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Help!!! Advice needed on knee injury

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@BorntoRun, Thankyou for your reply. I have been told it's about 3 months for the op so that gives me enough time to build the leg up before. I'm going with a hamstring graft I think. Im realising that this is a very strange injury, nothing like anything I've had before. It really mess's with the mind. I'm up and down like a yo yo. One minute the leg feels virtually normal and the next it doesn't feel like it belongs to me. I'm determined to recover from it though and reading everyone else's experiences on here is inspiring me to give it 100% Very Happy
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I can't speak for the experience in the UK and none of us know your knee or your body like you do. That's key. If I were you, which I'm not, I would go with physio and see how it goes. I see you already made a choice, though. For me, I completely ruptured my ACL last March and did some extra damage to the MCL, Meniscus, etc. Opted not to have surgery and instead go with PT. My stability is excellent now and I can kick the ball around with my son and chase after it without any instability or pain, can lift, do one legged exercises, etc. I'm going to return to skiing in about six week and I feel absolutely giddy about it. I imagine the first day will be more of a mental challenge but feel like my legs and my knee are ready. I'll be wearing a Don Joy brace but wonder if that will be more of a confidence builder. Don't know yet. Just know that you can recover and get back on skis. My cousin's father-in-law is in his 70s, skis and is missing both ACLs. It can be done but it varies person to person.
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@Blighty1066, it certainly does mess with your head! The rehab is as much in the mind as in the knee - three steps forward, two backwards, a couple to the side and then repeat. But I feel the same way you do - all you can do from your part is keep your chin up and give the rehab 100%. And allow yourself a good old moan whenever you need one! People who haven’t been through it struggle to understand (through no fault of their own) just how all consuming, intricate and loooong this process is. They’re surprised that you’re still obsessing about it two months down the line. I was the same when a friend did in his ACL a few years ago, and now I feel very guilty about it. But it’s completely normal and you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it. Just come on here and vent!
On the hamstring: the one thing I wish I’d done pre-op was focus more on strengthening and lengthening the donor hamstring. I think it would have made my recovery much easier; the hamstring has been the biggest niggle for me through the rehab. Mind you, I have rubbish hamstrings, had less than 6 weeks pre op, and a different physio at that point. But worth giving them some attention, as it will only benefit you during the rehab.
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If you give 100% and push yourself and ask the PT to push you, then you'll do well. I enjoyed the PT workouts... he would put me through the ringer and it was exactly what was necessary to make strides. There are days I still feel a bit of a niggle here or there but, for the most part, I forget. The reality is that you have to keep it in the back of your head so you don't do something that might make things worse and by that I don't mean skiing or exercising but being lax in how you are with your leg. You almost always have to be subconsciously "on" so your leg muscles can provide the stability your knee might be potentially missing. Hard to explain but how I feel.

