesday. I had the patalla surgery. Before the pop i could put decently amounts of pressure on it but now i can not having to use my crutches for most the work.

Mike G
March 13, 2005 11:26 AM

I had my ACL repair on Feb 28/05 and have range of motion of 10 to 100 degrees on day 14 from working my knee consistently. This is my second knee to be repaired with the same technique (arthroscopy & semitendonosis graft) - the first in 1991 was a complete success allowing me to continue to pursue a range of high impact sports (including squash and skiing) about six months later. I have tremendous confidence the current repair will be as good if not better because I have started with less pain, more range of motion and strength than the first time. Why? The difference: surgery two weeks after injury vs. two days; four hours of hospital vs two days; less prescriptive pain drugs and more ice and some tylenol; aggressive rehab was immediate (starting with simply moving my foot in circles, walking without crutches after five days, elastic and static resistance exercises, to stationary biking at day 14) and I anticipate this will continue to progress reasonably. My advice: get a great doctor, get the surgery and get working at it. It works if you do. Good luck.

March 14, 2005 10:05 AM

I had surgery about two months ago, January 18th to be exact. In the third half of my first basketball game, some girl kicked my knee out from the inside. I thought that maybe I tore my meniscus or a lateral ligament, but no, to my dismay, I ended up tearing my ACL. Two weeks after the ordeal, (surgery), I was able to walk, about a month later or so, I've been able to run around, just last week I was able to jump rope and such. A few friends of mine that have experienced the same injury weren't able to do half as much for atleast two months. One friend in particular couldn't walk for a month after surgery. Right now, I feel like I might be overdoing it, I have a "bump" right where the major incision is. It's not fluid or anything, I believe that it's my bone. Weird huh? Well if any of you sufer from the same "weirdness" tell me about it.

March 16, 2005 6:08 PM

I am 13 years old n i play all kinds of sports. But dering basketball i went to rebound the ball and a girl came up and hit me in the knee and then i fell and just started crying. So my mom took me to the doctors and they took a x~ray and then they said it was just a sprain. But then 3 months after that when track started i was complaining that my knee kept popping and hurting. So my mom said before i started going to track meets that she was going to take me to a specilist. So we went to another docter and he moved my knee all around and said it wasnt a sprain and made us get a MRI done. So a week after that we brought the pictures in from the MRI and he said that i tore my ACL. When he told me that i just wanted to start crying because i really wanted to do 7th grade track and i show horses so i couldnt do any horse shows that were coming up eaither. I am sooooooo scared about the sergury that is on March 22, soo i just hope everything gos well!!

March 19, 2005 7:08 AM

Hello, My fifteen year old daughter was diagnosed with tearing the ACL dureing drills in Track practice.Her knee slid of to the side with a pop.MRI diagnosed the tear.They want to do surgery and what I want to know is has anyone chose not to have the surgery and find it heeled just fine? I have found testamonies that are scary with results of problem knees after surgery.Anyone find that NOT haveing the surgery can be just as fine as haveing the surgery?? Thanks concerned mom

Adam Kalsey
March 19, 2005 9:15 AM

I'm not a doctor, so my research into this and personal experience with the injury is all I have to go on. The ACL cannot heal after it tears. The ligament is like a rubber band and once it breaks, the two ends won't ever touch again. There are many people that have skipped surgery, but from what I've heard, you have a very high risk of early arthritis and your knee will never be the same. All that's holding it together are the muscles. At your daughter's age and since she's involved in sports, I think she should have a serious talk with her doctor about the surgery before deciding not to have it.

March 22, 2005 3:37 PM

I tore my acl in a basketball game in december and the doctors didn't get me in until March 16 which really screwed me over with the rest of the basketball season which I knew that I would miss but it also messed up my softball season and the basketball and softball summer leagues that I had panned on playing in. I am really afraid to play basketball next year because of this because I dont want to miss softball again. I mean my brother tore his when he was 12 and it is now torn again and he doesnt want to get it fixed again and has quit sports. The last thing that I want to do is the surgery again so it's going to be hard for me to paly again. I also know another girl who tore hers in a bastketball game and then did it again a year later. Does this reaccuring tear happen often because I am really afraid of this??

March 26, 2005 6:03 PM

I am 14 years old and I tore my ACL during my junior high basketball game. There was a girl in front of me and a girl behind me and i could tell she was going to pass the ball so i jumped in the air to get it but when i came down my leg went one way and my body the other causing my knee to twist and tear. right after the game i went to go get x-rays. when they x-rayed my bad knee(left) they couldnt really tell because i was still growing so they x-rayed my (right) and compared and found that something was wrong but thought it should heal on its own. The next day i went to a specialist and he looked at my knee and didnt think anything was wrong but he couldnt move it exactly like he wanted to so I got a MRI and it showed that my ACL was torn it wsa over the holidays so i couldnt get in to have surgery for a while so i went ot P.T. to get it strong for surgery. In February i had surgery and they used my hamstring because my growth plates were still open its been close to 2 months now and im doing great! I continue to go to therapy twice a week and im getting stronger every time! im very EXCITED to get back in to my sports! good luck if this ever happens to you!

March 28, 2005 2:37 PM

I was thrown from a jeep in June of '04 and started having trouble with my knee giving out on me. I didn't pay any attention to it because of the other injuries that I had that were obvious. Finally in August I saw an Ortho. Surgeon and had an MRI done. Come to find out my ACL was completey torn and thats why I kept falling. I had reconstructive surgery on August 24, 2004 and have had a great recovery. I did really well in therapy, I guess it helped being a competition cheerleader for 4 years in highschool. My therapist did a great job. I still have pain from the scar tissue and from the surgery but I'm almost back to normal. I gained almost all of my muscle back with in 4 months.

March 29, 2005 2:17 PM

I tore my acl about 6 months ago in a soccer game. I was playing goalie, and I went to punt it, but my left leg twisted when my foot hit a little hole in the ground and my knee popped. The doctor said it was just a a sprain so i continued to finish up the soccer season. When basketball came around, i went to a specialist and he said i tore me acl. I got a brace to wear while my growth plates closed up. The basketball season went fine. Now my growth plates are closing so I am getting suregery April 18! Wish Me Luck!

March 30, 2005 1:30 PM

Hey, I tore my ACL and MCL two nights ago at gymnastics. I did a twisting move and my foot planted and my body kept going. I was reading everyone's stories and it's making me feel better about a fast recovery. I love cheerleading and I don't know what I'd do without it. My question is of the hamstring and cadaver types of ACL surgery, which do you think heals faster? Also, how long do you think before full recovery is achieved, like able to jump and all. Please respond! Michelle

April 7, 2005 12:57 PM

Well my story is pretty similar to everyone elses. I don't remember exactly when i tore my acl but i think it was when i was in junior high playing basketball. It has never really bothered me before but once i got into college it would "lock" up on me and i couldnt really walk on it. I had to go to doctor and he told me that my acl was completely torn and i had no idea. I'm 21 years old and he decided that i better get the surgery done since i was young and was having problems even walking sometime. It has been one month since my surgery and i am able to walk and get around on my own with the help of a brace. I had to start to go to physical therapy last week because my quad muscle went way down and i lost a lot of my strength to even lift my leg. but now i am able to do this and i think i am progressing much better. i have pretty good range of motion and it doesnt really bother me except for it aches every now and then. I just want to get back to normal now.................

April 8, 2005 1:38 PM

I am soooooo scared to get surgery. I just found out yesterday that I will have it the 20th of April. I have a complete tear in my ACL that happened on the 5th of March and I wasn't sure if it was ok for me to wait this long for the surgery. I tore it while doing a jump at a cheerleading competition on a spring floor. Right in the middle of the routine. I pulled my hardest and when I landed the jump my knee cap popped out of place and it was a SHARP pain when I walked to the next spot. I was in alot of pain but I had to finish and as soon as I "cheered" off the floor I grabbed on to one of the girls and cried my heart out. The medic there said that I had dislocated my knee cap (which I did) But something about a guy in a red cheerleading shirt with "MEDIC" on the back of his shirt and no badge, where I can see, did nothing for me. I needed a real opinion. The next day I woke up at 4:30 in the morning screamin in pain trying to hop two feet from my bed to my floor in agony because i turned teh wrong way in bed. So the next day (or later that day since it was 4:30) we went to the doctor and he told me all I did was dislocate my knee cap. ERRRRR! wrong. I went to the orthopedic doctor got a MRI done (45 minutes of absolute stillness). That's when I found out about the ACL thingy. Long story short, it sucks and I really want to get back to cheerleading. I had just got my back handspring when that happened.

Sharon Shuteran
April 10, 2005 8:15 AM

I tore my ACL skiing in January. Did a lot of PT toget extension and flexion and had surgery 2 months later. At 51 I opted for my own hamstring (based on people telling me of longer rehab and more pain and long term issues with patella) rather than a cadaver (risk of infection, rejection, etc). I did surgery on a Thursday afternoon, stayed overnight, and only had bad pain on Saturday morning (after a five hour drive home). Relieved by Vicodin and an aleve. Up and about by Sunday. Full rotation on bike at 9 days and on treadmill. A month out, scar pain, but you can barely tell I had surgery. Good PT is crucial.

April 11, 2005 3:15 PM

I have torn my ACL twice - once in martial arts, the other playing/coaching soccer. The first time, I went through a new procedure to have it repaired and shrank, while this time, I had to have it reconstructed. I chose the cadever graft. I had surgery January 24, 2005. I had a doctor in Colorado Springs, Co that works on Olympic athletes, as well as some from area college sports teams. I started therapy 7 days after, lost the crutches 10 days after surgery, and lost the brace 15 days after surgery. Today, I am riding a bike full speed, treadmill at a walk/jog at a 15% incline, and jogging again in soccer practice with the kids. I can still not do cutting and twisting per dr. orders, but I feel I can physically do it. I have had virtually no pain since the nerve block wore off the night of surgery, and have no regrets at doing the surgery. At 50%, I feel better and stronger than I have in years.

April 11, 2005 5:41 PM

i got the surgery done on last friday (april 8th). i tore my ACL when i was playing volleyball. I don't know what happened but when i went for a block and as soon as i landed, my left knee gave out and i fell on the floor and couldn't get back up. i've been on my bed with my left knee elevated. Everytime i need to goto the bathroom and have to use my crutches to get there, all my blood feels like it rushes to my knee and feels like it's goin to explode. anyone please tell me how long before i can stand up without any pain?

Jennifer Diaz
April 11, 2005 7:45 PM

I had surgery six months ago. I followed the doctors orders and the therapist instruction. I can dance as well as I did before I tore the ACL. It takes time but do all the exercises recommended, but most importantly dont push your knee to had. Do only what you can tolerate. Youll be back on your feet doing what you like to do in no time. Also be very careful.

Mike D.
April 14, 2005 10:55 AM

I tore my ACL on 3/13/05 while I was preparing to start a recreational basketball league. I went to our church that recently built a new recreation center and started shooting baskets, then went for a layup and when I landed, my knee popped and I kind of blacked out for a second. Then I found my self on the floor holding my knee in pain. After about two weeks, I was able to walk almost normal again, with the feeling that my knee was somewhat unstable. I had an MRI done and found that I tore my ACL completely. On 4/7/05, I had my ACL reconstruction surgery done using my patella tendon (recommended by my dr who was formerly the team doctor for the Minnesota Vikings), so I am suprised to hear some negatives about it from everyone here. Anyways, I am now a week post-op and am finally able to do straight leg raises. I have a flexiation of 85 degrees and am still experiencing a bad ache when I bend my knee or do any PT. My doctor said I should have been walking by Sunday (4 days post-op), I knew that seemed really agressive. I am still on crutches and today I was able to move around without crutches, but felt really unstable and had an overall bad feeling, so I am going to stick with the crutches for at least a few more days until I feel better about my leg strength. I stopped taking my Percocet a few days ago, after they started giving me fevers after every PT appt., then when I stopped taking the pills cold turkey, I began going through withdrawal. Now I am getting cold sweats constantly, running fevers and just feel down right icky. I am curious to see if anyone else has had these issues after stopped taking percocet? It almost seems like I am behind schedule with my rehab.

April 19, 2005 5:10 PM

First tore the ACL on 5 January 2002 at age 42. Just a little benign fall at very low speed on the ski hill. Went the rehab and brace route which worked fine until 31 December 2004 when I had another fall while wearing the brace (braces do not guard against stupidity). My knee became totally unstable, collapsing sometimes three times a day even when just standing. Anyways I had a hamstring graft reconstruction on 8 March 2005 and really have had minimal pain and discomfort overall. I woke up in recovery feeling as fresh as any other day and the nerve block was really effective for the first 24 hours or so. I was able to weight bear basically from day one. No graft pain at all in the hamstring, just a little bruising. One tip though...when they say elevate the leg, get it way up there (18 inches), not just one thick pillow. My knee and ankle looked like a stuffed sausage until I caught onto this one. I was prescribed a cool therapy pack for the first two weeks 24-7 (51 bags of party ice) which worked fantastic. Started PT after two weeks and my only issue was with swelling and subsequent pain if I was up for too long (over 2 hours). Its been 6 weeks today. On doctor's advice I have been on the crutches, but all I really needed them for was sympathy and to keep people out of my way. When I saw my surgeon today,he was pleasantly surprised at the strength in the leg and is very happy with the stability of the knee. He told me I can reduce use of the crutches as pain allows, so with his blessing I dropped them off at the pharmacy as I left the office. I have been stationary cycling, doing leg presses, elliptical walker and hamstring springs for three weeks and I feel great. The whole reconstruction experience for me has been good. Pay attention to the instructions, do the excercises, and be positive! I figure a good outlook is half the battle and its working for me.

April 23, 2005 8:34 PM

I just tore my ACL one week ago in a soccer game. I was sprinting and made a cut and felt it pop. I have surgery scheduled in less than 3 weeks. I am most concerned with being able to be back to speed in October when I start my senior year soccer season. My speed and aggresiveness is what makes me stand out on the field and I am so afraid of losing that. Especially when it is my senior year when I am looking to play in college. I just pray I will be back to normal around January when districts start.

April 23, 2005 11:21 PM

I tore my ACL on Feburary 28, 2005 doing gymnastics. I was in San Antonio for a competition and vault was my first event and on the landing of my first vault my knee just made a circling motion and gave out and i jumped over onto my stomach. I knew i tore my ACL cuz i took athletic training last semester and we studied ACL tears for awhile. but they put ice on my knee right away and i didn't even look at it. My mom took me to the hospital that was close by and they tested it with the valgus tests and all the rest of those where they pull your knee in every direction. They told me that the good news was that it appeared that i didn't tear my ACL but it looked like i tore my MCL. Once i got back to Colorado i had an MRI and found out i tore the ACL but everything else was ok, just a slight tiny tear of the meniscus which was nothin to worry about. My dad has had problems with his knee so i went to the same surgon he does, he's supposed to be on of the best in colorado! He's worked with many athletes and one of my teammates blew out her knee last year and went to him. I had surgery on March 30, i was put to sleep and was released about an hour after surgery. I had the block done (Where they numb your whole leg) and it left my leg numb for the rest of the day. I had to have my sister lift my leg while i used crutches so i could get into the house, but i was not in pain that whole day thanks to the block! I stayed home from school the week following surgery and for the first 5 days after surgery everytime i stood up, all the blood felt like it ran to my knee and it would start throbbing. I started Physical Therapy about 1.5 weeks after surgery. about 2 weeks after surgery i was off crutches but i still have my brace on and i still have to wear it when i sleep. They PT did fix my brace so that i can bend it 30 degrees 3 weeks after surgery. It's almost been 4 weeks since surgery and im starting to walk better, i can almost get the pedals all the way around on the stationary bike and i can straighten my knee all the way. i have a few questions tho...How long after surgery was it til you can go for runs again? and i want to try out for Cheerleading in august, will i be able to tumble and jump like i could before by then?

April 26, 2005 12:45 PM

I tore my acl March 14 while hurdleing in track practice. i felt strong after 3 weeks of rehab but then it gave out on me and swelled up just like the first time. I am going to have surgery on June 8, and hopefully i will rebound back soon.

April 30, 2005 7:07 AM

I tore my acl just the day before yesterday playing basketball. I've heard basketball is one of the hardest sports (especially for girls) on your knee. I have school basketball in six months. If I do everything they say, can I be 100% by then? Also what is the best surgery of all the options?

May 1, 2005 11:28 AM

Tore my Acl playing soccer and few years back, when i was 14. I managed to live with it having a partial torn acl. unfortunatly it Pop's out here or there and i eventually tore the whole thing. Im 18 about to get my acl reconstruction this wensday. Im trying to find out what my recovery is going to be like, but everyone is different. Hopefully all is well, i keep you up to date.

Peter Castorena
May 4, 2005 8:15 AM

My name is Peter I live in El Paso Tx. (23) and I am a senior at UTEP I tore my acl about five years ago playing soccer and I finally had the resources to pay for the surgery. After the surgery I had a negative reaction to the morphine and anesthisia I was throwing up and had difficulty breathing so I was admitted to the hospital and stayed 24 hours until I was realeased. I had surgery about a week ago and I currently have problems sitting and even sleeping, but as each day goes by everything improves. The pain is non stop eventhough I am taking the pain pills I constantly feel thumping on my thigh and I still have not managed to stand on my two legs. I just hope I can walk before my summer term at school starts in a month.

May 4, 2005 9:44 AM

I am 18 years old I had acl I got surgery Feb 10,05. I have been able to get back so fast I just made cheerleader at the university of utah. I torn my acl tumbling doing a full. I just don;t know if I am pushing it to much. I don't want to retear anything.

May 5, 2005 1:11 PM

I tore my acl playing football last year in March 04. I had surgery in July and now one year later I'm faced with surgery again! I'm very angry that I have to go through the whole recovery process again. The only thing I have to say is that if you want to have surgery be sure that you are willing to stick with your recovery religiously. I'm only 22 and very active so the second surgery is going to happen no questions about it. I also had hamstring reconstructive surgery and this time around I will be having the petalla tendon graft surgery. Hopefully this will not have to happen a third time because I'm running out of options as far as taking my own tendons as replacements. I just know this time around I'm not taking any more chances. Good luck to all that are thinking of having it and good job to all that have had it and that are doing well now.

Anita Lewis
May 10, 2005 2:56 PM

I tore my ACL 11 months ago during soccer practice. It really sucked because it was my first year on varsity and I had only played 3 games on varsity. My knee hurt every once and a while.

Zachary Pyles
May 10, 2005 9:33 PM

I am a student coach at Mid America Nazaene University for women's volleyball and i tore my ACL on April 20. I actually just had surgery today (May 10th) and am looking around for pictures of what it will look like tomorrow. Anyways, i have a femoral block right now so i can't feel much of anything in my leg but i think that will be a different story tomorrow morning. i chose to have the patellar tendon graft as opposed to the other options as advised by the doctor for college age athletes. i am also a goal keeper on the soccer team. good luck to you all who are in the same boat.

May 11, 2005 4:41 AM

I had my ACL reconstructed on April 28th of this year.So far my progress has been great. I almost have total motion of my knee(says the PT),but I'm not so sure. I need to do the exercises more cause my leg is very weak in terms of lifting it.I think the worst thing about my surgery was the timing, due to my having to move soon. Otherwise, I believe my doctor's did a great job.

May 11, 2005 1:23 PM

i just had acl surgery last week. My week was pretty similar to Adams, except i had a surgery where they took a donor acl and replaced it with my torn acl. Today is exactly a week from the surgery and i still am in pain but my range of motion has improved. Im 16 years old and i hurt my acl about a month ago playing soccer and i was sprinting at full speed and changed direction and my knee popped. I am hopeing i will return to playing soccer within 5 months with a lot of training and hard work.

May 16, 2005 11:06 AM

I tore my ACL (Grade III - complete tear) and MCL (Grade III - complete tear) a couple weeks ago while playing basketball. Luckily, I got my x-rays and MRI within a week after the incident. My knee was pretty swollen. My swelling decreased significantly since then (2 weeks later) by doing the following: Crutches Tensor wrap around knee (all the time) Cryocuff - comes with a wrap, thermos for the ice Ice massage - fill dixie cups with water, freeze them and then rub ice around painful spots for no more than 2-4 min..this technique is used for tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) hinge brace quad exercises. I have found that the tensor wrap has helped the most since the tension helps with the swelling (compression) and stabilization (allows my MCL to heal). I want to avoid surgery but I don't think that is possible in my case. I will have to miss a couple weeks of work (hopefully I can work from home). Good luck to everyone.

May 16, 2005 6:44 PM

well hello there adam, sounds like you had it pretty rough...i play soccer in april and i tore my acl when i was 14 from shooting a ball in a game, then landing on it awkwardly. I ended up tearing it all the way.I had surgery in june, recovered very well from it, in march of next year, i was back playing soccer indoor in toledo. i thought i was back to normal and back to about 100%. I tore my ACL again. thought i just strained it again. had surgery about 2 weeks ago and this surgery was a lot smoother than last one. my condition now was probably where i was 1-2 months after surgery the last time. I used an allograft from a dead person, its going very well. keep your hopes up homies with bad knees because god will take care of you

May 17, 2005 9:45 PM

I just tore my ACL a month ago and my medial meniscus. I tore it from running the 100m hurdles. I landed wrong and hyper-extended my knee and twisted it all at once. My ACL snapped in 2. I was misdiagnosed, so I developed a "trick" knee and was fooled into thinking I was recovering, so I started getting more active again to get ready to run at the regional track meet so I could qualify for the state meet. knee totally slipped out of place, so the doctor sent me in for an MRI and found out there was some pretty extensive damage in there.....possibly some of it wouldn't be there if I had been properly diagnosed the first time, but knees are tricky so I don't blame anyone. So, I didn't get to run at that regional track meet and it's my senior year. The year before I had the misfortune of actually falling down right before what would've been a sure 2nd place finish and automatic qualification for state. It was at the 8th hurdle......same hurdle that caused me to tear my ACL. lol. Well, I'm going to have surgery soon. I have no idea how bad the road ahead is going to be, but I fear it'll be bad.

May 19, 2005 7:57 AM

I'm 18 years old, I'm from Brazil and while playing soccer I don't know if I tore my acl and I'm going to talk to the doctor tomorrow(may 19 2005) about the circuntances, he didn't know the first day I went because my knee was swolen and he told me to came back 2 weeks later which is tomorrow. In the first visit he saw how my joint was loose and he said that probably my acl is tore. Tomorrow I will write how I did in the hospital!!!

May 21, 2005 7:39 PM

Hi.....I am 44 it has been 6 days and just finished getting my new ACL (cadaver). After several discussions with others as well as my doc, I chose this route. I am pretty much out of pain except when I bring the leg out of bed after it has been elevated for a bit. I get a very painful rush of blood and fluid throughout the knee. OUCH is all that comes to mind. I am doing my PT and will be released to the bike next week. I came to this site because of the weird kind of pains that I go through at times. I am just trying to get a grip as to whats in front of me. I hope with every week that passes I will be able to do more without feeling these pains. I can honestly say that I have never laughed so hard (maybe it's the drugs) just reading some of the ads here. I do feel a bit better about maybe it taking longer than 1 week to feel great as a couple of people have described here. After I read a few, I was beggining to wonder if something went wrong with mine. I see my doc next week. I'll keep posting on here weekly for those that are a bit older and are not having the surgery just yet. I did go through 3 weeks of rehab before my surgery! Good luck to all...Aynn 44

May 27, 2005 11:12 AM

Today is day 16 since my ACL replacement using my Hamstring as a graft. I'm a 39 year old desk jockey but I play hard out of the office via martial arts, hiking, and hunting. The first 3 days were fuzzy as I was on drugs, the following week I went back to week on a part time basis, and now I'm working full time. In retrospect I wish I had taken close to 2 full weeks off, as I couldn't get comfortable and couldn't concentrate on my work. Physically, PT has provided enormous benifit in strengh, flexibility, and pain management. While it will be close to 6-8 months before I can practice and teach Martial Arts, I expect that I'll be biking and possibly fly fishing in another 2 months.

May 30, 2005 8:46 PM

I tore my ACL about a month and a half ago on april 14th playing soccer for a PE course at my college. I was running and pivoted on my left leg, not moving my foot, and my knee started cracking for a second and then i fell. I was able to walk on it right away, mostly because i didn't like all of the people hoarding around me. I didn't think i was hurt, so i walked back to my dorm and decided to take a shower, i realized there was something wrong when my knee was puffy and i couldnt get my knee over the side of the bath tub shower. I then went to the Dr. and was told i had torn my ACL. My MRI showed that i had a partial tear in my ACL and also my Cartilidge. Make sure you start phsycial therapy ASAP when u find u did something to your knee. My surgery actually happens to be tommorrow mornring at 6:30. I'm not to scared about it, i'm just ready to get the whole thing over with so i can get on with my life. i'm taking a week off from school, right before finals, so we will see how that goes. I will have to come back and post how it finishes up. Good Luck to everyone who is going through this same thing.

June 1, 2005 7:44 PM

I completely tore my Acl in a Judo match, I was in a match with a guy about 200 pounds and he was short so it made it hard to pick him up and throw him. I had went in and lifted while I planted my foot wrong and I felt my knee just give way. Anyway I am going to have the surgery but I am just not sure wheather or not to have what I think is called an aliograph, or to have it graphed from my own leg.

June 3, 2005 6:11 PM

I am 38 and injured my knee about 5 weeks ago. I went to the docter and was diagnosed with a complete tear of my acl along with other potential tears to internal meniscus. I then went through pre-op pt for about 4 weeks to strenghten my knee and reduce swelling before surgery. I just had surgery last week to repair my torn (complete, grade III) acl along with tears on my medial meniscus and lateral meniscus. Both meniscus tears could only be repaired by cutting out part of the meniscus. My surgery involved using a cadaver tendon and I was an outpatient who had a "femerul block" along with some medication to cause me to forget everything. I went home that afternoon after the surgery. It has been 10 days since the surgery and I just had my staples out today. I had 3 small incisions (3" is the longest". Aside from the flexibility and extension difficulties (yes, they are still painful to do), the most painful part for me is the blood and fluid which ended up in my calf. Geez! Talk about pressure on the calf! This is more sore right now than the knee but it is getting better. Don't be suprised about bruising from the thigh down to the foot (yellow along with black and blue). I've been to 1 pt session thus far and my second is tomorrow. After breaking my now playing bball (along with fingers, teeth, etc.), breaking my thumb downhilling skiing, and now my knee....I think I'm going to take up Texas Hold'em. Good luck to all! -Rich

June 4, 2005 7:57 PM

I'm 37 years of age and tore my ACL for the second time racing Motocross. I used a sports medicine doctor and being an active adult, he swears that a patella graft is the only option for anyone wishing to continue sports after surgery. The other grafts fail too easily. I never spent a single day on crutches, I walked out of the hospital the day after surgery with no brace or cane. I got back on my bike at 5 weeks and it now has been 7 weeks and I'm ready to race. My results may not be typical, but I am working really hard at my rehab. Please, if you need surgery don't let the doctor talk you into an allograft if you wish to ever play sports again, I see too many motocrossers go this route trying to get back fast....only to have them fail in a year or less. The right doctor is everything!

June 6, 2005 1:38 PM

As with Bobby, I also had grade III ACL and MCL tears. This happened in Nov. Now 7 mos later, I can walk, Won't try running, and my knee "clicks" a lot. I'm pretty sure I'm going with the surgery.

June 7, 2005 9:36 PM

I had my ACL and MCL done 1.5 years ago and I am doing great. My doctor did the hamstring graph surgery and for as lazy as I have been working out lately, my knee is great. My sister tore her ACL last weekend in a similar basketball incident. She is asking me which method I think she should go with. Does anyone know if there are advantages to one of the three methods? We are both very athletic and have highly muscular legs, but I have no idea if this is an advantage of one type of method over another. Can anyone provide any information? thanks! steph

June 16, 2005 1:01 PM

Hi everyone im Clem, Hard to believe but i ignored all the symtoms mybe because i was stubbern but my junior year in High school i tore my MCL or thats what my doc said. Did the therapy and it was a bit aginizing... Then got ready for my senior year and in a pre-season game i tore my other knee. I went to the same doc and he said i tore my MCL again...Well He only took x-rays ...thoughout these last 2 years i have been playing football again and my knee's pop all the time. Finally i went to a doc that my boss recommended me and well he did the correct procedures. MRI and all . Shurly enough i had both torn ACL on my knee's. I was a bit upset with my original doc. But i am glad to be on track and am having my surgery in 4 days ..I m a bit scared cuz i have never had something like this before. So you all be praying for me. I just hope it turns out 100% What has it been for you guys that have been throught the whole thing? Let me know. I want to know if your able to do the things u want to do. If ur ever down about it ..I usually think of Willis, McGahee Buffalo Bills. Or a Miami Ulumni..ya He went through Heck. Later everyone..let me knwo

June 22, 2005 10:32 AM

I had acl surgery 2 years ago (patella tendon graft). I just found out the the screw they inserted is starting to rise. It is creating a "bump" just beolow my knee that I am told will continue to grow as the screw rises. Anyone ever hear of or encounter this?

June 22, 2005 5:02 PM

I am going to have ACL reconstruction with a femoral-sciatic nerve block. Has anyone else had this done? Thanks, Christina

June 24, 2005 6:41 AM

I had the exact same repair procedure that Adam describes here. I snapped (hyperexytended) my knee while landing poorly from a running, jump, side kick in a martial arts class. Due to the extent of the damage to my meniscus and cartilage, I was not allowed to put any weight on my right leg for the first six weeks after surgery (9 weeks ago). I then spent a week on one crutch, and have been off crutches altogether for two weeks. I am still in physical therapy, probably for another 2 weeks or so. The surgeon has advised me that because of my age (47), my healing process may not be as good or complete as it would have been were I 20 or 30 years younger. My ultimate goal is to get back into martial arts, but I am hoping to at least be able to play golf again some time soon. I'd really like to hear more from Adam, or anyone else who has been through this a year or two ago, to learn what their status is now, a year or two later - especially if they are middle aged and involved in sports... Thanks for putting up and maintaining this site... Bill

Alea Morren
June 25, 2005 6:57 AM

I had ACL reconstuctive surgery 5 days ago. I tried to treat the entire experience like an adventure (I am an optimist). I mean, not everyone gets to experience an MRI, physiotherapy, or being conscious enough to watch your own knee operation. Of course, the night after the operation was something I never want to go through again, it is kind of nice to be forced to slow down and just be with yourself. There are lots of positives to this experience! Today my knee is still quite swollen, but the pain is very manageable. Surprisingly, I am able to walk around, even without crutches (though at the pace of a turtle). Crutches really help with pain management though. I respect all of you who return to work after one week! Fortunately, I am off for 5 weeks on short term disability. I didn't want to take any chances. So, I just wanted to share my experience with everyone. I encourage anyone going through this to remain openminded and accepting. This is a learning experience!

July 2, 2005 12:20 PM

i tore my acl and tore my meniscus playing basketball when a huge guy came running down the court and fell on my knee. i had surgery 1 week ago. the first night i was ok in the hospital but when i got home the true pain started. when i tried to stand up it would burn horribly and blood would rush and form into a pocket in my knee . i had a donor tissue used for the surgery and i was having temperatures of 95 degrees for two days. a week later i was up on my feet walking with the brace and i have just started physical therapy

July 5, 2005 1:58 PM

Hey there. I am 3 weeks post op on my ACL surgery. I had a complete tear from snow skiing in Feb but waited until June to do the surgery so swelling and flexibilty would come back on its own while I decided if I really needed the surgery. I'm now glad I did it. I went in on a Fri morning and was out at 1pm and sick until Sat from anethesia. Within hours of post surgery I was using a CPM machine to bend my knee for 8 hours a day until I reached 90 degrees which took only 4 days for me. I was off my crutches and driving in a week and started therapy within 8 days. My graft was a little different as he used half of my hamstring and half from a donor bank. I have had very little pain at all and only sleeping with my brace in the lock position and have full range during the day and can walk comfortably. I am not very young at 38 but I feel great.

July 5, 2005 7:44 PM

i tore my acl my first soccer game of my senior year of high school. i was definatly stubborn because the DR. told me to stay off of it cause he was not sure what was wrong but i didnt listen. i kept practicing and playing on it. i ran track and i came to find out i tore my ACL completlya nd my miniscus too! so i had my surgey 1 week after i graduated!

July 12, 2005 11:02 PM

hi my name is francisco, i`m from Guatemala, i practice bmx, street rider, and i injure my knee, please they can give mi an advice, my pain comes from the left side of my knee, thanks your for time. francisco

July 15, 2005 9:53 AM

I tore my acl playing indoor soccer too,i found out two days ago and the doctor told me i wasnt going to play sports for about a year. Im getting surgery in like a month. Ive been reading a lot of articles about acl reconstruction and injuries and they all tell me that the worst part is the post surgery recovery. but can anyone tell me if i will be able to play like I did before? will i have to wear a brace everytime i play? Is it easier to get reinjured or is your knee as strong as before? someone help me please

Andrea Nippard
July 18, 2005 3:32 PM

Hi, I had suregery 4.5 month ago on my ACL and meniscus. I had my surgery in the morning at 8am and was home by 4pm, with no pain nothing. Just a little bit of discomfort. I have many friends who have tore there ACL as well as they said each time they seem to play better then before. WIth regards to wearing a brace you will wear it when you practice and play for the first year forsure then at one year of surgery u can start practicing without and then say close too two years start playing without it again. Yes and people are right, the second part of this injury is the hardest.. you have to stay committed and focused and make sure you are healthy before you play again. I will be back play my sport in 1.5 months. I know many people hate this injury but i dont regret it, i've learn so much about my self and grown through this injury so much. Hope you guys all have good luck with it.

July 21, 2005 10:22 PM

It's been 15 days since my ACL surgery. I chose to go with the hamstring procedure and to be honest, this surgery has been much harder than I've ever expected. I started my PT a week after surgery, and was walking without crutches the next day. Me leg improves daily with flexibility and strength, yet it constantly aches and I can never find a comfortable position for it. Unfortunately, Im still taking pain pills 15 days after surgery to deal with this pain. Im not to happy about this, but I don't know what else to do. I just want to know when the constant aching goes away.

July 22, 2005 5:56 PM

I had acl reconstruction and meniscus repair in march. its about 4 months out. PT is a bit expensive so having a gym membership is a plus. At 4 months, the knee is still a bit swollen and the muscles are still weak, at this time be sure not to put too much pressure and over stress, cause then there is the possibility of pain, usually a sharp sting or soreness.

July 24, 2005 11:17 AM

I tore my ACL playing soccer in June. It felt like an electric shock diagonally accross my right knee and dropped me to the ground very quickly. There was no popping noise. It wasn't the result of a sharp turn. I was just running gradually in a right hand curve to go back to our side of the field. I was walking on it fine within a week but decided to have surgery so that I could continue to ski and play soccer even though I'm 45. I had the hamstring graft procedure on 7/12/05. The surgery was a couple hours and included anesthesia and a femoral block. I don't think the block worked fully and they gave me intravenous pain medicine afterward until the pain subsided. The whole sugical process was out patient and I was home after 4 hours. The narcotic pain pills made me sick and I used motrin and alieve instead. There wasn't that much swelling until 4 days later when I used it too much(I thought I was cured) and then it swelled up the size of a Cantaloupe. I'm being much more careful now and things are a lot easier because the doctor put me in a brace that flexes. It's been really hard to sleep and I often times take the brace off after an hour of trying to sleep with it on. It's been 12 days now and I started PT about 9 days after surgery. The joint is very stiff but every day there is imrovement. I'm weaning myself off the crutches but I still have to take a lot of motrin and alieve. Thanks for this web site. The doctors can't spend that much time with you so it's good to hear other peoples experiences.

July 25, 2005 3:27 PM

I tore my left ACL 10 years ago.. after about 6mo I was playing Division 1 college soccer again and (knock on wood,) have never had any troubles with my left leg. But... About 2 months ago, i tore my right ACL + other ligaments/ miniscus. I've had more and more trouble and setbacks with this recent surgery than the previous one. Swelling being the #1 issue. Needless to say, this sucks.

Gerry Wicht
July 28, 2005 8:17 PM

I will be going for ACL reconstructive surgery on the 11th of August. Right now, the time before the surgery, I find myself a little nervous about getting the procedure done. It's been 3 years since I tore it playing soccer, and just in the past years has there been any discomfort and pain in certain things that I do. I am a firefighter, and thus far, the tear has not interfered with my job, so I am asking myself, why should I have this done now. If anyone can give me some encouragement it would help a lot.

July 30, 2005 4:04 PM

hey everyone i tore my acl and my mcl and some cartilage i have to get surgery in a few weeks and im really woried they told me i cant play basketball in high school im really upset. I was wondering if anyone could email me if they would give me pointers on surgery for my acl thanks nikki Abbott

August 4, 2005 10:36 AM

Feb 13th - On the last ski run of the day I fell backwards in powder. My binding didn't release and my knee "popped". The leg kept giving out and the knee was very swollen. After months running around to different doctors I had surgery on the 4th of May. My pain was intense, I had never had a surgery before. At about weak 3 my leg was still not bending very good, so my therapist said we might have to go back in -- I wasn't having any of that. The next week I layed on my stomach and had my boyfriend push my leg until scar tissue broke. It hurt, but being able to move my leg was worth it. I'm going to the gym at least 5 times a week and doing 45 minutes of cardio and lifting now. My leg feels so much better, the surgery was worth the pain. The day I started to light jog again, I almost cried from happiness. It's so nice to get back the active lifestyle I love.

August 6, 2005 12:18 AM

Hi, I'm Julie. I'm so glad I found your website Adam, and here's my story. I'm 42 years old and very active have 3 kids age 7,15 & 18. I love to play volleyball and softball almost year round. last October I fell at work, hands full, landed on both knees on a tile floor. the left knee was ok, the right knee, I hit the inside of my knee cap on the floor.(so you know where that puts the rest of my leg) bent along side of me. I tore the miniscus and the acl. In January the doctor scoped it fixed the miniscus, and thought the acl would heal on it's own. so I did PT for almost 4 months and still had problems with it popping and grinding (worse than before the miniscus repair). But because I was having pain where the ligaments attach to the tib-fib heads, The doctor told me he wasn't quite sure how to fix it, and put me on permenant light duty at work. He said I might just have to learn to live with it. NOT AN OPTION! well on my last doctor's appt. two weeks ago, numerous x-rays and 3 mri's later, he checked the acl again and found that because the acl was still loose, that's what was causing the rest on my leg to hurt. so now he's going to go in and fix the acl. he wants to use an allograft. I'm not looking forward to another surgery but can't wait to play catch with my 7 year old and get my quality of life back! And yes Jenn there are other stupid doctors out there!

August 7, 2005 9:23 PM

I tore my ACL and meniscus in the 7th grade playing basketball. Here I am about to go into my 6th knee surgery at the ripe age of 18. Well I have finally wised up and decided to research all my possibilities. I have already had the patellar tendon put in and then I had a cadaver and now they want to use my hamstring. Hopefully that will work. But even with all these surgeries I have found one good thing out. I found out that I want to be a physical therapist. Your site helped me see what I will be getting into with the hamstring surgery. Thank you

Nicholas Miller
August 8, 2005 9:12 AM

I am a 38 year old male who had an acl repair on June 14, 2005, so I am about 8 weeks into my recovery now. I twisted my knee on the basketball court, fell, and heard a pop. I did the patellar graft repair. I had minimal pain after the surgery, only took pain medication to sleep at night, and was walking around with a crutch and brace the day after the surgery. I lost the crutch after a day, and the brace in three or four days. I started PT on day 6, and there has been steady improvement since then. My biggest challenges has been to find time to sit still and raise the leg to help the swelling go down. My range of motion return was progressing slowly due to swelling, but in the last two weeks, it has subsided a great deal, and I am getting better flexion (135 degrees or so). It has improved quite dramatically in the last week or two, I am getting a lot of strength back and walking better. I am cleared to ride my bike, and went for a vigorous ten-miler a few days ago. I also swim. I am anxious to get back to basketball and soccer, but am told that must wait until 5 or 6 months out. I also surf, but that will probably have to wait nearly that long as well. Just continuing to be reasonably faithful with the PT exercises and weights. Don't want to have to go through this again.

August 12, 2005 4:04 PM

hey, i had acl hammy surgery done on my right knee four years ago and after a long recovery, i went back to playing soccer. after a year and a half of soccer on three teams, i tore my left knee. i just had my left knee operation two and a half weeks ago. i just wanted to say that this operation has been far worse in terms of recovery and pain as compaired to my first encounter. i have been much more dependent on crutches and have been in much more pain that the last time. every situation is different and everyone heals differently. good luck to all of you and me ha. thanks to the site operator, sites like this make being in this crumby situation much more bearable. dave

August 14, 2005 3:50 PM

it really helpful to read the stories to get the inspiration and looking forward. I had meniscus repair and ACL reconsturction 12 days ago. I am still on 2 crutches, pain and swelling is issue.I want to go back to CHina to take my 20 month son back, but I am not sure If I can do it.

August 18, 2005 3:01 PM

i completely tore my acl, tore my medial collateral ligament and meniscus 5 months ago. i have had mri scans but that is all. i am due to have physio and then reconstructive surgery on my acl. i am a 18 year old female from england and on reading this article i feel less nervous about undergoing this operation. However, i would like to know if you where able to return to football (soccer),

August 19, 2005 8:39 PM

I had an ACL replacement (Cadaver Ligament), interior meniscus repair, and lateral miniscus reconstruction. I had the surgery done August 4th 2005. I had to stay over in the hospital for one night and was back home the next afternoon. They sent me home with a CPM machine (a machine that helps you move your knee to varying degrees). The goal is to get to 90 degrees within 15 days. I personally was allowed to put 50% of my weight on my knee after surgery, but was told to walk with crutches, and not to bend my knee passed 90 degrees. The doctor says that I will have to wait about 8 or 9 months to be able to play sports again. Therapy consists of getting all of the muscles surrounding your knee strong so that you can walk, as well as getting your range of motion back (flexion & extension). I would say that if you want a less painful and faster recovery, you might want to go with the allograft like I did. According to my doctor, the only negative is the possibility of infection, or the body rejecting the allograft. The chances by the way are 1 in 1,000,000. If you opt to use one of your own ligaments, your recovery will be a little longer, and rehab might be a little more painful. But if you are considering the surgery and are on the fence about it, I defenitley recommend that you just do it. There defenitley will be pain, but if you rehab hard and have a good surgeon you should be fine. I would recommend my doctor here in Miami, FL. but I don't want this to sound like an advertisement. Lets just say that he has perofrmed surgery on some very prominent athletes in this city.

August 21, 2005 6:16 AM

I tore my ACL playing flag football this August. I'm 35 but have always been active in softball, basketball and flag football since junior high. I am nervous about the surgery mostly because of the long road it takes to get back to just normal let along getting back to the high level of physical fitness I have been in most my life. I also worry because I husband is in the Middle East. I have two teenagers and a three year old. I worry about an overnight stay, being able to deal with pain if I can't medicate myself enough with my little one at home, not to mention mobility issues for the first few weeks. All my family live rather far away. Pray me success.

August 22, 2005 10:44 PM

AMAZING. i am 39. tore my ACL, damaged meniscus & torn cartilage on june 3rd in soccer match. surgery july 20. within 3 days i was walking without crutches. one month post surgery i have full range of motion and can almost jog already. i swim at least 1/2 mile per day. my recovery has been extraordinary, but it can happen to you too! just believe and push yourself as hard as ever.

geraldo villarreal
August 23, 2005 6:37 AM

I'm 31 years old and I tore my acl in half, along with tearing my mcl playing soccer over a year ago. I had the surgery to repair them on July 29, 2004. I also heard a hugo popping noise and then went right to the ground. Guys on the other side of the field said they heard the noise also. The surgery wasn't that bad, it was the recovery that was a long process. I was walking 1 day after surgery, but very slowly and carefully. I did 3 weeks of physical therapy at which point my therapist felt I made significant progress to be released. At about 4 months, I was able to walk okay again. I still could not run because I would feel a pinch in my right knee. At about 9 months I could run for short lengths of time, maybe about 2 minutes or so. I am now able to run fine, however, I still feel that I am not 100% recovered yet. I am still not able to sit on the ground with both my legs right under me. My right knee feels as though it is pulling to much to stretch that far. If you have the surgery to fix your injury, just understand that you will lose a lot of your muscle mass in that leg and calf, along with months of recovery time. All things heal with time, be patient.

August 25, 2005 11:54 AM

I had ACL reconstruction on August 12, 2005, using an allograft, cadeaver graft, and I am doing great. I have only had one physical therapy appointment so far, yesterday, and I am already seeing a marked improvement in my walking. I had no other damage in my joint and just had the ACL done. My suggestion to anyone going in for surgery is to get your muscles in the leg to be operated on in great shape, you will lose muscle strength after surgery and this will definently help in your recovery post-op. The hard work truly is in the physical therapy after surgery, sugery is the easy part, but I would do it all over again and look forward to having a stable knee in the near future after completing rehab.

August 25, 2005 12:09 PM

I tore my ACL and both my meniscus about a month and a half ago, and had surgery almost 3 weeks ago. Stacey, I didn't tear my MCL, so don't know too much about that, but I used my patella tendon for my ACL, and am doing really well. I can almost bend my knee all the way, and do not have constant unbearable pain. Im a female and Im 15, I hope to be back in sports in 6 months. For me the physical part is easy, but the mental part is a killer!

kim s
August 25, 2005 4:49 PM

Hello, well i am four days after acl surgery and minisscous taken out, pain is almost gone, tryng not o take pain medication, but my foot is still swelling and a little blue, my question is should i be putting weight on it and what about the swelling can i do? any advise would be great

August 26, 2005 10:13 PM

I ruptured my acl 7 months ago skateboarding,didnt realise,got p.t for a month or so then got back on my skateboard.Thought there was something more wrong then just a few torn ligiments that my p.t said.I skated for another two months feeling uncomfortable and uneasy about it but thinking it was just my mind as the p.t said i was ok.Then trying a trick i had done many times before,oouch my knee gave away! 2 days out of my op and im stoked i went to see a specialist which i should of done 1st time op went real well,finally i can put my mind at rest and focus on recovery

August 31, 2005 11:53 AM

I had ACL surgery 8 weeks ago, and boy does it suck! :) -- I tore my ACL way back in 1994 when I was in the Army...but never had surgery, since I was able to do most things just fine...but after about the 15th time my knee popped out of socket, I decided it was time. At first I would have to be playing some sort of sport before it would pop-out..but in the last few years it would come out when I would turn the corner walking to the bathroom...stepping off a bus...jumping like 12 inches off the ground to grab a rebound when I was playing basketball with 4th graders! After lying on the playground in crazy pain...I decided this is enough! I'm 30 years old, athletic, and I get injured playing with 4th graders! :) I went with the patella tendon way was I going to put shit from a dead person in my body....and the hamstring option seemed like a bad idea...I didn't want to worry about popping my hamstring once my knee healed. I was sent home like 2 hours after surgery! And man is that bullshit! They should give you at least 1 day to recover, so you can at least get shot up with great drugs through your IV to help deal with the pain. Because they gave me Percocet, which is about as strong as the painkillers come (even though I prefer Vicodin since it gives you a better buzz) :) -- but I was in the WORST PAIN OF MY LIFE the first 2 nights...the first night I was popping a Percocet every hour, and it did NOTHING! Well maybe it kept me from crying, but it seemed to have 0 effect on the pain. By day 3 I was walking up and down stairs...and by the end of week one I took my silly brace off. It's been exactly 2 months since surgery and things are pretty cool now. I can walk with out a limp, and I have really no pain. I still have fluid in my knee that won't go away...but I only iced my knee like one day at the very the fluid is my fault. I went to 5 PT sessions and that was PT lady was super that was fun. I could bend my leg 160 degrees like 3 weeks ago, which is what a normal person that's never had ACL surgery can I can get my heel to even touch my ass. I try to run every once in awhile for like 20 yards...and that is kind of tough. My patella tendon in front still seems very it could just rip if I ran for more than 20 yards. I was told within 2 months I could be playing softball and shit like that...but I think it will be a total of 6 months, before I could do something like that. Hopefully this was all worth it...because as of now, I really don't know if I would do it all over again. But I'm sure I will be very glad I did once I can run again, and my knee doesn't pop out every month! Hope this helps... ~s0pran0s p.s. My doctor refilled my Percocet 3 times...and I got refills on my Vicodin like 8 times!! Even though I really didn't need them for pain after like week was a great opportunity, to get hooked up! I mean how could I not take advantage of being able to get 45 Vicodin for $6!!! I could sell 2 pills for that much! :)

Kathy Botard
August 31, 2005 12:46 PM

My son is in need of ACL after a high school football game. When I asked the Doctor which surgery he would do if it were his son, and he said the patella. I know it is the most painful for rehab, but other than that, I don't know much. Has anyone had the patella acl replacement? My son is a Jr. in h.s. and wants to play football his senior year. THank you

Gary Brenner
September 1, 2005 10:15 AM

ok, im 17 years old and and going to be a senior in HS. i found out i tore my ACL a few days ago, its been a week and a few days since i tore it at football practice and i cant sit out my senior year. so i decided to take physical therapy and get a knee brace for the last 5-6 games of my HS career and wait to get surgery at the end of the season in the begining of december. ne one ne thoughts on this? since most of u have had experience with this type or surgery.

September 3, 2005 9:14 AM

I have read many cases above and am surprised that most seem to recover pretty well shortly after surgery. I had an ACL reconstruction(Hamstring tissue) with meniscus repair on August 26 by a prominent NYU surgeon. I am 8 days into recovery period. Unlike most people, I am still in much pain. Pain that feels like nerve related because it shoots in and around the knee and the shin area. Vicodin does not help much...enduring sleepless nights. Bumping up to oxycodone for a stronger prescription. My pre-surgical PT sessions were very good and helpful. I was able to walk on my own. I expected to get back on my feet a week after surgery but I am nowhere close to that yet. I supposed everyone heals very differently at their own pace.

September 3, 2005 2:18 PM

I tore my ACL while playing a soccer game June 5th 2005, I was playing defence and I was one-on-one with a forward. He tried to get around me so I had my right foot planted and turned hard to the left, needless to say the artificial turf gave to much traction and my right leg didn't want to turn, but my body did. I collpased in pain I didn't know exists. I attended PT the next day where I was told that it looked as if i had torn my ACL and meniscus. Once the swelling had almost vanishe dit was confirmed that I had indeed torn the previosly mentioned. I went for surgery on August 31, 2005. The surgery went fine, but I continued to bleed a fair amount for 2 days after surgery, this made my mom aswell as myself rather nervous. It is now 4 days after surgery and I am already walking around without crutches, and i have roughly 90 degrees range of motion. I plan to start PT for recovery within a week. I know that surgery was no doubt the best way for a 16 year old to go, I didn't want a bad knee to slow me down for the rest of my life. I would just like to thank my surgeon, Dr. Bob McCormack who did nothing but an excellent job. I live in Vancouver Canada and would love to hear from other people who also have also had their ACL torn.

September 6, 2005 6:19 PM

I tore my acl on september the first 2005. Iwas told i was gonna have to have surgery after 3 weeks of rehab. Then intense rehab after my surgery. The doctor said I'll be back to the level of activities I was in about a 5 to 6 months.

September 7, 2005 12:59 PM

Hey all, I tore my ACL playing basketball right before graduation in May 2005. I finally decided to have the surgery because I am only 22 years old and feel I have many years of sports ahead of me. I had surgery on Sept 1, 2005 so its only been a week since surgery. I feel I am recovering well though. Pain is minimal, and I will be on crutches for about 3 weeks. Luckily I was able to get off of work for the whole week following surgery. I actually went with the hamstring graft. So I hope I make a quick recovery. Sweeling is down, and I am constantly doing quad flexes. If anyone wants to ask me about my surgery, just go to my myspace website, and send me a message.

September 7, 2005 3:02 PM

I tore mine (+ meniscus) 3 years ago and my doctor did the surgery in two parts: meniscus + recover, then ACL + recover. I did relatively well and as a competitive female athlete eager to get back on the field, I pushed myself pretty darn hard. A word of caution though - pay attention to your doctor and don't push TOO hard; listen to your body. At this point, I may be having my ACL RE-reconstructed because it seems to be too loose and I'm once again having torn cartilage incidents. Work hard and be optimistic, but be careful or you may pay for it later!

Chris d
September 8, 2005 12:31 PM

2 surgeries in 3 months. Well lets start it like this. I am a genius! I tore my knee playing high level rugby and hit the ground like a screaming 4 year old girl after planting my leg for a change of direction. My leg just buckled an I thought I was shot. I never felt pain like this before. I had the cadaver eplacement 1 month later and was out of commission for 3 days. Off crutches after a week and out of the brace after 2 weeks. I was well on my way back to the field. I was 2 and a half months out of surgery and having therapy and exercises 3 to 4 times a week. I even was on growth hormones and feeling stronger than ever. First training session back I was running and tackling like i never missed a beat. Then, a slight step and change of pace and it went again. I screamed louder and harder than the first time. Our field is surrounded by 4 other soccer fields with approximately 500 people. I stopped everyones game with my high pitched girly noises. I limped away after 10 minutes of sobbing adn then the next day back to the surgeon. 2 weeks later I was under the knife again. In less than one day I was off crutches. 3 days off the brace and now 3 weeks out I am walking perfectly. My moral of the stroy is dont come back too early even if you think your body is good. You cant feel the tendon. Also, get a pyhsiotherapist who is good. Not one who clears you to return after 2 and a half monhts. Hence why I now have a new therapist. I am taking 6 months off atleast. I do recommend the cadaver graft. Fasty recovery and no extra pain.

September 8, 2005 2:50 PM

I had surgery almost six months ago and I believe my recovery went well. My doctor told me I can go back to playing soccer again, but I think I still need to get it stronger so that I can play again. Those of you who just had surgery, hang on and work hard. It is all worth it.

September 8, 2005 4:36 PM

Hey there! I had the hamstring recontrustive surgury after tearing my ACL skiing. I knees kept going but my feet stopped. I will never forget the POP I heard as I went down. But I am know 5 weeks post surgury and doing all right. I took the brace off last week and am just using a cane and a tensor. Only problem is the straighting ... I still walk with a very bent knee. However I do know someone who did not have othroscopic surgury to repair his tear and he was still limping with a cane after 10 WEEKS!! So I feel lucky!

September 10, 2005 12:59 PM

i had acl reconstructive surgery about 4 weeks ago i can walk with out cruches about 90% with out a limp i still feel pain however in the front of my knee the doctor said its going to be faster becouse im 14

September 10, 2005 5:52 PM

Hey. On August 26th 2004, I was playing soccer for my high school in my second game. I was running to a ball and I stepped wrong and then I got hit from behind by a player from the opposite team. I felt a little pain and I heard a pop, it didnt hurt too bad and I was walking around and swelling at all. I figured I just hyperextented my knee so I went to practice the next monday. I had the ball and I tried to cut and then I heard a louder pop and it hurt even more this time. At this point I knew something was wrong so I went to a local orthopedic. He looked at my knee did some test and was almost sure that I tore my acl. I had an MRI a few weeks later and thats when I was told I tore my acl. My doctor wanted to do surgery but the MRI also proved that I had not finished growing yet. My doctor didnt feel comfortable doing surgery and disrupting my growth plates so he postponed it. It was finally March 9th 2005 when I got surgery. Surgery went real well and i didnt have any problems with swelling or pain. I have worked hard and gone to PT pretty religiously. I should be cleared within a few to play 100%. A warning dont push it too hard. My friend pushed and pushed herself and she is now dealing with another bad knee with continuous swelling.

Matt Otto
September 12, 2005 12:00 AM

I am 37 years old and partially tore my left ACL playing rugby 6 months ago. After some recovery and rest I resumed play (probably way too early as I kept hearing more popping sounds all the time) and then finally fully ruptured it last month just playing touch. I had the hamstring graft and had surgery in Bangkok as I am an expat in Hanoi. The Dr said I had also damaged cartlidge under my patella and my lateral mensicus. I felt quite strong after surgery and thought I'd be off the crutches within a week. Upon returning home I got very ill with high fever, sweats, headache and chills which lasted over a week. Not sure if this is post surgery problem or just a case of the bad Asian flu. Its been nearly 3 weeks since surgery and my knee is still huge and I'm still on crutches. You guys are lucky you have PTs in the States. I have to look this stuff on the web to help myself out. Thanks though, it has all helped. Hopefully, I will be back on the pitch next year! Matt Otto Hanoi, Vietnam

jimmy johnston
September 12, 2005 8:36 AM

my surgery took 45 min. i was able to jog slowly 3 weeks after my reconstructive ACL surgery. My doctor out of san antonio TX dr. D.S --- he is the best!!

September 14, 2005 11:59 PM

I have a grade 3 tear to my ACL and I have my surgery in 3 days.... How worried should I be... cuz I'm pretty scared right now.. btw.. I"m 24 - baqsketball injury, pivoting, top half turned.... bottowm half didn't.. POP

September 15, 2005 12:25 PM

Hey! It's awesome to hear that everyone can share their experiences here. I know a few of us were scared when we heard that *POP* and then were told that we had torn our ACLs. I torn mine playing basketball and was really worried because I knew it was a career ending injury for a lot of people. I had it repaired and had a miniscus removed about 3 months ago. I can walk at about %75 with a little limp. My advice is to DO YOUR EXERCISES!!! I have to admit I don't do mine enough. I still don't have full extension and am still working on it. I think I might be depending on my right knee too much because it's starting to have pain. Again, DO YOUR EXERCISES!!! I need to take my own advice also. Good luck to you all and thanks for all the info.

September 16, 2005 3:24 PM

Hi! I tore my ACL October 9, 2004, the game before sectionals of my junior year in high school. I was captain of the team and it was absolutely devastating. I was running with the ball, and went to pivot and cut back. My entire body moved, except for my leg that was planted on the ball. I heard a pop, and then was on the ground. My knee swelled immediately, and that was the end of soccer season needless to say. November 11th I had my surgery, and less that 6 months later, I was back on the soccer field. I'm a senior now, and am playing in my final high school season. I'm not completely there yet...but by the end of the season I hope to be at my peak! P.S. congrats to all that have come back from this's really great and encouraging to hear. And for those who are working towards that'll get there...keep working hard.

September 17, 2005 4:40 AM

hey!! i just went thru an acl surgery after havin twisted my knee and hearing a pop while at practise with my college teammates. i m 72days old as of now frm surgery and am pretty much normal while walking and sitting.well a lil bit of bad luck was dat i had d ACL injury just days before i was 2 start practice with a pro-soccer club. it does turn 2 b quite frustrating but with d help of my coaches and physio feel better equiped 2 b on d team d cumming season... so all of ull just dont rush in2 things and happy recovery 2 all of ull.

September 19, 2005 6:32 PM

Hey, everyone I just recently tore/streched (docs aint sure yet) colliding with a goalkeeper. I play soccer and run Varsity indoor and outdoor track and currently I am a Sophomore are a High School. I am totaly devasted, and emotionally I am a mess. I struggle to get through this because in my mind I know how much more I could have acquired without this injury. Does anyone have some hopefull stories or good excersises and some non worry surgery advices. Ty, congrats to all, Mike

September 20, 2005 9:40 PM

There is no sugar coating the truth, ACL surgery sucks bad. I've had the pleasure of getting my second patella harvest procedure so I have matching knees. For who are going into surgery for the first time for ACL who play sports. Get the patella procedure and you'll be good to go. I was on the field running and kicking the ball after four months, competitive play in 6-7 months and back to nearly normal about a year later. Unfortunately I only had a fun year back until I tore the other one. Anyway after the first surgery, I could kick the soccer ball well past the half mark on the field so I bounced back well. It was dumb luck to get a second identical injury. I'm uncertain about playing soccer with two reconstructed knees, perhaps someone has some good news about two procedures?

September 22, 2005 5:56 PM

its not something to be scared of. Its not that bad, the meds really help out. The first few days feel like an eternity because you really cant do anything but lay down and watch TV. but then it gets better.. I was walking (with pain) in 10 days its not bad... gettin it done is smart in the long run

September 22, 2005 7:04 PM

Hey Mike! I know what you are going through and i was the exact same way. Im a sophmore in high school and run track and cross country. I tore my acl playing soccer about 6 months ago. Ive already been running track for about 2 months and my knee feels great! I think you have nothing to worry about. :)

September 23, 2005 11:17 AM

Just found this site and thought i would tell my story. Last thursday during a soccer game I tore my ACL. The injury occured when i pivoted on my right leg. My ancle remained in a pot hole in the ground while my knee continued. The feeling of bone on bone and the final pop was unlike anything I have exprienced. Like most injured soccer players I bumbled to the ground in excrutiating pain. I was unable to bend or sraighten my leg. I spoke with a sports injury specialist the next day who informed me that my soccer career will be on hold for 12-15 months. Not the news I was expecting to hear. So Im currently in Physio and attempting to get off these damned crutches full time. Im still clinging to the hope that the damage is not as serious as originnaly assessed. Hopefully surgery wont be needed. If it does, im praying that i can sneak in as quick as possible. Because I dont know if i can keep myself from playing sports for 15 months. Anywho, I just felt like adding my injury story to this list. Thanks

September 24, 2005 7:22 AM

hi to all!!! I tore my ACL last May 08, 2004 during our 5-a-side soccer tournament here in the philippines. jumping to head the ball, my right leg which is fully extended was clipped by my oppenents left leg... as when i land, my knee just POPED!!! it immediately swell. it really sucked that after the tournament in our place... we were invited to play at a tournament at Nueva Vizcaya, (april 2004) that i could'nt play... instead, i coached our team and won the title. i've undergone my surgery last july 2004, the surgeon took a part of my patella and replaced my raptured ACL... it took me 2 months before i can walk without braces... after 10 days of theraphy, my knee can now do a full flexion... and after that, i wasn't able to go to extensive theraphy anymore... my knee still hurts, but despite of that, i still manage to play soccer every saturday afternoon. months have passed, when we were invited again to play at nueva vizcaya (April 2005), i played for a brief moment... (5 minutes). and we won the title again. now, the reason i'm sharing this is that i need some help regarding exercise to strengthen my kness and leg muscle. actually it still really hurts... pls help me.. tnx.

