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jschildm
11-07-2012, 09:20 AM
Well, as if putting the boat up for the year isn't depressing enough, I tore my ACL on Thursday playing basketball (the only thing enjoy as much skiing). I fear that this will make my summer next year very short, in the way of watersports.

I was just curious if anyone has had experiences coming back from this type of injury? How long it took to get back on the water casually, and how much of a set-back was it?

I know the worst thing I could do is come back to early, and I also know everyone heals differently, but I was just looking for other's experiences.

Thanks,
John

h2oskifreak
11-07-2012, 09:42 AM
Feel for you. I am wondering myself what's going on with my knee. Sore (more than sore) for 10 days now. Hope I'm going to shake it off. I would say if you know it's torn do the surgery right away and do the rehab right and maybe mid season you could be back???

BrooksfamX2
11-07-2012, 09:57 AM
I had knee surgery a long time ago (before arthroscopic) and it took about 6 months to recover to a point that I could do sports again and about a year till everything was back to pre-surgery condition. I was not consistent with PT though, but getting back into basketball was what built it back up. Arthroscopic recovery is much easier and shorter now.

Do it now and you should be OK for next summer.

willyt
11-07-2012, 10:00 AM
I'm sorry to hear that man.

everyones different, depends on the type of injury, what graft they use, any related damage and how good of condition your in now. if you don't have any cartilage damage your much better off than i was. I tore my snowboarding in february 2010, was messing around on the wakeboarding/wakesurfing by mid-end of season that year.

rehab, rehab, rehab... take it seriously and do 110% of what they tell you. as far as the knee, i'm back as much as i can be but i've also seen people who never bounce back from it: mainly due to the poor training they did after the injury. I would expect about 4 months before you can start wakesurfing, 6 months before wakeboarding and really being back 100%... probably about a year

mlawler34
11-07-2012, 11:48 AM
I would have to agree with everything willyt said. I tore my ACL playing basketball as well in 2008. If you get the surgery done as soon as possible and then start physical therapy right away, you can certainly wake surf by the beginning of the season. The biggest thing I have learned in my three knee surgeries is that it is best to start physical therapy as soon as they will let you. I think my doctor made me wait about 5 days after my ACL surgery. you need to also consider what to do as far as a graft or a cadaver. I believe (and could be wrong) i saw a study about a year ago showing that men under the age of 28 benefited more and recovered quicker from using a graft of their hamstring. Men over 28 recovered quicker and faster using a cadaver. I went the cadaver route and am still very happy with my decision and i was 23 at the time. My knee is as strong as ever.

My last recommendation, is look into acupuncture. I know most people including myself were very skeptical at first. However, after my first two surgeries I did nothing but rehab. On my third which was just a knee scope to remove a piece of cartilage, i did my normal rehab and also had acupuncture 3 times over a month and a half. I saw significantly reduced time to fully reduce the swelling especially in the incision areas where you can have nodules for 6 to 8 months. This was huge and allowed me to recover from March Surgery and wakeboard at the beginning of the season (but it is obviously a different less invasive surgery than a full ACL reconstruction).

madcityskier
11-07-2012, 11:54 AM
Partially tore my ACL & MCL playing some football when I was 18. Took out the loose cartilage during the arthroscopy. Conferred with the doc and decided to strengthen it and rely on that to take care of it. Wore a good brace for about a year. Do anything on it including skiing and snow skiing. Still hurts some, especially when a cold precipitation is coming. I'm told the surgeries now are much better and rehab times are reduced. Still, get back into it slowly.

jschildm
11-07-2012, 12:24 PM
Thanks for the input guys. Mine is a complete ACL tear, and a tear in the meniscus. Not worried about the meniscus, I have already had this knee scoped once, so I know what that's like. My Dr. recommended the Hamstring for the graft, so that is likely my plan. The other option I would consider is the Patella tendon which might be a little stronger and overall faster recovery time. Sounds like either one should be a good long-term solution.

Apparently recent studies have shown that strengthening the quad/hamstring and getting full movement in the knee (walking normally) prior to surgery has been shown to make for faster recovery post surgery, so thats the reason for this. I plan on giving PT my all because aside from my wife, my life revolves around basketball and watersports, and know that PT is going to be the quickest and strongest way back.

I am in good shape now and until 4 days ago, played basketball 5 times a week and usually ran on the weekends. I am hoping this will help me in my recovery. If nothing else, without being able to do the stuff I normally enjoy, I will have nothing to do but physical therapy, haha.