I tore my MCL skiing in 2016... the first couple of runs in 2017 gave me a bit of pause but then I knew everything would be fine. I expect that to be the case this spring.
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@ItaloSkier, @BorntoRun, both of your experiences are different and I admire the ways you've both dealt with your injuries. I have read your posts in the acl thread and what an insight into this frustratingingly awful injury and recovery period. All of the posts have helped me understand the gravity of this and what's needed mentally to return to normal function. I'm struggling abit to maintain the enthusiasm today as probably overdid it abit yesterday and had achy knees when I got back from walking the dog. I ordered a donjoy armour brace and it arrived today. For the first time in 3 weeks I walked normally without worrying. Just for that it was worth the expense Smile
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Ultimately, it will take time... you're "fresh" from the injury so just remember it is a marathon and not a sprint. You'll feel different in 3 months versus 6 months. I'm 11 months past my injury... I feel extremely optimistic to the point that I would go tomorrow if I felt it wouldn't jeopardize an overseas trip to go skiing. You'll eventually get to that point.
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For what its worth, ACL treatment in the Alps seems to be more proactive than the UK. A gp in the ski stations can easily see 2 or 3 ACLs a day, arrange a scan often the following day and if necessary surgery within a few weeks. If the knee is unstable the longer you wait the higher the risk of further damage.. once the diagnosis is confirmed you cut out the waiting... I dont know how things will pan out but before brexit it has been easy enough to get surgical review here in france pretty rapidly.
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@Ribfin, when I did my ACLs and MCLs in Austria (Mayrhofen) in 2017, they MRId them early afternoon at the hobble-in clinic (so within a couple of hours of injury) and said they'd operate later that afternoon. Err... Thanks, I'll wait till I get back to the UK, thank you. But 10/10 for lack of waiting lists Confused (The locals said it was a "production line butcher's shop" - but saw it as very normal.)
In the UK they didn't want to operate at week 6, were fairly sure at 6 days that they didn't want to.
Which was or might have been the right decision, time will tell.
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@Ribfin, @Grizzler, I had the same experience in Austria (St Anton) with a miss-diagnosed ACL injury a few years ago. Before they’d even done an MRI they were talking surgery that day. Very long story short, the ACL was in fact there and well. I’ve since heard a number of UK medical professionals complaining about the “Austrian ways”. The view over here is that surgery within a few hours makes sense for a professional athlete (before swelling and atrophy set in) but not so much for a “civilian” who then has to fly home, won’t have physio in place right away, can’t have check ups with the surgeon who operated on them, their physio won’t have been in touch with the surgeon, etc. The other option is to wait about six weeks for the swelling to go down and range of motion to return - if no waiting lists are involved, that is...
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I thought that too about how quick surgery was suggested / recommended in Austria. I definitely didn't want it done there so hot footed it back to the UK and the Dr I saw basically gave me the choice of surgery or physio. I have opted for surgery and am looking at a 3 month wait but I'm quite happy with that as I have good stability and no other real issues with my knee other than the acl so I am doing everything I can to strengthen the leg. I've been very lucky in that I havn't lost any muscle and I have very good rom. Maybe I'm a coper but I'm also a worrier too and still think having surgery is the right thing for me.
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@Blighty1066, that was me as well. A worrier if ever there was one, so I never really contemplated not having the surgery. Three months will take you to April,which is when I had mine. I think it’s pretty good timing the way these things go, because you’ll have the summer months ahead to start walking outside without worrying about snow/ice (and hopefully, if the weather plays ball, without too many wet pavements, which I for one found challenging right at the beginning). Also you’ll find light clothing like shorts much more comfortable and you’ll use a lot of ice on your knee at the beginning - which is definitely more pleasant in warmer weather. I don’t think I’d enjoy 20 minutes in the ice machine every hour right now!
Hope the rehab is going well in the meantime...