Dave L
September 26, 2005 8:28 AM

Hello, My MRI results show a completely torn ACL and partial MCL and some meniscus damage. I am lined up to see a very reputable orthopaedic surgeon in 4 to 6 months and then may have to wait 4 to 12 months for surgery. Any advice on waiting to see a reputable surgeon or getting in to see any surgeon asap. Does the quality of the surgery effect the rehab time?

September 26, 2005 9:15 AM

My SO had ACL reconstruction surgery on Aug. 10, 2005. His recovery has gone pretty smoothly but the not being able to run is just killing him. His surgeon and PT want to limit his bike riding (indoor) to only 30 minutes per session. How soon did other folks with repaired ACLs get back to running on a treadmill indoors? Also, how did you control weight gain? He eats like a bird but still feels like he is gaining weight. Any advice will help! Thank you.

September 26, 2005 12:51 PM

I am a 43 year old with 2 awesome sons. My oldest was back home from college for his 20th birthday. We, my sons and I, love to wakeboard and that is what he wanted to do the Saturday before his birthday. We went to the river where we have wakeboarded for the last 7or 8 years. We took turns showing off for each other, my oldest son and I were just trying to stay up with my 15 year old who shows us both up on the water. I gapped the wake like I have done a 100 times before and when I landed I heard a pop simultaneous to the board hitting the water. The boys came back around in the boat and asked why I had let go. I had no movement in my lower left leg. I had to have them get in the water and help me get the binding off of my foot. I went to the Emergency Room that afternoon and they did x-rays that showed no damage but the doctor believed I had torn my acl. I saw the orthopedic surgeon on Monday and he set up an MRI for Wednesday and another appointment to review the MRI on Thursday. My ACL was shredded. I was very concerned about my physical future. I am a Firefighter with 23 years on the job and would really like to make 30. My doctor said my knee would be as good as new 6 months post surgery. I had my surgery the following day. My surgery lasted 3.5 hours. I had the patella replacement. I also had torn meniscus. I pretty much stayed in bed for the next couple of days only getting up to eat and use the rest room. They had to leave the tourniquet on longer than expected and my left foot was numb without feeling for the first 3 days. I had my surgery on Friday and started P.T. on Monday. I did not drive myself for the first 4 days even though I believe I could have after day 3. I pushed myself daily. I went to P.T. every day for the first 2 weeks and 3 times a week for the next 2. I still ice my knee daily after exercise to keep the swelling down. I am able to walk without limping and started back light duty today. I hope to be back on the Fire Truck within a month to 6 weeks. I am incredibly anxious to be back at the station and doing the things I love, but I don't want to damage my knee prior to it healing enough to handle the activity I impose upon it. My mom was a tremendous help the first week after surgery and I am sure I would not bee where I am now if I wouldn't have had here help those first few days.

October 3, 2005 12:53 PM

After Reading some of these enteries, I feel my injury isn't half bad. I just had my ACL Reconstrive Surgery 2 weeks to the day. My Range of motion is quite good, but unable to fully weight bear. Doing my excercises while my leg still hurts. I injured my leg 5 months ago. Canadian HealthCare takes a long time. I'm a Geotech Driller and due to my injury I haven't worked since my injury. I'm a vary active 22 year old, and I know I should be in school, but Haven't been able to affod it. (reason for workin in the drilling industry) But I'm starting to get quite depressed, and havin no desire to do anything beside physio. What should I do with my time.?

October 4, 2005 9:22 AM

I'm 24 years old and just had ACL reconstruction on 9/20/05 stemming from an injury in 2004. Per the doctor's advice, the replacement was done with a piece of my hamstring. I also had the "nerve-block" for the surgery. It's been two weeks since the surgery ... here's what advice I have ... the nerve block is a pretty good option, they do this about a half hour before surgery via an injection in the upper leg. They say it lasts for upwards of 12 hours, which it does ... don't wait for the nerve block to weaken b4 taking pain pills. I had trouble sleeping the first night b/c the pills (percaset) took awhile to load in my body ... so start those earlier even if you don't need them yet ... b/c you won't know it b/c the nerve block is still working so it's good to get a couple dosages of pain medicine in your system during the course of the day post-surgery. Showering - - kinda annoying considering the soft brace that goes from hamstring to calf. One suggestion ... use plastic cling-wrap (what you use with food) ... and wrap the leg over and over again ... at least that way you can shower and keep what needs to stay dry ... dry. Of course, be careful getting in/out of shower ... keep crutches nearby. I've been off of crutches for about 5 days and have been consistently using a wrap/Ace bandage around my knee. I pretty much walk without a limp, but still have difficulty going up/down stairs at a normal pace. I still ice when needed to get the swelling in the knee down. As of yesterday, the doctor has liked my progress.

October 8, 2005 3:49 PM

Hi, I'm due to get surgery for my ACL on the 19 this week. I also twisted my planted knee then heard and felt the "pop." I'm not getting a nerve block, instead something they're putting in my IV think. My question is, has anyone had to have a machine strapped to their knee and have pain med pumped in for a few days after? That's what my surgeon said he's going to do. Also, what's the pain level and your reaction to Vicadon post surgery? Please help, very nervous!

October 10, 2005 6:42 PM

I just had ACL surgery on Oct. 6th. The initial injury was about 7 years ago but there was no tear. On Sept 14th I went out and played tennis and "pop". They used my patellar tendon for the ACL graft. I also had meniscus damage. I thought I wouldn't be in much pain but the first 2 days were quite painful. I had 2 percocet every 3-4 hours. That works well and the cold therapy machine is nice. I stayed home for 3 days and today I went around on crutches for a while and by the afternoon there was some swelling towards my ankle and I'm laying here with the cold therapy hoping I just didn't put myself in reverse. The doctor said I would be on crutches for only a week but I think it may be longer. It's very awkward to walk around with them. The surgery took only a couple hours and I think the anesthesiologist did a really good job of minimizing the post nausea. I really didn't have any. I have an 18 month old so it's hard to tell her "no- Mommy can't hold you" however I am embracing the time for mandatory rest and sleep. I've read two books and my confidence in my husband's parenting ability is at an all-time high. I'm just excited that my knee will be better and that I'll be able to resume an active lifestyle. Also the technology nowadays with arthroscopy is amazing and the recovery is nothing like it used to be. I know now that I never want anything like this to happen again so I will take care of myself, do pilates to build my muscle strength and try to remember I'm no longer 18. Wishing everyone health and a speedy recovery.

October 11, 2005 12:51 PM

I had ACL surgery on June 13 so I am about 4 1/2 months out. It is hard and it does hurt but you just have to keep on working. I did it in a soccer game, I only had three more in the high school season. Since the college women's soccer is in the fall I am unable to play this year. But you have to keep working hard to make sure that once you are cleared you will be ready. My surgery type was the petlla graph, and so far it has worked out fine. I was able to walk the next day but the day after that I needed my crutches and couldn't even take a step with out them. I had crutches for about two weeks and the brace for about 5 weeks. It is important to push your self with the rehab but don't over do it so you tear it again. The worst thing the first few weeks was that my mom would put my crutchs out of my reach so I would have to call for her, I hated that but she didn't want me moving more than I had to. But I would still try and reach my crutches which was not a good idea, I almost feel a couple of times. Do not be afraid to ask for help because you will need it and without it you could really hurt yourself. The exercises that the PT will give you are hard, but seem like they should be easy, don't get discouraged if you are unable to complete them they are hard and it will take time. Also, use your CPM machine it really helps move things along. It feels really good the first few days to have you leg in it so it doesn't stiffen up. Even though I am 4 months out I still feel pain in my knee but you learn when the pain is just from it being sore are when you really need to watch what you are doing. I have just started running on a tredmill and jumping. It is scary to move on to each next stage, you are excited because that means you are one month closer but scared because you know how easy it is to tear it again and are scared that you will have to go through this again. Even if you did tear your acl at least you did it when they have the ability to fix it. Years ago, it was a career ending injury today we can come back even though recovery is long at least we have it.

October 11, 2005 5:27 PM

I'm only 15 years old and I'm getting surgury Nov.2 and i'm getting the whole hamstring replacement. Has anyone been affected to not play sports anymore? and from a scale of 1 - 10 what is the pain level?

October 12, 2005 8:58 AM

It's so nice to hear everyone's experiences. I just had ACL reconstruction on 10/05/05 and while the first several days were rough I am now feeling much better. I too had the patellar tendon graft and have 14 staples in my knee. I stopped taking medications (oxycontin and hydrocodone) two days after surgery because I was feeling so nauseaus. Ibuprofen seems to be working well. I tried to put weight on the leg with crutches a few days after but felt that my knee wanted to buckle on me so I laid off but today I seem to be doing much better. I have my first physical therapy tomorrow and while I am not looking forward to the pain and frustrations I am looking forward to regaining my strength and getting around more. I do want to know if you can give me your opinions....I had surgery a week ago and will be going to police academy in January which involves jogging a mile and a half 2-3 times a other strenuous exercises except pushups and situps. Do you think it realistic for me to think I can make it? My Dr. seems to think so but I want to get the opinion of others who have had this surgery. Hang in there and know that there are many that are in the same boat you we are. That helps me and encourages me to push through this. Take Care!

October 12, 2005 1:03 PM

I had my acl done 3 weeks ago tommorow. After surgery Had the pain pump going into my knee someone had asked in a early post if it worked well for the most part I didnt feel it working the pain the first 3 days sucked after that the pain pump ran out of meds and I had to take it out myself. If I was you just say you dont want it. as for walking still not able to walk with a crutch. and still working on gettig my quad to react. anyone have any extra methods beside the normal that the PT give you to get that going aging. thanks Mark

October 12, 2005 4:28 PM

i'm having acl reconstruction in 9 days, i would love next year to be able to play football, does anyone think thats possible?

October 14, 2005 1:17 PM

I had ACL surgery on September 19, I never had any pain whatsoever from the moment I went under until even today. I was walking without crutches after 10 days and I havent used the brace for over a week (except when I go to the gym). I also tore mine playing indoor soccer. I was on a breakaway right off the faceoff and as I was following through on my shot when I was "manhandled" and in the course of the fall my cleets stuck in the astroturff. I could feel the shred as I fell. Now I've never had a serious injury before like this, but I am a serious athlete, and I knew something was wrong right away. I ended up tearing my ACL and interior MCL. I hope to be back on the feild at the beggining of next summer. I am starting physio today and have started weightlifting again a few days ago. It's really nice to read about other peoples experiences. I guess some people heal faster than others. It does have a lot to do with age though. I am healing very fast, but I am only 18, and during the 5 months I had to wait for surgery I was excercising and strengthening my leg. So good luck to everyone in their recovery.

October 15, 2005 7:44 AM

Hi! Loved reading this site. I am scheduled for ACL surgery Oct. 28th. I am 40 yrs. old, and a single mom. I teach Pre-K 4, Special Ed. I was "Not" acting my age, playing with my daughter and messed my knee up. I have been in PT for 3 weeks with some improvement, however the instability is still there. It was good to hear positive feedback from most people. I will let you all know how I do after surgery! Pray for all and for the PT's that have to put up with ME!

October 15, 2005 3:18 PM

I am in the military and I tore my Lateral ACL and my meniscus on a Airborne Jump. I can not strech my leg out without feeling a painful "POP" in my knee area. I will be having my surgury on the 1 Nov, the patellar tendon graft. I run alot (3-5 miles every other day) and roadmarch with a 50 lb rucksack or backpack. I want to get the experience from other of your experience, and how long do you think it will be until I am back doing Airborne Ops, Runs and Roadmarching. Thank you very much in advance for comments, and I wish everyone the best of luck in your recover.

October 16, 2005 6:05 AM

Hi all I am a 33 year old mother of a 3 year old, and just had my ACL reconstructed using a donor graft on OCT 12. The ACL injury is over 13 years old (skiing back when I was 21). I had arthroscopy back then, but left it alone as I couldn't see myself having to deal with 6 months recovery at that age....well, I wish I would have done it then and not now! Dealing with the recovery timne and chasing a 3 year old rambunctious son are much more difficult!!! A torn ACL is not going to kill you if you don't get it repaired. I led a normal life, still could work out, light on the sports, but as the years progress, my stability got worse and worse. It took several locked-up knees and falls and then tears in both meniscus for me to make the decision to have reconstructive surgery now. 4 days later, here I am, not very mobile at all and wishing the meds would never run out! My suggestion to anyone out there who is tetering over whether or not to get it it while you are young. You are a lot more resilient and will heal and recover and be back on your feet much faster. Not that I am 'vintage' or anything, it's just already been a different experience for me than for most of the younger people posting here. It's great hearing all the stories and being able to relate to some. Best of luck to all and stay healthy!

October 18, 2005 11:41 AM

My name is Cecelia i'm 17, and a senior in High school. In august I had a knee injury (softball) I had to sit out for that tournament for a while. My knee swelled up the next day, but I didn't pay attention to it. But days later the pain kept me from playing anything. I kept going to the doctor's and they sent me to get Xray's and didn't find anything, so I went to get a MRI. Finally I had a doctor's appointment yesterday, and they finally figured out that I had torn my ACL. I'm going for surgery next thursday on the 27th. I just wanted to know how long will it take to heal? My doctor said I will probably heal faster because I'm still young, and still growing, but I need to know. Can anyone give me at least a good educated guess? If you can help me out please email me.....thanks.

October 20, 2005 1:45 PM

Dear Cecelia, You have a very nice name. I am no doctor. I just study ALOT on this stuff!! How are you feeling? How did you get hurt playing Softball? Usually with this type of injury, you'll be out for a while. Since you are having Surgery next week, You won't be able to return to sports at least 6 to 8 months from the date of your surgery. Some people can return earlier and others later. So anytime throughout that time that you feel discourage, don't. You'll be fine. just let the new ACL heal.There will be alot of physical therapy involved to strengthen your Quad muscles and your hamstrings. It is VERY IMPORTANT to DO ALL of your exercises. They will help you. Yes, it will hurt and stuff, but it will help you over all. Is your doctor going to use the Patellar Tendon or the Hamstring Tendon for a new ACL? Since you are still growing, there might be a risk of distrupting your Growth plates in You knee, Since the doctor has to drill through the Tibia and Femur, that is where you growth plates are. You'll have to ask your doctor about that. Are You Almost done growing? Ifso then that shouldn't be much of a problem. I hope you feel better. I wish you luck. Let me know how Everything went. Email me

October 20, 2005 1:58 PM

Hello everyone. How are you? I am doing ok. I hope someone here could answer my question. I have Patellofemoral syndrome in my knee, (The cartilidge is softening,besides that its messed in general). On 10/10/05 I was playing with my cute dog. he was chasing me and coming after me like if he was going to bite me (Only play bite), I ran really fast and lost control and fell right on that knee (flexed). It didn't pop and I did have alot of pain. I had very little swelling in it. somehow I got up by myself. Now it pops (Hurts), and tries to give way or whatever. It did pop/hurt before but it never tried to pop out/give away. It definaltely hurts like heck now. Before it did hurt but not like this though. it never really hurt when I walked on it, now it does.There was NO dislocating or a fracture. Now what could this be, and or What else got messed up? Thank you you can email me anytime at

October 22, 2005 12:20 PM

Hello everyone, Well on May 11th 2005 I tore my ACL playing lacrosse. I had surgery JUne 6th 2005 and The recovery has been hell. I broke out in hives two weeks after surgery for 24/7 three days in a row and then I got heart palpitations following. Then, they thought I had an infection and were going to send me back into surgery at 2am, and how cool is it I had NYS regents exams to take at 7am the next day!! Luckily, that didnt happen. They used a hamstring graft. Now I have patellofemoral and I have had it for about 2 months. Its not getting any better and the p/t's and and OS dont know what to do. Its holding me back a lot and it hurts to do pretty much anything. Although Im 4 months post op, my quad is still significanlty smaller and I would work throught the pain but they say it can worsen the PFS. Anyways, I hope everyone elses recovery goes better than mine.

October 24, 2005 10:48 AM

Hi there, I am a 33 year old guy and I tore my ACL playing soccer. I had my surgery done 4 months ago. After the surgery minor pain. I was in a brace and couldn't bend my leg for about 10 days. I didn't use the crutches and just walked slowly. After 10 days they took the bandages off and I went to physical therapist and she was able to get my knee bending 42 degrees. From there on I felt my knee improving almost everyday. After about a month i could bend my knee 110 degrees (my full range is 138) After 2 months I was able to walk without limping and soon there after got my range of motion back. I think the whole problem with this surgery is that the join has to heal first and then you spend time to work on your muscles which completely disappear after the surgery. now after 4 months I am able to jog and do pretty much anything with only minor pain, (not even pain but something in the knee lets me know that it is there) My muscles are about 60% back. The doctor told me that in 2 more months i can try to play competitively but I will wait like 9 months before i play anything again. good luck and I hope it helps and it is nothing to be scared off...

October 26, 2005 6:30 PM

I am a 47 year old man with ACL reconstruction surgery scheduled for 11/18/05. My surgeon is Dr. Gary Fanton at Stanford. I elected to use a donor graft. My ACL injury occured 17 years ago (playing softball, rounding first base). I am a fitness nut. I work out six days a week. I run six days a week. My other actiivities include playing tennis, snow skiing, riding my mountain bike and playing golf. I learned over the years how to limit my activities to protect my bad knee... Can someone share with me what postop PT is like? What types of exercises are performed? How long are each session? How many time a week? What exercises can I do at home to accelerate my recovery? What exercises shouldn't I do? I hope to be back on the golf course 16 weeks postop and I am planning a helihiking vacation in July '06. Best of luck to all!

October 26, 2005 7:27 PM

GOSH arent knees the most frustrating thing. ITs so annoying to be set back from doing actvities because of something so small. I just am so annoyed because my knee just doesn't want to bend up and I really don't want to have the surgury but i feel its inevitable. I hope everyone with acl problems recovers fast and healthy. Hopefully one day they won't be such a problem. STRENGTH TRAIN STRENGTH TRAIN

October 26, 2005 9:36 PM

Hi all! It was both terrifying and relieving when I was reading the posts. I am a 31 year old guy and completely torn my ACL and damaged the meniscus while wakeboarding back in June this year. The pain was quite unbearable at the time and I had to stay out of work for a week because of the pain the the immobility. It was quite disappointing when I heard the MRI result and continue wakeboarding after the swelling gone since at the time of the accident I was testing my new board. It wasn't as fun as it could be this season as I can't do any of the more advanced tricks as I fear that i might hurt myself at the same place again. I think I was wrong with that since I kept hurting myself over and over agin throughout the season by only doing the small tricks. Without the ACL readlly dented both my physics and my mind. I'll be having the reconstruction on 14th Nov and will definitely let my knee recovered well(hopefully within 5 months) before picking up the sport again. I'm expect the re-hab process to be painful but hey, no pain no gain!

October 29, 2005 11:19 AM

Hey, I am only 16 but, I tore my ACL August 11th 2005 playing soccer on a traveling team. I am doing wonders in rehab. I had the graft from my hamstring also because I didn't want the large scarring. Rehab is tedious but I have a great therapist. The thing I am struggling with is being on a high school team. I am the captain at our school in Florida but now that I can't play someone else is a captain. My parents tell me I need to go to practice to support my team but it is so depressing because they all can play and I cant. My parents aren't being a big help either all they do is complain "why aren't you going to practice you need to go support them" I hate it. Maybe I am being depressed too much. Well This story was an encouragement.

Ali Keenan
November 1, 2005 8:28 AM

Kenny: One of my friends had Dr. Fanton do her surgery and has had excellent results. He put her in a perpetual motion machine so that her knee was automatically straightened and bent (I can't remember how long this lasted.) She opted for the cadaver replacement ligament and recovered very quickly, doing PT 3x per week. I just had my own ACL surgery on Thursday (Oct 28) up at UW by Dr. Wahl of the Sports Med Group there. He didn't put me in a per. motion machine--apparently the data says that it helps increase range of motion in the first couple days but has no real lasting effects. I'm back to work today and can do some hobbling around w/o crutches. This is a big difference between when I had my left knee done 18 years ago--then I was in the hospital for TEN days and on crutches for eight weeks. Get as fit and strong as you possibly can beforehand so you can bounce back quickly. Good luck w/ your PT!

November 1, 2005 8:42 AM

Hi everyone. Currently, I am a 36 years old male. I tore my ACL when I was 19 years old. I had my first ACL surgery with the Patella tendon when I was 21. The reason that I had the surgery was due to instability of the knee (my knee will give out about two or three times a day while walking). After surgery, I was able to work out and activities at 90%. At the age of 26, my ACL failed. The second surgery used my hamstring tendon from the same leg. Ten years later, my doctor says that my ACL is looking great. The knee feels good and stronger than ever. I am still able to do many activities around 85% to 90%. I believe my activity level is due to the strength in my hamstring not the knee. In my opinion, my hamstring did not recover 100%. The knee will get a little warm after a workout (or walking a few miles). In the last two years, I have been using products like icy-hot and Them-Care heat wraps on the knee when it become a little stiff. Overall, the surgery was worth it.

November 1, 2005 4:50 PM

Kenny, a couple of days ago you asked the question about what the post-opt PT consisted of. First, let me say that I completly tore my ACL, MCL, and my Medial Meniscus on June 30, 2005. My O.S. (orthapedic surgeon) went with the bone-patella tendon graft (just below the knee cap and slightly inside). To me, this is the strongest graft that your body can produce. I started my PT one week after the surgery because of complications with some dried blood on top of my shin. Anyway, the exercise that hurts the worse is the heel slide. This consists of you lying on your back and attempting to slide the heel of your foot as far back as you can stand. Let me tell you up front, you will barely be able to slide it at all the first couple of sessions. It does however get better but it still hurts like hell. The knee does not want to bend at all but you have to give it your best effort so that your therapists can measure your proogress. One week after my surgery, my first slide measured 85 degrees. One week later, I was just over 100. Right now I have been released from PT because of my rapid progression but 2 months after I still hate doing it. My knee is very tight when I get past 130. Anything past 120 is considered very good but I want to get it equal with my pther knee. On that one, I can get 146 degrees. Anyway, I hope this helps. I'm sure that there will be other exercises that will be hi on your list once you start but I'm sure that you will remember the heel slide. If there is anything else that I can help you with, feel free to email me. I have written a diary from the moment I tore mine up until this very day. I will post on a website once I get to the 3 month post-opt point. Tim

November 2, 2005 8:14 AM

Hey, well I had my surgery on Oct. 28th. I am doing pretty good. The stiffness is tough and I am having bad headaches(probably from the pain meds). I am up to 48 on the CPM machine and I am pleased so far, the guy who delivered the machine, had it set at 65 (degrees) at first! Ha! I came out of the chair when it hit 42, so I am slowly working up to 65 and higher. Good luck to everyone and I hope "we" all continue to heal quickly. If you are about to have surgery, listen to everyone that says work your upper thigh muscles, they disappear after surgery and use the ice machine and the CPM as much as possible, they really help. I am not looking forward to PT next week, however I do not like being dependent on others, so I will work as hard as I can to achieve results quickly, so that I can do things again for myself.

November 7, 2005 11:57 AM

To Michelle (mother of the 3 yr old): So good to hear of another toddler-mom having this surgery! I tore my ACL playing soccer (starting to sound repetitive!) I had my patellar tendon ACL graft done on Oct 12th and am recovering well...but, like you, I have a rambunctious toddler (2 1/2 yr old boy, Adam) running around making my life very interesting. I am off crutches and no brace now, which at least frees me up to get after him a little quicker, but I still feel bad that I'm not 100% for him yet. I still have a slight limp and don't feel stable enough to chase him around at the park on unstable ground or anything, but at least I can do some of the regular stuff with him now. The 1st week my mom stayed to take care of him (Praise God!) and then the 2nd week was VERY difficult since hubby was at work and I was home alone with him most days (some days friends kept him for me). But now going on my 4th week I am confident at home alone with him, can drive fine and am looking forward to continued healing and getting back to soccer next fall. I definitely won't be pushing it to get back early, I'll wait until the dr okays my return to sports and then see how I feel. Good luck to you, give your little boy lots of kisses and hugs and remind him you love him even though you have a booboo on your knee! :)

November 7, 2005 1:21 PM

My husband (25 yr old basketball player) had his ACL/meniscus repaired last Thursday. The physician used a donor graft for the ACL, and he has to stay off of his leg for 3 weeks because of the meniscus repair. It's very frustrating for him as he can't stand staying in bed. I hope the recovery is shorter due to the allograft (which is what we are told). Anyone had any experience with the allograft?? Thanks!

November 7, 2005 7:15 PM

I am 40 year old man, overweight but still feel pretty good. had a scope of my knee in july and they found the ACL 90% gone. Funny thing is i am having very little pain right now. The scope took out large piece of bone, so now i have to have an OATS surgery (take a piece of bone from the leg and graft it in the knee, the hole now is too big to leave) in March after the ACL heals. i am very nervous, but hope things go well. i have heard that it takes a few weeks to get back to work, but from the postings above, it seems it may be quicker. I am hopefully. Anyway, just wanted to add my 2 cents, and wish everyone else success.

November 9, 2005 4:44 AM

Had my ACL op 6 weeks ago but was knocked over and now xrays show top pin has moved, ouch. Has any one had this experience as having heaps of pain and grab in hamstring. Surgeon said I was the first one he's had this happen too.

November 9, 2005 9:26 AM

Had my acl/meniscus repaired on nov.4. Just wondering if anyone has experienced bruising on the back of the leg. I'm assuming this is just from trauma to the hamstring but have talked to 3 others who had the same surgery with no bruise is the size of a pancake and the color of blueberries!

November 9, 2005 11:04 AM

I'm getting ready to have ACL surgery and I was wondering if anyone knows what I can do to prepare for it. I've heard about strengthening my quad and hamstring muscles, but is there anything else? Also, my surgery is going to be on my Right knee and I'm concerned about driving after the surgery. Has anyone else had surgery on their right knee and how soon after the surgery were you able to drive? Thanks!

Michael jiang
November 9, 2005 2:18 PM

Hi im mike, 15, sophmore in high school. I tore my ACL and my MCL was badly damaged during a collision playing soccer. I just got the injury (nov 3) and they replaced my ACL and tightened my MCL. The surgury took 5 hours and really hurt bad once i got home. I dont feel the pain killers are quite working though. I hope to play soccer and run track again this year..(maybe im too optimistic) but either i hope through hardwork and PT i can get back ASAP <3 and hope to my fellow ACL injured athletes. I hope you recover well and feel 100% -Mike

November 9, 2005 8:47 PM

I am 11 years old and I am having an MRI tomorrow for a possible torn ACL. Soccer, of course. I am really scared. Sounds like it well really hurt to get it fixed. I pop and swell and I cant wait to get better. I can run but it still hurts. I dont like to walk much. But I got to deal with it. I am in 6th grade and need to walk, a lot.

John Guaschino
November 10, 2005 10:17 AM

im 15 years old n i just had acl surgery yesterday the pain is really bad,the doctor tells me ill wont beable to play sports for 4-6 months.i hurt my knee in my high school football game my knee got stuck in the turf. im just happy my knee is fixed so i can play football next season

November 10, 2005 12:47 PM

This is a response to Sara's question about Allograft surgery. I am also 25 years old and had ACL reconstruction surgery with an allograft on August 23rd of this year. According to what my physical therapist has said, I have been one of his fastest recoveries (compared to Patella or Hamstring surguries) which he attributes to the fact that is was an allograft. I did not have any significant cartiledge damage, so I was able to begin limited weight bearing three or four days after surgery and I began therapy three days after surgery. At this point (11 weeks after surgery) I am able to jog, jump and have even been doing some sprinting and cutting. I am not able to play soccer yet (which is how I hurt my self) but in another month I will finish therapy and in perhaps two to three months will be okay to return to sports (which I probably won't do for even longer just to be safe). If thee are any other questions you have about the allograft let me know.

November 11, 2005 2:14 PM

Hello people. I hope all of you feel better. I wish you all luck. I have cartlidge problems in my knee due to another injury (way back in February). My dr told me that the injury should resolve by itself with time, If there is alot of swelling come back to see me. I will tell you what happened to me. On October 10,2005, I was outside playing with my cute dogs.(You know how dogs are when they chase you). The one dog (bassethound) came running after me, and I ran away from him and Then I lost control and fell on the same knee. I had alot of pain,little swelling. I was able to walk,but I had to stop the running. The next day the same knee it popped (NEVER GAVE OUT ON ME BEFORE),and tried to give out but it never went out on me though. Now it still pops, and it feels like it might give out, but never really does. I still have the pain. I do have a question. When I'm sitting (on the floor), when I turn my foot inward,to me it looks like the tibia comes forward alittle too much (lateralside). Could this be the ACL? Thanks. Email me with the answer of that question and or if you want to know more about the injury.

November 11, 2005 7:42 PM

I tore mi acl on saturday, october 22. I´ve never had any knee problems but that day it was a track competition with my kids so I ran and stopped to pass the stick to my son. It didn.t hurt, but just couldn´t keep walking my left knee just didn´t hold on. Went to the hospital and surprise!!!! it was completely torn. I also was given the slow down option but for me it is impossible. I.m 32 and have 3 boys, 6,4, and 2 year olds. 3 days later the doctor operated on me and he used hamstring and it does not hurt or anything. It´s been 2 weeks and Im off crutches, He wants me to protect my knee with the brace (sports) for about 6 months!!! I can walk but cannot go up and down the stairs normally. Next week I will be able to do stationary bike. I.m very happy to had an operation I decided really fast, with it completely torn and not wanting to stop doing anything, was the option so I´m possitive, good luck.

November 13, 2005 9:14 PM

well, like the rest of you i had acl surgery along with my meniscus sewn back together and my cartliage repaired. this was weds. now its sunday my knee has been hurting off and on..... i think you all know that the pain killers work!!!!!!!! i am 15 and this happened in June playing soccer months of physical therapy and i ended up having the surgery anyway so as of now my recovery should be from 4-6 months. well good luck to all yeah all!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 14, 2005 9:33 AM

This is in response to Jenni's questions about driving and preparing for surgery. As for driving it takes anywhere between 10 to 14 days to be able to drive. Mostly because of lack strength in the quad and slow reaction time. I had surgery on my right knee and it took me two weeks to drive (but I was a little more cautious because I drive a stick shift). Basically, when you are able to walk without crutches you will be able to drive. Which again is about 10 to 14 days if you have not had extensive cartiledge damage or have weightbearing restrictions post-surgery. Your surgeon can not be 100% percent sure that you don't have such damage until they cut you open. In addition different surgeries (ie patella, hamstring or allograft) may have different recovery times. I had the allograft which seems to be a pretty quick recovery. As for preparing for surgery, strengthening your legs is very important. Particularly the quads. Stretching your hamstring is also extremely important and aside from being able to bend the leg (by far the most painful part of the rehab process) trying to straighten the leg was the most challenging part of rehab. The majority of the early rehab process for me was devoted to strengthening the quad, achieving full range of motion and stretching the hamstring to achieve complete straightening of the leg. Depending on the surgery you are going to have, there might be other important areas i.e. hamstring strengthening for the hamstring graft. Strengthening the calf is also very important. Hope that helps.

November 14, 2005 12:46 PM

Well.. I had my surgery on the 8th. and I had a graft from a cadaver. I did not feel any pain in the knee for 3 days because my doctor used some kind of a pump that gets the pain killer directly to my knee; I tell you, I was doing my excersises with no problem, till that pump was removed ; now it hurts when ever I move in one direction or sit in another. I heard it gets better. I can no longer do my excersises , but I am try hard to at least get my quad stronger. Started to put some weight on the heal ( as little as possible and move your toes/ancle up and down ) ; that really makes it feel good. I also bought an EBICE machine , and I ice it for 2-3 hours straight after excersises. But ; discomfort is always there . pain comes and goes in waves , and trying to manage it. Any ideas on how to manage the pain without the pain killers ! they get me too drowsy and limit my movement big time..

J Haskew
November 15, 2005 11:10 AM

Today is week 3 from my surgery, I am walking without crutches and a minimal limp. I have no pain at all and have quit taking my medication. Therapy is 3 days a week but my leg is very weak. My advise would be to work on you leg as much as you can before surgery.

November 15, 2005 8:46 PM

I am 52 and recently had ACL surgery Sept.05. I developed four calf blood clots immediately and was on daily shots of blood thinners for 8 days. A repeat Dopler Ultrasound revealed 4 calf clots less dense and a new clot in my thigh. My surgeon missed this and took me off of the blood thinners. Four days later I was in pain with my leg swelled up my surgeon finally read my ultrasound and referred me to an Internalist who put me on injections of blood thinners, daily lab work INR and pill form of Warfarin. After ten days I was finally off of the injections. I was now three weeks post operative and behind in physio. First day in physio my hamstring graft site was ruptured and I had internal bleeding, due to the blood thinners I suffered deep bruising...another set back. I am now two months post operative and have just returned to work. Hopefully, my knee will get better, I still have stiffness, swelling and numbness. I am disappointed in my post operative care and frustrated with my doctors. So far I think I would have been better off without the surgery.

November 17, 2005 4:02 PM

well get surgery in 4 days (the 22nd) its a bummer because im gona be in bed on thanksgiving but im glad im getting it done. i tore my acl in a soccer tournament over the summer. at first they made me do physical therapy before i have my surgery so that im flexible. the day after my surgery they are makin me do pt. helppp

November 17, 2005 4:45 PM

im foruteen and about 11 months ago ( when i was thirteen i tore out my acl completely). i planted my right foot and my whole body twisted while playing Basketball.the funny thing is, is that i had no sweeling or brusing, i got right up and barly limped off the court. i had the surgery in march and the three days after that i couldnt feel a thing beacuse of the meds they use...after those wore off....i thought i was gonna die hahah. i went to P.T. two days after the surgery and was devestad when they told me i would be out for 9months to a year. i wanted to play high school ball REALLY bad. i was back to school 5 days after the surgery and was walking around with out crutches after a week and a half. that is the BEST thing u can NOT to baby yourself. do u physical therapy exercises ALL THE WAY (even if it hurts BAD). because i did that i was relased to play basketball after only 5 months. ( swimming is great! i aslo did tht) i now play on the highschool basketball team and my knee is holding up well. I will always have that aching feeling in it though, but the surgery was worth it! i also had a bad reactin to the surgery. Ypu could end up with a keyloud scar (sorry if i miss speeled that) , this is when the scar is really thick a dark redish pink and lifts from the still looks gross but its holding up. I just wanted to let you know i went through it and my knee turned out great, and if you a re going to get a surgery done i want to let you know there is nothing to worry about! its not that bad. And since my surgery i have done soo much research on the ACL and i just think that these sites are so awesome and i really wish i would have learned as much as i did before the suergery. well good Luck to you all

November 19, 2005 6:35 AM

I tore my ACL completely playing softball, the darn 1st baseman came across the bag into my left knee as I was fully extended, bending it into the other knee. I had a cadaver allograft about 3 weeks ago - 10/27. I, too, had a pain pump, which I would highly recommend to anyone undergoing any knee surgery. I was nauseas the first day, then slowly regained my appetite, and by day 5 or 6 I was out running errands with my crutches. I was able to ditch the crutches 1 week post op, but was in the locked brace for three weeks except showers and pt. Now I'm in a sports brace (except to sleep) and I'm able to bend about 75 degrees. I still have significant pain swelling around my kneecap, and I'm 4 degrees shy of completely straight. I don't get the weird pressure sensation at the top of my tibia when I lift my leg now - (at first it felt like the bone would pop right out of my skin when I lifted my leg). My doc says 6 months from surgery I should be able to play softball again... I'm hoping to be back in time for the Vegas tournament in March.. :) I stumbled across this page trying to figure out the "ideal" recovery process - when I should expect to be able to bend more, experience less pain, walk normally, all that good stuff. I know it varies by person, but I can't seem to find a general timeline, and am growing frustrated with my rehab... Feels like I'm not really progressing as much as I should be, or perhaps I'm just impatient...

November 19, 2005 2:16 PM

why did you decide on doing the hamstring instead of the patella tendon?

jon NJ
November 21, 2005 12:09 PM

Hey guys, I am going through a reconstruction on Nov. 29. My doctor decided on the allograft (cadaver option). I am really nervous about it, and want to hear someone that has recently undergone that type of surgery. I am 31, and hurt myself while trying to pivot to the left and a defender came charing right into my knee. Needless to say not being able to run at full speed is annoying enough, but Kalsey's photos are definately not encouraging :)

November 21, 2005 8:15 PM

I tore my ACL in my left knee about 4yrs ago I'm 25yrs old now and I miss playing basketball and doing other physical activities that I used to do. I am scheduled to have my patella recon surgery on 11-30-05 it's only eight days from now and I'm starting to get a little scared. I'm concerned about blood clots. I saw on the news recently that a young football player in high school locally had a similiar surgery and passed away a few days later due to a blood clot related to the surgery. I have never had surgery before and I am really concerned. Has anyone my age had a similiar problem? I really enjoyed reading some of the stories it really helps to read some of your comments!

November 22, 2005 11:15 AM

hey guys i just got my acl repaired the other day... i used my own hamstring as the replacment. The surgury went really great. at first i was really nervouse that the pain was going to be really intense. but when i woke up i didnt feel a thing and now im on my second day and i am still experiancing no pain, i am able to walk around the house without my crutchs but with my brace on... and i have only taken 2 vikaden since the surgury... i havent even taken any today... the best part of the surgury was wakeing up from the anastisia haha i dont reamember a thing it was kinda cool... if ur need to get ur acl repaired just do it, its worth it and the pain isnt even bad.

J Thompson
November 22, 2005 5:16 PM

On July 10, I rolled my four-wheeler and significantly damaged my meniscus and completely obliterated my ACL. I was going to have a cadeavor ACL put in the following week, but ended up in the hospital with a blood clot and pulmonary embolism. My surgery was postponed until late September. The surgery went okay, but I developed severe scar tissue which didn't allow me to bend my leg. Two weeks ago, on November 8, I had a second surgery to remove the scar tissue. I was put in physical therapy within one hour of waking up from surgery and have gone five days per week for two weeks. Not making progress...last night they injected my painful knee with painful steroids. It helped me walk better, but I'm still in pain. It's been four months. I'm wondering if there's hope.

November 23, 2005 1:12 PM

Hi, I am going to be having surgery to replace my ACL. Also, the doctor said that she wont be able to save my miniscus. I am concerned about which option to take; cadaver or using my hamstring. I feel better having my own tissue in my body, than someone else. Does anyone have comments about using a cadaver or hamstring graft? I hurt my knee playing volleyball, it always gave me problems. I went and saw my doctor 3 times about it, but they said it was fine. but while jumping on a trampoline, my knee did some miraculous trick and decided to tear on me. The pain was un bearable. Thank goodness for pain killers. Physical therapy has helped some. The doctor started me on PT before my surgery to get the swelling done. Also, they wouldnt drain the blood out of my knee in case of infection. I'm very nervous for my surgery on the 29th. I have never had anything like this happen before. Hopefully all goes well. Goodluck to everyone else! -Sarah

November 24, 2005 12:07 PM

I had an acl reconstruction "allograph" from a donor a year and half ago. Caused by falling from a moving vehical. I was walking with a crutch within a day. There was a lot of swelling and brusing troughout my left leg from the thigh down. I recovered and was doing really well, went back to work and felt great. About 6 mo ago i was getting in my car and my knee poped out and i couldnt get it back in. I was swimming in pain and thoutht I would wet my pants from the pain. I grabbed my knee with both hands and forced my knee straight with a very loud pop. It has been popping in and out every since. I finnaly went to a sports medicine doc and had it looked at, and after the mri, it was decided that my graft had totaly failed and was letting my joint separate allowing the meniscus to fold over into the joint and locking it. The meniscus is also torn badly. Yesterday my doc and i talked and we decided to do the allograph all over agian, this time he is going to use an achilles tendon for the reconstruction. scheduled for some time in february around the first. I do have some anxiety about doing it all over agian but it isnt doing me any good the way it is so i will grit my teeth and bear it once more

November 26, 2005 8:57 PM

Hi! My first post was on 10/25/2005. I was scheduled for ACL reconstruction (Allograft) on my left knee on 11/16. After viewing my ACL under arthroscopy, my doctor decided not to replace my left ACL (freyed but not torn) and instead shaved and repaired my left knee cap (I hope this fixes the stability problems I was experiencing with my left knee). For me, recovering from the anesthesia was the tough part. I experienced nausea and threw-up for 24-hours after surgery. I did not need the vicodin prescribed and have only taken 6-8 Tylenols since 11/16. I wish everyone good luck with both your ACL surgeries and recoveries!

November 28, 2005 9:35 AM

Hi there, I had reconstructive ACL, and miniscus repair surgery 2 and a half weeks ago. I enjoyed reading your comments, as it gave me some insight to what I had done to my knee. My surgeon, while one of the best, is lacking a bit of bedside manner, and in the quick visits we had with each other, hadn't REALLY informed me of the exact process he would be using. None the less, being one of the best, I didn't worry to much. Your scars, and your progress are identical to mine, and while I am still currently using one crutch at work, I don't use them at home, and have been able to tackle stairs and return to some sense of normality. I'm curious to know the exercise you mentioned that indicated when you could be losing the crutches. I sometimes get worried that I'm pushing myself to quickly, and that even simple walking might do damage, as it does get sore. Anyways, thank you for your story. ;) Thanks!! Jenn

J Bear
November 28, 2005 3:40 PM

I tore my right ACL and damaged my medial and probably lateral meniscus skiing in Mary Jane part of Winter Park. I ignored it since I didn't want to miss any skiing this season. But my knee felt "loose" and had a dream about snapping my knee on the moguls. So I got the MRI and I'm scheduled to have surgery January 5, 2006. I'm looking foreward to having it fixed and planning on a mountain bike trip in July or so. Definitely going to ski the moguls again next season. I'm going to have the patellar allograft. I have a blog site on MSN that will tell my story on the pre-surgery rehab the surgery and post surgical rehab. I'm planning to take pictures of my knee before and hopefully everyday after surgery for a while and chronicle my recovery and eventual return to mountain biking and snow skiing. Maybe it'll help someone else in the future who has to undergo the same procedure. By the way I'm 48 years old male. Visit my blog. It's just starting.

November 29, 2005 1:47 PM

Sarah - I work for surgeons and am still a bit anxious for my ACL repair 12/23. I want to use my own tissue going in my own body and my doc is using my hamstring. He says he uses the hamstring on women becuase as women age, the patellar area of our knees weaken and using the patellar tendon heightens that. I coach basketball and our first practice is tonight...doc told me today to find a new coach.

November 29, 2005 2:33 PM

I tore my acl and meniscus in June when I landed wrong on a jump while wakeboarding. I did not get it checked out until this past month and yesterday found out that I have to have surgery in two weeks! I am pretty scared about it, I've never had the surgery but reading what most people have written on this site has helped me alot already. My family can't be with me because my sister is having her baby soon but thankfully my roommate is taking a day off work to help! I'm super scared though because I live on the fourth floor of my apt. with no elevators! My surgery is on Wednesday, will I be able to go back to work by Monday? Should I be this scared?!

November 29, 2005 6:46 PM

I tore my acl playing soccer. i under went surgery about on july 12, 2005. I back to playing soccer and one day during warmup my knee started hurting and so after my season i got an MRI. I'm awaiting the results but the doctors and trainer say that my ACL is loose. Has this ever happen to any one?

Ed McGrane
November 30, 2005 5:06 PM

I have just been told that i need surgury on my right need. I tore my acl in hockey and they say i wont be able to play the rest of the year. i was wondering if theres anything to hep speed up my recovery. And if my knee will ever be the same again. thanks

David De La Vega
December 1, 2005 9:15 PM

Hello all, I just had my ACL surgery on the 29th of November. I am in my second whole day of recovery and I feel pretty ok. The only thing that really sucks is the fact that it is very uncomfortable to sleep. And the thing that I hate so far is that damn CPM unit. You use it to slowly bend your knee and get the fluids out of it. Its sounds like a piece of cake, Right? Those of you who know, It SUCKS!! You have to use that damn machine 6-8 hours a day. And the worse part is that you have to be on the ground the whole time, sitting up against something. It really Breaks my balls to be sitting all-damn-day letting this machine move your leg. But.... you got to do what you got do. Pain.... no real pain, I have taken vicodin mostly just to sleep since I cant really do it the natural way. Bear in my mind I have only used two since my operation. They say after the first week, everything is pretty much downwhill. I hope they are right. Chin up boys and girls, chin up!!! Good Luck to all! God Bless David De La Vega Age 23

December 3, 2005 6:13 PM

hi my name is christianna. i run track for lincoln university.this is something i love to do and can't do with out. i've always had problem with my knees, but the doctor always said my acl were fine. i was doing bacward lunges one morning at weight training and heard my knee pop. i found out that i tore my acl and also carry a bucket tear to the meniscus. i have to undergo surger 01/19/06. i wonder will i ever be able to do what i love anymore, will i be able to run. it hurts to see everyone leave to go and compete.

Worried mom (Stepmom)
December 3, 2005 9:06 PM

My son (stepson, really) lives with his mom 1400 miles away from myself and hubby. He was playing tackle football on the 5th of November (4 weeks ago) and was tackled and landed on a rock, hard. His knee has been swollen since, and he had a bruise initially that is now just little. X-rays showed nothing wrong, but clearly something is if he's still swollen and in a lot of pain and still using crutches 4 weeks later. I talked his mom into having an MRI done to see if the Dr. can see anything, but that's not for a week or so. The ortho-specialist can't see him till mid January!!! I am worried that he might have an ACL tare that is going unnoticed and untreated! I haven't seen him since he is so far away. Can anyone give me some of their experiences with ACL tares? I don't know what it's like? And don't know what to ask him to see if I'm possibly right. Thanks a million! ---Worried mom

December 3, 2005 10:50 PM

Hi (especially to J!) I had a h.string graft for my (L) ACL from a gymnastics accident. I had a great surgeon. I had the surgury on the 30th of May, 1997 and was running 5k by the end of August. The sad part is that I re-tore this last month - Oct-05 (a stupid un-sport related accident), and will have to have another revision. I will use the h.string from my other leg. Don't worry. With the advances in sports medicine. I'm sure that this one will be even better! Good luck with your surgury! Slavi

December 4, 2005 11:05 AM

Hi, MY name is shane and i just had my acl surgery about a month and a half ago and i can walk just fine without any pain and i usually dont use my brace any more because I dont feel I need it, but now when I walk im starting to notice my knee pops and i dont know if its because i have retore my acl or if its nothing to worry about?

December 4, 2005 1:55 PM

I have ACL reconstruction done just little over 2 weeks ago on Nov 18th. I went with the Allograph "cadaver". I was walking w/out crutches after 3-4 days. Walk now with a little bit of stiffness. Cannot quite do stationary unless on recumbant. I can swim fairly well. PT and doc have been very impressed with the fast recovery so far. I rehabbed my knee very hard for several months before my surgery which helped also.

December 7, 2005 11:29 AM

I completely tore my ACL and damaged my meniscus in early Nov. 05 playing indoor soccer. I was not going to have surgery as I recovered fairly quickly and was back running and biking within a couple weeks. i decided to have surgery because of slight instability at odd times, never running or biking just walking around or playing with the kids. I had surgery Dec. 2nd 05 and so far am happy I did it. I have had very little pain, have only taken advil 2-3 times daily and now once a day. Each day it has felt stronger and stronger. Just hoping the recovery continues to go well.

Pat Parker
December 7, 2005 5:23 PM

I tore my ACL in 2000 playing basketball. Typical symptoms, pop, pain, & swelling. Big mistake, did not got to sports orthopedic, regular orthopedic scoped & said no damage, everything good. I knew he was crazy, but didn't want to do it again so quick. Waited 5 years, found a highly recommended Sports Ortho. Seven weeks postop & feeling great. Certainly was not easy, but aggresive rehab is key.

Dan Okey
December 9, 2005 5:28 AM

I'm now 6 months post op (reconstruction using hamstring) from an injury sustained from football almost exactly how Adam describes and the knee feels terriffic! The best advice I had was to treat recovery very seriously and not try too much too soon. I've been dedicated to the gym, building strength and agility back to the muscles around the knee and have just now resumed my triathlon training. I know of several people who've had the operation who say they just don't feel confident enough to return to sport at the same level as they played before. I guess time will tell for me as I want to get back to football, surfing and snowboarding, which my surgeon advises from 9 months and not before!

December 12, 2005 10:31 AM

I completely ruptured my ACL, as well as sprained MCL, and medial menicus tear playing soccer back on 9/20/05. I had surgery on 12/2 and was up and walking with little to no pain 2-3 days post-op. I also went with the Allograph “cadaver”. Several of my teammates have suffered the same injury and used the patella tendon graph. Their recovery was long and very painful. I think the less invasive you are with your knee the better off you are.

December 13, 2005 8:04 AM

hey i had acl reconstruction surgery on nov 18. they used allograft method. i actually had minimal pain on the day of surgery and almost none since then. the knee is still swollen. i wasnt allowed to bend my knee till 10 days after surgery, and then i was allowed to bend as i was able to and started walking with 1 crutch. its been 3.5 weeks now and i am walking kinda slow. when i walk more than a minute or two, i get really tired. my thigh is very very jellyish looking. so to anyone who is having surgery, make sure you do bicycle to strengthen your thighs.

December 13, 2005 9:35 PM

Hi all, it's me again! I finally had my reconstruction on 1st Dec using the patella tendon. Everything went really well and I'm able to walk without the clutches on day 4. There weren't as much pain as I've expected, which is a good sign. Although I can walk fairly well on levelled ground, walking down the stairs and downhill slope is not very comfortable as my range of motion is about 110 degree max with about the first 60-70 degree comfortaably. PT really helps especially the one where you need to lie flat and bend your knee. Have to do it everyday if you want a fast recovery. What's bothering me now is still the swelling on the knee and all the muscles below. It's a bit like I've been kicked at, all bruised...

Michael jiang
December 15, 2005 5:54 PM

Hi had ACL and MCL and meniscus surgury Nov 2. With possibly one of the best ortohpedic surgeons in New England. I tore it playing age 15, you can only expect me to have been devasted. I was a varsity track runner, but now i just hope to be able to jog again. Reading your comments really help me emotionally, knowing that I am not alone. Thanx for making this site(appreciate it). I feel strong enough now its been 5 weeks, and im walking with a back pack at school. I just hope i can come back. Wish you all the best of luck -Mike

December 18, 2005 12:04 AM

Hi. My husband had allograft surgery on his right knee about two weeks ago. The surgery went "excellent" according to the surgeon. My husband was in pain, but it seemed on the road to recovery. About 60 hours after he had come out of surgery, he vomited. It was while using the CPM, so we thought it might be motion sickness. Since it was the weekend, the surgeon was out and we did not page him. About 24 hours later the same thing happened, and he kept getting sick every 2 hours. When the on call doctor returned our page, they prescribed some anti-nausea medication thinking that he had a virus although he did not have a fever. When we finally got into see the doctor, my husband was in a constant state of nausea for the rest of the weekend even with the medication and had barely eaten anything. The doctor diagnosed it as a combination of several factors, allergic reaction to the anesthesia and pain medication combined with poor pain control. It was the worst experience of both of our lives. Lesson learned, take your pain medication as prescribed - do not underdose. Also, at the first sign of reaction contact your doctor. Getting the diagnosis sooner would have saved us a lot of suffering. Now he is on different medications and healing well. But it was really touch and go for a while there. Your site is very inspirational. Thank you.

December 19, 2005 3:08 PM

Tore my ACL halloween weekend playing soccer. Complete tear. had my surgery on Dec 9 using cadaver. Was up walking with crutches next day & CPM for 6 days. I am walking with one crutch now, and can even walk without using my brace. My surgery went extremely well, knee never hurt - just my shin from bruising and swelling due to fluid draining to the lower leg. I have 100 degree movement after one week. don't give up!

December 22, 2005 12:58 AM

On Thursday night, 12/16/2005, I tore my ACL and both right and left menisci; I was five minutes into my volleyball season. 12/20/2005, I had them repaired surgically; the ACL was replaced w/ a piece of my hamstring (supposedly this method is less painful than replacement from the patella tendon). The morning after my surgery, I drove myself to PT at 9:00 - they say it's important, but I wouldn't recommend it... I'm a police officer and am very bummed that I won't be back on the street for at least 3-4 months. People ask how the bad guy fared; unfortunately, there's no good story....(I'm embarrassed to say I was playing volleyball.) Guess I'll have to get used to a desk job for a while - sure will be boring...

December 23, 2005 10:34 PM

hey! This is my first year in college and I'm on the dance team and I tore my ACL Oct. 29 at a performance!!! I just had my surgery because of being gone from home and college classes (u cant miss) on Dec. 16. I was nauseated for like 4 days and I started my therapy on the 5th day. I'm not off crutches yet but I will be soon.They're telling me like 5 or 6 days. Thanks for this site!!! It's really helping me get through all of this!

Laura Sullivan
December 26, 2005 4:47 PM

Hey everyone! I actually wrote on this website right after I tore my ACL and MCL in may of 2005, at the end of july I had the surgery and it has been a great recovery! I hardly had any pain after surgery and by the 3 month mark I was running on the treadmill with my brace on, it is now 5 months and feels pretty awesome. I can do almost everything and am hoping to be playing basketball within the next month! My story has been one of success so far and if anyone has any questions feel free to email me at

December 27, 2005 7:15 PM

broke ankle tore tendons ligaments ankle came out of socket,3 surgeries since 8-2004.feels like i tore or retore something in my ankle wore sandals one day set myself back 6 months no insurance dont qualify for any funding blah blah blah, is it possible idid a mini refracture or is it just scar tissue hurts enough to bring tears to my eyes

Skyler Cook
December 28, 2005 10:30 AM

Adam you have no idea how much this site is going to help me. i just recently torn my acl and i am having a very hard time getting over it. I was worried about the surgery and if I could ever play sports again. The Doctors told me it was a good thing i am only a freshman. I again just want to thank you for giving me the confidence in myself to have this done.

December 30, 2005 11:48 AM

I tore my ACL completely, MCL partially and meniscus in 4 places over Thanksgiving. I am scheduled to have surgery on Jan 12, 2006. I am terrified about the pain- I had ACL recon done on my other leg twice fifteen and seventeen years ago. I remember it being incredibly painful, and I was in the hospital 4 days. Now I'll be released the same day, which has me worried. How was your pain managed? I have a flight of stairs at my house that I have to negotiate daily. Any reassurance anyone can offer is greatly appreciated! Thanks for the site.. Sam

December 30, 2005 3:47 PM

To Sam, I wish you good luck. I am no doctor. I am only telling you what I was told by my doctor. Usually you are released the same day. The ACL Reconstructon is done arthroscopically (one 1-3 inch cut on the front of the knee and a few very tiny cuts around the knee). Once in a while they do open version to repair the meniscus, but they should have no problem doing arthroscopically. They should do a femoral block so the recovery will be easier (While you are in the hospital for like 2 hours) Usually they block lasts for 2 days, but that varies from person to person. I wish you the best. If you feel that you are still confused about the surgery, I can possibly help you. I know about alot of this stuff because My dr. told me about it and I study this sort of thing and other medical stuff. email me at YULIA

January 1, 2006 9:03 PM

I am 40 an completely tore my ACL and Meniscus on 12/16/05, surgery is scheduled for 1/24/06. My Doc suggests the Patella option, it supposedly holds up the best and I don't care if it is harder rehab or not, I am in this for the long term. I am pretty active and figure I have 10 good years left of soccer, basketball, and softball still in me before I switch over to a walking sport like golf. I will try to update on progress later. Good luck to all, I can't wait to get it over with!

January 3, 2006 8:47 PM

Hi I tore my acl and medial meniscus in November and am scheduled for surgery on 1/11. I am most afraid of post op pain and recovery time. Any comments from thos who have recently had this. Aslo, I am not in pain with this ailment. I am simply afraid my knee will go out on me as it has 2 times since my first fall.

January 3, 2006 8:48 PM

Hi I tore my acl and medial meniscus in November and am scheduled for surgery on 1/11. I am most afraid of post op pain and recovery time. Any comments from thos who have recently had this. Aslo, I am not in pain with this ailment. I am simply afraid my knee will go out on me as it has 2 times since my first fall.

January 3, 2006 9:05 PM

Sam and Joe, you guys can relax. I had my surgery on Oct 20th using hamstring. From what I researched this is gaining popularity and is way less painful. Some web sites and doctors say the difference in strength is only slight compared to using the patella. Being in medical sales, I made sure I was the first case of the day so there are no delays and everyone is at the sharpest. My procedure lasted about 3 hours, they had to also shave my torn meniscus. I was in another world after waking up from the anesthesia but felt no ill effects at all, no nausea or pain. I hear I am lucky for that. I used my crutches for that day and briefly for the day after. I was absolutely fine to walk on my own without crutches albeit carefully. It was weird, I had almost 0 pain for the first week and then began to get a little bit in the area where they took the graft after that (upper shin area). I started phy ther 4 days after surgery and continued that through Dec 20th. I had incredible progress according to my therapist for the first 5 weeks but then I pulled my hamstring during an exercise in phys therapy. My doctor thinks it could have been scar tissue popping but the bruising and pain that I would experience afterwords from tweaking my hammy has me convinced it was a pull...I've pulled it several times and definetly know what it feels like. It is now Jan 3rd and I go to my doctor again tomorrow for a check up. He has explained to me that the first 3-4 weeks, the graft is very strong but the next 4-6 weeks, it is at its weakest and most vulnerable. If I remember correctly it is due to the graft trying to get proper blood flow. Anyway, I am currently a little discouraged bc it has been at least a month since I've felt like I have made any significant progress but my phys therapist thinks I am doing very well with the knee. I am looking forward to being able to run at the 4 month point, my doctor will tell me more tomorrow and resume sports by 9 months, I am not risking further injuring my acl. Plus, being that I injured it at the end of July playing basketball, it has provided me with an excuse not to workout for the past 5 months, the longest stretch in my life...I know bad excuse and it makes me sick to my stomach how lazy I have been workout wise. All I can say and advise this far into my experience is the following: 1. ice your knee religously for the first 4 weeks buy a thing called an empi..I think (looks like rectangular black trash bag that you keep in the freezer, you put it in a bed sheet and then wrap around your knee...cannot believe I haven't had one of these my whole life) 2. go to phys therapy as often as your insurance allows 3. do not get discouraged like I have when you question your progress 4. lay off the hydrocodon bc it is very addictive 5. make your first big goal to be making a full rotation on a stationary bike, it will hurt like hell but makes everything after alot easier. If anyone has any questions feel free to email me at I know how nervous you can get prior to surgery...good luck.

Chris C
January 3, 2006 10:34 PM

patella tendon is the best definetly.... I had mine done 8 months ago and I can run and work out just as hard as I used to. Just remmeber to do your exercises... i didnt, and that sucked about 1 month into it when the scar tissue built up and i needed to forcfully push my knee to complete straight (worst pain of my life)

Chris C
January 3, 2006 10:38 PM

anyone can email me too if they are thinking about having the patella tendon graft... ill tell u one thing Todd, i wasnt walking without crutches for 2 weeks or more! my email is feel free to ask anything at all, I wish someone would have let me ask them the 2,000,000 questions I had pre op.... GooD LucK!!

January 4, 2006 10:13 PM

Hey there, I am journalising my ACL injury/op/rehab on my website I too tore my ACL (left) playing indoor soccer. Initially it was thought to be just medial ligament and meniscus damage but the MRI showed otherwise. I am having a hamstring tendon graft operation on February 3rd 2006. Hopefully I will return to triathlon by late 2006 early 2007. Not sure if I will play soccer or hockey though! Good luck to all going through the same problem!

January 5, 2006 9:59 AM

I just had my ACL fixed on Dec 28,05 . Back in Nov 23, I had my knee scoped and my Doc went in & did repaire. I had tears in menucis & the tibae palttoe sounds right to me any way. It gave me time to heal and confirm the ACL was torn. So went back in on the 28, Dec to get it fixed I used a cadaver tendone to do the repair my doc told he will keep me over night to make sure i was in good comfort with the pain and no bleeding plus your under for a least 3 hours or more and you will feel sick at some point that night they will give you something to help with that. My Doc said to never get surgie on mondays or fridays he only dose them on wed or thur just something to look at when pick your Doc. It is now one week later and I can stand on my leg and bend my knee a little my knee feels better then it ever did. It has been this way for at long time. I went and found the Doc in my area mainly by word of mouth when you have to wait to see your Doc for at least month or more to get the in to see him the first vist people kept say just wait to see him he is the BEST and that is what you should look for best Doc you can find you only get 2 Knees. Can you give up a knee to a crapy Doc I know i couldn't. By the way the pain you is like when would hit your knee cap when you were a kid on the ground it hurt like a mother @%^*(er it hurts for about 4 Days after surgier also when you use your owen Pettalla tendon after you heel later on down the road you can't kneel on that knee you will get very sharp pain up the leg or knee and you can also break your knee cap a that is the worst pain you will ever feel and hamstring is not as strong and could snap agian right back were you started it's a lot to think about make it a one shot deal trust me do your HOME WORK and REHAB GOOD LUCK BOB

January 6, 2006 9:12 AM

Any idea if any medal was inserted in your acl reconstruction surgery? I had an acl rec surgery in 2004. I am still recovering from it. I am an avid swimmer, volleyball player and soccer player. But now I can only swim. I can't even go for a little jog b/c my knee would hurt during and after the jog. It feels like two bones are rubbing against each other.

