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  1. #1
    Zach Coulter is offline Senior Member
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    Default Has anyone here had ACL Reconstruction?

    I tore my ACL in half, tore some cartilidge and possibly my miniscus on 7/18 at a strongman comp in NY. I'm going in for surgery on 8/12. They'll be doing a hamstring graft and the MRI was unclear on the damage to the miniscus and most of the cartilidge, if any. The surgeon is the go-to guy for all the sports teams around the area, peewee to collegiate, and has decades of experience in othopedics. I've always been a very flexible person, very flexible. I have been working towards the splits and am very very close to a full side and full front split(either leg leading) and I occasionally like to train my squats lighter and go as deep as I physically can. For me, that deep is with my arse almost exactly 2" off the ground. I have always actively used my flexibility and ROM even just sitting down or playing around. If I don't have that ROM back, I will notice it every single day. My #1 concern is getting my full ROM back, followed by major worries over a chronically weak hamstring. I know the quad strength will come back, as will the agility, but having the FULL ROM is of extreme importance to me.

    So, on to the question...

    Have any of you had ACL reconstruction? More specifically, have any of you had a sitaution similar to mine? Did you regain full pre-surgical ROM and did you/have you ever noticed any weakness in the affected hamstring after you got back into training regularly?(does it hold you back still?)

    Honestly, I have faith in the surgeon and I have faith that I will regain full ROM and that my hamstring weakness will be unnoticeable and a non-issue once I get back into training at full speed, but I would like to have some reassurance from those who have had to go through this. This is my first major surgery, but the surgery doesn't bother me at all nor does the down time, it's the possibility, however small, that I wont be able to do what I was doing only a month ago. If it's important, I'm 20 years old and beyond extremely motivated to get through the rehab invovled with this.
    No excuses, all honesty.

    http://zcoulter.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
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    Default

    Hey Zach,

    Im 22 years old and have had 3 ACL reconstructions in the past 3 years. Two of them with the Hamstring graft and all three with miniscus tears. My strength, flexability and ROM are much greater now due to the need to keep strong and mobile. I didn't strength train at all before them so I dont have anything to compare to in that area. But my speed, quickness and jumping power has definitally gone down. I am still only 1.5 years after my last reconstruct so I have plenty more time to build this back up, no need to rush it.

    Let me know if you have questions or thoughts on this topic

    James

  3. #3
    geoplaten is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zach Coulter View Post
    Have any of you had ACL reconstruction? More specifically, have any of you had a sitaution similar to mine? Did you regain full pre-surgical ROM and did you/have you ever noticed any weakness in the affected hamstring after you got back into training regularly?(does it hold you back still?)
    I had ACL reconstruction 5 years ago (at age 37) after completely blowing out my left knee playing hoops. I didn't do anything funny, just hopped to catch an outlet pass, landed on my left foot, and my knee just tore apart. My ACL was gone, my MCL was also torn, and my meniscus was torn in several places; my orthopedic surgeon's quote was "Wow, you really did a job on your knee".

    I had the same surgery - hamstring graft for a new ACL, the surgeon elected to not mess with the MCL. It took me a long time to recover - in some ways I still haven't fully - but I didn't discover the kb until 4 years post-op, when I was beyond frustrated with how my knee and sporting life was going.

    This week is a little crazy for me, but in general, I'd be happy to bore you with the details and my recommendations. Send me a private message or email me at geoplaten@yahoo.com and I'll provide my contact info. If you're anywhere near Pittsburgh, I'd even be happy to sit down and talk to you about your situation.

    Everyone is different, but you are fortunate to be young and able to fully dedicate yourself to rehab. I'm a small business owner and my son was born 2 weeks after my surgery - I had my crutches in the delivery room...life kinda got in the way of my rehab.

  4. #4
    Zach Coulter is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Demuynck, RKC View Post
    Hey Zach,

    Im 22 years old and have had 3 ACL reconstructions in the past 3 years. Two of them with the Hamstring graft and all three with miniscus tears. My strength, flexability and ROM are much greater now due to the need to keep strong and mobile. I didn't strength train at all before them so I dont have anything to compare to in that area. But my speed, quickness and jumping power has definitally gone down. I am still only 1.5 years after my last reconstruct so I have plenty more time to build this back up, no need to rush it.

    Let me know if you have questions or thoughts on this topic

    James
    Wow, 3 reconstructive surgeries. That's terrible man, sorry to hear that.

    Are you saying you have regained full ROM after your surgery? As in, both legs look the same when locked and fully bent? The speed and agility will come back for me in a few month's time, I'm not too worried about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by geoplaten View Post
    I had ACL reconstruction 5 years ago (at age 37) after completely blowing out my left knee playing hoops. I didn't do anything funny, just hopped to catch an outlet pass, landed on my left foot, and my knee just tore apart. My ACL was gone, my MCL was also torn, and my meniscus was torn in several places; my orthopedic surgeon's quote was "Wow, you really did a job on your knee".

    I had the same surgery - hamstring graft for a new ACL, the surgeon elected to not mess with the MCL. It took me a long time to recover - in some ways I still haven't fully - but I didn't discover the kb until 4 years post-op, when I was beyond frustrated with how my knee and sporting life was going.

    This week is a little crazy for me, but in general, I'd be happy to bore you with the details and my recommendations. Send me a private message or email me at geoplaten@yahoo.com and I'll provide my contact info. If you're anywhere near Pittsburgh, I'd even be happy to sit down and talk to you about your situation.

    Everyone is different, but you are fortunate to be young and able to fully dedicate yourself to rehab. I'm a small business owner and my son was born 2 weeks after my surgery - I had my crutches in the delivery room...life kinda got in the way of my rehab.
    I've read that the #1 reason people don't bounce back to 100% after something like this is the lack of rehab. Either you can't go or just don't, it has consequences.

