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ACL Operation coming up ....scared!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I know i'm being a baby but i am having my ACL reconstrcuted on 2 may and I am scared about the operation and the rehab afterwards to the point where i am questioning my decision to go through with it...even though its a mess on the MRI, the lachman test was grade 2 and i heard a snap when i fell and broke my leg in January ...is there anyone out there who can give me the positve vibes i seem to be lacking Sad x
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Big marker pen arrow towards knee requiring repair.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Should be fine then.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
ha ha at least that made me laugh Very Happy
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Skiingruby, sorry if it's a stupid question (it most probably is) but, have you tried a non - intrusive method first?
I just read a study which claims that partial ACL tears (rare as they are), used to get treated almost exclusively by way of surgery.
However, latest studies have shown that partial tears, when treated conservatively, in 60% of athletes (!) have healed strong enough to enable them to return to their sport without any limitations.
Just a thought...

Also - have you heard more than just the one opinion?
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Skiingruby, it is nowhere near as scary and bleak as it seems right now, I promise. I'm so glad I had the op and there are a few people on here who managed without one for a while and then have said they were glad they got the op done. A May op means your new ACL will be good enough to ski by the start of next season.

6 months of recovery and rehab sounds really long and difficult but it's actually nothing like as bad as it sounds and it flew by much faster than I had anticipated - really, the stuff you read makes it sound so much more arduous than it actually is! Don't focus on the 6 months bit - by 3 months you feel much more 'normal', even though you have to wait another 3 months after that to do things like skiing.

The main thing I would focus on is planning for the first couple of weeks post-op to make sure you are as comfy as possible. My surgeon gave me this: http://www.vivomed.com/en/IceBand-Knee-Brace/m-7562.aspx and I found it really, really useful. It's a comfy and easy velcro bandage that fits round your knee (you can walk around with it on so you don't have to sit still while icing your knee) and it came with 2 soft plastic inserts that fit in the ice box of the fridge. I wore it pretty much permanently day and night - rotating the inserts from ice box to knee - as icing really helps with swelling and numbs discomfort. This bandage is inexpensive and very convenient so I really recommend getting one in advance and using it straight away.

I was not shy of taking painkillers and for the first week at least I took them routinely and never waited to let the pain start before taking them - as such it was pain-free for me and I don't see the point in being "brave" on that unless you have problems with taking painkillers. (Do you need to stock up in advance in the UK, as they don't allow you to buy more than one or two packs at a time?)

Have you got a walk-in shower? I put a plastic chair in mine and was able to shower independently straight away, with a bin bag taped round the bandage. If not, maybe plan now how you will be able to wash most comfortably.

They recommend you have your leg elevated at night, and I found it most comfortable elevating the bottom of the mattress by propping it up with big sofa cushions and then lying on my side with post op leg resting in front of me on pillows. If you have trouble sleeping at first if you are uncomfortable, maybe download some audiobooks to listen to so you don't have to sit up to read or put the light on.

If you have to do stairs to get to your kitchen, maybe think about having bottles of water + kettle etc. by your bed or upstairs or whatever - stairs aren't great for the first bit so it is good to be able to make yourself a snack or a pot of tea whenever you want without having to bother with stairs too often if possible.

Box sets, books, films... try to enjoy the fact that you've got a good excuse to spend a few days in bed doing nothing! The downtime goes more quickly than you expect...
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Thankyou very much miranda , that really helps ...as for non - invasive option its not really an option as I have had previous surgery on the same knee - microfracture because of OA, and a menisectomy so its a bit of a mess inside lol ..so surgery best choice as I want to ski again next year and am very active with two large dogs to walk for miles every day lol. i have ordered the iceband today so thanks for the tip and am downloading books on Audible !

thanks as always you guys are awesome ! Very Happy
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I was not offered reconstruction on the NHS as l was deemed to be too old(61) I went down the private route as l was not ready to get my knitting needles out! It was no picnic but l saw each day as one day nearer my goal, to walk my dogs again(starters) to skiing.(10 months later) ok l was warned that the problem with skiing would be in my head and it was. I booked a sympathetic ski instructor who took me from the nursery slopes to skiing resort runs very quickly. I had my op in July and skied in April. Good luck, you will not look back. You cannot live life waiting for your knee to collapse. I also subscribe to Audible Very Happy
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Ha ha ...you are right ...sometimes when I've been sitting down for too long I have to push it back in to place lol....2 weeks to go downloaded all ththe steig Larson books ...that should be enough of a distraction lol x
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Skiingruby, I had an ACL reconstruction in Jan 2015 and the rehab wasn't too bad. I was road biking within a few weeks which was great for getting out and strengthening legs. Maybe worth considering. Skiing hasn't suffered. Best of luck with it!
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
My DH had his ACL done last September so missed this years ski season Crying or Very sad . He did really well with little pain and was up and around, pain free, within a few weeks. One of the most important things he did was work really hard at "prehab". In other words getting physical therapy pre-op to strengthen the leg and start getting used to the various exercises that will be done post-op. We live in USA so may be different in UK but he had PT three times a week post-op which really got him moving and kept his leg strong. He is a bit "older" as well and we had to shop around for a surgeon but it all went well and he feels his knee is now better than it's been for years. He just started training for a marathon!
Good luck - it will be worth it!!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Mrs Ski has done both knees...We still ski, and she's learnt to tele since the ops. There is hope !
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
It is a long road well travelled. Everything Miranda says I would second. You feel you should be doing something but ignore that. Stay with the pain killers as the flexion hurts otherwise. RICE to get the swelling down above everything else (other than flexion exercises to prevent scar tissue forming). You want to be at good flexion with little swelling after a few weeks to get onto the next phase. That's it. Oh, and you might get some weird sensations from your hamstring when moving around - that's normal and nothing to worry about.

Other advice - stay on the forum or get the contact details of others that are at a similar stage for support. Not essential but really encouraging.

My physio gave me a very good bit of advice. The only thing that matters is where you are at nine months. It is not a competition to compare what others are doing in the first few months as each person's rehab is very different.

I had the same doubts. I'm sure many on here did also. It is a long road but you will get back to full performance if you want to. On that basis, no other decision will give you such certainty.

Good luck, follow the process and you will be back as good as before.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Skiingruby,
It's normal to be anxious about going ahead with anterior cruciate surgery.

Were you offered a non operative option, you certainly should have been especially if the knee is already showing signs of wear.

You should have been offered a brace option as well. It doesn't suit everyone but can be effective for sports that happen infrequently.

It can be helpful to chat to your physio about your anxiety as they will have seen that mny times before

Jonathan Bell
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Miranda's timescale aligns with my experience and absolutely no regrets despite some post op complications. Rehab actually ends up bring quite fun once you are fully mobile and the joy when you nail the first run at 100% normal or I guess chase the dogs is a worthwhile payoff.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I know exactly how you feel skiingruby. My op is in the morning, done lots of rehab and knee currently feels really good. Not looking forward to going backwards before going forwards! But I'm sure it's the best long term decision.
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