Claires ACL surgery

by Claire Brown
(Scotland, UK)

I damaged my knee at a gymnastics training session March 23rd 08 and landed awkwardly from a split jump. Worst pain in my life and I fainted after it due to my low pain threshold. I received physio sessions for about 7 weeks before I was referred to orthopaedics at the hospital. I then waited 6 weeks on an MRI then 6 weeks on the results so only found out on Aug 30th that I had completely ruptured my acl and had severe damage to both medial and lateral cartlidges. I wasnt too upset by the news of impending surgery as I had kind of diagnosed myself by using sites such as this. I too suffered from the constant giving away and being a weekend dance teacher also I found this frustrating. I then waited on a 16 weeks waiting list and am now 3 weeks post op (9 months from injury to actaul surgery date) I had acl reconstruction using my hamstring and repairs to both cartlidges. I have just started walking without the crutches and am being a gold star patient by sticking to the physio I have been given. I get so frustrated as I want to do more but physically cant. I normally run around (although I am 30 ha ha) with my dance students doing cartwheels etc and right now I can hardly walk the length of myself without pain. I will say though it is only minor pain. Any other dancers or gymnasts out there had the same thing and how long was it until you got back into the high energy dancing or gymnastics. I will always be able to do enough to teach to young kids but I use this fun hobby as my method of fitness and would be devastated if I couldnt return to this like normal. Will it be the same again or will I always be restricted ?

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Aug 31, 2015
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Jul 17, 2009
long road
by: Anonymous

talk about a long haul,
had my first acl hamstring graft in april 08.
the knee was giving way three months later,
back on waiting list.
taken in oct 08,cartlidge removed told graft had failed.
back on waiting list.
i was to have hamstring taken off good leg this time.different surgen.
march 09 third op(2nd acl).
july 09 just started light jogging on the trampet.
come a long way.
still a long way to go.
wonder if the legs will ever be 100%?

Jun 08, 2009
by: Claire

Hey guys
Well I have to say if you stick to the physio you will get back to normal. My physio has just signed my permission form to return to gymnastics and thats me 5 1/2 months post op.
Avoiding high impact landings but manage basic things cartwheels walkovers with no problems. So relieved. Only notice slight wobble every now and again when Ive been on my feet all day and still find it really uncomfortable to kneel down but I suppose that will come back after a year and a half of not kneeling on it.
Since doing this 3 other people at my club have done the same - I dont know i think green cheese is in order - ony kididng guys wish you all the luck and same goes to anyone else with impending surgery

Feb 16, 2009
ACL Surgery
by: Jo Galloway

Isnt it awful that there is such a variance with how long people are waiting to have their operation for their ACL. I was really lucky and had my op within 10 days of seeing the surgeon! And that was only about 4 weeks on from when I suffered my injury. I am now 3 months post op and I have to say I still get quite a bit of pain but I am going to knee exercise classes and I know that in a few months I will be able to do more exercise. Its a long haul thing I am afraid there is no quick fix with this. As regards to having a synthetic ligament...Have you asked your surgeon about using cadaveric ligaments? I had a patella tendon graft but I actually work for NHS Blood and Transplant which facilitates the harvesting of tendons and ligaments from deceased tissue I knew where to go if my surgeon couldnt use my own tendons! It may be worth your while asking about it though.

Feb 16, 2009
by: Denise (London, UK)

Hi Claire. I injured my knee back in October 2008 and I'm now on the NHS waiting list for an ACL reconstruction. Unfortunately because of my height and build, my hamstrings and patellar tendon are unsuitable grafts and I'll probably be having a synthetic graft which worries me hugely. I just wanted to wish you the best of luck with your rehab. I know how worried you must feel about not being able to resume your activities at your pre-injury level. Before I injured my knee I would jog, go for long walks and do martial arts for fun. Since my injury I feel like I've been reduced to a couch potato. The only reason I agreed to surgery (and the ugly scars and tedious rehab that comes afterwards) was so I could resume my hobbies without the instability associated with a ruptured ACL. I hope all goes well for you.

Feb 12, 2009
more help
by: claire

Also, forgot to add that ive noticed my surgery knee my lefrt kneecap faces inwards although my feet face directly forward. This is evident when Im standing or sitting with my legs straight out in front of me. The physio noticed this also and said to let the surgeon know when I see him again which isnt for another 2 weeks. I have quite a bit of pain on the right side of this knee (inside) and sometimes find it difficult to bear weight. When I lie in bed on my back I automatically turn my foot out so my knee faces upwards for comfort but when I purposely face both feet pointing upwards and the knee faces inwards there is a definite pain and discomfort as though something isnt quite rigth. Ive never had this misaligned knee before my surgery and just wondered if anyone has experienced this or is this "normal".

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