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Comments for ACL

Excerpt: While playing soccer, I tore my ACL, the ligament that holds the knee together. Read the whole article…

Brian W
July 27, 2004 1:14 PM

I tore my ACL when I was in high school. The first replacement didn't "take" for whatever reason, and I had to have the surgery done again a year later. Each surgery was around three hours. You'll get a pretty hefty painkiller (I had Percocet and it was loads of fun) and you'll probably be loopy for several days after the surgery. Don't expect to be back to work on crutches the morning after. Oh, and you'll probably lose weight. I dropped around 25 pounds since the painkillers made me have trouble eating. I think I did 12 weeks of physical therapy to make sure I regained 100% extension and... uh... whatever the opposite of extension is. 100% bendiness. I had lost all the muscle tone in my leg (and I mean all -- my leg was soggy and rail thin) but it rebounded pretty quickly and my legs were the same size within a few months. Physical therapy wasn't painful; in fact it was kind of fun. I'm not athletic so it was a learning experience about what all those gym machines do. If I remember correctly, PT was an hour a day, three times a week. I've had the second replacement ligament for about ten years and it works just fine. I was told to avoid strenuous isometric exercise like skiing & skateboarding and to be careful when swimming (because in the water your legs move much more freely, and the pressure is in different places, I guess), but otherwise I don't feel limited at all. I have two horizontal scars under my knee and one across the front of my knee, as well as a couple of pinhole scars. They're not as ugly as the big vertical scars some people get--dunno what kind of knee injury leads to those. If you have to get metal screws (I did), don't worry, they don't set off metal detectors. Sorry that was kind of long. Hope it helps. Drop me a line if you want to know anything else.

July 27, 2004 1:34 PM

It's ALL in the REHAB - put 100% of yourself into the physical therapy and you'll be okay....

Kevin Lawver
July 27, 2004 1:52 PM

Amen to the rehab. I had mine three years ago (used the middle of my patella tendon), and when my doctor said to get up and start trying to walk on it 48 hours afterwards, I looked at him like he was crazy. He wasn't. You've got to get up quickly so you don't lose too much muscle mass, and then throw yourself into PT. It sucks, but it'll be a lot better in the long run. After two rounds of knee surgery, one where I didn't keep up the PT, and one where I did.. it's a lot better in the long run if you get through the pain of PT and just do it. Good luck!

July 29, 2004 9:56 AM

I had my shoulder scoped a couple of years ago. First big surgery of my adult life. The thought scared the crap out of me. Afterward I was glad I did it though. I stuck to the rehab regimen, and I am hard pressed to remember when my shoulder felt better. You'll be fine - the fear is natural.

steven streight aka vaspers the grate
October 29, 2004 2:14 PM

Darn. I sympathize. I broke my back, lower spine twice in a row, 5 years between accidents, and at age 51 I now feel like 91, stiff and achey and limited in lifting, can't jog or ride a bicycle. At least, thank God, not paralyzed or addicted to narcotic, tho almost overdosed once after botched epidural steroid injection treatment, hit sciatic nerve. Hope you drop by my radical web usability blogspot blog sometime. I love this blog of yours, just found it yesterday. today I'm adding a link to my blog list at Vaspers the Grate. Praying for you and visualizing total wellness for you, my good intelligent altruistic user-friendly friend!!!

October 31, 2004 2:07 PM

good luck with your surgery. i'm sure you're in good hands, but check out this site if you have any questions about your recovery / rehab times / exercises - this is the best ACL site i've come across since i had my surgery 6 months ago:

Kristen TAylor
November 8, 2004 12:32 PM

I had ACL surgery a couple of years ago. I tore mine while I was playing basketball. Went up for a lay up and another girl took my legs out form under me. I heard a pop and the next thing I knew I was on the floor in major pain. I couldn't walk on it for a few days and it swelled up. I went to the doctor and they said I probably just twisted it wrong. So after a few days i began to be able to walk on it. So i thought everyhting was fine. Little did I know. I hurt it two more times after that. Finally I went to an orthepedic surgeon and they found my ACL was completely torn. This meant I was going to miss my whole Junior year of sports. During the surgery they planned to use my patellar tendon but it snapped while they were fastening it down. So they ened up using a cadavor acchilles tendon. The surgery took about four hours. After I woke I was on morphine so that was nice. I had to stay the night. The hardest part of the surgery was having to walk on it the next morning and the three months of therapy after that. Ahving to gain all my muscle back. Three years later I'm back to new and feeling great. all I have left is a huge scar down the middle og my knee.

November 11, 2004 12:46 PM 14 yrs old and i just tore my ACL on sunday afternoon...novmber 7. i was playing indoor soccer and this girl pushed my really hard and i fell to my did and heard this cracking/poping sound. it hurt so much casue i couldnt feel anything in my leg except for this throbbing pain in my left knee and i coulnt walk...later i went to the doctor and found out i had tore my is now 5 days later and i can much more pressure on it and can kinda walk..i guess thats good.But i start physical theorpy on i guess it will hurt but is for the best.. i mean no pain no gain. i get surgery in december. so that i can start moving around some more..but what should i expect during surgery and PT??

November 12, 2004 3:36 PM

I'd just like to say a HUGE thank you to all of you message-posters/story tellers for taking the time to input onto this site. I'm due for my ACL reconstruction two weeks today.. in fact two weeks today I'll be 'done'. I'm absolutely completely and utterly PETRIFIED. My injury was 18 months ago and by the time I was informed what the problem was (is) it was basically too late to do much about it.. I can't trust my knee to 'look after' itself at all so my brain is always focused on what it's doing. I get short sharp shots of pain whenever I'm off guard and I've really cut down on the amount of sport/activity I undertake. I've been told that each shot of pain is more than likely damage to my cartilage and I've decided to bite the bullet and go for the op, as advised. I can't help 'what-if'ing and um-ing and aahing etc etc. I've basically found that a once strong/non-scaredy/26 year old good decision maker (me!).. has been reduced to a gibbering wreck! A tonsilectomy is as exciting a hospital experience as I've had you see! This site has really helped me. I'm feeling much more confident and positive about the next 6-12 months and hope that there'll be no more nightmares where I'm waking up wondering whether or not I should try to move my right leg. Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories. I'm going the slightly less traditional 'arthroscopy and reconstruction all in one hit' route due to the length of time its taken me to get seen I think. I'll make sure I put up my experience too in the hope of helping any other gibbering wrecks out there! Best of luck everyone, Annette

December 12, 2004 11:13 AM

Reading all of these is really helpful. i go in for my surgery on friday!!! I've had my injury since the end of my sophmore year (i'm a senior now). I'm still nervous, but as I read all these I feel much more confident. I know I will be really scared the morning of, most likely ill be a wreck! But, things are going to be fine, I will just have to deal with it over christmas. Its better i get it now before i go to college! So thank you ALL!!

December 17, 2004 6:29 PM

Because I don't have complete meniscus, so I had an oversea (Sweden) ACL, which were not functionable any more after two injuries in the same year, reconstruction with a private medical center 8 weeks ago. During the last 8 weeks, I worked really hard, and the physiotherapist is satisfied with my progress too !! Everything is fine until yesterday. Then I had follow up check with my home country doctor (Hong Kong) yesterday. I was so shocked that the Xrays showed the screw in the tibial side was out about 40% or even more. I need another surgery for my knee ?! Now I am waiting for the reply from my oversea surgeron and another MRI to have final check. Yesterday, the doctor told I may need another revision surgery. Hopfully, the revision one can be done be artheoscophy which healing process is much faster. Otherwise, I need another ACL recon again !! I was so shocked and disappointed. I was qualified this year to compete the World Champ of my sport in the July 2005 for Hong Kong. I was the Champion for HK before injury and even quit the full time job this summer for next year's Champ. I plan to retire after next summer But now everythings around just want to stop me. I was so down and could not figure out my mind right now. Does anybody has experience which you can share with me ?? I am a Asian lady who is small but used to strong in Mountain before injury. I need strong leg for mountains and forest challenges !! Do I need to accept that I have to give up taking part the Champ in July 2005 ?? Really dark in front of me .......

