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Old 06-02-2006, 07:50 AM   #1
Marc Moffett
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I blew out my ACL hiking and will be having surgery on June 8th. Not a lot of jumping around and hoisting weights for at least a few months thereafter. Does anybody have any thoughts/advice on how to keep in shape while I recoup?
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Old 06-03-2006, 09:26 PM   #2
Troy Dodson
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Marc,

Perhaps you can take this opportunity to work a lot on muscle ups, and the like. I would think that at some point in your recovery it would be good to begin working slow, controlled bodyweight squats, perhaps assisted.

I had my ACL surgery back in 2001. This by no means makes me an expert on the matter, but I feel your pain. Unfortuantely, back then, I hadn't found CrossFit yet.

I've heard of folks that have gone from 20 something pullups to 50 something during their ACL recovery by soley working muscle ups, and other ring work.

Let us know how it goes. And with all the knowledgable folks on this board, I'm sure someone with better experience in the matter will chime in.
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Old 06-04-2006, 10:33 AM   #3
Carrie Klumpar
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Marc,

Sorry to hear about your injury/surgery. It sucks, but CrossFitting, before and after the surgery, is a great advantage in rehab and recovery.

Aside from direct knee rehab & PT work (ROM, ROM, ROM), there's a lot you can do to keep fit (and aid healing by reaping the full-body and hormonal benefits of exercise), even when you have to limit it drastically. I was doing WOs at home of pull-ups, (one-legged) push-ups, pseudo-dips (on parallettes with the bum leg supported, and overhead presses within the first week after both my ACL surgeries--and I felt so much better afterwards each time.

Really, what I wanted to say is that if you use the search feature on the message board and search for "ACL" in subject lines, you'll find lots of info about how CFers have handled the situation. If you want even more material (you will have plenty of reading time those first few days...), search for "knee" in subject lines and you'll find lots of info.

If you haven't seen it yet, you should also check out the article "Working Wounded" in issue 33 of the CrossFit Journal. It discusses the phenomenon Troy mentioned.

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Old 06-07-2006, 07:21 AM   #4
Marc Moffett
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Carrie, thanks. It was good to read your and Ryan's exchanges.

Just curious...are you happy with the hamstring graft?
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:05 PM   #5
Carrie Klumpar
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Marc,

Yep, the hamstring grafts are good. First one (right knee) was Jan 04. When I had to do the ACL on the other knee too, in Feb 05 :sad:, I chose the same procedure (different surgeon). Recovery is longer than with an allograft (cadaver tissue), but, even so, I was doing full-squat o-lifting (not heavy though) by May.

I still have some catching and clicking, mostly in first one though--I think it's just the differences between the two surgeons, or even just the vagaries of the specific surgeries themselves. It does take a while to get back your hamstring strength, but everything atrophies pretty quickly after the surgery regardless. (I have a remarkable photo of my surgical and non-surgical quads 12 days post-op that's kind of spooky--but you get it back over time.)

No regrets (other than tearing the ligaments in the first place, of course...). From what I could learn, allografts (aside from the disease potential and general creepiness) were proving not as reliable at 4-6 years out from the surgery (though Ryan's doing fine so far on his, I believe). Patellar grafts are still done too, and are tried and true, but messing around with the patella seemed even more potentially problematic--and I really didn't want to have kneeling issues for the rest of my life.

I'm happy to answer questions about it. Feel free to post more here or e-mail me privately.
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Old 06-09-2006, 06:08 AM   #6
Marc Moffett
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Carrie, thanks. It is a done deal--I went under the knife yesterday. I have had a knee problem for most of my life (since I was 13, now 38), so I expected the surgeon to find all sorts of messed up crude. But overall the knee was in good shape: no cartilage damage and one little tear on the meniscus that he stitched down. I was pretty pleased!

I actually feel pretty good at the moment. Not a lot of pain (don't even think I need pain pills), and I feel like I have decent quad strength and ROM. Hard to say this early, though. We'll see how it goes.

Thanks for the thoughts.
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Old 06-09-2006, 07:07 AM   #7
Anthony Bainbridge
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Good luck on a quick recovery, Marc!
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:02 AM   #8
Carrie Klumpar
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Wow! Glad to hear you're doing so well, Marc! Such a relief to hear that the surgeon didn't find anything too unexpedctedly ugly in there, isn't it?!

Did you have the hamstring tendon graft reconstruction?

Keep us posted...
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Old 06-09-2006, 07:16 PM   #9
Marc Moffett
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Carrie, yeah, I went with the hamstring graft. I understand recovery time is better compared to the plantar graft.

Just prior to this I had been working on pistols. Funny how that comes in handy now that I have to push up off the pot with one leg sticking straight out!:biggrin:

I am actually amazed at how little pain I'm in. I stopped taking the hydrocodone last night and have just been taking Ibuprofen for inflamation. I start PT on Monday.

Anthony, thanks. I was just starting to get to where I was happy with my physical conditioning, but in the long picture this is a good thing. I am glad I went into it with such a good overal fitness base, more kudos for crossfit.
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Old 06-11-2006, 08:26 AM   #10
Eva Twardokens
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Marc,
One little morsel of info from a gal that has had 8 knee surgeries, including 2 acl recons with bi-directional meniscus tears and mcl 2nd degree tears...2 microfracture surgeries that each left me 12 weeks non- weight bearing, and then 4 other surgeries to remove scar tissue...I was skiing on the World Cup at the time. Please do not overtrain in the beginning. Doing too much and going backwards is really frustrating because it is self induced, so stop when you are a little ahead. I am not saying to not work on all the things Carrie K. was writing about, but falling down and tearing out surgery sucks...sometimes you end up under the knife again, or may worry yourself sick that you have re-injured something. Work hard, but give yourself the best chance to heal as well. Be smart.

PS.I am fine now. Doing all CF activities full on.
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