Dr. John
January 6, 2006 12:41 PM

Had my ACL reconstruction and medial meniscus and lateral meniscus repair yesterday. I have had almost no pain and already able to bear weight and actually walked today!! I don't know what all this pain people have been talking about. It actually scared me reading about all the pain people had after the surgery. Sure ther's some pain, but nothing that Advil or Tylenol arthritis can't take care of. I didn't even fill the Lortab that my surgeon gave me. I guess pain is very subjective and mostly in ones mind. Only thing that was miserable was after the surgery. I had general anesthesia and it made me horribly nauseated for about 12 hours after the surgery. I'd rather suffer from severe pain than ever experience nausea like that. And they gave me everything to try to get rid of the nausea but only thing that worked was waiting 12 miserable hours. But I feel great now!! Dr. John

Dr. John
January 8, 2006 6:57 AM

Sorry for the double comments up there but I just messed up. I't's been post op day #3 and I'm doing quite well. Full extention, and 120 degrees flexion with only minor pain. I'm already able to pedal on my stationary bike(It's not easy but I can go around about five times). I also got an elliptical machine and that's no problem. Ice, elevation, flexion/extention, and try to ignore the pain. That's the key to the rehab. Hopefully this will ease some peoples mind regarding the procedure, pain, and rehab. It's not that bad!! Cheers, Dr. John

January 10, 2006 12:21 AM

i tore my ACL and more in 1996. playing soccer it tore while running fast and pivoting to the inside. sounded exactly like taking a socket wrench and spinning it around and around. had the surgery patella graft, etc. etc. and it healed very strong. have been skiing and running since without any fear of re-injury. however in oct. 2005 after 4 months of good training and playing soccer i re-injured the same knee while playing here in bangkok. have stopped playing obviously and will now get a MRI and find out the damage. worried about having the operation here in bangkok vs. the US but can not leave bangkok at this time. it is great to see the many comments and successful recoveries. i really thought i was in great shape and speed after 9 years but something just gave out that fateful day last october. i'm hoping it isn't the ACL and might be repaired without a graft as the doctor of the original operation said, don't ever rip it again or that is it. looking for a reliable doctor in bangkok for an appointment this next week...

barry hutchinson
January 10, 2006 11:19 AM

In 2003 i damaged my right knee i later had key hole surgery to find out i had torn my ACL, i had this trimmed down and after 3 weeks on crutches started to recover fine, then in 2004 it happend again only this time they removed my cartlidge, and 6 month later my memicus, since then my knee has been giving way,inflaming ect ect. yesterday i was told i am being put on waiting list to have a acl reconstruction, waiting time is about 4 month from now i am really nervous, and ready all above comments i now have a mixed view, should i or should i not play football again? this wiil be my 4 time under the knife is it worth it? cheers barry

Dr. John
January 12, 2006 9:55 AM

I'm 1 week post-op ACL reconstruction via patellar allograft and repair of both medial and lateral meniscal tears with microfracture placements in both where my medial and lateral menisci used to be. I'm doing extremely well and very satisfied with the surgery and the rehab. so far. I have 125 degrees of flexion and full extention. I can get on a stationary bike and bike for 10 minutes.(I could do more but my therapist limited me to 3, 10 minute sessions prior to the painful, but necessary rehah exercises. In reply to Barry above, if you love playing football as much as I love downhill skiing and the moguls go for it!! Get it fixed and play football again!! That's what life is about, doing stuff you enjoy doing and have as much fun as possible doing what you love doing. My doctor(I'm a doctor too, but an Internist) told me I didn't have to have my ACL repaired as long as I wore a brace and stayed on "bunny hills" when I ski again. Of course I went for the surgery and planning on going down the black diamond runs again this December. Both moguls and down hill.(there's nothing like going down a race course carving at 40 miles per hour!!--that's how I screwed up my knee last April in Colorado) I'm 48 years old and want to enjoy agressive skiing as long as possible. I'm going to be careful at first but If I tear it again, I know I did it again doing something I love doing. And will go through the surgery and the rehab. again!! Life's too short, enjoy it while you can. So Barry, if you love football as much as I love skiing, you know your decision already!! Dr. John

January 18, 2006 8:28 AM

Hey all, Its been 2 months since my surgery. My doctor actually has his patients wait a month before rehab so I've only been doing rehab for the past 2 weeks. My knee feels great. Rehab is going to be long. I hurt myself playing basketball, I am an avid bball player. I love to play and have been out for almost 5 months now. I am stupid and will probalby try to start playing sooner that I should. But other than that, I've had no pain in rehab. Thigh is starting to feel stronger.

January 19, 2006 11:57 AM

I tore my ACL on Sept 15/05 playing soccer. I was running with the ball up the field, i attempted to pivot to avoid a tackle but when i planted my right foot it stuck in the ground while my upper body continued. SNAP, I havent screamed like that ever before. It was such a strange feeling, i cringe just thinking of it. Only someone who has experienced tearing their ACL can truly appreciate the amount of pain a small ligament can cause. I was given the option to avoid surgery but i could kiss my soccer career good bye. Of course i didnt want that so I went ahead with the surgery on Oct 31/05. So as of next thursday im in week 12 of post. Its been a tough 3 months, I began physio therapy 2 days after surgery. It took 2-3 weeks before i could see some real results. Every day the swelling went down less and less, as did the pain. I have almost reached full range of motion, still lacking a few degress in flexion but that will come. I have come to a point now in physio where i want to test the limits of my knee, I want to run, jump, kick, pivot etc. Its so tough, Ive actually had to stop my self from turning a brisk walk into a full out sprint. I guess you could say in a bit antsy to get back to 100%. I know im a long way from that (3 months approx) but i still think i can move a lot faster in physio than i am. Getting to the point of this posting, does anyone using this board know what week in rehad does a patient begin to jog. For me there are 3 main levels to get passed in order 2 return 2 soccer. First, Walking and weight bearing, Second, Joggin, Third, kicking a ball. Im way passed walking and weight bearing but have yet to get the go ahead from my OS or PT to begin jogging. Any suggestions as to which week i can expect to begin jogging?

January 19, 2006 12:37 PM

I am 5 weeks post surgery and doing great! I had my left acl reconstructed using my own hamstring and am recovering wonderfully. I'm 24 years old and in excellent shape and I think that fact that I had great leg strength beforehand has something to do with it. I'm already at 140 degrees flexion (my right knee is at 150) and can straighten the entire way. I just had my 5 week check up with my surgeon and he said I'm above and beyond other patients he's had. He even said I could start jogging or swimming but I'm definitely not going to yet. I am still sore and am just taking it as easy as possible. If you're young and athletic, you'll recover great! The surgery itself sucked but just stay positive and DON'T overdo it the first few weeks out. Let people baby you and rest as much as possible and you'll do fine!!!

Dr. John
January 19, 2006 7:34 PM

I'm exactly 2 weeks post ACL reconstruction by patellar allograft and repair of damaged medial meniscus. I'm 48 years old. I'm up to 134 degrees of flextion and have full extention already. No more crutches,it's in my closet. I'm doing 3 sets of 20 minutes aerobic workouts(reaching my target heart rate) on my mountain bike mounted on my cyclo-simulator machine. Sure the rehab exercises are a little painful, but very necessay. I'm planning on a week long mountain bike expedition in July. If a 48 year old guy can do it, anyone can. Most important thing I can stress is to start rehab. exercises post-op day one. Keep icing the leg. Get an AutoChill System 208 with your Cryocuff. It's well worth the money even if your insurance won't pay for it. Keep the knee elevated as much as possible, and keep it cold the first two weeks. I know rehab is painful, but pain=eventual improvement. Anyways, after a while your brain will get used to the pain and the pain won't bother you as much. If an old man like me can do it you can too!!

January 20, 2006 5:55 AM

I'm about a year after my ACL reconstruction. It was honestly the worst thing to ever happen to me. I'm 16 years old and the depression of tearing my ACL mentally disturbed my healing process. I used a cadaver graph. Two months after surgery I developed scar tissue, and it could not be broken through with my physical therapist. I had another surgery removing a sheet of scar tissue a quarter of an inch thick that had surrounded my knee. A year late I am playing basketball again, but I still do not have full extention or flexion. I will probably go to clean out my knee after basketball season. Good luck to anyone that is having reconstructive surgery. My only advice is to work hard in PT, do what they say and go slowly. If you return to sports too quickly you are much more likely to hurt your knee.

January 20, 2006 11:35 AM

Hello Dr.John I am glad your knee is doing better. I want to be a doctor (Orthopedic). My knee was first hurt in February 2005 (cartilage injury under my kneecap), due to a boy purposely kicking my knee. So that took about 8 months before it felt better. The only thing I still had problems with was pain in the medial jointline. My knee never gave out before I got hurt in October.I was running with my dog. I was runnig really fast and I fell right ont he same knee. I had alittle bit of swelling and ALOT of pain. I didn't pop until the next day. Ever since then, it didn't feel right. On Christmas day. I was dancing to Britney Spears's video, I did one of the twisting moves and the same knee went out on me and I ended up on the floor. I had alot of pain again and little swelling. Ever since then When I go to turn or twist ont hat side my knee feels like it wants to give out. What could be causing this? I want to go out for a spring sport. Email me at

January 21, 2006 12:52 AM

I'm a 25 year old male, I had my ACL reconstruction surgery done 10 days ago. Today's is actually the first day that I feel some improvement, it's kind of hard but at this point u need to realize that your knee is strong and you can try to push it as much as your instinct tells you. I still use the cruches to move around, but I try to put a little bit more of weight on my leg everyday. The First week was awfull, had to sleep with the cold therapy machine and during the day i've been using the CPM machine this whole time reaching 90 degrees today on 10th day after surgery. The oxycodin is very helpfull but I'm starting to feel like I should try to discard the option of pain killers and try to deal with the pain myself. I'm hoping to start physical therapy as soon as possible, I found out possible to drive an automatic car without any problems at all, only got to be carefull with the medication it might make you dizzy while driving. I have some questions, how long until I can stop taking the medication? I think the main tip for post-surgery is rest. patience and determination

Dr. John
January 22, 2006 3:35 PM

Joaquin, 10 days is long enough for you to be on the oxycodone(same as Percocet). It's highly addictive and sooner you stop the better. I think it'll be ok to take at night for a little longer but as a doctor, I've seen too many people get addicted to oxycodone and hydrocodone. So be careful!! Take Tylenol arthritis or Advil liquid-gel. It worked great for me. I didn't even fill the pain medication that my orthopedist gave me. I started physical therapy day after the surgery, but I agree with you that patience and determination is the key to successful recovery post ACL surgery. I don't agree on the too much rest part though. I was up walking around on crutches the day after the surgery. But everybody has different pain tolerances and have to let pain be your guide. Dr. John

January 23, 2006 8:35 AM

hi , it is good to hear from all of you , actually there is a lot to share, i had my Acl revision 12 weeks ago , my pt left sydney at 10 th weeks so far i was doing well , every thing was going good , i am swimming, riding push bike for 20 minutes , doing sprints walking fast , marcing on bed .just last week i have seen a pt he says my knee is loose i was very upset as i did it second time , i can not go for it for 3 rd time now i am very worried about it , but i was feeling everything all right , feeling great , i got see the os on 2nd of feb i hope he will say everything is fine do not see that stupit pt again, i torn my acl by playing soccer first time in 2001 and second in 2005

January 24, 2006 7:35 AM

I wish good luck for hossain when he goes to see the OS. I had my ACL Reconstruction done yesterday ( tear happened playing basketball ). So far the pain is well under control with the help of pain medication( oxycodin). I asked my doctor if can stop the oxycodin and take ibuprofin instead, he suggested that i take oxycodin atleast for couple of days so that the pain does not get out of hand. Cold therapy machine is making me feel good. I am able to walk with the cructhes and put some weight on my repaired leg , doing all the simple but tedious excercise routines( toe moving, rotating etc.), Seems like So far so good .

Michael jiang
January 24, 2006 5:11 PM

Has anyone tore there ACL(maybe also MCL) and has returned to playing soccer? im a sophomore in high school and i got ACL and MCL reconstruction, and i really hope i can play again, because it means the world to me. im not really talented in any other thing.... please share your stories

January 24, 2006 5:45 PM

I had a repair on Dec 13th. Did really well-at 90 degrees at 1 week. Little discomfort or pain. Now- for the past week I'm having very bad pain at the side of my knee (worse than any post op pain). It hurts to stand- takes my breath away. Once I start walking it goes away. Is this normal?

Dr. John
January 25, 2006 10:41 AM

Well, tomorrow makes 3 weeks post-op my ACL and meniscus repair. I'm up to 140 degrees flexion and minus 5 degrees on extention. My quads are really starting to build up finally!! I'm able to walk only with a little bit of a limp. I can go up and down the stairs with some effort. We got elevators in the hospital I work at but I figure it's an extra workout to take the stairs. Doing about 30-60 minutes of "cardio", mostly on the reclining bike and the elliptical machine. My recovery has been fantastic and really pleased so far with the results. Only complaint I have is some minor aching, stiffness, and the fact that I gained 10# of fat as I haven't worked out for so long!! I'm hoping to go on a week long mountain bike trek sometime in May or June. To TMH: That sounds very strange, I would have a talk with your orthopedic surgeon. Dr. John

Dr. John
January 25, 2006 10:45 AM

Forgot to say that I have not worn any type of brace at all. My orthopedist thinks it impedes recovery and does not believe in bracing. He said surgery was done so I won't have to wear a brace!! Dr. John

January 25, 2006 10:55 AM

Hi, I tore my acl in Novemeber, during which I had minuscus damage too. I had surgery on Jan, 9, 05, using the patella tendon graft. I wanted to add that I hurt my knee twice, in two weeks during soccer games because of bad tackles. This was because after the first time, I was not diagonized correctly and was told that if I could run in a couple weeks I could play again ... yeah ! sucks! Even after the second time I was not diagonozed with an acl tare. But I was feeling unconfortable in the knee and went for a second opinion. An MRI came out positive. Just a note of caution, get multiple opinions and take the time off before you return to your activity. About the recovery, after surgery I had alot of pain for the first 4 days, but I also think this is because of the graft choice, I did not go off the bed during the first week except to shower and to use the bathroom. IT IS IMPORTANT HOWEVER TO MOVE THE JOINT, EXTEND THE KNEE TIGHTENING THE MUSCLES OF THE THIGH AND TRY TO FLEX THE JOINT AS MUCH AS YOU CAN as often you can. I started PT after 8 days of surgery and I could flex 90 degrees. I Still have pain in the patella area but the other parts of the knee are fine, this is supposed to be normal with this type of graft. PT is great there is some pain but all bareable. Good luck ..hope you dont have to do this but if you do, remember its extremely common.

January 25, 2006 3:02 PM

Hi Again, ACl tear Nov 2005, Surgery - 9 Jan 06, patella tendon. I have been reading the blogs and I got to say that people, including me want their recovery to be better and faster. We make comparisons to other people's recovery and in the bargin try to push our self to achieve what they have achieved in a certain time period. I got to say this, everyone's injury, bodies, surgery and recovery is unique. DO not push your self more than it needs to be pushed. BE discipline and patient. Remember that the injury keeps you away from sports for half a year at least, so why not wait a few months longer if you need to. If the acl graft is not a success yoy will ultimaely loose more playing time. I have three teammates you have had the same surgery two with BPT and 1 hamstring and it has been, 6, 15 and 20 years since their surgery. All were successful and they all give me the same advice I have listed above. So be patient and positive.

January 25, 2006 3:03 PM

Hi Again, ACl tear Nov 2005, Surgery - 9 Jan 06, patella tendon, age 33. I have been reading the blogs and I got to say that people, including me want their recovery to be better and faster. We make comparisons to other people's recovery and in the bargin try to push our self to achieve what they have achieved in a certain time period. I got to say this, everyone's injury, bodies, surgery and recovery is unique. DO not push your self more than it needs to be pushed. BE discipline and patient. Remember that the injury keeps you away from sports for half a year at least, so why not wait a few months longer if you need to. If the acl graft is not a success yoy will ultimaely loose more playing time. I have three teammates you have had the same surgery two with BPT and 1 hamstring and it has been, 6, 15 and 20 years since their surgery. All were successful and they all give me the same advice I have listed above. So be patient and positive.

January 25, 2006 3:55 PM

Thanks to all for the advice.

January 25, 2006 8:02 PM

hey. my name is liz, 17 years old. i have recently returned to my varsity basketball season, coming off of 4 1/2 months since my acl reconsturction. i have played in 5 games so far, increasing my minutes each game. in my past basketball career i was used to scoring around 10 points a game, being a strong rebounder and a main contributor to the team... since i have returned, i have felt like i'm no where where i once was. im averaging about 4 points a game and find myself hesitant to return to my aggresive rebounding self. my sports, volleyball and basketball have always been a positive thing for me but lately i have been feeling lots of frustration about my performance. its my senior season and having already missed volleyball and choosing not to continue my sports into college, i want to end my competitive sports career on a good note. i am, however, realistic and i do realize that i have to be patient and work myself back into the basektball rythm and i can't expect to be full force after 4 1/2 months since knee surgery. just wondering if anyone has gone or is going through a similar situation and can offer any inspiration or advice???? that would be deeply appreciated, i need some sort of support from people who are farmilar with my sitution! thanks and good luck to all who are in the process of returning to their normal lives after an acl can do it! liz

January 26, 2006 2:39 PM

I had my surgery 1/24 for ACL tear and meniscus tears on 12/16. Had the donor tendon because I am 40. Day 2 post op not much pain. Spent 1 night in the hospital and happy I did. Still using the ice machine for 1 more day, visiting the doc on Monday for first follow up. I am so Happy this is finally underway, I can't wait to get back to running and playing sports.

Robert Bonser
January 26, 2006 4:30 PM

I am 18 and while at home for college break I tore my ACL and meniscus playing soccer. Along with that I bruised my bones and stretched my MCL. It was dissapointing, but I got surgery right away. The doctor repaired my meniscus and ACL using a piece of my patellar tendon. I was going to try out for the soccer team this year, but recover won't give me enough time to do that so i'm going to buy a bike and enter some races. Right now though on day 6, my knee more sore and swollen than it was the day after surgery! I hope the excercises aren't hurting it. Thanks for the info

Robert Bonser
January 26, 2006 4:54 PM

I meant to ask if anyone knows how long it takes for post-op swelling to go down? Also, if the swelling is getting worse, should I stop my PT? Thanks!

January 27, 2006 3:00 AM

I just recently tore my acl skiing. I tore it Dec 23rd and had surgery Jan. 11th. It has been 2 weeks now since my surgery and seem to rehabing well. Although, I am wondering if anyone has experiance this....I am having a very uncomftable sinsation in my leg it starts from the inside of my ankle and goes up in the inside of my leg to my mid calf. It feels like a pin prick, burning, numbing sinsation. Almost like your leg is asleep but worse and i can't get any relief. Has anyone experianced this discomfort and if so what did you do or how long does it last? I went today to get an ultrasound on it to see if it was a blood clott but everything looked good...what else could it be?

January 27, 2006 12:46 PM

I partially tore my acl my jr. of college playing football... I finished out the season and started my sr. season. I went 3 games until i was hit hard with my brace on and tore my acl completely along with my miniscus and bruised my femur pretty bad. I finished out the year despite the injury and got surgery a few months later. I am about 3 1/2 months out. I'm walking fine, lifting lighter waits for leg exercises, but i still cant run... I cant even jog properly without a limp or having bad pain. If I can give any advice, therapy right after the surgery and following months is so important. You must be religious about it or full strength wont come back. I intend on getting back on the field, I just didnt expect it to be this hard, this long after surgery...

January 28, 2006 8:23 AM

Robert Bonser, HI rob I had acl - BPT surgery on the 9th Jan 06, and I know what you are talking about, the pins and needles sensation in your leg. The same thing happened to me but in a weeks time most of it went away. I had asked my OS about this and he said that it was because of nerve damage during the surgery. IT takes longer in some people than others for nerve restoration. But there are somethings you can do to regain sensation. Try heat and cold treatments alternating, touch the area with your hands, massaging it lightly, sometimes use cotton (materials with different texture) to rub the area. This helps to regain sensation. Hope this helps, it wont harm so it cant hurt to try. Good luck. J

January 28, 2006 8:23 AM

Robert Bonser, HI rob I had acl - BPT surgery on the 9th Jan 06, and I know what you are talking about, the pins and needles sensation in your leg. The same thing happened to me but in a weeks time most of it went away. I had asked my OS about this and he said that it was because of nerve damage during the surgery. IT takes longer in some people than others for nerve restoration. But there are somethings you can do to regain sensation. Try heat and cold treatments alternating, touch the area with your hands, massaging it lightly, sometimes use cotton (materials with different texture) to rub the area. This helps to regain sensation. Hope this helps, it wont harm so it cant hurt to try. Good luck. J

January 30, 2006 11:27 AM

I had ACL repair 4 weeks ago and was showing excellent improvement until a week ago when I started having severe pain below my patella when I did full knee extension and when I would stand with my knee in full extension. When standing in full extension, my knee would also buckle forward. My doctor examined my knee and did xrays. He says I have a Cyclops lesion which occurs in about 11 % of ACL repairs and fibrous formation in the intraconlylar notch. He has scheduled me for arthroscopic surgery next Friday to clean this out Has anyone had this complication and how did you have it treated?

January 31, 2006 6:35 AM

wow nice site here..... I had my left acl reconstructed 10 years ago .I was 38 @ the time and am way glad that I went through it...I remember rehab being stressed and worked very hard. I also remember that it seemed forever before my knee was stable and could really trust it...The muscles around my knee took forever too, to learn how to work again......10 years later I tore myright acl and chipped off a piece of cartlidge....I didn't want to have the surgery performed until the mri showed the chip floating in my knee....I am going in feb 3 06and having it done......Another thing that I personally can't stress enough to all the weekend warriors as myself...Have your legs in very good physical,strong shape before engaging inhigh mobility sports...I didn't,and am paying the price

Question for Liz
January 31, 2006 8:46 AM

I was just wondering about the time it took you to return. 4.5 months seems a bit too soon. Everything I read about athletes suggests that they wait at least 6 months before returning to play their respective sport. I am 2.5 months removed from my surgery and I am only able to walk. Physical therapist said I should be starting to do plyometrics/run in another 3 weeks or so. But he said returning to basketball for me would be about another 3 months.

to liz
January 31, 2006 8:47 AM

I was just wondering about the time it took you to return. 4.5 months seems a bit too soon. Everything I read about athletes suggests that they wait at least 6 months before returning to play their respective sport. I am 2.5 months removed from my surgery and I am only able to walk. Physical therapist said I should be starting to do plyometrics/run in another 3 weeks or so. But he said returning to basketball for me would be about another 3 months.

January 31, 2006 9:19 AM

I am going in for ACL reconstruction Feb 2, 2006. I had a partial tear just over 2.5 years ago, playing soccer (planted leg to turn right, my upper leg turned but the bottom didn't; someone near by said they heard a sound from it, but i think i was destracted by the pain to hear it). I didn't get the injury checked out right away which was a big mistake. The tear tried to heal itself and therefore when i did go to get it checked out by several doctors and therapists no one could tell what exactly was the cause of the swelling and pain. After months of waiting in the health system here in Canada, i was finally able to get an MRI that showed torn cartiledge. I had a scope to take that out in Sept '04 and they also saw that my ACL was now healed but streached out from the former tear. They weren't sure how much it would affect the stability of my knee so they just left the ligament alone. Over the past year i found my knee extremely unstable. After lots of more waiting to get in to see a orthopedic surgeon. I will finally have my ACL reconstructed using a piece of my hamstring. I am 23 years old and healthy so it should go fairly well. wish me luck.

January 31, 2006 6:06 PM

My name is Michael I tore my acl during basketball just planting on it too hard, the day before the season started. Im 6''5 and have aspirations of playing college basketball, but this injury has set me back significantly. Has anyone here came back within 3 1/2-5 months wearing an acl brace?? I know it is pushing it but i have a history of being a quick healer(i tore my rotator cuff 2 years ago and came back in 4 months when they said 6). Has anyone done this, if so, what was the result? I also had a cadavore, i heard those recover significantly faster.

January 31, 2006 6:18 PM

My name is Michael I tore my acl during basketball just planting on it too hard, the day before the season started. Im 6''5 and have aspirations of playing college basketball, but this injury has set me back significantly. Has anyone here came back within 3 1/2-5 months wearing an acl brace?? I know it is pushing it but i have a history of being a quick healer(i tore my rotator cuff 2 years ago and came back in 4 months when they said 6). Has anyone done this, if so, what was the result? I also had a cadavore, i heard those recover significantly faster.

to mike
February 1, 2006 5:53 AM

im also undergoing therapy. i know its hard to just wait but you have to dude. ask yourself this, do you really want to go through this again? just wait another month or so. Better than hurting yourself again. i heard that most times, if they do surgery on an already surgically repaired acl, its 5 times more difficult to come back to the way you were before.

February 1, 2006 6:39 AM

to alanna...... good luck going through my surgery friday on my right knee.had the left reconstructed 10 years ago...want to keep in touch over rehab time?gonna be some long boring down time..

February 1, 2006 11:35 AM

To Greg.... sure, we can compare notes as we heal. Good luck with your friday surgery.

February 2, 2006 8:29 AM

I tore my ACL and my MCL on December 26 skiing. I just had surgery on January 26, so it has been one week today. I have been doing really well with PT and I have only had minor discomfort. One thing that is really strange is at night I get this really twitchy feeling in my leg. It is almost like my leg is saying -"Hey I'm tired!". Has anyone else experienced this?

February 2, 2006 1:28 PM

I blew out my knee playing indoor as well! But I got tackled from behind when mine went! I really enjoyed reading about your experience, and would love to hear about everyone elses! Feel free to contact me at I am having my surgery on the 10th. I did alot, and continue to do research on this procedure. I am looking forward to the long process of rehab, so that I can get back to playing again.

February 2, 2006 10:07 PM

TO ROBERT BONSER - You asked how long it would be for the swelling to go down, and if you should slow down your PT because of the swelling. I'm six weeks post-op (hamstring ACL reconstruction and meniscus repair) -- my swelling is nearly gone. HOWEVER, my Physical therapist seems to think she needs to get it swollen again. A good PT session will increase swelling significantly; icing three times per day, especially after PT is essential to control the swelling. BOTTOM LINE: DON'T STOP PT BECAUSE OF SWELLING; IT MEANS YOU'RE DOING IT RIGHT. TO ALANNA -- good luck with your surgery - three quick hitters 1. Go to PT the next day after surgery 2. get off prescription pain meds as soon as possible 3. Stay positive - you can do it... TO MIKE - you mentioned returning to basketball after 3.5 months w/ a brace. I just spoke to my surgeon about the pros/cons of wearing a sports brace... Surprisingly, he said that a recent study showed that more people were injured (post-surgery) wearing a sports brace than wearing none. This seems to confirm what Dr. John said earlier about wearing a brace. PROGRESS REPORT Again six weeks post-op, I have just been given the green light by my surgeon to ditch my brace for good. (My first night-sleep last night without the AWFUL, STINKY brace was heavenly...) I walked one-half mile today on the treadmill - I'm doing 30 min/day on the bike. My doctor said that I'll be able to start running within 3-4 weeks. QUESTION FOR DR. JOHN - You mentioned that your orthepedist recommended no brace at all. For a police officer, what is your opinion of whether I should return to work with a sports brace or without, to prevent the possibility of injury? Given the study mentioned earlier? Good luck everyone!

February 3, 2006 8:28 AM

Its been 10 weeks since my acl reconstruction. i had the cadaver graft. my physical therapist said i should be starting plyometrics in 2 weeks probably. my knee feels great. the only thing up to now that was bothering me was when i would walk down the stairs, now that doesnt bother me at all. i still have al little swelling, but my thigh is getting stronger and firmer. -when do you stop "needing" a physical therapist and just do the home exercises by yourself?

February 3, 2006 4:00 PM

Hi , I am 3 weeks 5 days in post op. I visited my PT the first time after 8 days of the surgery (BPTP). I had flexion of 90 deg at the time. Although I did not go to PT the day after, I used to try and extend the leg and flex it the day after (although you can just bend it 20 deg at the time) as strongly recomended by my OS. I took off my brace to sleep a week ago (on consulting with my doctor) and today was the first day I walked without my brace or crutches at PT. By the way I go to PT twice a week but do my excercises regularly at home. My PT told me I should walk without the brace and crutches at home and with my crutches only when I go outside. I do have a little swelling but its not too bad. Mostly the Patella area hurts me, but its not bad at all. I have 120 deg flexion at the moment. My PT tells me that every one has different stages of heeling. Some people show alot of improvement in the begining but can slow down later and others have slow heelong and it speeds up progressively. My recommendation is that dont gauge your self with others, just work hard at your rehab and be patient. Good luck !

Dr. John
February 3, 2006 6:31 PM

Well this will be my last entry as I'm 4 weeks post op ACL and medial meniscus repair. I have full flexion and extention. The knee still swells a little bit and gets stiff but not much pain. I can go up and down 7 flights of stairs at work with some effort and mild pain. Doing about 20 minutes of elliptical and 20 minutes of stationary bike daily. My ACL surgery and recovery has gone better than I expected and I'm on my way to going on a mountain bike expedition in July, and my first skiing trip post surgery(I tore it skiing last April) probably in January of 2007, or December of this year. Those things keeps me motivated to work hard on my PT. Good luck to you all.

February 3, 2006 10:43 PM

Hi my name is Gina and I'm 17, I had ACL reconstruction and meniscus repair in December of 2003. I was injured during a soccer game, when a girl came from behind and ran into my left knee. I was planning on getting back into soccer the next year, 2004 during the fall, but I never did. At times I still have some discomfort, but other times it feels great.In the very beginning after my surgery running didn't feel that great, it was really akward adjusting to my knee. One knee feels completely normal and the other, well you know. I had to find a balance. I was wondering if anyone knew of any great exercising activities that I could do, running doesn't seem to be the trick that.I wish I would of known about this site then, it would of helped me with some of my questions. thanks if anyone has any ideas....

February 4, 2006 1:06 PM

its been 2 weeks post op now... I have most of my flexibility back( I can almost get it straight and i can bend it to about 60 degrees). I feel like i could walk on it but im not allowed because i also had a pretty bad meniscus tear, I have to wait for that to heal up before i can walk...It should be about another 2 weeks untill im allowed to walk. I cant go really hard in rehab also for that same reason. I guess its going overall pretty well, just boring and I hate the crutches But i heard somthing that got me kind of nervous. I read an artical saying that cadavores are not a good choice at all for athletes. Has anyone here had a cadavore and got back to 100 percent in a cutting sport like basketball?

February 6, 2006 7:09 AM

i had my surgery friday 2-3-06....acl reconstruction. repair meniscus and clean up. and worse news.. a piece of cartldge about the size of a 50 cent piece chipped off. the dr could not get it to reattach, says there wasnt enough bone to secure it, so the piece of cartlidge has been sent to boston to harvest its own cells. after 7 weeks they will implant this and i cannot move my knee for 3 wks or so. anyone heard of this procedure? if i donot have this done i will be looking at a joint replacement in or before 3 yrs(please excuse the lack of medical terms, im an hvac guy)

February 6, 2006 9:27 PM

I am now a little over 2 weeks post op of my ACL and meniscus repair. My surgeon did not schedule me for PT because he said that I would not need it since i am young and in college. Right now I can bend about 90 degrees and I can walk almost normally with partial weight bearing on the crutches.I don't know if I can hurt it because of my meniscus repair or not? Anyhow, I keep on working on my calf and especially quad muscle. Hoping to be able to do swimming to strengthen it in a week or so. I am looking forward to being able to walk around campus without being crippled! If anyone has any good PT suggestions for me I would appreciate it. Thanks. I hope everyone elses recovery is very swift and productive!

February 7, 2006 9:03 PM

i had acl surgery (hamstring) and a repaired minsicus 6 weeks ago. I was cleared to walk about 2 weesk ago. and I havent been doing anything crazy just wallking around alot but now i feel it pop and crack. is this normal???????

February 8, 2006 11:37 AM

Is there anyone here who was able to run 4 months after surgery?

February 9, 2006 7:30 AM

run back to the surgery table....... slow down and let the body heal.. the graft takes atleast 6 months to become strong again

February 9, 2006 10:16 AM

I am 36 yr old female, godd to very good shape: 3.5 mile powerwalking everyday, eliptical, weight training, yoga, etc. I have had 2 previous scopes for ACL tear 9just trimmed up) and meniscus tear. I have been able to keep the stability in my knee fro the past three years by having strong quads and hams. Last week My knee twsted, popped and gave way. Since then it has done this several times. I have had minimal swelling, burning sensation, very little stability. My knee went out on me yesterday and I actually fell. I walked today on treadmill with no porblems ( I did wear my DonJoy brace). I go to my ortho today. From past experience, i am pretty sure I've damaged the ACL further. My question is "Is the ACL reconstruction absolutely painful? Is it worth it? I have 4 kids, one that is 11 mos. old. If I do this, I need to do it before school is out for summer. Opinions????

February 9, 2006 10:20 AM

I am 36 yr old female, good to very good shape: 3.5 mile powerwalking everyday, eliptical, weight training, yoga, etc. I have had 2 previous scopes for ACL tear (just trimmed up) and meniscus tear, both injuries from soccer. I have been able to keep the stability in my knee for the past three years by having strong quads and hams. Last week my knee twisted, popped and gave way. Since then, it has done this several times. I have had minimal swelling, burning sensation, very little stability. My knee went out on me yesterday and I actually fell. I walked today on treadmill with no porblems ( I did wear my DonJoy brace). I go to my ortho today. From past experience, I am pretty sure I've damaged the ACL further. My question is "Is the ACL reconstruction absolutely painful? Is it worth it? I have 4 kids, one that is 11 mos. old. If I do this, I need to do it before school is out for summer. Opinions????

February 9, 2006 12:50 PM

To lorri, Hi, I jsut had acl surgery and I can say that my procedure was painful. But I have spoken to many people who have had the reconstruction and it varies from person to person. What I know is that the graft type is the most crutial part in determining pain.. From what I hear ..The Patella tendon (BPT) graft followed by the hamstring graft and then the allograft are in the order of decreasing pain. I did the patella tendon graft and it knocked me out for the first 4-5 days (pain wise). But one guy who is in PT with me and did an allograft said that the epidural was more painful than the surgery. I guess the results are more or less the same. The BPT graft had the longest track record but OS's often inform about the pain related to this procedure. The one thing to worry about the allograft besides desease (which is a minor concern) is that your body should not reject it. This is also rare. There is alot of material on the net about the graft choices and before I chose mine I read a lot about it. People return to walking without crutches after 10-14 days without crutches and from what you say about your fitness it looks like thats an easy milestone to achieve. Hope this helped. Good Luck! Jo

February 9, 2006 1:33 PM

anybody coem back to play ball 4 months after ACL reconstruction?

February 9, 2006 3:23 PM

Hi' My daughter had ACL surgery a week ago.Her leg around her calf and ancle is brused and swollen,is this normal after one week of surgery we are very concern. Thanks

February 9, 2006 3:55 PM

my daughter will be having acl surgery in march. she has no pain or swelling and can walk normally, do you think her surgery and recovery would be easier, since she has no pain or discomfort. she is 13yrs.

February 9, 2006 4:05 PM

To: John I am no expert, but I can share my experince. 6 or 7 days post-op I had to go to the emergency room because my lower leg (calf area) was very swollen and bruised. When I went, the doctor said that this was perfectly normal and was partially due to the way I had the ACE bandages wrapped. I had a slight fever, which he also said was normal with the swelling. When I went to my surgeon, he explained that there is a pocket in the lower leg that holds the blood there. So my only advice is make sure the ACE bandages are wrapped from the quad down to the foot, continue the PT, and keep it elevated and iced. This is what helped me. From what the doctors said, this is completely normal and there is nothing to worry about unless the fever gets worse or there is redness going up the leg (a sign of infection). I hope this helps

February 9, 2006 4:11 PM

To Linda: I tore my acl and menicus playing soccer. I iced it right away and could walk normally with no pain or swelling also. My recovery has gone great so far and I am progressing well. Although, I am not sure if it is due to the fact that there is no pain or swelling. The hardest part of recovery is getting the quadricep muscle back to full strength to stabilize the knee. I have been reading, and studies have shown that anything done to strengthen the quad muslce BEFORE surgery may increase the rate of healing. Again, I am no expert, but I would reccomend from my own experience that your daughter excercise her quad as much as possible before surgery. This should really help in recovery!

February 9, 2006 4:37 PM

my daughter will be having acl surgery in march. she has no pain or swelling and no discomfort walking, does her chances of a speedier recovery seem likely.

Dr. john
February 9, 2006 6:19 PM

To "K": I am post op 5 weeks ACL and meniscus repair. By patellar allograft. I can jog for a short distance, but if you mean a 100 yard dash, no. Be realistic. Eddgerin James of the Indianapolis colts tore his ACL and returned to play a year later, but he was not a player he was before the tear until two years after the surgery. And he's a great athlete with good work ethics. Give it at least 6 months, better yet 9 months before going back to play "ball".

Joe F
February 12, 2006 7:52 AM

Almost 3 weeks post op and I am able to bend over 90 degrees and put my knee straight. Around the house and short trips I have ditched the crutches, one issue that has started is my knee seems to lock when I attempt to bend sometimes and occasionally it seems to need to crack like a knuckle. Everything else has been great. Is this normal with swelling going down and PT going normally? I am hoping it is just part of the recovery. I have added my last initial, too my Joe's with blown acl's out there.

February 12, 2006 8:10 AM

To Dr. John. I agree. It does take anywhere from 6 months to a year before the new ACL is fully healed.I am still dancing everyday. I go to my one doctor next week, and If I have time I'll ask my PT guy about my knee. I spoke to him in january, but I didn't get to ask him why my knee gives out at times when i turn laterally and why does it feel like there is too much play in. I wish you the best. How long are people on crutches after they have theACL reconsruction (without meniscal repairs)?? You can email me back at I can answer some questions that I know. if I don't know it I will find out for you. Good luck

Courtney Chadney
February 13, 2006 3:24 PM

Hey everyone. I want to think whoever started this website with the diary it helped me alot. I'm a senior in high school and I tore my ACL and meniscus while playing soccer. I'm proud to announce that I am 2 months out of surgery, I had the patella transplant, and I am already juggling with the ball and jogging. Doctor says I won't be able to fully play with contact untill July or August which would put my recovery time at 8-9 months. I'm recovering quickly though, and I have no doubt I'll be better when I go back. Thanks for the diary, Courtney

February 13, 2006 3:47 PM

I tore my acl, mcl and meniscus. I am 3 weeks out of surgery. I ditched the crutches when walking around the house about a week or more ago. I still take a crutch to school, parties and places i know i will be up and walking around a lot. The first week after surgery was absolute hell, but now i have minimal pain, the worst is when i have been on it too long. I have been going to pt 3 times a week, and should be back to playing hopefully in about 5 1/2 months. ( 6 months after surgery) I play soccer, tennis and ski. Oh yeah, i can bend my knee to about 145 degress, the physical therapist says that it is great. And hopefully i will be running in the next month, at the earliest though.

February 14, 2006 8:00 AM

To: courtney, I am so happy to hear your recovery is going so well. My daughter will be having surgery in march, and she can't wait to play soccer again. she plays all year on a travel team, and misses it terribly. keep us posted on your recovery.

February 14, 2006 11:18 AM

Thursday feb 16th will be my two week mark since my ACL surgery. My hamstring was not used to replace it like i originally thought. My petellar tendon was used instead. My Dr. said it is better to use that in younger people b/c it doesn't stretch out over time like the hamstring does. Recovery is going well. Lots of lying around. I made the mistake one week after surgery of trying to get up and around the house more, which caused the swelling to travel down to my ankle. Elevate, elevate, elevate people (and lot of icing). I am sure most of you are told, but watch out for putting pillows under your leg. You want it to be as straight as possible so your leg doesn't heal bent. At this point i have 90 degree of flexion at my knee, but i really need to focus on building my quads so i can do a straight leg lift. I find that difficult to do at the moment. The pain happens when the quads pull on my petella. I was fully off my pain meds after 10 days and the last two days i only had one to sleep comfortable during the night. GREG - Good luck with your muniscus procedure. p.s. I know this may seem like too much info, but if you are going to have surgery take stool softeners afterwards!!! The anesthesia (and probably other meds) often cause constipation. I had this conversation with a friend aswell. Trust me it is good to know, if you can prevent it.

Curtis B
February 14, 2006 1:53 PM

Hey, I tore my acl in march on a rugby tour for my school and had surgery on it in mid to late april (i forget). Anway my therapy has gone great, my "bad" leg is literaly stronger then my other leg at the moment. But, i'm still worried about my acl and if it could take a bit of a rattle. Should i be sitting out.. again.. this sason?

February 14, 2006 8:20 PM

I tore my ACL ligament and Meniscus 2 weeks ago. I am now on a 4 week rehab program before I see the doctor and discuss surgery. He didn't claim I needed it, but I am going that route. I am confused. I am scared. I have a 3 year old that needs 100% of me. I am not even sure what type of graft I should go for. I need your comments. Thanks

February 15, 2006 7:03 AM

I had ACL surgery on January 26. I'm doing really well with my PT and am already out of my brace. The biggest problem I seem to be having now is walking. I still walk with my leg stiff. It is always better after I work out, but my PT says I need to remember to bend it. Anyone else experienced this?

Joe F
February 15, 2006 11:37 AM

3 weeks post op with donor acl. Up to 122 degrees bend this morning at PT, I have decided to lose the brace unless I am going somewhere far. Riding the bike and doing treadmill, very slowly on both but it makes a big difference. Exercises are the key, each day gets easier!

February 15, 2006 7:09 PM

Im about 3 and a half weeks post op and just got off my crutches becasue of my meniscus tear. My trainer is saying i am doing the best of any acl patient shes had, being ahead of schedual without having done any weightbearing. I can walk, and probably have about 125 degress of motion. I can stand on one foot, calf raises, wall sits all that easily, im acually wishing my trainer would make me do harder things.Maybe its because Im young, but honestly this process has not been that bad at all. FYI, my doc said at about the 6 week mark, your acl will start rerouting the bloodstream to the acl, and for some reason your knee will start to feel really good, to the point where you could jog, cut, sprint, whatever.Beware, because this is acually the weakest point for your acl, so its good from a everyday standpoint, but dont push it. So im gonna kinda take my sucess so far with a grain of salt, ill really start bragging at about the 1 1/2- 2 month mark, lol.

February 16, 2006 8:42 AM

Hi, its been 3 months since my ACL surgery now. I can tell you all that i've honestly had basically no pain in doing anything. I had my surgery (cadaver graft) done at UPenn and the doctor was great. Physical therapy is going really well too. I've never experienced pain with my knee any point. Yesterday I started my first hopping and plyometrics exercise since the surgery. Again, no pain at all. Just a slight discomfort when I was hopping laterally but it was very minimal. I also found it to be a little easier when I jumped and landed on my toes, instead of my toes and heels. My physical therapist said I should be starting a running program in about 2.5 weeks. Im looking forward to finally getting back in shape and running. I still go over to the gym and watch my friends intramural games and stuff. It's so funny that everyone kind of takes their ability to run and jump and all that stuff for granted. Its when you cant do that, that you're forced to take a step back, and just marvel at what your body is able to do.

February 17, 2006 8:37 AM

to: k how old are you, it is nice to hear you are doing so well. when you start running, how fast will they push you, is your injury from soccer or another sport?

February 17, 2006 7:01 PM

Just had acl surgery 3 and a half weeks ago, brace crutches off, already feels like a new knee, im runnin (slow) with no pain, jumpin a bit and everything is awesome, look to be back to start baseball in the spring

February 18, 2006 9:35 AM

I had a complete acl tear winter 2005 pullin an x-up 360 at Homewood Tahoe (sat back in the saddle on the landing and compressed) and just had surgery Jan 2006. I elected the hamstring graph because my doctor was a "pro" at this type of procedure.Everone seems to be getting the patellar graph because thier doctors are more comfortable with this type of procedure- so do your doctor homework. I have also read numerous articles about the failure rates, in terms of Newtons, with these 2 types of graphs- the patellar graph as a higher Newton failure rate at a whopping 2600N.Now im not a professional athlete but I do like my wakeboarding and snowskiing with a high intensity level. I was assured by my doc that I was going to be happier in "the long run" with the hamstring procedure. Oh by the way he has done several "pro" basketball players with this same type of procedure. It has been 7 days since my surgery and I am at 100* of motion with very little pain if any and a slight limp. The key here is to be in tip top leg shape before your procedure, use the cpm machine above and beyond protocall, ice, and find a good doc at the hamstring procedure.Also an agressive rehab clinic doesnt hurt either.I have read too may articles where people say they have a great deal of knee pain and graph failure with the patellar procedure but the choice in ultimately yours so make a wise one and educate yourself. Go Kings!

Dan C
February 18, 2006 12:00 PM

I had acl repair 8 days ago, using the patella tendon from the other leg. The doc is very agressive in recovery, i was walking the next day, with out crutches or brace. By the thrid day i had 140 degrees of flex and full straight to hyper-extention. I never used crutches or brace, the pain sux even with pain killers but i was driving on day 6 and walking inside the store. I rode the stationary bike for the second time yesterday for 45 mins at 80 rpm, level 6 for 9.5 miles. Anyone that needs repair should check this guy out! Other doctors said 6-9 mths before full release to your sport, this doc says 3 mths and you can do what ever you want! Time for more meds, later.

February 18, 2006 12:39 PM

im about 4 weeks post op now, walking without a limp and rehabing easily, Im getting fustrated with my rehab people, i understand not wanting to push it too hard, but i am a very in shape 16 year old athlete w/ college aspirations, but they are rehabing me like im a 50 year old. Everything is going well so far except when i stand sometimes, and "lock" my knee, when i release it there is a slight pop on the outside of my knee. It doesnt hurt or anything, but i feel it. I know what your thinking, and no i didnt tear my acl again, i know how that feels and no its not that kind of pop. i suspect i might have tore my meniscus a little.

February 18, 2006 10:59 PM

Mike, I'm exactly 4 weeks post-op also. I had a patellar ACL reconstruction with meniscal repair. Because of the meniscal repair, i just got off my crutches and I am walking pretty well with a brace. But if it is any consolation, I experienced the exact same popping sensation on the outside of my knee. As you described, it does not hurt at all. I don't think anything is wrong, so I'm hoping it is normal.

February 19, 2006 7:56 AM


Dr. John
February 19, 2006 12:26 PM

I'm post op 5 weeks ACL repair via patellar allograft and medial meniscus repair. I'm doing well with full flexion and extention. I'm walking with a slight limp, able to jog slowly, and can go "forever" on the bike. I've been working religiously on my rehab. exercises, at least 2 hours a day. However, I took two days off the rehab exercises as my knee and my back was hurting so bad. I felt much better with less swelling,pain, and stiffness of my knee with a little rest. Could I be over doing it? I know with weight lifting you have to "rest" your muscle for a day or two so that it can have chance to "recover" and "heal". Anybody know if a person could over-do P.T. thus hindering recovery? Anyone with similar experience? I'm a 48 year old male who wants to go back to doing mogul skiing next season. Would appreciate any advice, Dr. John

February 19, 2006 12:39 PM

Dr. John I wouldnt be jogging this soon if i were you,you need to give the acl a chance to vascularize before you start pushing it, jogging 5 weeks post op you arent doing anything but hurting your recovery. Im not a doctor, but i wouldnt suggest going 2 hours a day, if you really want to get aggresive, do your rehab excersices 2wice as much as your rehabist told you, which shouldnt take more then 40 mins, then spend the rest of the time icing down your knee, while doing knee hangs. But once again dont jog yet,concentrate on strenthaning your quad and flexion and such, you should be in the clear to jog within 3-5 weeks. If you really have an itch to work out, use a bike.

February 19, 2006 12:41 PM

I had my ACL repaired 5 days ago on Valentines Day (outpatient surgery). I tore mine while playing soccer. I heard and felt the infamous "pop" and dropped to the ground. Anyway,after hearing some horror stories about the pain after surgery, I feel lucky as I have only had minor pain (relative to my first childbirth experience). I stopped the Vicodin after 2.5 days because it made me nauseous and dizzy. My Doctor recommended using donor tissue and assured me that their supplier of tissue has an excellent quality assurance program, etc. I'm still a little nervous about some of the issues in the news about donated tissue lately, but, ultimately, I decided to trust her. Our daughters play on the same soccer team and we have known each other for quite some time now and I don't think she would lead me astray. I'm 45 and hope to be back to my active lifestyle as soon as possible. I can walk around the house without my crutches or braces but will probably wear the brace when I leave the house for added protection. The CPM is amazing!!! I credit my good range of motion and low pain level to my "leg-moving machine". I'm supposed to use it for 8 hours a day (2 hour intervals) and then sleep with it on at night. I use it for about half the night - on and off. Also, the ice machine has helped reduce the swelling and I will continue to use that for as long as possible. Thanks for all the posts to this site. I have learned so much!

nathan laakso
February 19, 2006 3:23 PM

yo, i just had acl reconstruction about 3 weeks ago, Im in canada and having given a slightly differenct approach to my repair. I had the regular hamstring graft and two biodegradable screws, 9 staples to seal it etc. Im 22, tore it in indoor soccer and wanted it repaired to be able to play again. I heard more of a velcrow ripping sound more than a pop. My surgery sucked. I was over night and up all night vomitting at the hospital. The PT told me as well as the doctor that i should use the crutches for 6 weeks., while using partial weight bearing for that time. Im doign my excercises 3 times a day and icing well. Im up to 102 degree flexing right now but ive seem to plateau. why are so many people on crutches for less than me>? sucks, i hate crutches. hope my experience helps someone.

February 20, 2006 7:40 AM

Hi, I just had acl surgery 4 days ago, I am on perks for pain and ibuprofin for swelling and asprin for clotting. I have had no pain from the knee since the acl and mcl tear. I am on crutches and have been using the cpm machine. When i get to 100 degrees it said to return the machine. I am already at 100 and have good flexability. I can limp without crutches and have driven my car the 4th day after surgery. I am pleasently suprised, the nausea i had was only hours after the surgery. I would have to say that i expected much worse, anyone preparing for acl surgery should not worry so much!!

Rosie Lumetta
February 20, 2006 11:21 AM

Hi I had ACL replacement with a patillia allograft on Feb 8th. Frankly, I found the pain excrutiating for the first 4 days, but I have a low tolerance so I've been on Vicodin and Percodan but have greatly reduced the dosage. I'm now able to walk slowly and carefully. From talking with others - for those considering surgery, I'd definitely recommend the allograft as then you have only one major incision site. I trust my doctor and asked him if he'd be willing to use one and that was the deciding factor for me. I start PT today but have been doing exercises at home and feel that's the key to a speedy recovery. Also, for those facing surgery - if possible, have someone stay with you for at least the first 5 days or so. Rosie

February 20, 2006 6:30 PM

i had ma acl fixed damn dat shit fucked up i caint walk wiff out ma brace the way ma kneee looked when i unwraped it i thnk im neva go b able to walk goood again but dats not go happen cuz da doctor go do pt on me and ima b str8 i dono who eva tore there acl fix it it aint a bad expiriance cuz u gotta stay in da cirb for a min

poorna chander reddy
February 21, 2006 10:57 AM

it has been 3 months of my acl surgery,first month was difficult in my life with pain and days progressed and my pain was not as much it was in first month,performing physical excersice is must and iam feeling fine and knee got stable and could perform normal actions without much of pain

Dr John
February 21, 2006 3:38 PM

Thanks "M". I was over doing it. My knee feels a lot better and even stronger when I let up on the PT. Dr. John

February 22, 2006 6:12 AM

My daugther (14) had her ACL replaced and her cartlidge repaired on August 1st. They used her hamstring as her replacement and she walked on crutches for 3 months. She did therapy for 6 months and has recently been released from the doctor to start her sports activities again. She is a little scared of re-tearing this ACL again but is very eager to re-join sports. Has anyone else been released after six months and turned around and had this surgery again? Is there anything you can do that will enable your ACL to continue to get stronger? Thanks for the advise.

February 22, 2006 2:37 PM

Hi Kelli, I am quite surprised that your daughter had to be on crutches for 3 months. I had BPTB acl reconstruction and I am about 6 weeks post op. I can walk normally and lost the brace 3 weeks, crutches 4 weeks post op. According to my doctor, I would be able to return to sport (Soccer) in 6 months, but after my last visit, yesterday, he told me after 6 more weeks they would strain test the leg and based on the progress so far said I could play in 4.5 - 5 months. Returning to sports after 6 months is common but varies from patient to patient. Its also normal to get over your injurn mentally which normally takes longer than the physical process. One way to prevent damage to the acl is to strengthen the thigh muscles, which really offer alot of stability and less strain to the knee ligaments. Good luck if you have any further questions can e-mai me at

February 22, 2006 4:13 PM

I just tore my ACL, I am a girl. My softball career is over. I'm depressed. I'm gaining weight day by day. Tomorrow I have to start dieting. I have surgery next week. El doctor esta tomando de mi hamstring.

Denise Menard
February 22, 2006 6:48 PM

Hi there, Hi there, I'm having my ACL reconstructed using a portion of my hamstring. I'm curious to know what is the expected time before I can return to work. I'm a health care aid, mainly giving meds and monitoring oxygen etc., but I am on my feet constantly. I also run and would like to know what a realistic time frame would be before I can introduce running again. I realize that all cases are unique but a guideline would be helpful. So many questions I forgot to ask the surgeon. Any advice that you can give will be fantastic. Denise

Daniel Kaufmann
February 22, 2006 10:02 PM

Hey, I tore my ACL about three years ago skiing, i am now 17 years old and i am already seeing signs of arthritis pain in my knee. If anyone is thinking about opting out on the oppotunity to get reconstruction after the initial tear or complete rip of the ACL, my advice is to not do this, i think in a few years down the road i will probably have to go in for knee surgery anyways, might as well get it over with

February 23, 2006 6:07 AM

to anyone who has had surgery in the past 3 years: How many months after surgery did your doctor clear you to start jogging and cutting? I am just wondering. I am eager to get back but will have to wait until my doctor allows me to.

February 24, 2006 7:20 AM

A friend of mine postponed having her ACL reconstructed and is also sorry she waited. Not just because of arthritis though. Her new health insurance said it was a pre-existing condition and they would not pay for it! It's been 10 days since my ACL surgery and, other than some discomfort at night, I'm doing great. I'm going to get rid of my CPM machine and ice machine today. I rode the bike slowly for 10 minutes yesterday with the seat up higher than normal. My 4th PT session is this afternoon. I'm off crutches and the brace. I had 8 weeks of PT prior to surgery because they were not sure if it was a torn ACL at first. This really helped in my recovery. From what I've heard and read, the stronger you are going into surgery, the better and quicker your recovery. I'm going back to work next week (2 weeks off) but am going to make sure I put my leg up on a chair when I'm sitting for at least part of the time, to help straighten it out. Good luck to all!

Eliot Lee
February 24, 2006 8:17 AM

Hello all, Great Web site! It really helped to read this Web site before my ACL surgery, which took place three days ago, Feb 21, 2006. I completely blew out my ACL in my left knee during a freak ski accident on January 20, 2006 (skiing down a green beginner run, heading to the lodge for lunch). In addition to my ACL, the MCL was badly bruised, and is still healing. The surgeon wanted me to wait a month for the MCL to heal more before going into surgery. Anyway, the pain has started to subside. I am using that CPM machine, up to 50 degree flex from 30 degree flex. I stopped icing the knee yesterday. I am still taking the pain med, Percocet. But last night I only had to take one dose to get through the night. I've been able to do some work the last couple days, although with the pain meds, I can't concentrate for very long. It's a blessing that I work for a company that supports telecommuting, so I don't have to take too many days off of work. I'll be staying home, working from home for at least the next week, then I venture out for the surgery post-op appt (to get my stitches out) and first PT appt on March 9, 2006. I know it's probably a long time to go for the first PT, but since I have to drive myself, I didn't think this coming week was going to be a good time to drive myself to PT and back. I live about an hour from the city, up in the mountains, so it's difficult even for public transportation. But with the CPM machine and also pushing myself to do basic stuff, like walking around the cabin and up and down the porch stairs, I think I'll be okay. Thanks again for this wonderful blog! It really helped to desensitize myself before the surgery, since I typically do not fair very well with the medical establishment.

February 24, 2006 9:41 AM

To Nathan Laakso: I am also 3 weeks post op. I am also in canada and told i would need crutches 4-6 weeks. Yesterday i went from using 2 crutches with some weight bearing to using just one crutch. I hope to be rid of that one by the beginning of march as i am returning to work on monday. My flexion as of yesterday was also 102 degrees. It sounds like we are on a similar path. Good luck. To Dr. John: It sounds as though you may be pushing your self a bit to hard. As a personal trainer i tell my clients that the amount you work out is just as important as rest time. You need to give your body rest so it can work on repairing and building up strength after the workout. When building muscle with exercise, you create micro tears that need time to repair (48 hours) and adapt to the new workload, before you should work them out again. I hope this can help you with your rehab.

Sean Sander
February 24, 2006 6:02 PM

Great blog. Completely tore my ACL playing a indoor soccer game 11/23/05. 10 minutes into the game I was moving right with the ball at my right foot and a guy clipped me in my left knee forcing my weight to shift to my left foot. With my left foot planted at 12:00 trying to hold and my body weight moving toward 9:00 my left knee gave out. Heard no pop but had intense pain for 10-15 minutes that eased up but not enough to going back in playing. Having never had a knee injury before I just thought I had a hyper extension. Went to the doctor 5 days later who scheduled a mri that revealed a complete acl tear and meniscus tear. Alot of damage for a relatively easy hit. If only I had flopped and just let that leg go instead of trying to stay up. I went to see 2 doctors. Both recommended a patellar tendon graft if I wanted to play soccer or basketball again. 1 DR specialized in autografts (your own tissue) the other DR with an allografts (donor/cadaver). After considerable research I decided to go with the allograft. 2 things that impacted my decision were my age 43 - I knew there was a good chance the donor tissue would be younger than mine - turns out my donor was in their early 20's. It also appears that about 1 in 3 with autografts have difficulting kneeling. The downside is there is some risk of disease hiv about 1-2 million to 1 (I hope I am lucky safe). If I was in my teens, 20's or even early 30s I would have gone with the autograft. A good site to visit is I am also told that no matter what I have to be very disciplined and not play for 6 months even if the knee feels good because it takes that long for the donor tissue to be taken over by your cells and be strong enough to play. On 1/31/06 I had the acl surgery on my left knee and turns out both meniscus had to be trimmed/repaired I also had surgery on my right foot to correct a bunion and straighten my big toe after I broke it previously playing soccer. I was putting that surgery off becuz I was afraid of surgery but when the acl happened I decided to do them both (really tough the 1st 2 weeks after surgery but things got easier after that and I am really happy I did both surgery together). I stayed overnight and I strongly recommend that if you can. It is easier on you and your family. If you have never had surgery like me check with your family to see if they get sick from anesthesia. My mom does and I told the doctor this and they gave me an anti nausea pill and put something in the anesthesia and I did not get sick. Ate like a pig 1 hour after I woke up. A couple of setbacks I had after surgery were the settling of blood from my surgery below my kneecap which resulted in an extremely painful bruise - whenever I stood up - like the worse shin plints you have ever had. The doctor said this sometimes happens and it is often the knee between the straps on your knee brace. I also was itchy for 2-3 days after surgery which cleared up when they switched my pain killers from percoset to vitodin. Percoset kills the pain much better but I couldn't stand the itching side effect. Highly recommend the cpm machine, elevating, ice machine, pain pills (no pain no gain does not apply here), and plenty of rest. Went to therapy 2 days after surgery and 3 days a week since then. Have been doing the exercises, icing it and resting, elevating it I believe really makes a difference. The stocking also keeps the swelling down. Vitamin E on the incisions and messaging them helps with the scarring and scar tissue I am told. Had 76 degree of motion the first day of therapy now up to 122 degrees. I started ride the bike this week can walk at home without crutches and brace and up the stairs. Still use the crutches outside not taking any chances in the WI ice and snow also got a temporary handicap tag to avoid long walks in the bad weather.

jesse cervantez
February 25, 2006 2:34 PM

great blog. It really prepared me for what I was expecting. I tore my acl coming down the stairs. Stupid I know, but my right leg is my dominant one and when I took the final step down my knee buckled and I went down. I guess I'm very very lucky because I did not experience any pain. I just felt this huge numbness and of course the knee swelled up. I had my reconstruction surgery on Feb 20, 06. I stayed overnight and luckily I did not have any nausea. I was put out intraveneously so I don't know if that makes a difference. I did use the clicker that dispenses the pain meds during my overnight stay. it was wonderful!!!lol. I was prescribed lortabs for my recovery period. I haven't really used it much, and when I did take it I only took half the dose. I was up an around on on 2/22. I have gotten better at using my crutches. I have my first drs. appt. on Monday 2/27/06 and I guess I'll see what happens. Thanks.

February 26, 2006 11:11 AM

To Dr. John. I am glad that you are doing better. I wish you the best. Just be careful when you are doing your stuff. Make sure you take everything (exercising) slowly so you don't get hurt again. I have one question, when you tore your ACL, what part of your knee hurt? When i hurt my knee the pain was inside of the joint ( Laterally). email me back at

Rose DelleMonache
February 26, 2006 1:11 PM

I had my left acl replaced along with my meniscus tear repaired on Feb 13, 2006. My injury was on Jan 1, 2005 while skiing. My anesthesiologist recomended a nerve block for post op pain that lasted until the next morning after surgery. I highly recomend this because I had absolutley no pain the first day and night. I was able to start the CPM machine and ROM feeling very confident, along with partial weight bearing with the brace locked. I am starting my 3rd post op week, and am able to flex 100 degrees and have had full extension immediatley post op. I tossed the crutches after the first week since they were more of a hinderence than a help. I have been faithful with all the exercising and started PT 2nd week post. It has not been easy but my advice is to stick to the program and don't fret,it does get better and easier. I am looking forward to getting back to to running my 35 miles a week. Until then I'll have to learn to enjoy cycling and building my endurance back. And yes, I will ski again next year.

February 27, 2006 8:21 AM

I had ACL surgery Jan.4, 2006 after injuring my right knee 6 months earlier playing kickball. Since I am 50 yrs old, the doctors didn't want to fix my knee and I wouldn't have been able to kneel or run or squat ever again. I insisted because I am very active - skiing, walking, I had PT after the injury, and am now having PT again after the surgery. The surgery went well, a little nausea at first, the machine worked great and I am now already able to do some of the things I couldn't after the injury. I am not sorry I insisted on the surgery. The only advise I could give is to take it slow and steady.