PFC Dillon
December 29, 2004 9:37 PM

Wow, I am glad I found you guys!! I am in the Army and I tore my ACL on Dec 9th during my Combat Engineer Training exercise in which I jumped from the back of a tactical vehicle in "full battle rattle" (roughly 45 lbs of extra weight) and apparantly I landed wrong. I will have my MRI done on Jan 4 but both my doctor and my physical therapist have both pretty much agreed i have torn my ACL and my MCL. Lucky Me!! This really sucks because that is really gonna delay my training!! And from what I read It will be nearly a year or so before I am full speed. And I have 8 weeks left of training. sometimes i can walk on it with out pain and sometimes i can't. Its still swollen and it i have bumps on one part of my knee that i don't have on my other knee. And my calves seem to hurt alot. does anyone else have the same problem or recall having this same problem??? Thanks...I could use any advice or input ya'll have!!!

ryan hidalgo
January 11, 2005 1:38 PM

the surgery is easy. i had both my knees operated on last year. i tore my acl in both along with the mcl. keep up on you rehab and dont get discouraged. good luck and dont worry about the surgery its nothin.

January 17, 2005 5:38 PM

Just like the rest of you I'm sure, I've searched the web and every book alike on acl surgery. I am most concerned about the down time after surgery. You see, I am a personal trainer and depend on my body and legs to lift weights on and off equipment 6-8 hours of day. My income and mortgage depends on a successfull and problem free recovery. Will I be able to lift a 45lbs weights in a couple of weeks? If someone has the answer from experience I would greatly appreciate the feedback. I'm sure the doctor will tell me I will be fine, but I would much rather hear it from someone who has had the patellar graft procedure for a torn ACL. Thanks

terry rodgers
January 18, 2005 9:19 AM

my 15 year old daughter was just told she has to have surgery on her right knee end of Feb. she has a torn acl!! back in november playing a b.ball game at hiogh school some one banged into her and down her knee went on hard b./ball floor for past two months the dr. said it was just bruised but after draining it 2x and an mri last week now she has to have surgery! i am scared and worried about this surgery wondering if you knew what really happens after!! terry

February 20, 2005 12:06 PM

Well on Feb. 4 i was playing in a basketbal game. i went up for a rebound and felt my knee give. First i tried to keep playing because i am die hard basketball. But i couldnt go on . i thought maybe if i go out and get it checked by our A.T than i would be okay. well i set out the whole game and i was eatin up. Well i went to two different doctors both telling me that they dont think that my ACL was torn, but my MRI showed likewise. I am going to try to play with a custom brace and i dont know if it will work but i am praying it will. Has anyone known anyone to play with a brace? i just want to finish the season.

March 31, 2005 4:56 PM

Hi all, I'm onto ACL reconstruction number 4, I've had both knees done, and am having my left done for the 3rd time...long story. My question is, has anyone here had an allograft? I've run out of bits of my own body to give. I'm a bit concerned about what I read about allografts being more prone to failure. I don't think I can handle going back for number 5 if this doesn't take. Thanks Zach

April 12, 2005 7:29 AM

I popped (not a tear) my ACL by hyper extending my knee a few years ago. My Dr. opted to use the patellar tendon method (plenty of info online). I read a few of the comments above. I would never tell anyone that surgery is no big deal. Anytime you get cut you face loss of sensation in parts of the surface of your leg/knee that was punctured or cut and you will have knee cap pain and may not be able to kneel for years comfortably. I just blew out the other knee yesterday playing basketball. If you are here you know the pain is almost enough to make you lose your mind......for me it was the same both times. Unbearable pain, then, in an instant, the pain the knee joint swells. I am going to see the Dr. today. I know from previous experience the damage. Just need to find out the extent. Advice: Do the surgery. Do not expect it to be easy. Treat the rehab very seriously. Put everything aside to get your thigh muscle back.....many people see the thigh muscle atrophy due to non use....and quickly. If you do not rehab correctly, like I did not until much later, you will struggle to climb stairs, have constant pain, and limp. If you rehab correctly you will be fine.

April 26, 2005 5:51 PM

I'm sixteen and I recently tore my acl and meniscus at the begining of April playing soccer. I'm getting surgery at the end of May and am nervous about it. The doctor says 6-9 monthes of rehab which is really a bummer because I also play basketball and probably won't be able to play my junior year.

May 13, 2005 8:51 AM

Hi all i tore my acl, damaged the pcl and mcl, tore the cartiledge and damaged the petella tendon at a work related injury. i have had intensive pt for 6mth just to get the leg strong enough to satisfy os that it is going to make it thru the surgery. i go in june 1 finally. i am getting 2 hamstring tendons from a cadavor to replace the acl hopefully they can fix the cartiledge or they remove it and the rest well pt will tell the story. i may not ever be able to go back to physical labour or sports due to the extensive damage. but i dont let my spirits get down. i have always felt that if you wants something you can have it if you work for it. i will have my sports and active lifestyle back and i will be able to do my job again. i have had a long road behind me and still have a long one to travel. but i am hoping it will all be worth it. raising three young children with this injury has been dificult but with success stories out there like these it gives me the positive i really nead to keep hearing. if anyone else has dealt with the extensive injuries as i have let me know would love to hear how it worked out for you.

May 17, 2005 7:58 AM

i am 20.i tore my acl back in january at a fire department training. On superbowl sunday i was throwing football with my brother and my knee gave out and i broke my arm because of knee. I then had to turn down a job as an EMT. I had my surgery on April 25 2005. I had mine replaced with a kadaver acl. I am 3 weeks out of surgery and supprised about the how fast i was walking. Its amazing i thought i would be strugling for 2 months to walk but i am doing great. Luckily my recovery is only 3 to 4 moths. When i am finnished i will be able to work for a paid department.

May 17, 2005 1:23 PM

Dude, I tore My ACL and a partial tear in my MCL in january, playing baseball I play shortstop and a guy came into the bag hard on a double play and my leg got caught between the base and his body as I was trying to jump over him. I just recently had surgury on April 18th and it wasn't that bad I was on crutches with a straight leg brace for 7 days, Then I was able to ditch the crutches and walk on my own. Its obviously been about a month now and I am walking without any pain and doing alot of leg strengthening workouts, I used a cadavor graph and they tell me it will be about 6 to 8 months before I can play but I feel I can probably be back in 3 to 4 months so we will see. Don't worry surgury always suck no matter what it is but a day after surgury you will feel better.

May 23, 2005 12:31 PM

So any thoughts from people who know - hamstring vs patellar tendons? I have read that the hamstring harvesting hurts less and grows back but it isn't as strong as the patellar. Thanks

July 13, 2005 7:26 PM

Hey tomorrow I have to see the Dr. because once again my knee popped. It did it in my first year of basketball and I saw my kneecap on the other side of my knee. I didn't leave the game which was stupid. About 2 years later I did the same thing in gym and never told my mom about it. Now they are thinking I was told about surgery and I am freaking out because since I don't play I am a boys bb manager and boys track manager and I don't want to miss out on it. I hope to be better for Junior year basketball. All the comments helped me to be a little less scared. Thank you everyone.