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@BorntoRun, are you back on skis yet? I had my first physio session yesterday and I think I've got lucky with the chap I saw. He was fab and has given me lots to work on. He runs a circuits class twice a week at the hospital which I'm going to join. I definitely gave myself the best start by reading the invaluable info on here and endless googling on workouts to do. My knee actually feels really good now. No instability issues but my muscles are abit weaker on the bad leg which is to be expected. It's certainly a life changing injury. I fit everything in around my rehab now Very Happy
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@Blighty1066, even pre injury we were going to take a break from skiing this year, as we’re (hopefully) in the process of buying a bigger place. Just as well since, if I’m honest with myself, I think it would be too soon for me right now. My muscles aren’t bad, though not quite there yet (it’s actually the outer quad that’s still quite a bit behind the other leg; the physio says it’s unusual, but not a bad position to be in as it’s easier to rebuild than the medial muscles). But my proprioception really isn’t where it needs to be. I’m still very stiff in landing on my op leg in one legged jumps. The physio says it’s mostly a mental thing that’s causing me to stiffen up, but I still need to work through that before I move on to doing cutting and pivoting movements safely.
Don’t be discouraged by this though. You’ll have seen from here lots of people are ready at this point. It really used to irritate me when people said that every recovery is different, but it really honestly is true. Some people are just faster getting back to things than others. Dedication to rehab is a big element, but so is how your body responds. You can’t control that part, you can just give it time, do the work, and persevere, be honest about how it’s feeling - and you will get there.
The fact that you have a physio you like and trust is half the battle. It also sounds like you’re going into this in a very good position both physically and mentally. I think you’ve got exactly the right attitude about the level of commitment to the physio that you need. It sounds really dispiriting, I know, to accept that the injury will change your life. But if you think about it, is having a motivation to keep long term fit and look after your body such a bad thing? I think not. I think that ultimately it will prevent a lot of other health problems down the line that people have from being inactive, unaware of what their body needs to keep injury free etc. Chin up and all will be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, it’s not the end Very Happy
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@Blighty1066, hope you’re holding up OK and that your op is on its way to being scheduled.
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@BorntoRun, oh what a roller coaster of an injury this acl malarkey is. I'm actually doing OK physically as religiously doing my physio and extra exercise and my leg is definitely stronger but mentally overcoming the constant worry is driving me insane. I'm looking at surgery sometime in April I hope but relying on the NHS so that might be optimistic. I'm currently in Austria pampering myself in a spa hotel with a gym of course whilst the other half skis. I must admit I wasn't looking forward to it but it's actually helped massively just walking about on different terrain has eased my worries of instability abit. How are you getting on? Has your move happened for you yet? Thankyou for checking in
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@Blighty1066, a rollercoaster it sure is! Not sure if it reassures you at all, but if you take it easy, do your exercises and wear your brace I’d say it’s unlikely anything will happen before the surgery. Obviously you should be careful, avoid twists, etc but your muscles are strengthening up with the physio and that should also help protect the knee. I am the most paranoid worrier you’d ever hope to meet, as I’ve amply demonstrated since the surgery, and clumsy to boot. But I can honestly say there was never an instance between injury and surgery when I was truly at risk. And I didn’t have a proper brace, just a support I wore whilst the MCL healed up.
Great that you’ve managed to get away.A change of scene can help so much with taking you out of your own head and breaking the worry cycle a little bit. Very best of luck with that surgery date, keep us posted.
Thank you for asking, the solicitors/ mortgage etc process is chugging along, though our buyers don’t seem the speediest, or the most organised. And Mr Knee still has his grumbles but I’m putting him through his paces. Working it hard - within reason - is the order of the day from the physio. There’s always the question of what’s hard enough vs too hard, but that’s the worrier in me talking again!
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Blighty1066 wrote:
@cad99uk Thankyou. @davkt wow, that sounds awful... I hope you have made a full recovery and are skiing this winter without problems.