February 28, 2006 3:44 PM

I injured my knee playing basketball, I had a meniscus repair and acl reconstruction via cadavore tissue. I am about 5 weeks post op at this point I am doing pretty well i feel. I can straighten my leg, I have no pain with knee hangs really, and the swelling is down significantly. I could run I feel, but i dont in fear of tearing my meniscus up. The pain has come back a little more in the past few days, which I think is a good sign that the acl has vascularized. tommorow I start elliptical and power walking. I feel pretty confident I will be back between 4-5 months, my knee feels about 70-75 percent right now. I have things I need everyones opinion on I am still going back and forth about playing with the acl brace. I know I can play with it, it is not too much of a hinderance that is not a concern to me, and I would be back to basketball quicker , but a lot of people, includiing my doctor, dont recommend it, they think it is more likely youll hurt yourself with it on. I personally think that might be attributed to people not putting it on right. what is everyones opinon on that? How long would it be untill i can be back to heavy weight lifting lower body. My plan is to just bulk up my legs, and maybe the added strenth from that will make up for the speed i lose due to my acl. How long would it be until i can get back to squats and such with no risk of reinjury. along with my acl surgury, I had a meniscus repair where they had to put two biodegradable screws into my knee, I was on crutches for 4 weeks because of that. How long will it take until my menuscus heals and i can start doing flexion and jogging? Ive also heard of a procedure when you are fully healed post op , when they knock you out and just stretch and pull and do a bunch of violent stretches to you. when you wake up, your knee is killing you, but as soon as that soreness goes away it feel much better and it gives you full range of motion. has anyone had this? if this is a good procedure, i might just do that for the heck of it, see if it helps me any

February 28, 2006 4:19 PM

I commented above after 1week post -op, i am now 12 weeks post op and doing great. I have been pleasantly surprised with how my knee has responded. Since Jan. 1st I have regularly gone to the gym and am now doing Spin classes 3x/week swimming 2x/week and lifting 3-4 x/week. I have not ran on it much do to the caution of my DR. telling me to give it time to heal before high impact! I have also been skiing a few times, very low key, have taken the kids up a few times!

February 28, 2006 10:50 PM

TO DENISE AND TIM: You both asked about how long to expect before running. My surgeon initially said 3-4 months; however at my last appt. he said that at about 2.5 months I could probably start jogging. My next appt. is tomorrow (which is about 10 weeks post-op) and I'll see if he'll stick by what he said - also will let you know. I've been jogging for the last week or so and have actually gone a half-mile once without pain - not including soreness later.. :) Will check back w/ any new developments after tomorrow's check-up.

March 3, 2006 10:39 AM

Hi everyone! My husband (33 yrs. old) in his right knee had a complex meniscus tear. His injury happend in January 2005 on the job site injury and he had surgery on November 29th 2005. This type of surgery is a quick and easy recovery as we were told 2 months tops and you are back to work normally it happens in 4-6 weeks. My husband is an union ironworker and he is still not able to return to work and could not work if released today 3/3/06. He has done 30 sessions of phys thrpy and workers comp in CA sucks and will not pay for any more sessions. In three months he only has made a 5% improvement from the time he started phys thrpy in December two weeks after surgery. Did anyone have burning sensation in the knee as well as could not tolerate kneeling on the knee? Well that is happening to him and his pain level from being on a scale from 1-10 he was 8-10 pre surgery and now a 5-7 post surgery and not easing up. A month prior to surgery his left foot started hurting in the heel. He worked up until three days prior to surgery and the doctor was amazed that his right knee (the one needing surgery) was the same size as his left indicating no muscle loss. Which was not the case. Everything according to the doctor everything in his right knee is in the proper place and intacted. Well now the doctor is in my opinion ignoring the facts to something is not right and says wear an insert in both shoes. Well after this long since surgery no matter what kind of knee surgery should there be a noticable difference as time goes on? For him there has been no difference and it seems to be getting worse. One thing that did improve is after surgery he had no balance and his knee was very unstable to were he would start to fall and would have to catch himself. I have not read up on knee problems that much but the little information I found that just the tear did not cause symptoms like that.? I know most of you had a meniscus tear with ACL ect... that maybe can share the symptoms and knowledge you have gained from your expirence. Thank You and Good Luck to all of you I know we have been through a lot and I could not imagine coping with this slow recovery being young because most of you that have post are teenagers. I broke my ankle at 16 and I thought it was the end of the world and that is not even a fraction of what some of you have gone through so my heart goes out to you and I do hope all of you a speedy recovery

March 3, 2006 12:34 PM

Hi Wendy, I am 33 had acl replacement (BPTB) and meniscus treatment on Jan 9 after injuring it playing soccer in November 05. I am recovering quite well. From what I understood from your blog, your husband only had meniscus damage correct, and nothing else? Well you also mentioned that he can’t balance on that leg right? Before I went into surgery I could balance on the hurt leg and even squat. Does your husband loose balance because of the pain or because his knee buckles or gives way? If it buckles his knee is not stable and could be more things are wrong, does sound bad but even if it does, it’s always not all that bad. I have a friend who has had 3 separate meniscus and surgeries along with one ACL reconstruction and he can do every thing plays on the same team with me with no discomfort at all. But when he kneels on the injured knee he experiences a lot of pain and really can’t kneel at all. Alas ask your doc if there is any cartilage damage? This could add to the problems. When the meniscus is stitched to repair it, it is recommended you cannot flex your leg for over a month. It’s hard to tell from your husband’s case, but I recommend you search for a knee specialist who has good recommendations and get a second opinion. This is always good. Good luck! e-mail me at if you have any other questions.

March 4, 2006 12:23 PM

I tore my ACL completely on Feb 19,2006. I have no other damage to knee joint. I am late forties with fairly active lifestyle, however, no basketball or tennis, just jogging and weights. My doctor said that surgery is an option but does not recommend it until I say I absolutely need it. He says to rehab well, do PT and see where I am in a month or two. Do you think this will work, or am I heading to the operating table, well rehabbed and ready.

Glen Santha
March 4, 2006 4:27 PM

In 1999, I tore my right ACL completely in Whistler, BC. I have not had surgery to repair - I no longer have an ACL on my right knee. I was advised by my specialist at that time not to have the surgery. He told me to see how it goes, do my exercises and keep the muscles strong. If the knee fails, then get the surgery. Fast forward four years. I was playing tennis and squash, more than usual and became concerned if I would destroy my knee. I went to see one of the specialists from an NBA team. I was surprised when he told me not to do the surgery. His specific words to me were, "Unless your knee keeps failing (collapsing), you want to stay away from surgery. Once under the knife, you have no idea what the outcome is going to be like." It is now seven years since I lost my ACL. I play sports, including lateral movement ones like tennis. Still going strong.

March 4, 2006 9:33 PM

Thanks Glen I thought my Surgeon was just getting me ready for inevitable surgery, but your story makes me feel that maybe I'll get by without it. I guess I'll see how rehab and PT goes. Would love to live without surgery at this point.

March 5, 2006 8:37 AM

ROUND 2--- at least that's how i'm looking at it. I tore my L ACL playing soccer (like everyone else) in 1997 and had surgery in NYC at a respected doctor.... now its almost 10 years later and a silly ski injury (i think i thought i was in the X Games) and i'll be back on the cutting table March 20th. I remember most of what my recovery was like from my first surgery, but i can't remember how long it will be before i'm able to drive (my car is manual and i need my left leg for the clutch). Does anyone have any ideas on how long it will be before they think i'll be able to drive stick? thanks for the help Jill

March 5, 2006 1:03 PM

HI Jill, I had bpt acl reconstructive surgery on myleft knee and was able to drive my manual car in 2 weeks. Because it was my left leg I did not have to shift from one peddle to another so it was ok. Being your right leg which has to shift from brake to acclerator it might be a little more complex. However it may also depend on the graft type you choose. Good luck ! Jo

Eliot Lee
March 5, 2006 7:33 PM

Hello all, Quick update... I dumped the crutches and knee immobilizer brace on Friday, Feb 24th, three days after the surgery. I took my first shower that day, standing up in the shower (of course, covering the stiches as best as I could). I changed the bandage that day as well. The incisions did not look that bad. I've been using the hinged brace I got before the surgery when walking around long distances. I stopped taking the pain med, Percocet, on Sunday, Feb 26th. I've also started decreasing dosages of Ibprofin each day, down to less than 600mg in the last couple days, versus 1.2g - 1.8g during this past week. I started driving my girlfriend's automatic SUV on Tuesday, Feb 28th down to the mailbox and back, which is a 1/4 mile round trip. I drove it into town (35 miles round trip) yesterday, Saturday, March 4th, with my girlfiend. Of course, using the hinged brace. I also walked around the grocery store, restaurant, and feed and supply store. I completed using the CPM machine on Friday, March 3rd. I got up to 120 degree flex (used it between 6 and 8 hours each day after the surgery, which took place on Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006). I also started sleeping in my regular bed on Friday, March 3rd with my girlfriend. I wrapped my knee to avoid being attacked by her cats and dogs, and my dog. The wrap worked well. I am feeling way better than expected, almost too good to be true. The only real major pain is my quad muscle near the nerve block that was inserted prior to the surgery. The knee is not painful, only mild discomfort while sleeping. Of course, I yet to start Physical Therapy, which I begin this coming Thursday, March 9th (more than two weeks after the surgery). I know a little late, but since I have to drive myself, I wanted to wait until I could drive to and from the PT Center, since it's located an hour and half from my house. Good to read that others are having successful recoveries!

March 7, 2006 12:36 PM

I have played sports my entire life and never had any type of sport related injury. I graduated high school in 2002 as one of the only members to win 4 consecutive state championships for a team sport.(soccer) Then a year after being out of sports I began Professional Wrestling. First my knees started popping out of place. Then in 2004 I had an ACL repair done on my right knee. In October of 2005 I had it on my left knee. Right when I started to begin being comfortable in the atheletic scene, my right knee has "popped" yet again. I go to the doc March 20th to find out if I must have an ACL re-repair. You never realize how much you are blessed while performing and enjoying all sports. I will tell you, when you can't even go jogging without worrying you could misstep once, you look at things totally differently. I would give ANYTHING to be able to kick a ball or play good defense like I used to be able to.

March 7, 2006 5:06 PM

this is my 6th month after tearing my ACL. I recently started running on my treadmill, at a fair pace. I find that with my new DJ brace, it is cutting off some circulation in my leg and after i run i feel light headed. Anyways the PT and Docs underestimated my abilities, since i have a decent push off now, def work hard on ur quads and do all the leg lifts. I look towards running track within the next 2 months, i know it may seem unrealistic, but does anyone know what are ways to train yourself back to "normal". well anyways these stories are definetly inspirational.

March 7, 2006 6:53 PM

I recently tore my ACL, MCL, retinaculum, and some of my patellar ligaments when I as backcountry skiing. I was able to hike out for 2 miles after the injury so I didn't think I did any sort of major damage. The following day my right knee swelled to approximately 3 times its normal size and I couldn't walk very well. I was really dreading going to the doctor since I am supposed to go on a heli-skiing trip in about a week, but I knew that I should before I cause some serious damage. After getting an MRI the orthopeadic doctors were very concerned and told me that I needed total reconstructive surgery since I tore so many different ligaments. I was worried I would never be able to ski again, but after meeting with my surgeon yesterday I found out that the only thing they really need to repair is my ACL. I never thought I would be so happy to hear that I needed ACL reconstruction. I know that my plans for heli-skiing in Alaska need to be put on hold for this season, but I definately plan on being up there next year at this time.

March 9, 2006 8:08 AM

Rebecca, I am now about 5 weeks post-op and i'm walking fine. Of course the next thing on my mind is getting back to my soccer career here in college. I hope to be able to play just as well as I did before, but at this point I'm not sure if I will be able to go 100% like I did before. Before the surgery, high-impact sports were my life: soccer, skiing, track, inline skating, and football. I feel your pain, but the way I look at it, I may just have to pick up a new hobby with a low-impact sport like biking, or rock climbing. I hope you get back to your sports soon! Good luck to everyone else going through this event too. I wish everyone the best surgery and recovery possible. Bob

March 9, 2006 5:59 PM

Hey I'm 16 and I tore my ACL in August of 05' and I'm a little passed 4 months in recovery. The surgery went great I'm just praying I didn't lose any of my athletic ability. I'm on my way to get a scholarship to play soccer in college and I'm hoping and praying I can do it. Wish me luck!

Corey Kaye
March 11, 2006 8:24 AM

I tore my ACL January 15 in a college alumni basketball game, (blew it out)! I had my surgery on February 9 and it is now March 11. I have always been a college athlete, (basketball and track Division 1). I compete in extreme adventure races, marathons, triathlons, 10k, 5k, and more so this was very devastating to me. After reaching my fourth week in recovery I am now focusing on strength training, (weights) I just started the EFX, (elliptical machine), working on the bike, rowing machine and walking on the treadmill. I want to be able to be in top condition when I start back to racing. I believe strengthening the rest of your body will help your injured leg. You have to stay motivated and continue as much as you can physically, (that is if your body is used to it). Don't deprive your body!!! If you truely love sports then you will look at this as another challenge and just become an even stronger athlete. Don't let people feel sorry for you, show them there is just NO stopping you!! Goodluck--and remember....the race is not won by the swift but by those who endure the longest!!! SUCK IT UP!!!

March 13, 2006 8:54 AM

Hey yall, Its been almost 4 months since my ACL cadaver graft surgery. I have been running for the past 2 weeks (only slow jogging). But overall I feel very good. I feel better and better every week. I must wait at least another month and half to play contact basketball. But when I come back, I will have a new perspective on sports and athletics- to not take good health for granted.

March 14, 2006 4:24 PM

On Feb.25.2006 I was tackled during an indoor soccer game by a girl who came in from behind to the outside of my knee with a cleats up foot. She tore my ACL, meniscus, chipped a bone and gave me a grade 3 MCL tear. I've been icing, taking anti-inflammatories and doing physio 3 times a week. Should I be pushing through the MCL pain in physio?? The specialist finally informed me of my diagnosis yesterday, but he wants me to obtain more mobility and the ability to walk without crutches before he sends me to a surgeon. Will it be possible to do this if I have a complete MCL tear?? Can anyone give me any advice in terms of my short term goals or what I expect to happen?? Any feedback is MUCH appreciated.

March 15, 2006 9:29 AM

I'm 26 and tore my ACL in January of 05 playing basketball. I finally was diagnosed with a torn ACL, completely gone, in August 05 after one specialist told me I sprained it. I had my surgery, patellar tendon, Dec 28th 2005 and have been doing great. I was off crutches in about 5 days and could have been back to work by then. I've been doing rehab on my own the entire time, except for getting some pointers from the therapist. I've been doing some very light jogging on the treadmill and riding the bike and ellyptical machine after 1 1/2-2 moths. My advice would be to make sure to keep up the workouts, don't slack. The more you work it the better it gets. For those of you who are thinking about getting surgery, I had a machine that moved my leg slowly for the first week or so and had some excersizes from the doctor. I think this actually helped me more than anything. I'm going in to the surgeon today for my 2 1/2 month checkup and hope all goes well. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask. ACL surgery is not bad at all, totally worth being able to get back into sports in my opinion.

Matt Gilliam
March 15, 2006 8:26 PM

I just tore my ACL on February 26 and its now March 15 and im having my surgery on the 23rd. Im only 17 years old and I was weight training for my senior season of Football. Thankfully, i planned the surgery over spring break which means missing florida but possibly return for some of the football season. Im a little nervous about what to expect after the surgery. any comments or advice would be appricated....

Matt Gilliam
March 15, 2006 8:27 PM

I just tore my ACL on February 26 and its now March 15 and im having my surgery on the 23rd. Im only 17 years old and I was weight training for my senior season of Football. Thankfully, i planned the surgery over spring break which means missing florida but possibly return for some of the football season. Im a little nervous about what to expect after the surgery. any comments or advice would be appricated....

March 17, 2006 2:12 PM

Here's an update to my March 14 posting... I pushed my family doctor for a MRI because the specialist didn't feel it was necessary. It's a good thing I did because the surgeon says I should have had surgery right away. I'm having surgery next week for a lot of work incl., but not limited to: ACL tear (grade 3), MCL tear (grade 3), LCL tear, Medial/Lateral meniscus tear, Cartilage tear. Don't put total faith in just one doctor. Express your concerns to your physiotherapist or family doctor!! What I've learned so far is that you have GOT to be your own advocate! Take Charge!!

March 17, 2006 4:00 PM

Sarah, Sorry to hear about your ordeal, but I 100% agree with you. I wasent sent in for an MRI right away and I got injured again in aa couple weeks. Then again I insisted on seeing another doc who requested an MRI which confirmed the ACL Tear. Sarah one thing that may make you feel better. Sometimes although you a complete Tear MRI diagonosis, there is a chance that it might not be fully torn. In my case they thought Both minescus and cartilage damage but when the doc went in, he found the ACL 90% torn, only 1 minescus torn and its was not too bad according to the doc (he trimmed it) and the cartilage had taken a beating but was not damaged (torn) etc. There was some bone bruising. I had to do the acl procedure since my knee was buckling under the tests they performed when I was under. I thin if the MCL is not completly torn it heals quite well. BEst of luck. Any more questions e-mail me at subject ACL J

March 18, 2006 8:24 AM


Eliot Lee
March 18, 2006 9:34 PM

Hello all, Quick update to my March 05, 2006 post... I've been through three PT sessions since March 09, 2006. They have gotten gradually more painful, but more relief in terms of walking around after the sessions. The therapist has been concerned about me not being able to straighten (extension) my leg. He really worked out scar tissue during the third session on March 15, 2006. It's been a fricken roller coaster...some days are better than others. I've been doing at home exercises religiously. The biggest challenge is maintaining a high level of motivation. Some days when I can't walk normally and have to hobble, I mentally bring myself down, when I should be bringing myself up. The challenge is not so much physical, but mental. I so much want to get back to 100% normal activity, including taking my dog, an Alaskan Malamute (see "8 Below", I have one of those sled dogs), and my girlfriend's dogs for a long walk; skiing, etc.!!! But I have to keep a positive mental attitude, that is the key to recovery...although it's so damn hard...there are days that I cry for several minutes. But I know it'll be worth it in the end. I try to keep my eye on the prize...skiing in December 2006, if not earlier!!

March 18, 2006 9:36 PM

My daughter who is 15, tore her ACL on her right knee coming to a quick jump stop and going up for a shot...(she also got a shove from behind which helped the forward acceleration)..during a H.S. Basketball Game...very sad.. she was starting on the varsity team and we had just had another girl have the same acl injury the week before...she was our only SR. and my daughter the only FR. playing varsity and was just coming along starting to score more and more to take up the slack from losing our Sr. double digit score loss...anyway back to the ACL surgery...we had a H.S. trainer on hand that helped her up...she said after the initial pain..there really wasn't much..she just was very unstable and couldn't get up...felt like she slid on a little bit of water on the floor or something (probably her bones moving forward after ACL ruptured)....but the Physical Trainer/Therapist did the same thing to my daughter that he had done the week before to my daughters team mate...put her in an immobilizer/ice and crutches after doing the manipulation that showed it probably was a torn ACL....and she watched the rest of the game on the bench...very bad day....she didn't have much pain or swelling.. the other girl was told she could possible rehabilitate and get swelling out and try to play in our first sub - state game in 3 weaks..and since she was a SR. that was what she wanted to do....she would wear the coaches knee brace..since he had just torn his ACL and MCL earlier that summer....(strange I common now days...could it be basketball has become such a rough "non-contact" game??...ha)...our Dr. told us not to try and play...even though the trainer said since my Dr. was a week behind it would be tough...getting her ready but she could possibly try to play also...(these two girls were the leading scorers for the team most games) daughter was still strong it seemed and still had good flexiblity but our DR. (well known K.C. Chiefs Ortho. Surgeon) still told us not to let her..we would be taking great risk for further damaging her knee and possibly meniscus cartlidege and other surrounding legiments. I forgot to add the next day after accident we went to have a check up from Dr. and MRI which showed complete tear of ACL but no other damage...thank the he said give it a week or two to get what little swelling out of the joint and keep conditioning so rehab/post op. would be easier....then book surgery...she had accident on Feb. 6 and surgery on Feb. 27....they used the patela graft which from all the research I did and info. from our DR. who has tried them all ...even a synthetic one .....which he is now having to re-do some of them....but patela is still suppose to be the strongest graft choice..for those wanting to compete at a high level ....and the 1/3 of the Petla Tendon taken will eventually grow back...where as the hamstring will not...and hamstring will always be a little weaker after the graft also...area in front of the knee will be very my daughter can atest too....and according to most will stay that way for awhile with some numbness mixed with the husband had the same pursedure done over 20 yrs. pain or numbess in front of his knee...they removed all of his meniscus way back then he has bone rubbing against bone...but has managed to avoid having a total knee....he his 54. We are now closing in on week number surgery and she can bend to 102 degree....just a day or so ago was told she could ditch the crutches as long as she was walking w/out a limp...she still has a little he should use the crutches...Dr. said crutches 2 - 3 weeks..she still hasn't go ther wound wet in the shower...we go back Tues. March 22 for check up and to order her permanent brace...we started P.T. one week after's good to take things slow at the beginning...I believe....grafts that fit into the bone are still so new....oh by the way after our Sr. Girl played her first game...she fell again actually at practice the day before she was suppose to come back...and said the pain was worse with more popping sound then her first initial injury..(my daughter never did hear a popping)...she did play 3 games at our Sub-State...when she had her surgery she DID have more damage also...Meniscus and other legiments.....Sad deal...let's hope they both fully recover...she (our SR) is "thinking about playing b-ball in college I think"...I'm just going to try and get my daughter out of school w/out any more injury...but it's scary from all the stories I've heard about the percentage of injures reoccuring in the same knee or other knee of girls who have had this injury.... Good luck to all....hang in there..take one day at a time.

Joe F
March 19, 2006 5:45 PM

8 weeks post op donor tendon. Folks need to understand it is going to take 6 months to be 100%. I am walking fine and have full normal range of knee but still have pain in knee and it cracks. I am right wear I should be on rehab and I will take the full 6 months before I go back to soccer, you would be crazy to risk reinjuring it by trying to save a month or 2. No one is paying me to come back early and play sports, think about that before you try.

Robert M.
March 20, 2006 11:29 AM

I am 20 days out of surgery and it is driving me crazy. I feel for anyone who has had reconstructed acl surgery and would never wish this injury on anyone. Its a struggle everyday. My biggest fear is what if I'm not healing properly. I'm being treated through the V.A. and my doctors are not very informative at all. Its almost like they dont care and have better things to worry about. I rely on my phsyical therapist for answers. But there are questions that she cannot answer sometimes. I just keep reading up on the internet for answers and keep praying for a good and speedy recovery. Good luck to all who are in recovery. Keep your heads up.

March 20, 2006 4:13 PM

Hi Everyone. I'm 27 & completely tore my left ACL on 1/10/06 in a ski accident. Had it reconstructed on 2/23/06 using my patellar tendon. Surgery itself wasn't too bad, but I have to admit, I had no idea the ordeal I was in for. The pain was pretty intense for about 3-4 days, and got better after that. I was sleeping on the couch on my back for about a week, and finally was able to move onto my side after that. A down comforter that I could wrap my knee in helped a lot. Don't put anything under your knee like a pillow..or it will start to heal bent. ICE & more ice helped tremendously. The day after surgery I had my drains removed which was about the worst part of the whole thing. I had 2 in, and 1 was really long. YUK. Stitches came out a week later. CPM helped quite a bit, although it was pretty tough to get in it the day after surgery. I could only get up to about 55 flexion. Went up from there. PT has been really tough, but it helps. The hardest thing is trying to to straight leg lifts since it pulls the patellar tendon..hurts a lot sometimes. I'm down to 1 crutch and hoping to get rid of it soon. My knee gets pretty stiff at times, and cracks a little when I bend it. I was hoping to be further along than I am now, but I understand its going to be a long process! If anyone has any questions...feel free to email me at

March 21, 2006 10:48 AM

hi i had my acl and meniscus repair on 3/7/06 today its been 14days i stopped taking my medications for pain a couple days ago ive been doing my excersises evryday day 3 times a day butstill cant stand straigh i am suppose to go pt starting next week i feel miserable not be able to do things on my own asking people for help has been my biggest challenge i feel people gets tireof helping including spouses but i tried to push myself i want to go back to play soccer so bad...its not even funny butmydoctor syas itll take 8 months before i do anyhigh impact sport,thats a killer anyway thanks for listening i really like inspiration i get from all you !!!!!!!!illcheck back with you in 2 weeks good luck everyone!!!

March 21, 2006 10:49 AM

hi i had my acl and meniscus repair on 3/7/06 today its been 14days i stopped taking my medications for pain a couple days ago ive been doing my excersises evryday day 3 times a day butstill cant stand straigh i am suppose to go pt starting next week i feel miserable not be able to do things on my own asking people for help has been my biggest challenge i feel people gets tireof helping including spouses but i tried to push myself i want to go back to play soccer so bad...its not even funny butmydoctor syas itll take 8 months before i do anyhigh impact sport,thats a killer anyway thanks for listening i really like inspiration i get from all you !!!!!!!!illcheck back with you in 2 weeks good luck everyone!!!

March 22, 2006 1:32 PM

I tore my ACL on November 1st 2005. After many weeks of deciding what I should do I am going for the surgery tomorrow @ 1:00. My injury was sustained playing basketball when I went for a lay-up and then it happened. I felt the knee bend backwards and hit the floor hard. I would have to say that it was the most pain that I have ever felt in a split second. At first the guys that I play with came up to me and said, �Are you ok?� I was rolling around on the ground and could not tolerate it for the first few minutes and the only noise I made were groans and other noises that made no sense. It was somewhat like watching a newborn baby just out of the mother trying to get to its feet for the first time. At first some of the other people that I play with said, �Oh, you just hyper extended it.� If that is a hyperextension then I don�t know how athletes can walk after doing that. I then hobbled to my car (which is a standard) and impossible to drive on the way home. Went to the Dr. the next day and stated that it is an ACL tear that I suffered with bruised bones. The good thing is that there is no other damage to any other ligaments. Since then I have been running 5 days a week (30 minutes) and playing basketball once a week. I am hoping that this will help in making my post operation procedures that much easier. I have also been doing all my pre physical therapy that I am supposed to do with the rubber bands and other wall dips etc.etc. My leg muscles feel just as strong as those in the right. Except for the fact when turning on it it is very weak. I hope that I am prepared and will post my results when I come out of the OR.

March 22, 2006 8:44 PM

did anyone else chip their tibia when they tore there acl...that hurts like no other

March 23, 2006 7:47 AM

I had my ACL surgery in december... it is almost April and my progress has been spectacular. I started my PT the day after my surgery (not gonna lie, surgery sucked!) and went 3 times a week until february, then 2 times a week, and now im down to once a week. Yesterday, I did my first official run! I only lasted 10 minutes but it felt really good. Having the surgery made me get back into shape (you will do more squats and lunges than you can count) and I've never felt better. My knee is still very tight and I am anxious for the day that it feels normal again. Sometimes it hurts alot when I go down stairs, but other then that, im very used to the pain or the tightness. Does anyone have a timeline of when this might be? its been over 3 months! Good luck to everyone having surgery!

March 23, 2006 11:10 AM

hi, I had surgery one week ago (March 14, 2006) i am off crutches and have gone to pt twice. It wasnt as bad as i thought it would be. The surgery went quick and i was a little dizzy from the meds and morphine. i was in bed for 2 days and off crutches after 4 days i used a exercise bike today at pt and will begin swimming exercises next week. I cant wait to play soccer again. Im not going to rush it though i have 2 friends who rushed into soccer again and had thier new acl tear(scary stuff). The doctor suggests 1 year before i play again and im not rushing it. i can settle with jogging and playing with soccer ball in the yard. this site is great. Good luck to all

March 23, 2006 11:28 AM

My husband had ACL surgury and all went well so we thought. About a week after it was done he started to get chills but the fever never went over 99degrees. He had gotten a staph infection and the simple out patient stay turned into two weeks in the hospital and 6 weeks of vancamiacin in a pic line. He had to have 2 more surguries to flush and finally to remove the graft. He now has no ACL and the threat of another infection if we try it again. I wonder if we could sue the hospital for the infection. We are now still paying off the bills the the hospital insisted that we pay promply. No simpathy from CARLISLE HOSPITAL, PA. The whole situation really turned out bad for us. He also has alot of numbness around the site.

March 23, 2006 2:04 PM

I am now at one week post-op and I am doing a lot better. The first two days were tough but once I got the pain under control things began to progress with my recovery. I am still using my crutches but I do not think I will need them for too much longer. I am icing reguarly, using the CPM machine to work on my range of motion and will see my pt tomorrow. Each day I feel a little better and can do more and more. I am taking it very easy though and do not intend to put pressure on myself to return to driving and wrok before I am ready. My only advice to you is to take it easy, get help and keep your spirits up and know that it gets easier everyday.

March 23, 2006 8:08 PM

I injured my knee while skiing 2 weeks ago. I just found out today about the MRI results. Complete rupture of the ACL. I see the doctor in 5 days and decided to do some research first. I am a 43 year old female with an office job. I do like to work out, swim, horseback ride and snow ski (only once a year). I am thinking about passing on surgery and just making do without an ACL. I would like to hear from others that choose not to have surgery before making up my mind. Thanks, Terri

March 24, 2006 7:33 PM

I had my acl surgery december 22nd along with meniscus repair due a soccer injury. They too used my hamstrings for the reconstruction of my acl. At first the anesthesia made me feel sick for awhile but that was over in like 2 days. I was on crutches for awhile only due to the fact of my meniscus repair. I had a brace the brace on for about 4 weeks or so and I was on my way to gaining back everything I lost. All in all the surgery went very well and I ran for the first time wednesday March 22nd. I ran a little over a mile and it felt amazing since I'm very much into sports. I started PT 4 days after surgery and went for 2 times a week for about a little over a month and now i've been going once a week for awhile. PT is over in 3 weeks! At first I thought about not doing the surgery however, if I chose not to I would have never been able to go back to play the sports I love since it made it nearly impossible with out it giving out. Having the surgery was well worth it just to have my life back.

March 25, 2006 8:38 AM

I'm 2weeks and a day post op and things are going well. I'll see the doc in three days and then start PT. Can't wait. I've had a torn acl for about 10yrs and finally had enough of the brace. I play alot of hockey and it would swell from time to time. I,m a firefighter and the tear was really starting to be a problem, up and down ladders etc, lots of pain. I'm really glad i had the replacement done and get back to normal. Hey Terri, go for it, at the end of the day it will all be worth it. Good luck, Erik

March 27, 2006 1:43 PM

I tore both my ACL and Meniscus about a month ago playing basketball. It was a jump I had made 1,000 times before. It just happened that this time my knee decided to bend sideways. The large pop was loud enough to get everyones attention on the court. Now I'm 1 day away from visiting my specialist with an MRI in hand to determine my options. He's already said the tears are severe enough that if I want to continue playing basketball, I would need the surgery. As I'm sure everyone will attest to, the depression associated with either pre or post surgery is tough to swallow when you're used to being so active. Like Terri above, I'm worried about the procedure. I'm also concerned if mentally I will ever be 100% again. Can anyone provide info on the Cadaver Ligament? I've heard there's a real risk of Hepatitis? Knowledge is power!

2 months post op
March 28, 2006 6:51 AM

@danny: little risk of infection with cadavers, they usually test them well. As far as the mental aspect, you may never again get full range of motion, you have to keep that in mind. Some people do, some dont. Im two months post op and my range is close to 145, not quite full yet but I'm sure I'll get it soon. The depression hasnt affected me much because each day i see an improvement and I will soon be better than i was before my acl repair. Just keep focusnig on improving and the placebo effect will help in your recovery. Depression will work as a nocebo. Good luck

March 28, 2006 10:15 AM

I had my acl rec surgery done and the things they don't tell you are the worst. If you have never had any kind of cutting done to you ,they done tell you about the large amount of blood you vomit from the gas. The pain involved with the surgery if you are weak stomached and can't take t-3s or morphine.If you are getting the cut done make sure you know if you can take these drugs or you will hate the 10 hr after the cut.

March 28, 2006 2:03 PM

I had my surgery last week and the doctor couldn't do what he'd hoped. It was the worst he's ever seen! He basically cleaned out the knee and fracture the end of the femur to re-generate...? Confusing! I will have a second surgery in a few weeks to repair the ACL and have a MENISCUS TRANSPLANT... I had never heard of this before... Anyway, not too much pain. I take meds just for physio and halfway through my sleep!

March 28, 2006 2:45 PM

About 1 and a half months ago I had meniscus repair for a bucket tear and ACL reconstruction. At my last doctors visit he told me to not do any PT other than quad flexes and walking, so I followed these instructions. Just recently though, I experienced some pain in the back of my knee where the repair was. Now it is popping almost everytime I walk. I am afraid that the meniscal repair failed. Has anyone else had a failure with meniscal repair? What is to be done about it?

March 31, 2006 7:04 AM

I work for a medical engineering company in the UK that specialises in the knee and whose first product was in regards to ACL repair. I was amazed to read all your stories but also amazed to see that not one person seems to have been told of one other option. Did you know you can get prosthetic ligaments that can replace your ACL directly without the need for an allograft or an autograft? Sort of make sense doesn't it? Prosthetics seem to have gone out of fashion compared to hamstring grafts but they are used through out the world still. Most have clinical data stemming 20 years! Personally I never really did understand the idea of graft harvesting - it?s like robbing peter to pay paul! I would suggest it may be worth asking your surgeons as at least for some of you this has got to be an option

April 3, 2006 12:38 AM

I had an acl tear from skiing downhill in the snow.I had an acl rec done to me last month and my doctor wants me to walk without crutches the next day which i did.I started my physical therapy also the day after my surgery.In a weeks time my immobilizer is gone. Now I'm doin range of motion exercises to 140 degrees.Im happy with the aggressive program the doctor has given me and I see alot of improvent.I think ill do better than my preacl state.

April 10, 2006 6:12 PM

I just had my ACL surgery exactly one week ago. I injuried my knee in the middle of Dec, but decided to book my surgery this month to finish traveling with my team for support , without being on crutches (I play basketball). The first day of my surgery I was totally fine becasue my whole leg was numb and I was moving around great on my cructhes ( which was dumb), not until the third day did the pain start to come. It hurt so bad because I think i moved it to fast (when it was numb) without resting it. It still aches and I'm still laying around after one week. I have ok range of motion, been doing my exercises, I can easily be 90 degrees without pain, but can not go straight, is that normal? I will be at PT in 4 days and will meet with my doctors to find out exaclty what he did and if he found any other damage. I just wanted to know, I have to be at school soon and at home I always need my knee/foot elevated with ice or else my foot becomes horrible swollen ( worse then after surgery) and sort of purple (not really bad) at the tips of my toes. How has anyone else handled going to school for 5 hours without being total elevated? DID you have any other discomforts, anything I should know? -thanks so much

chaz gray
April 11, 2006 8:58 AM

i had acl and meniscus repair. Torn acl(ski trip) and torn medial and lateral meniscus. Dr. cain in birmingham, al did my surgery. I believe to be one of the best knee surgeons around. He graphed my patella tendon to repair my acl. I had pain the first week but that is to be expected no matter which graphing they do. If you look at it there is a 25% chance that cadaver(acl) doesnt work.Your body could reject it. Hamstring(acl) graphing is painful and adds rehab time to your already rehab time. With patella, its from your body no rejection and no more additional rehab time added. Its beginning of my 5th week(4/11/06) and i have been without my crutches and knee brace for 3 weeks. Doc said everything was doing fine and only problem i have is if i do to much and my knee and ankle ache at night. other than that no probvlems at all. i think what some people forget is that what is painful surgery to me may not be so painful to someone else and vice versa. Dont go by what happened to someone else, your body will act totally different. The same for the anestesia. Also the recovery time will be protocol, but some people recover much quicker and better than others.

chaz gray
April 11, 2006 8:59 AM

i had acl and meniscus repair. Torn acl(ski trip) and torn medial and lateral meniscus. Dr. cain in birmingham, al did my surgery. I believe to be one of the best knee surgeons around. He graphed my patella tendon to repair my acl. I had pain the first week but that is to be expected no matter which graphing they do. If you look at it there is a 25% chance that cadaver(acl) doesnt work.Your body could reject it. Hamstring(acl) graphing is painful and adds rehab time to your already rehab time. With patella, its from your body no rejection and no more additional rehab time added. Its beginning of my 5th week(4/11/06) and i have been without my crutches and knee brace for 3 weeks. Doc said everything was doing fine and only problem i have is if i do to much and my knee and ankle ache at night. other than that no probvlems at all. i think what some people forget is that what is painful surgery to me may not be so painful to someone else and vice versa. Dont go by what happened to someone else, your body will act totally different. The same for the anestesia. Also the recovery time will be protocol, but some people recover much quicker and better than others.

John Pemberton
April 11, 2006 3:15 PM

I had a torn ACL (in two places) and a torn meniscus. I am a photographer and was hit on the sidelines at a H.S. football game. My injury was a workman's comp claim. I had to wait for the MRI and went through PT for two months to build my muscles. The pre-surgery workouts helped a lot. I am 8 weeks post surgery (allograft) and am at about 85%. I listened to my surgeon and my physical therapist. My recovery was in leaps and bounds. My suggestion is to find a good surgeon with a working relationship with a good PT shop. I wanted to do more than I was allowed to do but reined myself in and my recovery was faster than expected.

Tommy Pineda
April 12, 2006 10:45 AM

Hi my name is Tommy Pineda and I just had my ACL repaired 4 weeks ago. I had the patellar surgery. I tore my ACL on Jan 7, 2006 in a wrestling match. At first I didn’t think too much of it, I just thought that I sprained my knee. I was practicing on two days later and finish my season like that. I got my MRI when the season ended and I found out that I tore my ACL. My doctor told me about some of the presger that could be done. And he decided to do the patellar surgery. And it’s been about 4 weeks I have been going to therapy; my knee is getting better every week. I was just wondering if you have any advice for me, or any tricks that help speed things up a little bit.

April 12, 2006 10:45 AM

Hi my name is Tommy Pineda and I just had my ACL repaired 4 weeks ago. I had the patellar surgery. I tore my ACL on Jan 7, 2006 in a wrestling match. At first I didn’t think too much of it, I just thought that I sprained my knee. I was practicing on two days later and finish my season like that. I got my MRI when the season ended and I found out that I tore my ACL. My doctor told me about some of the presger that could be done. And he decided to do the patellar surgery. And it’s been about 4 weeks I have been going to therapy; my knee is getting better every week. I was just wondering if you have any advice for me, or any tricks that help speed things up a little bit.

April 12, 2006 10:46 AM

Hi my name is Tommy Pineda and I just had my ACL repaired 4 weeks ago. I had the patellar surgery. I tore my ACL on Jan 7, 2006 in a wrestling match. At first I didn’t think too much of it, I just thought that I sprained my knee. I was practicing on two days later and finish my season like that. I got my MRI when the season ended and I found out that I tore my ACL. My doctor told me about some of the presger that could be done. And he decided to do the patellar surgery. And it’s been about 4 weeks I have been going to therapy; my knee is getting better every week. I was just wondering if you have any advice for me, or any tricks that help speed things up a little bit.

April 12, 2006 1:10 PM

Chaz: hamstring graft is not more painful than patella, the more experienced the doctor is in sports medicine, determines the results.

April 12, 2006 8:24 PM

Hi All, I tore my ACL skiing and had the reconstruction done March 31st. I had a Patella graft. I went in on a Friday morning and was crutching around that night. I went with a very experienced surgeon (pro sports team guy) and he did a great job, as my pain level was very low by Sunday. I am 12 days post op and just started physical therapy. Spent the first week in a CPM machine where I got to 120 degrees flexion. The best advice I can give so far is to ice your knee constantly. Swelling is the enemy post op and causes most of the pain when moving. I also put in a minimum of 8 hours a day on the CPM machine. I have been walking unassisted by a cane or crutches for about 5 days. Also, pre operative physical therapy for strengthening was also very helpful. Without it I dont think I would be this far already.

April 15, 2006 1:45 PM

Hey, i tore my acl and mcl skiing at the end of february. after walking with crutches for over a month, now i can walk again. my surgery is scheduled on may 16, 2006. im very scared but anxious to get it over with it. i have little over a month now. i will be hitting the gym pretty hard because the last month on crutches made my leg very weak. all my muscles are weak and soft. ill let you guys know how its going after the surgery. goodluck to you all.

April 17, 2006 5:38 PM

Hi. I've torn my ACL twice before (same leg) and both times had a quad tendon used as my replacement (the second time around they had to use the tendon from my "good" leg). This surgery was pretty new when I had it done. Oh, I should mention that I tore my acl skiing/racing the first time and the second time had a freak accident and hit snowmaking pipes and tore my acl and mcl. Anyway, I was playing soccer last week and may have torn it yet again - I haven't been to the doctor's yet, but my trainer at school said that it feels "sloppy". I guess we'll see what happens! Good luck everyone with your rehab!!

April 18, 2006 1:38 PM

My name is Bobby and I posted on the site on March 22, 2006 1:32 PM. I got the patella from my knee. The surgery was not bad. Everyone who I have talked to BEFORE getting the surgery said that the PT was the worse. It is not THAT bad. It is painful but tolerable. You just have to relax the muscles as much as you can when you are doing stretches etc. I had a hard time with ROM (Range of Motion) but now almost have 100% back after 23 days. Good luck to everyone and I will let you know my progress and hope to hear all yours!

Eliot Lee
April 18, 2006 8:59 PM

UPDATE - last post March 18, 2006 Hello all, Welp, I am eight weeks post-op, six weeks into physical therapy (10 sessions so far). I am starting to feel much more normal. I am now walking around without a limp. The pain has moved to other parts of my leg (hamstring - that is where the tendon was extracted for the graft, calf, and quad muscles). My knee mildly hurts throughout the day. I started using the Stationary Bike two and half weeks, and I was able to ride it for twenty minutes yesterday and today. Keeping up with my daily @home exercises and still going to therapy twice a week. Some advice...put up with the sadistical physical therapists...they are definitely sadist, but they mean well and the pain they apply on you will pay off. Set goals for yourself...for me, I want to be able to bike to work by the statewide "Bike to Work Day" in middle June (14 miles round trip). By beginning of September, I want to hike a 13,000+ ft. peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. By November 2006, I'll be gliding down the mountains here in Colorado! :) But still being patient and not trying to over excert myself.

April 21, 2006 9:37 AM

Hi, i torn mu legiment just the same way..playing indoor soccer.. and im havin ma surgery in 12 days...i just want to know if i'll b able to play competitive soccer again because im planning on going to spain and england for pro teams try outs next summer... so could some1 tell me if i'll be able to come back jus like i was before i got injured

April 21, 2006 9:38 AM

Hi, i torn my legiment just the same way..playing indoor soccer.. and im havin ma surgery in 12 days...i just want to know if i'll b able to play competitive soccer again because im planning on going to spain and england for pro teams try outs next summer... so could some1 tell me if i'll be able to come back jus like i was before i got injured

April 21, 2006 9:50 AM

Bati, I just got my ACL repaired 3 months ago, I also tore it playing indoor soccer. I plan to coninue playing next year and the doctor says that it will be as good as new to play on. He told me if I wasn't planning on being active after surgery, then there is actually no point in having surgery in the first place. I have also read that the surgery itself may mess with your mental game (when it comes to sports confidence) a little bit the first few weeks, but after that it will be unnoticable. I have the same concerns as you and hope that I will be able to get back to playing here next year for the college team!!! Hope your surgery goes well, keep us posted and let us know how recovery is going. :) good luck!

April 21, 2006 10:03 AM

I am 18 years old. In june 05 I injured my left knee badly in a soccer game. The doctor told me that he thought i had torn my meniscus, he did not tell me to do any physio and it took me about 2 months to walk normaly my knee was very swollen for a while. In august 05 i wanted a second opinion cause my present doc was telling me nothing. The new doctor saw my MRI and told me I had tore my acl and my meniscus, i told him i wanted to play asap so i decided to do the surgery, and started doing pt which helped. I did the surgery in dec 05 and it went pretty well, the doctor said he only had to operate on the acl and took a peice from the hamstring, he said the meniscus would be fine. It was a pretty life changing experience and i realized how much i loved sports and soccer and was really determined to get back. However, after about 3.5 months my knee didnt seem to be improving, I went on with the pt and about 4 moths after the physio said I could finish on my own, it seemed fine but now im almost 5 months post op and my knee seems to have gotten worse in the past few weeks I've stopped working hard and do only basic exercises. Im a little worried because I still dont have full range of motion it hurts a bit to straighten all the way and I can only bend about 135, (my right knee is 150). My knee is still swollen and i cannot run and sometiemes it even hurts to walk. My next appointment is in mid may and I cannot get one sooner. Does anybody know what could be happening/or has anyone had a similar experience? Please reply me if anyone can offer advice. Thanks.

April 23, 2006 10:51 AM

Hi Wassim,Bati, I had surgery early Jan for an Acl tear and minuesus repair. I have been working really hard at the PT and even on my own. I juat started running 2 weeks ago and ran outside yesterday for a while. (btw, I hurt it playing soccer, twice in two weeks). I talked to many people and also spoke to people on my team who have had the surgery before. I am 33 and people say its gets harder to recover when you are older. I presume that you guys are younger, so it should not be that bad. Wassim, I dont know what is wrong with you but I think your recovery procedure is not being monitored properly. The first thing is getting the whole rango of motion. you sometimes loose a degree or two but not more than 3. You should consider looking at other PT personnal. Bati, I have friends who have recovered completly and are back to playing competetitive sports again. look at Roy Keane (Ex Man. U ) midfielder he messed up his knee completly, Jerry Rice another pro athelete who came back from such injuries. My advice is to follow your pt well ..First range of motion then strengthening your quads. Also work on your quads before going into surgery as the better you go into surgery the better you come out. Wassim, different people take differnent times to recover, but I seriously think you should consult a specialist. I was misdiagonized the first time too. I weent for muntiple opinions too. ITs common that doctors screw up, but what can we do. Alot is up to you. Remember you know your own body better than any one else and if something is not right you already know it mentally. Take care and good luck guys. J

April 23, 2006 4:13 PM

It's been exaclty 3 weeks since surgery and im still not walking. It's soooo frustrating, I have acouple friends who have had the surgery a week before me, and walked in 2 weeks totally fine. I can put some pressure on the knee(with crutches) but can't walk without them. The pressure hurts very bad. I feel like my quad is restricting my motion. It's very tense and hard in one place. When has everyone else walked? I know people are different.... but I just would like to know the average time when I can get off my cructhes, and how did you all feel your first time walking?

April 23, 2006 5:40 PM

Hi Bea, I had my surgery on April 6th and I am still not walking yet. I saw my doctor for the first time this past Tuesday and he told me to get rid of my crutches. I laughed at him and told him no way! I'm not even close to getting rid of them. I can put a little pressure on that leg but not without crutches. I have had pt one time and go again Tuesday. I talked to someone else who had surgery the same day as I did and he had a different doctor and his doctor told him with an ACL repair expect a minimum of four weeks with crutches. I can get my leg to about a 90 degree bend and can't get it completely straight yet. I did not have pt before surgery and I think that is why I'm not able to walk without my crutches yet. Feel free to email me at

April 23, 2006 7:02 PM

Hello bea, Don't feel bad at all, it took me a long time to get off crutches because I had ACL and meniscus repair at the same time. I was on them for about 4-5 weeks post surgery. Good luck with your healing progress :)

April 24, 2006 12:04 PM

Seems to be lots of soccer related injuries mentioned. I did mine playing indoor soccer as well. I crossed the ball kicking my leg across my body, then after the kick I planted my kicking leg and felt a pop. I'm now 9 months after my surgery and I'm still not sorted. I've found my range of motion still isn't all the way back and my knee feels a little gooey when I jog. Bea, the recovery time all varies. I think it was about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks before I was walking. I had a friend who had the surgery a couple weeks after me and he was walking in less then a week. The difference was he had a cadaver ligament, whereas mine came from my hamstring.

April 25, 2006 11:08 AM

Hi Bea, I had BPTB graft on jan 9th, I got rid of one crutch in 2.5 weeks and the other in 4 weeks. Yesterday I ran for 10 mins (3.5 months) another person I know was walking without crutches after a week but still is not running in a 3 months. So dont be alarmed, be patient and keep moving your led even while sitting if you can. Good luck

April 25, 2006 11:24 AM

I had my acl rebuilt with the hamstring graft 6 weeks ago. I was walking Limping without crutches after two weeks, at this point I can walk normally but I am still on a waiting list for physio. Can anyone sugjest any exercises to help with my recovery I could be waiting ass much as another month to get therapy!thanks

April 25, 2006 6:32 PM

just had my ACL & meniscus repaired one week from today. i have experienced alot of pain since (usually when I forget to take the pain medication..hehe). Other than that, I do believe it's a longer road than what I expected. My leg has had very limited mobility and I can't lift it on my own w/o the help of someone. I know it's still very new/fresh and reading some of the comments on here, I hope to be in better shape a couple weeks from now (start rehab next week). Just glad I found this to see so many people go through what I'm going through (not that I wished this on anyone at all), but just to see the experiences of others. thanks!!

April 26, 2006 6:14 PM

hey everyone, I tore my acl playing soccer, i took a shot across my body then landed on my leg strait and hyper extended it and bruised my femur but when i went to the ER they said it wasnt my acl and i say about 5 personal trainers and they all said it wasnt my acl but when i got the MRI back guess what.. it was my acl, anyway im 16 and i play soccer all year around and i travel all the time for soccer, and now that the doctor said i'm going to be out and i cant play soccer it was like my life is being taken from me, but i tried to play on it with the special brace i had to order, my knee still buckled and its very frustrating watching my team play and doing what i love to do while sitting on the sidline anyway what is the surgery for the quickest recovery?? if any one knows please thanks, mel

April 26, 2006 6:32 PM

I am the mother of a 12(1) year old. Several things about our situation don't seem to be mentioned here while I am hungering to hear from situations similiar to ours. My daughter had an "over the top" procedure, because her growth plate had not closed. She had her reconstruction done with a cadavier tibulius anterior(2). The MRI showed her meniscus torn as well, which they intended to repair, but when they adressed it in surgery it had not surfaced(3), so they left it alone. Just as everyone here, we were devastated. She plays soccer and made the state olympic development team, playing a year up, she is on a top soccer team in the country, as well as an AAU basketball team(two bad sports for girls' knees). This could end her sports careers at the level she was at (just missing 6 mos could do that, let alone that she may not return to her own level). I tried to ask the dr. if at all possible she could return in five months(the start of fall soccer and basketball), he gave me a solid no. He says 6-9 months. He is a very well known dr. and this is his forte'. He told me if she hurt it again, it is not a matter of going back and fixing it, that she would probably never play sports again. Is it because of the over the top procedure or what? I hear of many people who have had multiple acl reconstructions and just keep bouncing back. I know that the likelyhood of injuring the other knee goes way up. It is such a hard line to walk. Of course, I am most concerned as a mother, for my daughter's health, but she showed so much potential in a world that is everything to her. That seems to sum up this whole recovery dilema. You want to work hard and push yourself to get back, but you can't push too hard or you'll ruin their knees for good?!!! I would appreciate any opinions and words of wisdom, especially concerning those points where I can't seem to find anybody in our boat

April 26, 2006 8:05 PM

Your daughter is very young and you shouldn't push her to get back into sports too early after surgery. Her chances of having arthritis in her knee later in life is much greater already because the new graft will never be as good as the original. Let her heal and strengthen her legs. Soccer isn't good for ACL's.

April 27, 2006 7:02 AM

Dear all thank you for the helpfull comments from all of you. I'm facing the same problem ACL torn. I will do the operation next two weeks. This is my e-mail I hope one of you contact me to get detail information about the operation and how it is going to be. And what you can advise me. Appreciated your time and help alot I'm afraid .. Bye

April 27, 2006 8:19 AM

hello everyone its been 7 weekes after mysurgery on march 7th and i amalready walking without the crutches it hurts when i walked but its much better than depending on something to walk i totally agree that the pain tolerance varies from person to person really i never thoguht i wasgoing to walk again andhere i am i hoping i can start running in a month and be back to play soccer in 6 months iam not rushing it but iam a soccer junkie and everyday that i dont touch a soccerball hurts please dont stop going to your pt its very important hang in there i knowits tough but well rewarding at the end good luck to evyone.

April 27, 2006 8:40 AM

hello gail i just read your daughter situation andi know how hard it feels ive been soccerplayer all mylife since iwas 3 years old about 12 years ago i tored my left knee acl and kept on playing itgot to the point where i could not bend it anymore the doctor said my knee iswas like a 60 year old person i could not believe it ,anyway what iamtrying to say ishaveyourdaughter recover 100 percent in soccer you always have a second chance to make the team trust me i know when she recovers she willbe like new with abrand new knee good luck to both of you

April 27, 2006 8:50 AM

hi im 16 i love soccer and it is basically my life and this thing is seriously killing me. ive lost about 15 pounds since i tore it and i dont know what to do, im hopefully going to get surgery in the beginning of may, and when i heard 6 months untill i play soccer i almost jumped out the window

April 27, 2006 2:36 PM


April 29, 2006 4:24 AM

Hey.. i be having my ACL reconstruction (allograft) on the 8th May... is it normal to have such a swollen leg after operation? Ruth

April 29, 2006 2:08 PM

hi everyone.i just had acl surgery a little less then a month ago.and i feel great.i have full motion back in my leg,i still walk with one crutch just as a precaution.i can walk without it but im still not 100% yet so i dont want to risk further injury.the surgery was an allograph they took a piece of my hamstring to replace the took like 2 and a half hours.the surgery was a piece of cake. the recovery was worse. that anesthesia is nasty stuff lol but it was well worth it. i cant wait to start working out again.good luck everybody. bye.

May 1, 2006 5:17 PM

i have had acl surgery 3 months ago. iam 42 years old and every nite i wake up with shooting pain going through my knee that last upto about 45 min. i can bend my leg but when i walk it wont bend at all. the dr. told me to take the brace off and continue with therapy. he says iam making slow progress, which i agree. iam trying but can only walk with my leg straight. is this normal. why is it taking so long?

Ryan Smith
May 2, 2006 5:34 AM

Cracking site!!! Well im 22 years old and used to play football 4 times a week until last june 05 when i tore my anterior cruciate ligament+ damaged my meniscus cartlidge. I was trying out for Chorley fc when it happened!I had my knee scanned in september and that is when we found out the full extent of the injury.. In Nov 04 i had the ACL reconstruction operation which i have been told by the suregoen went well... It has been six months now since my operation and i have had no physio on it at all... I have full extension of my knee and can run flat out and can kick a ball as hard/far as i want... I have played around 4 games of 5 a side on it without any problems UNTIL last weak when i felt a twinge and then my knee has swolen up and is quite sore at present. I am after some advice as to what i should do. I have not kept in contact with the club and have no way of getting physio. With me not having physio am i at risk of getting another injusy???? Should i stop playing and get into the gym????? Please Help!"!!!

May 2, 2006 9:45 AM

Hi Ryan (smith) I dont know what to say because I am not at that level yet. I am 4 months post OP. Did your leg recover form the atrophy completly and was your quads and hamstrings strong enough? My understanding is that you have to ease into the level of sport you were at. Even after 6 months there could be problems as after surgey the mechanics in your knee get altered and you need some time to adjust to it. All I can say is that I would be really worried if I was you too. But saying that people tell me that often times your knee swells up even a year after surgery. I dont know what the "twinge" is. I feel twinges and cracking noises but they never really hurt and it is not much of a concern as my knee does not swell. I think most of the time your your self know how bad the injury is in your own mind set. I say judge from that, see a specialist before. And yes PT is very important especially in the first few months. You have to continue the excercizes for up to a year to strengthen your muscles. Hope nothing went seriously wrong, good luck. Jo

May 4, 2006 6:49 AM

Why did you choose not to have the cadaver ligament?

May 4, 2006 8:36 AM

i am post-op 2 months. i still feel bit pain when i walk for about half an hour. i mean normal walk. is it normal. the pain is like pulling my humstrings down, and specially pain at the heel.

May 4, 2006 3:38 PM

I had surgery April 25 on my torn ACL and I had damage to my meniscus from a Soccer game.I am 33 I have played soccer forever and workout 5 to 6 times a week. I had no idea what to expect. I really didn't think recovery would be so slow. I had my first PT today not so bad but like I said it was my first appointment. My OS says I can put weight on my right leg but I am not able to. Still getting around on crutches and very frustrated. Does anyone know how long until I will be feeling back to normal. I can hardly do anything for myself not to mention my family. Advice to anyone about to have this surgery... make sure you have someone that can stay with you 24/7 the first few days and get a lot done before hand. I couldn't have done it without my husband and mother-in-law. Any encouragement would be greatly appreciated. Good Luck to all.

May 4, 2006 6:14 PM

Hi Missy I am four weeks post surgery for torn ACL. I am just now using one crutch and I am just now starting to walk without any assistance a little around the house. I'm like you, I didn't think the recovery would take this long. I thought the surgery would be the hard part. I am going to therapy twice a week and it really helps. I can tell difference after each visit. I wasn't able to put much weight on that leg until about two weeks after surgery. Good Luck!

May 4, 2006 9:22 PM

Hi, i had ACL surgery two days ago (basketball injury). The surgery took less than an hour, out-patient. The first night was my problem wherein i kept on waking up because of pain which the doctor told me to expect. Second day was a lot better. Third day was my first check-up with the surgeon, blood was drained out of my knee, afterwhich i can now walk without crutches. I'll start my rehab 3 days from now, and i'm looking forward that it would make things even better.

May 5, 2006 1:48 PM

Hi, I am a 42 year old female. This site is very interesting because it is fascinating how everyone's experiences are so different. So here is my story. I tore my ACL and meniscus playing football with my kids about 5 months ago. On April 18 I had ACL surgery and they removed part of my meniscus. It was suppose to be out-patient but they kept me overnight. They used an allograft. I used pain pills for a few days, then after that at night to help me sleep for about a week. The doctor did not insist I use crutches, so I did not. He did insist that I use the leg brace, but I absolutely hate it so I rarely do. I was able to drive about 9 days after surgery. I have a home daycare and returned to work after 6 days. The total days it has been since surgery is 17. I have been to PT 4 times. I am allowed to bend my knee 90 degrees and I can almost straighten it. I am riding the stationary bike and using leg weights. I am uncomfortable and swollen at the end of the day. Icing and elevation helps. I realize it has only been 17 days since surgery but I am already frustrated. I guess it is partially because I was not able to do many things for the 5 months prior to my surgery after my accident occurred. My e-mail is if anyone wants to compare stories or has any questions.

May 6, 2006 11:14 AM

Hi all! I am 30 days post op, 48 year old female, Health & PE instructor at a middle school. I tore my ACL, medial meniscus and some tissue from my femur...doing a jumping jack in PE class!!! I tried to build up my leg and avoid surgery by doing PT for 4 months but it took the doctor telling me I wouldn't run or ski again unless I had surgery to wake me up! I had surgery on April 6, out patient using an allograft. Surgery went well, started PT 4 days later. I share the frustrated feeling so many of you express. I am on one crutch, wearing the massive "DonJoy" brace. I spend 2 hours 3 X a week in PT. I probably won't be going back to work this school year (ends about June 15) as I just can't tolerate being up for such a long period of time, plus I have a lot of stairs to maneuver at school, as well as teaching PE. My leg is very weak and I only can walk normally after about 1 hour of PT. That ability goes away within about 2 hours though and I am back to walking with a bent leg. I still keep trying to push myself to do things and get very tired. I guess I am somewhat resigned to being limited in strength for another few months although I HATE IT! I'd love to ditch the brace but I am supposed to wear it except when I am sleeping, showering, icing and doing PT. I am at 127 flexion and 5 extension, still swollen and have a constant low grade soreness. Good luck!

May 7, 2006 3:32 PM

Hi, I just had my surgery last mon, (today's sun) and still can't bend my leg to walk or anything. My first PT will be tomorrow and I'm excited to get some movement going. Its really great to read everyone's comments about how frustrating it is. I was more worried about how much it was going to hurt, instead of how little I would be able to do so far. I had a complete tear from teaching a skiing student how to stop, and obviously she didnt. I look forward to reading more from others experiences

May 7, 2006 9:56 PM

Hey, I'm a 40yr old male who is fairly active (running, biking or swimming 3-4x/week) I tore my ACL skiing (weird accident that happened whenI bent over to lift a a kid off the ground and my ski twisted into a weird position. The typical pop feeling and a bolt of pain along the back of my leg. this happened three months ago. Looks like it is just ACL, with perhaps some meniscus trimming - this is all from the MRI so things may be different when they get in there. I'm scheduled for an allograft (my Ortho does this 2-3x/week via this procedure) this Friday (May 12th). I've been able to keep up some cycling (no mtn-biking, just road) and swimming so I think I have kept a good deal of my quad strength, but with no running I know my ham's have lost a bit. Any recommendations in the few days leading up to it? All I've read and heard says that post-op be a zealot for the exercises to regain strength and mobility. Thanks for any advice -

May 7, 2006 10:29 PM

Hey, I'm a 40yr old male who is fairly active (running, biking or swimming 3-4x/week) I tore my ACL skiing (weird accident that happened whenI bent over to lift a a kid off the ground and my ski twisted into a weird position. The typical pop feeling and a bolt of pain along the back of my leg. this happened three months ago. Looks like it is just ACL, with perhaps some meniscus trimming - this is all from the MRI so things may be different when they get in there. I'm scheduled for an allograft (my Ortho does this 2-3x/week via this procedure) this Friday (May 12th). I've been able to keep up some cycling (no mtn-biking, just road) and swimming so I think I have kept a good deal of my quad strength, but with no running I know my ham's have lost a bit. Any recommendations in the few days leading up to it? All I've read and heard says that post-op be a zealot for the exercises to regain strength and mobility. Thanks for any advice - Marc

Jeff Moore
May 8, 2006 8:55 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...