July 29, 2005 7:41 AM

Iam 15 and i just found out that my acl and my mcl was torn i also found out the cartilage in my knee was flipped up and its stopping me from straightening my knee im really scared because there looking at surgery in a few days because its pretty bad! Im scared i really dont know what to expect! They say my basketball yrs are done for awhile and basketball is my life! My email address is and please email me if u can give me advice on surgery or recovery please! Thanks Nikki

August 21, 2005 10:32 AM

Well, to me that doesnt sound that bad....because in only 13 and I had torn my ACL in a soccer game and it was excrutiating..i had to get arthoscopic surgery to fix my miniscus..then a year later i tore my ACL in my other now i have two torn ACL's and i have to get 2 more surgerys...and I'm not even 14 yet!!!

danny bouziden
September 1, 2005 7:08 PM

i had acl recustrution surgery 1 week ago today gettin along pretty good been goin to pt 3 time a week they say i'm doin good i have one heck of a bruice on the back of my thigh and still lil soar not got all movement back but hope to soon can walk on one crutch while i'm out and around house i go solo doc says i have a long way to go before i can return back to work i'm a mechanic and on my feet allday long he talks like it will be 6 month before i can return

September 7, 2005 9:35 AM

I tore my ACL,MCL, and LCL in a basketball game my junior year of high school. I missed out on my whole senior summer of basketball and it was the worst thing that could have happened to me b/c i love basketball. I had a cadavors ligament put in.It has been about 5 or 6 months sense and i am back to normal now. I just want to tell everyone that if your young when u hert yourself be very happy b/c it is a lot easier to do it young then to get hert this close to your senior year when sports are most important to you. Stay positive and keep working hard! If you want to e-mail me my address is

September 7, 2005 8:49 PM

For Dave, know your post is old, but thought I would add my two cents if still interested. Have had both the patellar tendon graft and the hamstring graft, one on each knee. Each were done by the same doctor (a very good surgeon at Johns Hopkins). The patellar tendon graft was done 4 years ago, and I still get tendonitis in it at times, and it definitely does not feel "like new". I am now 7 months out on my hamstring graft and it already feels great. I rarely even notice it. The other thing that I really thought was great about the hamstring graft was the rehab. Due to the fact that it is less painful and I made initial progress faster, it was easier to keep my spirits up when doing day in and day out of rehab for six months. Also good to note, I did rehab for both knees with the same trainer (both were college soccer injuries) so there were no differences in the rehab when comparing the results from the two surgeries. In regards to the higher rate of failure in a hamstring graft. I was told that these numbers were much more negligable in males. In addition, we have had 4 members of our women's team get this graft and no one has retorn it...and they are playing Div I collegiate soccer. Obviously, because the hamstring graft is new, the research is not as extensive, so no two studies will be the same. There is not a conventional wisdom yet as to whether or not a higher failure rate in hamstring grafts will play out in the long run. For me, I decided it was the best choice and I am happy with it. But it is always best to do your research and ask a lot of questions. Hope this helps, know it is long winded.

September 16, 2005 5:45 PM

Hi Everyone ... I injured my knee (patellar tendon rupture) a month ago playing basketball. A kid I was playing with drove his knee into the base of mine at the exact moment I was landing from a lay-up shot (firing my quadricepts) needless to say, when I hit the ground I couldn't stand and my knee cap was visibly resting in my thigh. OK HERE'S THE QUESTION --> How long to recover (Get back to 100% A.K.A. get back to over 100 degree flexation)??? How long until I can get back to running again? 5 years ago I ran two marathons. I'm still in the Army now and CAN ANYONE TELL ME HOW FAST RECOVERY HAPPENS AND WHAT CAN I REALISTICALLY EXPECT? 100% or What??? Thanks --- please reply.

September 17, 2005 10:00 PM

I, too, tore my ACL last October playing soccer. Its a very tricky injury. There was an intense burning sensation for about 10 seconds, but then my knee felt alrigh but unstable. I am glad you got it diagnosed early. I continued to play on my knee for 2 months, only setting myself up for further damage latter. I finally had my surgery at the end of March. Enough about me. Looking at the time of your original post, I guess you have already had surgery. As far as the rehab, I thought it wasn't nearly as bad as people make it out to be. As you probably know, the stretching is the worst part. Even though it is gonna hurt more, if you exhale once they have it pulled tight, they can normally get a few more degrees. The problem with the ACL injury is that you feel good long before you are healed. Personally, I felt that my knee was fine around 2-months after surgery. It's very hard to be disciplined and stay within your doctor's orders, but it is VERY important. Well, I just wanted to give you a little advice, and I hope you do well with the rehab.

Jessica Hensley
September 24, 2005 10:15 AM

hey, i was in a bike wreck about a week ago and i hurt my knee. i don't know exactly know what i hurt but there is a big bruise, my ankle and foot are always cold and it grinds pops snaps and makes some pretty disqusting noises. plus it is swollen and the kneecap looks like it is buldging out or something. it just doesn't look right. i am also having trouble bending it. see i stopped so i wouldn't run of a branch of thorns and i flipped over the handlebars and landed directly on my left knee.(my bad knee, it has a tendency to dislocate with out notice) then i flipped the bike on me because as i flipped i didn't release the handlebars. anyway i am going to the doctor tuesday and i am going to find out what's wrong i hope. but what really sucks is that i just started high school and i wanted to play J.V. Softball which is only like my favorite sport and my mom fell about 2 weeks ago and broke her femur in 2 places and broke a piece of the bone off of her hip. well i have to go i have a quiz to study for if you can try and give me a hint of what might be wrong. THANKS jessica

james keith
October 10, 2005 1:16 PM

i just hadan acl retoration on my knee a week ago and at first things went great. I didn't even need pain killers. However i need some advice, at first i was good going my calf raises,heel slide and quad felx and they were going good. About 4 days in a woke up and my calf as really really sore when getting out of bed. I now can't even raise my toes toward my knee even 1/4 of an this normal or have i done something? tehre is alot of bruising and swelling even with ice all the time.

Shannon McLean
October 17, 2005 3:46 PM

My cousin has to get surgery on his knee because he ripped his tendon by playing soccer. It this the same thing as what you did?

November 13, 2005 10:25 AM

HI iv snapped my acl. iv had the mri, the specialist said that if your knee feels good go for it go and play football. Iv been to training it feels fine it has not given way. has enyone torn their acl and not had surgery on it and still plays. Iv been told by the surgeon they cant do the operation until my growth plates have shut enyone please help.

Tom Villineau
December 16, 2005 2:31 PM

My 12 year old daughter just torn her ACL on the 8th of Dec and had an MRI yesterday, which revealed a total tear of the ACL. We meet with the surgeon Monday. What can I expect to hear from him? She is distraught. She is a basketball player since 3rd grade and plays competitively. Will she be able to play again? Her major concern. What am I in for after ACL reconstruction? How long is physical therapy etc...... Thank you so much for any help anyone can give me.....

December 31, 2005 5:01 PM a senior in highschool, i was looking forward to my senior basketball season breaking many records at my school, and the looking for a highly anticipated track season, i already hold the record for my school and district in track shot put after my first year of throwing last year and was trying to go for more records in the state, however the past month has been a roller coaster...learned i might miss my entire senior basketball season because of a knee injury to my right knee so with the doctors permission, and no indication of any problems or risks, i decided to play in a scrimmage knowing it might be the last time i put on a high school uniform. I went down with a knee injury about 4 minutes into the first quarter, it was in my other knee, i was felt the pop, and was in major pain, but was told it was hyperextended and sprained. when i went in for my surgery on my right knee it was really good news, i tore my meniscus in my right knee , had the surgery on dec. 2nd, and went for a recheck on the 12th i was expecting to get released that day and play in a basketball game that night, thats when i got some horrible news, the doctor looked at my left knee, and i was informed that i had an ACL tear, i had surgery on thursday, and will miss my entire senior year of sports. i have a really long road ahead of me, i was lucky enought to already sign to a college on a track scholarship, so i am rehabing my both of my knees and getting ready for my freshmen year of college. i wanted to post on here because i dont want anyone to put their body at the same risks i did. one year of a sport or for me on night isnt worth risking much more. listen to your doctors and dont put your body as risk, you are much more likely to hurt yourself if you are trying to play on a bad wheel. get yourself healthy, you will have more chances to play your sports, basketball had been my life since i was 7 years old, if i would have given that up for one night, i would have much more of basketball to look forward to, my rehad is about 6 months till i can play basketball again, but i highly doubt i will, i have faced the fact that i have other things i need to do in life. again i just wanted young people to think about you future before making a decision that might change you life forever. im still on my pain meds, so i hope you can understand my post!!