I prefer slalom skiing, am getting better at wakeboarding (attempting wake-to-wake 180s as about my only trick), and I am not sure what a surf wake will take behind my 98 205. I have done it once behind a friends Mojo and liked it, so I might just have to invest in some ballast and a surf board this winter/spring and see what I can do. I would probably drink to much on the water if I don't have watersports to do, haha.

Thanks again for everyone's comments.

h2oskifreak
11-07-2012, 01:24 PM
Do give the PT you all. I broke each ankle and rehabed one right and didn't the first one. Healing time was 1/2 with proper rehab. Good luck. And yes, both ankles done sking.

tideengineer
11-07-2012, 01:42 PM
I had the ACL tear also and I was full speed six months after surgery. Rehab and therapy. Do be lazy but don't over do it.

mwg
11-07-2012, 02:22 PM
Sorry to hear about your knee issues... PT before and after surgery will help with the recovery process. Take it easy but push yourself during PT; listen to the doctors & therapist. It's amazing how fast you will be able to put weight on your leg and start walking (using crutches).

I have had a total of 6 knee surgeries to include 3 acl reconstructions (none of these are related to watersports). I have the ACL recons using the patella graft (rt knee 1988), hamstring graft (rt knee 1992) & a cadaver graft (Left knee 2005).

By far the easiest for recovery was the cadaver graft since I only had to focus on the ACL repair and not the graft site. All I can say is the patella graft site hurt.. bad! My doctor says this hamstring graft is now shot but he says that any further repairs would only aggravate the arthritis in the knee and cause more harm than good. I have conditioned the muscles to help keep the knee stable.. I still ski, wake-board and run 3-4 times a week (well what I call running). It's an ongoing battle to keep my knees healthy, I take a lot of Advil to help with inflammation. This afternoon I'm headed to the Othro for the last of a series of 3 shots to help lubricate the knees.. We'll see how well this works out.

Good Luck!

pmikler
11-07-2012, 05:15 PM
Be careful coming back to fast.... The graft whether an allograft or autograft (cadaver acl graft or pulled from your own body) is basically dead tissue and a bridge for new tissue to grow onto. The graft is at its weakest point at 6 months give or take. While you might feel hundred percent you are at your weakest and could re-rupture your acl and revisions are not optimal with an acl. I wonít get into the details but they have to change angles which are not optimum bio mechanically or they have to insert a bone plug wait several months for healing and then go back in. Find a sports medicine focused doctor and not a general orthopod.
Donít mistake me for a Clinician- I am a sales manager for a company that sells the instruments/screws for these procedures and I am in them daily. If you PM your location I can find the doc in your area that you might want to look to. As with anything there are good ones and bad ones and the people that know are the Ortho coordinators, surgical techs and us knuckle head sales reps. ACL is a complicated procedure to do well and give the patient full functionality and stability.


Well, as if putting the boat up for the year isn't depressing enough, I tore my ACL on Thursday playing basketball (the only thing enjoy as much skiing). I fear that this will make my summer next year very short, in the way of watersports.

I was just curious if anyone has had experiences coming back from this type of injury? How long it took to get back on the water casually, and how much of a set-back was it?

I know the worst thing I could do is come back to early, and I also know everyone heals differently, but I was just looking for other's experiences.

Thanks,
John

wheelerlake
11-07-2012, 06:15 PM
Take care of those knees and joints! I'm 55, an ICU RN for 23 years so pounded that concrete for that time. I just had a total knee replacement on the right on 9/12 and am getting the left one done next Wednesday. I've skied since I was 7, don't over do it. I am overweight admittedly and have a family history of osteoarthritis. Skiing is my one absolute love, we have the MC just for me (and grandkids when they come to the cottage). I'm probably an average skiier and this summer it hurt just to hit the wake. So I pulled the plug this fall. Injections of steroids and the gel stuff didn't work any more. By the time I went in with pain almost 4 years ago I was bow-legged already and the only option was TKA bilateral, no one ever offered anything else but "you will need total knees". I guts it till now. Through many discussions and whining to my OrthoMD he finally said the other day, "OK, maybe on glass", those were his words so he is listening to me:) Otherwise he didn't want me skiing AT ALL! If you're having pain, no matter what GET IN! And baby those knees. I tell people I skied pretty good on crappy knees for the last few years, I should do pretty good on my shiny new ones:) JK

jschildm
11-07-2012, 07:31 PM
I have friend that is a physical therapist and they recommended this guy, so hopefully he is good. I felt good afteabout it after my appt and I am a very skeptical person. Admittedly, taking it easy is not my strong suit, but I understand the criticality in this situation, so I will definately be waiting until physical therapists and doc says go ahead. Thanks again for the help. I am feeling less depressed now ... unfortunately I am struggling without basketball at lunch. Hopefully I can bike or something instead after surgery.