May 8, 2006 8:51 PM

My daughter, who is 15 tore her ACL while playing in a Varsity b-ball game this past Feb. She was coming to a jumpshot/stop from a fast sprint down the court when it popping or noise...not a bunch of swelling either...she did some rehab for about 2 get swelling out and strenghen muscles before surgery...Dr. chose to do the petella tendon graft even though he has done all the others..e.g.>>>...cadavor, hamstring etc...but for athletes who intend to do more full throttle H.S. or College Basketball/Sports...the studies show that the patella tendon graft is the strongest....I've been reading some of these post about people getting back into sports..after only weeks ...months after surgery some without any re-hab at all....our Dr. and most say you should not do any sport for 6 months to a year after surgery of a reconstructed knee...and my daughter who was going to do team, swim team.. etc...with such a promising future...(she was the only Fresh. in our league that was a starter..and very was looking forward to doing track etc.....) had to sit out and hope that she can come back for next season of basketball and others ...she's even thinking of sitting out one year of volleyball to make sure of the recuperation of her for some of you that have children 11, 12 and 13 yrs. old wanting to get your kids back sooner than expected because they were doing so well...think about the big picture and don't get them back out there sooner then they should be. The health of their knee could depend on it. Our Dr. did tell my daughter at our 2 month post op. visit that she could start jogging...which surprised us and our Physical Therapist...she said sometimes full out running is easier on the knee than the constent banging of jogging...she's done some jogging around the track...walks the curves and jogs the straight a-ways...and does some jogging on a mini tramp..which absorbs some of the is important ..hard for me to get my daughter to sit down enough to do it though sometime..I know when she gets back into a basketball game..I'll be the worried one biting my nails praying that this doesn't happen again...or to the other knee..which I know is a possibility....hang in there everybody....I wonder if there are any success stories out there...of years down the road of someone who had a torn ACL or meniscus...(by the way the meniscus was not harmed in my daughters case.....) and went back to H.S. or College Sports with no other problems to that previouslly injured knee ........luck to everyone out there with knee problems.

May 8, 2006 9:23 PM

I have made several posts on here about my own surgery, but I just wanted post an ACL success storie. Among some other famous athletes, Jerry Rice, the world famous wide receiver for the 49ers had ACL surgery and recovered to become one of the best recievers ever to play the game of football. USAToday reports that 80,000 people tear their ACL each year! So don't feel unusual or bad about this injury. Take it in stride, recover and go for the gold!(

May 9, 2006 3:24 PM

Hi, I think it is not reasonable to compare return to sport with a professional athelete, because they are monitored day in and day out. So I feel it premature to compare "us" to a professional athelete like Jerry Rice or Robbie Keane (Man U - midfielder). Saying that, I would like to say that I have people on my team who are regular atheletes like us who are still playing years after their surgery. They all say that it does not bother. If we could not return to high level sport why would it be necessary to choose a particular graft or in some cases even the operation. The one thing my collegues tell me is that dont cheat on your excercizes and be regular work hard. The one or two days at PT are great but do the same when you are on your own, inorder to get back to playing competitively. Good luck..

Rob Klaiber
May 10, 2006 1:11 AM

I am a 36 yr old avid soccer. I play an indoor men's league with my son. I tore my right ACL on my birthday 4/2/06 and my left one on my 1 yr aniversary 5/6/96. The differance between the two surgeries and the recovery is amazing. The first surgery took the tendon off the front of my knee and replaced the ACL with it and it was three weeks before I started therapy and 5 weeks before I could get along with 1 crutch or no crutches. The last one used a cadaver replacement and was an out patient surgery. The surgery was on thursday April 27, 2006 and by Monday I was in therapy and working out. One week later I was was walking (although a little uncomfortable in the beginning) without my crutches. The pain is completely gone and the swelling comes and goes. I have a CPM machine and a Game Ready ice machine(highly recomended). MY first surgery had me out of work (carpenter: frame houses, lots of ladders) for 6 months and no sports for 18 months. This surgery I will be back to work in 3 months and sports in no more than 9 months. Medicine has come a long way. Don't lose hope if you need the surgery or have just had it. There is a light at the end of he tunnel.

May 10, 2006 5:13 PM

I am 30 yrs old now and I tore my ACL in Dec 2000 and at that time didn't decide to go for the surgery and went for rehab and it worked fine for some time. I was playing tennis, volleyball and learned to compensate for the week knee BUT accidents did happen and over last 5 years I had about 4 incidents where I twisted my knee and it swelled for a few days and then it was normal. After the last incident, I wanted to get the surgery done and went to the doctor and he did an MRI and confirmed that the ACL was torn along with a slight damage to lateral meniscus. He will be doing a patellar graft (autograft) and I wanted to know if you have done the patellar or hamstring grafts and any experiences with that. I have some family commitments so I am planning to have the surgery done in September and meanwhile I will be on a rigorous leg strengthening exercise. Reading all the comments posted here, I am gaining confidence to handle the post-op rehab. Thanks to all of you for sharing your experience.

May 10, 2006 7:48 PM

Hey guys,, Finally had my surgery done with after of 5 months of waiting!! daym dis gov't need to work on der health care:D:D lol anyways.. surgery went well , been to PT... dr. appointment this monday.... i ahet ACL's daym dey're soo annoyin.. hope ddun tear ma new 1 now lol :D

May 11, 2006 7:27 AM

Ravi, my husband just had the ACL reconstruction via patellar tendon graft on April 13. The first week seemed to be the toughest, but the pain medicine did help. After the first week, everything will get better day by day, and he only take the pain medicine when he went to PT. This past Tuesday, he's at 140 degress flexion and 4 degree extention. So he would have to work on his extention to try to keep the leg straight. PT also want him to ditch the crutches and walk with the brace locked straight. Another thing is if you think you might have problem with general anethesia, you can talk to the anesthesiologist and opt for a spinal block/epidural. This is what my husband got since he throw up for 24 hours straight from the general anethesia when he had his appendix removed last year. With the spinal block/epidural, he felt great after the surgery. He also asked for sedation, so he nap through the surgery and didn't know a thing. Hope that helps. =)

May 11, 2006 7:28 AM

Ravi, my husband just had the ACL reconstruction via patellar tendon graft on April 13. The first week seemed to be the toughest, but the pain medicine did help. After the first week, everything will get better day by day, and he only take the pain medicine when he went to PT. This past Tuesday, he's at 140 degress flexion and 4 degree extention. So he would have to work on his extention to try to keep the leg straight. PT also want him to ditch the crutches and walk with the brace locked straight. Another thing is if you think you might have problem with general anethesia, you can talk to the anesthesiologist and opt for a spinal block/epidural. This is what my husband got since he throw up for 24 hours straight from the general anethesia when he had his appendix removed last year. With the spinal block/epidural, he felt great after the surgery. He also asked for sedation, so he nap through the surgery and didn't know a thing. Hope that helps. =)

May 11, 2006 10:52 AM

Had surgery on April 12, 2006. I am still in a hinged brace. I am having a heck of a time trying to keep the thing on. Whenever I walk, it slides down my leg. Any solution to this problem? Doing fine otherwise, just trying to get past this brace problem.

May 11, 2006 8:09 PM

hey i am a competitive gymnast and i tore my acl about 2 months ago. i am about 4 weeks out of surgery and in that stupid brace but i finally am cruth free. i am having the same problem, my brace keeps slipping down the PT told me that when i put it on to position it a little higher htan what i want so if it falls it will be in the right place and that helpsa little i guess but my velcro keeps coming undone also which totally sucks. anyone have advice i feel like my skin is so tight in my knee what should i do?o and anything else with scars like how to ge htem not as noticeable i guess u could say thanks!!

May 12, 2006 6:35 AM

Kay & Dani, my husband also had the same problem that the brace keep sliding down when walking. He did try to put it on higher, but still slide down after a while. =( Dani, the OS asked us to put "Pure" vitamin E oil on the scar. We started to do that 3 weeks post-op after the incision is completely closed and clean. That will keep the skin moist and softer. I also had heard that could make the scar look less noticeable later.

May 12, 2006 8:03 AM

I tore my acl in a ski accident on March 30 and had my surgery (using a hamstring graft) on April 27. I have 0 extension but only 45 flexion. I have a PT session this afternoon and I think my flexion should go up a bit today. The thing is that the swelling in my knee has just began to go down and still has quite a way to go. I would love to have some of you let me know your experience with the swelling.

May 12, 2006 11:10 AM

I just had my surgery done May 5th, and tore my acl playing basketball. I'm in about a week right now, but I'm having some pain in my calf. Has anyone else had any serious pain in their calf and if so how long does it usually last?

May 12, 2006 1:27 PM

Mark, it looks like I'm about a week ahead of you in the recovery period. I haven't had any pain in my calf at all since the surgery, but plenty of levels of pain and discomfort in, and around the sides of my knee. What are you taking for pain?

May 12, 2006 2:35 PM

Mark, I had MAJOR calf pain. This was a result of my hamstrings tightening up at the knee joint. My hamstring accommodated the lethargic quadricep muscle. It will get better for you as time goes on. Massage your calf & hamstring muscles. Epsom Salt baths help as well. My thigh & calf hurt so bad that I couldnt sleep for the first few weeks. Dont worry though.... it went away. I tore my ACL skiing March 4th. I had Patellar ACL surgery on April 4th (5 weeks ago). Let me focus on the promising news for you guys.... I was at my PT yesterday (5 weeks post op), and now have 0 degrees to 155 degrees - full range!!!. I'm able to do stair step up's & down's holding 90lbs; wall squats (with a ball) holding 90lbs; ham string curls & leg extensions at 25lbs. Three weeks ago... I was not ANYWHERE near these levels. Basically what I am trying to say is.... "HANG IN THERE!!!! It gets MUCH better!!! - FAST" You guys can do it!!!! As long as you keep going, your recovery will be quicker than it seems on the current day. During the first few weeks, I kept my kryo cuff on whenever I was sitting (I brought it to work with me). Icing in the first few weeks was a major player of my fast recovery. I was TOTALLY bummed. I thought I was never going to get past this because I was so stiff & sore..... But I hung in there, and got through it. You guys will too!!! Keep stretching every day. It hurts, but it is very important. Every doctor is different, but my doctor didnt recommend wearing a brace. Though it was a little uncomfortable (not to mention scary) at first, it strengthened & flexed my knee every step. I think this is one of the main reasons I have full range of motion after 5 weeks post op. When trying to achieve a larger degree of angle (during stretching), your skin on your knee will feel like it is going to rip. Just remember that this is normal (it is the scar tissue of the incision on the inner side of your skin attached to your knee). You have to tear it apart from the knee to get past that "skin" pain. Keep pushing your stretches... your skin is NOT going to rip open (even though it feels like it will). You can also massage your skin at the incision point. This will help loosen the scar tissue. As far as the scar.... keep it out of the sun for a few months if you dont want to darken. Throw a few band aids on it (or sunscreen) and you should be fine. Hang in there!!! Though the rehab has some pain, you WILL get through it!!! God Bless.... Steve

May 12, 2006 4:21 PM

I too had my surgery on may 5th. I did not have too much post operative pain, except that night. The painkillers worked wonders. Painkillers generally make me nauseous, but I took gravol at every dose . I never felt sick. I took painkillers just in case for 2 days, but afterwards they weren't needed. My calf muscles are quite sore, so I stretch and massage and wear a tensor bandage, which, by the way, has helped tremendously with the swelling. I start physio on monday, I can't wait. I feel like I could have started earlier, because despite the calf pain, the swelling has gone down (I can clearly see my kneecap), but I had to follow surgeon's orders! I tore mine in 2001. I was by myself in a bus in Costa Rica, I lifted my too heavy backpack (a lesson to learn is that you must pack light!) with my knees and I heard an extremely loud pop in my right knee and my leg gave out...

May 12, 2006 7:46 PM

Hey I had PT today and today was the first day since the surgery that they rubbed the scars and it was painful especially on the big incision on the front of my knee, i had the patellur tendon, is there anything i can do to help with the pain, i mean he put me to tears.... he toldmeto rub them at home but i am in just so much pain when i do it help advice anythign please!! thanks so much

May 12, 2006 9:32 PM

Hi everyone, I just stumbled onto this website and I find it really helpful. I'm glad to hear that all of you are doing well! I had my ACL surgery in January and am not doing so well. I am just now starting to walk normally. I don't know whether there is something wrong with me because I have done everything I have been told to do to recover. I am athletic and don't think I am a wimp. Next week I might get another MRI to see if there is something else wrong, which there is some hope because I do see some improvement. After surgery my knee swelled up the size of my head and didn't go down for three months. I had excruciating pain for at least a month. Now the pain I am having is right above my knee cap. Has anyone else had a similar recovery, types of pain, or experience? I am usually an optimistic, motivated person, but these set backs are causing me to lose hope that I will ever play sports again. Any comment or advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Christine

May 13, 2006 6:38 AM

Hello. How are things going for you? Yes I study alot about knees too. I want to be a Knee doctor when I get older. I am 18. I was never involved with sports ( on an actual team). I always like gym class, Now I LOVE Gym class, I taught myself gymnastics and I dance ( I do the SAME dances Britney spears does) All I did for that was follow her Concert Videos. I am really good at it since I was 13. I had PFS in my right knee, because someone decides to kick me. That finally felt normal in early November 05. I never had problems with my kneecap gonig out of place, still don't and hope I NEVER do. My knee NEVER gave out before. I had PT for the kneecap thing. In October 05 I saw my oS for the last time and he said that everything was looking good ( the ligaments and menisci). I happy for that, He said I was allowed to play sports. Three days after I saw him, I was running away from my dog because he was chasing me (at night yet.) I was runnig really fast, lost control and fell on my knee (flexed, with foot turned inward.) My knee had NO instability, It hurt (burning sensation) like crazy inside the joint, and laterally. I had very little swelling. My kneecap didn't hurt either. My knee didn't pop at all until the next day. I was able to walk on it and play my tennis in gym class (although I had pain in it for 2 weeks.) Then It felt much better. Again, December 15 ( last gym class day for my group) I was playing touch football, someone threw the ball to me, I caught it, when I went to turn, I ended up on the floor in some pain in the same place. Again I felt no popping and I didn't feel my knee go out. I still had stability in it. DECEMBER 25, I was doing my dances, I twisted the same knee, it popped, went out on me, and I fell. It hurt like heck in the same place and I had some swelling. I was able to walk on it. Ever since then, It feels like it want to go out on me ( only gave out about 2 or 3 times since christmas day.) Usually it feels like theres too much play in it. I still have pain in it. I wanted to go out for soccer in February 2006. Obviously I couldn't. My parents talked to my OS and He wasn't sure why my knee went out on me. he said it was ok to play sports. I still kept up with my dancing and some of the gymnastic stuff. I still have too much play in the knee. Now, in the last 6 weeks or so, I have pain on the inner side of the knee ( medial side, not in the jointline and not in the kneecap.) I do not know what is causing the pain on the medial side (in other words close to the MCL) and the Looseness int he knee. Sorry to bore you with all the info here. I just would like to know what's going on with my knee. I probably won't see my OS till the summer sometime. I also love to swim. My Email is YULIA IF ANYONE Can Answer/try to answer these questions, EMAIL ME

May 13, 2006 7:51 AM

Hey early i read hat someone was having pain in their calf. I woul ask the doc about that right away i had that for like a day and all the docs freaked out and thought i had a blood clot but i had the pain in my calf prolly for about 3 days and then it went away. I would get it checked just in case and until then rubbing it... very lightly... seemed to help me hope you get better

May 13, 2006 12:24 PM

I was diagnosed with a PARTIAL tear in my ACL 3 weeks ago along with a osteochondial defect of my femural head. My OS feels my lack of knee function is due to the defect not the ACL. However, everytime I go into full extension I think I feel my ACL being impinged upon. Does anyone have experience with ACL IMPINGEMENTS OR KNOW WHERE I CAN GET SOME INFORMATION!!!

May 15, 2006 7:47 AM

Did anyone has numb patch around the incision area (the cut where they harvest the patellar tendon)? It's like there's no sensation on the skin when you touch it, but you feel the pressure inside. It's such a strange feelings. I wonder if the sensation there would ever come back.

May 15, 2006 8:09 AM

My name is Bobby and I posted on the site on March 22, 2006 and April 18th. Hello everyone and I hope you are all doing fine. It has been 53 days since the operation and it is going great. I go to PT two times a week and I was having a hard time with the range of motion. My range is completely back. After the wonderful stretched that the physical therapist performs on me. A little pain but you have to tolerate it. I started on the bicycle 2 weeks ago and also the elliptical. I was able to walk normally less than one week after the surgery but it swelled when I was on it a lot. The only pain that I feel now is about twice a week I get VERY achy pains in the knee. The doctor said that it was from the screws in the knee. I also as someone had mentioned have no feeling in the outside of my knee where the patellar tendon was removed. I am going to have to ask my therapist about that and see if it is normal. Other than that I have started to jog once a week for 1.5 miles and then ice immediately after and also perform many leg exercised on the days that I do not have therapy. Just wanted to fill you all in and give you some feedback.

May 15, 2006 11:22 AM

Bobby, I have just recently started to jog and ride the bike also! I have a little bit of pain like you described, but other than that I think everything is going ok. Everytime I bend my knee I hear a click sound and I'm not sure if this is normal or not. But my knee is also completely numb on left side (left knee) of where the patellar tendon was cut out. Since everyone has described this wierd feeling also, I just assume that it is normal. Its good to hear everyone's stories! I keep on coming back to this site because it really helps in my recovery!

May 15, 2006 5:45 PM

yeah i have the numb feeling too well actually no feeling my doctor said it was because when they made the large incision that they cut through a nerve and that most likely you wont get the feeling back there ever. all the people i have talked to says it doesnt bother them much except if you are a girl with shaving...i have the clicking too the PT said it was just the scar tissue and everyting getting all setteled in there hopefully it willg o away soon but i was wondering if anybody else was feeling like something moving back and forth over it. I am about 1 month out and i get this feeling when i bend like something is moving over it and its painful.. anyone else?.....

May 15, 2006 6:01 PM

I am getting ma surgery tomorrow May 16, 2006. i'm quite scared and anxious. i have this bad cold that might interfere with the procedure. but i decided to go through with it. i have been waiting for this day for two and a half montsh now. my knee is okay right now. just yesteday, at a birthday party, i danced and felt allright. goodluck to all those getting the surgery.

May 15, 2006 7:12 PM

I had my ACL surgery on FEb 27 of this year 2006. I have a VERY cautious doctor. It has been almost 3 months and I am still wearing my leg brace and I am not allowed to go running or swimming. I am allowed to ride the stationary bike. I also have numbness. I was told that it gets better, but you wont get back all of the feeling. I have definately seen improvement since right after the surgery so I am optpmistic. I really want to go skiing in January in 2007, but my Doctor might not approve it. My PT said that I am scheduled to just start returning to non-contact sports at that time. Well best of luck to you all.

May 15, 2006 7:21 PM

My son is having ACL surgery this wednesday and I am a nervous wreck for him. He is only 19 and damaged it playing basketball at college. He completely torn it and he also damaged some of the muniscus tissue. Lets hope he makes out as good as you guys have.

May 16, 2006 2:45 PM

Donna , I think he will be just fine i'm 28 years old very active, I tore mine playing soccer i'm into my 8th week full motion feeling really good about it, i'm sure he's quite athletic it helps a lot, i had dramatic improvements .wherever he does tell him to really do the excersices at home helps tons when you get to PT. If all goes well i'll be back on the pitch by november. good luck all.

May 16, 2006 5:04 PM

i had acl surgury march 14 2006 from a soccer injury. i was going in for the ball and the keeper cleated the side of my knee and it felt like my knee exploded inside. but now im 9 weeks out of surgury with a knee imobilizer on. i had it off for a while but my straightening was not where it was supposed to be so i put it back on. i am light jogging on treadmill, the eliptical, and stationary bike along with many other exercises. suprisingly to me my doctor tells me i will return to sports months out of surgury in august. its boring on the sideline so i know how all of u feel. good luck with all

May 16, 2006 7:49 PM

No worries. I had my acl surgery March 15, 2006 for a soccer injury much like Adam's. Right after surgery, it felt awful. Keep up on the pain meds. It sucks playing catch up. The at home exercises are important. Biggest thing is flexability. I have started running this week. (2 miles a day.) I am having very little pain and plan on returning to the soccer field by end of July or August.

May 17, 2006 5:07 AM

my name is choedhar. I am a Tibetan and i had an acl injury in 2004 by playing basket ball. Ever since i had been unconfortable with my knee and i thought it was just a simple muscle problem and it would disappear, and i could soon play. But unfotunately it didn't. Then this year i had an acl surgery(1st March 2006). Rightnow it is almost three months, but still i can't run like a horse which my doctor had told me before the surgery. I am bit worried about my knee and i am thinking what is going to happen to my knee, and beside that i am also equally worried whether the screws used by the doctors will ever bring me pain and other problems in future. Therefore please, if you guys have any imformation on it, please, do let me know. tell me how much time that i have to live untill i can regain my earlier strength on my knee? My thigh right leg muscle has come down, so is it allowed for me to do weight lifting excerce to regain strength? Thank you so much. Godd luck to all of you.

May 17, 2006 7:35 AM

Hi Choedar, You should be able to do some exercises to strengthen your legs at this point, such as squats, but you really should consult with a physiotherapist. It can take a very long time before you regain your strenght, sometimes close to a year, but that depends on each person, their commitment to doing the prescribed exercises, etc... It is very important to do physiotherapy. Do you have access to a stationnary bike? You may want to try that, as well. Very importantly, try not to worry too much, stay positive and motivated to do all that it takes to regain strength in your leg. You will be able to run again. I have had my surgery on may 5th and things have been going incredibly well. I have pretty good range of motion. My leg is reasonably strong considering that I was operated on 12 days ago, and I should be able to get rid of the crutches next week. Good luck! Carollynne

May 17, 2006 9:54 AM

Hi, Has any one experienced knotting of the muscles after ACL reconstruction. I am 4 months now post op. But my quads seem to have small knots at the point where they attach to the knee (outside). I still have pains, and aches in the knee, joint but it feels stable and is stong and they are just annoying more than painful. I even tried playing on it but I was more of a passenger and did not want to risk it yet. I wanted to know if knotting is a common side effect and how can I treat it - get rid of it. J

May 18, 2006 10:56 AM

I am 2 days post op just trying to get through some annoying pain..I had some meniscal tear and reconsstructed acl in which i injusred playing basketball coming down the wrong way on my pivot foot..any good advice to a speedy recovery would be apppreciated, right now my knee brace is hooked up to one of those cooling machines you plug in the wall that sends cool air to my knee which helps with the swelling.

May 18, 2006 12:32 PM

Hi- Had ACL replacement on May 5th, 2006. I do not have much pain in the knee but in my lower leg where they harvested the bone. I cannot place full weight on the leg because of this pain. My P.T. feels that I am behind in where I should be. Can't get past the lower pain. Anyone else experience the lower bone pain? I am faithful on the exercises at home 3x's per day, but feel that I just am not progressing fast enough. Any thoughts?

Marc Burckin
May 18, 2006 9:15 PM

I had my ACL allograft last Frididay (12-May). Making progress day by day in regaining some strength and putting 75% weight on the 'bad' leg. Like Nancy I am having some pain on the lower leg - near/on the Tibia I believe. As I had an allograft there is no reason for pain from harvesting. Any ideas? I'm doing my 6-7 hrs/day on the CPM - perhaps is my not aligned right in there and could this cause the problem? Any ideas appreciataed -

May 19, 2006 8:40 AM

On May 1st, my 20 year old daughter tore her ACL in her left knee playing basketball in college. She will have surgery within the next two weeks hopefully. We are trying to make a final decision on Allograft or Autograft - definitely pattelar tendon either way. She's extremely active, has two more years of basketball in college and loves to run and work out and we want the strongest possible outcome. We're leaning toward autograft as you know what you're getting, etc. Anyone have any opinions? Seem to be lots of pros and cons both ways.

May 19, 2006 8:53 AM

On May 1st, my 20 year old daughter tore her ACL in her left knee playing basketball (open gym) in college. She will have surgery in the next 2 weeks hopefully and we are trying to decide on allograft or autograft. Definitely pattelar tendon either way. We're leaning toward autograft as you know what you're getting, no risk of disease, etc., etc. She is extremely active, has two more years of basketball in college, loves to run, work out so we want the best long-term outcome. Anyone with strong opinions either way?

May 20, 2006 2:49 AM

Nice website here!! Good stories! My injury happened in Iraq though. In November we were playing football and I went down after I did a stutter step to get by someone when I went down. I took time off while I was there and just layed around. Couple weeks later I was up and moving around...slowly. Didnt have the technology to tell me that I tore my ACL and partially tear in my miniscal. Finished my tour in Iraq and I had surgery on April 25th. I had the patellar surgery. I still cant straighten my leg out all the way. I can bend my knee about 90 degrees. I'm walking with crutches. When will I be able to straighten out my leg?? Thanks everybody!

May 21, 2006 11:22 AM

i had my acl replacement on the 10 of may and i still have pain .i still get pain killers i i m still on my cruches and i have my brace on ,any sugestions about the pain

May 21, 2006 8:01 PM

HEY! so kenny i am about 5 out of surgery and it was the first time today that i was able to completely straighten out my leg i mena you know it kinda likie locks out, but i was able to have it straight about 2 weeks out of surgery. My PT had me just lay there and put a pillow under my ankle so that my leg was kind of just suspended there and that hurt like crazy!!! but it def. did help a lot. all i have to say it that make sure you do your physcial therapy and ice thats what helped me the most and i am getting better slowly but surely.

May 22, 2006 6:06 AM

Hey daughter tore her ACL also playing basketball...she was running full speed and came to a sudden jump stop to shoot and it tore......not too much pain or swelling but the Dr. made her wait about 2 weeks for surgery to reduce swelling and do some P.T. to get it strong...because he said the stronger you were before surgery the better rehab she would have....we did the autograph...he said it was the strongest compared to the hamstring or others...and if you use the allograph/(cadavier) it is more expensive....harder to get and chance of infection/disease from we went with her patella tendon...which is what makes the rehab a little harder....that is where she is was the sorest..and she still has numbness under the graft and to the side of it...Dr. say sometimes it goes away sometimes not..and it will be a long time before she'll feel comfortable going down on that husband had the same surgery about 20 yrs ago...his knee is not numb or sore ...(on the outside anyway...I'm sure he'll have to have a total knee replacement sometime...he is just trying to wait as long as possible for more improvements on the surgery...)....your daughter will probably be away from basketball for a full year also....our doctor is saying 6 months to a year...she had the accident Feb.6 and surgery Feb. 27....she'd doing well...has started jogging some and does P.T. 2 days a week was 3 times a week...she is only 15 and was a Freshman starting on our H.S. Varsity Team...and did about every other sport...but had to sit out track and will not do swim team this summer...she is probably not going to do Volleyball either..just to make sure she is ready for H.S. Basketball in November...BUT....IT IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR THE ACL INJURY TO HAPPEN TO THE OPPOSITE KNEE OR EVEN THE SAME ONE...she still wants to play college ball ....but I'm hoping she doesn't...I'll be watching every H.S. game for the next 3 years sitting on pins and needles hoping it doesn't happen again..but trying to stay positive for her..... (-: Good luck ....keep me posted on your daughters condition....where does she play college ball at??

Graeme Carroll
May 22, 2006 11:08 AM

Hi there, Encouraging website. I tore my ACL several months ago whilst playing football (soccer), it was only noticed once the surgian went in to repair my cartliadge which i torn the same day (2005). My recovery is similar to yours where i only had the opp which used a hamstring graft, two weeks ago. I am allready only using one crutch and walk with a slight limp. I am worried all the recovery is going to fast as i dont want to damage what seems to be a good piece of work by the surgian. Any ideas anyone? Hope all goes well for all of us!!! Once again encouraging and useful website!!

Terry parkin
May 23, 2006 9:44 AM

Hi, it`s great reading everyone`s comments and it gives me hope that someday I will be back to normal .I tore my acl at work falling off a platform 3-4ft above the ground and landing on my right knee.(March 21\06.) Due to this happening at work I got an mri 2 weeks later and surgery at a private clinic on May 1\06.My surgen used the hamstring tendon on me.He also had to repair under my kneecap, meniscus and cartilage.It`s been three weeks since my injury.I go to physio and do exercises three times a day.The most painful time for me is at night when I`m trying to sleep.I`ve got my knee up on pillows with an ice pack on it but my knee still aches like a toothache.It causes me to run for another ice pack every hour and a half.I`m only getting 3-4 hours sleep at night is anyone else experiencing this? When will it stop? Other than this things are progressing well. I`m walking with a brace but only for 10 min or so till my leg starts to throb.I`ve got good movement in it (so my therapist tells me).As my job is very physically demanding (I`m 45 and work at a planermill) my surgeon tells me that it`s going to be at least 3 months before I can go back to even light duty at work.One other note ,I got fluid removed from my knee 11 days post op. It was the most painful exprience of this whole ordeal my surgeon was completely overworked with patients lined up down the corridor so he hurriedly froze my knee then almost immediately jammed a large needle in my knee to drain off fluid. My wife could here my scream clearly in the waiting room and I`m sure it shocked the other patients.If your offered this procedure think twice about it as I`ve been since told that the body will re absord this fluid .Two days later my knee was just as puffy as when I started.Thanks for the time and I will check this website often for your comments.

May 24, 2006 6:57 AM

Terry, are you considering to get the DonJoy iceman (cryotherapy machine)? In this way, you don't have to worry about ice packs, and the iceman could stay cold for about 6 hours. My husband is 6 weeks post op, and he's still using it every night. We bought it online for under $200 brand new included shipping. Our insurance didn't cover the iceman and it will cost us $15 per day if we rent it from the hospital. So buying it ourselves is cheaper. He's also taking ibufoven (or advil) to help the swelling.

May 24, 2006 9:56 PM

Yes I agree w/ Kiki..Terry...."RICE" Rest, Ice, Compression, always good...especially ICE AND daughters DR. put a fluid drain tube in her knee post surgery that we had to drain a few times in 24 hours...that was kind of yucky...but compared to the people I have talked to that didn't have the drain tube is worth it...because they said the fluid inside made the pain feel like hot pokers were burning inside your daughter had the drain tube taken out the next day...and that was it..... not too much sorry you are having trouble....and the Dr's are always running behind...wonder why they book that many patients???....moving it is good for pain and swelling too.

stella marie
May 24, 2006 11:11 PM

Ive torn my ACL and MDL and a bit of cartlidge damage thrown in. Its been three weeks and Im wearing a townsend brace to stumble around in. I saw a surgeon yesterday, he says he wont operate until i get some movement back i.e. 6 weeks- its pretty much locked straight. Has anyone come across this? What excersises help (obviously im seeing a physio)

Terry parkin
May 25, 2006 8:04 AM

Thankyou Kiki , yes I have a byer cryro ice machine but it is controlled by hand pumping .Its good if your watching t.v.and remember to pump it every 40mins or so.I get a little more time ie sleep if I use an ice pack. Is your machine electrical? Yes Cookie I also had a drain tube for three days that I had to empty . Maybe it should have been left in even longer?Also i`m on anti inflammitories Naproxen ec

May 25, 2006 9:27 AM

Terry: yes, the iceman is electrical, so it will keep pumping cold water on its own. My husband is taking naproxen too. He didn't have the drain tube. The first week, his whole knee is swollen and also his ankle, but after that frist week, it's not too bad anymore. So he's pretty lucky. We iced the knee almost 24 hours per day during the first week, and then after that, we only ice and elevate at night. We are still doing it now. The doctor want us to do that for 3 months to control swelling.

May 26, 2006 4:16 PM

My son had acl using the patella 10 days ago. PT was started the day after surgery 3x a week. Staples came out of the knee 2 days ago. He seems to have recovered too quickly. Doctor took away the immobilizer brace this week. Seems to be having a problem steming from the nerve block which was left in for 4 days. Anyone else have problems from the nerve block??

May 27, 2006 8:45 PM

hey! i tore my right acl in a rugby game (i ran into a bunch of players and someone hit my quad from the front and my calf from the back and my knee went POP! and i went down). i tore my left pcl this time last year but didn't need surgery... but this time i went under the knife for my right acl. we did a patella graft on may 8th. i'm able to walk pretty normally now (granted, i SHOULD be wearing my brace), and each day the progress is TREMENDOUS. the first week was terrible, though - i couldn't sleep and had to wake up every three to four hours to take painkillers, and i also had to deal with cellulitis (a skin infection) around the surgical incision, which set me back a few days. in terms of PT, leg raises were AWFUL - the first two or three days they brought tears to my eyes - but they are SO important and i'm able to do them now without any problems. i'm off my crutches now and am wondering if anyone has tips for shrinking my arms? cos they're HUGE!!!

June 1, 2006 12:46 AM

Had acl surgery today. so far so good... able to get upstairs to my bedroom and have been able to do heel slides and quad tighten exercises but not able to do quad leg lifts, its like myfoot is a lead ball down there. Had a pain block shot so maybe that is why? Read alot of the comments on this site before surgery that were kinda scary. I am hoping tomarrow doesn't bring any worse pain.

June 1, 2006 12:46 AM

Had acl surgery today. so far so good... able to get upstairs to my bedroom and have been able to do heel slides and quad tighten exercises but not able to do quad leg lifts, its like myfoot is a lead ball down there. Had a pain block shot so maybe that is why? Read alot of the comments on this site before surgery that were kinda scary. I am hoping tomarrow doesn't bring any worse pain.

June 1, 2006 9:22 PM

hello this is my 2nd acl surgery on my right knee. this time they had to take my hamstring from my left leg. This has caused my left leg to have pain on the chin plus I keep pulling my hamstring and it hurts like hell when it happens. i slipped on the stairs and now it just keeps happening so beware it s not as stong as u think. my acl(r leg) is getting better but i m having a problem getting it straight. anyways thanks for listening to my wine cheers

Gary Cunningham
June 2, 2006 1:57 PM

I hurt my knee May 27, 2006 playing in an alumni basketball game. It hurt, but it was nothing like tearing my achillies heal (5yrs ago). I finally got into the doctor on June 2 and he gave me the bad news. After reading the posts on the website I am not looking forward to rehab, but I want to get the show on the road so I can try to get as much done before school starts back up and I have to be coaching Junior High Softball. Wish me luck.

June 2, 2006 9:50 PM

Hey there. I had written a note on this site last December. My husband was hit by a car while riding his bicycle and tore both of his ACLs (right and left). In December he had the first surgery on his right leg. I was complaining on this site about how horrible his recovery was going. He had a terrible reaction and had to use a walker to get around. He was vomiting for about 5 days after the surgery, etc. He had the second surgery on his left leg this past Tuesday. His recovery in this case is day to December's night. He was getting around on his crutches the next morning checking his e-mail and futzing around the house. I think the big difference this time is that we are really managing his pain. He is taking Motrin and Vicodin regularly. And is doing great this first week. With the right leg the PT was pretty strenuous. It took about 2 months to get his leg to straighten from 35% to 20%. Then he and I took a trip to Amsterdam. Every day we walked around for 5-10 miles. We were only there for a week, but when we returned home and he saw the doctor his leg had improved an additional 15% in that one week! I highly recommend taking a break and treating yourself after the surgery and going to a nice flat country for a walking tour. In one week this relaxing vacation cured as much as 2 months of intensive PT.

Bolivariano NJ
June 4, 2006 9:02 PM

Hola, Had ACL reconstruction on May 17. Spent one terrible night in the hospital. My Dr. suggested I be close to the Morphine(pumped it once and got nauseated) for pain management( I don't recomend this, if you can go home) manage the pain in the comfort of your own home. I didn't fill the vicadin, Tylenol and Aleve held me over. I had an allograft(cadaver tissue) put in my Left knee, so i had on and off fevers (101.9 highest)for the first few days. An hour after surgery they set me up with a cpm machine which automatically bends your knee to a specified degree at fixed rate. It' an excellent machine. I've been doing it about 4 hrs/day and i've maxed the mchine's range of motion at 130 degrees. There isn't anyway i would've bent my knee having this brace on without the machine. (Highly recommend it if you insurance covrs it). Crutching around w/o pain and feeling good. I keep a cold ice pack on it constantly and am taking an over the counter Natural Anti-Inflammitory Liquid Drops (Zyflamend , got it at WholeFoods- taste terrible) Seems to be working well. BtW: I was really curious, so, i got an epideral for the surgery, and watched the screen with the Dr. while he did his thing. That sort of stuff usually freaks me out, but the anastesialogist ( and the Dr. was really cool and put me at ease to pick which way i wanted to do it. I'm glad i watched!

amber d.
June 5, 2006 10:18 PM

im only 14 now and i tore my ACL in january it was the worst pain i have ever felt. i am getting surgrey on it this summer the recovery is going to be hard work but i am a serious soccer player and really want to play again ive gone through all the facts details and works and therapy and understand everything .

amber d.
June 5, 2006 10:19 PM

im only 14 now and i tore my ACL in january it was the worst pain i have ever felt. i am getting surgrey on it this summer the recovery is going to be hard work but i am a serious soccer player and really want to play again ive gone through all the facts details and works and therapy and understand everything .

Kelly S
June 6, 2006 11:54 AM

Hi, I just recently had knee surgery this past thanksgiving break. I tore my ACL (along with my PCL, MCL, and Lateral Meniscus) playing indoor soccer. I'm pretty serious about the sport too, so when I did it I thought for sure I was done for. But after talking with several doctors and getting many opinions about the surgery I was ready for it. I had a graft from my patella tendon taken. I started PT 3 days after surgery and was on cruches for about 3 weeks. And when the physical therapists tell you to do something, do it! Trust me. All those stupid simple exercises that you don't think you need to do... YOU DO! I completed my PT 3 weeks ahead of schedule. 4 months after having the surgery (end of Feb.), I went snowboarding with my buddies and had a great time. Another month later my doctor said it was alright for me to gradually start introducing soccer back into my schedule. Today, 8 months later I'm completely back into the sport. Although I only feel like I am 90% back to my level of play, I am constantly training to try and strengthen my knee so that I can be back at my 100% level. But one ofthe most important things to do while trying to return to a sport after a surgery of an ACL, is to listen and to do whatever it is that your physical therapist tells you to do. Although they may tell you to do some exercises that you think does not even pertain to yourself, it is a very wise move to do it anyways, because they know exactly what they're doing.

June 8, 2006 6:19 PM


June 9, 2006 9:15 AM

hey everyone! i also tore my ACL about 4 months ago playing soccer and decided to wait to get surgery. I got a brace to protect my knee becuase i am playing softball on it now. I dont have any problems with it and i am about 90 % with the brace. I did decide to get surgery at the end of summer so i will be back to 100 % next softball season. i am looking forward to the surgery and cant wait to recover!

June 9, 2006 12:59 PM

I just had acl and mcl surgery two weeks ago. I was wondering if anyone felt very depressed/sad at this point two to three weeks after the surgery?? It must be normal but need to know there are others out there that may have been emotional a wreck. Thanks, Sara

June 9, 2006 1:02 PM

I just had my acl and mcl surgery two weeks ago and was wondering if anyone had the feelings like I am having of sad and depressed after this surgery?? I am sure it most be some what normal but I hate feeling this way??

June 10, 2006 7:15 AM

Sara, It can happen after surgery to feel sad and depressed. I had my acl reconstruction on may 5th and have not felt that way, but I did have a scope done on the same knee in 2001 and was quite depressed maybe two weeks later. I wasn't necessarily in the best of situations, the scope had gone wrong, etc...etc...It eventually passed after another two weeks, but it was very helpful to find a sympathetic ear to talk to. Surgery is exhausting, and I don't know all of the circumstances in your life right now, but it may help if you found someone to talk to about this. Good luck C.

Ann Marie
June 10, 2006 7:38 PM

I had acl reconstruction surgery about four weeks ago. I was just wondering if someone could help me out. I was on the phone the other day with one of my friends, and I was pacing back and forth while talking to her. But when I went to turn around one time, I planted my foot and felt/heard a mild crackling sensation. I am somewhat of a hypochondriac, and I was just wondering if anyone else has had that happene too. I'm probably fine, but I just want to make sure I didn't partially tear it again or anything. It didn't really hurt, so I don't know. If anyone has some insight, that would be great. Thanks.

June 11, 2006 5:17 PM

Hi Ann Marie, Pops are common, you can consult with your PT or OS to confirm. I have had this happen many times and wonder if all is well or not. I dont think you should be too concerned about it. J

June 12, 2006 6:54 AM

I had an ACL re construction and meniscus surgery/repair on March 5th (was suppose to be March 20th but knee buckled out on March 4th and could not longer pop back in myself/jammed). I had arthroscopic done in June 05 just before my ACL re construction. I am currently 3 months a few days in....still have a limp to my walk...I go to physio 2/week, gym 2-3 times a week but only bicycle (20 minutes), upper body strenght and light leg press (for legs)...I still feel somewhat of a sharp/type burning sensation (inner part of my knee where i suspect my meniscus was torn)...I can bend my knee 110-120 degrees but try to keep within 90 degrees all the time. I think my progression is somewhat slow...but then again the specialist said 6-9 months recovery because the combo (ACL & Meniscus). I am 31 years old going on 32 in a month. I am physically fit, played lots of soccer and hockey. I am doubting the surgery at times thinking it may not be succesfull (even though only half way to recovery). Anyways, if you had this surgery and had the same experience I currently have, let me know....Just curious if you feel the same as I do after 3 months and a few days. I would love to play soccer again but some say with the age and the degree of injury, could be dangereous for re injuring my leg...Hockey, I think will be fine as just recreational (no contact)...I do work as a technician (often climbing poles-hard on knees, work on knees often etc..) and would like to know from someone which had experience to let me know what I should expect.... I used crutches 6 weeks, walked with a cane 2 weeks...limping since...feel good though..from day 1, never had pain. what do you think ?

June 12, 2006 7:59 AM

adding more notes...forgot...I just wanted to add that when I tore my ACL, I never went to see the doctor right away....We (myself and the orthopedic surgeon) think it was sport related but 3-4 years ago..(he confirmed the tear of my ACL was old when doing 1st arthroscopic-not recent tear) .I am pretty sure which impact it was (soccer impact) but never went to see a doc at the time..swelled bad but eventually went away with time...often when playing soccer would swell more and more and more with years....but within the last year or so before my arthroscopic (June 2005) and re construction of ACL (March 06), my knee would give out (buckle)...then I would have to snap it back to it's place...not really painfull but difficult as never knew how far to push on it...then March 4th came as described in first message, then could not put it back to its place by myself...that's when the orthopedic surgeon repaired earlier than expected....

Sarah Smith
June 12, 2006 5:37 PM

Hi All, I'm in my 40's and just had ACL/meniscus reconstruction and cleaning up 3 days ago. The Dr. used my patellor tendon for the ACL recon. I'm writing to encourage us "oldies" to go ahead and get the surgery done while we are still "young". I was a bit nervous going into surgery after reading this site and took people's advice about prepping. Went shopping, laundry, hair cut, and basically did as much stuff around the house and at work as possible since I wasn't sure how long or how bad things would be. However, I am writing to reassure you that things worked out ok. and I hope they will for you also. I stayed the night at the hospital. Ok, here's a synopsis. First, after being dropped off, I found the day surgery dept. and waited with an IV for over an hour. Then, since the delay was so long, they wheeled me to post-op in order to close the pre-op room and move nurses around. Be prepared with a book/music/ game... Finally, about four people surrounded me, double-checked which leg and knocked me out with something in the IV. That was 2:30ish. I didn't wake up until 6:30ish. I was wheeled up to a room at 7:30ish. not in pain, just a bit whoozy. My leg was only sore to move it, but I found that if I did a quad-set before trying to move it, it didn't hurt too much. Otherwise, there is too much pain on the patellar tendon. Anyway, those PT exercises have paid off. At around 11:30, I had to go to the bathroom, and the night nurse unhooked the IV and I crutched over. Not too bad, or not any worse than the last 3 injuries. This operation allows partial weight-bearing afterwards and I was quite pleased about the mobility. The only problem was a bit of nauea from the anestheia. My Dr. left lots of med options including a morphine pump to use once the novacaine wore off. I only used it to help sleep. Fortunately, not too much pain. The knee is still locked down, and is only to be unlocked for heel-slides and other PT stuff. My flexibility isn't great, the meniscus side still is sore and has been for the last two months since the last injury. The patellar region is still sore to touch and if I do any movt. with out setting the quad first it hurts. There is an overall soreness but no stabbing pain and I can easily walk without crutches, but use them for stability and since the doc. has recommended it. I am still exhausted and haven't driven yet. I took a Vicodan to help sleep last night and have just been using Ibuprofen today. I expect a long road to full-recovery but am glad to be ambulatory and somewhat pain-free after so much rough surgery. Here's hoping that your recovery goes smoothly. I'll try to post if anything unusual happens. Thank you to all who have shared their experiences on this site and helped me to be better prepared.

Glyn Moon
June 13, 2006 10:55 AM

Hi I'm a 38 year old man from wales, uk. I tore my meniscus and tore my ACL whilst playing rugby. I had surgery 5 weeks ago and had an artificial ligament grafted. Didn't feel any pain after the op (very funky from the painkillers), but the next day the pain was horrendous. If you asked me then whether I wanted to play rugby ever again, the answer would be a resounding NO, but time is a healer - combined with intensive physio (do the exercises they tell you to do!). I must say I feel absolutley fabulous - no pain whatsoever - I am even (with the physios say so) rowing, jogging and cycling again - in the gym of course. I guess I must be very lucky, reading some of the posts, my heart goes out to you, it really does. My one bit of advice however, is treat your rehab as a marathon not a sprint. Good luck everyone!

June 13, 2006 12:14 PM

Hi there - I tore my ACL, lateral meniscus and chipped a bone in my knee back in Dec. doing gymnastics. I had meniscus surgery in Dec. & ACL surgery in Feb. so I'm 4 months out. This is to Sara who was wondering if anyone else was depressed after the surgery - I definitely was. I think for me it was because the pain was much, much worse than I had anticipated. I was taking percocet but it might as well have been candy because I barely noticed any effects at all. The pain was intense and continuous - I was even waking up 4-5 times a night for two weeks straight until it finally started to feel better. What really pulled me out of the depression was a combination of the pain starting to subside and the start of PT. PT was a lifesaver for me. I think once I understood that was able to control my recovery by doing the exercises and stretches instead of being completely at the mercy of the pain, the depression went away. Good luck with everything! Remember, the harder you work, the faster you'll recover!

June 13, 2006 1:30 PM

I tore my ACL playing soccer in 2003. I was playing defense and trying to prevent a guy from getting past me. I moved to the right, planting my foot (with cleats on), and then quickly shifted and started moving to the left. As I twisted, my right knee collapsed inward and I heard a pop. I had it diagnosed via MRI but decided to put off surgery until I had recovered and more importantly until I had researched which technique to use and which doctor to have do it. I go to school at Indiana University, which has one of the best soccer teams in the country, so I asked the head trainer which surgeon he'd recommend. He told me Greg Fox. However, school and work kept me busy and I never quite got around to making an appointment. I knew it would suck up a lot of time and didn't look forward to being injured, when I could walk around, bike around, even go for jogs, just fine, even with the broken ACL. Finally a month ago I decided I had waited long enough (3 years), so I made an appointment. Dr. Fox recommended the hamstring graft. The patellar graft, he said, was good if you needed to return to sports as soon as possible -- for instance, a college or professional athlete. Hamstring grafts, however, turned out to be just as strong, but they took longer to heal. He told me 12 weeks until I'd be able to go running. However, the benefit was less knee pain down the road. The patellar ligament is used so much that cutting it causes a lot of knee pain. So I followed his advice and used the hamstring. I just had it done last Wednesday. It's now Monday, and I'm still bedridden. The pain was bad the day after, but then it eased up. However, a new type of pain, in my shins, has started over the last few days, that makes me not want to walk around at all, even on crutches. It doesn't hurt when I'm lying down, but when I get up and put my leg down, the blood pressure makes my shin really hurt (in the skin). The physical therapist told me it's probably blood under the skin and I should apply heat compresses to it, so I'm going to try that. As soon as the pain subsides, I'm going to start doing physical therapy on my own, just stretching and and walking and getting full mobility back. I did this after my initial ACL injury back in 2003 and am looking forward to doing it again, but this time with the difference that I'm recovering to 100%, not just 50%. I finally decided to have the surgery after not being sure for years because I noticed that I wasn't as active as I used to be. I used to love running, and I haven't really run regularly in years, and I miss it. Without the surgery, I wouldn't trust my knee on a long-distance backpacking trip, I couldn't even swim breaststroke (because of the side to side kick)... lots of little things I could no longer do. So I'm bedridden now, but I'm looking forward to being able to do all these things again.

Nicole C.
June 15, 2006 8:24 AM

I am 6 weeks post ACL reconstructive surgery. I tore mine while jumping on one of those giant trampolines. Silly way to do it, huh? The surgery itself went fine, I went in on a Friday morning and went home that afternoon. I was knocked out and had a nerve block to the entire lower half of my right leg. On the way into my house, my foot was dragging on the ground, and I didn't even know it! By Saturday night the nerve block wore off, and the pain was horrific. It felt like I was awake and I was being operated on! After that point, I was no longer able to get up and go to the bathroom. I would reccomend getting a bedpan. My surgeon didn't start me on PT till about a week after the surgery. (some people go right away) It is going well, I can now do all my excercises, and I am just now starting to walk without any crutches. My bigest worrry is if everything is "normal." I still have some pain in my knee. I am getting married this October, so I hope I can make it down the aisle! Good luck to everyone out there who had this done, and that is thinking of getting it done!

June 15, 2006 4:59 PM

This question is for Brian.....did you have 2 surgeries? One in 2003 and 2006? If so,why?

June 16, 2006 5:15 AM

Hi Everyone, I go under the knife for the 2nd time in 2 months on Monday. The first surgery was a torn lateral meniscus, guess the doctor didn't look around when inside, swelling didn't go away and the pain got worse over weeks. Went for MRI showed torn acl. needless to say a diffrent doctor is handling this one. Many thanks to all of you for your insite. Not looking forward to the pain or another 5 months off work.

June 16, 2006 3:55 PM

Hello Everyoone!! I just had my surgery 4 days ago. I torn my ACL while snowboarding,not doing anything crazy just an easy green run...jeez!! Being in Whistler, this is pretty common here and the doctor I had (J.P Mcconkey) is one of the best in North America, he even treated the Olympic Gold medallist for the same injury, he was the one who recommended this surgeon. Anyway, I went to sleep, I woke up and no pain at all. When I when home I had a litle bit of nausea but that was it. I've been home for the last 4 days and now Im walking pretty comfortable with my crutches. Im not sure why I havent feel that much it normal??...Ive been moving my leg as much as I can and I hope to start my PT next week.... Feel free to ctc myself if you have any questions or if you are bored on your bed or couch and want to chat.. Good luck everyone!!

Troy Lloyd
June 16, 2006 4:14 PM

I completely tore both acl and meniscus damage of knees 1 1/2 years ago. I am finally going to have surgery July 6th. I had to wait because I got a blood clot when I had my accident (hyperextended both knees on motorcycle accident). Anyway this must be one of the worst injuries one could have with the rehab time. My doctor said I can't even put weight on my knee for 6 weeks after surgery, but I will be doing range of motion rehab excersises in pt. He said I won't even be able to start walking for about 8 weeks. How does a person go back to work? I wanted to have my other knee operated on in November so I will not have to pay another $1500 deductible, but sounds out of the question??? I have heard some people getting a device which helps move the knee up and down automatically. Also an ice pack which delivers cold fluid automatically. Has anyone had this after surgery? Feel free to email me at

June 17, 2006 10:19 AM

To Troy... Brother, dont get discourged for what people say...everyone has a different side of the story...My opinion is wait and see ....every person recovers in a differetn way. My buddy had that CPM machine and it look it works well, I got the cryocuff (thermo with a hose commected to a knee brace)...I guess is good...your knee does not get wet and it gives you the freedom of move wherever you want with it. Good luck with that surgery...!! JC

June 19, 2006 2:58 PM

I tore my ACL, with minor meniscal involvement, April 17. I was playing soccer with some kids (and having so much fun, too!). My surgery was June 7. I have had excellent results so far, walking with brace but without crutches after one week, and very minimal pain. I credit my surgeon (Scott Hormel in Seattle) PLUS: CPM machine from day one, 6-8 hours per day. It keeps your leg from stiffening up, and has been excellent for maintaining range of motion. I have not had any (or much) pain straightening and flexing my leg. Can't recommend the CPM enough. I believe it made a big difference. I did not have the cryocuff, although it sounded interesting. My Dr said you have to be careful, especially right after surgery because if you cannot feel your leg, you can seriously freeze it and do damage. To prevent swelling, I had my leg elevated above my heart as much as possible the first four days - usually 10 hours a day. (Yes, that's a lot of time lying on the couch.) I also had PT twice BEFORE surgery. For me this also made a big difference. It got all the supporting muscles in the best possible shape, so they did not have to recover after surgery. I noticed a LOT of pain and range-of-motion improvement before surgery. When I went into surgery I was walking normally and functioning at 60-70%. I think that contributed to a quick recovery. My DR gave my anti-nausea meds (hydroxyzine) for right after surgery and while taking pain meds (oxycod w/ apap - whatever that is - it caused nausea, itching, restless sleep - pretty awful stuff actually). The hydroxyzine helped a lot. Troy, I would look for a second opinion about your knees. Everyone is different, so you could have some special issues, but I am walking after one week, and other posters have also noted they're walking and working after short amounts of time. My Dr said I could bear weight "as tolerated" from day 2 after surgery. Don't know your options, but getting a second opinion can't hurt. Good luck to everybody. It sounds like there are lots of different reactions to this surgery. I think I got lucky, my injury somehow didn't seem too bad, and I have an excellent Dr and PT. I've been doing my part too, taking it easy and doing my PT. Still, it could have been a lot worse.

Luke Peach
June 21, 2006 3:07 AM

I had a operation on my ACL 5 months ago, ive just started sports again but my knee gets very tired and still swells u

June 21, 2006 6:34 AM

I am about 2 months out of ACL surgery and I can't straighten my leg yet. Just wondering how long it took some of you to completely straighten your legs?

kenny t
June 22, 2006 10:44 PM

i just had my acl repairedtoday with a allograft what are others saying about this vs autograft and when can i stand on my own? i popped it during a ju jit su match but i dont think it matters how it tore my typing is bad due tlo all the drugs that i am tahnkfull for we all know this .........thanks for any info

June 24, 2006 5:01 PM

i am two and a half months out of acl surgery (patellar tendon graft). prior to surgery my doctor recommended as much pt as i could stand. i did six weeks before surgery and i highly recommend it to anyone considering this surgery. concentrate on building the quadricep muscle as much as possible. it did wonders to prepare my knee for the surgery and the difficult first week after surgery. after only three months i feel that i am about 75% recovered. i have minor tendonitis in the knee but otherwise i am ready to go again.

June 27, 2006 7:46 PM

I had surgery less than two weeks after I tore my ACL. They say for every hour you are "under," thats how many months it takes to get the anesthesia out of your system. On that note I did not want to put anymore drugs in my body. In the first four days I tried to stay away from the Vikidin,(only having three!). I used other homeopathic medicines such as arnica. This helped with the swelling a lot. Within six days I was out of my crutches, and walking around in my surgery brace. I am a competative soccer player and although I do have defined muscles, did pre-hab, and was walking around after six days, I still had muscle atrophy. I worked hard at physical therapy. Two and a half weeks after surgery I got a sports brace. I was running 6 weeks after surgery. It is not quite four months and I am back playing competative soccer. All doctors, therapists, and coaches cleared me to play! If you work hard, you will get back in no time too!

June 27, 2006 7:57 PM

I tore my ACL in March 2006 during track. We were doing hurdles outside and the ground was wet since it was still raining. As I landed, i felt my knee twist out of place and I came down full force. I heard a pop but I did not think that I injured anything. The pain was quite minor so I got up and continued running, actually jogging - I found running quite impossible a reason I did not know at that point. About 1 hour later I had a severe pain walking up the stairs to my next class and I went to the nurse to call for home. No one picked up so I had to take a taxi to my car and walk across the parking lot, which sucked... I got an x-ray the very same day but it did not show any damage to my knee but later the MRI report showed that the MCL, PCL, ACL, medial and lateral meniscus were all torn/damaged. I had surgery on June 15th and my surgeon is the same one for the Chicago Bears so I know that he was competent. It is June 27th and I had my sutures taken out yesterday. The scars arent too bad but there is still some bruising on the right side of my left knee (probably from the meniscus). The procedure that was done was the patellar tendon graft and arthroscopy for the meniscus. The recovery period wasn't bad with the painkillers I was given. The first few days I took 4 oxycontin and about 8 norco daily (190 lbs, 6'1 male). I discontinued norco however since it made me very itchy and was later prescribed darvocet with which I did not experience any negative side effects. I also had a feverish stage on the second and third day ranging from 99-100 degrees (probably from anesthesia), however this did not seem to be a concern to the surgeon or the pharmacist. I am at 120 degrees on my CPM and I am walking with 1 crutch now. I do exercises about twice a day mostly to strengthen my quadriceps. The surgery and recovery wasn't that bad except that I will be unable to return to any sports for a while. Anyone have a similar experience? Please email or post here - I am most curious to see how people's recoveries went with the procedure.

Chia PY
June 28, 2006 9:37 PM

I tore my left knee ACL in 2001 but delayed surgery till recently. Suffice to say i didn't think i needed it until it gave way suddenly one day. Had my surgery done on the 20th June 06 (Tuesday) at Mt Alvernia (Singapore). Checked in at 10am where the staff took done my particulars and wheeled me to a room for blood and urine test. Saw my room at about 11am and was prep for surgery by the nurse. Op started at abt 2pm. Was on GA so the next thing i remembered was waking up to an aching pain on my knee and my whole body freezing with cold..Teeth chattering. Funny but didn't feel nausea as I was told by others (?) Spend 2 nights in the hospital as i was put on antibiotic drip and drain (blood) on the op knee. Got out on Thursday with my left leg, up to the toes still numb. There was no way I could use it at all. Rested at home with the leg elevated as much as possible. On Arcoxia (swelling), Paceco (painkiller) and cefadroxil (keep infection at bay) Say the doctor the following Monday and was told to do leg risers and hold for count of 8 every morning, afternoon and night. It's being about 1 week plus now and I think i am ready to put weight on my left leg. Being trying to take steps with my Don Joy brace and without the crutches. Really hoping to walk by next week but will be putting off any sports for 9 months. That's the plan

July 3, 2006 7:59 AM

I am a 31-yr old former college soccer player, still play competitively and coach. Was playing indoor back in Feb. and felt/heard a pop when changing directions. Like many athletes, I did not go to the Dr. and self-diagnosed a "sprained knee." I had never taken any time off playing soccer in 28 years, so I thought it was my body's way of telling me it needed a break. I focused on walking, lifting and light jogging every day for about 2 months. Outdoor soccer started in April and of course I went out to play. I took it easy and was running OK, even able to kick normally with my right foot. It is the right knee that is injured. BUT, about 20 minutes into the game, I tried to pick up the pace and felt a collapse. Then I tried to change directions and it really collapsed. I finally left the field, iced, and felt FINE walking to my car! Took the dog for a walk that night and then went to buy a knee brace from CVS. Played the next day with 2 knee braces on and I was about 50%, still unable to sprint, jump, change directions, or kick with the left foot (since that required planting on the right). After 2 weeks of playing like this, I finally went to the Dr at the protests of my teammates and family. Some of them are PTs and Drs and they had checked me out and told me "all major ligaments" were in tact. So, I figured I would go to the doc, maybe get fitted for a brace, and move on with my life. I had no history of knee troubles nor any serious injuries in all my years of soccer. The Dr. told me that particularly with athletes, it is nearly impossible to tell an ACL tear without an MRI. This is because the muscles around the knee are so developed and so all of my walking and running had been supported only by muscle. Only in those very rigorous activities was I attempting to engage the ACL. I have seen so many soccer players go down with this injury, I figured no way was that what I had! I even went into the MRI in high heels (coming from work) and was embarrassed to be there at all! Well, the diagnosis was nearly immediate after the MRI, complete tear of the ACL. I was in shock and denial for about a week, then researched and researched. Found a great doc locally at the Cleveland Clinic, and scheduled the surgery for June 12. Not by accident, my recovery time has been in conjunction with the World Cup. I am 3 weeks today from ACL replacement surgery (hamstring replacement). I am today not using the crutches and drove for the first time in 3 weeks. Range of Motion is 120 and I have had full extension since 1 week out of surgery. The actual surgery itself seemed very easy, minimal pain and no nausea. I was sent home a few hours later with crutches, weight bearing as tolerated. I've been very diligent in my home exercises and icing as much as possible. For the first 72 hours, I only moved to go to the bathroom and had the constant ice and pressure from something called the "Ice Man." Really its just a cooler with a hoseline to something like an aircast (but filled with ice water) that is around the knee. I have never had a brace on and don't think I will ever need one. The dr says that with only an ACL replacement, a brace is really the doctor's decision. He prefers the body not rely on it so soon after surgery. One thing that they were very careful to tell me after surgery was to only prop your leg up under the heel. This lets gravity essentially force your leg to completely extend. It was definitely uncomfortable and even painful at times, but at least a few minutes every hour, and then gradually longer. I can't wait to walk the dog, run, coach, and eventually play soccer again. I definitely think that strength prior to surgery helps infinitely. I had no idea that I was helping my recovery through all the walking I was doing after the initial tear. I think so much of recovery is mental, it was amazing to me how much more my knee hurt once I finally got a proper diagnosis! I wish all the knee surgery patients out there the best. This was a very helpful site to me, both prior to and since surgery! Good luck! I say don't baby yourself, but don't push it too much either. Listen to the docs and PTs... they really only want to see you succeed!

July 5, 2006 8:57 AM

I have just been diagnosed with an ACL failure needing full replacement. I have had knee surgery before (same knee but the medial collateral ligament....this is obviously my unlucky leg), so am OK with the rehab. My concern is what extra damage I am doing to the knee whilst carrying this injury ? I have had the injury since last november and my surgery cannot take place till this coming October. Has anyone got any advice ? Also, if I work hard on the fitness my lower body prior to surgery does it help recovery or does it just cause more damage ??? I gues its a question of what exercise you do. Any advice would be much appreciated !