Chris C
January 3, 2006 10:30 PM

just to let everyone kno. i had ACL surgery March 8th 2005. If rehab is done correctly and rigorously, your daughter can expect to be playing sports competitively again within 12 months! all in all, the surgery wasnt bad, the rehab was awful, the pain afterwards was not bad.... and now, post surgery 9 months, I sometimes forget which leg it was hope this helps

danny bouziden
January 9, 2006 7:33 PM

well i been out of surgery back in august 25th of 05 went to 12 weeks of theropy and doing all theropy at home get around ok still have some pain and swelling still have to where the big brace to fell like i can walk and sometime if not in the brace it has quiet a bit of pain still not able to stand on it for over about 3 hours till i have to get off it for a while going back to doctor early to see what i need to do so maybe i can get back to work as of rite now i don't see me goin back to work and standing on it for 8-10 hours aday or getting down on it

January 13, 2006 10:39 PM

hey, im liz and im a 17 year old competitive avid athlete involved with both varsity basketball and volleyball. i tore my acl on august 19th and am about 4 and a half months out of my surgery. tonight, i played my first minutes back in my varsity basketball game (without any sort of brace), got my first points of the season and had so much fun and felt soo accomplished and good after being out for all of my senior year of volleyball and half of my basketball. the feeling of walking back on that court and having the whole crowd cheering for you makes all of the hardships of this injury well worth it. i am running on such a high right now and just want to tell my story to help inspire others that are recovering from or discovering their torn acls. its not a fun or easy injury, especially if you are an athlete or very active person, but if you set your mind to getting back to whatever it might be, you can do it! im here to prove it! just work hard, always attend your therapy sessions, do your exercises religiously and keep the faith, even when times get extremley hard as they somtimes will. so keep remaining postive and determined, for if you put in the effort and strive for a goal, you will recieve it! best of luck to everyone. just keep believin you'll all do great.

January 15, 2006 4:19 PM

Hey. Im 14 years old. And I to tore my ACL during a soccer game. I got pushed down and my put didn't turn causing my leg to go out of its range in motion. I had to go to the ER they told me they didn't think it was an ACL and they braced me up and put me on crutches. Bout a week later I went to my GP and she said she didn't think it was an ACL and from there sent me to one Physical Therepy to get the swelling down for the ortho to look at it. So, I went to PT and he said he didn't think it was an ACL. I got an MRI a day before my ortho appointment. My orthopedic said it was without a doubt a complete tear of the ACL. I just about cursed out everyone who told me it wasn't. So, I tore is on the 3rd of December and am getting the surgery the 1st of February. I play really really competitive soccer...year round thing, I was in it for the long haul...I had been since 4th grade non-stop soccer. Now...its the completely opposite. The doc sayd i'll proabably we able to play soccer at the level i was after about 6 months to a year after the surgery. Add that to the 2 months I just sat here with an ACL. I'm gonna be so out of shape that I on't be able to play soccer with the same team. But whatever, maybe I'll find something new. =) PT will be just as challenging.

January 15, 2006 4:24 PM

I was also wondering if anyone knew about the type of scars it's gonna leave behind? I've been told mine will be larger then others because they are replacing my ACL with one of my hamstring...and more painful. Just what I want...

January 16, 2006 7:42 PM

umm i am 17 and I just tore my ACL and LCL and i have to have surgery this thursday and im nervous cuz ive never been put to sleep and Im worried about the pain....well sumwhat because when i actually got injured it was the worse pain i ever felt in my entire life. but if ne one out there has torn their acl and lcl get back at me and tell me it will be ok

January 24, 2006 11:17 PM

i tore my acl in aug 2003 and didnt get surgery until may 2005. and its not like i sat around for two years the captain of the cross country basketball and track teams. im a pretty hardcore athlete. but it wasnt too bad so those of you that dont want the surgery..just beware youll have to ice a LOT!! and if you feel any pain at all..STOP..because you dont want to hurt it more. anyway..i had the surgery in may and i was ready to play college basketball in 5 months. so i played.. but its almost the end of the season and i think i might have done something to my knee a couple games ago. advice to everyone is be smart..i wasnt very smart about it..just dont have to jump back into sports quick..take your time and DO YOUR EXERCISES!! it will only benefit you.

January 25, 2006 11:11 AM

On Nov 9 I went in for Alograft ACl surgery and a small meniscus tear. After the surgery I found the tear in the meniscus was way worse than projected. I had to be non weight bearing for near 6weeks...bummer! I am now about 10 weeks out of surgery and I an not doing any more PT, but still have a weak knee and pain when I walk on it too much and then feel the need to ice it for a while. I was wondering if anyone has a particular exercise that they did that really made a difference. I purchased a recumbant bike to do twice a day, and I have been tryign to streach the hamstring, but I am walking with a limp, which I don't want to and I don't think I am 100% straight or 100% I may need more PT, but I am so flustrated with the results I was getting with the PT, felt I should be further along by now. I am planning to go out of the country in July so I really have a desire to get healthy. Right now if I were planning to go, I would have to it is hard to walk long distances, I can't neel down and I just get very tired. Any advice anyone? Thanks!

February 6, 2006 12:27 PM

Hello...I'll be having ACL surgery in less than 1 month. I tore my ACL on my left leg while skiing a few weeks ago. I now have some questions about the recovery period. Immediately following the surgery, can anyone tell me the length of time they wore the straight leg brace? As this is my left leg, I'm wondering if I'll be capable of driving the first week after the surgery. How long before weight can be put on leg? Length of time on crutches? What are the pros and cons of using cadaver parts? Any helpful tips on showering or bathing? Any exercises I can do pre-surgery? How many days following surgery should I expect to be recovering before I can go back to work? Thanks for the advice...this is a great resource!

February 15, 2006 11:22 PM

Hey there - just thought I wold drop by and say Hi! I am heading in for my surgery tomorrow morning (17.02.06 06:30) finally (it was supposed to take place on Feb third). Drop by for updates!

February 17, 2006 7:51 AM

I've been skating for over 15 yrs, I'm 31 now and I still charge it, well this past Thanksgiving I was skating and just randomly stepped out and bailed a trick and my right knee buckled and bent sideways toward my left knee, unbearable pain insued. I stayed off of it through the holidays, hittin up the skatepark a few times here and there after the pain went away and taking it easy just carving around not doing anything worth a damn, but just riding, since then I've been getting more and more back to speed, more or less testing to see how much my knee can take, it was fine throughout January and early February. Until yesterday I just randomly stepped out of a trick and my knee buckles again. At my age I knew I was approaching the quitting stage in the next couple of years but I didn't want to go out this soon. I already had ACL surgery on my left knee back in 1998 and the recovery time and building up the strength in the knee was very lengthy, even worse than that was getting the confidence and trust in the knee. I think I'm done, I don't want to be, but reality is reality. I may get it checked out and go through surgery before I get any older. I'll stop ranting, just wanted to share. Thanks for listening.

February 24, 2006 7:27 PM

I just recently had surgery to repair my acl and meniscus. I had a patellar tendon graft. My advice to anyone having surgery is to research who you want to have do the surgery. Don't just settle for whomever you are referred to. Take an active role in your surgery. It is your body. Ask around at physical therapy centers in your area for doctors they recommend. Even though a doctor is qualified to perform your surgery and has done it before doesn't mean that he/she is the best. I wouldn't just take my car to any mechanic to let them work on it and we are talking about our own body here. My second piece of advice would be to find a reputable physical therapy center. In my experience independently owned physical therapy centers are better than those associated with hospitals. You will find more qualified therapists who specialize in specific rehabilitation for specific injuries. And make sure you stick with the rehab. It seems overbearing, daunting and yes painful at times, but it is the key to how well and how fast you recover. If you slack of in physical therapy then you will have problems down the road (like a knee that hurts all the time and doesn't extend or bend all the way).