One of those things, didn't let it stop me and could do a mile on crutches in under 10 min by the time I could ditch them! First skiing will be Tamworth next week then hopefully me and 19 year old daughter will go for a few days spring skiing in Scotland if there is any snow late next month or in April. Probably need another (pretty minor) op to take the metalwork out of my ankle as one of the screws I couldn't even feel 6 weeks ago is doing a bit of an alien impressing and poking out out of the skin!
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Blighty1066 wrote:
@BorntoRun, oh what a roller coaster of an injury this acl malarkey is. I'm actually doing OK physically as religiously doing my physio and extra exercise and my leg is definitely stronger but mentally overcoming the constant worry is driving me insane. I'm looking at surgery sometime in April I hope but relying on the NHS so that might be optimistic. I'm currently in Austria pampering myself in a spa hotel with a gym of course whilst the other half skis. I must admit I wasn't looking forward to it but it's actually helped massively just walking about on different terrain has eased my worries of instability abit. How are you getting on? Has your move happened for you yet? Thankyou for checking in


Good to hear you are doing OK, yep the recovery is as much mental as physical, and sounds like you have the right attitude.
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So I went to see the surgeon yesterday to get booked in for the op and after he examined my leg he strongly advised me to not have the surgery and wait 3 months and give physio a chance. Apparently my leg felt quite strong and he thinks I stand a good chance of not needing surgery. I'm so confused as I had geared myself up for it. Admittedly I havn't got instability, more of a weakness at times. Maybe I am a coper! Physio is going great guns and I braced up and skied 5 days last week without any issues physically....mentally I kind of put the demons to bed but I was aware my injury is still fresh so that niggled abit. I'm following the no acl thread with a renewed interest now Very Happy
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@Blighty1066, good luck. If you find you're still confused/unsure, and if budget permits it, you could try a one-off private appointment with a knee specialist surgeon or physio - preferably with experience of treating skiers - for a second opinion both of the general pros and cons of surgery and your particular situation.
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@Blighty1066, I was rather suspecting to hear that, from what you'd posted. Sounds like you're doing really well.
It's a dilemma, and I'm still in it, 2 years on. My knees - or perhaps whole legs - sometimes feel utterly 'normal' and sometimes far from it, in many varying ways. A lot, I think, is muscle, nerve and soft tissue irritation and tiredness; some is 'wear and tear' which I didn't knowingly have before my ACL removal exercise, and certainly there can be irritation and pain, though little to no visible swelling. I'm still very much getting to know my new knee situation, still protective of them, still cautious - but hopefully, slowly, less so. And hopefully slowly working out what they like and don't, and how best to care for them and stop the remaining and new pains and niggles. I need to get stronger still, I've gotten lazy in terms of exercise; my bad. Ditto stretching: I think that's my way forward at the moment (and hope that I don't over-relax whatever's holding my knees together still!).
2 years ago I was advised that they could give me no better an outcome, surgery wise, than I already had, and that was that: no further follow up, bug off and get strong, no option for surgery. Still today, on physio testing, I am told that they can't tell I have had ACL and MCL injuries. Not sure that's an utterly valid measurement, just in a physio's clinic, but I like to hear it anyway.
I, at the time, was very happy about my situation; as I write now I'm not sure what the best would have been, or still might be. I think that there must be some negative things going on inside, and I'm sure on some level that there is instability (it's hard to tell when both legs/knees were and are affected): but I'm not convinced that the trauma and irritation processes of surgery would leave me in any better a situation than I'm in now, and I really don't want to face another 9 (or 1Cool months of dedicated rehab, restricted movement, restricted activities and movements and the like. My knees and legs took one heck of a long time to recover from the trauma of the initial fall and injury, 9 + months to get full leg use back, and my current (general) physio thinks that a lot of my current problems are simply a result of the impact trauma and inflammatory and physiological processes which then went on, and maybe still do. This makes sense to me.
So, not necessarily out of choice (though I suppose I could force 2nd opinions and insist that I want further investigations and maybe ACLr surgery), I'm in the take my chances and hope for the best camp. On the whole, I think that I want to stay there.
I reason that one day it could all go horribly wrong, but that could happen anyway, ACLs or no, and if I'd gone through the surgery and rehab and then damaged the graft, I'd be well unimpressed. One day, I might need knee replacements if things start wearing out quicker: but I'm at an age where that isn't uncommon, and I'll cross that surgical bridge as and when.
I can manage skiing and boarding so far, albeit not yet back to full 100% stamina or confidence. Hopefully that will come - off to test them for another 6 days shortly (drat Scotland for having nothing to assist them this year!). I don't wear a proper ACL brace, but might get one: just doesn't feel to be the support which I need (I prefer a good compression neoprene thing).
My view now is that I'm damned whatever I do: some idiot woman skier made sure of that for me. My knees are never going to be what they were, surgery or not, and I don't think that I'll ever not be aware of their potential frailty, even if I had bits put back in. I'm not sure that they'll ever feel like they once did; not every moment of every day. But if I can carry on without more time out (i.e. without surgery) then I will. Time having fun and being active, and on snow, is too important to waste in my view, so I'll carry on doing what I can for now and keep goals in my head of doing more and more. When I can't do it, I'll get things attended to.