July 6, 2006 9:19 AM

I had surgery in late March of 2006 to replace my ACL (cadaver), repair a meniscus tear, clean up some arthritic growth, and pick chondroplasty (where they drill holes in the bone to allow marrow to leak out into the joint and hopefully regrow some cartilage). All of this was the result of 20 years without an ACL in my right knee (and possibly in my left - but that surgery will have to wait until next year). According to my surgeon, I probably tore it as a teenager (early 80's) and never had it diagnosed correctly. Since that time I've played a myriad of sports, doing more and more damage to the knee (torn meniscus, increased wear on the joint) until I finally decided early this year to have someone look at it again (middle age creeps up on you). Recovery has gone well (just over 3 months into it) although I'm still a couple of months away from racquetball. The best thing I did was get my legs in great shape prior to the surgery. Postsurgical muscle atrophy in my upper leg is significantly reduced, although there is still a noticeable difference in my right and left quadriceps. The only problem I'm having now is getting my leg to completely straighten when I walk (probably some scar tissue coupled with muscle memory loss), but I hope to work through this within a few weeks.

July 6, 2006 10:35 AM

I Tore my ACL on April 22, 2006 playing rugby, Had surgery on June, 6th. Seeing I'm 26 I decided to use my patella tendon, the surgery took about 4hrs, I had allot of scar tissue in my knee so it took a little longer than usual. Needless to say 5 days out I was walking with an Tru Fit Athletic Brace and within 10 days I was using weights on the Injured left knee @ PT. My Therapist said I was doing things 1 week out of surgery that most people can't do till 4-5 weeks out. I agree with Denise (writer above) this surgery is no fun but the recovery is very much mental and how hard you work to get better. I'm now 4 weeks out of surgery and have a 120 degree bend back in my knee, riding bikes, and increasing my workout everytime @ PT. My goal is to be able to play Flag Football by Mid Sept. and Run by early August. I'm a New Englander so I look at Rodney Harrison of the NE Patriots as motivation... he tore 3 ligaments including ACL in his knee last season at age 34 and he'll be back this year playing for the Pats. Good luck to all those that are about to or already have had the surgery... never give up on what you want to achieve and work harder than ever to get back to your old self!

July 7, 2006 5:55 AM

I initially damaged my knee 18 years ago and had an arthroscopy procedure. At the time I was told I had a partially torn ACL and medial meniscus damage. Had the meniscus repaired at the time and rehabbed the knee. I have continued to be active in soccer, flag football, and martial arts. However in March I felt the ACL tear completely, while working out. I knew immediately what had happened. A doctor visit and subsequent MRI confirmed my fears. Additionally the doctor advised me of lesions in the articular cartilage, the dreaded beginning of arthritis. Had the ACL reconstruction and Chondroplasty performed on May 9th. It is now 8 weeks since the surgery. Overall the ACL reconstruction went great, PT has been good, and strength and size is coming back to the leg. The downside is that the Chondroplasty, which was to treat the arthritis, has slowed me down considerably. I was unable to walk for the first four weeks, and am still struggling with pain while walking. My goal is to be back into martial arts classes by the beginning of January. My doctor has advised me against even considering going back before that time.

July 7, 2006 9:35 AM

Kit, It is a good idea to get your leg as strong as possible prior to surgery. I suggest you consult with a physiotherapist as soon as possible, or a kinesiologist. They will prescribe some exercises. It makes a huge difference in recovery when your leg is stronger. As for the damage, again you should ask the doctor or the pt. I waited 5 years between tear and repair and there was no damage to the knee. Then again, I was very conservative about what I would do with it and participated in activities that had very little impact on the knee. You probably won't suffer much damage until the surgery, unless you participate in pivoting sports without your brace, or your knee buckles (this can happen even when walking) and you tear your meniscus or damage other structures. Be careful and good luck. C.

July 8, 2006 10:03 AM

My daughter plays select soccer in N. Texas and tore her ACL one week before her 13th birthday in a tournament. Since she was so young we were worried whether or not she could even have the reconstruction surgery. Her OS was able to tell that her growth plates were closed so she had the reconstruction done using her pateller tendon on 11/29/05. We followed the OS's and PT's protocal to the "T" and she worked hard with a Sports Performance/Injury Prevention Trainer 3 days a week from 8 weeks post op to the present. The trainer also followed ACL protocal and she was never rushed to advance to the next level of training until she was given the OK by her OS. Soccer specific skills were added gradually and she began the final phase of sprinting and cutting at 24 weeks. She was cleared to play in a tournament at 26 weeks and played 15 minutes (conservative for her) of each half. It was very nerve wracking for us as parents to watch the first games but she did well, and with each game her confidence built and she began to look like her old self. The tournament was her last of the season, and now she is at 32 weeks post op, working out 4 days a week and feels she will be completely ready when practice resumes 8/1/06. She will be 9 months post op by then and we are hoping for a successful season for her. It seems people are always ready to tell us horror stories of retorn ACL's and other knee injuries that happen after "successful" ACL surgeries. Are there any "success" stories out there of athletes who have resumed the sports they love, at the level they were before surgery, without any further injury? If so, we would love the confidence boost right now--especially since (we hope) she has many years of soccer ahead of her.

July 9, 2006 8:39 AM

My daughter is 13 & tore her acl one June 3rd 2006 in a soccer tournament. She is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. She is going into her freshman year in HS & has made both the basketball team & soccer team. Everyone seems to want to tell her a "horror" story about this surgery & things like her knee will never be the same, etc. She really needs some encouraging words from some young athletes who are going through what she is about to go through, and some success stories from those who have aready been through it. I think this site will help her & (mom too :) thanks!!

July 9, 2006 5:35 PM


July 9, 2006 8:53 PM

Helloo! Severed my ACL and tore my miniscus in January 2005 skiing but didn't know until February 2006 the extent of the damage I had caused. Found out when it "popped" again playing a drunken game of volley ball at 1am in the morning which was 2 weeks before I was due to fly to Chamonix to ski. Anyhoo, had the reconstruction surgery using a graft from my hamstring, all went well except I have been suffering quite badly with a sharp spasm like pain in my left buttock. Had another scope done last week to scrape behind the patella and fix another tear in the miniscus but the pain in my bum (no pun intended) is still there. Has anyone else had a hamstring graft and suffering similar accute pains in their bums? Please let me know as my surgeon has not seen it before.

July 10, 2006 11:57 AM

My name is Bobby and I last posted on the site on April 18, 2006 1:38 PM Hello all, Just wanted to fill everyone in on some recovery stories. I have been POST surgery for ALMOST 4 months. It is getting better and better. I still have little feeling on the outside of my knee. I have regained TOTAL range and I am also back to running 3-4 miles a day. The running is not all pain free but the days that I do not run I go to the GYM and lift with the leg. Extensions, leg press, squats, and calf raises are what take up a lot of the time. Just trying to get the leg as strong as possible. I would say that it is about 75% of its total strength. There is sometimes pain and aches but the Dr. said that this is normal. As long as I can do what I was used to. Doctors said I would not run for 4-5 months. Ha-ha. Showed them wrong. All it takes is a good PRE SURGERY workout routine to get the leg strong and also post surgery therapy habit. REHAB REHAB REHAB.

david r
July 12, 2006 7:11 AM

I thought I should quit playing soccer when I hit forty but wasnt ready to slow down quite yet. Unfortunately someone else had other ideas. Following a pretty bad tackle from the side I heard my knee pop. Even though I could walk on my leg almost immediately I knew I had done something pretty serious. After I had an MRI I was informed that I had a complete tear in my MCL and a partial tear in my ACL. I had to wear a brace on my leg for 8 weeks to enable the MCL to heal then had to have my ACL replaced. The surgery went well, then I underwent fairly intensive physical therapy at home and with a physical therapist. While this was very painful I just kept at it, following my surgeon's advice and my therapists advice. I was forewarned by a number of people before by surgery, that my recovery time was dependent upon the time and effort I put into my physical therapy. I have to say that I was very diligent but it still took a long time to recover. I think it was about 9 months before I was able to do whatever I want and about a year before I consider myself 100%. Its all about the work you put in after surgery as far as I am concern.

July 13, 2006 7:25 AM

Hi, I had surgery to reconstruct my acl, it been 4 months and the knee is about 80% i can sprint, but yesterday I was playing tuch football and while turning I injured it again. So for those like me trying to recover fast to play sports, rest the knee alot, and do alot of weight lifting and jogging.

July 13, 2006 4:47 PM

Hi my name is nav, I have been playing competitive basketball since I was in elementary school. I was at college playing a pick up game, and i jumped to block a pass, and my left foot twisted and all my wieght came down on my knee, it was brutal and it took me months to figure out it was an acl. At first i just didnt want to belive it was more then a sprain after seeing a specialist it was confirmed. My acl was totally ruptured my mcl was recovering from a sprain, and my meniscus had a thin tear. I havent done my surgery yet, and im waiting to set a date. Reading these web sites are helping me get in there and do it. The loss of your knee to an active person is like the end of the world, knowing you cant run and jump and compete how you want to. Hope everyone recovers well, and nice reading other logs about the injury.

July 14, 2006 1:21 AM

HI, I tore my ACL playing soccer at the start of the season. From what i remember, i partly tore it at the start of the game (not knowing at the time, thinking it was only a small muscle strain) and then later on in the second half I went to step off my left leg and collapsed. I'm two weeks post-surgery now, getting around on one crutch and just training my leg to walk again. Sleeping is probably the most difficult for me at the moment, being careful not to injur the site. Thanks for the tips about the effort needed to put into rehabilition, deffinately going to work hard to get back to 100%. All i get told is to take my time, not to rush things or i'll be back to where i started. sounds like good advice to me.

July 14, 2006 10:00 AM

Great site - I had a grade 3 tear to my ACL, MCL, and meniscus on June 9 06 ( ironic that it was world cup opening day match) while playing indoor soccer. It was quickly diagnosed via MRI and as I wanted to start recovery I had surgery June 23 2006. The ACL was replaced with my patellar tendon, the MCL was severly damaged and sewn, and the meniscus was trimmed. I am from Cincinnati, so this type injury is referred too as the Carson Palmer (Cincinnati Bengals quarterback). I am 44 and want to resume activety as soon as possbile, much like david r from july 12 post. But if Carson with all his trainers and equipment will take 8-12 months I know to be patient. I am non-weight bearing and on crutches for six weeks - but luckily the pain has been minimal. I have been doing the PT exactly as prescribed and feel I could move on, but I think the MCL damage was extensive so the doc is being cautious. Much like what everyone else has said rest, ice, compress, elevate and following PT directions are helping me the most. I will check back in with progress after I see my doc on August 03, 06.

Johnny Bear
July 15, 2006 7:39 PM

I'm 6 months post ACL repair by patellar allograft and a partial remaoval of a damaged medial meniscus to my right knee which is my "dominant" knee I can do a full one legged squat to a full flexion(i.e. almost to the ground) and get back up on my left knee. I can only get to about 80, perhaps 70 degrees flexion on my operated knee when I try a one legged squat. Am I expecting too much too soon? Will my right knee ever be stronger than my left knee? Will I eventually be able to do a full flexion one legged squat on my operated knee? I'm a 48 years old male and very active in sports especially snow skiing(that's how I tore it!) and mountain biking.

July 16, 2006 10:14 AM

Hey there, I was in a motorcycle accident this past thursday night. with fractures in my occipital bone (not too bad, wore a helmet), my knee took most of the fall. i tore my ACL and PCL. i'm currently in a leg brace, surgery will be within a week. i love to move around, anyone know if this is a bad idea before surgery? looking to get back on a motorcycle and jog soon. spirits are kept high. godspeed everyone.

July 16, 2006 9:07 PM

Pretty good site. I tore my ACL and Lateral Meniscus doing Martial Arts in December 2004. The day after the injury I went to the doctor, and it was dismissed as a knee sprain. However, I had a trip that day which involved about 5 miles of walking, and I didn't obey the doc's orders to stay off it. In May 2005, it was diagnosed, so I started Physical Therapy to get back to where I was without a surgery. College started, and I never really completed the PT regimen. May 2006, I got arthroscopic surgery to repair just the meniscus, and I've been on PT since. I was able to return to work, 3 days after surgery(I work at Radioshack as a sales guy, a lot of standing.) I'm hoping I don't get the ACL surgery. One question though, if I do get the ACL surgery, will the effects of the PT that I'm doing right now be negated?

July 17, 2006 2:34 PM

I just tore my ACl on a dirtbike. I'm getting ready to have the surgery. The Doc has given me the options of patellar tendon, hamstring, or donor graft(cadaver). He seems to be pushing the donor graft. I'm not too sure that's the best option. I like to ski and mountain bike, don't really want to miss out on next season.

Johnny Bear
July 18, 2006 3:54 PM

To Scott: Almost all pro-athletes get the patellar allograft. Recovery time, pain, and rehab. are lot tougher with the patellar allograft but it's the strongest graft. Some will say it'll be stronger than your original ACL. Doctors like choose the donor graft because it's easier surgery, and for patients, it's less painful, and shorter recovery time. But if you want a strong ACL, go with what athletes get!! For me, it was worth missing a season of skiing for a strong knee for the moguls in the coming season! I'm 48, an avid skier and mountain biker and opted for the patellar allograft. Like I said above, I still can't do a single legged squat on my operated leg, but my doctor said most people my age can't do it good knee or not. I went mountain biking 5 months after my operation and I was "cranking" up the hill without any problems. I'm planning on getting back on the moguls in 5 months when there's snow on the Rockies. So, unless you plan on skiing the bunny hills the rest of your life, go for the patellar allograft!

July 18, 2006 11:11 PM

Hi, I'm a mom of an injured 15 yr. old...whose posted on here before...she tore her right acl while coming to a jump stop in basketball...she's about 4 1/2 mo. post surgery and doing better everyday. Her P.T. had her all pumped up towards the end of her 4th month and thought she'd pass the BIODEX Test in Flying colors and told us she thougtht the DR. would turn her lose....and that "passing" the biodex test would be 15% of difference in the bad knee to the good (unijured...sorry) when she took the test...she was at 45% defficete...which surprised the P.T. and us..they said she was doing everything so fast and well...that they thought it would be at least 15%...which is what I don't understand because when we talked to our Dr. he said he thought the results were just fine...that he figures about 10% healing per month (back step...) it should be 40%....which is wear she's at...have any of you had this probablem with the computer (Biodex)....?? She was kind of bummed out...but decided to keep working at it!! (-:

July 23, 2006 7:00 PM

I tore my acl in 2004 playing football. but I never knew about it until couple days ago. after I went to the doctor my knee did bother me but I didn't know it was that serious. I am really scared to have the surgery the reason is I work as a cook at a restaurant. how long it will take me so I can get back to work. I do a lot of standing and I don't want to lose my job thank u please respond back p.s. I am 20 years old and a big kid about 6feet 3 inches and 265 pounds will that matter in my recovery

July 24, 2006 1:11 PM

Im 13 and in December i had a ACL operation, for the first 3 months i was really working on it but, after 7 months it really is hard to keep on going with the recovery program.

July 27, 2006 5:10 PM

I tore my right acl when I jumped stopped playing basketball, it was during the first game of my senior year. I am about 5 months out of sugery, I got the ok from my doctor to play, but this past weekend I played really hard and my knee got really swollen the next day, has this happend too anyone else?

July 28, 2006 11:53 PM

This comment is for "Manny's" recent post about playing all out basketball on his knee after 5 month's post op. You asked if anyone else had the pain and swelling? Are you still doing P.T. Therapy on your knee...if so how much...and did you stretch before and after playing b-ball....AND DID YOU ICE YOUR KNEE?? My daughter like you...tore her ACL while coming to a jump stop at a H.S. B-ball game also....she is 5 month's post op also...but HAS NOT BEEN given the okay to go back to any kind of all out contack sport....she is going to skip volleyball this season...and get ready for basketball...Dr. said she'll probably be ready to play Dec. or Jan...which will be 10 & 11 months post op. Did you have to take the Biodex Test before the DR. let you go back to basketball full tilt? If so what was your percentage of strength/ratio of Hamstring to Quad. in your injury leg compared to you uninjured leg....?? That is the test that is suppose to determine rather you go back to playing all out sports again?? I'm curious...since your injury is so simaler to my daughters and occured at about the same time....She hurt her knee Feb. 6, 2006...while starting on the H.S. Varsity Team as a Freshman....Are you playing College Basketball now or do you plan to. So sorry for all the questions...I'm curious. Thanks! Cookie

July 31, 2006 10:18 PM

I posted a comment to Manny last week....where did it go???

August 1, 2006 8:54 AM

Need help!!! My daughter has a complete ACL tear with a small tear of the posteriorn horn of the medical menisucus. First doctor recommended surgury, second doctor recommended a leg brace for six months in order to immobilize the knee and then for her to go back to playing sports and if the knee gives out then she should have the surgery. He is taking the conservative approach as he feels that A) she is too young to have the surgury (she is 16), B) limiting the use of the knee for six months will help stablized the knee and C) since she was not in any pain when he was examining her knee. Not sure what to do at this time!!

Favio Ventura
August 2, 2006 8:33 AM

I tore my acl playing HS football,I was running and i tryed to make a tackle the player went to the left side of me and i planted my foot and turned around and then i heard 2 pops,I now have 9 months since my surgery and by my fist game i will have 10 months.

Danica Floto
August 2, 2006 11:31 AM

Jasmine: I am 16 year old female much the same age as your daughter. Last year in a soccer accident I completly tore my ACL and did major cartilage damage inside the knee. My surgery date is August 21st and I am very nervous. But the reason I am writing is my doctor informed me that the longer you wait with an injury of the ACL the worse it becomes. I had tried a brace for 6 months and it did not help. I was not able to play soccer what so ever. So I think it would be wise, although we are young, to look more into the surgery side. The longer she will wait the worse it will become. Sincerely, a nervous ACL patient

August 3, 2006 7:55 AM

My daughter is 13 & is going into her freshman year in HS, she tore her ACL practicing soccer & is now 4 weeks post op. She is going to PT 3 times a week and I am working very hard with her at home with her excercies. My real concern is that at 4 weeks post- op, she can still not do a striaght leg raise. (lying on her back & raising her leg) the PT said that her quad was verrry weak, and that all of her other muscles in her leg were unusually strong. She has made tha HS soccer & basketball team, and am very concerned about this quad not getting any stronger after surgery. Wondering if I should change her Physical Theripist. I am beginning to feel that this PT is not getting the job done. If anyone else out there has had trouble with a straight leg raise weeks after surgery, please let me know!! Thanks!!

August 3, 2006 8:32 AM

This is for all of you '40-somethings' that are contemplating ACL reconstruction. I am a 44 year old female. I injured my knee back in march when I fell while skiing. If you intend on staying active I would highly reccomend having the surgery. My brother tore his ACL 4 years ago (skiing!) at the age of 35. He opted not to have the surgery and has not been able to return to skiing or even playing a pick up game of basketball! My family doctor initialy put me in PT with the hopes of strengthening my knee. After 6 weeks of PT it was decided that my knee would not be strong enough to support my activities (softball, volleyball, skiing) so surgery was scheduled. I decided to have the ACL replaced with donor tissue (an allograft) instead of using my patellar tendon or hamstring. I ended up also having a torn MCL, and a small medial meniscus tear. The doctor chose to leave the MCL tear alone and let it heal itself, and put a couple of stitches in the meniscus tear. I had my day-surgery on July 6th at 2:30 and went home around 6:30. As for the pain-I don't think of myself as having an above average tolerance for pain. I'll cry with a really bad headache! The pain in the first 24 hrs. was pretty much non-exsistent due to the nerve block that was given to me in surgery. The next 3-4 days I kept the pain under control with Vicodin. The key to pain control is taking your meds as scheduled. I woke up in the middle of the night to take my scheduled dose. Also, you can't ice too much! I kept an ice pack on my knee continually for the first few days. Like some other postings-I was nauseous during that time from the anesthesia and pain meds so you'll want to make sure you have plenty of saltine crackers and light foods on hand just in case. I was off of perscription pain meds by the 5th day and found I could control the pain with aspirin and ibuprofen. The first week isn't easy, your brace is locked and you'll probably have to sleep with it on. Thank God for my wonderful husband who took the week off of work to stay home and help me to eat, shower, dress,...etc. Before your surgery, get a small stool you can fit in your shower-I found this extremely helpful. You'll pretty much be on your back during this time so get a good supply of reading materials. Six days after surgery I went out to dinner with some friends. It was probably too soon to have my leg down for almost 3 hours. I was uncomfortable and my knee was swelling quite a bit during dinner, but I think a shorter outing would have been better tolerated. Today I'm 4 weeks out from surgery. There's virtually no swelling or pain. The PT is work, and can be painful; but I see improvement in my knee everyday. Realistically, the doc says I probably won't be skiing this winter (at our age you don't heal as quickly) but, I should be back to playing softball and volleyball next summer, and skiing next winter. Good luck everyone, I hope this helped someone make a decision. If I can get through this - anyone can!

August 3, 2006 7:21 PM

I'm trying to find results about swelling post ACL replacement. I'm 6 weeks out from surgery and my swelling is so extreme that I'm still not able to return to my office to work. My doctor indicated working in the large building is simply too much walking and had ordered me (a week ago) to sit in the recliner for 3 weeks. Well, a week later and merely going to dinner for 1 1/2 hours and you cannot tell I have an ankle, and there are actual dents in my shin from where the brace was (from the swelling). I've called continually, because I find this REALLY troublesome and they assure me it's normal? I was just curious if anyone out there had a similar experience. My ROM is "great" from what they say. I guess I'm at about 120 degrees? I'm still not able to get on my hands and knees, as there is too much swelling and it just feels like tons of pressure, but walking is trouble free (aside from the swelling and sensation of tissue getting caught in my knee cap when it's swollen).

August 3, 2006 10:07 PM

Hey guys, this is a great site btw for everyone who has contributed. I tore my acl and meniscus 2 years ago playing indoor soccer. The 1st dr, didnt do the acl repair cuz it didnt show up on the mri, so he just repaired the meniscus tear. I continued to play soccer the following 2 years til i strained my knee again and couldnt walk for a week. I finally had another mri and went back to have the acl reconstruction. They used a patellar tendon graft. Anyways that was back around feb 22nd. Im about a little over 5mos out now, and my knee cracks whenever i straighten. I was wondering if anyone else experiences anything else similiar- or if there could be somehting worng with it. It still gets sore from time to time. But i also realize its only been 5 mos, and im on my feet a lot at work. I also went back to work after 4 weeks from the surgery was a little soon, i must admit. Any responses will be greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone whose been on here. And btw if anyone is contemplating getting the surgery, i would say its a definite if you like to play sports of any kind in your life. Good luck to all.

August 4, 2006 3:03 PM

hey, im 18 and i completely tore my acl, and damaged my meniscuses playin basketball, this happened back in february and i just got the surgery not too long ago, but it gave me time to strengthen my injured knee, and have a full range of motion, which is really helpfull before haveing the surgery, i just had acl reconstuctive surgery about 3 weeks ago, i had a allograft (donor tissue) inserted, and it is going ok, im doin physical therapy, and next week ill b able to start walking on it, the only thing i dont like is the leg brace, its really annoying haha, but my physical therapist has told me that i have more strength in my leg than someone who had their surgery 2 weeks before me, so i guess its a good thing. i was jus wondering how long until it took people to be able to walk normally and without a brace?

August 5, 2006 6:54 PM

I hurt my knee playing womens football and l am 44 yrs old the last 10 min of the quarter l twisted my right foot and heard a pop in the side of my knee cap. I had my surgery on the 1st August 06 and still quite painful haaven't started pt yet but will happen this week. I am on crutches but no brace l am very fit and very keen to get back to sport. All you people who have had acl surgery look at it this way. This is a short term pain and yes! You can play sport again. Don't try and over do it just take one day as it comes.

Seanny K
August 6, 2006 6:49 PM

To Kathy - or whoever I am six weeks post op (allograph). Within a week after surgery I had almost full mobility in my knee. Although my therapist and doctor say I am doing very well, I get very frustrated dealing with this swelling. I will rest for days (still doing PT of course), and the swelling in my knee is almost gone> Then as soon as I am on my feet for more that an hour or so - BANG!! I'm back to square one. My doctor and therapist say it is normal but I still wonder. Deep down I just know that I'll Be OK. ICE ICE BABY----_-_

Chad Milam
August 6, 2006 8:59 PM

I had my 2nd surgery (1st surgery was left knee, this one is the right) on July 20th. For mine they used a graft of my patellar tendon. Here are some answers to some of the questions above based on my experience. * Results may varry * :-) Both surgeries were on a Thursday and on Friday they had me in doing PT. I'm doing PT 3 times a week for about 3 weeks (I'm just getting ready to start my 3rd week). I was on crutches for about a week, down to 1 crutch for about a week and now I'm starting to walk around w/o crutches. I'm really slow though. Pain isn't too bad any longer. Just have a hard time getting comfortable sleeping. Swelling has gone down quite a bit but I still do have some. My 1st surgery it seems like the swelling in and around the knee stayed around for quite a while but the rest of the leg was fine. I'm still not able to get down on my hands and knees on my right leg and we'll see about the left as I recover. that's because for my surgery they have to cut through some nerves to graft the tendon. Those nerves are not quite normal. My first surgery was in August 2004 and I ran a 5K on Thanksgiving day '04. I was back to playing basketball in December. Hope this answers some of the questions above. Good luck to all.

August 6, 2006 10:16 PM

Katy, - I'm an athletic training/ physical therapy major, and at 19 years old i had surgery about 7 months ago. As far as walking goes, it took me a good while (I can't remember exacly how long) before I could walk because, just like you, I tore my meniscus along with my ACL. I remember progressing very slowly and carefully even though it was really hard for me not to try and go all out at once and ditch the brace as soon as possible. I know it's reeeally frustrating, but in the long run it's better to be safe than to re-injure your ACL. I wore the brace for a VERY long time even after i got off the crutches. Good luck with your healing process and whatever else you do! Rob, - I had a clicking noise in my knee around about 5 or 6 months also. My doctor told me that it was normal and that any popping/cracking was just scar tissue build up. I injured my knee the same way that you did playing indoor soccer! ... Good luck with getting back to the game! Question for anyone else - I am debating about trying out for the college soccer team. I was just curious how many people on here have gone back to sports after their surgery and how soon???? I'm at 7 months now, is that too soon to go back to playing full-contact? Wait another year, or play this year? My doctor says go for it, but I've heard otherwise.

August 6, 2006 10:24 PM

Karen - I just read your post and felt that I should comment on it because I had the same exact experience and did lots of research on it. At that time I was having the EXACT same issues. My brace was leaving dents where the swelling was and my ankle was VERY swollen because I didn't wrap the ace bandages tight enough. I went to the hospital and they explained it to me. At this point (two months) i was doing a LOT of physical therapy and ROM excercises. Obviously this is what was causing excessive swelling and bruising. But they said that the more it swells the better it will recover later on. This is probably why your ROM is above average at this point. The blood is rushing to your surgical sight to heal everything since you are doing so much work on your knee. It was very painfull for me also and now i am fully recovered. I wish you the best of luck in your recovery process and all of your future endeavors! :)

August 6, 2006 10:33 PM

Kim - I just read the entry about your daughter. I also had trouble with the straight leg raises for a LONG time. I remember being soooo frustrated that I had to literally PICK UP my leg by the brace every time that i wanted to move it. No matter how much i willed or tried it would not lift. So, I read up and talked to my surgeon. Here is the response I got - When you are within even the first 5 weeks of recovery your muscles are still tramatized by the surgery. Her quad might not necessarily be too weak to lift itself up, it might just be the case that her muscle memory hasn't been built up yet. He told me that it is very normal to not be able to lift the quad on its own for awhile. I was doing simple excercises for weeks! (just laying on the ground and tightening my quad) (also standing on the opposite leg and literally swinging my surgery leg back and forth as high as i could get it) As far as her quad goes in the long run, I know that with her young age there will be no problem whatsoever in her recovering the muscle tissue as long as she is willing to work on it. I wish you and your daughter the best of luck in everything and I hope that my own experience with ACL surgery can help her with hers.

August 7, 2006 6:16 PM

This site was very helpful in preparing me for what was to come. I tore my acl during cheerleading about a month and a half ago and following a visit to my ortho, I was scheduled for surgery in a month. I did rehab 3 times a week for a month before surgery to strengthen all the muscles, especially my thigh muscle. My doc also used my hamstring when it connects to the shin. The surgery was basically the same as yours. However, I noticed slight differences. I went under anesthesia at 3pm and came out of the operating room at 9:30pm. The anesthesiologist told me beforehand that the procedure would take 6-8 hrs. In my hospital room, they let me rest for about 2 hrs, then started me on the CPM machine. I hated it, the pain was unbearable. Even with the meds. But I lasted on it for 23 hrs. At the very end, my knee was bending 100 degrees. Immediately after the CPM, I was fitted for my brace and started rehab (learning to walk with crutches). This wasn't very difficult. The doc also made me start to the straight leg lifts. Those were difficult. I went into the hospital on thursday, came out saturday morning. After resting all afternoon, I started practicing my leg lifts, and for some unknown reason..the were quite easy to do. After walking on my crutches that night, I decided to give them up, and by sunday morning, I was supporting myself on my injured leg w/o crutches. I've been walking with my brace w/o crutches since then and my leg really hasn't given my much trouble. Aside from the huge brace, I can bend by myself 90 degrees and stand on it straight. Of course I need a lot more work to strengthen my leg, but my therapist is delighted with my progress. Plus, it's only been 8 days since my surgery. There's barely any pain, just soreness. There is still swelling, but only in my knee. None of it drifted south. Im really surprised at how well im doing. I really thought it would be a lot worse.

August 8, 2006 1:16 AM

Replying to cookie Sorry it took so lng, I past my biodex test at 3 months, sorry but I don't remember the %, but the doctor told me after the test I should still do exercises to keep my hamstring strong, and no I didn't stretch or ice after I played, and yes I do plan too play in college, I just went to my doctor too ask if the swelling was normal and he said yea some days are just going to be like that just be prpared to ice after a hard day, I hope I answered all of your ?'s If not my email is, I think it would b good for us to ask each other questions since our sugery date is so close

August 8, 2006 1:16 AM

Replying to cookie Sorry it took so lng, I past my biodex test at 3 months, sorry but I don't remember the %, but the doctor told me after the test I should still do exercises to keep my hamstring strong, and no I didn't stretch or ice after I played, and yes I do plan too play in college, I just went to my doctor too ask if the swelling was normal and he said yea some days are just going to be like that just be prpared to ice after a hard day, I hope I answered all of your ?'s If not my email is, I think it would b good for us to ask each other questions since our sugery date is so close

August 8, 2006 3:25 AM

This site and everybody's input has helped alot. I go tomorrow to the orthopedic doctor tomorrow to talk about which surgery I will undergo to repair my ACL. I feel very informed and a step ahead of what the doctor will say. The doctor does all the work for the Tennessee Titans football team so hopefully he will understand my need to getting back to playing basketball ASAP. Don't know if anybody else has felt this way but , this experience so far is very sureal. Almost like it isnt even happening. Ive been the picture of health my whole life and now this. I guess after surgery it will set in....I Think

August 8, 2006 7:27 AM

hi.. does anyone knows a good Dr for knee in nyc..? thanks danny

Lee Peddie
August 9, 2006 11:02 AM

I am 1 1/2 years post op from a torn ACL while playing soccer. I had the hamstring procedure. A few months ago, I started getting swelling in the bone at the incision site, then it would go away. I spoke with my surgeon who said it is an "itis". I forgot the full name, but obviously there is irritation in the bone from the screw. He said not to worry about it. In the last 3 weeks, the screw has actually started to work its way out out of the about a 1/4 of an inch. Anybody have this happen to them? Since it takes approx. 4 years for these bio screws to degrade what happens if I just have the screw taken out? What about the hole in the bone? I am apt to just have him remove the screw but would love some feedback before I talk to my surgeon again.

August 9, 2006 11:51 AM

Two injuries playing rugby left me with snapped acl's in both knees. One was fixed some months ago, the right knee on 3 August 2006. After an overnight stay in hospital I was into physio the next day & discharged on crutches. Surgery was under 2 hours, with a local anaesthetic (I react badly to general)- basically numbed from the waist down. A surreal experience hearing the drilling & chiselling.The surgeon was excellent & explained in detail what to expect. If you have any doubts, always ask or you will dread the worst. My physio has made me do the recooperation excercises even before surgery & this is now paying dividends. In less than a week, I am off crutches, walking (though slowly with a limp) and can flex the knee past 90 degrees. Swelling is down - regular icing after excercise is recommended. My advice is to listen to your surgeon & do everything your physio tells you to do. At times you will appear to be getting nowhere & frustration becomes your worst enemy. Persevere, it will come right - I've done it once & am about to start again. Don't overdo it - I pushed myself last time & only succeeded in tearing my already weakened hamstring, setting me back about a month. If you are reading this, feeling down & thinking he's lucky being young & fit - I am 49. If I can do it anyone can. My goal? My friends & family have a skiing holiday booked for April 2007. I had to sit out this years holiday as I was in the middle of my left knee rehab- now I have a target to keep me going when things don't appear to be going well.

August 14, 2006 6:57 PM

This reply is for Jasmine - your daughter should go for the surgery. The longer you leave it the more damage could be done to the tear which may result in the cartilage being completely displaced. If that happens you could be signing her up for early onset of arthritis. I had what sounds like a very similar injury as your daughter but didn't know the extent of the damage until it popped a year later. When I found out, I, like you, thought of just leaving it until my surgeon explained that I would more than likely end up with bad arthritis early. Without the ACL functioning properly (or at all) we pretty much grind away at what is left which is basically the cartilage. We only have so much of that to spare too. I know you must be nervous for your daughter, but trust me, the sooner the better. To the people wondering about which graft to take, if you have the option, take the cadaver tendon. I have been most unlucky with my hammy graft since surgery with acute pains in my bottom. They are sporadic, unpredictable and very painful. My physios have not seen it before, nor my surgeons. Of course it was not helped by having high grade tear in the same hamstring 4 weeks post op in a further accident on my way home from work. I am now 5 months post op, not allowed to run, ski, horse ride or do anything even remotely unstable yet. I do physio and rehab 2/3 times a week and exercises every day myself when I am at home. Good luck to those of you waiting, and just remember, the surgery is the easy part. All in all, it is about 30% surgery and 70% rehab. Just be very careful on your way home from work!

Mike Whipple
August 15, 2006 8:51 PM

I had ACL reconstruction surgery 8 days ago (7 Aug) I am really surprised with the progress I am making. I dont know if I should be but, I am able to walk without crutches and without my immobilizer (shhh dont tell my wife!) I really dont have much pain and I am able to bend my knee while sitting. Probably about 70 degrees. I had a donors tendon replacing my acl and have about a 4 inch incison on the left side of my knee and 2 1/2 inch incisions on the top of my knee. So far I definetly recommend the surgery but, Im yet to go back to see my doc for a follow up (Thursday).

August 17, 2006 10:23 AM

Well I just got the crutches and the cryo cuff today which is really making everything sink in; surgery's on monday, 8 am. and I couldn't be more nervous. Anyways my ? was the ride home. How did anyone manage to sit in the front seat any recommendations as I have a long journey back home afterwards. thnx<3

August 21, 2006 9:26 AM

I've just caught up reading most recent comments on here...and once again it is so nice to hear other ppls comments about their daughter who had the ACL reconstruction 6mo. ago (Feb. 27 to be exact) is doing well...of course she wants to do "better"...because according her her Physical Therapist (P.T.) she should be at a 15% defecit on her BioDex Test...and she is still at about 30%....P.T. said before you go back to playing sports all out...that you need to be at 15% defecit between good knee and reconstructed knee ....the only problem is...she has just in the past two months or less been released to do more in depth quad work on her reconstructed of course this is going to take awhile....while her good knee/leg....has grown in muscle strength and size compared to the injured/reconstructed now she is trying to do most of the heavy work on the reconstructed knee to get them closer to being to equal strength....her Dr/Surgeon told her 30% is okay....he said to figure about 10% increase after at 6 months post op. that would be 60% increase leaving a 40% goal for the next 4 according to Dr. my daughter is pretty much where she should's hard though...because she like most of the people on her who have had knee injuries and mom's of daughters like me who have had the knee injury....have to watch and listen to our kids confusion on wanting to get back in there and play/compete as soon as they and THEIR COACHES want them to...LOL...SO THIS COMMENT IS TO THE YOUNGER ACL PATIENTS....DON'T RUSH IT....YOU HAVE YOUR WHOLE LIFE AHEAD OF YOU TO LIVE AND YOU WANT YOUR KNEE TO BE AS HEALTHY AS POSSIBLE...Our Dr. said this 6 month post op. period is kind of a "gray area" why rush it...he told my daughter who does about every sport imaginable...and is currently sitting out her So. Yr. of Volleyball just to make sure she can be ready for H.S. Basketball in a couple of months even though the coaches keep telling her that she could/should come back AND DO VOLLEYBALL NOW....because they need her...(one of the coaches has had acl recon. surgery on both of her knees and said the 2nd time she started playing v-ball only after 4 month post op...but mainly played on the back row...w/out much jumping like you would on the front row)....BUT THAT SHE HAD QUITE A BIT OF SWELLING AFTER EACH to me and what I know about the human body...that is still saying that your newly constructed knee isn't quite ready yet...and we keep telling them that she'll be back next year (her JR yr.) better then ever is she rehabs it the right way (conservitive way) right now...some trainers..P.T., Coaches make players wait a full year before they make a come back....this is so hard to know what to daughter is also on the dance team...she does go to practice and does most of the moves....but Dr. told her not to jump yet or do the first dance they are performing at the first football game...because there are too many kicks in unhappiely she agreed to do what he said and informed the rest of her teammates that she would have to sit that dance out ...or have her part changed and be moved to where she wouldn't be right out in front....hopefully this will pay off in the long run....I'll keep you to Robert I believe was the name who asked if he thought 7 months post op. was okay to go back into Soccor and try to play College Level...I would say you're getting close to being able to ....and if your Dr. says go for should...I know our P.T. would say yes..especially if you've taken a BioDex Test...or a series of Standing/Jumping Tests that some people perform to see if your strengh is ready to go back out there and play...there is never 100% guarantee though...most ppl say that there is more danger in your other knee getting torn then your reconstruted knee....all the knee injuries are different...and certain sports are different..they say soccer and basketball being the hardest on is too "if" you get hit that the girl who had the cheerleading injury...I'm wondering what your age is and how you are doing?...and the people who had hamstring grafts and had complications...I'm wondering if your Dr. suggested this time of graft?? Our doctor wanted us to us the Petela AutoGraft from my daughters on petela tendon...because it has been proven to be the strongest of all the grafts...even though the pain in the front of the knee hangs on a bit until it is healed...which can take up to 3 years...for it to reconstruct always good to keep a sleeve or brace around that knee when she/you play sports...if you use the hamstring can mess up your hammy and cause it to be week....and as a few of you have stated...a week hammy can be I think the attachment procedure is more complicated....takes more screws...which as stated can cause problems too...the petela tendon..actually takes bone plugs that attaches right into the ends of the bones..and grow into the bone...Cadavor Grafts are less painful for the victim gettng ACL Reconstruction...but have a chance of spreading infection/disease coming from the donor....and again from what I've read and what Dr. said is not as strong as auto graph from petela....but if you're not planning on doing heavy all out sports would work for some ppl. Sorry to go on and on...this is all a learning process for me...GOOD LUCK TO ALL....and keep the info. coming. Manny let me know if you made the college team...since your injury was the same time as my daughters. (-: God Bless COOKIE

August 22, 2006 7:43 PM

My daughter (13 years old) is now at 9 1/2 months post op and started playing full contact in games this weekend . Her speed has not fully returned, but her skills, strength, stamina, and power are all intact and she is rocking on the soccer field once again. It was a long, scary, devastating journey but she showed true grit and the will to return to the sport she loves and we are all so proud of her. It will be so fitting if this year at U14 her team wins the national title :) Our best advice would be to "follow your doctors orders". We hear of so many athletes trying to return to their sport too soon. Good luck to everyone.

August 23, 2006 8:39 AM

I have just had my left ACL repaired using my hamstring. I had my right ACL repaired 8 years ago using the tendon running over my knee cap. The early repair has held strong through snowboarding, netball and all other sports. My recovery speed has been speedy both times - walking without crutches within 10 days. The key is to do plenty of specific exercise to build up the leg muscles prior to surgery. The hamstring op was much quicker for recovery though - I stayed in one night and could bend to 90 degrees and straight leg lift the same evening rather than after 3 days. The brusing has been far more spectacular but not painful. I have heard the hamstring repair does not take as much load - has anyone had problem returning to competitive sport following this type of repair?

M. Valdez
August 24, 2006 10:00 PM

I was injured 4/07/06. I had ACL surgery on 4/21/06 while my leg was still swolen. I was not at all familiar with what I should expect. My doctor advised me that 50% of my recovery would come from the therapy - that was the extent of his explanation. Having had no previous surgeries - and being in pain as I was at the time - I had not idea what this meant - nor did I care at time. I was sent to the doctor's perferred physical therapist. They had a tradition rehabilitation program. It was not at all accelarated. I was told I was on track, on the third week, I learned from the Doctor that was not the case. I was actually doing bad. The therapist and the doctor disagreed on where I should be... Four months later I still have major knee stiffness, my leg is not straight, and my back is taking a beating! Here's my advice to anyone considering ACL surgery: 1 - Don't be afraid to ask questions - if your Doctor does not provide you complete and thorough answers look for another Doctor! 2 - Do not have surgery while your knee is still swollen! 3 - Be mentally prepared to experience pain right after the surgery! Ask your family for support. 4 - Take your rehab program serious! Have an "exercise" plan and STICK TO IT! 5 - Ask to look at the Rehab Plan from the Therapist before you begin therapy. Compare rehabilitation plan with different therapist and select that one that appears most aggressive, this means they business - which is what you must have!!!!! 6 - Do research - the web as many resources... Look at what a plan should look like, be familiar with the exercises you will be doing, before your surgery. 7 - Because you will be on many pain killers - be prepared to take laxatives - I was down during my first week of surgery with constipation, I did not know that my first week was critical to my success - I am now paying the price! 8 - Lastly do not trust your doctor or therapist BLINDLY - they are not God - and certainly they DON'T know it all! If anyone has any suggestions for what I can do to straighten my knee four months post-surgery PLEASE tell me. I must get this knee straight before my back goes out! Thank you and May Jehovah God Bless.

August 25, 2006 6:51 AM

I am scheduled to have surgery in a couple of weeks. Has anyone had ACL reconstruction under regional and not general anesthesia?

Rich in Boston
August 27, 2006 10:12 PM

This reply is to Nicola and to Jasmine. Nicola is so right. I tore my ACL and MCL 8 years ago playing Indoor soccer and I only had arthoscopic surgery done to repair the MCL 8 years ago. I have lived with a torn ACl for 8 years now and I am very active. I always wear my massive knee brace during sports, but I have blown out my knee 8 times in the last 8 years playing sports and even dancing in a club one night because I never had the ACL surgery when I was 21 years old. I regret that decision and my surgeon should have done it. Long story. Anyways, I blew my knee out in Softball 3 weeks ago in 8/06 and I am now going to get the ACL surgery finally done in 10/06 in Boston, MA. Wish me luck, I'm bummed out, no skiing or any sports for at least 8-10 months. Do not put off the surgery. You will regret it. Peace

August 29, 2006 8:59 AM

I tore my AC ligament playing American football, I had to wait for nearly a year on the NHS for surgery, the alternative was going private and paying £6000. I had a day surgery, I checked in that morning and left the same day on crutches, however when I got home i was constantly in pain and on pain killers. 1 year down the line, I can play competitive soccer and I do play weekly, I am still a bit too scared to go back to American football which is a shame beacuse I loved the game. My advice is to pay attention to the exercises and work out in the gym as often as you can. I still run faster than 99% of the people on my football team :)

August 29, 2006 2:52 PM

Lil, my husband had the ACL surgery done in April and he didn't use the general anesthsia. He used epidural. Also we requested to have sedation because he didn't want to watch the whole surgery. In this way, he was like taking a nap and didn't know what's going on. After the surgery, he felt great and no nausea feelings.

August 30, 2006 3:48 AM

im having my surgrey 6 months after tearing my acl has anyone else waited that long

August 31, 2006 1:00 PM

Hi All, Good to see a forum with everyone sharing their stories. As for me, I am a 23 year old who had a full thickness tear of my L-ACL. 8 Days ago I had reconstruction from my own pattella tendon the also shaved 30% of my meniscus. I have to say that luckily i am having a great recovery. I got rid of the crutches after 4 days. I was only on pain meds for 3. I am riding a stationary bike for up to 30 min a day in addition to all the recomended excercises from my PT. My PT said i am on the road to maybe a 6 week recovery. Now i know there is a reson for this. I hurt my ACL in december skiing, then again in may playing volleyball, finally in the summer tryin to climb a tree (i know i'm an idiot). After seeing the surgeons they told me the best thing to do is get my leg in shape for the surgery. Now i am a very active outdoors man, I whitewater kayak, rock climb, ice climb, ski ,snowboard, mountain bike, road bike, and hike. After hurting my knee the thrid time i got serious about making the kneee strong. I stopped doing anything except for Road biking. I rode my road bike EVERY day and did up to 200miles a week. This is what made the difference. So don't rush to surgery allow yourself time to build up that muscle. This has made all the difference to me and my recovery. I know i am still early on but I have a great outlook for the possiblilty of returning to the activities that i love in maybe 3 months! So get on a bike and get your knee strong it really will make all the difference for you ! Mike

August 31, 2006 2:11 PM

Hi all, great resource! I am a 40 year old patient, tore my ACL on 5/27/06. Tomorrow I am 8 weeks post op with an allograft donor tendon (had the surgery on 7/7/06), and starting to really see progress over the last couple of weeks. I did a few weeks of physical therapy prior to the operation, which I think helped a lot. I was very nervous going into it. I had general anesthesia and stayed in the hospital overnight (some sort of 23 hour observation thing). While in the recovery room I had a morphine drip, which kept me pretty well out of it. I was in a CPM machine and cryo-cuff almost immediately after the surgery. I saw someone ask upthread about the ride home, I was pretty lucky there and just sat longways in the back seat of our SUV. I didn't do too well with the morphine, from the time I was unplugged from the IV and released from the hospital through the short drive home I tossed my cookies four times. Once I got home I was in the CPM and cryo-cuff pretty much non-stop for the first few days, to the point that the back of my leg had purple bruises the full length. We were going through about 40 pounds of ice a day in the cryo cuff for a couple of weeks. The first week was really rough pain wise, I was chomping pain pills every 3 hours. By the end of the second week it had tapered off, and by the 3rd week I was back to work doing half days. I was on two crutches and the brace, but by around week five I was down to one crutch, and able to hobble around the house without it. This week I've been able to leave the crutch home, and I am just about where I was before the surgery. More than a few times I questioned my decision to have the operation. Hats off to those of you who have had to do this more than once! Now that the worst is behind me, I am getting more and more enthusiastic about having had it done. I definitely see improvement after each PT session, and there are moments where I feel like my old self again. I feel very lucky in that my wife is a school teacher, so she was home throughout my recovery. I agree with the previous poster about how surreal the whole thing has been- from consultations to MRI to the whole hospital experience and then recovery, it's been the weirdest summer of my life, and it's amazing to me to look back and think that it really happened. I play in a rock band and jump around on stage a lot, and I can see myself getting back to my old form, which is very exciting. Good luck to everyone with surgery pending!!

September 1, 2006 12:00 AM

hi about last friday i tore my hamstring in a football game and i have been going to physical tharpie and i would just like to know what the averge time period it takes to heal

September 2, 2006 1:05 PM

hi everyone, i commented on this site a while ago i think, well my story. i tore my right acl and menial and lateral meniscus back in feb 2006. I am a senior in high school now but then i was still a junior, I was in the college search then for (soccer) i had only a couple of offers from different places but it didnt satisfy me. i decided to continiue to play at a highly competitive level and thats exactly what i did for 3 months. yes i ordered a brace wore it for about 45 min and took it right back to the doctor and said sorry i can not wear this. it almost felt like it was a constant reminder of my knee. so i just worked out the muscles that wrap around the knee about 4 times a week and i was back to playing at id say about 95% then in april i was cheap shotted right whereit counts the knee gave for the first time since feb the pain was bad but i could still walk alright. the thing that got me to get the surgery was yeah i was playing well enough to get what i wanted but the next level wasnt there if you compete in a high level you know what im talking about. i know if i didnt get it i would DIE incollege soccer. if anyone is unsure about the surgery process (i had a contra graft) feel free to email me my email is ! i know how much someone goes through especially when they want to return to thier sport im back playing 4 months later(got the surgery may 9) and im more than ready to show em what i got...

lisa carlson
September 3, 2006 5:03 PM

my daughter just had her 4th surgery on her knee. it was her 2nd total acl repiar. she blew her knee as a freshman in basketball. after her 1st surgery on the acl she came down down with mrsa staff infection,(#2) it was nasty they said it came from the screws at surgery time. had pick line in for 3 months , at 15 years old its not a good time to try bonding with your daughter. year off therapy and tried track, then even with a brace on something popped in softball. after a surgery(#3) for her miniscus, we found out her acl was bad. her surgery was thursday aug.31st. sunday night sept 3rd we are going to the movies and can walk without cruthes. not without me screaming at her though. her recovery this time is unbelievalbe. not sure if its because how deadicated she is to therapy, or the cooling machine, or possibly the muscle schock thing she is doing. or possibly a great dr. i would suguest to anyone to go with the hamstring . even the dr. s recommended using the patella, just after having it this way, it seems much better. less pain full. as parents we dont want our daughter to be in sports anymore, after 4 surgerys you start to wopnder if its worth it. she is out this year and if she decideds to try it , it will be her senior year. woould not even matter if she wasnt so competive. good luck to all

September 3, 2006 11:44 PM

I tore my ACL at the end of April 2006 playing soccer. I waited until August 18 2006 to have ACL reconstruction surgery. I had 2 faciaotomies on my calves in Oct and Dec 03, and I had a lot of scar tissue build up and some nerve damage that still has not gone away. Because of this, I decided to use a cadaver graft to minimize the possibity of nerve damage and scar tissue build up. It is now 2 weeks and 2 days since my surgery and I think I am doing well. The orginal goal of my physical therapist was to have me walking without crutches by 2 weeks post op. I was walking 6 days after surgery without crutches. I was able to do straight leg raises without a quadriceps lag a day later, or one week after surgery. My active range of motion as of 3 days ago was -8 degrees to 90 degrees. My passive range of motion is -8 degrees to 100 degrees. I began physical therapy 3 days after surgery and I still had 8 degrees of hyper extension. I have gone to 6 PT sessions and this week I begin therapy in the pool at PT. My physical therapist told me that I can walk around my house without the brace on, which is a relief to my annoying brace. I waited 3.5 months from the day of my tear to the date of my surgery, and I didn't do physical therapy during that time. To anyone else that has had the same recovery pattern that I have had, how long did you have to wear the immobilizer brace for? To me, its the most uncomfortable part of recovery and the hardest thing to get used to?

September 4, 2006 4:18 PM

I waited 8 years after tearing my ACL for surgery. My only reason for waiting this long is i was 17 and plain stupid. I spent years in PT and it never got better. I decided that being able to be active was way more important to me at 25 than it was when i was younger. i just had surgery the 30th. Today is my 5th day after surgery. The surgery went well and with the help of the morphine i wasnt in that much pain. The second day was the worst for me, because all of the drugs from surgery had left my body i was left to rely only on Vicodin. When I am sitting or laying with my leg elevated I am pain free. Standing up from my bed or chair is still incredibly painful though. i have the first post-op doctors appointment tomorrow. I read this blog in the weeks prio to my surgery and found everyone's comments very helpful! Thanks!

September 5, 2006 5:55 AM

KiKi Do you know what anaesthetic regime your husband had, as I really don't want a general for my ACL reconstruction after the horrid time I had after my meniscectomy.

Bill in England
September 5, 2006 2:11 PM

To Derrick - If you are on the NHS waiting list, 6 months is quick! My left knee took 13 months ( & I had skipped the queue by paying for the scan/consultation). My right knee was done on 3 August 2006 & I waited 10 months. It could have been 6-8 monhs, but I wanted the same surgeon again as he was recommended independently by 3 physio friends, a doctor friend & my own doctor. 1 month on & I am glad I waited. I see Michael Owen has just gone to America to have his ACL repaired. Let's see if I back playing before him!

September 5, 2006 3:16 PM

Hi Derrick I waited five years. Carollynne

September 5, 2006 11:06 PM

Its been almost 7 years since my ACL operation. Doc used my hamstring for the repair and still to this day, I struggle to get my hamstring strong again. This has been very frustrating. Anyone have this problem??

September 6, 2006 2:58 PM

Derrick, I tore my ACL skiing late October 2005. In April 2006, I scheduled my surgery for the fall of 2006 since I did not want to do the rehab during the summer. I will have it in the beginning of October 2006, so it will be almost a year. I should have had it done sooner because I am having pain with just daily activities.

September 7, 2006 10:48 AM

Rosi - my husband had epidural for his ACL resconstruction surgery using the patellar tendon. We also requested a sedation, so my husband won't be aware of what's going on around him during the surgery. He said it's taking a nap. The reason that we don't want to have the general anesthetic is after he had the appendectomy, he was throwing up every 15 mins for 24 hours straight. That's horrible. This time, he felt great and no nausea feeling at all. So you might want to explain to your doctor about you have problem or bad experience with the general anesthetic, and see if he can do local anesthetic like epidural instead. If you don't want to watch the surgery, ask for sedation.

September 7, 2006 8:29 PM

I have been skimming this site for about 2 weeks. I first tore my ACL and Meniscus about 15 years ago while playing high school Lacrosse. I body checked an attackmen, and we both went down, but my left knee was the first body part to hit the ground, disinegrating the ligament. I had reconstructive surgury about 4 months after the injury, utlizing the hamstring. I had a tough time with the initial recovery. I was in the hospital for 4 days and was not permitted to even try and get out of bed until day 2 or 3. Pain was anther issue as I was 14 at the time and I really do not recall getting any pain killers except tylenol. All was well until almost a month ago when I had a freak accident and twisted my left knee. I felt about 3 pops and I knew it was bad. After the MRI it was determined that I retore the ACL, damaged the PCL, MCL, and Meniscus. It is now a month later and I just had my surgury this morning. I was amazed at how the technology has changed in 15 years. I was in and out in a day. I arrived at 6 am and was out by 1p.m. I had the cadaver allograft, as this is the prefered method for revisional ACL surgury, since I am almost 30 and not playing competive sports, I thought this the best option for me. I have been out of the hosptial for 8 hours and feel great. The worst part of this experience was the Demoral, and Percosit given in the hospital. I was on an empty stomach and I had the naseau but absolutely no pain!!! Even at home there is no pain ( due to the Vocidin ), and unlike the first surgury I can walk on cruthes and bear weight. Havine been thru this before I was mentally prepared for the worst and have been pleasently surprised up to this point. I hope everyones ACL surgury goes as well as this

September 8, 2006 9:28 AM

hi, i tore my acl in febuary and apparantly i didnt need surgery so from feb until now i have been doing physiotheropy, but yesturday my physio said that my knee will always be unstable, and i cud just do one little thing and i would be back to square one. I was really upset about this as im only 16, and i really want to do some not so crazy things, like go backpacking, windurf, surf. Go skiing again, but the physio said i wouldnt be able to do any of that. So im now thinking again about the sergury but it seems to take so long to recover im scared of missing a lot of school as im taking my AS i cant really be doing with a lot of time off. and now im confused and in the need of advice. thank you

Eric Lawson
September 8, 2006 10:54 AM

Eric- I recently just tore my ACL for the third time on the same knee, my doctor said it is only the third person he has ever had this happen to. My first injury came when i was a freshamn in high school and i got hit in football with a helment, i then tore it agian my junior to senior year playing basketball, the finally i tore it 3 years later playing basketball agian. I have to get surgery on it for the third time now. My first time the took it from my hamstring and the second was a cadavior. Hopefully this will be my last surgery!

September 10, 2006 12:31 PM

Hello there. I am a 15 years old female and I tore my ACL in late april of 2006 while playing in a soccer game. I was on a breakway towards the goal, but when the defender was coming up behind me and attempted to slide tackle me, I jumped up. When I came back down, my knee completely gave out, twisting and creating a huge CRACK noise. I had surgery at the end of june of 2006, as they repaired my ACL and my meniscus. I will have to miss all my highschool freshman sports of soccer and basketball this year, which is a huge bummer. I have been going to physical therapy every week for two weeks since the surgery, and things are going well. It's been about two and a half months since the surgery, and I have almost complete range of motion in my knee. Hopefully this will the first and the last of my knee injuries!

September 10, 2006 8:12 PM

on the first day of football practice i tore my acl, strained my mcl and shredded my menisci in my left knee. I had surgery a month later that lasted about 2 hours. I quit taking the oxycontins prescribed to me the day after surgery because i felt they did no good (i was right). I began to walk with my knee immobalizer a week after surgery and now, four days later, i am walking unsuported around my house. Whenever i go out (to school or to the store) i wear my knee brace. Everyone tells me about their broke knees and how they were on crutches for weeks and weeks and they're all pretty much amazed that i am up and about. I can bend it 110 degrees on my own and support my full weight (260) on my injured knee. I look foward to fishing and running equipment in the coming weeks but all in all i'll probably take it easy for awhile.

September 12, 2006 5:55 AM

Hannah-Get the surgery when you are done with your AS !! It will be the best thing you have ever done. I got my surgery when I was only 14. Age doesn't matter it's what you love to do that you could never give up on. It's worth it inthe end. I'm 15 now and just gotten realesed to play basketball from my doctor and even though it was painful at times, it's all worth it in the end.

September 12, 2006 3:32 PM

I tore my ACL (God knows how, I didn't even feel it) playing handball... Handball is big here in Norway ;D. I'm 21, and I've played for 12 years. Never had a problem. Then I changed shoes, or that is, I changed brand. About 20 minutes into the game, my ACL went bye-bye. Moral: If it works, stick with it... Anyway, I don't have to tell you guys how much this sucks. Had the operation 12 days ago. A hamstring graft was used, plus something called an EZloc to fix it to the femur. It didn't hurt, but it is uncomfortable. I managed to walk without crutches today, which feels really good, cuz now I know I'm having some progress. I'm really glad I had the surgery. Without it, I'd probably never play any ballsports ever again. To those in doubt; Yes, the recovery takes time. Yes, it is uncomfortable and even painful. But it is worth it. I'd rather have 3-6 months of three times the time and effort in my workouts, than having to be careful for the rest of my life and being afraid of causing trauma to the knee. Bottom line: Get the surgery, do as your physician says, and you'll be back at 100% in no-time. That's how good the surgeons are nowadays. Good luck!

September 13, 2006 2:56 PM

I just had ACL surgery August 18. I am in my full 3rd week of recovery. I am an active person and have little patience. However, I am very glad I had the surgery. With a lot of physical therapy and positive thoughts, I will be up and running again. My thoughts are that I just want to be normal again. I see progression every day with my slow but good recovery.

September 19, 2006 6:27 AM

well, i tore my acl during a high school soccer game and i'm having a surgury 2 days from today and im just kinda of nervous of how its going to turn out and im hoping i can get back to being back to 100% because im only 16 and i feel that i may have a future ahead of me and one question, how does the pain feel the first couple of days after surgery.

September 20, 2006 8:00 AM

I had my acl surgery aprox. 5 months ago. I am a 42 year old female. I did not have insurance so I have run out of money to continue physical therapy and doctors visits. I started jogging about a month ago but I really do not remember when they said I could go back to playing sports like tennis, raquetball (non contact) I am not in the shape of most of you youngsters out there but was wondering when most people's doctors allow them to return to non contact sports.

September 20, 2006 12:38 PM

I'm 7 months out of ACL surgery and still don't have full range of motion back. I'm close in extension - it will straighten but not hyperextend and lock out. Flexion I'm about an inch away from getting my heel to touch my bottom. My doctor says it could take as long as a year to get full range of motion back. He says it's not scar tissue - but another type of fibrous tissue that has built up in my knee and it typically goes away on it's own eventually. I have been stretching my knee every single freaking day for 7 months. Has anyone else had this problem with ridiculously slow progress with ROM?

September 22, 2006 1:12 PM

ELLEN. I also tore my ACL and am getting surgery soon. My doctor told me the best exercise is riding a bike. He also said that with good physio I can return to sports for sure by the 6 month mark. Hope that helps you.

September 25, 2006 8:54 AM

I'm 30 and tore my ACL in April 2006 and had surgery in May. Its been only 4 months and my recovery has been great. I don't have full range of motion as someone else had asked, but it is very close. I can almost kneel completely down, and am just slightly off from full locking extension. For those looking to get this surgery, make sure to do your rehab. Rehab will get you back fast like it has for me. The pain was very minimal for me.

September 26, 2006 2:03 PM

I had ACL surgery six days ago. I'm currently not on any heavy medication; just ibuprofen. I have a very hard tiem bending my knee at all, but i found that an exercise bike is helpful. Slowly pedal backwards until your weak knee is stretched, but comfortable. Hold it, then SLOWLY pedal forwards to release. soon you'll feel able to pedal all the way around.

September 27, 2006 4:10 PM

I am 63 years old and I tore the ACL and PCL and Meniscus. The Dr. said that older individuals don't need to have the ACL repaired because they don;t use t that much. I am very active and I was wondering what you thought are about something like this. I was told with the ACL surgery, my knee would be stiff because of my age. I was also told without the surgery my knee would be stiff. I would like to know your thought or if anyone else my age has experienced any of this. Thanks!