March 4, 2006 5:57 PM

Hi I had ACL reconstruction (patellar tendon) in 1992. I hurt it basketball and then skiing. I have run 2 marathons, 6 1/2 on it. I have been playing ultimate frisbee since 2002. It is similiar to the cutting you would do in scoccer. I tore the other ACl (left) in 2002 cutting. I didn't get the surgery, the ACL tore off and then completely healed (scarred up to the PCL) . This was shown on an MRI 8 months later. It took me 5 months to go back to cutting. Than 4 weeks ago today I torn my left one again. It hurt like hell but now i am doing fine. Someone laid out into my tibia playing ultimate. I knew that pain right away. I have had that pain 2 X now on each leg. The surgeon wants to see how I get along with surgery since I got along fine for 4 years without it. I started biking, lifting weights and doing the stairmaster. I am walking without pain and can go for a 30 minutes walk outside. But after reading your messages and wanting to continue to play sports that involve cutting I think I am going to opt for surgery. I just turned 31 and want to continue to play Basketball and ultimate frisbee for the next 5 years at least! Glenna ("not an ACL on her"

Ron Stiles
March 6, 2006 6:51 AM

Great site Adam, I applaud you for hosting us. Nice to hear from real people that have gone through this. I just had my ACL recostructed last Wednesday here in Moncton, NB. My doctor was great, his name is Dr. Daniel De Yturralde and he did a great job. A little back story now. I tore my ACL in Nov. of 2002 playing volleyball. Heard the "pop", tried to get up but couldn't. Crawled to side line, got dressed, hobbled to the car and drove home. Went to my family doctor the following Monday, and was then reffered to Dr. De Yturralde. His diagnosis was a torn ACL. Everyone's heard of this injury but it's hard to understand the ramifications until the doctor tells you that your sporting life will be put on hold for 4 to 6 months. WHAT!. He said he was going to schedule an MRI to verify what he already knew. I went home dejected. no sports for 4 months....His office called 2 days latter to say that they had an opening for surgery 2 days latter. The surgery was an arthroscopic procedure that involved simply removing the remaining portions of my ACL so they wouldn't hamper proper knee movement. After the 45 minute procedure he said that in many cases people will be able to live without their ACL and still do mild sports by using a brace. This wasn't quite what I had in mind but decided he was the expert, and if it allowed me to return to sports at any level, I was going to be happy :) Rehab was fine, it was hard but allowed me to walk with out the use of the brace on a daily basis. I would have to wear it only for sports..ok, I thought. walking proved to be easy enough, sports, on the other hand, not so good. The brace did its job in all but a few occasions. Those were some of the most painfull, stressfull , and frustrating incidences of this whole ordeal. The brace works 98% of the the time, it's just those 2% times that will leave you on you back for three days icing your swolen knee ,taking pain killers and off work. I guess it was those instances that led me to have the reconstruction surgery in the end. At 34 years old now, I'm not really sure what level of participation I want to achieve after this rehab, but at least I will have the stability of my new knee to base my opinion.

April 6, 2006 12:20 PM

The ACL is a pain to deal with. I tore my ACL in my right knee when I was 17 and a Junior in High school. I was driving for a layup uncontested and when I landed, I heard a pop in my knee and went down in pain. After a few minutes of ice, my knee felt fine and I wanted to go back into the game but was not allowed to. That night, my knee swelled up and I experienced considerate pain. I went to my doctor first who referred me to an orthopedic surgeon. The Orthopedic performed the lachman test on me and concluded that I torn my ACL and a MRI weeks later confirmed that. Surgery was the only option for me because I was not going to be slowed for my senior year. I did the surgery and went through the months of rehab and get back to normal. I did not have a problem for 10 years with that knee until one day while playing basketball for PT for the U.S. army, I heard that same pop in my right knee again while landing on it. This pop seemed much louder than the first one. My orthopedic appt is tomorrow, but my regular doctor performed the lachman test and said my ACL was torn . Going through this once before, I already knew that. Maybe the orthopedic will say something different, but I dont think so.

Beth C.
April 24, 2006 7:40 PM

i tore my ACL and meniscus during a indoor soccer game about three months ago and i'm a high school junior. i am in a tight spot because i am being recruited by a couple of colleges to play for thier teams all but two coaches said they were ready to make offers once they saw me play ONE MORE TIME!! for all you who thik its the end of the world when you tear your ACL you're wrong i worked out at the gym for about 3 weeks easing myself back into practice i just recieved my fourth offer. yeah my knee gave out once or twice but i decided that a great education was worth a little pain in the long run. pretty much im trying to say that any orthopedic surgen you go to is going to recommend surgery... they are surgens for heavens sake. impossible is nothing email me with any questions

April 29, 2006 5:45 PM

hi, I tore my acl skiing about 7 weeks ago(march) , i am 17 years old and play competitive lacrosse. I was told about a week ago that i will require surgery, i am able to walk on my knee with no pain at all, however it feels unstable. i have been running on my completely torn acl for a good month now playing lacrosse, and have only had one incident were my knee slid out of place which was very painful, i iced it for a few minutes and returned to the floor. now that i know i have a torn acl(proven by an Mri), i was just wondering if i can continue for another month or two to finish the season before surgery in september, this season means the world to me and want to be apart of it even if i can only participate a little. If the knee feels ok can i continue to play or is it doing even more damage?

May 8, 2006 11:41 AM

Hi, My 16 yr. old daughter tore her ACL (confirmed by MRI) on April 2, 2006. She is a soccer and basketball player, and is devastated by her doctor's orders that she not play basketball until the ACL is repaired. Has anyone played on a torn ACL? She has no pain, and about 95% of her range of motion back. Shannon

May 24, 2006 7:51 AM

My daughter is 15 and is also bball and premiere soccer player and is in the same boat as your daughter. Can you play without having surgery. How successful is it. Linda

May 24, 2006 8:02 PM

Ok did anyone have surgery when you were over 50? Do you know anyone who did? I tore my ACL 8 months ago and am contemplating surgery, any comments---please need input. I am not a big athlete but want to be able to walk up stairs and play on the floor with my grandkids. Any opinions?

May 24, 2006 8:03 PM

Ok did anyone have surgery when you were over 50? Do you know anyone who did? I tore my ACL 8 months ago and am contemplating surgery, any comments---please need input. I am not a big athlete but want to be able to walk up stairs and play on the floor with my grandkids. Any opinions?

May 26, 2006 8:40 AM

Hi, I just hurt myself 1 week ago playing indoor soccer, I tor my acl completly, and now I havre to see my ortho on tues. Its really hard to be like this with 4 kids, could anyone drive?walk without cruches? I am getting very depressed, and to top it off im getting married on sunday. I am very afraid of surgery, I suffer from anxiety attacks so I know I will be having a couple before and after surgery. I have had pins put in my ankle before but that was not that bad, hopfully this isnt either. well it was nice finding you guys. if you guys can help please e-mail me

June 3, 2006 1:13 PM

The ACL reconst. is a must to all, especially for the younger. Its prevent future meniscal taer & probably also chondral lesions. The operation last 80 min. usually.

July 15, 2006 8:17 AM

Hi all, Just found this site. I am about to have the acl procedure myself, and this will be the first and only surgery I have ever had. I am confident of my surgeon, but somewhat afraid of the unknown. I imagine the rehab will be harder than the surgery. By the way, I did mine playing ultimate frisbee of all things. A guy who was also playing with us did his about 5 minutes after mine. Very wierd indeed. The other guy is not swollen really at all, and walks around as though he's not injured. It is totally different from me. He has had at least 2 opinions though to confirm his injury. Apparently, everyone reacts differently physically. I have been swollen for a month and am still somewhat swollen, partly because I have to travel and that means Im on it quite a bit. But I have been doing PT and icing it for at least 3 weeks now, pre-op. I haven't done the surgery yet. I am waiting til I can fully straighten it.

