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Old 09-18-2007, 05:11 PM   #1
William Tokash
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Torn ACL and Meniscus

I just received the results of my MRI and I have a partially torn ACL and a torn posterior horn of the medial meniscus. I am going to evaluate my surgery options, but I doubt I will get back to 100% without it.

I have been off crossfit for 2 months now and want/need to get back into shape. What kinds of exercises should I do to keep from injuring my knee further? I have regained a lot of movement in my knee, but I am not going to be able to do any oly lifts. I am thinking upper body stuff plus rowing, exercise bike, etc. If anyone has some broke-leg workout plans, I would appreciate it. Any suggestions on the treatment of my leg would be helpful too since some of you have gone through this same thing.
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Old 09-18-2007, 05:24 PM   #2
Jay Cohen
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Re: Torn ACL and Meniscus

Dr Freddie Fu;
UPMC Pittsburgh PA.

One the leading ACL guys in the World as he does a very unique surgery. He is tops in the field, Google him and check out the official hospital link below. And don't count out coming back to 100%. I have friends that he has worked on, they are good or better then before the tear, trust me on this.

W/F/S

http://findadoc.upmc.com/PhysicianBioQuery.aspx?ID=399
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Old 09-18-2007, 06:44 PM   #3
Sarena Kopciel
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Re: Torn ACL and Meniscus

All I can say is that I had a torn ACL repaired surgically 11yrs ago on my left knee and torn my R meniscus the year before which I only rehabed (no surgery). I had pain and various "issues" over the years which sent me me back into physical therapy too many times to count.

A year ago I started CF with a very dedicated and talented trainer. My knees were still a major pain in the a** to say the least. Somewhere about 8 months ago, I stopped noticing any issues with my knees. I do everything and then some.

Just my .02! Do what you need to surgery wise and get on with it! I would go with what Jay suggests as he has helped me thru several crises as well.
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Old 09-19-2007, 09:23 AM   #4
Bill Pontius
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Re: Torn ACL and Meniscus

William,
I've had two rt knee surgeries. The first for "just" meniscus and the second--after re-injury--for the meniscus and ACL. The rehab will center on redeveloping strength in the leg operated upon and range of motion. By the time of my second surgery I was working out "normally" for me. The swelling was gone and I had learned to manage the pain. I eliminated all moves that required knee stability--which meant normal was no b-ball, hurdling, soccer, o-lifting etc. But I added knee extensions and ham curls to three workouts a week on the theory that this might give the most affected muscles a higher baseline for rehab. I don't know for sure if this helped as the ACL surgery really weakened the leg in the short term. And twelve months later my rt leg is visibly smaller than my left, but my rehab was above the curve and I was competing in the hurdles again by month 8. So, for what it's worth, in addition to whatever you determine you're able to do in the way of strength/metcon work generally, my suggestion is--when you're able--focus on the muscles that will atrophy with surgery. Hope it helps and best wishes on success!

Bill
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Old 09-19-2007, 09:33 PM   #5
Corey Duvall
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Re: Torn ACL and Meniscus

I've had three left knee operations (98-99). One was ACL reconstruction (patellar tendon), the second was to repair some meniscus (a later injury) and the third was to remove the portion of the meniscus that did not heal. I was able to have a full recovery and feel great. Then came college and my explosiveness went away and trying to get it back resulted in some knee pain on occasion. I thought I had lost all athletic ability... then I found crossfit and the full ROM squat. I spent a great deal of time working on my squat form and flexibility. At some point in the last six months my pains completely ceased and I haven't looked back since. I am as explosive, if not more, than I was in highschool (at 5'10" I nearly dunked a basketball yesterday... even closer than I was in college).

From what I understand, with just partial tears they often won't operate. The meniscus could be a problem if it gets in the way of smooth joint motion. My recommentations is improve your limit swelling (compression, massage towards the heart, and occasional ice) and improve range of motion. Examine squat technique and start with that. Get full range of motion squats perfected. From there you should probably be able to start some of the more involved lifts. Knee stability comes from the musculature, not from the ligaments. Ligaments are there as a precaution in extreme emergency but have only a limited amount of strength. Whatever your injury, the acl prevented further damage to surrounding tissue, but ultimately failed a bit, hence the partial tear. If you improve the muscles of your leg and hip your knee will be just fine. Squats can be the most beneficial exercise at this moment... as you excel there then add some difficulty.