September 28, 2006 7:47 AM

I just had ACL surgery on Sept. 21st, so I'm 7 days post-op. I orginally injured my right knee skiing back in 1993. My upper body went one way and below my right knee went the other way. I heard the pop and had slight pain. Swelling was minimal and my knee was weaker but with walking, weightlifting and bike riding all seemed fine. Then in 2002 injured it again, much worse. Heard the pop, swelling was much greater and the knee was slightly unstable. Bike riding, weightlifting and walking helped but my knee was not the same. More recently, Oct 2005 was doing my hobby racing RC boats. It began to rain and a friend got his trailer and truck stuck in the mud. I bunch of us hopped up on the back bumper to try to bounce the truck out of the mud. My fiance noted people might get hurt, off the truck and we'll tow it out. I just jumped about two feet, off to the right onto soft grass and heard the infamous pop. This time my knee seemed to catapult me at the sound of the pop, in the opposite direction. I fractured the tibia, tore the meniscus, tore my ACL and screwed up my knee cap. The pain was immediate and intense and this time, the swelling came on fast and my knee was twice the size of the other knee. My fiancee took me right to the ER. The next day I picked a sergeon who did sports injuries and came very well recommened by people I knew. First he drained two big vials of blood and fluid from my knee. Next was surgery to repair my torn meniscus and now I just had the ACL replacement surgery. A cadaver piece was used. He also did a lateral release and cleaned up scar tissue from the meniscus surgery. I've got relatively low pain except after physical therapy, when my knee feels lots of pain about an hour after PT. Rehab is definately the key to recovery. I have always been very active and involved in sports all my life. The span of time between the meniscus surgery and the ACL surgery was 11 months. During that time I tried to stay as active as possible, but I was definately limited to simply walking (in pain with not much stability in my knee) and not much else. I knew I couldn't live the rest of my life like this, so I chose to have the ACL surgery. I can really feel the ACL there now, where before I couldn't. At this point, skiing is a pasttime. I did it well, but I'm not going to risk this again. My "bad" knee is going to be stronger than my "good" knee and I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things soon. My doctor and physical therapist are very happy with my recovery. They say I'm not a challenge and boring because I'm healing fast. My big issue is getting back on track with my knee and loosing the additional 40 pounds I gained between the meniscus surgery and my ACL surgery. Onward and upward! It can only get better!

October 2, 2006 5:35 PM

I am 15 years old. I tore my ACL in July and had surgery in August. It will be 8 weeks this Friday. I knew this would be a tough recovery, but know one could have prepared me for the pain the next few months would have brought me. I think I have cried more these last couple of weeks than I have in my whole life. I am currently working on getting range of motion back. It is the worst. Nothing comes easy. I get to what I think is a good measurement, and they say "5 more". It is physically and mentally draining. I'm sure there is light at the end of the tunnel, but there's no glimse of it yet. God Bless anyone who experiences this injury!!

October 2, 2006 9:47 PM

I just tore my ACL last week (Oct 26th) playing basketball. I am leaning toward the cadaver surgery, but want some feed back. With the closures of a lot of these doner banks recently by the Center of Disease Control, I am a little skeptical of the doner graff. Please give me your experience and feed back.

October 4, 2006 9:31 PM

Who would recommend Allografts? I am torn (no pun intended) wheter to get the allograft or the hamstring graft. I am worried about the graft not taking or getting an infection from it.

October 5, 2006 9:50 AM

I have had two surgeries over the past two years. The first one was to repair a torn meniscus and the second was the reconstructive acl. I still can't completely lock my knee and when I sit for a long period of time, it's very difficult for me to...uncurl? my leg from that position. I usually have to press my hand on the knee and slowly try to make it not so bad so that I can at least walk right. I do some jogging and of course, lots of stretching before and after. I was wondering if anyone who has had this kind of surgery has the same problems. Also, any excercises you could reccomend would be welcome. I guess I'm just worried because it's been so long and sometimes (specially after a long day of walking) the pain in my knee is just unbearable.

October 6, 2006 7:32 PM

i tore my acl last nov. just had surgery two months ago. things are going good its just, i wont ot go back playing sofball so bad! but i just dont know how long it would take. i already missed volleyball and basketball! it really sucks!

kristen muller
October 11, 2006 4:28 PM

i tore my acl, mcl and my meniscus skiiing in January...i had surgery my senior spring break of highschool :(....bryne i know exactly what you are talking about it is very hard for me to "uncurl" my knee after sitting for a long time... i tried keeping it strait while i sat down but then it hurts the other way as dad got a total knee replacement and his advise is just keep it moving...even a little wiggle helps sometimes when you cant move for a while...this summer i went to hawaii and was stuck on a plane and that was the worst part. So just move it as much as possible. Good luck!

October 15, 2006 10:44 AM

I shredded my ACL playing Varsity Tennis in late August and am now scheduled for surgury in mid November. I guess I'm just worried I'll be in excruciating pain and won't be able to feel ok for a really long time. Good luck to the rest of you and your various problems :o)

October 17, 2006 3:24 AM

I've just spent the last hour reading all the comments. It has been very helpful. But I have some questions, particularly for young women athletes who play competitive soccer. My 17-year-old daughter had a collison with a goalie on a breakaway 8 days ago. On-site diagnosis was MCL. MRI 3 days later revealed torn ACL and OS said Grade II MCL. He recommended surgery with hamstring autograph. During pre-op today, he is now diagnosing Grade III MCL and now recommends allograph to repair the ACL and he plans to surgically repair the MCL too. He is the best OS in town and repairs our elite high school and college athletes. BUT, I am concerned about the allograph, especially as daughter has scholarship to play soccer in college. I have read, on this site, many young athletes who used allograph. Any advice appreciated!

October 17, 2006 4:53 AM

Just had ACL repair on 10/10/06. This is my second ACL repair in 8 years, thanks to my large dog. Surgery took 1.5 hrs, it started at 9:30 am and I was back home by 3:30 pm. I worked the knee out quite a bit prior to surgery and I was able to start walking on it 3 days after surgery without crutches. Biggest complaint is shin-splints on steroids, my shin is very sore. I stopped meds on the second day and went to Tylenol due to extreme itching and nausea from the pain meds. All and all, in comparision to my first surgery where I was in the hospital overnight and had to wear a brace for quite a while, this is a dream. It's a week later and I am back to work. Next stop, physical

Philippe Farrugia
October 17, 2006 1:23 PM

Hello everyone, I was just wondering if anyone knew of advantages/disadvantages of replacing your acl with your hamstring vs patella tendon? (Stability, long term, etc) Any help would be greatly appreciated, Phil

October 17, 2006 7:59 PM

I just tore my ACL about 6 weeks ago playing soccer....knee bent the wrong direction and i felt a snap! (not good) so i had surgery oct 9, 06 (with the cadavar ACL and fixed lateral and medial miniscus repairs) and now i am supposed to do physical therapy at home until I go in the first time. I can to the leg lifts and muscle flexes, but I cannot bend my knee this normal? Or should I just endure the pain and bend it. I am just afraid that i will damage it more, esp being so soon after surgery. advice wouldld be MUCH appreciated :)

October 17, 2006 8:03 PM

in response to Gabby, I had the alograft and it seems to work wonderfully! I also have a scholarship to play at school. the Dr's know what they are doing, and they test for all sorts of things, so the risk is not as high. the advantages of cadavar vs. others are that there is not as much pain (as ive had none since the first night), and less incisions, and there is no hamstring damage that has to be trained back to health as well. hope it helped a little!

October 18, 2006 5:37 PM

Hello Everyone, This my first time here. I see people updating comments daily! I have question, for 3 months now, I have been diagnosed w/ patellar femoral syndrome. Doing all therapy, taking anti-flammatory, and so forth. Don't seem to get better. My knees aren't straight, knee caps face inward a little. I dance Latin and Ballet (hobby only) But stopped. Anyone have any tips, hopes, suggestions, just doesn't seem I'll ever dance. Am supposed to build vm muscles but sure not happening...anyone gone through this before?

October 19, 2006 1:14 PM

Hi there, I had Patellar Tendon ACLR just over two months ago now. I was strongly recomended by my surgeon to have the patellar tendon reconstruction over the cadaver or hamstring because I am very active. The hamstring has been shown to stretch over time in some studies and the cadaver tissue has to be cleaned and processed so much that the tissue breaks down a bit. Your own tissue also integrates into your body much more strongly than does the tissue from someone else. That being said, there are so many differing opinions out there about which type of reconstructive surgery is best. If you can't decide, go with what your doctor does most. He/she will be best at it.

October 19, 2006 9:11 PM

My 16 yr old daughter tore her acl in a soccer game on 10/10/2006. She is going to physical therapy and we see the dr in 2 weeks to see where she stands. We are going to go ahead with surgery. She is a standout sprinter for her high school track team, setting records in her sophomore year and making states indoor and spring. She was looking forward to an outstanding junior year indoor and outdoor track season. She is also an excellent soccer player, also playing travel soccer - indoor and spring. Does anyone know if it is possible to return to running form in 4-5 months - that is when spring track begins, travel soccer the same? She is very physically fit and a hard worker so I know she will do whatever it takes. I just am looking for someone who can give her hope - she is just devastated. She was planning on running and playing soccer in college - but now feels that won't be a possiblity. I am so afraid she will fall into a depression, she is so sad. Thanks for any hope anyone can give!

October 20, 2006 7:58 AM

I tore my ACL at football I'm getting surgery on Nov 30th I wanna be back for State Werstling tourny in February is there any way I'll be able to or is the ACL going to get torn again

October 20, 2006 10:47 AM

Dear Theresa: I am a 40 year old mom who tore her ACL on March 12th, 2006 down hilling skiing. Had rehab after the wrong surgery and had my ACL replaced on May 5th. I returned to work 5 days later and have a job that is very active. I too thought that water skiing and down hill skiing were in my distant past. However, it is a matter of mind over matter. I am still in the healing process, but my knee feels 100%. Exercise Exercise Exercise is all I can say. Your recovery is based on you and your attitude. You can work through the pain, therapy, and be back on your feet in no time. I am going to be fitted for a special brace in December and plan to hit the hills on February 1, 2007. Anyone who is highly active should have no problem with a complete recovery. Don't give up. You will be amazed at your body and the ability to recover (even for us older folks at 40!! ha ha) 99.9% is mind over matter - just remind yourself of that - you will be active again. Nancy

Haylie Ann DeWitt
October 20, 2006 5:49 PM

wow yeah i had my ACL surgery last wednesday, im 16 and im a huge soccer play and Fast-Pitch player...i made all state for soccerim only a junior which is a good thing..but the rehab is definantly hard i started rehab the day after surgery and its my second week and im already walking a bit(with doc's promission of course)this is definantly one of the most gruling things ive ever had to do.

Brandyn Powers
October 23, 2006 12:50 AM

Hello, on May 3rd, 2006 I was struck from behind by a car as I was walking down the road. Other then a couple of fracturded vertabras a ruptured (which means torn completly in half) ACL was my only long turm injury. At first my doctor thought i wasn't going to need surgery. I'm active but not sports active. I am a auto painter, so not much usage of ACL. But my knee gave out on me a couple of times so the doc thought i should go on ahead with the surgery. So after a couple of months of phycal therpy to stregthen my knee(the stonger the knee befor surgery the stonger and quicker rehab time after surgery)I am finaly having surgery tomorrow morning.(oct 23,2006) My doctor wanted to do a hamstring graph so it would be less rehab and pain but he did warn me and you should do as well if you have the same graph. Not to over do your self with the hamstring you don't feel much pain and the knee feels better then it already is so becarfull of what you do. If you over do your self you can do nervdamage. I've spent days researching and studying on ACL reconstructions. and asked my doctor everything I could think of which you should do as well. Well wish me luck.

Betsy K.
October 23, 2006 7:24 AM

The more I read, the more confused i get! I am probably on the older side compared to most of you. I am 48, partially tore my ACL 6 years ago and managed to ski and play tennis with a brace only(no surgery at the time). 6 weeks ago, blew out my ACL completely just getting out of the car! In the past 6 weeks my knee has given out 4 times with simple movement. MRI showed a complete ACL tear and meniscus tear. I am scheduled for surgery next week. My doctor is recommending the cadaver graft, but he will do the hamstring if I don't want to use cadaver tissue.(Patellar is not an option for me because of my age, he feels the patellar tendon will be worn more and I may end up with anterior knee pain) I'm obviously concerned about using a cadaver graft vs. my own. I'm trying to weigh all the risks and benefits of each. Are there any older folk(like me) out there, who are active, had allograft surgery and have some advice??? I would love to hear from individuals who are also a few years post-op, to hear about long-term results? Thanks so much everyone.

October 23, 2006 6:10 PM

I tore my ACL the exact same way. Reading this article just gave me deja vu. I was playing indoor soccer with some of my guy friends and planted with my left trying to turn to my right and my foot stayed while the rest kept going. I tore my ACL MCL and Meniscus. It pretty much sucked. I started college this year and was recruited to play soccer but because of the incident I had to red shirt. But its now 6 months after surgery and my knee feels great.I also had the hamstring graft and I'm starting to slowly play soccer again. Those were some rough months so I feel ya. I just hope i dont do it again.

October 24, 2006 1:10 PM

I'm a 43 year old male and tore my ACL doing a spin kick in Taekwondo back in late August. Surgery (hamstring graft) is scheduled for November week! I'm a little nervous, but do not doubt my decision. I'm in good shape, and really don't want to be hobbled at this age. Surgery was really my only option if I want to continue doing the things I like such as taekwondo, water skiing, shooting hoops, etc. I plan to log on often, and thanks to everyone here for sharing their stories. -Brian

Troy Coleman
October 24, 2006 5:42 PM

Im getting acl surgrey in like 2 weeks im fucking scared. i am scared i wont be abel to bike again even though i can bike with my torn acl i just hope my rehab goes good and it heals so i can snowboard and do all my normal sports

Kevin Ng
October 25, 2006 12:05 PM

I torned my ACL early May 2006 during a basketball tournement and i was in complete pain. I went to the doctor and he helped me out to do an MRI which i had to wait for 3 months. The results came in as a torn ACL. I went through x-ray and now i'm waiting to see a knee specialist next week. I hope to get my surgery done as soon as possible, which I do not have a set date yet, so I can play my favourite sports. *sigh* Canada is slow in helping patients.

October 25, 2006 2:00 PM

Don't let age put you off - it's your fitness level that counts. I did both ACL's playing rugby two years ago at 47 years young. The left was done September 2005 & the right in August 2006, both using hamstring grafts. 12 weeks into rehab & I am back doing gentle jogging, skipping,etc. Listen to your physio & do the exercises regularly. Don't rush things, you will only suffer set backs. I thought I was ahead of the game after the 1st op, only to tear my weakened hamstring & it set me back about a month. My physio has been great & given me a full timetable of exercises, which I am sticking to.I wanted to learn to ski before I hit 50! My surgeon promised to have me ready for the 2007 season, my holiday is booked & its given me something to aim at. My surgeon does not see any reason why 2 ACL repairs should stop me from doing sports. He also thihks the two best sports in the world are skiing & rugby football!

October 25, 2006 2:52 PM

I too tore my ACL in soccer in August. Like Kevin, I waited forever for an MRI, but I've been lucky since. Saw the surgeon last week and will have surgery Nov 16 -- wow. NOw all I have to do is psych myself up for it. (Canuk, too)

October 26, 2006 6:55 AM

After reading some of the comments, I feel lucky to live in Midwest U.S. where we did not have to wait for an MRI and surgery. My daughter injured her knee in a collision with a goalie in a league soccer game on Oct. 8. She had an MRI on Oct. 11, which showed a torn ACL and MCL, and surgery on Oct. 18. She started physical therapy on Oct. 20. Her surgeon and physical therapist believe she will rehab in 4 to 6 months as she is in great shape and very motivated. From what I am reading, hard work and a good attitude are the keys to rehabilitating from the injury. My daughter's goal is to play some minutes of basketball on senior night in February, high school soccer in April-May and college soccer next fall. While we would love for her to get to play some BB this year, our eyes are on the big picture--college soccer. I have found the posts from high school and college soccer players who have returned to the game most encouraging!

October 26, 2006 9:02 AM

Gabby-what kind of graft did your daughter get and was/is she in a lot of pain??

October 26, 2006 9:21 AM

Lisa--My daughter had an allograft (cadaver) tendon. The doctor planned to use her hamstring, but changed his mind when he found that her MCL was torn from the tibia, making it a bit more difficult to harvest a tendon from her hamstring. (he repaired the MCL too.) I was a bit concerned at first, but then found (on this web site, by talking to other young athletes who had allografts, and more research) that all grafts have their advantages and disadvantages and the end result is that hamstring, patella and allografts all have about the same success rate. Our surgeon likes the hamstring and allograft. Other surgeons like the patella. We had two players on a club soccer team tear their ACLs in Spring 2005 and both had scholarships to play in college. One had a patella and the other had a hamstring. Both re-tore their graft (which is pretty unusual, I think)! The one who had the hamstring switched to an allograft, and it has held up after two years of college soccer. My daughter was in pain (from the surgery) at first. She is still on her pain meds, but getting around well on crutches just one week after surgery. She does her exercises at home (twice a day) faithfully, goes to the physical therapist 2-3 times a week, and ices. She sees her surgeon again on Monday.

October 26, 2006 9:44 AM

Thanks for the info! Our surgeon likes to use the patella graft and I was told to go with what the surgeon does the most. I've heard of people retearing the graft, but it usually is because they returned to sport too early. My daughter just plays varsity high school-she'd like to play in her senior year and then just play intramurals in college. Is your daughter back in school yet? My daughter is having hers the 20th of November because she hates to miss school & this was the least amount she would miss. She tore it 2nd preseason game(bummer), but we didn't know it was torn until a few weeks later because she didn't have the pain or hear the pop and the doctor and trainers told her her ligaments were intact. Boy what a shock when the MRI showed a completely torn ACL. Good Luck to you & your daughter. Mine is scared for the surgery & I am more scared for her recovery!

October 27, 2006 10:23 PM

Brian, Wow, sounds like me, except I am a 40 year old female. I tore my ACL, partial mcl and possible meniscus skiing last March. I have surgery on the 9th of Nov. And for the same reasons, I still want to ski, hike, rollerblade, waterski, play ball with my kids, etc. I made it through the summer with MUCH rehab and feel really strong now. Although it has been bothering me more the past few weeks than it has in a long time. I'm pretty sure I injured it more. I'm really nervous about the surgery, but I feel I'm ready. Especially with the new pain I'm having. I chose the allograph because that's what my doctor recommend for me. Let me know how it goes for you :) Remember...take the drugs... Barbara

October 28, 2006 11:49 AM

Barbara, I'll let you know how it goes after Wednesday. I plan on keeping a little journal and I'll post here regularly. This site has helped me know what to expect so I can prepare. Also, I'm trying to keep this operation in perspective. Yes, I know it's major knee surgery, but there are so many WORSE things that I could be having. My cousins boy, a 22 year old young man in college, was in a car accident this summer and is now paralyzed from the chest down. He has kept his head up, and is progressing well considering the circumstances. Compared to the mental and physical challenges he is facing, this is a walk in the park. So, I'm going to stay optimistic, and meet this thing head-on. Plus, I'll have LOTS of incentive to visit the health club over the winter, and that's a good thing because I tend to slack off a bit during the holidays ;) -Brian

October 29, 2006 12:34 PM

Brian, thanks for the perspective... Good luck Wed Barbara

October 29, 2006 5:05 PM

heyhey... i got an ACL surgery on my left about almost 6 months ago.. and everythin is seems fine... but my left thigh mucles arent as big as my right thigh mucles...and i heard i wouldnt b able to play if the muscles strength arent the same .... is that true? !!

October 29, 2006 10:37 PM

Gabby, Lisa, and everyone that has been discussing which kind of graft to daughter who tore her acl in Feb. 2006..playing H.S. Basketball at age popping ..just came to a sudden jump stop and went down...we knew the drill since another girls had it happen on our team 6 days bizzaar..right?? she had the patella mid one third of her tendon taken from her own knee to use for her reconstruciton...since her doctor...who does all kinds...recommended that...and then I reseached it and found out what he said was true...that Hamstring Graphs aren't as they could permenetely weaken/damage your hamstring in some cases... and the cadeavors grafts are not as strong..and could be carring since my young daughter ..who is now 16...and 8 months post just getting ready to re-enter the world of girls H.S. Basketball...was told to use her patella autograph...even though it makes the front of your knee really sore for a long does in time completely heal....and who ever asked if you have to have both knees strong before returning to sports..the answer is daughter has taken 3 Biodex Tests to see if the injured knee and the uninvolved knees strength deficiet is less than 15%...which is hard since your are strengthening usually both knees when you work matter whether you try not to work the good knee or still seems to get bigger and the repaired knee has a hard time "catching up".....but my daughter is determined...1st test and 2nd her deficeit was not 40%...but this passed week...after she had been working her quads and hams..more after her 6 month check up...she did really a 19% deficeit...and we go to the Dr. tomorrow that did the surgery to see if he releases...her for sports...since conditioning starts tomorrow I sure hope so...hang in there does get better and we are lucky that it isn't worse....the person that asked about running "track" in 4 to 5 months post op......don't know if i would risk it...but they do say that straight forward running isn't stressful on your knee...but long jump etc...and turning...cutting bad also..and soccer and basketball are the worse sports on knees...So I'll be praying everytime I see her playing...but trying to remember...she could have or still could hurt her knee tripping over a pebble...but she wouldn't have near as much fan as playing basketball....take care.

October 30, 2006 10:34 AM

I snapped my ACL in two 10 years ago when I was 44. The old fart doctor at the time told me that since I wasn't going to be skiing that I didn't need the replacement surgery. For 10 years I've suffered with lack of stability and episodes of my knee falling out. Is 54 too old to have an ACL replacement?

October 30, 2006 9:51 PM

Hi everyone, I've been reading some of the entries over the last month. I tore my ACL and meniscus on Oct 1st. I was out dancing with friends and my knee buckled out out of nowhere, although I use to play sports. I saw the on the doctor a few days, but only recently started doing leg excercises. At first it was really frustrating because it seemed impossible to fully straigten or completely bend my knee. But each day gets a little easier and a little less painful. However I do feel clicking or grinding when I fully bend the knee. Anyone know what that is and if it's normal? I have surgery on Nov 14th and am really nervous. I'm trying to stay positive and get myself mentally prepared for the physical therapy. I find it hard to keep with the excercises since I'm not as active (in sports) as I use to be. I wish I had that motivating factor! Well just wanted to share my experience so far. I'll be checking in soon!

October 30, 2006 10:02 PM

Hi everyone, I've been reading some of the entries over the last month. I tore my ACL and meniscus on Oct 1st. I was out dancing with friends and my knee buckled out out of nowhere, although I use to play sports. I saw the on the doctor a few days, but only recently started doing leg excercises. At first it was really frustrating because it seemed impossible to fully straigten or completely bend my knee. But each day gets a little easier and a little less painful. However I do feel clicking or grinding when I fully bend the knee. Anyone know what that is and if it's normal? I have surgery on Nov 14th and am really nervous. I'm trying to stay positive and get myself mentally prepared for the physical therapy. I find it hard to keep with the excercises since I'm not as active (in sports) as I use to be. I wish I had that motivating factor! Well just wanted to share my experience so far. I'll be checking in soon!

October 31, 2006 1:16 PM

Jessicat, I'm a physical thearpy student at college and I wish you the very best of luck and I encourage you to stick with your excercises before surgery. When I tore my ACL the doctor and everything I read said that it is acutually JUST as imporatant to excercise your muscles pre-surgery as it is afterwards. You may not think that it is doing anything, but it is actually creating more muscle memory and stimulating the growth hormones in those muscles. This will defenitly help in the long run to speed up you recovery process (later you will be doing ANYTHING you can to just speed up the healing). So, if you keep on working at it and setting goals for yourself, then i'm sure you will be just fine! I wish you the very best of luck with your upcoming surgery! :)

October 31, 2006 1:26 PM

MsNomer - My dad had two ACL replacements in his 40's and they went fine! However, I do know that the older you get, the longer it will take to recover. Since the body isn't producing as many growth cells as before, the recovery process will be very long and very hard, but that isn't to say that it cannot happen at all. With the right physical therapy program and dedication and determination on your part your knee will be as good as new in no time (6-8 months probably). The type of ACL replacement will probably have to be a from a cadaver rather than hamstring or patella. If you are having a lot of trouble just walking, i really hope that you consider this amazing opportunity that medical science has created for us! I wish you the best in your decision. :) Prayerfully, Bob

November 1, 2006 6:26 AM

Thanks, Robert for the comment. I'm having an MRI next Wednesday to see what's up with the knee. I don't look forward to any surgery, yet I'd like to be able to do more than I can right now. Thinking of walking on ice this winter scares me to death.

November 1, 2006 10:52 PM

I had surgery on my ACL last week. I took a look at the scars on my knee. I have to admit that having the surgery and dealing with the recovery is hard on me. I am very depressed becasue I can't believe i'm going through this. I don't want to cry because i'm afraid i wont stop. i'm afraid my knee (leg extention) wont be the same. this surgery was bigger than I thought it would be. I'm trying to stay postive, but it's hard. I have always been flexable and now i dont know if my knee will ever bend back. i have no one to talk to. I have no one to cry to. I do have friends, but most ofthem give me the, you'll be alright speech. I hate that this happened. Sorry to bum anyone one out. It's the first time I'm writing about my ordeal. I do hope anyone going through can find solace in their support system.

November 2, 2006 9:50 AM

Denise, I'm sorry but I have to agree with your friends. I felt the same way you did. I tore my ACL in an exhibition soccer game in Aug. that would determine whether I would make the new professional Women's Indoor Team in Atlanta. It happened with maybe 10 minutes left to play. I had my surgery on the 18th of this month and it is hard. This is my second surgery on this knee and both times I have felt like my knee will never be the same. Although I am still on my crutches I just got back to work, yes 2 weeks after my surgery, I am currently ending my first week of rehab and although I have cried of anger and pain this week, in the end my knee feels better. Just stick with it and learn to deal with the pain because the more dedication you give it the better you will be in the end. I promise!

November 3, 2006 7:51 AM

Dennis as Zuly mentioned, it will get better. The most important thing is determination and patience. I have not had any similar surgeries but my daughter has gone through two surgeries since March of this year. My daughter is 15 and a very active competitive soccer player. As a freshman she was the lead scorer for her Vasity team, made first Team all County and came out on Sports Illustrated. Unfortunately life has a way of giving us a reality check. Two weeks after she came out on Sports Illustrated she was playing for her Club Team and fell the wrong way. She not only tore her ACL, but her MCL, partial meniscus and her patella tendon. She had to undergo the first surgery to repair the patella tendon (which was shreaded) and MCL first. After 3 and half months she had undergo the ACL cadaver replacement surgery. She has surprised not only her surgeon but her therapist as well with the determination to get back playing soccer. After 7 and half months from the accident she is already running, jumping and doing drills. The doctor says if she continues this way she will be playing in December or January. Please be strong, as I told my daughter when this happened "This too shall pass". May God Bless you and give you strength every day to get stronger. Minnie

November 4, 2006 10:02 AM

This is a post just to encourage those who had acl surgery and are eager to get back into playing sports. I had acl reconstructive surgery on May 7 on my right knee. Its been about 6 months since then and I have been playing volleyball for about 4 weeks. I always ice it down after playing to control any swelling. I've been using a hinged off-the-shelf McDavid neoprene brace to play. The only problem/pain I have is occasional slight anterior knee pain (which I was told in normal for awhile) and knee stiffness. Once I warm-up, my knee feels great. I have an intramural basketball season coming up in a couple of months but I have already to started to practice a bit in between volleyball. Currently, I only work out my legs about 2 times a week using various exercises (resistance, plyometrics, sport-specific drills). Since I am actively playing sports and additional 2-3 times a week, I felt I didn't want to overload my knee just yet. For basketball I have a custim Cti2 brace since the sport is more rigorous and the style I play as a guard is a lot of driving to the basket. All in all, I feel my knee improving in comfort and overall strength every week. Since I studied kinesiology for my undergrad b.s. I was able to take the exercises the PT's gave me during my last session and customized it with things I knew would help me and it's helped a lot. If anyone has any questions on my progress, please feel free to contact me. I hope everything goes well for all of you. God bless.

November 5, 2006 9:38 AM

Hi Everyone, As an update and encouragement to the above poster. I just had mine done on November 1st with a Hamstring graft. Well, the first two days post-op I just didn't feel well because of the antesteshia, but have been up and around since. Friday I started my exercises, and am already seeing progress. I have some pretty decent flex (70 - 80 degrees), can control my quads, and the pain is minimal. I'm only taking one pain killer/day now at night and the rest of the time I'm sticking to Ibuprofen. I refuse to let this injury get me down. I'm going to the doc next Wednesday (1 week post-op) and will be having my first physical therapy appt. on Thursday. I'm ready and willing! Like many folks have said above in all sorts of ways, keep a stiff upper lip and you'll be just fine! I'm already bearing some weight on the injured leg, and can walk with one crutch which the doc said is just fine to do if I'm able. I plan on posting some progress reports as I go...I'm sure I'll have some downer days but they will be just that, ONE day. Pretty small potatoes in the big picture as I plan on feeling progressively better each and every week. In fact, I'm going to the gym today with my wife just to do some light upper body and keep myself in shape for the upcoming PT and to keep motivated. Hang in there, and talk to you soon! -Brian

November 5, 2006 10:00 AM

Reading this was kind of creepy because I injured my knee EXACTLY the same way, only it was my left knee and I tore my meniscus too. I have an appointment with the sports med surgeon this Thursday so we'll see what's to come!

November 5, 2006 3:00 PM

hello everyone i am a 15 year old boy and i tore my acl in august. it was at football practice dot no how i did it but i did i was wondering if they absolutely have to drill through growth plates to repair it and if there is any hope that i will be back for basketball next year?

Ervin McDaniel
November 5, 2006 7:31 PM

I love everyone's comments. I go in for surgery on 11/8 for an ACL, a torn lateral meniscus & a torn medial meniscus. This is quite encouraging since I do not know what to expect. Great site Adam! KEEP IT UP!

Joe B.
November 6, 2006 5:34 AM

I tore my ACL recently, I did it playing softball. I hit the firtbase bag rolled my ankle and my twisted one way and the rest of my leg the opposite way. Well I had surgery last thursday. The first couple days are killer because you are so groggy from the medication. Yesterday I could actually get up on my own using my cruches of course. I will go to my post op soon and stary physical therapy. It sounds like this is going to be a long fought road. But I will try my hardest and be strong.

November 6, 2006 10:28 AM

I had ACL replacement in AUgust. I tore my ACL in 1994 and finally got it fixed in 2006. I was so excited about the prospects of getting backon the soccer field and getting back to my more physical life. I had spent 12 years using crutches off and on and a brace anytime I was going to be on my feet. The doctor and I chose to use and allograft as my tendons and ligaments seem to be unusually elastic and it would not behove me to use an overly elstic replacement. The surgery went very well and I was in little pain after. As a matter of fact I took no pain killers at all after I was woken up. I was walking with a brace the day after surgery and started strenghtening exercises within 2 weeks. Then Things went bad. 3 weeks after the operation I fell down the stairs at my apartments. I finally got the MRI done on Nov 3. It is not good. One of the screws is not quite where it should be and I have torn cartilage and the ACL is in disrepair. I have an apointment next week to decide the fate of my knee. I am currently on crutches and in an imobilizer and this is getting quite frustrating. Has anyone else had to have thier ACL done twice, let alone the second time being before you even fully healed from the first?

November 6, 2006 1:47 PM

I trashed out my ACL and medial meniscus in Sept. while on a scuba trip to Indonesia. After discussing options with a sports med surgeon we decided it would be bet to go with an allograft from a tissue bank. Surgery was on Oct.24th, two weeks ago tomorrow. 50% of the meniscus was removed and the articular cartiledge behind the knee was cleaned up too. Prior to surgery I read on line about pre-op PT and started doing those excersizes to keep my muscles strong. I think that was escential in my post-op recovery. My surgeon and Phys. Therapist gave me excersizes to do imediately following surgery and for the week before my first follow-up. I did them religiously. My brace was unlocked to 10 degrees from full extension at that time and my crutches were ditched 4 days post-op. PT is going well and I have reached many of the 6 week PT goals already. I do wear the brace as well as thw support TED stocking which I think is esential for muscle support. I know I have a long road ahead, but by following all the PT advise and taking care not to push it and re-injure I am confident it will be strong again and I will be back to diving in about 8 - 9 months. I am a 48 y.o female.

November 7, 2006 4:56 PM

Hey yall...I'm Digit...I torn my ACL on Friday the 13th in January 2006, which was a horrible day...I did it in a high school basketball game and I was airborn and the girl behind me pushed me and fell on my knee as it crashed into the floor...Painful, painful painful...I had to wait to have surgery about 2 months after it happened due to all the swelling...I have been in theraphy for it since March and I am no where near being done...11 months later and NO scar tissue has begun to break up...I am starting to feel like this does not happen to everyone and that my rehab is taking way to long and I am getting no true progress...Does anybody else have this problem and when will I be 100% back to normal...I did pitch this fall for softball and it felt fine, but now back in basketball and it feels like it did when it happened...I think its all the running and cutting and stuff, but I just want it to be normal again!!! Uhhhhh...Thanks for listening...See yea...Toodles!!

November 7, 2006 4:58 PM

The only good thing about my surgery was that my Doctor did not make me where a brace after I began to walk normal again...I still have not had one to play sports yet, but I debating on if I should get one...Does it help any in sports for anybody?

November 7, 2006 5:00 PM

Also meniscus tears are not fun either I torn both and had to have them both stitched...DO NOT WISH FOR THIS!!

November 8, 2006 10:48 AM

hi elena. you and i have one thing in common. oct 24, 2006 was my knee operation. i tore my ACL too while playing basketball. but this accident happened 10 years ago. after that, i did my own therapy because i was not ready for a surgery yet. i survived 10 years with an unstable knee that kept on injuring from time to time, i think around 13 recurrent injuries in 10 years. until lately after gathering enough courage-10 years in the making-i had it done-ACL reconstruction. so far so good. i just follow doctor's/PT's advice and do regular therapy and challenge my knee as tolerated. slowly my knees are growing stronger, muscles beginning to reawaken. i hope the same is true with yours. let us see who gets back to full recovery and regular activity first. take care.

November 9, 2006 1:47 PM

I'm 8 days post-op now. Surgeon looked at my knee yesterday and said everything was looking great. I have about 90 degrees of bend or more, I'm walking without my crutcthes, and only take the pain pill at night. First shower yesterday, felt glorious! Best shower I've ever had :) Going in for my first day of PT tomorrow, and really, I am looking forward to it. All who are struggling, hang in there, it gets better. Talk to you soon. -Brian

Eliot Lee
November 9, 2006 2:45 PM

**8.5 MONTHS (34 WEEKS) POST-OP** Welp, I've been out of physical therapy since July 2006 and I got full release from my surgeon on August 8, 2006. I've been very active in the last couple months...I hiked Mt.Chapin (12454 ft.) in the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) - total ascent - 1,800 ft., the day after they closed Trail Ridge Rd., which meant an extra 5 hours, totaling close to 9 hours, of hiking back and forth to the Aspen Visitor Center. I've been snowshoeing and hiking long distances with my dog quite a few times since September 2006. I am going to be skiing for the first time since the accident and surgery next Friday at Eldora Ski Area where I got into the accident. The only problems I've confronted is a slight Patellar Tendonitis (in both my knees). But icing and extra Ipbrofin has soothed the pain. Keep up the good work, everyone! You can do it! :)

cj ballou
November 11, 2006 2:06 PM

i had my acl surgery last monday and im still in a lotof pain. i can walk around on crutches but it doesnt seem to be getting any easier with time

November 11, 2006 10:27 PM

I tore my acl Aug. 21,and I still havn't had my surgery yet.can anybody tell me is that good are bad.

November 12, 2006 12:20 PM

I tore my ACL back in June. Surgery date is November 30th. I have been in "pre-hab" for the past few weeks to get as close to full motion back and reduce inflamation before the surgery. I can only hope that I can ditch the crutches as soon as possible and start the long road of gaining my strength back in P/T. Anyone have any tips?

November 12, 2006 1:01 PM

I torn my ACL on July 1st. I am getting my surgery on the 16th. today I heard that ACL surgery is good for only 10 years and you would have to get it done again after 10 years, is that true? Can anyone answer this question? Thanks

Chris H.
November 13, 2006 10:45 AM

I injured my ACL last year playing Flag Football. I am having surgery on November 22nd. They are using my Hamstring to reconstruct the ACL. Has anyone not been able to play sports or saw a really huge difference in their abilities after the surgery when using their hamstrings? I also thought about going the Cadaver route. Has anyone had any problems using a Cadaver? Thank you for your time! Chris

November 13, 2006 12:18 PM

hi! anybody here who's 6 months post-op from ACL surgery (hamstring graft) ?? what sport activities (if any) have you so far been doing?? still any lingering problems on your knee?? thanks!

Eliot Lee
November 13, 2006 1:10 PM

"hi! anybody here who’s 6 months post-op from ACL surgery (hamstring graft) ?? what sport activities (if any) have you so far been doing?? still any lingering problems on your knee?? thanks!" I am more than six months out, actually about nine months out, and I've been able to do the following activities: * Hiking (2,000 ft. ascent, and many day hikes) * Snowshoeing * Alpine Skiing (first time since surgery on Nov 11, 2006) * Mountain Biking Good luck!

November 14, 2006 10:48 AM

I had ACL replacement surgery the last week of September (2006). I am still in the brace for normal daily activities, but take it off when lounging at home. Ditches crutches after the 3rd day with brace locked. Physical Therapy is tough but I push myself harder than they push me. Remember that pain is God's way of saying "quit doing that". You should never, ever hit the PAIN level, only discomfort in your exercises. The PT regime that I am on is from the military (Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio) and is 54 weeks long. Start is basic flexibility then on to strengthening and balance. I have allograph (cadaver) material as it is less invasive to your body, speeding up recovery. Take it by the day, take it slow, push yourself to the limits but not into the pain zone. Doug

November 14, 2006 1:15 PM

I fell at church on July 16, 2006. An MRI showed 3 weeks later that I had torn the ACL, MCL, and everything else that could possibly be torn. I made the decision to rehabilitate my knee and began therapy for 6 weeks. Soon as physical therapy ended, my knee has been declining for a couple of weeks now. I usually tire very easily now and can't seem to do everything I need to do now. Reading all the comments have been very helpful because I have become frustrated and depressed about my knee. I fear that I won't be able to go as much as I have in the past nor play sports with the children I work with daily. I have heard so many stories about this surgery and how painful it will be for me. I don't mind the pain though, if it will allow me to become active again. After reading your stories, I feel a little more confident about what will happen I am scheduled for surgery December 15, 2006. Hopefully, I can get through this and back to the many activites I was involved in previously.

November 14, 2006 6:45 PM

hey everyone...i tore my acl cheerleading last year and had the reconstructive surgery using my hamstrings. i'm now 5 1/2 months post-op and plan to return to cheerleading when i'm 6 months post-op. My knee almost feels completely doctor said i'll be fine for full activies and able to go back to training for cheerleading and gymnastics. Of course i will slowly ease into it! I'm able to return to sports because i've worked really hard and the biggest difference i've noticed is my hamstrings. They are slowly getting stronger but it will probably take longer than six months to get them completely back to the way they were before. I'm able to return to cheerleading and gymnastics because i've worked really hard. I go to the gym everyday and do all of my knee exercises religiously. I am very happy and pleased with my decision to use my hamstring. It is more painful than using a Cadaver and it will take longer to completely strengthen my hamstrings. But if i could i wouldn't change my decision. To anyone that is concerned with returning to sports. You can do it. But you have to DO YOUR KNEE EXERCISES AND FOLLOW EVERYTHING YOUR DOCTOR SAYS!!! I know its frustrating. But you will be normal again. Good luck to anyone dealing with a knee injury!

November 14, 2006 9:36 PM

I just had my MRI reading yesterday, it shows a small impaction fracture (like pushing your thumb into a ping pong ball) in my femur behind the knee cap, and the acl is torn. I was checking the oil in my truck, I was leaning over the front, with my knees against my bumper and a vehicle backed up right into me. OUCH!! Never felt anything like that.. Anyways, my dr suggested that I need to find another line of work. I am in construction and usually walking steel, 100' to 300' in the air. Will my knee be reliable enough after surgery to continue my job? Its pretty dangerous and very hard on the body as it is, especially knees, hips, and shoulders. Im pretty healthy and athletic and in the last six years have definately noticed some wear and tear. I only have 19 years to go, hope I make it...

November 15, 2006 6:25 AM

I’m exactly 2 weeks post-op now and am making good progress. Only taking Ibuprofen now, am sleeping well, and do not have to wear the brace at night anymore. I have 120 degrees of motion, am doing 1 leg balancing activities while throwing/catching a ball, and also the PT has me biking 10 – 15 minutes every session. I also do this stuff on my own when not at PT. I had the hamstring graft, so that muscle is weak yet, but just yesterday I noticed it was a little less painful. Additionally, I was able to pull the light resistance band with my hamstring at PT, which I was unable to do before. Patience is key in this process, don’t expect the world overnight. I’m not saying you shouldn’t push yourself, but don’t get frustrated either if you feel things are going slowly. One day at a time, rather than looking weeks into the future, is the way to go. Celebrate the little victories, and appreciate progress. It’s keeping me going, and not once have I regretted the decision to have this done. Good luck, and I’ll post again next week. -Brian

November 16, 2006 7:02 AM

My daughter goes in Monday morning to get her ACL reconstructed with the patella tendon. She is nice and strong going in with full range of motion and she has been strengthening her quads/hamstrings to prepare for surgery, so we are hopeful it will go as well as possible!! Will write back after and update-we are just ready for this to be over already as she tore it preseason soccer at the end of August.

Steven Phillips
November 19, 2006 1:23 PM

I had surgery on Oct. 20, 2006 for a torn ACL and miniscus tear. The injury occured during simple horseplay with my nephew, no contact involved, I basically overextended my knee. The first couple days after surgery were pretty intense, I could not find a comfortable position. I have been taking Lortab for the pain, it definitely helps although you have to be careful for it is "very" habit forming. I was given a full length leg brace that can be locked on the side to prevent bending the knee. I kept it locked all the time for the first week and slept with it also. The second week I was able to unlock it indoors at home, simply going from the couch to the frig. The important thing about keeping your leg straight is to allow your ligaments to heal while extended, if your leg is bent the majority of the time you will suffer greatly in physical therapy to straighten it out and return your flexibility. I began PT 2 weeks after my surgery with simple excercises to straighten the leg and begin rebuilding the calf and quad muscles. This is painful(somewhat) and time consuming, you feel like you are getting nowhere!, remember, it's one day at a time. I am now 4 weeks post surgery and continuing PT 3 days a week, I never wear my brace although I am very careful of what I get into, simply walking is it. I have done well enough that I am returning to work in week 5. I will be confined to a desk pretty much and only working 4 hours a day to start, it's important to stay motivated and you will get tired of sitting around-yes you will!! Good luck if you decide to have this procedure, and by all means have it done athroscopic.

November 20, 2006 12:24 PM

I had ACL repair almost 10 yrs ago. I was jumping a dirtbike and hyper-extended my knee when I landed. I had the surgery where they took my patella tendon. It was a very painful surgery- and a painfull recovery. I did fully recover, and I even took up more sports (I surf) and I played Ice Hockey for awhile. Sometimes I would wear a brace, but usually only for hockey. But in the past month my knee has been hurting alot. I feel it is starting to weeken- even give out sometimes. Anybody know how long ACL repairs last? Hope it's not that!

November 20, 2006 12:28 PM

by the way- nice pics- my knee has a 4" scar on the front from cutting me wide open!

November 20, 2006 12:46 PM

Just plyed my first Flag Football game since my ACL Surgery 6/6/06... Knee felt fine, cutting was capable, full speed running and was even able to do spin moves to aviod getting flagged. The only thing I felt after the game was slight fatigue in the knee, which was expected. I used my patella tendon to repair my ACL. Initailly injured the ACL getting tackled playing Rugby. Woke up this AM and knee still feels fine. I have been running alot on the treadmill and doing squats along with other leg exercises since doctor cleared me a few months back. I would have to say the 90% of ACL recovery is mental... I knew I wanted to play football and be competitve at sports again so I set that goal and after yesterdays game I see the goal is in reach by years end if not sooner. Good luck with the recovery everyone and stay positive, set a goal for yourself and work hard to achieve it!

November 20, 2006 12:46 PM

Just plyed my first Flag Football game since my ACL Surgery 6/6/06... Knee felt fine, cutting was capable, full speed running and was even able to do spin moves to aviod getting flagged. The only thing I felt after the game was slight fatigue in the knee, which was expected. I used my patella tendon to repair my ACL. Initailly injured the ACL getting tackled playing Rugby. Woke up this AM and knee still feels fine. I have been running alot on the treadmill and doing squats along with other leg exercises since doctor cleared me a few months back. I would have to say the 90% of ACL recovery is mental... I knew I wanted to play football and be competitve at sports again so I set that goal and after yesterdays game I see the goal is in reach by years end if not sooner. Good luck with the recovery everyone and stay positive, set a goal for yourself and work hard to achieve it!

November 21, 2006 9:09 PM

hi..i tore my acl and meniscis in my championship basketball game..deff one of the most awkward pains ive ever felt in my life..well im real scared for the surgery..wonderin if neone can tell me how the surgery is step by step thanks email is thanks

November 23, 2006 4:20 AM

Hi Guys, I have a complete tear of my ACL and suspected damage to meniscis. I was wondering which type of surgery was best for someone doing sports such as football, tennis, snowboarding etc. Would it be Hamstring or Patella? Great photos by the way and I agree with Jeff a great deal of recovery is mental and also preparation before hand. I have heard that if you get you knee muscles in great shape prior to the op then it makes recovery a great deal easier. Look forward to hearing you opinions on my query. Scott

Jon Leon
November 24, 2006 12:07 PM

Hey my name is Jon Leon IM 17 years Old and i tore my Acl,Lateral Meniscis, and A grade 2 Mcl. I Did this During a football game while trying to make an open field taclke. I had a cadaber ligament put in as my new ACL. I really liked this method! I was Only on Crutches For 2 weeks and got to take the brace of at the 4 week mark. My recovery is going well and i will hopefully Get to return to sports as soon as i pass the biodex test and get cleared my Dr.

November 27, 2006 11:44 AM

I had a Partial Knee Replacement about 3 yrs ago , and have a lot of problems with it . My doctor at first said it was do to my knee being weak .It has poped in and out of place some times pops out and takes a long time before going back in an swells up great big and other times it grinds real bad like grinding two rocks together. Now he is telling me that he can do surgery on it again and do some ajustments on it and should have less pain . But what I want to know is how he can ajust something that has no ajustment placesand make it better ? PLEASE HELP ME DECICE WHAT TO DO !

November 28, 2006 3:54 PM

I was in rugby practice about two weeks ago, and I slipped in the mud while making a tackle. The doctor says I have severe bone bruising on the medial and lateral sides, along with a partially torn ACL and miniscus. I'm really scared about possible surgery, and I want to play rugby again as soon as possible. If I can't return without a full brace, I can't play, according to the rules. It would be horrible if this were a career-ender in my freshman year of college! I thought playing varsity rugby was scary... it's nothing compared to the knife.

November 29, 2006 6:04 AM

About a month and a half back now I was playing football and while running the ball my foot got caught in mud which stopped me up and a large man rolled into my left leg causing me to fall over and my leg to stay in place for the most part, now on November 28th (my birthday) I had ACL reconstructive surgery done on my left knee now only 20 hours later im in slight discomfort but the surgery was successful and im looking to finally be off crutches in a matter of possibly two weeks if PT goes well, within 10 months im looking to finally enlist back into the Marine Corps my date of leaving was one week away when I got hurt.

November 29, 2006 3:25 PM

I tore my ACL, MCL and partially tore my Lateral Meniscus. I did this while wake-boarding over Labor Day. I was doing an inverted back-flip (3ft in the air) and landed awkwardly and my knee popped out. Probably the most painful experience I have ever felt (I'm assuming this is pretty standard for anyone else that has gone through this injury) but the worst part was floating in the water with a board strapped to your feet and your knee blown out. I'm having surgery December 15th and will most likely be using a cadaver to replace my torn ligaments. Not really looking forward to the surgery but looking forward to moving on from the injury and getting back to an active lifestyle.

November 30, 2006 2:45 PM

hi guy's i landed on my rigth knee playing netball heard that "pop" sound, then i had sharp pain up and down my leg, so of i went to the hospital and they took x-rays and said i sprained it they put a brace on it and told my to take a couple of day's off work, 6 months later knee still hasn't improved so went to my doc who then refferd me to a ortho who then sent me for a mri which confirmed what he thought that i tore my acl and menicus, now i'm waiting to see when i have to go back and see him so i can book the surgery. i would like to hear from anyone about there experiences including what's the best option hamstring or patella and wat bout the anthesia please i'm getting pretty worried about everything

Keir Richter
November 30, 2006 8:55 PM

I am 30 years old and was playing in my basketball league on Tuesday. After getting a rebound I land on the knee and my foot slipped out a little bit. My knee buckled outward and I heard 3-4 pops. The dr states that the MRI is not conclusive b/c it states a probable acl tear. He wants me to do pt for a month and then revisit the issue. The problem is that I have a baby on the way in february and want to atleast be recovering up until that point if I have to have surgery. There is major contusion but no meniscuous tear. What would you suggest to be the best way for me to go about treating this?

December 1, 2006 7:32 PM

I tore my acl in august playing soccer and just had surgery in october so it has been a little more then a month. Im walking better now, but I still have my post op. brace on which im hoping will be off soon. I got off crutches 3 weeks after surgery and started PT about 1 and a half weeks after surgery. The surgery it self only took me 1 and a half hours, but the anastisia did get me sick for that day only and my stomach rarely gets sick so i guess this happens to most people. I was also wondering if it's possible to be fully recovered before the 6 months because I dont know how i am going to last these last 5 months. i wish everyone luck whos getting surgery. You'll be fine.

December 3, 2006 6:01 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.

December 3, 2006 6:37 AM

Update: December 3rd. Since thursday it's been a wild ride. Thursday nite, rather Wednesday AM around 2:00 until Friday around 5:00PM I encountered the worse pain i ever felt. Since I don't have any children, I figure I just gave birth to the beginnings of a new knee. That was my childbirth pain! But when the the pain finally broke, I was so happy I wanted to get up an dance..but unfort. I couldn't. I wish i could say that Saturday morning was the best day ever....but unfortuately I woke up with a huge panic attack due to thinking that I over medicated. I think the whole episode lasted 2 hours... almost called 911. Due to all the sleep deprivation, and taking the mostt narcotic pain meds that I've ever taken, my body was having a war inside of it. And it reactede back with huge anxiety. I just could calm myself down, hyperventilation, feeling drugged up etc, were just some of the feelings i experienced. It was terrible. I think because i went from working out 5 to 6 days a week to sitting on the couch just getting up to go to the bathroom, My body was re-acting to the changed pace and pattern. I just can't wait to get back to my usual routine. After my episode, I decided that It was better to experience a little pain then go back on to those narcotics (darvaset: Dr. recommended 2 plus 2 Advil, plus the antibiotic..whoa!). I decided after 6:30 AM untill around 8:00PM I would take no pain meds. Then I took 2 Advil at 8:00PM then another 2 at 10:30PM. This seemed luckily to be enogh for me. Aside from the strong antibiotic(Keflax) that i must take, I am taking nothing else. I am icing and elevating all day long which must be helping to keep the swelling at bay. Now the little pain I'm experiencing 3 days post op is nothing more than I had when i had my arthroscopic knee surgery back in 1997. I am weight baring, could probaby walk okay without crutches, but am too afraid to attempt it. I only try in the small bathroom to see if I can hobble without help. Today, I'm actually going to get out of my comfy bathrobe and attempt walking with crutches back and forth in the hallway of my apartment building. If that works, I might attempt to while assited, take the elevator to the gym in the building and at least, do some upper body work. The thing I find tough aside from needing assistance to get anything brought to me, is not being able to get up by myself from the couch. It's a low leather couch and I'm nervous that my right leg (which also has no ACL and has peteller femoral issues) will buckle under me. The bed is no problem, but I don't want to sit on the bed all day long. Any advice out there for getting up from low places while in an immobilizer would be greatly appreciated. A little bit of toilet humor: For anyone scheduled to have ACL surgery in the future, from a woman's point of view at least. i strongly recommend seeing if you could get your hands on renting a handicap toilet with arms. It will make your life so much easier and It'll be one less thing you will require assistance for. It has been a lifesaver and has allowed me to at least have my own way in the bathroom. I've had 2 other knee surgeries although not as complex as an ACL reconstruction, and this has been the easiest time I've had. You'll find that it's the little things that you don't think about that give you the hardest time, so eliminating or making one of those things easier is a major help. Going through doorway soffits, turning around in tiny spaces with crutches, getting up from sitting on low chairs or couches, and steps..even little ones seem like such obstacles in the beginning. So I strongly recommend anything that makes life a little easier for post op. Well, I'm looking forward to my hallway exersize today. Anyother suggestions from our in the world of ACL surgery survivors would be greatly appreciated. And one last thing...lap top Computers have made life soo much easier. They occupy time and you can do almost anything, watch almost anything and talk to almost anyone without ever leaving the couch....Amen ( at least for the few days after surgery) Leslie

December 3, 2006 10:47 AM 16 i tore my ACL on june 3rd playing AAU basketball... i was running, jumped stopped, and twisted... the next day i went to the doc..he told me it was just a sprain so 2 weeks later i went back to basketball... my knee still hurt but i figured that it would eventually heal...i played for the rest of the summer until mid august after basketball camp when i just couldnt take the pain in my knee anymore...i went to an orthopaedic surgeon and he said he thought i tore my meniscus...i had an MRI and found out that it was my ACL...i had surgery using my cavadar tendon on sept 13... it was the worst pain i have ever meds didnt really work for me =[.. it has been about 2 1/2 months since surgery and im doing pretty good...i can jog && have almost all my bend hoping my doc will release me early so i can go back 2 my team for the end of the HS season.. is there any chance that i can go back 2 sports early???

December 3, 2006 1:11 PM

I have been reading the list for the last few weeks up to and after my ACL surgery. The stories have been helpful so I thought I would share mine in case it helps others decide what to do. I am very active. I workout regulary, ski 10 months out of the year, and play hockey all year round. I was playing hockey a month ago and was tangled up during a face-off. There was a loud pop and some really strange feelings in my knee. It felt like it was dislocated then popped back in. There was not much pain but it felt like there should be a lot of pain. Not much swelling either. I continued activities for a week be there was always a deep ache in the knee and it was not getting better. I decided to get to the knee guy and have it checked out. I must say they did a great job of addressing it. First doctor said torn acl after physical exam. Since I wanted to get it fixed soon he called down and I had my MRI done in 30 minutes. He could not schedule me soon so I went to another one in the practice. The new doctor looked at the MRI and did physical exam. Said it was not obvisous. The ACL looked stretched but not totally torn. He did a KT-1000 test which produced numbers of 6 and 7. He said 3 or 4 I could try PT but a 6 or 7 point to replacement. Since the rest of the knee looks healthy and I am very active he said I neede dto get it done. I opted for replacement. Had the hamstring tendon method done 4 days ago, Nov 29th. The doctor's comments after surgery were that it was very stretched and frayed. The knee moved as if there was no ACL so although not totally torn, it was useless. His feeling is that most of the damage had been done in an earlier incident. That is why there was not much swelling or pain this time. I had a bad snowboard accident where I broke my ankle last year. The last 4 days have been difficult. A agree with the bathroom comment. I never thought about it until I had to sit down. Some improvisation was necessary. The pain has not been too bad. Percocet seems to work for me. I am almost off it now. The hamstring and front drill hole has been the most painful. It feels like a knife cut half my hamstring out. My doctor has me using the CPM machine for motion. I need to get to 90 degrees by Thursday. My first PT appt is tomorrow. I may need a pain pill that day. Overall I feel like I am making progress everyday. My goal is to do some late spring skiing. Reasonable or not that is what keeps me going. Tough to sit here recovering when we have had 24 inches of snow the last 4 days. Thanks for listening, hope this helps others who are considering surgery. I know I made the right choice and am now focused on recovery. If you have any specific questions let me know, I am always happy to share. ...Dave

jay jay
December 3, 2006 5:11 PM

hi guy's i live in Australia i tore my acl filling in for my brother's indoor soccer team i though i'd give it ago (mind you i hadn't played for about 6 years) i heard a loud pop and fell straight down when i tried to get up i couldn't put any weight on my right knee i had sharp shooting pain go up and down my leg. after many month's of going back and foward to my doctor he finally sent me to see a surgeon who said he thought i tore my acl but he wanted to know for sure so he sent me for a mri which confirmed that i did completley tear my acl and medial menicus, so he told my that i'll be off work for 6 weeks and will have to stay in hospital over night, i go back and see him in 4 day's time so hopefully then i'll get my date for surgery because i'm stating to feel very scared.

December 3, 2006 5:12 PM

December 3rd 7:00 Well this email will be shorter than my others (Sorry for the length, but it really helped me to write to get mind off of my thank you for baring wih me) Update: Now 3 days post-op and my goal was to walk in the hallway. Well, happily I actually got dressed in my "zip off pants" (which I also highly recommend post surgery for a couple of days anyway. I bought the Nike ones in a large to go around my brace, and went to the tailor to have them hemmed..a big help in the hospital.) my fleece and my crocks ( which I recommend due to possible swelling in the foot and they require only that you slip into them. They are non-skid, but you still have to be careful while walking with crutches because they are bigger than regular shoes. Anyway, I not only walked down the hallway, but got into the elevator, and to the basement of the building so i could walk up the ramp out to the street. i live in NYC so apartment life is the life we know and deal with. I got out onto the street and continued to crutch it up to my favorite sushi bar for lunch (unfort. I did not have sushi and won't until I feel it is safe to introduce that kind of possible bacteria into my body) And I only took 4 Advils all day. And my antibiotics of course. So for those of you out there worrying about when you'll be able to get around, even though we all heal differently. I got around 3 days post op. Pain free, and with good mobility. Maybe it's because i had prior arthroscipic surgeries, or becasue i lost 25 pounds and worked out like a crazy person 5 days a week doing strength training and weight lifting for 3-4 months leading up to surgery, but i made it over the hump. Now I have to face the doctor tomorrow and see my incision for the first time and pray that my swelling went down enough to be able to go to PT on Wednesday and set other goals. That will be the next hump. I'll take one small turn on a bicycle...and a shower! Well, I'm sure the shower will have to wait..but I'll keep you all posted. Dave, if you want to chat or want to change info on your post op since our surgeries are so close email me. If anyone else has questons or I can be of any help ask a question and I'll do what i can to help. I spend as lot of time with the computer in my lap these days. Also a sloped pillow 12" and an iceman with a cuff are also good things to use post op. I have been hooked up most of the weekend to it, and I have no swelling on my toes at all! good luck. Leslie

December 4, 2006 6:34 AM

Leslie, Glad to hear you are up and around. I can't figure out how to get a direct email to you from the site. Here is mine: [removed] I would like to keep in touch through email since our surgery was so close, age is similar, and preop work was pretty much the same. Also, it appears our doctors are taking different approaches. We may be able to learn from the difference. Thanks, Dave

December 4, 2006 7:19 AM

Roxanne: As far as returning to sports after your ACL injury and rehab, I think you will find that everyone is different. Our doctor said "4 to 6 months" before Beth (age 18) could return to sports (she plays soccer and basketball). Other doctors say as many as 8 to 12 months. It depends on the individual athlete and how well they do in rehab. I know a female athlete who has injured both of her ACLs and returned to high-level competitive sports at 3 1/2 months after the first ACL surgery and about 3 months after her second ACL. But, these results are not typical. You don't want to come back too early, or you will just risk re-injury. So, be dedicated to your physical therapy, have a good mental attitude, and listen to your doctor's advice. You should share with your doctor your goals for coming back to sports, so that you can work together on possibly making that happen. My daughter tore her ACL playing soccer on Oct. 8, had surgery--cadaver--on Oct. 18 and hopes to play basketball by Feb. 7 (Senior Night) which is about 4 months rehab. Doctor says that is do-able, and that it is good for her to set goals, but he won't release her until she is ready. So, as much as we would like her to play basketball her senior year, we are looking at the big picture, and that is her college soccer scholarship. Good luck and keep fit physically and mentally! Gabby

Bill, England
December 4, 2006 11:41 AM

Quick recap - I'm 49, snapped ACL's in both knees playing rugby. Left repaired September 2005 & right in August 2006 (both hamstring grafts). Now on week 18 of second rehab, 145 deg bend (almost getting heel to backside!), running on treadmill each day - about 2 kilometres/10 minutes, started next phase including turning hopping etc. Still doing squats, stretches etc. See the surgeon on 19 December & will post the outcome. His favourite sports are rugby & skiing. I have a holiday booked for April 2007 to tick off 'learn to ski' box before I hit 50! Surgeon said I should be OK by then (I had to sit out January 2006 holiday watching my wife & kids learning). Note to Dave - I would miss out this seasons skiing. The knee may feel strong, but it can take at least 3 to 4 months for the bone graft & screws to settle & become fixed. You could be heading for permanent damage by going back too soon.