July 20, 2006 8:01 AM haveing an acl 5 days im kinda scared.......i had a scope done to my knee and they 2 things but i guess i tore my ACL and my MCL so i have to go to a major surgery..and im only 13...soo can some ppl tell me if after the surgery it hurts? or like a few days? Thanxs

Chad Milam
August 6, 2006 8:42 PM

I just had my second ACL reconstructive surgery on July 20th. First one was 2 years ago (playing basketball) and this time was the other knee playing soccer. My first surgery lasted 90 minutes or so and my second one lasted 2 hours. In my experiences I was in physical therapy the next day and doing PT 3 times a week for about 3 weeks (I'm getting ready to start my 3rd week Tuesday). My first go at it was tough. I'll be honest it's not a lot of fun, surgery is cake the therapy isn't as much fun. But most of the issue, for me anyways, was mental. You just need to have faith in your therapist and when they tell you your knee won't burst (as they have you bend to regain your flexion) and you won't fall (as you start putting weight on it), believe them. So far my second round of therapy has been a lot better. Like I said, I think there is a lot of mental challenges that go with a leg injury. If you tear your ACL I highly recommend doing the surgery. It's a pain in the butt for a few weeks (okay, a few months) but at the end of the day, it's worth it. To answer someone's question, I was on 2 crutches for about a week and then down to one crutch for about a week and now I'm more or less walking around without it. I'm slow but I do get to ride the cool little carts at Target! I don't have too much pain but it is uncomfortable and I do have some tough times sleeping (getting comfortable). I highly recommend a cryo-cuff. It's a cooler that pumps cold water through a cuff that covers your leg. It's an ice pack that is always cold. It rocks. Good luck to all!

September 19, 2006 7:23 PM

I am having my surgery this Friday 9/22/06. I tore my ACL, MCL and Medial Miniscus while Jumping on a trampoline with my boyfriend and kids. I landed on my feet and my right knee went out sideways. I could feel it pop and everyone could hear it as well. I didnt think I was going to be able to get up. I have never felt such pain in my life. I am pretty nervous about the scars and I am hearing an awful lot of people saying that thier 1st surgery didnt take. I am pretty active and I am hoping that I will be back to biking, skiing and all the things that I enjoy so much. (minus the trampoline of course!) have any of you been able to get back to your normal activities?

September 22, 2006 6:05 PM

I just had my surgery on 9/19 (ACL Allograft, meniscus repair). It is now 9/22 and I am doing okay. The pain is the worst on the first couple of days, but I can sleep without vicodin now and just use ibuprofin. I began my stretching exercises on the day after the surgery and it feels okay to stretch my leg out now. I am starting rehab on Monday so already looking forward to getting the strength back. I'd certainly recommend taking some time off work/school and just concentrating on getting well.

Hayleigh Brown
October 15, 2006 1:42 PM

Hey iam 15 and just tore my ACL a couple days ago playing soccer I was slide tackeling sombody and she triped and landed on the side of my knee I felt it pop and I never felt so much pain. This sucks because it was just the first game of the season. if anyone has any sujectons please wight me at

October 22, 2006 4:34 PM

i think i might have torn my acl playing long am i out for?

November 3, 2006 7:58 PM

I tore my acl in May 2005 pivoting in soccer. I was told it was ok to play on after physio which I did and damaged it way worse. I would not recommend playing on a torn acl as it seems others have had the same experience. If you want to get back to sport pleeeeeeeeeeease get it fixed and spare yourself the pain!!!

November 13, 2006 3:12 AM

Any ideas? I was playing netball- jumped and turned then landed, knee collapsed to the right, heard a crack and fell to the floor- knee swelled up like a balloon within hours and I could only walk on my toes! It has been a month now and knee is still slightly swelled, it still aches and will not fully straighten causing me to still limp! I am overreacting or could this be serious? Sue x

January 14, 2007 4:58 PM

Sue: I hope you are feeling better. I am sorry to say, it sounds like you tore your ACL> Yes I hope it is NOT that. i hope your knee is better. But if it is the ACL Have surgery on it and you'll better after that.(It will take time) If you want to know about my knee injuries . Google KneeGeeks forum, and click on that. go to the cruciate section. and look for stories by YuliaNichya. those would be my story. I wish you the best. you also can email me if you have any questions about your Knee problems. Yulia

March 2, 2007 8:08 PM

HI,after reading your comments i feel to share mine.I tore my acl about 11 years ago in a motorcycle race.I went to the doctors and they said i just twisted it,so continued to ride.I must have popped it out of place 20 more times,knowing it was probably torn.I guess im just stubborn.I finally went to a specialist and he scheduled surgery a week later.For the next 6 days i was petrified.I constantly worried about it and couldnt sleep or eat.1 day before surgery I talked to my bosses brother who lived out of state.He had the surgery done. He told me,if you can walk then dont have the surgery done.He had a bad experience with the surgeon,having to go threw the surgery multiple times.Thats all it took for me,I cancelled the surgery right away.Although I can still walk,not a day go's by I dont regret having that surgery done.I sure would have like to see how far I could have went racing bikes,even more I wish I could have talked with you guys!

Lewie H
March 10, 2007 1:46 PM

Many thanks to everyone who has posted their ACL stories on this site. It's been immensly reassuring to me. I (39 years of age) hyperextended my right knee in a basketball game on February 12. I've had worse pain from bone breaks and sprains, but as I crawled off the court, I was worried. I limped back to my car and drove home. Days later, MRI confirmed ACL tear and medial meniscus damage. I had the reconstructive surgery two days ago. For anyone out there who is dreading surgery, don't worry too much. It's cake. I was put to sleep and when I was revived about two hours later, I was comfortable (and groggy). Some pain arrived the first night, but my painkillers are working for me. I feel fortunate to have a surgeon who was highly recomended. Still, I believe one must be proactive in dealing with an injury/disease and in this respect I may have failed. What little I was told about my post-operative care took place just after being revived and I do not really remember much of it. I wish (all of) it had been written down (Instructions included: Partial weight on my damaged leg was OK (?) . My knee is bandaged but without a brace. Last night I sat down rather carelessly and my leg bent to a point beyond it's range of comfort. Pain was immediate and lasting. Now, I am worried that I damaged my grafted ACL! Frustrating, But this is where I am ...

May 7, 2007 10:48 AM

i think im in the same boat as you guys and gals. i was doing kicks in my tae kwon do class and landed funnie, and heard a pop, it was definitely my knee. i can walk, but not fast, and it hurts when i try and straighten it. it feels like its gonna give out when i put my wait on it.

June 4, 2007 4:29 PM

Hi, I am a thirteen year old girl who loves sports. Sports are my life. I mainly enjoy playing soccer, basketball, and lacrosse. One day me and my family had went to go skiing. Well I ended up taking a really bad fell. It took me a while to get back up but i was finally able to do it. Well weeks later my mom took me took the docotrs and i had a x ray and they found nothing so then i had to have an mri. They then discovered that i had torn my acl. I gad the surgery on April 6, 2007 and as of today june 4, 2007 i am feeling very well. i have to go to physical therapy 3x times a week. Physical therapy helps alot. It has really been killing me not [laying sports but i know it will be all worth it in the end. The doctor says that i should start jogging ina week and should be able to play soccer in August. I reccomend that if you are athletic and you tear yoyur acl get it repaired. You will be so happy you got it repaired.

June 22, 2007 1:46 PM

I am 24 years old and was playing basketball about 6 weeks ago. I pretty much got body checked and tore my ACL and meniscus. The surgery is on Tuesday. Any words of encouragement.... What I can or can't do... For some reason I have psyched myself out and really don't want to have surgery. Thanks!

July 11, 2007 9:49 AM

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

October 7, 2007 3:24 PM

I,m 41 and I finally found the right doctor and my ACL surgery is going to be on October 18th. I fell at work back in December of 2006. I tore my ACL,MCL, AND MENISCUS.The doctor that workmans comp. sent me to only wanted to repair the meniscus. He wanted to see if the rest would heal on it's on. After I fell a couple more times I found out on my on that the ACL does not heal on it's own. WISH ME LUCK!!

kashif rashid
November 28, 2007 1:42 PM

hi im 15 yrs old and i have undergone acl surgery just this past trying to move around on crutches and its very painful..i try to sit down and stand up on my own and its working but i cant sit still for a while. does anyone have any tips for what i should be doing? thank you very much..

