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jschildm 11-07-2012 09:20 AM

Quite Bummed
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.


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!

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