Damiens ACL Experience

by Damien Henderson
(Armagh, Northern Ireland)

I was playing football on a Saturday afternoon 7 weeks ago and in mid run my left foot came down at a slight angle and my knee went sideways and cracked. I lay on the pitch for a few minutes in a lot of pain and asked to be carried to the sideline, I watched the remainder of the 1st half from the sideline in quite bit of discomfort and at half time I got 2 of the team members to carry me to my car, it was my left leg so being in Ireland i was able to drive home in an automatic.


My girlfriend is an intensive care nurse and suggested we go to A&E straight away. 5 hours later my knee pain was unbearable and the doctor suggested i had torn my medial ligaments and to come back in 1 week when swelling had subsided.

One week later I returned and received a knee/lag brace and was told to wear for 4 weeks. I was also put up for an immediate MRI which i had 3 weeks ago. Results showed bone bruising, that medial ligaments were healing well, torn cartilage to outside of knee, complete and partial tears to meniscus discs and complete rupture of the acl.

I had my consultation with the surgeon today and he was not happy with the knee movement at all. I can get 90 degrees flexion if the physio works on it for a while, but walking and general activities it tightens in the knee joint the more i do. I have now been told i will require urgent surgery in January (December if there is a cancellation). I have complete muscle wastage in the top half of my leg due to knee mobility, its almost as if something is jamming it and that's why he wants surgery done asap.

I will keep updates when i can.

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Sep 23, 2015
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4 years later NEW
by: Damien

It is now 4 years since i posted this. In my 1st operation they discovered that the ruptured acl had lodged in my knee joint therefore preventing me from bending my knee for almost 8 weeks. Subsequently, due to that inactivity and reduced movement, I had developed web like internal scarring and bone softening (oesteoarthritis). The surgeon felt it was too much to carry out the acl surgery in the 1st operation, so he removed all the damaged scar tissue, the ruptured acl lodged in joint and repaired the meniscus tears. I then had to do 4 months physio to get the movement back in my leg and try and strengthen the weak muscles. That was in January, in May i went for the full acl hamstring graft surgery and due to the bone softening I required 4 screws in the knee area to ensure the graft held. I then spent another 6 months with physio again trying to gain flexion and extension and building muscles. I had been a 5 day a week footballer and a match on a saturday, but the surgeon infomed me id be wiser to quit football all together as he feared by the time im 50 id be aided by a walking stick if i intended to return to football. So the big question is, where am i 4 years later? I still have a severely week quad, loose hamstrings as I was not interested in any other sport as much as I loved football. I have done little if no exercise in 4 years, because if i did get myself back to the point where i could play sports I fear the same result happeneing, and it is not something I would ever want to go through again, they were seriously tough times both mentally and physically. At the moment I am on the fence as to whether or not to join recovery road to some sort of sports, but ill have to see what the old knee says, im 36 now and I have to try and think what ill be like when im 46/56/66 if I do.

Sep 23, 2015
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Education NEW
by: Anonymous

It was a sad story and that of a continued existence of an in figure heart. you can get 90 degrees flexion if the physic chips away at it for some time, however strolling and general exercises it fixes in the knee joint the more you do www.customassignment.com.

May 08, 2015
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Damiens ACL Experience NEW
by: Boozer

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Mar 11, 2015
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much better NEW
by: Zyhper

A lot of people who have suffered with this disease were not been able to fight well against it. So it is a big achievement and a brave deed for people to excel in sport even when they were down with such a problem. Kooba bag

Jan 22, 2012
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Surgery No 1 NEW
by: Damien

I had my surgery last Tuesday . Remember i had went to operation with limited knee flexion. Upon wakenin up in the recovery room the surgeon told me that there was a problem and he coould not fully perform the op and would let me know all the details when i was fully awake. In the ward they explained why i couldnt bend my knee. Upon entering the knee the acl was only a stump, the rupture had caused it all to tear away all around the knee in joints etc. Also my knee had taken a strange reaction to the trauma and my entire knee had arthofibrosis he said, like a web or large clump in it, he said it wa the worst he had ever seen. He spent an hour clearing and cutting all this away and he said my knee was cracking like mad when they were manipulating it. Basically he feared proceeding with the acl reconstruction as it was too much of a risk and permanent damage could be caused. Spent 4 days in hospital and I am now 5 days into rehab and it is quite difficult with no acl and constant knee swelling and instability after 15min exercise. The most importatnt thing he wants is knee extension and i have an examination in 6 weeks and if he is happy that i have full extension he will perform the acl reconstruction 3-4 weeks later (he said knee extension will come eventually, i have 50-60 tops at the minute, but the extension is working quite well and im combating the scar tissue at the back of the knee. Not looking forward to doing this all agin in 10 weeks or so, but hey ive no choice, im best man at my mates wedding in April and getting married in Sept so atleast i have incentive and good times ahead to keep me focused. PS; upon testing one knee against the other as they do they discovered that i had grade 1 damaged to my acl in the other knee.

Dec 21, 2011
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OP on the way NEW
by: Anonymous

I have my operation on January 17th 2012, i am now 12 months post injury, still cant get full flexion and still get swelling and clicking and limp heavily after walking any sort of long distance. Cant wait for the op to sort my knee out once for all. Have thought long and hard about wether to resume football after recovery and have decided not to return to soccer for the fear of doing the same again. Im not sure its worth it, would anyone agree, im 33 in 2 months and I dont think I would like to give up another 12-15 months of activities through re injury. Atleast when im healed i can jog, swim, play golf etc, at the minute walking is the best i can do.

Nov 22, 2011
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Surgery sooner rather than later
by: Bart - Sports Injury Info

It sounds like you may have some mechanical restrictions in the knee from the torn meniscus or cartilage. Usually after an ACL tear, after the swelling goes down and the pain starts to subside, range of motion will come back. But, if you have a complex tear of the meniscus, where a portion of it is flapping into the joint, that can restrict motion and cause pain and swelling. I’d agree with your doctor – surgery sooner rather than later to restore your motion and prevent further damage to the meniscus.

Good luck and keep us posted on how it goes

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