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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 30, 2008
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    Default Anyone with torn ACL/MCL/Meniscus injuries?

    I was at one of those indoor trampoline places on Friday with some family and really messed up my knee. I guess I landed weird on it, heard/felt something pop, and was in excruciating pain. I can't put any weight on it and my knee is completely unstable from side to side, but the ER doctor couldn't do an MRI for that so I have to wait until tomorrow to see an orthopedic specialist. The ER doctor is pretty sure I tore something we just have to MRI to find out what exactly, so does anybody have knee injury stories (hopefully success stories), and most importantly, when were you back on your feet/in the saddle?

    UPDATE 12/14: So it turns out I tore my ACL and Meniscus and had surgery to reconstruct my ACL (patellar tendon) and repair meniscus on Wednesday. I am now in so much pain I cannot even bear it! I get a couple of hours of relief at a time where I try to sleep and then the pain wakes me up yet again. Somebody please tell me when I can expect the light at the end of the tunnel!?
    Last edited by Wizard of Oz's; Dec. 14, 2012 at 02:35 PM. Reason: Update



  2. #2
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    Jan. 14, 2003
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    Massachusetts
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    Default

    Note to self: Stay off indoor trampoline places...the barn is risky enough without risking myself with mainstream activities!

    Sorry, nothing productive to add except that today I was hiking with a friend - a pretty strenuous hike I might add. We also did an 8 miler on Friday. She has not been hiking in a long time and has been pretty sedentary for a couple of years. This morning she mentioned that she had badly torn her ACL playing rugby and I was amazed that her knee was a non-issue during our hikes. So, there is hope!



  3. #3
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    Apr. 9, 2012
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    Ruptured ACL here. And it does sound quite similar, gotta say... That instability was just unsettling!! I knew right away I would get it repaired. In fact, the first doctor looked at me, saw I was overweight and suggested I wait and see. Wrong answer. I went to another doctor whose sister happened to ride. I just knew I wanted a strong knee again. I didn't want it to cause me to fall over jumps or if the horse spooked and I twisted it wrong. So many people who never get it fixed wish they had. Think how easy it is to twist and rupture your other ligaments if your knee isn't stable.
    Either way, you'll have maybe 5-10 weeks physical therapy to reduce swelling. Then surgery, if that's what you decide. Then about 6-12 weeks of physical therapy after surgery.
    When you get back on will depend a lot on which leg it is (mounting leg or not) and your horse. I leased a horse that arrived the day before surgery. I couldn't drive for almost 3 weeks (it was my right knee). I was probably walking 5-6 weeks after surgery, with someone holding the horse for mounting (using a block), someone riding the horse before me, and taking a couple minutes to gingerly dismount after. And, yes, it hurt to post - it hurt a lot! And I had to relearn my position because I really favored that knee. The horse learned to slowly come to a halt when I got unbalanced!! It probably took 4 months to have fully productive lessons again. And maybe 8-9 months to be pain free. Stairs took longer!!
    I gave up any shoes with any heels, including my clogs and paddock boots!! I was better off wearing good running shoes for awhile.
    Warning about PT: it hurts when they stretch the new ligament to give you range of motion. But talk to your dr and understand what you should be feeling. When my therapist worked on me, I was in so much pain at times but I was prepared for pain and just accepted it. I'm quite convinced he overdid it and gave me tears in my knee. I have a lot of scar tissue. And I should have spent more time on the stationary bike. Even now it's just so great for the knees.
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  4. #4
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    Apr. 9, 2012
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    P.S. I'm glad I had it fixed. My knee is relatively normal now and for the most part it's pain free.
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  5. #5
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    Aug. 14, 2000
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    I've torn the ACL in both knees, the last one in July.

    I had a bucket handle tear of the meniscus, along with the ruptured ACL in my right knee, so surgery was done. They replaced the ACL with a cadaver ligament. I've had no trouble with it since, but the PT afterwards was rather difficult. I was able to ride and live with it for several years before the surgery, but it was very unstable. Riding was no problem at all without a functional ACL in the right knee, but I couldn't ride for six months after the surgery.