    PM sent Geo Thank you.
    No excuses, all honesty.

    http://zcoulter.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    D.JAMES is offline Junior Member
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    My 16 year old son tore his ACL apart and had surgery 4 months ago . He had the cadaver ligament put in.
    When he was able to walk and support himself he started to do KB swings along with his rehab . The doctor told me it was the fastest he has every seen someone recover .I did not even mention KB because most people look at me, like I have a third eye when I mention it. He is not totally healed but he did go to wrestling camp and beat the 130 state champ so he preformed at a high level. However he stepped in a hole at football practice and twisted his bad knee, and set him back a bit. So I guess its still an ongoing process , no football this year .
    I do credit the KB swings in helping his recovery . Although I have no scientific proof just my observation.

  6. #6
    EricJMoss is offline Senior Member
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    i had it done about a month before 911. mine was the kind where they take part of your patella tendon and use it as a new acl. i am able to squat very deep...so much so that pavel himself commented that i am very flexible. i can do ass to calve pistols + 32kgs and can do jumping pistols onto a park bench. the damaged knee is strong...but its just different...like you are always aware of it

    best of luck to you comrade. i wouldn't wish that injury on anyone...well maybe i coudl think of a few
    Eric Moss RKC, FMS
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    Disclaimer: I am not responsible for the words that come out of my mouth or the ones I type and nothing I recommend should be taken as medical advice or even anything intelligent.


  7. #7
    Zach Coulter is offline Senior Member
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    Keep the responses coming guys! I very much appreciate hearing your stories.

    Quote Originally Posted by EricJMoss View Post
    i had it done about a month before 911. mine was the kind where they take part of your patella tendon and use it as a new acl. i am able to squat very deep...so much so that pavel himself commented that i am very flexible. i can do ass to calve pistols + 32kgs and can do jumping pistols onto a park bench. the damaged knee is strong...but its just different...like you are always aware of it

    best of luck to you comrade. i wouldn't wish that injury on anyone...well maybe i coudl think of a few
    Could this be because you constantly have the pain of the surgery and the moment of the tear in your memory when lifting? Kind of a mental block that isn't doing a very good job of blocking you?
    No excuses, all honesty.

    http://zcoulter.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    shmathews is offline Senior Member
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    I completely severed my ACL in March 2007 during a black belt test. In April, I had a cadaver graft implanted. The recovery was a bear. I worked my rehab hard, and regained full mobility within two months- the PT was shocked at my range of motion. It took longer to gain strength. Two months after surgery, I was deadlifting 80 pounds. Now I'm pushing 400. For 18-20 months I would feel pain and weakness when doing explosive movement, like jumps. Now it's as good as ever.

    I have a friend who's an anesthesiologist, and he passed along a piece of advice that probably saved my marriage. As I was healing, I thought I was going crazy. I had constant pain, and extreme mood swings and anger issues. This is not like me. I told him about it, and he said that as the graft is bonding, there is a lot of nerve pain because new nerve endings are forming. He said that this amounts to "static" on the phone lines of the CNS- everything is out of whack because of the static. That's why I felt so crappy. His advice was to take 250 mg of Magnesium each day. I was back to myself in two days. I don't know why this works, but it does. Do yourself a favor and spend the $5.

    Good luck.

  9. #9
    geoplaten is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricJMoss View Post
    the damaged knee is strong...but its just different...like you are always aware of it
    Curiously phrased - and accurately phrased, in my experience. I don't think it's mental, my reconstructed knee definitely feels different.

    My most bizarre lasting effect has been that my balance is nowhere near what it used to be. I've always been a pretty coordinated person; now I seem to stumble quite often, particularly if I've been sitting awhile. It's like my brain has never readjusted to my new knee and strength levels.

    Zach, got your note, I'll send you a more complete writeup later. My short advice is work on mobility now, and don't skimp on rehab - but don't overdo it, either. Seemed like every time I thought, wow, I feel great, I'm over the hump, I would push it too hard and pay the price for weeks.

    Lastly, don't be deceived by the people that are back in action 2 weeks after getting scoped - that's not at all the same as ACL reconstruction.

  10. #10
    Zach Coulter is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by shmathews View Post
    I completely severed my ACL in March 2007 during a black belt test. In April, I had a cadaver graft implanted. The recovery was a bear. I worked my rehab hard, and regained full mobility within two months- the PT was shocked at my range of motion. It took longer to gain strength. Two months after surgery, I was deadlifting 80 pounds. Now I'm pushing 400. For 18-20 months I would feel pain and weakness when doing explosive movement, like jumps. Now it's as good as ever.

    I have a friend who's an anesthesiologist, and he passed along a piece of advice that probably saved my marriage. As I was healing, I thought I was going crazy. I had constant pain, and extreme mood swings and anger issues. This is not like me. I told him about it, and he said that as the graft is bonding, there is a lot of nerve pain because new nerve endings are forming. He said that this amounts to "static" on the phone lines of the CNS- everything is out of whack because of the static. That's why I felt so crappy. His advice was to take 250 mg of Magnesium each day. I was back to myself in two days. I don't know why this works, but it does. Do yourself a favor and spend the $5.

    Good luck.
    What were you deadlifting before the surgery? Near 400? How long did it take you to return to your normal deadlift routine(normal weights and all)? You're the first person I've heard from that has mentioned anything past 8-9 months as far as inhibiting your performance. What about that constant pain? Did it last the first 2-3 months and subside gradually with the help of the Mg? I've read the regular pain of the surgery/swelling can be gone in a few weeks.
    No excuses, all honesty.

    http://zcoulter.blogspot.com/

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