Anyhows, all the best to you, whatever happens, whichever way you decide to go. It is a head game in so many ways, and it is also a game where every professional, every physio, every surgeon and doctor and every research paper - never mind every 'it happened to me' skier and boarder - will have their own differing views. It's your legs and knees and your life, and that's all you ultimately can decide on.
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@Blighty1066, without meaning to confuse you further, and to drone on here's the range of opinions I got pre-op in case it helps at all.

First of all, from two NHS consultants when I was miss-diagnosed with an ACL tear on my left knee a few years back (wrongly, it turned out when they finally did a scan)- our approach is generally physio/conservative first. ACLr only if that fails. Vibe I got from that- perhaps unfairly: NHS aren't so keen on ACLr if they can help it. Again, could be grossly unfair of me.

After my actual ACL tear on the right knee, from the first private consultant I saw - I had private insurance through work by that point - lots of pros and cons, some people cope fine without, your decision, etc. Didn't find it hugely edifying.

From the first private pysio I saw a few days later for pre-hab, and from her boss who saw me for one session when she was off sick: must have the op. When they massaged and released the hamstring, which was holding on to everything for dear life, they were horrified by the instability. I took them very much at their word, and by the time I saw the second private consultant who actually did my op, "should I have it" wasn't even on the list of questions.

Finally, from the private physio who I moved to post op, who's still treating me now - there's no way you'd have been a coper with your body structure.

The conclusion I drew from all that, rightly or wrongly, is that the opinion of a good physio is very valuable. They have no axe to grind, but do see how a wide range of patients cope in the long term. Even better if they do a lot of knees.

Ultimately though, as @Grizzler very wisely says, there are almost as many opinions out there as there are physios, surgeons and patients. It is very much your life, your legs and your decision all the way. Keeping all fingers crossed for you whichever route you take.
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BorntoRun wrote:

When they massaged and released the hamstring, which was holding on to everything for dear life, they were horrified by the instability.
Finally, from the private physio who I moved to post op, who's still treating me now - there's no way you'd have been a coper with your body structure.


I'm always rather worried about over-releasing my tight muscles (including hams) for exactly that reason...

And, if it's not too rude, exactly what kind of body structure defines a coper or not coper? Never seen any correlations in the research literature.
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@Grizzler, seems my hip sockets are a bit too open, so my hips are mobile and hard to control - especially as I’m not the most muscular gal out there, despite my best rehab efforts Toofy Grin Hence also an inward rotation in the thigh bone and outer rotation in the shin bone. A lot for an unreconstructed knee to cope with! I’m not an expert, but that makes sense to me.
As ever, you know the literature much better than I do. I wonder, is it possible that there aren’t general patterns for who copes and who doesn’t, but you can make a judgment in some individual cases?
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@Grizzler, on releasing the hamstring - presumably even if you released it temporarily, it would go back to being tight again? Mine did pre op between sessions - I don’t remember any extra wobbliness in between. What does your physio think about that?
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@BorntoRun, Interesting.
I don't and never have had a long-term physio, nor a lot of sessions (though have just started seeing a new one to try and get to the bottom of the latest aches & pains) and never one who's really expressed any great opinions on my body structure bar to say that I'm pretty flexible in many areas (the latest one said in my lumbar area too) and have very tight muscles. The latter is not news: I have long suffered from upper body tensions, and every hands-on therapist gave up trying to get any of the concrete blocks to give way Asking me to "relax", as they do, is usually good for a laugh! It's why I'm fairly suss about the veracity of conscious Lachman and pivot shift tests, tbh: my muscles aren't going to let go enough for any laxity to be noticed. This, thinking about it, might be considered a good thing...
Mind you, I always thought that I had pretty flexible hips, but a test on a Warren Smith course revealed this not to be the case, especially on 1 side.
The current physio and massaging lady says that I have very good muscle tone in my legs, and seems to be under the impression that I exercise and do an awful lot more than I do. I think, perhaps, that she doesn't have a lot of sporty clients. Laughing
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Grizzler wrote:
It's why I'm fairly suss about the veracity of conscious Lachman and pivot shift tests, tbh: my muscles aren't going to let go enough for any laxity to be noticed. This, thinking about it, might be considered a good thing...