November 28, 2007 10:31 PM

I'm a young 42 and an avid sports weekend warrior. I play flag football and high level competitive soccer. I tore my ACL about 4 weeks ago and have been rehabbing my knee pretty hard. I'm able to run on it, although still with some pain from the meniscus. My doctor told me that for people over the age of 25 that unless they have a very good reason that they don't recommend doing ACL surgery. I have no intentions of giving up my sports and they say that even John Elway played about his entire career with no ACL in either leg. So do I get a 2nd opinion and should I get the surgery?

January 7, 2008 11:21 AM

Randy, I had a 80% tear to my left acl about 5 years ago. I had an arthroscopy to tidy up the knee but no repair. I have played netball and skiied on it ever since with no problems (but have done lots of hamstring and quad exercises). 6 weeks ago I got a partial tear to my right acl (again playing netball, perhaps I should give it up). My specialist said to see how stable it was and to go from there and I was sure it was OK however 2 weeks ago my knee completely collapsed when skiping down a step and now I think I have torn the rest of the acl and probably done some cartlidge damage to. I am 40 and will be definately getting the reconstructon on my right knee. So all I can say is see how it goes but I try it our before automatically getting op. I wore a brace on my knee more for piece of mind and I think this helped. Good Luck.

February 25, 2008 5:05 PM

I had 100% torn ACL, I still can play competitive basketball, however, I can't find time to do the rehab

March 1, 2008 1:33 PM

Hey all, I had ACL recon. with the patellar tendon graft almost 6 months ago... I have started running again, have full extension and close to full flexion... However, I still have a lot of pain on the back outside of the knee (where the fibula head/ hamstring attachments are) and am at a loss for getting rid of this pain. My patellar tendon is also flairing up a ton too which makes staying on a pt regime really hard... i also have a grinding/popping most of the time when I extend my leg... has anyone ever had similar problems or have any suggestions. Anything would help...thanks a ton.

March 25, 2008 7:18 PM

Completely tore my acl (and a lot of damage to my meniscis) during a basketball game on February 15. Popped out of place. Done deal.Swelled up like a balloon. They wanted to wait a month to have surgery. So before surgery you should try to gain as much motion back and do as much stretching etc on your own. I went in March 12th for surgery. Everything went great. Surgery was probably the easiest part so far. Put ya to sleep. Bam! You wake up. The first couple days are the hardest. The pain is pretty bad, but the pain pills help a lot. You'll def. start getting better by a week. Its been almost 2 weeks since surgery.. and I am walking with barely any pain in my knee. With probably about 100 degrees bent and almost full extension. I would recommend getting off the crutches as soon as you feel like you can reasonably move around. I know people who stay on crutches for a long time.. and the recovery process just seems like it takes a lot longer in the long run. I would def. recommend getting surgery if you are young.. or a competitive athlete. On the other hand... Elders who do not play sports any more may not have to worry about getting surgery due to them not being as active and into sports as others are. But that is def. a biggg decision. I hope this helps. Good luck to everyone. Best wishes.

March 27, 2008 10:46 PM

ELIZABETH I had a Patellar surgery for my acl almost 1 year ago. I too get an awful popping and cracking in my knee. I get it deep in my knee when i extend it which i think is from the tib and fib not gliding with one another right. and also my knee cap does not track properly so i get popping there as well. My therapist says i just need to have full extension and flexion so i worked my butt off to get it and now i do. I have a feeling mine is do to scar tissue which my body makes a TON of and yours may be too. My symptoms have gotten better but it still does make my life awful! if anyonne has any advice PLEASE email me at or if u have any questions about the surgery i would be glad to answer thanks

April 14, 2008 3:10 PM

Randy, I dont know if you still check this blog, but can you please let me know how you are doing and if you had ACL Surgery. I am 42 and active (snowboard, hike, dirt-bike) and my Dr. did not recommend surgery. She advised me to strengthen my leg and wear a brace, which I would have to do either way. Can you tell me how you are doing? MikeN

April 14, 2008 3:11 PM

Randy, I dont know if you still check this blog, but can you please let me know how you are doing and if you had ACL Surgery. I am 42 and active (snowboard, hike, dirt-bike) and my Dr. did not recommend surgery. She advised me to strengthen my leg and wear a brace, which I would have to do either way. Can you tell me how you are doing? Adam, would you be willing to forward this to Randy (see post above 11/28/07) MikeN

May 28, 2008 9:41 AM

Hi, I am 13. i tore my acl while playing soccer. I feel really depressed because I LOVE sports specially soccer and skateboarding and I don't know when I will be able to play again (I play competitive soccer). They say that about the surgery is very hard because I still havent had my growth spurt so the surgery can harm my growth plat, but probably we will find some surgeon with experience in teen surgery. After that I don't know how long until I can go back playing. I am not the kind of guy that enjoy taking things easy or going soft. Please if you can give me some answers. Joseph

June 17, 2008 3:15 PM

Hey everyone!!! Thank you for your helpful comment. It's good to know that one's not alone. Hope this helps. I fell on my knee hard on my concrete patio while hanging pottery in my back yard 8 months ago! I broke my leg and my doctor said I have an ACL injury too. I'm a young 43 and exercised regularly lifting weights too. I had surgery which included rods and pins in my lower leg. I have been undergoing serious and extremly painful PT (screaming like a baby) since then and I am still limping severly and still in need of therapy. I probably won't be able to walk smoothly again until next year! My bones pop and grind around my knee too and its hard to straighten my leg out. My doctor found out I was walking on a bent knee for months!! I was in a wheelchair for about 2 months then walker, crutches, and now I'm on and off the cane. So don't feel so bad about your injury. It could be much worse. However God did bless me to be able to slow-dance on my recent 25th wed anniversary! Thank God that you're young or better off. I've been praying that I will be able to walk without limping sometime in the near future so I can better spread the good news of Christ. My hope is in God, yours should be too. Follow the doctors instructions and lean on God. God bless. Jesus is really all that matters. Hopefully you'll find that out sooner rather than later before your life on earth has expired. Keep your head heaven. PEACE!

July 30, 2008 8:52 PM

My daughter is 13 1/2, just tore her acl playing soccer, and like everyone else at this age, she is supposed to wait for her growth plates to come together. We are trying to figure out the best, and safest way to get her back on the field as soon as possible. Does anyone have any suggestions? If she waits for 6 months to a year to have surgery, and then another year to recover, that's a very long time to wait, especially in the life of a adolescent. Does anybody use the medical knee braces to play in before the surgery? Any specific knowlwedge or experience would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

August 13, 2008 6:29 PM

Hi Mitch- Our daughter also tore her ACL playing soccer. Soccer has been her life since she was 4. We opted to wait to have the adult ACL repair instead of the Kiddie ACL repair. She has been going to PT and passed all the test to begin running, juggling, and shooting. She has a brace and she will be able to play in September. We are not sure how it will go. However, she does know that she will have to have the surgery as soon as her growth plates come together. Her doctor said he would do an MRI every 6 months to see when she can have the surgery. I don't know if playing is the right decision. However, I think for her it is because she loves the game.

August 18, 2008 3:26 PM

My 16 year old daughter (15 at the time of surgery) had ACL reconstruction this past December. She was back out on the soccer field playing in July, full speed again. She currently wears the Don Joy Defiance brace (and will for an entire year). It gives her the mobility she needs and still gives her the support and protection she needs as well. She used her own hamstring for replacement and went through months of physical therapy. It was painful, but she loves soccer so much, that she really did everything she was told to do. Her recovery was faster than her Dr. thought, she was ready to play with in 5 months, however we made her wait and rehabilitate longer, to be on the safe side. Doing Physical therapy before surgery to have full ROM and build quad strengh definitely worked in her favor. As well, immediately after surgery we used Polar ice and a CPM machine. She started Physical therapy again a week after surgery.