December 4, 2006 2:07 PM

Bill that sounds great! Good for your ski trip. I'm bummed. I have t wait until next season 2008? I will be in Utah in March but i won't be skiing. I'll be in the cliff lodge while my husband wil be beating up the mountain in snowbird and Alta:-(. I algree with you..I think you should wait a year..when the graft is totoally healed. Dave I emailed you hope you got it and are doing well, post op! 5th day post op for me. Went to see Doc for first time since Thursday. Boy was I happy to have him take that pain in the $@# total leg brace off and all of the other stuff they had on my knee. The brace had gotten so big from the all the swelling that went down that it was too big and was constantly digging into my foot when i walked. Well great news! My incision healed under all that stuff: (Ice cuff, compression bandage) it did look pretty funky from the iodine but it has healed and I am cleared to go for PT. I have minimal if no pain today. I think I only took 4 Advil all day just incase. I am doing leg hangs to try and help my knee bend. I was also cleared to do heal slides preferably while standing to try and lift my leg up and bend it. And isometric quad sets to tighten, hold and release the quad. No leg lifts for a week though. I have to only wear that horrible brace to sleep and when I'm outside. He also didn't set it for anything specifically like everyone else usually does, the brace will bend as much as i can bend my knee. I have no idea what degree? I can use my crutches until I feel conjfident walking without them. What i find interesting is that his protocol is so different than most orthos, but PT's respect him because he believes that after surgery the most important thing is to get the swelling down as much as you can by just icing elevating and doing next to nothing, then start PT. He does not give you a CPM and does not give you any exercizes to do aside from Ankle pumping right after surgery to eliminate the possibility of clotting. I was not allowed to weight bare for 24 hours after surgery or until the femoral pain block wore off. I could after that as much as i could tolerate. His protocol worked for me. I am in no pain, or minimally. Had virtually no swelling and no blood, and am tolerating walking very well. He did say although with an Allograft i shouldn't be suprised if needed to have my knee drained in a few weeks. He said it might happen but it wasn't a definite. He is one of the best Knee guys in NYC and has done both my arthroscopics and my husband shoulder. ( and my husband is now a 4.5 1 year after surgery) This Doc might be different, but so far so good. No complaints. He also doesn't prescribe a brace for skiing. That i disagree with. I like the security of having one and i will ski with one whether he prescribes one for me or not. He doesn't for the same reason he doesn't like the CPM machine. He wants the patient to do as much for them selves as they can. He feels people do much better that way. My PT agrees. he sees a lot of different patients coming from different doctors. The ones that come from my doc. heal quicker and return to sports faster. Go figure. I'm headed for PT Wednesday. Meanwhile i will try to get this stiff knee to bend as much as i can take. I'm sure I'll get beated to death on Wednesday. Ouch! but I'm lookig forward to it. Good luck to everyone out there in recup ACL land. My recommended list of stuff if your preparing to have ACL surgery, this stuff helped me out a great deal: -slip on Crocs. -A slopped pillow 12" for elevation and icing. -renting a elevated toilet seat with arms. -snap off pants for surgery day and following day if wearing a knee immobilzer. Make sure they are hemmed and not too long and make sure they are really baggy so they can go over brace. - Iceman with cuff. The hospital rented it to us, but if they don't rent one yourself, inquire about getting one. It really brings down the swelling and thus the pain. ( although the pain is still pretty badm but I imagine it's so much worse if I didn't have one.) -Lap top It's a great way to pass the time and you can sit with your leg elevated for hours and hours and pass the time and keep things less boring.

December 6, 2006 8:58 AM

first day PT-day 6 post op. Dave and i have been emailing to comparew our progress ehich has been very cool. And helpful...Go Dave! Our protocols are different so it will be interesting to see progress with different docs. Dave has a CPM machine, I do not. Last night wasn't a bad night finally. But i did sleep all night hooked up to my ice machine. I feel I'd rather get hooked on Ice and the cryocuff than get hooked on pain killers. I have been off of my Daraset since Sunday. It didn't agree with me. Advil might run havok on my stomach, but at least I am use to talking it. I have t sleep with my brace, so I hook up the ice under it just like they did in post op. As soon as it ran out, I woke soon as my leg at bight warms up I start feeling the pins and holes and especially a pain behind my knee. Strange because i had an Allograft. Anyway, I have 100% extension becasue that is how I kept my leg until Monday and my first Docs appointment. Under all that bandage i was already healed, and I had no sweling. My brace was unlocked and stopped at 40 degrees. I have exceriszed since Monday doing quad sets, heel slides ( and the equvllent stansing, sitting and dropping my knees over a table and using my good leg to help bend my post op knee. I probably have 50 -65 ROM, but no where near 90. I'm sure my PT appointment will help and unfort, hurt today. I am feeling really stiff and the pain after my sets hurts, so i ice. I am full weight baring and have been since my digital pain block wore off Friday AM. I can walk without crutches if i had to but will not for obviousl reasons. At home I use only one crutch. Well Will report more later. I have to strap on that pain n the ars brace and take 2 advil. Talk to you soon. If anyone has any acl question feel free to let me kno you want my email and we'll work something out to get to eachother without broadcasting it for the whole free world.

December 7, 2006 7:34 AM

Just wanted to thank everyone for all the info posted on this site. It helped tremendously in preparing for my daughter's surgery and recovery. She had her acl repaired using the patella tendon on november 20th. They also shaved 20% of the lateral meniscus(not a big tear at all!). Her recovery has been amazing so far. She had 0 extension 2 weeks post-op and is bending to 126. She is walking without crutches with just a slight limp. They have her bicycling and leg pressing. Just wondering if anyone has found anything to help the incisions heal. Anyway, thank you all for the wonderful info you post-it is quite helpful. Onward now to my surgery in February-I am having a minimally invasive total knee replacement. Anyone know someone who had this done?? Thanks!!!!

December 7, 2006 8:15 AM

I am glad I found this blog. It makes me feel way better then when i found out this morning that I might need to have an ACL surgery due to soocer injury. The whole thing happened to me about a couple days ago. I am heading right now to the doctor office for a MRI. To be continued...

December 7, 2006 11:31 AM

Ihad ACL (BPB) graft repair Jan 9, 2006. I am playing competitive sport again now foro the past 3 months without any brace. I put a thin brace to keep the knee warm, not for much support. I wanted to say that, at first I had slow recovery and a lot of pain (5 months) then I went in for another surgery (clean up job) bcause I had a lot of scar tissure. I walked out (literally) of the surgery room feeling 20 percent better. In two months I could play sport again with just minor pains. Now its great. Still woriking on it to strengthen it furrther. As my non injured leg is become like a rock from favoring it.

December 7, 2006 3:18 PM

1 week for me post -op ACL reconstruction Yippie! I'm feeling pretty good. Don't need both crutches ( really don't need any,but my PT told me that if I wore my brace I could use one crutch. 2nd day PT: My hole on the left where my femur was drilled hurts and my knee is alittle swollen. Did a lot of stuff in PT. Got on the bike, got a slow rhythm going but by that was a little painful, Not on the extention, on the ROM. I have 81 degrees but while I'm lying down, doing a rotation is another story. So as I si here icing, I also walked, practiced my gait. I lifted my bad leg over a cone while I walked back and forth. Did heel lifts and balanced on one leg from side to side. I also did some leg lifting backward to try and increse the ROM. I learned how to navigate stairs with crutches. I liked this for those of you who like nme did not know how to do this and were afraid to. My PT told me " Bad leg goes to hell ( bad leg first when going down stairs), good leg goes to heaven ( good leg goes first going up and pulls bad leg second) So I did a bunch of flights of stairs. Now I don't have to use the handicapped elevator I can use the stairs. I have a lot of new excerizes. for flexation, and hamstrings. I feeling great except for that one hole that is hurting me when I walk. It's swollen. But they tell me next week I will probably be able to loose the crutches. I can't wait and I hope that immobilizer goes with it. I can't stand sleeping with it anymore. Only woke up twice last night, so it's getting a little better. Just as long as the ice stays cold, I can sleep pan free. Keep you posted.

December 9, 2006 9:44 AM

November 29, 2006---one year since my daughter's acl repair. She is playing full soccer games and scored her first goal since her injury a few games ago. She is running long distance again with no pain or stiffness. One year ago things seemed bleak around our house, but for those of you just getting this diagnosis---remember there is light at the end of the tunnel. We worried about her young age (12 when she tore it)but since the surgery and with consistent PT and tough trainers, she is much stronger physically and mentally than she ever was before. She knows what it's like to sit out 9 months from a sport she loves and I am sure plays with much more heart and desire now than any of her peers. We credit her desire, dedication to rehab training, her ortho surgeon, and many, many, prayers to her successful recovery. You csn do it!

December 9, 2006 10:52 PM

Hi, I am 36 years old and live in Manitoba, Canada. I tore the ACL and meniscus in my left knee on Oct 6, 2006 playing volleyball. There is a myth that the Canadian health care system is great because it is free. While it is free, it is definately NOT speedy. If I stayed in the public system, the earliest I could have surgery is August, 2007. Being a somewhat active guy with three kids (7, 4 and 1) that I like to keep active, waiting nine months wasn't an option. I researched many options from the local private surgery centre to travelling to another province (British Columbia) to the travelling to the United States. I ended up consulting with three different surgeons and decided the local surgeon was the best. I had my surgery on December 5th so this makes me five days post-op. My preference was to use the hamstring for my graft. So far, I would say that I have been relatively pain free. I have been using my cooling splint (I think people have referred to it as an ice machine) almost every minute since the surgery. It is tough to say if it is helping. I am not sure if the cooling is making it through the ACE wrap and dressing to my knee. If I stick my finger underneath the ACE wrap and dressing, I don't feel any coolness. My biggest frustration is coming with all the conflicting views of the surgeons and PTs. Two of the surgeons were going to lock the leg straight for the first couple of weeks with a brace. My surgeon said my only homework until the follow up visit of Dec 15th is to bend my leg. A brace was not supplied or recommended. One PT wants to see me two weeks post op to start physical therapy. I decided to use another PT and she does not want to see me until three weeks post op. The surgeons that I did not choose wanted me to start PT almost immediately. All of this is very confusing. I am experiencing swelling in the calf and ankle of the operated leg. From what I have read on this site, it is nothing to be alarmed. I am going to be a rebel tonight and try sleep 'normally', with no cooling splint just the ACE wrap. Hopefully I won't regret it in the morning. I have enjoyed reading the many post. Good luck to all of us dealing with an ACL tear.

December 10, 2006 7:24 PM

Hi Dean. Hopefully sleeping without the ice was Okay for you. I had my ACL repaired Nov. 30 so I am 11 days post op. I have slept with the iceman everynight elevated and in my brace. I believe it has helped me not only getting off of the narcotics faster, but also with the swelling. The brace has not helped me to get a good night sleep and frankly I am getting really tired of wearing it! You do read a lot of different protocols from different doctors. I guess if trust in your surgeons abilities you will be fine. I was locked in a brace with full extention and unlike most people, I was not given a CPM machine to use. I met Dave here who had his ACL repaired a day before me and he was given a CPM. It has been interesting comparing our therapies and protocols. Both of us have started PT around the same time. I started as soon as I saw my Doctor 4 days after my operation. He had told me as long as i did not have a lot of swelling I was released to go to PT. I went 6 days post op. I didn't do much at my first session. They took measurements, checked my ROM and used the electric stim. I have already had 2 sessions. Suprisingly I was put on the bike the first week, so was Dave. The rotations were a little tough for me as i am still stiff from my lack of ROM. I only had 81 degrees last Thursday. Hopefully I will find out tomorrow that I have a little more tfor my 3rd PT appointment and gthe bike will be easier. At home I am on ice when I am sitting, which is still most of the day. I do do all my take home exersizes and I am down to one crutch, even though i really don't need it anymore. I also am still in a brace, locked at 40 that I have to wear when I go out of the house and when i sleep. Hopefully that will end as well this week. I don't have anymore severe pain and I have been only on Advil since my 3rd day post op. The heavy duty drugs did not agree with me. How quickly we all progress in PT has more to do with swelling and how much we can take. In the beginning it's a back and forth process. I'm sure you will be fine. Some schools of thought want all the swelling to disappear before you start any PT. Some doctors want you moving in the recovery room. Hopefully we'll all be able to return to sports in 4 months. I'm just bummed I have to wait for next ski season to ski. Best of luck and keep us posted with your progress. Wishing you many painfree days ahead.

December 11, 2006 7:21 AM

Hi All, I’m now getting close to 6 weeks post op (had surgery November 1st with a Hamstring graft) and am doing well. Just have a little swelling yet and almost all of the bruising on my ankle and calf is gone. My surgeon released me from my brace November 29th and I’ve moved on quite a bit at PT. I’m at 130 degrees of motion, am doing single leg presses and hamstring curls, and also am hitting the elliptical and stationary bike about 40 minutes/day 6 times/week. My therapist is basically focusing on strength and balance and said my ROM is fine and will only get better. Overall, I’m pretty pleased. I still have a slight limp but my PT said this too shall pass with time. So, for all those considering the surgery or just had it, stay patient AND positive. And most of all, keep the surgery and injury in perspective. Yes, it is a pain in the arse and yes there is a lot of work to do post op. However, there are many worse things to be suffering from, and this malady, unlike many others, is curable and you can expect a full recovery. Best wishes to all of you, and here’s wishing you a speedy recovery. I’ll post again in a couple of weeks! -Brian

December 11, 2006 12:42 PM

Hey everyone, I had my ACL surgery on Dec. 7 th and all seems to be going pretty well. I was perscribed Vicodin for the pain and after 2 days I have only needed the pills at night to help me get a good nights rest. First shower today making sure not to get the wounds in direct stream of the water. I have been moving around well with the crutches. Have been icing my knee with a machine for about 8 to 12 hours a day including wearing while sleeping. First post-op follow-up on Dec 13th. Right now i am taking it easy and awaiting further instructions from my doctor. Good luck to all of you and I will post more info in a few days.

December 11, 2006 5:32 PM

December 11, 8:05 My daughter had an ACL (hamstring transfer graft) and meniscus repair done 27 weeks ago after a complete tear while playing soccer in May. It has been an uphill battle with scar tissue since the beginning. Despite going to physio 5 days a week since the start she had a difficult time breaking down the scar tissue post surgery and even returned to the OR once for the removal of a cyclops (ball of scar tissue behind the knee). Then we had to battle the scar tissue after the second surgery as it develops so quickly and we even used a CPM machine at home for two weeks. It was very frustrating at times because the surgeon made us feel like we were not working hard enough because of the scar tissue but we were very committed to her rehab and so was her physiotherapist. The only thing that got us through this was a week post scar tissue removal (4 months post ACL repair) we took her to physio twice a day and she road the stationary bike for a half hour twice a day for two weeks and the physiotherapist stretched her flexion in her knee till she cried in pain every day and now we have managed to get 130 degreed flexion and she is at 0 degrees extension almost 7 months into rehab. Her knee looks pretty good now with very mininal swelling and her calf muscles are well developed and so are the hamstrings but the quads are still a little behind. She is looking forward to going back to playing hockey as scholarships are pending upon her return. Her surgeon recommends 9 months before returning to hockey but I am interested in any comments on others returning to their sports.

December 11, 2006 5:33 PM

December 11, 8:05 My daughter had an ACL (hamstring transfer graft) and meniscus repair done 27 weeks ago after a complete tear while playing soccer in May. It has been an uphill battle with scar tissue since the beginning. Despite going to physio 5 days a week since the start she had a difficult time breaking down the scar tissue post surgery and even returned to the OR once for the removal of a cyclops (ball of scar tissue behind the knee). Then we had to battle the scar tissue after the second surgery as it develops so quickly and we even used a CPM machine at home for two weeks. It was very frustrating at times because the surgeon made us feel like we were not working hard enough because of the scar tissue but we were very committed to her rehab and so was her physiotherapist. The only thing that got us through this was a week post scar tissue removal (4 months post ACL repair) we took her to physio twice a day and she road the stationary bike for a half hour twice a day for two weeks and the physiotherapist stretched her flexion in her knee till she cried in pain every day and now we have managed to get 130 degreed flexion and she is at 0 degrees extension almost 7 months into rehab. Her knee looks pretty good now with very mininal swelling and her calf muscles are well developed and so are the hamstrings but the quads are still a little behind. She is looking forward to going back to playing hockey as scholarships are pending upon her return. Her surgeon recommends 9 months before returning to hockey but I am interested in any comments on others returning to their sports.

December 11, 2006 6:40 PM

Day 11 post op Great PT day. A little swelling on top of the incision where he drilled. Scar looks great all healed. I have had worse scars from scraping my knee. It's amazing that I only have a 1" scar from all of this. And 2 small holes. My surgeon is an artist..LOL Rode bike for 10 minutes. Could take it up to 60 rotations per minute on Level 1. felt good after i got going. The beginning hurt..but I just kept going. Did leg press with weights on. 3 reps of 20. Wall slides. Heel raises. Leg lifts. Bridge wth yoga block and a lot of stairs. Gonna loose the brace and the final crutch hopefully Thursday (That'll be the full 2 weeks) Feeling really good that all of my pre-op workouts really helped. I did not loose much muscle at all. I'm still icing and elevating most of the day. And all night while I suffer sleeping with the brace. For those of you scheduled for an ACL reconstrution, if you can and your pain allows you to, try to work out as much as you can prior to surgery. It really makes a difference with your knee and also with your head and with your recovery time post op. Aside from helping to keep a positive attitude, you will bounce back quicker. I also recommend finding a good PT person who you could go to before to see where you are before surgery. There is a great book that came out not to long ago. It was written by a good NYC surgeon and my Physical Therapist who has worked with the US olympic team as well as the Knicks, the Mets and the Yankees) There are a lot of great exercises in the book for all phases of knee injuries. It also gives you a step by step guide to all different problems surrounding the knee and what you can and should do. It tells you about drugs. about options, grafts etc. It's called " The Knee Crisis Handbook'"-Understanding Pain, Preventing Trauma, Recovering from Knee Injury, and Building Healthy Knees for Life. By Halpern. You can find it on Amazon. This is not a commercial, but I bought the book and aside from my areobic workouts also did all the exercises in the book leading up to my surgery. I am now weeks ahead of where I would have been if I hadn't done them. And I'm not one of you youngsters...I'm a young 48....I have had 2 other arthoscopic surgeries and i was better prepared for my ACL than for the others. I am on exactly the same PT timetable for my ACL that I was for my arthroscopic. Got on the bike roughly the same time. Which is pretty amazing considering the difference in the surgeries. I really recommend the book for anypne with a knee...or two knees...LOL Good luck to everyone who recently had surgery. Stay positive. Things will get better if you do what they tell you to and have patience.

December 12, 2006 8:35 AM

Jon-my daughter was the same as you sound the first 2 days after her surgery so we spread out the pain pills. However, the pain actually hit her on days 3 & 4 and then it was hard to stay on top of it. Just wanted to make you aware so you didn't have the same problem. After day 4 she was fine and we eventually tapered off to just aleve. Good luck!!

December 13, 2006 8:34 AM

I had the surgury back in '98. It was extremely effective. I have had no pain what so ever after the healing was complete. I, very soon, was able to play without my brace. I am very active and have no fear. The only time my knee would ache, is of course when the weather changes or rain is do. Eight years later, I am just now having problems. I think the screw is actually wiggling its way out. But, knowing what I do. I am very willing to have the surgery again, to have the stability and confidence in my knee again. Injurying my knee is far worse than the surgery.

Darius Yazdani
December 13, 2006 2:58 PM

The amount of variance in the replies here is incredible. In somecases it seems as if exagerration of the level and speed of recovery is used in a means to compete with other posts. Please lets be honest here, no one can run two weeks after acl reco. I tore the my left acl and only that a complete rupture. I am 24 and play professional football in Iran and have played for the youth and olympic national teams. There is only one doctor in Iran who specializes strictly in knee reconstruction, recieving all his education in germany, and operates on 6 knees everday 4 days a week for the past 7 years. 99% of whom are professional soccer players. It seems he has not only mastered the art by doing over 2000 acl and meniscis recos, but he has perfected it. He only uses hamstring grafts semitendonous and gracilis looped 4 times, which makes it even more durable than the original acl. Patellars are going to be put aside soon as they are in italy and germany or very near in the future. Only one 1/2 incision on the tibia and two for athroscopy. No incision on the hamstring, rather he implements a new technique to harvest the graft from the hole drilled through the tibia! I had 90 degree forced flexion day 2, 120 at 10 days, now at 30 days im at 145. ditched the brace and 1 crutch at stich removal day 10, ditched second crutch at 21 days, walked with a limp until day 30. Physical therapy started like i said at day 2 twice a day morning and afternoon 6 days a week, the 7th day i spend in the pool.Russian stim.,Feedback stim, Fes. stim, elastic band, hamstring strengting..and every exercise imaginable in europe. I have full flexion at 30 days no pain swelling very minor around the small incisions, minor atrophy and at this rate should return back to the league at the 4 1/2 mark jus as all other friends have. Hope this may shed some light and hope for all. Iran unbelievably may just have the best knee surgeon in the world, quite possibly due to the unbelievable number of acl and meniscas recos he performs in year,, more than a few thousand, due to a lack of surgeons in this part of the world. He probably can do them blind folded. My best to all from Iran,

Darius Yazdani
December 13, 2006 3:11 PM

This article was included by the doctor who performed on me. (passed out to all his acl patients.) He employs the EXACT same technique for all his acl jobs. Enjoy and good healing! +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Isokinetic Education and Research Department, Bologna, Italy. STUDY DESIGN: Case report. BACKGROUND: To present the rehabilitative course, decision-making, and clinical milestones that allowed a top-level professional soccer player to return to full competitive activity 90 days after surgery. CASE DESCRIPTION: The patient was a 35-year-old forward player who sustained an isolated complete tear of the left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the midst of the competitive 2001-2002 season. He was in contention for a position on the Italian World Cup Team that was to be played 135 days after his injury, only if he demonstrated that he could return to play at the highest level before the team was selected. The patient underwent an arthroscopically assisted ACL reconstruction with a double-loop semitendinosus-gracilis autograft 4 days after the injury. Eight days after surgery he began rehabilitation at a rate of 2 sessions a day, 5 days a week, plus 1 session every Saturday morning. These sessions were performed in a pool for aquatic exercises, in a gymnasium for flexibility, coordination, and strength exercises, and on a soccer field for recovery of technical and tactical skills, with continuous monitoring of training intensity. OUTCOMES: The surgical technique and the progressive rehabilitation program allowed the patient to play for 20 minutes in an official First Division soccer game 77 days after surgery and to play a full game 90 days after surgery. Eighteen months postsurgery, the player had participated in 62 First Division matches, scoring 26 times, and had received no further treatment for his knee. DISCUSSION: This case report suggests that early return to high-level competition after ACL reconstruction is possible in some instances. Some factors that may have favored the early return include optimal physical fitness before surgery, a strong psychological determination, an isolated ACL lesion, a properly placed and tensioned graft, a personalized progression of volume and intensity of exercise loads, and an appropriate density of rehabilitative training consisting of a mix of gymnasium, pool, and field exercises. PMID: 15773563 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Related Links * Rehabilitation program for both knees when the contralateral autogenous patellar tendon graft is used for primary anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: a case study. [J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1999] PMID: 10322588 * Early application of negative work via eccentric ergometry following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: a case report. [J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2006] PMID: 16715830 * Proprioception of the knee before and after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. [Arthroscopy. 2003] PMID: 12522394 * Relationship between tunnel widening and different rehabilitation procedures after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction with quadrupled hamstring tendons. [Chin Med J (Engl). 2005] PMID: 15740671 * Failure of osteointegration of hamstring tendon autograft after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. [Arthroscopy. 2004] PMID: 15067284 * See all Related Articles... Display

December 13, 2006 3:52 PM

Darius: Thanks for all the info. I appreciated it. I don't know, i don't get the feeling people list what they're doing to compete with each other. In my case I do it for a means of comparison. I find it interesting. I really like reading other's protocols and the differences between them. But I am happy for the insight on your protocol and progress. You don't usually hear from what they do in the Middle East. I do know many people travel to Vail, Colorado to get their ACL's done at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic, by Dr. Steadman. He is also amazing and I was very impressed when I met with him back in '97. I think as long as one trusts in their surgeon's ability and their "Team" so to speak of: PT and trainers etc., everyone does well. I also think a lot depends on what you go into your surgery looking like, both physically and mentally. And how much work you are willing to do for yourself both before and after. I spoke to my PT only last week inquiring about how long it takes for a professional athlete to get back to his/her sport after getting their ACL fixed. He used Jerry Rice the American professional football player as an example. Rice came back in 10 weeks..amazing! right? Wrong. He went back to play football after having his ACL repaired..but unfort. came back too fast because he then fractured his pateller. The ACL was fine..but who wants a fractured pateller? You sound like you're in amazing shape and an athlete to boot. Your surgeon also sounds interesting. Especially his/your agressive PT schedule (but then again, it seems as though you are a professional so I would expect yours to be more agressive than the average person who is not an athlete of your caliber) Chances are no matter who did your surgery, you'd recoop faster than someone who isn't up to your ability physically. Heal faster, deal with the pain better. I'm 48, And I was in really good shape going into my surgery. I'm way a professional athlete, but I worked as hard as I could for 4 months leading up to my ACL recon. I'm 2 weeks post op (Allograft) and I am loosing my brace and my one crutch after Friday. I do not walk with a limp, I never lost my extention it was always from the beginning on 0 due to the fact I was locked in a knee immobilizer at zero, for 4 days as my post surgery swelling went down. My ROM is 95, which I did all myself by dioing at home exersizes. I have PT 3x a week. I've had 3 sessions already. I've had 2 arthroscopic surgeries, one on each knee, with the same surgeon and I think he's amazing. My scar is almost invisable. All he does is also knees and shoulders. His protocol is also different than most because he does not use a CPM machine. Considering my age, weight etc. I think and feel great considering I'm 14 days out tomorrow. I think almost as important as the physical ability is the mental one. You have to be mentally prepared for whomever is doing your surgery. If your'e ready, it really helps. But that's just my opinion. Again, Thanks for the insight and wishing you continued success on your recovery.

December 13, 2006 8:34 PM

Mitch, You asked about returning to sports, including hockey. I had my ACL replaced (hamstring) on Nov 29. I initially tore it playing hockey. I was very concerned about the timing because of ski and hockey season. My doc said 5 months was the earliest he would sign off on hockey or skiing. Then, when I can finally play it will be with a brace for six months. I live in Colorado and my doc has worked with pro hockey and ski team members along with amateur atheletes, so he has a wide variety of patients. After that the brace will be gone and I will be back to normal. I also checked with my PT after my first visit to get her opinion. She has seen the same thing. I am two weeks in and doing well. No crutches and using a brace outside of the house. Walking normally and navigating stairs with out any problems. I am on track and my goal is to ski and skate again the first week of April. I also second Leslie's workout program. The more you can do before surgery the better off you will be after. All of the pre op hard work will pay off on the other side. ...Dave

December 14, 2006 12:05 PM

Thanks to all for the very informative posts. I had my ACL done yesterday (allograft). Still have some residual nausea and I'm trying to go light on the the pain meds so I have a bit of discomfort today. My neniscus was torn in two spots and one needed stitches to repair so I can't bear weight on the leg for two weeks per the surgeon. I'm curious if others have had this scenario and what course of PT was effective considering the meniscus tear. James

December 14, 2006 2:11 PM

James: I hope you're feeling a little better. I do feel your pain, literally. I had my ACL done 2 weeks ago. I remember the first night/day after post op. Take the pain meds on schedule in the beginning in order to stay ahead of the pain! And don't forget to take you antibiotics, if you have them. This isn't the time to be a hero. If you are sensitive to the meds..go light on diet. BRAT (Banana, rice, apple scrapped if you can, tea and/or toast) is a good thing to follow. Might not be the most exciting, but you don't need your stomach to be acting up as well as your knee pain. Also ****** drink plenty of water. I can't stress that enough. Not only will it make you feel better (I know the bathroom thing could be a little tough) But it will help flush all that stuff they pumped into you at the hospital get flushed out. I was really afraid of getting constipated from the narcotics...and after going through 2 surgeries prior (asrthroscopic) to having my ACLR, this time I listened and drank until I literally floated away, and the constipation never came. Believe me, that is also one thing you don't want to deal with when you have knee pain. I was also non-weight baring for 2 1/2 days. I also had an Allograft, but luckily my Medial menicus sugery from 1997 held up and I had no debrisment. I had to stay off of my knee for a few days due to getting a femoral pain block before leaving the hospital. Just remember one the next few days: it does get better, and faster than you think. Just chill, let that graft heal, manage your swelling (I iced almost non stop for the first week with an Donjoy iceman, if you don't have one, try and rent one, it gives you a continuious flow of ice cold water and it feels really good!) I've had surgery without it and the more you can ice..the less medication I find out I required. I'm bummed that I have to give it back tomorrow. Ice, elevate, medicate....and go slow. Wear shoes (like crocs if you have them, or any shoes you have that are easy to get on) with the crutches. I find the crocs slip on and off and give you more support walking, even on one leg, than going barefoot. Eat lightly, drink water heavily, and stay ahead of your meds and your pain. I had panic attacks because I am really sensitive to meds, so day 3 I was already on Advil. Let us know how you make out. Feel better and hang in there.

Allen Murphy Jr.
December 20, 2006 7:18 AM

Hi all, Im 25 year old male, I tore my lateral meniscus and ACL playing basketball in October, I initally sprained the ligaments back in August. For those that go to ER and get diagnosed only for sprained ligaments, please go an see a Sport Physician afterwards because X-Rays can't reveal if the ligament was partially torn or completely torn. That was my problem, since I was diagnosed with Sprained Ligaments, I thought it would be fine just to sit it off for about a month and a half with a light workout in-between to get back to playing ball again, WRONG! I tore my ACL playing ball in October and when I tore it I heard a loud pop, I will be having a Donor Cadaver allograft surgery done on Jan.4. The Patellar Tendon method was out of question because the doctor emphasized that they was their for a purpose and as you all know BBall is a jumping sport, so Tendonitis can develop a bit more easier when using this method. The Hamstring looked do-able for me but then I read about Scar tissue and the hamstrings being loose, after a graft has been taken. I've dealt with hamstring injuries before due to scar tissue not healing, and it was no fun at all. There's really no wrong answer to which surgery is best, it's just the factors that are involved for each one. I think this Blog is very helpful and I will keep you all up-to-date on how my surgery goes, along with the recovery process. Take Care

December 20, 2006 7:44 AM

I visited this website in late May after I tore my ACL playing basketball on Memorial Day weekend. I reluctantly waited to have surgery until the end of June b/c of the doctor's advice. I am glad now, b/c from what I have learned that time is needed to do the prehab, to get that strength in the leg before surgery. I followed the rehab very closely during the rest of the summer. The problem arose shortly after school started back up. I am a coach and teacher, once school started I got busy coaching softball and started dedicating less and less time to rehab. I was jogging 3 miles up inclines for 2 to 3 weeks 2 times a week with no problem. Then all of a sudden I couldnt even run 2 minutes without my knee having sharp pains so I went another month without running. I learned the main reason for the pain was that I stopped doing the strength excercises on the inside and outside of the leg. Once I have focused more on those strength exercises I have more and more success. Now it is basketball season and on occasion I will run the sprints with my basketball team. I am only about 6 months out of surgery, so obviously I am not keeping pace very well. A lot of it is just having confidence in the knee, and especially the hamstring. I am so paranoid of rehurting or setting back the rehab. I dont know if I will ever play basketball again, I have had achillies and ACL surgery b/c of playing b/ball. It may not be worth it after turning 30. I have heavily debated on hanging it up so I will still be able to mover around and keep up with my own kids. The ACL recovery seems like it has been harder and longer than the achillies rehab, but the achillies hurt more than the ACL injury.

December 20, 2006 7:57 AM

Hi all, I just have a question for those that have had the surgery and used pre-op training. What exercises did you do? I am having ACL surgery on Jan. 3 (using hamstring tendon) and forgot to ask the doc about workouts/pt to strengthen the area before hand. Now its right before Xmas so the doc is on vacation. Any help would be great!

December 20, 2006 4:17 PM

Well here I am 13 Days post op. Went to PT today and for the first time I was able to ride the bike with full revolutions. The other exercises still hurt a little but I need to power through that. Dr. says to keep the crutches until week 5 for assistance. He does not want full weight on the knee until then. I still wear the brace about 21 hours of the day, less showers and PT. Locked in full extension while sleeping and doing leg lifts in PT. Unlocked while walking with the crutches. Ice still 2 to 3 times a day with a VitalWrap machine. I had an allograft and my miniscus was pretty torn up. I am a 27 y/o male. My Dr. said my knee looked like it was that of a torn up 50 y/o knee. Since there was not much that could be done with the miniscus they cleaned it up a bit an did a little "hollowing" so that scar tissue will take the part. Hence walking with crutch assistance for about 5 weeks. I might give a call by New Years, depending on my progress to see if I can ditch the crutches and maybe walk with a cane. I might be getting a little over confident. But still watching what I do without overdoing it. At this point I have about 100 degrees of flex back. Friday proper measurements will be taken at PT office. The first week was hell. Nothing some movies and alot of ice couldn't cure. Any info for the future would be great. All those getting ready for it...... Don't Worry...

December 20, 2006 8:01 PM

week 3: I had my ACL done Nov. 30th. Week 1 was pain week and lying around week. Week 3 is very different. I am off my crutches and done with my brace (now I can catch up on my lost sleep!) . Walking up and down stairs on one foot at a time. Been on the bike since week 2, now at level 8. Leg press, a lot of balance work with weights, leg lifts for VMO and the bridge, ab work, wall slides and heel slides at home, quad sets, hamstring sets. I still have swelling around my incision and above the drill holes, but usually after exercises and when walking around. I feel that I'm walking a lot more so I'm not icing as much (I miss my iceman), but i am still icing, after each set when I workout at home. I'm only taking between 2-4 Advil a day, so tht's pretty good. James: Look into" The Knee Crisis handbook" It has all the exersizes in it. I did prehab for 3-4 months prior to my surgery, lost 25 pounds and I'm about 3 weeks ahead of where I would have been (so i've been told by my PT) had I not done all the prehab. I was psyched that I really lost no muscle tone. I have weakness but it has come back a lot faster due to muscle memory. I went to my PT 3 months before my surgery to discuss what I should do prior, that seemed to work really well and I recommend it highly. A lot of the exercises you do before, strengthening etc. are the same you do after and more. Balance work on one leg. Leg press. Abductor work, Leg lifts, quad sets, bridge to strenghten quads. You do what you can providing you don't have a lot of swelling and pain. That book a long with one PT visit would be really helpful for you. It was really helpful to me. I have had 2 other surgeries (both arthroscopic one on each knee) and I was no where as in shape as i was for my ACL recon. I felt so much better this time. I even think I'm ahead of where I was trying to get my ROM back from arthroscopic. Hope that helped. Any other questions, just ask..always happy to help. Everyone gets better faster than you think..just keep on icing!

Alex richards
December 21, 2006 7:11 AM

Hey guys, here is my story, 29 yr old male, tore my left acl in the end of sept., had to do prehab, then reinjured it due to lack of balance, had my surgery last wed., had complications with fever and bleeding, so I got of the hospital sunday. I have had rehab twice and I am going to get my staples out today. My problem is my pain, I am in constant pain, I cant sleep, pain meds dont help, I am losing my mind here, stuck at home, if anyone has any advice let me know.

December 21, 2006 5:09 PM

Alex.. sorry to hear your suffering so. We all suffered the first week. But some suffer more, some suffer less. The pain meds didn't really do anything for me the first 2 days...hope you have a Donjoy Iceman. If not get one on Ebay. That'll give you something to do. I found that the more hours (all day of you can take it) you ice..the less drugs i needed. Ice and elevate! And just take my..and others peoples words for will get better. the first week just plain sucks. Don't try and fight it. Just know it sucks and it will get better. I spent a lot of time on this site and others just trying to get my mind off of my pain. Movies are the diet..keep it light and simple. And Ice ice ice. Only do what they tell you. Use a lot of pillows. i found a couch and an otoman a lot more comfortable than the bed. For the first week i didn't get any sleep on the bed. On the loveseat i did. Even with the brace on and ice. I'm n week 3 and you will be soon as well. Only taking advil and 2 a day at most. This will all be a distant memory real soon. Hang in there. And can't get eniugh ice to bring that swelling down. Just make sure you're not using the icepack or pad directly on your can get and iceburn. Try keeping it up as high as you can without feeling pain. You'll feel better really soon.

December 23, 2006 9:24 AM

Hello everyone, my name is Julio and i want to give you an update on knee surgery,march 7 2006 i had a allograft done on my left knee and let me tell you its the best i could have in my life i spent 12 years postponing the surgery 12 years of antagonising pain ,but i had good doctor, now aim 33 yeras ols and in the best shape of my life,i went back to college full time, and decided to take a soccer class (the reason of knee surgery) and i can run better my stamina is excellent to the point this coming spring iam going to play in college soccer team, iam so excited,i cant still believe that a suregry could do so much impact in someone life, so my advice to you is do it nowdays the recovery is faster and less painful as for to me iam living a dream i dont know how long it will last ,but iam glad i did it.

December 25, 2006 6:31 AM

Put off my ACL reconstruction for 3 1/2 years. Original injury was in a soccer game. Managed to continue to play soccer and snowboard with a hard metal sports brace since. Gave up soccer last fall but continued to run regularly. Knee gave out on a short run about 2 months ago and had to limp home pain when climbing stairs etc. Finally scheduled and had surgery December 19th. Took Oxycodone and Keflex for the first 32 hours and gave up because I couldn't deal with the nauseau. Have no pain so couldn't see the point in taking the meds. Alternated Motrin and Tylenol for an additional day just to be sure. Have to wear an immobilizer that extends from my crotch to my ankle. This usually is off at 5-6 days but because of the holiday I get 9 fun filled days. Went into the castroom and had my dressing removed last Friday (cause I couldn't stand waiting til the following Wednesday). It was so thick I can't imagine the ice was doing any good. Now I have an ace badage under the immobilizer. Personally I have had a more difficult time with the feeling of constaint and the immobilization. I had my MD rx some valium and it has helped me sleep and deal with this. Otherwise I am only taking a baby aspirin every day (for 14 days post op). I hate crutches and found that the my old desk chair on wheels gives me greater freedom around the house. Wednesday I go back to the MD to get checked. I hope I graduate to the hinged brace then and can finally take a shower! Everything I was told by the Docs office before my surgery seemed to change a bit. Originally I was told 3-5 days in the immobilizer (I get 9) 2 weeks on crutches ( I can't wait to be told that it will be more). PT seems to vary from surgeon to surgeon. My original sureon felt that PT can damage new grafts. The surgeon that did my surgery believes in an all out assault. Had to go with the second surgeon because my first choice is away in Vale and I needed the holiday time for recovery. Sorry this is long this has been therapeutic to share. Thanks for reading.

Alex richards
December 26, 2006 7:06 AM

Ok, Leslie I do appreciate the response because I was going out of my mind. I still am in some respects. It has now been a week and I am feeling somewhat better, but not great. Of course because of the christmas I understand Kelly's plight. I had one doctor(not my surgeon) take out some of the staples but not all of them. Here is where I am at now, still have pain, but I am trying to wean myself off the pain pills as everyone says do. I am still on crutches, trying to put my foot down, it can be painful and difficult due to my weak leg. My wound area is still a little pink and purple is that normal. Icing is a pain in the ass, no normal ice bags work, the ones at rehab are wonderful. I just researched what Leslie said, it would have been nice to have one of the those in the beginning. As the previous person wrote I have varying issues with my rehab people. My lady doesnt seem to be worried I am behind in my flexion and strength, As the last person said, one doctor said go light and one said full steam ahead. They kill me at rehab till I scream and swear. Its frustrating sitting next to some guy who is in your surgery range and is WAY ahead of you. See this is my last week to get really better. Next week after the new year I have to go back to work. The whole off crutches in 2 weeks is b.s in my case, totally false. I cant see that happening. Right now I just want some normalcy. First they want you to keep it st8 then they want it bent, which one is it? lol, My doc says sleep and walk in the brace. Sleeping in it is horrible, very uncomfortable. Anyway this is the big week for me to see if I turn the corner. I have to be back at work after the new years day. This week I have 3 rehab appts., a doctors visit and have my remaining staples taken out. So I hope and pray things get better. At this point they have to, because my window of staying home to recover is closing. I know I rambled, but as you are aware sitting at home stuck can be quite boring. If anyone wants to give advice or etc. please let me know. THanks....!

December 26, 2006 2:40 PM

I had mine reconstructed last Monday and I have not felt too much pain. I was on Percacet(sp) for 3 days and I have taken maybe 2 Vicoden pills since and lots of ice, I work at a tennis club and the members made sure to tell me to ice ice ice.... I feel pretty stable without the brace on and haven't had to use crutches. I didn't realize mine was torn until I had a knee scope and that was a worse pain than this. It's been 10 days and I am ready to start rehab(in my mind). I hope you all the best and I will never play indoor soccer again.

December 26, 2006 5:55 PM

hello people. it has been almost 3 months since my surgery. i had acl patellar graph with some meniscus repair. So far so good. i am 142 flex and +10 full extension. The only problem i have is the pain on the inside of my knee when i climb stairs. Anyone else have that? how is everyone doing ?

December 26, 2006 11:13 PM

Looks like all if not most of us has this problem due to Indoor soccer, I did too Jan of 2006, I was playing and went to kick a ball, and felt a pop, and hit the floor. After all year, I finally decided to fix it, since I do want to play again, or just have normal function of my knee without the worry of it going out at any time, like it had before. I had ACL graft with a cadaver ligament and Patella Reconstruction done on Dec 6th.. (xrays showed my knee caps were off center on both my knees) The first couple of days were good, because my leg was numb. The next were hell to say the least because of my foot. I went in for my post op visit the next morning after surgery, asked the doc if I could walk, or to keep weight off of it for awhile, and he said walk on it. So I did, with the use of crutches of course for leaning on, and I think I might have over did it. (although all I did was gimp around the house a bit each day) My foot and ankle swelled up to at least 2 times the normal size, and bruised badly. (I mean BADLY, I heard your shin bruises, mine did very minimully but man my foot looked like I broke it) So that took forever for the bruising to go down so I could at least put weight on my foot.(1.5 weeks for that to heal). I used a CPM machine for the first 7 days to move my knee for me, got up to 100 degree flexion, and I had an Iceman machine to ice my knee for the first week. I still have the Iceman, and if you have surgery, I suggest this machine. You fill it up with ice and water, and a waterpack wraps around your knee and keeps it iced for however long you keep it on there. The ice lasts most of the day. Much better than trying to ice it with ziplock baggies, or other means that slip off. Now its been almost 3 weeks, I still walk with my brace on, slowly, but without the use of crutches. I live in Alaska, so it is snowing now, and I sometimes use them for extra support on the uneven snowy ground, which hurts to walk over. It hurts to move my knee in sideways motion, or when I slip a little. I still walk with a limp without the brace on, which I dont wear when I am at home. The exercizes I am confused about, I understand the importancy of them, but if they hurt to do, I dont see anyone wanting to do it. My doctor did not send me to a PT, he just gave me 4 or 5 home excersizes to do, and not to do squats or anything too weight bearing. Right now I can finally do leg lifts when sitting on the edge of my bed, sometimes the front of my knee hurts when I do them though, and I can squeeze the heck out of a pillow in-between my legs, but my main problem is the flexion exersize. I still feel tight in my knee when I pull it close to my chest, I dont know what the angle is, but I am about 6-7 inches off the distance to my butt. I feel like it is taking forever for my knee to feel normal again..I know it has only been 3 weeks, but I am tired of wearing the brace, and limping, or having the uncomfortable feeling in my knee. Especially if I sit to long at work, and my knee stiffens. I cannot say my knee is PAINFUL, just very uncomfortable at times. Seems like after a shower, it stiffens from the heat. The only pain I feel is if I move my knee in a way that pings a sensitive spot, The top of my knee is still sensitive, and I massage my knee every day so I dont have bad scarring, plus try to keep the knee cap movable. I have no idea how I am doing, my doctor did not schedule another follow up visit since I live 50 miles from him, but I think I might go in and see him soon, just to make sure I am on the right track..

December 27, 2006 11:01 AM

Doctor's visit today. Suture removal and I graduated to the hinged brace. Found out there will be an additional 2 more weeks on crutches! No weight bearing for 2 more weeks. I will start PT next Wednesday. A friend told me to take advil before PT to help with discomfort. My ankle is still swollen but the PA told me it looked great. (of course she's the one who lied about everything else.) Best of all I can finally take a (short) shower tomorrow!

December 28, 2006 4:58 PM

I somehow think acl rehab is very age dependent. Lots of folks who had it - gave me the impression it is is a quick 6-10 week rehab - but they were in their early thirties and atleast two dozen years more to reach me! I'm in the 5th month of rehab. Have total Range of Motion but failed miserably on the Kin-Con eval. I've run through 30 physio therapy sessions so far and exercise like a maniac in the gym. Both my quads and hams were 50% off from the good leg. The Doc was not pleased with my progress and indicated I needed to isolate the left leg during the leg press and do more hamstring and quad muscle building exercises. I can walk down a flight of steps fairly easily. But as yet can't climb without assistance of a rail. I've started workouts on a stair climber and it seems to help some. I was hoping to start jogging by new year's but that seems like a far cry still. I've not given up yet but it does seem like a big uphill battle quite unlike anything anyone with previous experience ever mentioned! My advice would be to keep a positive attitude. Work hard at it at home or if you have a gym membership then put in the time. Progress is directly proportional to the workouts. My goal is to get back to active running. I'm an avid runner and have done 6 marathon's since I discovered the sport and can't wait to get back to it.

December 29, 2006 5:26 PM

My 16 year old daughter was just told today that she needs this surgery, any suggestions for her (or me)? I guess my one question is how many people have returned to aggressive sports? Are you able to participate? Part of me doesn't want her to continue with cheering next year if she has this surgery. The other part of me feels like that's why we're doing it. Thanks for your input. Happy NewYear.

December 29, 2006 8:29 PM

Michelle, The way that I was told is that you can break it down into thirds. 1- will feel somewhat normal 2- Sometimes good sometimes bad 3- Need surgery. If she ever wants to cheer or play any sports than she should. The only thing that is avaible to do is run... plus if she doesn't there is a chance of arthretis in her knee as she gets older. I'm 2 weeks into recovery and I can't wait to play sports 6 months.

December 29, 2006 9:46 PM

week 4 plus 2 days I'm feeling great. Hard to believe that 1 month ago i was on crutches, locked in my immobilizer, hooked up to my iceman and on painkillers non stop. What a difference 4 weeks makes. I am sooo happy I did so much prehab before surgery. I bounced back very fast apres surgery due to all the leg strenghtening prior to surgery. I am walking like I had no surgery, although I do have a little swelling still around the incision. The incision is completely healed and has been for 3 weeks, but underneath at times it is still tender. I am doing PT agressively 3x a week. Doing stairs one foot at a time is no problem. My protocal is fairly agressive. bike 30 minutes on level 8, hills, a lot of balance work on the tetter board catching medicine balls, then balancing on one leg. Doing bridges using big ball. Leg lifts with weights, Leg press about 70 pounds and heel lifts on leg press. Still gait training to iron out little hitches. I'm psyched that I'm ahead in the schedule. And it has less to do with my age (48) then it has to do with my attitude and desire to do as much work to get back to normal. Although i won't be skiing this season :-( ( I won't until I've healed for 12 months) at least i can get back to my workouts 5 or 6 days a week. I still need to get my ROM improved. I always had 0 extention, but I'm 122 (with no CPM, my doc doesn't use them). I have to do more stretching and heel slides to imporove that. i want to be at 130 this coming week. Keep positive and things will improve quickly. Wishing all better knees in 2007

December 30, 2006 5:32 AM

Leslie. I am so jealous. I'm at Day 11. I worked yesterday (Good for my mental health), had some ankle swelling so I iced at lunch. I am still on crutches- no weight bearing for 3 weeks. I start PT next wednesday AM. I am numb (palm sized area) from my hamstring area to the oustide of my leg. When does that dissappear? My work schedule will only allow for 2 PT sessions a week. I plan on doing what I can at home for a third session. Any suggestions? Michelle, Your daughter is young so I would go ahead with the surgery. At her age it will be a piece of cake and whether she returns to cheering or participates in other sports can be detrmined later. If she goes along with the torn ACL she will be limited in choices and in danger of further damage to the meniscus. I had very strong support in my knee from playing soccer, snowboarding etc and this is helping my recovery according to the MD. Good luck.

December 30, 2006 10:04 PM

Kelly, That's good you went to work to get your mind off of your knee. I also went back on the second week as well. Every surgeon is different and has their own protocol. I was able to bear weight 24 hours after my surgery and the femoral block wore off. But unlike a lot of people I was not given a CPM machine. I was locked in my brace until I saw my doc 4 days later. There are a lot of exercises that you can do at home. I'm sure your PT will give you the list. It varies as the weeks go on and is also dependant on how you are healing and also the degree of swelling. Either way there is a good book that has a lot of exercises in it specific for knees. I wouldn't do any unless I spoke to your PT first but I think it's a great book to have as a resource. And it has pictures. "The Knee Crisis Hanbook" Hang in there and just stay positive, I'm sure you're doing great.

December 31, 2006 3:28 PM

Alex richards: I take it that you had knee surgery. I hope you feel better. You did not mention what you did to your knee. I am sure you'll be better soon. ACL surgery requires alot of rehab and time and patience. As for the scar question that you had. It is normal for it to be pink/purple. I have scars on both of my knees and they still are pinky color because I got sun burned in april 06 (had baby oil on me). i was tanning the rest of my skin. If you want to know how I hurt my knee, You may email me to get all the details of it. I hurt it Last October 2005 and December 25 2005. What did me in was The Injury on december 25 2005, I was dancing, twisted the knee, popped and gave out and hurt. I did not have that much swelling in it. Ever since then it is worse. I've been doing PT on it for 9 plus months and I am still doing PT for it. it did not help the stability of the knee. Nobody believes that I hurt my knee and they make fun of me for it. I can still do some things with it. Happy New year and Best wishes. your knee will be better. Yulia Email is

January 2, 2007 6:59 PM

I just had my surgery today, 1/2/07. I had a complete tear of my ACL and tears in both the medial and Lateral minicus cartilage. i go back to my Doc. on thursday. I am right now hooked up to an EBIce thing that is practallly my best friend. I am in a 6/10 amount of pain which isn't so bad i guess. Does anybody have any hint on how to shower though..i can't shower till thursday but i was just wondering??????? Thanks:)

January 2, 2007 7:55 PM

Stephanie, On Dec. 27, 2006, I too had ACL replacement and medial & laterial miniscus repairs. I am on crutches for 6 weeks with no weight on this leg. One way to shower is to have someone stand in there with you and just help you balance. Might not always be an ideal situation but it works. There are also shower benches available that would also make it easier. Also, wrap your knee with saran wrap and put a piece of tape around the top. This will keep the incision dry. Hang in there. A week out I am experiencing very little pain other than when moving wrong or pushing too hard on the exercises. After previously having ACL/miniscus surgery on my other leg I know that rehab is the key. Be diligent but don't push too fast. Good Luck!

January 3, 2007 12:54 AM

i also had knee surgery 10- 05 i stepped in a hole and fell i tore my acl this was 9 mo. earlier finally i couldnt take it any longer after pt. ,inj.,and loss of work i decided to have the surgery i have had nothing but pain since then they started my inj. again for swelling and pain 3 mos. later it went out i have instability and pain fixing to have another surgery 2 12 07 and im afraid the same thing will happen again this dr said their was nothing left in my knee he thinks my body rejected the graph so now i have to have 3 just to correct this one remove the old hardware,fill in the holes with bone marrow ,take graph from my thigh ,and then go from my petela down he said it was the old fashioned way ? has anyone else had a problem with rejection or their acl. surgery not working my screw is sticking out 3 threads on my x-rays but the doc. that did it says theirs nothing he can do ive had 2 rejections from other surgeons they dont want anything to do with it.its that messed up i did find the one that specializes in do overs just afraid to have to go through it again i was off work 12 weeks before im terrified to go through this again but i cant handle the instability i've fell 3 times it just goes out on me i dont know when its going to happen. any suggestions

January 3, 2007 2:23 PM

Stephanie: Hopefully you are over the hump. The first night of surgery and 1/2 of the next day were the worse for me. Everyones different though. It will get better from here on, so hang in there. Try to enjoy time on the couch. I found hanging on the couch better and more comfortable than hanging in the bed all day. I also found it easier sleeping. Somehow having the back of the couch to lean on even with the brace (immobolizer on) I was able to sleep, where I had more problem in the bed. I couldn't shower for 4 days after my surgery, so I before hand I had bought sponges and did sponge baths. I don't have a stall shower, just the bathtub kind, so I wasn't able to go into that until week 2 1/2. The sponge bath thing worked fine for me until I went to see my doctor. I wasn't able to take my immobilizer off until my doctors visit, so I wrapped a towel around my leg so it didn't get wet and did the sponge thing. The first 4 days i pretty much hung in the house, so it wasn't like I was getting so sweaty. I was able to get my incision wet after the 4th day because I was healed already. Then I used the gym, and the handicapped shower and sat, for safety's sake. I also used a shower chair (you can also use a cheap plastic outdoor chair to sit in when you're in the shower as well, they work fine). In the beginning it's safety first. So sit until you feel comfortable standing. And always make sure you have a towe so you don't slip when you get out. I wore my crocs in the shower so i didn't slip for the first 3 weeks. I am now in week 5 and are doing great. Walking with no visible limp. stairs etc. I go to PT 3x a week and today we just added the elliptical. I am allowed to do it on my own for 15 minutes and the bike for 30, so I almost have a workout I can do by myself where i can at least break a sweat. I have been doing upper body since week 1, at least it something. My PT's big thing is slowing me down. I am use to working out 5-6x a week so slowing it down is tough. Today we did a lot on the leg press, balancing catching the ball on one leg, a lot of leg lifts with added stim. Heel lifts etc. For you gals who just had the surgery, stay positive. Your head has a lot to do with the rehab. And do what they tell you. The home exercises are important. If you're not doing those yet. Ankle pumping is good to keep up the circulation. You will progress quickly, just hang in there. And Stephanie, I hope you're feeling beter and I hope the shower info helped. If you have any other questions, don't hestitate the ask. Happy New Knees in 2007!

January 6, 2007 11:50 AM

Hi, I've got a few questions for those that have had this surgery done. 1. How long was it until you were able to drive again? I'm having surgery on my right knee and my doctor told me that I would be able to drive after the 3rd day again at the soonest and the latest would be a week. I've had other people tell me this isn't true so I'm not sure what to expect. My husband has already booked a week off work and knows he'll be chauffering me to my classes for a few days but after that I'm on my own. I have also been dealing with ACL tears and damage to my knee for the last 6 years, finally went to a new surgeon that agreed that I shouldn't have to be in PT every 1.5 years after I reinjur it. 2. How often has physio been recommended for most of you? 3. Is a locking brace a must have? All I was told was that I needed was a brace and the one I have already doesn't lock it just wraps around the knee and actually most of my leg since I'm a tad short! lol 4. For pain wise, would this be more than the pain of a scope and scrape or about the same? I have a high tolerance to pain. With my scope and scrape I felt fine till the 3rd day when I ended up having to use a cane to get around. I assumed my biggest problem with that was I was out at the lakes and I got chilled that night in the cabin while we were sleeping because the rest of me was nearly as stiff as my knee. Thanks for your guys help and keep working on those knees! Crystal

January 7, 2007 3:40 PM

Cystal To answer your questions: -Driving: i think it depends on how your knee is feeling and what your range of motion is at the time. I think 3 days might be pushing it. It was tough for me to get in a car and sit without having my leg elevated for a couple of weeks. Keeping it down for a length of time was just uncomfortable, so I hung in the back seat for at least 2 weeks with my leg on the set. I don't think I would have felt comfortable driving until the end of week 2. And I had a fast recop. You also have to think about being able to get yourslef in and out of the car and your crutch situation. Don't compare this to Arthroscopic surgery. It just isn't the same. -Brace: I think that depends on your surgeon. We all hated to wear our braces.I had an immobilizer brace. Went from the top of my thigh to my ankle. And I'm also short (5'1") So I can't tell you how uncomfortable it and I was. I was locked for 4 days at 0 and week 2, I was locked in at 40 degrees. I had to sleep with it for 2=2 1/2 weeks, some people have to wear it longer. Again it depends on your PT and surgeon. -PT: Again, it depends. From most of what I have read, Most people do PT when \they get clearance about 3x a week until they bring you down to 2x then 1x. I am week 5 rehab and I am still doing 3x, I will go down to 2x on my 3rd month. I am coming back quickly but i find PT has helped immensely. It also depends on how many sessions your insurance allows you. I do suggest you DO do PT especially with an ACL. It's realy important for the range, flexsion etc. to have help. I'm a pretty can do person and I also have been though it many times, but even though I knew most of what the protocol was you need the stim and the ice espically woth an ACL reconstruction. -Pain: This was my first ACL recontruction. I have had 2 other surgeries-one on each knee. Both were arthroscopic.Medial meniscus on one, lateral on the other. Can not compare the pain what so ever. Arthroscopic by comparisson is a breeze. I was only uncomfortable with my other 2 surgeries, never in real Pain. I was also on Advil day 2 of both my arthroscopics and I also have a high tolerance for pain. ACL surgery is major surgery. Even though you are out patient, which i still think is somewhat ridiculous due to pain management. I was in a lot of pain the first night after my nerve block wore off. More pain than I ever experienced. The day after was also bad. Even though i was very prepared for my surgery ( I worked out religiously for 3-4 months prior to) I still had pain and swelling in the weeks after surgery. You just can't compare it to what you've had before. Everyone is different, but i don't realy recall anyone telling me who has had ACL surgery that it was not painful. But you ALSO get through it, so don't worry. The pain is the worse the night of and the day after. -I recommned getting a good PT prior to surgery and having a session so he/she can give you some exersizes for prehab and fill you in on what to expect. And get the knee in shape. It will pay off amazingly. I am so ahead in my PT, I feel like I am on the same schedule that I was on as far as rehab, that I was on for my arthroscopic surgeries. And it's not that I am pushing myself or coming back too's just that i really got into prehab shape for the surgery and it helped with everything. I will say that being through a knee surgery before did help me. Your body already knows how to heal so that helps. Also having to manuver around with one bad knee is something I remember so even though I never was in crutches until this time, it didn't feel all that strange or unfamilair to me. There a lot of things you can get ahead of time to make things (the rehab) a little easier. Renting an elevated toilet seat, getting a plastic chair for the shower. Organizing your home...things that you didn't neccesarily have to do for the other surgeries. This one takes you longer to walk around, so it takes longer and is a little harder to do for yourself. You will probably be on crutches for a couple of weeks. Maybe not. I got rid of mine week 2. Anyway, prepare yourself and your body and mind and you will do Okay. Getting psyched in your mind, being positive etc. really helps. Good luck, I hope that helped. Leslie

January 9, 2007 6:40 PM

Hi, i enjoyed reading all your stories and questions, i have a 95% torn acl and have just finished rehab from menicus surgery#2, They found the ACL problem in the last scope the unstable knee is rubbing off pieces of meniscus and causing trouble. i have been in therapy for over 3mo. I feel this would be a good time to make the decisioin to have the acl fixed before i shear off more cartlidge and have none. I am 51 year old female, a nurse in the busy ER. I feel i should fix my ACL and gain my confidence in moving freely again. ANyone have a partial tear and anyone a bit older. I plan to return to hiking on uneven ground, walking the golf course. I am feeling a bit confused on the nessecity of this adventure. But i have already had injections, braces and plenty of PT. I am blessed to have great insurance. Any comments out there and anyone feel that this is so very elective... paulette

January 9, 2007 9:28 PM

i tore my ACL on march 3rd, went through 6 weeks of therapy, then returned to track half way through season (did fine except not being in shape...) after soccer this fall i decided to have the allograft surgery done, which took place on october 25th (the week following soccer districts, so i was in decent shape going into it). i could ride a stationary bike on level 3 at about 80 rpm for 10 minutes 5 days after, walk with a slight limp that week and my surgeon was very impressed with my mobility and flexion/extension at the first post-op appointment. i just finished PT last week, and my surgeon said i can start running but no cutting/pivoting yet. i can easily average 125+ rpm on a bike on level 3 for ten minutes...leg press 50 lbs about 135 reps in 3 4 miles in about 25-28 minutes without pain/incident (except minor swelling afterwards). anyone have any suggestions as to when i can start running at faster paces? (i.e. sprinting, and eventually 300 hurdles in [hopefully] march/ target times for the coming season for the 100 dash and 300 hurdles are 11.3 and 38.5, respectively, if that helps)

January 10, 2007 4:03 PM

Ok I has surgery on Friday and I am still unable to stand vertically. I am still in a tramendous amount of pain.I also can't move the lower part of my leg. Is it possible for the nerve block to last 5 days. All I can do is lay in bed getting up to go to the bathroom is something I am in constant fear of even though I have crutches and don't put any weight on it it Kills. Is this abnormal? I don't know because I have nothing to compare it to. This is no fun an dI have never felt this much pain. HOw long does the pain usually last and what is the normal timeframe to be mobile with crutches. The doctor told me to do exercises as soon as possable. Every time I do them I break into a cold sweat and suffer a lot. Fun Level is low

January 10, 2007 9:38 PM

Hello to Michelle back on Dec. 29th, 2006 My daughter, like yours also tore her ACL but when she was 15 yrs. old last Feb...she is now 16 and doing well. I had those same feelings...after all of this should I encourage her to go back to sports. She was playing basketball when her ACL tore...she is/was very good...she was in her Freshman Year and was moved up to Varsity and starting every game..she ran down the court came to a sudden jump stop to shoot and fell down, a girl on her team had the same thing happen just the week we knew the routine...what a nightmare..She had ACL Surgery Feb. 27, 2006.I felt it was my job after surgery and before to make sure she thought about life after H.S. Sports..she is/was on the H.S. Danceteam and member of another dance class..did volleyball and during rehab I was constently asking if she for sure wanted to go back to this..or just play it safe and keep her newly reconstructed knee "safer" by not doing all that she use to do. She got kind of upset with me and told me she neeed me to support her. She did set out volleyball this year and worked hard to get her knee/leg back in is now basketball season and she is back to starting on the Varsity Team...she wears a big brace while playing and knee pads on both knees and wears the brace under her dance pants while dancing also. She is still a little timid about playing like she use to and not as aggressive and admits the thought of driving down the lane to the bucket and doing a jump shot is a bit scarry...but she is doing just fine and little by little she is getting back to her old's tough on mom watching too. I think the best thing for your daughter is to get back into w/e she was doing before she hurt her knee. She could have or could hurt her knee again...but not by having fun doing cheerleading..but just walking and my advice is to let her have something to look forward to and get her back into her sports that she did pre-ACL surgery. Keep me posted. Good luck to you and all the rest who might read this..there is light at the end of the tunnel...even though sometimes you may not think so. Cookie