I guess in a sense it doesn't matter so much what is holding it all together and giving you stability, as long as something is. My impression from pre-surgery is that if you have over-reactive hamstrings (the term the surgeon used), like we both likely do, they will always be that way, stretching and massage notwithstanding. But it might be worth checking with your new physio before testing out that theory!!!! Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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@Blighty1066, so sorry, hope we're not hijacking your thread too much! Hope at least it helps a little to have two real life case studies - the surgical and the non surgical route. I hope the conclusion is that both can have good outcomes - fingers crossed!! Very Happy

In all seriousness though, if you want to ask any questions at all about what it was/is like, please fire away. I will answer as many as you have. I really could have done with someone to quiz at this point last year. I do have a good friend who tore his ACL dancing (!!!), but he quit his rehab about 6 weeks post op. He was very kind and sympathetic, but by his own admission not the best case study! I had two other ACLr acquaintances (trampolining and rugby respectively) but didn't know them well enough to ask them lots of questions. It heightened my feeling of isolation in all this, no matter how supportive, kind and helpful my husband was (and is).
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@BorntoRun, @Grizzler, Thankyou for your valuable informative posts. They are interesting reads from both perspectives and have given me alot to think about.
It's such a difficult decision. I'm a wimp 100% and I'm super squeamish so the prospect of surgery absolutely petrifies me but the prospect of a life constantly worrying about my knee makes me so sad. I'm still very much in the mourning phase even though it's now 10 weeks since the day my knee changed forever. I havn't had any instability but a weak feeling comes and goes randomly and I can live with that. I don't suffer with any pain or swelling even after a good physio session so it's just the mental suffering that's affecting me right now. Decisions Decisions!!
I do feel abit fobbed off by the hospital mainly because the physio is damn hard work and the prospect of having to start from scratch again if I do something my knee objects to doesn't appeal but neither does surgery so that's my dilemma.
This injury is absolutely awful mentally and it's taking me a while to accept but I have been lucky compared to alot of other snowheads as I didn't really injure anything else in my knee and for that I am thankful for so every cloud and all.
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@Blighty1066, the mental part is hard. I never realised how hard! Don’t feel bad about being in mourning at 10 weeks. I’m really still in mourning a year after the injury (tomorrow, to the day). What I miss is being able to move, exercise, go about my life completely freely without always thinking about the knee. I think I’m a bit of an extreme worrier though, by most people’s standards. But - you are absolutely right that we are all lucky not to have had worse injuries. And honestly, the mental side does get easier as you go along.
What I would do if I were you- budget permitting - is try to find a good specialist physio who treats lots of knees. I’m assuming you want to return to skiing, so if he or she treats skiers, so much the better. Others here will no doubt have helpful recommendations depending on where you are based. I would then book a one-off assessment and go in armed with a list of questions on the surgical vs non surgical route, long term outcomes they’ve seen in op and non op patients , and what they think of your particular situation. That should help clarify things a bit - and it will be helpful to have an hour to just talk to an independent, but informed observer with no axe to grind. Wherever you decide to do though - feel free to let off steam here any time. Know the feelings only too well!!!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@BorntoRun, Thankyou for your understanding Very Happy. I will book a private physio and am toying with going private for all treatment as at this rate I will need mental health care too Laughing
I'm worried about work as I am a postwoman so need good knees for the milage I walk everyday but as luck would have it I'm covering a role at the moment which is office based but only until June and then I'm back out pounding the streets again. I'm sure it will all work out eventually. Patients has never been my strong point Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Blighty1066 wrote:
[b] at this rate I will need mental health care too