    This July I ruptured the ACL in the other knee and sprained the MCL. No meniscus tear. Orthopod did not recommend surgery; he said that even he would live and could live quite happily without an ACL. So that's what I'm trying. But I twisted that knee mounting and seriously re-sprained the MCL about six weeks ago. Haven't tried to ride since. I now own a special brace to use when I ride, as well as one of those all metal clunkers that I use when doing anything that could potentially cause the knee to pop.

    I know of a yoga teacher who lived and taught for years with no ACL.

    You'll need an MRI and/or ultrasound to see just what damage you did. And if you are going for surgery, you ought to strengthen the quads with PT exercises and bike riding before you go in. Actually, you should do the PT exercises whether you have surgery or not.

    Getting on and off is the most difficult and dangerous part of riding with no ACL, but I did it for years with the right knee. No trouble posting and no trouble jumping. If you've torn the MCL, however, that's a whole different kettle of fish.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire



  6. #6
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    Jul. 30, 2008
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    Thanks for the replies, keep em coming!! AKO, why did they not consider surgery at first when they saw you were overweight? I'm definitely overweight myself, but was working on it before this happened!



  7. #7
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    Austin, TX
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    First MCL kept me out of the tack for two weeks but I had a "ladder incident" and did not ride for about four months. Not a complete tear and recovery was rest. I could have been back in the saddle sooner but all of mine green or complicated and dismounting was a real risk so I waited. When my quads get tired, I can feel the instability return, so really need to do my PT to strengthen muscles above and below the injury site. ACL could be a whole different story. Most I know get those surgically repaired.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz's View Post
    Thanks for the replies, keep em coming!! AKO, why did they not consider surgery at first when they saw you were overweight? I'm definitely overweight myself, but was working on it before this happened!
    I think the dr just assumed overweight=inactive, so why spend the $ for surgery? The second surgeon was a knee specialist, and much more familiar with the mechanics of riding, as well as the fact that even lowly, plump amateurs can be quite serious about it!! So he got to open up my knee. (I had it done at Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC.)
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  9. #9
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    I tore my ACL and lateral meniscus last fall. The incident itself didn't hurt at all (came off horse, landed on my feet and my knee popped). I ended up going to a show the next day (coaching, not riding) before I finally went to the ER. My knee was about the size of a basket ball at that point. In fact, we measured the circumfrence and it was 11in larger than my other knee! The dr couldn't believe I didn't go in sooner and immediately sent me to the orthopaedic surgeon. They took their sweet time and it was nearly a month before I had my surgery. The reconstructed it with a cadaver graft and cleaned up my meniscus. It took them twice as long as they initially thought because of all the damage that apparently had been done.

    PT was painful and that lasted 7 months. I am now 13 months post surgery and my knee hurts every single day. It's not terrible pain, but by the end of some days it's hard to put full weight on it.

    By the way, I'm 25 and ran cross country and track for a division I college so I was in great shape (not overweight or unathletic) although perhaps all those miles running in college already took a toll on my joints and now it's worse post surgery. I've started jogging again but usually can't go more than about a mile before the pain really flares up. On the bright side, riding has never been any problem. I can ride and jump all day long- it's the walking and running that causes pain.



  10. #10
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    Make sure you see a sports medicine orthopod...they have a whole different mindset. Complete rupture of ACL, one month of PT before surgery, 9 months after. My initial injury didn't hurt, it was a complete tear and I'm weird that way. It was non weight bearing though. I had to have someone drive up to the arena and pick me up...I hobbled along the fence line to the car.

    Six years later, it's close to normal, but aches when the weather changes and I'm a lot more careful jumping down from anything now.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


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  11. #11
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    Yup, it's very important to use a sports medicine doctor. Both of mine are sports medicine people not regular orthopods.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire



  12. #12
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    Sep. 2, 2012
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    I tore my ACL in 2004. Somehow I didn't even know it was torn but I started having aches in my left knee and it wouldn't hold weight. I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon, he did all the scans and whatnot and it had torn and repaired itself.