epnault
11-08-2012, 01:31 AM
I have had both ACL done in Greenbay, WI by NFL orthopedist. Although painful opt for the patella graft. Do not take the less intrusive hamstring graft. I have had friends and my wife that had the hamstring and it does not hold up. Like others have said, physical therapy is the key. Follow the guidelines. For me in college football it was a minimum of 6 months before I was 100%.

tex
11-08-2012, 07:58 AM
ACL/PCL/MCL here. Listen to the doctors and go to PT. That is the key. Don't be the guy who thanks he can crush it and do all the work himself! Go to PT and do exactly what they say. I have to wear a brace now but can pretty much do everything thing I did before...freestyle jump/foot/drink!

bcd
11-08-2012, 08:17 AM
I tore my ACL wakeboarding 4 years ago (I was 29 at the time). I tore it in June, had surgery July 21st, and skied the whole Vail mountain over New Years. As everyone said, do your PT. Mine had me doing excersises 5 times a day, so when the mid day times came, I laid down on the floor at work and did them. I got some strange looks.

I had the patellar tendon, which was supposed to be the strongest, and most painful. I luckily didn't tear any meniscus. My knee feels great and never bothers me. One of my buddy has issues with his hurting and getting fluid built up, but he tore a lot of cartilage.

I know an NFL lineman who had pretty much his whole knee blown out. They gave him the cadaver option, so maybe the patellar option isn't that much better? He did his the September after me, and is still playing. He's over 300 pounds and says his knee doesn't ever bother him, although he flew out to CO for his surgeries, so he probably had top notch.

A couple of other points to bring up:
1. If you wake up for surgery, and there's a tube coming out of your knee for a drain, there's a lot more hose inside your knee than you'd ever think possible, and it hurts like hell when they pull it out.
2. When the time comes to return to sports, CTI braces were the best option (at least when I looked 4 years ago) for water sports.
3. There's a new procedure called the double bundle that's supposed to be the new greatest ACL reconstruction. I think it's supposed to better replicate the original ligament. I don't know much about it or how strong it is or recovery time, but might be worth at least investigating.
4. I wore my brace for everything originally, but after the first year, I only wear it snow skiing and wakeboarding now. It never bothered my snow skiing, wakeboarding, or basketball, but it would rub my other knee when slalom skiing.

jschildm
11-11-2012, 09:37 PM
Starting physical therapy tomorrow to get full motion back and swelling down. I am already going nuts not being able to play basketball, or at least get some kind of physical activity in. I think I am going to ask if I can at least ride stationary bike or something. My knee feels OK right now, until I try to twist or pivot at all, then I think I am going to fall on my a$$, haha.

On a positive note, I put quite a bit of boat stuff on my christmas list this weekend! Some ballast, and a new handle and ski rope.

jschildm
11-29-2012, 05:44 PM
Had surgery yesterday. Ended up with the hamstring graft. Surgery went well, and I started physcal therapy today. Mostly getting swelling down and extension back in the leg. A little bit of strengthening to get the quads firing again. The pain comes and goes, but I am try to take as few of the meds as possible. I can walk with crutches putting a decent amount of weight on the leg. Thanks for everyone's advice and encouragment. It has helped me keep my moral up to know others have had the same problem and came back to full strength. Both my doctor and PTs have an aggresive recovery strategy, which I am happy about. I would much rather be pushing through pain than laying around on the couch (though I have done plenty of that too). Thanks again to everyones thoughts and advice.

mikeg205
11-29-2012, 06:16 PM
Outstanding news.... good luck with the PT!!!

tex
11-29-2012, 06:32 PM
Hate but love my DonJoy brace!

BrooksfamX2
11-29-2012, 08:33 PM
good luck...... next summer is right around the corner.........;)

jschildm
11-30-2012, 09:34 AM
I got my first real slalom lesson from Doug at The Liquid Edge last September. I started working on improving my form (leading with hips, not shoulders, etc), so hopefully I can use this injury and recovery to help continue my form improvements. Gotta look at the bright side, haha.