October 22, 2008 9:24 PM

Hi i'm 19 and i tore my ACL two years ago in my senior year of high school due to soccer. Here's a little short story about it.I am very athletic and played sports all year round ever since i was 7.I was contending to be one of the top 10 goalies in the Atlantic Coast League (ACL)..isn't that ironic?.. Anyways my senior year first game of the season 20min into the first half i ran out for the ball it was in the box and a forward was coming at it too full speed.Now i thought i could get to it first but, turns out i was wrong..well kind of.I did get to it first but, she was already to close to run off of the ball so she plowed right into me when all my body weight was on one leg(my right).She ended up blowing my whole knee right out of the side of my leg and i colapsed to the ground in the worst pain ive ever felt and ive had over 15 injuries. I went right to the hospital from the game because it blew up like a balloon and from there i was sent to an orthopedic out of that hospital.I ended up being misdiagnosed for just a dolocated knee cap and did 2 months of PT and passed everything and i was runing again.First day back to practiced it poped out again so my coach was certain it was my ACL and wanted me to see a new doctor.Well my ortho wasn't too happy about that and wrote my coach a letter assuring that it was my knee cap. It kept happening as the season finished up so my coach only played me for the final 5 min. in some games because it was my senior ear and he felt but, couldn't watch me suffer in pain anymore.We made it to the tournament and i never got to play in any tournament games because they couldn't take the risk of lossing or me getting anymore hurt.I knew i wouldn't be able to play any other sports my senior year for the first time EVER i wasn't going to play sports year round.I played in an alumni soccer game that same year in the summer and 2 min in i punted the ball out came down on the one leg and it just folded. I went to a different hospital that night they thought it was my MCL they reffered me to a different orthopedic and he othorized an MRI that night and it came back that i had completley torn my ACL and it was a fresh tare.I lost my spot to play D2 soccer in college on pretty much a full ride.I ended up going to a local college and because of first semester i wasn't able to get surgery till christmas break.I got it on Dec.28,2007..they used my patella tendon to replace it and put a couple screws in my leg. I sliped in and out of conciousness all night after surgery so i was admited over night and spiked a high fever so i was on watch all the next day.Then i was about to leave and they took my blood preasure and it had dropped dramatically so i was admitted another night.Usually though its a one day process i just happened to be unlucky.After the second day i went home got perks for pain killers and a CPM machine was sent to my house. The michine is used to slowly bend your knee and get it used to moving again with the new ACL and to help prevent scare tissue.It hurts at first but, sooner or later it starts to hurt to be off of it and you gradually kick up the degrees and speed that your knee goes.I lost about 20 pounds after surgery because the medicine makes you feel loopy and sick and you dont feel like eating.I had lost all muscle mass in my leg but, you gain it back very quickly once you start moving around. I started PT a week after for 4-5 months and it was painfull at first but, it gets soooo much easier and you feel like a million bucks after every visit. I ended up not being able to go back to school second semester because it took me a little longer then usual to recover.You can start runing again 6 months after surgery and play physical activities 9 months after.You also get the brace to help protect your knee when playing sports or runing or what have you and you have to wear it for a year. I just reached my 9 months in sept. and i'm happy to say im back at full speed and playing anything i want without hesitation.I may have lost the D2 spot on the team but, i'm happy to have my leg back to normal.Iit's made me believe if i can suffer through the pain of playing a year with it torn then i can go through the pain of getting back in awsome shape and proove i can still take the spot back from any other girl or, who knows maybe even play D1.All i have left from that incident now is a desent scare down the middle of my knee two very small pinhole scares and a couple screws in my knee.

October 27, 2008 7:47 PM

I am a skateboarder i am 14 i fell about a month ago it hurts when i skate,go up steps,sit down for a long time it pops when i extend my leg i think i tore something can anybody tell me what it is

December 11, 2008 6:05 PM

im 15 years old..i was playing basketball..jump landed and bam out went my knee. i was on the ground screaming in pain. i had people help me walk off the floor and i cant walk at all. if i try walking, i fall over so i gotta use crutches. i went to the doctors and he said he is pretty sure that i tore my acl. i get my MRI monday. but the first two days, i couldnt move my leg what so ever or my knee would kill. but now i can move it sideways. but i cant bend my leg back or keep it straight,. it has to be bent in a certain way. but i play basketball, and run cross country and track. i am very dedicated to my sports, and i love them. without sports, it basically ruins my life. recovery will take forever and i just wanna get back to my sports. if you have any suggestions or anythin, please let me know.

March 25, 2009 7:03 PM

I am 23 years old and recently tore my Acl playing indoor soccer. I have been playing for 10 years and i am very active. I am very confused on wheather or not i should get surgery. It's been 2 months now and I am able to walk normally and do everyday activities, but i miss soccer. I am currently doing PT and have regained almost full ROM. The doctor told me that i can choose not to get surgery if i am willing to give up soccer, and i am not sure if i am ready to do that. Has anyone succesfully played soccer with a torn ACL and no surgery?

April 24, 2009 7:27 PM

I am 18 years old I recently tore my Acl playing soccer last month. i am playin college soccer so this surgery was neccesarry. yesterday i had surgery and I had to stay over night. I got a Hamstring Graft which i highly recommend because it keeps up better than the pattelar tendon. When you go in for anestisia ask for a nerve block it is probally the easiest and less painfull thing. I felt no pain overnight cause the block was very helpful. Take the painkillers right before bed evern if you arnt hurting. Just go with wat the doctor says which is most improtant. I have to inject myself with a shot every day for 2 weeks now to prevent blood clots in my leg cause i have a family history. Dont take morphine use the nerve block instead for the anistesia. Ull be asking the nurse for morphine every hour after the surgery. if you have any questions feel free to write on this blog i would be honored to help any 1. I am on medication now i need to fall asleep thats my only problem ive been having but itll be ok 2 morrow/

September 29, 2009 5:54 PM

i am 17 and i've torn my ACL three times now... the same one. i tore it first playing soccer, then i had surgery and tried to play volleyball and it tore again. i had the second surgery and got a fancy Don Joy brace and went out for volleyball again and it tore... while i was wearing the brace. i am currently playing highschool volleyball with a torn ACL, because there is no way that we could afford a third surgery. i am also contemplating playing soccer this spring... i am not sure if i should or not though.

October 7, 2009 11:32 AM

Abby, which ACL surgery did you have; the one using your patellar tendon, hamstring tendon, or a cadaver graft? My daughter tore her ACL a year ago and used her patellar tendon to reconstruct her ACL. This worked very well and she returned to playing soccer. However, she just tore the ACL on her other knee and I was just wondering if the other surgery options worked well for teenagers who have gone back to playing sports.

October 21, 2009 7:23 PM

found out i RUPTURED my ACL and have complex tear of the medial meniscus. Off to reconstructive surgery 11/11. I was told there is no set time frame for complete rehab. this is so stressful and fear the pain.

Adam Kalsey
October 21, 2009 7:37 PM

Ter, most people find that it takes 6-9 months before they feel fully recovered. You'll be out of a brace and walking normally in 2-3 months, but full activity probably won't be possible for at least 6 months.

February 1, 2010 4:18 AM

hi everyone, im a 45 young year old and i tore my acl a year ago. and i still havent had my surgery. im actually afraid too. i dont know. but i dont want to wind up cripple. and i miss wearing my cute hi heels. and it has made me feel bitter and depressed. should i just have the surgery..but what if it doesnt work and then next a knee replacement or ill walk with a limp everyday...I have been doing my own PT and im doing well, my knee gets painful but it has been functioning pretty good. but i do miss running real fast and pivoting im an active me out somebody...or say a prayer for me...and ps..does it leave an ugly scar on your pretty legs...??? argghh.

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