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ACL replacement....who's had it

Old 02-03-2004, 07:44 AM
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I had my left knee done in '97. ACL repair using the Patella tendon. They woke me up on the table to do the strength test once it was screwed in. The big thing you have to commit to is to do the physical therapy!!! I was back to full strength and about 95% range of motion after a month. They had me riding the bike, pushing weight, and doing agility exercises three times a week followed by E-Stim to help control the swelling and speed up the healing. After two months they cut me aloose.

Only issues I knee cap had some numb spots for a couple of years so it was hard to do any kneeling, otherwise no issues.

They used to take the lower titanium screw out after you recovered, but now they just leave it in.

Good luck.

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Old 02-03-2004, 11:23 AM
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Doctor says the ligament is radiated and sterile. We talked for a while he is going in with more than all the stuff he needs in case there is more damage than the MRI showed.I told him don't tell me when I wake up that he wants to go back in in 6 months to clean something else up or fix something he couldn't do the first time. He seems to know his chit and knows I don't plan on taking easy or want to wait six month's for it to be GTG.
I hope my recovery is as fast as Tarheel's was.
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Old 02-03-2004, 12:04 PM
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See if you can get something in writing from him saying the ligament came from an ex-all pro football player or Kenyan marathon champion, otherwise people will say it came from a ballerina whenever you tell them the replacement came from a cadaver.

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Old 02-03-2004, 12:09 PM
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Several of my brother's clients (all professional football players) have had it done. One, Joey Galloway, even came back slightly faster after both of his ACL operations (one in each knee, several years apart). You should be fine if you stick to the physical therapy. I have not had it done but have had several other ligament and/or tendons replaced and have always gotten back to normal eventually if I followed the physical therapy. If not, well it didn't work as well.
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Old 02-03-2004, 02:05 PM
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make sure the ligament wasn't from a may aquire a slight 'shake' when you walk
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Old 02-03-2004, 02:17 PM
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I had mine done 6 years ago. They took a graph from my patelar tendon. The key is to try and build up the bad leg before surgery because of all the muscle you will lose. My doctor said the repaired ACL is stronger than the good one. You have to do your excercises religously.
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Old 02-03-2004, 02:54 PM
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I had my first reconstruction (ACL) done at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic in L.A. (Lakers doctor). They went with the patellar tendon, and screws.
When that one failed after four years, I went to Bert Zarins at Massachusetts General (Patriots, Bruins, maybe Celtics doctor). He went with synthetic fiber, and tied loops, as opposed to screws.
I have had eleven surgical procedures on my knees. Mostly the right knee (two ACL's, bunch of scopes). After each procedure, I did my physical therapy religiously. After my last ACL (Mass. General), I said screw it, I was just sick of rehab. I never did any PT, and my knee has NEVER hurt since, has NEVER been better or more solid.

Just my experience.

Last edited by rouxsterre; 02-03-2004 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 02-06-2004, 01:17 AM
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Default ACL recon

I do them. Cadaveric reconstructions are a cakewalk, both for the doc (me) and for the patient. Autologous grafts are the worst-- taking a portion of your patella (kneecap), patellar ligament, and tibial tubercle (distal patellar ligament attachment). Hamstring and allograft bone-tendon-bone are about the same trauma-wise during surgery. The long term results for all three are similar. Screw fixation is surgeons preference, but I would prefer absorbable interference vs. titanium. Post operatively, LET IT HEAL! Range of motion is the key initially, not strength. I performed a revision last week on a 17 year old who was 8 weeks out from an autologous BTB reconstruction (from another orthopod), seems he wanted to work on his squats. He got a chance to work on his parents new deductible while I harvested his ham and augmented it with a cadavers' achilles (not quite as fun as the first case).

The TO DO list

2. Elevate
3. pump your ankle (gets the blood moving). you don't
want a blood clot
4. ROM (range of motion) you don't want a stiff knee
5. get off the Lortab/vicodin ASAP
6. once you're riding again, invest in a good pair (a left
and a right!) of ACL stabilizing braces with patellar
pads (Donjoy, Bledsoe CTI)
7. avoid a redo

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Old 02-06-2004, 09:47 AM
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Thanks I have the Astric Knee braces now, they are just a CTI rip off with more adjustably.
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Old 02-06-2004, 09:56 AM
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Partial tear right ACL in 1980.
Complete tear in 1983. Scope removal in 1983.
Three years of braces and trying to live without it.
Finally- 1986 - patellar graft.
10 month rehab. 2 years till 110%.
Had screws removed via scope at 18 months.
Wear CTi brace when mx'ing or skiing.

Left knee - 1994 - patellar graft.
8 month rehab. Rehab hampered by pain across the patella. 9 years later, still have to stay away from leg extensions and squats and high load exerbike riding. Aside from that, I'd say it was successful, but I sure would have liked a dead guy's ligament. This patella pain is still a hassle. Tried working thru it and ignoring it like the doc said, but that ended up the wrong idea - doc later said, "oh, I thought it was just uncomfortable - you should never work past true pain...".
CTi brace for it as well.

Anyhow, knees are certainly better than before the surger, I've just got some nags about the left one.
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