Its definately up and down right now. One hour I can pretty well walk on it, and the next hour I can't sit still because i can't get comfortable. I am definately glad to be actually starting my recovery though.

jschildm
12-06-2012, 08:47 PM
One week post op I am feeling pretty well about the recovery. I have "officially" ditched the crutches and brace, am walking almost normally, and just need that small bit of extension beyond straight back. The PT and my Dr both seem happy with the way things are progressing so far, and am at least a week ahead of "schedule" one week into recovery. I just try to do anything they say 110%. Thanks to everyone here for their experiences and advice. It has helped me to get to where I am.

tex
12-06-2012, 09:23 PM
One week post op I am feeling pretty well about the recovery. I have "officially" ditched the crutches and brace, am walking almost normally, and just need that small bit of extension beyond straight back. The PT and my Dr both seem happy with the way things are progressing so far, and am at least a week ahead of "schedule" one week into recovery. I just try to do anything they say 110%. Thanks to everyone here for their experiences and advice. It has helped me to get to where I am.

Great to hear...Take your time!

BrooksfamX2
12-07-2012, 09:09 AM
Good news! You should be ready for next summer...........

wheelerlake
12-30-2012, 05:04 PM
I had my husband make me a "water skiing station" in the basement. I got my rope out of the boat, took 70' off, and tied it around the stud. I had my husband cut 2 pieces of plywood and put them at about a 35 degree angle, screwed into the stud and then into a 2x6 on the floor. I can do my squats, lunges, and put my feet against the board and "slalom", pulling hard against the rope and plywood, leaning out. It's been great for balance, extension, etc. My PT gang has been very happy with my balance, I contribute it to my skiing. I tell them, you get up out of the water being pulled by a beast, drop that ski as the boat is accelerating, get that foot in the strap balancing on 1 ski, then swing back and forth across the wakes. I took the grandkids bowling the other day and other than getting tired the last of 3 games, the knees (r is 3.5 months old, l. is 6 weeks) held up great! PT, PT, PT!! And good luck and patience:)

jschildm
01-11-2013, 10:49 PM
Well, its been just over six weeks now and things have been going very well. I just saw the Dr. again today and he said things were going great. I have been weight lifting 4 days a week for a 3 or 4 weeks now and my strength is doing pretty well. If anything, my weakest part right now is the hamstring from the graft. Things are going well enough they are saying 4 - 6 months for return to sports efforts, and hopefully turned lose by at least 6 months. Doesn't sound like I should have a lot of trouble skiing at the beginning of the season, other than mentally not worrying about my knee. The hardest part now is that my knee feels good, but I know I have to hold off on doing stuff I can't.

Thanks again for all of the advice and encouragement. Hopefully things keep progressing as they are now.

mikeg205
01-11-2013, 11:03 PM
Well, its been just over six weeks now and things have been going very well. I just saw the Dr. again today and he said things were going great. I have been weight lifting 4 days a week for a 3 or 4 weeks now and my strength is doing pretty well. If anything, my weakest part right now is the hamstring from the graft. Things are going well enough they are saying 4 - 6 months for return to sports efforts, and hopefully turned lose by at least 6 months. Doesn't sound like I should have a lot of trouble skiing at the beginning of the season, other than mentally not worrying about my knee. The hardest part now is that my knee feels good, but I know I have to hold off on doing stuff I can't.

Thanks again for all of the advice and encouragement. Hopefully things keep progressing as they are now.


Keep going...just start my hammy work outs... no injuries but doctor recommended to stay healthy...I was amazed how weak I am there... I can bicycle for 50-100 miles, leg press 400+ miles, slalom for a day...on and off of course... but my back knee curl 10lbs...lol... soo lot's of work in the next 10-12 weeks and beyond...

So glad you have progress - keep workin' you will be so happy when you rippin' again... I record my workouts to make sure I stay on plan... I know it's rough when you want to cut loose and shouldn't. Staying on plan really works...as much as you want to cut loose holding back really builds the foundation to cut loose when it gets warm out... really warm out...not this 50 degree damp crap the midwest is getting...

jschildm
01-12-2013, 05:39 PM
I did up to 20 lbs on curls this week with my bad leg, but its putting some strain on the soar hammy. I am a little scared to push it too much because i have already tweaked the spot where they took the graft once doing leg curls.

Do you boat around Joliet? I have a good friend that just moved from Peoria to Mazon and works for CAT there in Joliet. He has a Crownline, and we might end up around there sometime this summer. Riding behind it once a year makes me really appreciate my Mastercraft. If we make it up there maybe we'll see you around sometime.

mikeg205
01-12-2013, 05:53 PM
That would be great... you know the color of my MC...

don't push it... one of my friends ripped her hammy, did get it taken care and this season now questionable...

You'll get there.... make sure you add anti-inflammatory food to your diet if you didn't... like lot's of broccoli and fresh spinach...makes a big difference...

