David's right knee adventure

by David Young
(Chicago, IL)

All my life I have been a very athletic person. I played basketball and golf all throughout high school and wanted to play a little in college as well. It was not until college that I started having problems on my right knee, so I am glad that I had 19 great years without a significant injury like an ACL tear.


It started the summer of 2004, I was going into my junior year of college at the Univ. of Arizona and one weekend, I was playing in a charity summer tournament and in the semifinal game, I drove to the hoop, jump stopped, and tried to pump fake and go up when my right knee buckled on me and I heard a huge "pop." It was excruciating and it didn't settle in on me until the next day I might have just torn my ACL.

My fears were confirmed a week later when my doctor got my MRI results. I had surgery in September of '04 and wen through rehab throughout my first semester junior year. I thought it went wonderful and I was back playing by Christmas break!

It's not until now I realized I might have tried to get back too early. When I was playing over Christmas, my knee gave out on me, but didn't pop like it did the first time, so I thought I was OK, just kinda got me scared. I took it easy until I played intramural ball spring of junior year and I played horribly the whole time. I was too afraid to do anything, jump, drive, etc.

My senior year I started playing a little more and started gaining more confidence again in my knee. There were a few times though, my knee would give out on me when I pivoted quickly or landed on it after a lay up or something. Still though, no "pop" just pain and some swelling for a couple days.

I confronted my surgeon about it, but he assured me that if I re-tore my graft, I would certainly know it. This went on until I graduated and I got my first job in Phoenix.

I played in a men's basketball league put on by the community in which I lived in and on the most part, I played fairly well. One day though, in the spring time, I went up for a lay up and got knocked down by a defender and landed on my right knee where it gave out on me again and it hurt pretty badly. I didn't think much of it again, just iced it and rehabbed it for a week or so.

The next week though, I was out of town for business and my knee felt funny. It would lock up on me and hurt a little more.

I moved to Chicago with my job that summer and after a few months of running on the treadmill and my knee hurting badly and locking and popping on me, I saw an orthopedic surgeon. He examined me and told me that my symptoms sound like I tore my lateral meniscus.

I got an MRI in September of this year and it confirmed that not only did I have a torn meniscus, I did in fact, re tear my ACL and had some signs that made him want to consider microfracture surgery. .

I decided that I wanted to wait on getting my ACL reconstructed because I don't play basketball a whole lot anymore, mostly because of my knee, but also I was at the point in my life where I didn't think I would have it in me to go through so much rehab again.

I just had my surgery last week (October 9, 2008) to remove my meniscus tear and some loose "debris" floating around and am thinking about when I might want to go through the heavy duty stuff. I know at some point I will, maybe next year, maybe two. I just know that after reading so many stories, that I am not the only one to go through multiple surgeries so I shouldn't be feeling sorry for myself.

ACL tears are no fun and I know that going through another reconstruction (plus microfracture)does not guarantee that I will be able to put all this behind me. I just have to pray that when I do go through it, I have the dedication and determination to try.

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Oct 20, 2010
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i know your pain
by: kevin northern az

i had an acl tear and meniscus in 1995,i was in the millitary,they called it a sprain,i knew something was different,long story short,i crashed on my dirt bike in 2006,had an mcl sprain on the other knee,while being examined,my right knee was showing no end point,it alarmed the doctor,i told her i injured that in 95,she said lets get an MRI,resaults positive,complete tear,growth from years of no repair,and a meniscus tear,i had the surgery a month later,now i have a loose body in that repaired knee,so i was planning on having it scoped when playing softball,i planted and blew out the other knee,torn acl,meniscus tear,and cartilidge damage from walking on it,i had the surgery,acl with hamstring,just like my other knee,and microfracture surgery and meniscus repair,im 35 years old,im active,and 11 weeks since surgery and showing small signs of improvement,almost full range of motion,and extension,i have lots of stiffness from the microfracture,very painfull,but worth fixing for sure,so knowing the rehab of both my knees,
i suggest david you have the acl re-fixed,so you dont have microfracture surgery...kevin

Oct 14, 2008
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an adventure indeed!
by: Bart - SII

David, thanks for sharing your story. Re-injury is no fun, especially when it takes several years to finally get to the bottom of what is causing your problem.

You may find that the second ACL reconstruction isn't as bad because your goals are different - and, I think that given your activity levels, you would be a good candidate for a patellar tendon allograft - which has a much quicker initial recovery with less pain and swelling. Just my thoughts.

Good luck with everything and thanks again for sharing.

Bart

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