    I have no problem riding with it at all. However, if I sit on the couch or at work in one position too long I'll get stiff and sore. Later on I had it checked again and I now have tendonitis (sp?) and nearly no cartilage left in that knee. And now my right is starting to have problems because I compensate for the left. My left kneecap is also now slightly crooked because of the way it all healed.

    Surgery was an option to straighten it but the doctor said riding would then be uncomfortable, so I live with it and deal with it. I take ibuprofen and when it gets stiff the heat wraps work well for me.



  13. #13
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    Nov. 18, 2010
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    I have no meniscus in my left knee, tore my acl. That was back in 1984 and it is fine. I still ski but need a good quad strength before I do. Horse riding helps with that.

    Good luck.



  14. #14
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    I suspect I blew up my knee yesterday while completing an unwanted exit from the saddle. During buck #3, there was a "pop" in my left knee. When I stood up, it hurt and felt unstable. The good news is, it's smaller than my head. The bad news is, it's bigger than a grapefruit, and it never stops hurting. I'll call my Sports Medicine Ortho first thing tomorrow a.m. and see when I can get in. I was really looking forward to skiing this winter and to showing at Thermal .

    So - how do I keep in shape with one leg out of commission? I'll do the PT, and hopefully they will keep the rest of me in shape too.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
    I suspect I blew up my knee yesterday while completing an unwanted exit from the saddle. During buck #3, there was a "pop" in my left knee. When I stood up, it hurt and felt unstable. The good news is, it's smaller than my head. The bad news is, it's bigger than a grapefruit, and it never stops hurting. I'll call my Sports Medicine Ortho first thing tomorrow a.m. and see when I can get in. I was really looking forward to skiing this winter and to showing at Thermal .

    So - how do I keep in shape with one leg out of commission? I'll do the PT, and hopefully they will keep the rest of me in shape too.
    Your knee may not be "out of commission" all that long. With a knee immobilizer, you may be good to go in about a week. Without? Maybe two.

    Walking is good. Riding a stationary bike is great. Doing quad strengthening exercises is necessary. You could probably ride if you didn't sprain or tear the lateral ligaments. Normally when the knee pops and you fall on your face, if the laterals aren't involved, they go straight sideways and only hurt for a very brief moment. You could probably ride without issues and even show. I foxhunted for two years with no ACL and a torn meniscus in my right knee. Just be very careful getting on and off. I would not try to run or jump without a horse for months afterwards. If you have a bike that fits and lets you on and off easily, you can ride a bike--but it's a bit more iffy than a horse.

    You won't be "right" but you can really do a lot of stuff with a blown out knee if the laterals aren't damaged.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire


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  16. #16
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    Thanks vineyridge, I'm glad to hear it. The holidays are bad enough for weight creep, and being stuck sitting on my rump certainy won't help. Maybe I'll be able to swim for an aerobic work out until I can ride the excercise bike.



  17. #17
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    I have multiple meniscal tears right now. It stinks! The instability and pain can be really unnerving sometimes, and I think I'm probably looking at surgery for this winter. I did ride a few horses after I did it, but it was really uncomfortable.

    Good luck!! Hope you have meniscus issues as opposed to ACL; the recovery is supposed to be easier.



  18. #18
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    I tore EVERYTHING in my left knee back in 2001. In fact, there was so little left to work with that the ortho docs were seriously considering amputation. I nixed that idea & refused to sign off on it. Had 2 surgeries done, but still don't have complete lateral stability in that leg & have to be VERY careful to pay attention when I'm walking - especially on uneven ground. Was told I most likely would need one or two more surgeries, but the recovery from the last one was so awful that I just never went back - especially when told I might end up worse than I am now. At least now I can walk unaided.



  19. #19
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    Holy crap, Bacardi, that's some intense shit! Wow. Makes me feel super duper lucky.
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  20. #20
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    Jeeze, now I'm thankful that I'm not you, Bacardi.

    Surgical techniques, procedures and medical devices and products have changed and improved tremendously since 2001. And, of course, now total knee replacements are common as dirt.

    One thing my current orthopod made a point of is that meniscus tears mean surgery. If you don't get it, you're looking at total knee replacement later on. But he also made it clear that one can live without an ACL and function quite well with strong quads.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire



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