Knee injuries
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7 users
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myrto
August 22, 2005
Member since 10/4/2001
259 posts
Ok, so I was playing soccer when I reached up with my right knee and heard a pop in my left knee. It felt kind of like pulling a finger to make it pop. A little pain so I leftthe field and sat out the rest of the game. This was in May and I am 48. Come June I feel my knee feel like it is about to give out sometimes if I step the wrong way. No pain to speak of and 95% of the time I never notice anything wrong. So just to be safe I figure if there is something wrong I want to heal now well before Ski season. So the orthapedist says I have a torn ACL and need reconstructive knee surgery!!! This seems awfully severe to me. I have an MRI and the Lab guy who reads it says he doesn't think it is torn. The Doctor still is certain that it is. He says to try and let it strengthen but he thinks I will need the surgery eventually.

Any thoughts on this? Anyone else have any experience with this sort?

I don't want a six month rehabilitation for a surgery if there is a betterway or if surgery is not necessary. Any comments would be welcome.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
August 23, 2005
Member since 01/14/2004
2,644 posts
Sorry to hear about your problem. I had some similar knee "issues" this spring and early summer and got an MRI too. To my relief Doc said only temporary inflammation due to wear and tear and some arthritis. After resting it half the summer swelling is now gone and knee feels better, but not quite as good as new.
I would tend to listen to the Doc over the technician, but for peace of mind I guess in your case it sounds like a second opinion may be in order. Sometimes serious knee injuries don't always result in extreme immediate disability/trauma. Some people work through the torn ACL thing with exercise, PT, and patience rather than surgery, but they seem to be fortunate exceptions. Send me a PM if you want the name of my orthopedist in Fairfax.
JimK
Otto
August 23, 2005
Member since 11/19/1999
176 posts
I tore my ACL in 1991. Your symptoms sound like mine. I had reconstructive surgery - they took a part of my patellar tendon and made a new ACL. I had fantastic results and personally believe in the procedure. There are some people who believe in not reconstructing the ACL and ski without one, but I can't imagine it. ACL tears are so common, that the technique for fixing them and getting good results is well developed. Its done with a scope and the recovery time is not that bad. If you had it done soon, you probably could ski this winter if you are religious about rehab...
langleyskier
August 23, 2005
Member since 12/7/2004
824 posts
In 03 i was skiing w/ my dad at Mammoth Mountain in california and hit a patch of wet snow and flew off my skis and tumbled about 100 feet. They took an MRI I ended up having a stressed ACL and fractured fibia (or tibia??). The first doctor i went to told me i had to stay off the knee for 5-6 weeks and wear a realy uncomfortable brace all day and night. After that (needless to say i was very dissapointed about not being able to play sports for the next 6 weeks so my parents took me to another doctor for a second opinioon. The second guy told me the same thing about the stresses ACl but said if i got this advanced carbon fiber knee brace then i would be able to play in most sports and would be well in 3 weeks.
I would sugest getting a second opinion and maybe asking if there is any way it would help to get one of the advanced braces and heal up naturaly.
good luck with the knee
TerpSKI
August 23, 2005
Member since 03/10/2004
167 posts
Two words: Second Opinion. No way I would let anyone scope or cut me without having some sort of consensus. Doctors are definitely not infallible.

Sorry about your knee
therusty
August 23, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005
422 posts
Myrto,

I recommend 5 opinions. You've got two already. First you need 2 more "real Dr" opinions. One from a good one that specializes in ACL rehab. The second from a Dr that specializes in ACL surgeries.

The last opinion is your own. You need to learn all that you can about ACL injuries and the options that are available to you. Because at some point you are going to have to make the call about what to do. You can go with the Dr you trust the most. You can do your own homework and make up your own mind. Or do a mix. But the bottom line is that you will be making your decision based on opinion instead of fact. You're also going to need to make a decision about how much risk you are willing to take this winter and how much $$$$ to spend to minimize risk (braces can be very expensive).

Here's one place to start your journey:
Richard Steadman's web site
Another place to stop on your journey is:
vermont ski safety
You may want to visit a Physical Therapist. I went to Inova at Worldgate year ago. They've got offices all over VA. They probably have new people at Worldgate since I was there, but the ones I saw were good, REAL GOOD. A word of caution though: do not bring any weapons to PT sessions. You will want to kill them when they are through with you.


The traditional diagnosis is that if you hear the "pop", you're toast. But you should have had some noticeable swelling. Just because the lab guy can't see a tear does not mean you don't have one. There are some who advocate PT as an alternative to the traditional treatment (surgery), but this is just one camp's side. The fact that you've waited so long since the injury has complicated matters and possibly reduced your options.

You've got a lot work ahead of you and a long road to travel. Get cracking!
bawalker
August 23, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
Your knee injury has symptoms very similiar to my right knee. While I've never had a severe sports injury that resulted in me hearing a pop in my knee or any major injury for that matter, here in the last few years it seems like my right knee has developed problems. One of those problems is somewhat instability. Another problem is that if I go out, play basketball for a few hours, my knee tends to swell just a tiny bit, but really hurt directly below the kneecap area to the point that I can't squat or put pressure on it without it giving out.

Due to my previous situation of getting laid off a job and not having any insurance at the time, I never have gotten it looked at. However when I snowboard or do any sports (except running and biking) I wear a brace on it to be on the safe side for stability.
myrto
August 23, 2005
Member since 10/4/2001
259 posts
Thanks for all the helpful info. i will definitely get a second opinion before commiting to surgery and have started with some PT this week. Great links! Again the knowledge and support on DCSKI is the best!!
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