I hear you!! And my husband could probably do with some by now too. Either that, or a few months not hearing the word “knee”!
About work, how are you with walking now? How’s your gait? You mentioned you have no pain or swelling, but how’s your stamina with walking? Do you tire more quickly? If you go non-surgical, hopefully it’ll only improve from here and you should be OK by June. If surgical, you will have a note from the doctor for a while at least. After that, do you think there’s scope to extend the office stint at all? And is your commute to the office OK?
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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?
@Blighty1066, yes, apologies also for thread hijack, and happy to help if I can with any questions you may have.
The physio's (well, the strengthening exercises) there either way - and actually I don't think has to be that much of an interference in your life once you find out what works for you, how much and how regularly, and are happy and able to resume normal exercising of whatever type and duration takes your fancy. I tried about a half to an hour of static cycling and formal basic floor exercises each day at home initially (ahem, a lot less frequently now), never did weights or gyms, but did a fair bit of grassy and rocky hill and track walking for the first 6 months (and still some now, but different place and different type). That was my normal routine and my love anyway, so wasn't too much of a bind. Just built up the distance and exposure according to knees' reactions, tubigrip on, braces in pocket at first but not used much after first few months. I reasoned that if my knees weren't giving way after a good rough terrain yomp (lost footings and all) then they had a chance of holding otherwise. Ice or hot wheat bags followed as a treat if they'd done well Very Happy

Weakness rather than instability - yes, I can totally go with that one. The questions, I suppose, are will it get better with time, will it get better with surgery and what's actually causing it in the first place?

Believe in the knees! Cool
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@Grizzler, @BorntoRun, I'm wallking 80% of the time with a virtually normal gait but when the random weakness strikes I have to almost get mad with the leg and make a conscious effort to not slightly limp. I'm up to 5 miles a day along with physio workout every other day and bike rides in between weather permitting and turbo days if it's horrid outside. My walking stamina isn't great and 5 miles is definitely enough but not because of pain in my knee more muscle fatigue, I guess from moving differently. When I'm back in deliveries I will be walking alot more. That might throw up a few issues but if I need more time then so be it.
The strangest thing I've found so far is that when on skis I couldn't feel any difference in my knees. It was almost like a muscle memory kicked in and took over. After a while my injured leg felt weak and I called it but I think it woke my quad up Very Happy
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Blighty1066, at 3 months that's not sounding bad at all and probably pretty near or better than my own progress; 'cept I wasn't anywhere near skiing by then.
The rest, the fatigue, etc (and the skiing memory) sounds totally familiar to me, too.
You also seem pretty good at getting the necessary exercise in! Keep it up, you'll be fine Smile
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@Blighty1066, I was going to add: if you haven’t looked at it already, the SnowHeads ACL Rehab Club has some very interesting explanations from Jonathan Bell, the surgeon, about copers/non copers etc. I found it very helpful reading after the injury.