LEt me know when your out on the water here so we can hook up and rip up some water...

jschildm
01-22-2013, 09:37 PM
I actually already take anti-inflamatory medicine for other issues I get to deal with, so thats taken care of :)

I hope to start jogging at PT tomorrow. Last week we did some slides, skips, hops, and such to get the muscles used to impacts again. We also did some "jumping" on the leg press machine, which was interesting. I never would have thought at 27 I would be excited to "get to run" again.

I will let everyone know how it goes.

jschildm
01-26-2013, 11:53 AM
Well, on Wednesday I jogged for the first time since surgery. My physical therapist gave me a "schedule" that is 24 minutes on the treadmill. The first time you walk 2:30 and then jog :30. Repeat that 8 times (for a total of 24 min). It went well, I didnt really have pain in my knee and running felt very good. Friday after work I stopped by again and did the same thing except it was walk for 2:00 and run for 1:00, repeat 8 times. I could feel my knee, but it didnt really hurt. This process continues every other day until I run a full 24 minutes. Things are going well still, and it is good to be able to do a little more physically active stuff. Thanks again for everyone's support!

mikeg205
01-26-2013, 12:07 PM
Well, on Wednesday I jogged for the first time since surgery. My physical therapist gave me a "schedule" that is 24 minutes on the treadmill. The first time you walk 2:30 and then jog :30. Repeat that 8 times (for a total of 24 min). It went well, I didnt really have pain in my knee and running felt very good. Friday after work I stopped by again and did the same thing except it was walk for 2:00 and run for 1:00, repeat 8 times. I could feel my knee, but it didnt really hurt. This process continues every other day until I run a full 24 minutes. Things are going well still, and it is good to be able to do a little more physically active stuff. Thanks again for everyone's support!


That's great! jogging put a lot of stress on joints.... good sign.... !! :)

tideengineer
04-20-2013, 04:58 PM
Good job! Keep it up!

jschildm
04-23-2013, 01:00 PM
Its been a bit since I have updated my progress, so I figured I would let you know where I was at now.

The recovery went really well. I worked my *** off lifting and running as well as going to PT. I was running by 2 months with the only issues coming that I wore running tights when running outside in the cold to keep the knee from hurting. By 3 months I was doing cutting drills and back to sports type work. I actually passed all the requirements for return to sports by 3 months post surgery (over 92% strength bad leg vs. good leg).

I went ahead and did some hard basketball workouts doing cutting, jumping, and shooting over the next couple weeks, and played for the first time just shy of months after surgery. The knee felt good and I had surprising confidence in it right away. I was incredibly out of basketball shape though, haha.

I played and lifted for a few weeks, and then a couple of weekends ago the knee felt bad after some basketball. It seemed to still be stable, but was slightly swolen and painful. Finally got into the Dr. yesterday and he said the graft still feels really good to him (which was quite a relief, I couldn't start from scratch and work like I did again). I had MRI today, but won't find out what the deal is until my appointment on Friday. The pain is mostly gone, there is just something catching right before my leg gets straight. Could be meniscus or something. As long as its not ACL, I am not too worried about it.

Just want to say thanks again to everyone support on this sight, it helped give me a few pointers and keep motivated. I should be ready at the start of ski season if it ever decides to warm up here in the midwest. I will keep you all posted on what I found out on Friday.

jschildm
04-23-2013, 01:01 PM
Oh, and sorry for the book ....

jschildm
04-26-2013, 03:57 PM
Just got back from my Dr visit looking over the MRI. The ACL still looks great, so that is good news. Bad news is that I probably have a torn meniscus. It was hard to tell from the MRI. I opted to try a shot in the knee and then give it a couple weeks to see how it did, but I hate to wait too long because ski season is coming up. I can probably ski and wakeboard alright the way it is, but if I want to get it fixed I am running out of time to not cut into my time on the lake. Boy am I glad its not the ACL though.

tideengineer
04-28-2013, 10:13 PM
Meniscus should be fixed with a scope. I've had both mine scoped with short recovery time. I had one completely fold once and lock the knee. Good luck!

jschildm
04-29-2013, 09:07 AM
Yeah, I have actually had this knee scoped once already 10 years ago for a torn meniscus. I played basketball on it last night. It was not too bad, I was more affected by being out of shape than a bum leg, haha. We'll see how it feels in another week or so and decide if its going to be OK, or if I just need to get it fixed and move on.

tideengineer
04-29-2013, 10:26 AM
Good deal. Both my knees are pretty bad and I just keep punishing them by running...but I got to do something to keep from getting fat and out of shape.