Good luck and keep us updated.
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Old 09-20-2007, 05:14 AM   #6
William Tokash
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Re: Torn ACL and Meniscus

Thanks for the input everyone. It is good to hear from people who had similar injuries and are able to do Crossfit again.
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Old 09-20-2007, 08:20 AM   #7
James Rudolph
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Re: Torn ACL and Meniscus

Hello William,

Last month was nine years ago I had my right acl replaced. Tore clean while in training for a mma competition. When it happened I felt something pop but no pain. Stiffness a few hours later but no real pain. The next morning; though, my leg was extremely stiff and incredibly painful (that went away within a few days).


At the time...the surgery I opted for was four or five years old. I had a cadaver acl replacement. He said it would be six months before they let me wrestle again let alone pivot to kick. Within four months I got clearance to mountain bike (clipless only till my knee completely healed), within five I was allowed on the mat and by my six I was slowly going through forms for kicking the thai pads.

All and all even though I was allowed back it was a year before I felt my leg starting to get all those lil stabilizer muscles back. What set the basis though for my recovery was definately busting my hump in physical therapy. Tons of flexibilty drills, some limited running monitored on a treadmill, and small strength movements like squats up against he door, or pulling myself across the room on a chair with wheels by the heels of my feet.

On a side note. One of the things my doctor mentioned (for me at least mine was completely torn) was that; like any machine, if one part breaks down the other parts suffer for having to compensate for the damaged or missing ligament or tendon. I had scheduled my surgery for two weeks after the actual tear. The day before my surgery my right quad started acting funny. I couldn't flex it completely and when I walked down stairs I could tell it wasn't supporting my knee properly. My Doctor had told me one of the first muscles to react to a torn acl was your quad and he was correct.

I was and am still very pleased with my surgery. I didn't know it when I went to him but he has worked on several of the Houston Rockets and I believe a few of the Astros as well.

Regards and g'luck with that knee,
James

Last edited by James Rudolph; 09-20-2007 at 08:38 AM..
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Old 10-02-2007, 07:14 PM   #8
Bennett Newton
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Re: Torn ACL and Meniscus

I tore my ACL completly along with a signnificant lateral minicus tear and a minor medial minicus tear. This was on August 25th in our first college football game of the year. Had surgery 2 weeks ago, I now am able to get to approx. 90 - 100 degress ROM (Left knee). All the leg lifts help, along with all the other rehab that I do, which I do about 4 times a day. The workouts that I have been doing consist of a lot of push ups, core exercises, and pullups. A typicall workout that has been working for me is; 100 pushups / Flutter kicks (4 count) at 30 reps / then 10 - 15 pullups. I'll do 6 rounds of this, but changing the core exercise everytime (EX: planks/v ups/crunches) and also changing the pushups to 40-50 reps each round then finishing with 100 more pushups. On the pullups I make sure to get clearly above the bar and as explosive as I can. It's very hard initially to work around the injury, but I find that doing this workout 1-2 times a day 5-7 days a week helps me very much. My doctor and rehab specialist have said that with hard work it's possible to get back anywhere between 5-9 months. My advice to you is to force yourself to focus on weak points that you may have upper body wise and do rehab as much as you can everyday plus ice to get back better than before. Hope this helps, if you have any more questions let me know.
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:24 AM   #9
Jerry Glaeser Jr.
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Re: Torn ACL and Meniscus

Quote:
Originally Posted by William Tokash View Post
Thanks for the input everyone. It is good to hear from people who had similar injuries and are able to do Crossfit again.
there is life after ACL surgery! I have had 3 knee surgeries on the same knee(right) and I am still stronger, better, faster! it is all in your head...do the rehab right and you will be as good or better than before!
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Old 10-03-2007, 06:48 PM   #10
Corey Duvall
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Re: Torn ACL and Meniscus

I have to agree with Bennett above... though I have no research to back up my point. We do these hardcore Crossfit workouts because they have such an impact on our endocrine system. They release testosterone and growth hormone and can really put us in quite an anabolic state. Well this affects the whole body and not just the parts we work out. I would tend to think that healing time/rehab could be greatly improved if sticking with high intensity workouts safely. I wouldn't say that you should go against your orthopod or PT and return to activity sooner, but I bet you'll be farther along when they do let you back to the wild.
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