To give you a picture of what a slow rehab (I.e. not on an accelerated protocol) looks like at 11 months, my Fitbit tells me I walk between 8 and 13/14km every day - though that’s a total and not continuous. The longest continuous walk I’ve done post op is 90 minutes. I do weights twice a week - body pump class plus walking lunges, single leg press, squat jumps, hops etc. I find the weights hugely helpful, they give me a feeling of strength and of having achieved something every time. I also love seeing the muscle fleshing back out on the leg as time goes on. When the physio told me to rejoin the body pump class at 5 months post op, it was so lovely as well to switch from exercising on my own to being “back in society” so to speak. I run for 35 minutes at a time twice a week, and I do light rehab at home twice a week - step downs, Nordic curls, deadlifts and bike standing intervals. And I have one day off.
Physio started immediately post op with really basic stuff 3-4 times a day - quad sets, calf raises etc. Quarter squats against a wall were introduced really early too, almost week 2 I think. The bike came in at about week 4. Bear in mind that I also had a meniscus repair for a tear that only showed up in the surgery - it didn’t show on the scan and two consultants and two physios didn’t pick it up. I didn’t have any weight bearing restrictions - as some meniscus repairs do - but they were careful not to let me bend the knee beyond 90 degrees for 6 weeks minimum. I would also add that despite the meniscus repair, I didn’t have a brace - just a tubi grip for 6 weeks.
By about week 4, exercises were moved to once a day every day, then to 5/6 days a week. Made life much easier with going into work, etc. Because of an irritable fat pad and bursa, light weights were introduced quite late - 3 months or later if memory serves me. But I was prescribed vascular occlusion training - which involves restricting blood circulation to the leg in a controlled way with a blood pressure cuff whilst doing squats, split squats etc. That activates the fast twitch muscle fibres, which otherwise don’t kick in without heavy weight loads. Because of my irritable fat pad and bursa, slowness gaining muscle, etc, I didn’t start running until 5 - 6 months, which is quite late. It’s usually more like 4.
Whilst my physio was obviously very watchful of my extension, he didn’t let me push the bend past where it wanted to go (50 degrees or so) as he said it was bad for the graft until 6 months. He was right, it came back gradually by itself, and I can now sit in child’s pose with only a little bit of hamstring graft site discomfort. I can also almost fully crouch for short intervals with a little bit of graft site discomfort.
At this stage I still have more of the outer quad to build (a good few cm difference still), and I need to build more muscle and better control in my hyper-mobile hips, to move from straight line jumping to cutting and pivoting. I also need to gain more confidence in one legged jumps which still terrify the life out of me. But again, as I say- I’m a slow rehabber. Most others would be quite a bit ahead of this by now. Though I really don’t mind. I’d rather do it slowly, properly, and without taking unnecessary risks.
This is just to give you an idea of one of the slowest case rehab scenarios you could expect if you went surgical.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Blighty1066, I’m blabbering now but on the point if the surgery, if you choose to have it. I’m very very squeamish, hate blood, hate needles, deal very badly with pain. I’ve often fainted at blood tests or didn’t turn up for non essential ones. The surgery itself was totally fine. Not bloody- when my dressings were changed the next day all you could see was these laughably thin little cuts with steri strips. Not a lot of pain. I was warned that it could get painful if I didn’t take my painkillers consistently, and to be honest if I was in pain when I first woke up. I was - in the hamstring graft site - I said so, got a top up of morphine and from there it was all fine. I was then off the codydramol in 5 days’ time without issues. Getting up onto crutches and walking around wasn’t painful - less painful in fact than post injury. I didn’t find physio painful either, just low level uncomfortable at worst. The most problematic for me was the Voltarol I was given immediately post op, which made me dizzy and nauseous. Once I was on good old Ibuprofen instead I was totally fine.
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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!
@BorntoRun, we sound very similar with the squeamish problem..I faint and throw up with blood tests and if I cut myself I need therapy Very Happy. Your journey sounds like a long one and to be honest I will probably have the same Outlook on the recovery. I'm prepared to take as long as it takes to make this right, especially if I sacrifice another body part for the greater good.
I had a mishap last night which scared me abit but actually turned out to be pretty funny in the end. I fell of the bosu ball after being on it for a while whilst my long suffering partner was throwing the ball for me to catch. I went flying, literally but thankfully landed on my good side. No aches or pains this morning so not going to dwell Very Happy
Today is physio day....again, in fact everyday is now Laughing
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@Blighty1066, friends' reaction to the incisions in the early days: "What?? Is this it?? Looks like you've been scratched by a cat." Toofy Grin Toofy Grin

Re your misshap- good save! I try to do an impression of my husband every time I have a scare (often Very Happy ): "It doesn't hurt? It doesn't feel like the original injury? Then you're fine!" At least I try Toofy Grin

And there's no shortage of funny moments, and new things you find you can do with your bad leg in the air. The other day, at the end of a 90 minute circular walk, lo and behold a locked gate. I probably could have climbed over it, but there was no way scaredy cat here was going to try that. Or I could have walked the 90 minutes back, through some bits with pretty slippery mud. The cars going down the road that day would have seen yours truly emerging from under a gate, crawling on her bottom, one leg in the air, in the mud... Cool
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Laughing... @BorntoRun, at least we can laugh about this hideous injury and it's short comings. I'm sure this journey will be full of laughter and tears.
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