The "happy?" triad the ortho called it

by Kyle
(Utah)

I don't know whats so happy about possibly tearing 3 things but anyway. About a week ago playing basketball I planted my right foot and me knee came out laterally. My orthopedist said after the exam that it may be mcl,acl, and meniscus injury.


I personally don't think its the acl, as I didn't really twist my knee, more of a straight side to side thing, and I didn't hear any popping or any of that. What my question is... if i hurt only my mcl (most likely according to my research) or my meniscus, is it possible to avoid surgery with physical therapy.

I read that they want to reconstruct with surgery only if the knee is unstable and i can walk ok, and there is stability, but i can't completely bend the knee or straighten yet, I'm assuming that when the swelling goes down that will change. Sorry kind of a lot of stuff in there, but any information is helpful, thank you very much in advance!

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Aug 23, 2008
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MRI?
by: Bart - SII

Did you have an MRI? That will tell you exactly what is wrong and your treatment options.

Assuming that the ACL is intact, you could get by without surgery for an MCL tear and meniscus tear. Therapy would be beneficial for the quickest recovery.

MCL tears are not treated surgically in most cases - meniscus tears can respond to treatment, but often they do require surgery - usually it comes down to going through the therapy and seeing how you do once you return to activity.

Once your swelling subsides, you will have a much better idea of the condition your knee is in - how much motion you have, strength, etc. Unfortunately, once your swelling subsides, you may find that you have more instability if your ACL is torn - swelling can help keep the knee stable.

I am assuming you are set up to recheck with your physician for further evaluation and treatment options?

Aug 23, 2008
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Acl
by: Kyle

Yeah, getting the MRI within the week, I don't think its the acl just because everyone I've heard from and read about. It seems theres much more pain involved with the acl, and set aside the initial minute of the injury it didn't really hurt. I did have a spasm the night of though, where my knee locked in a completely bent setting, is that an indication of anything, or just something natural with injury? Thank you very much though, the thought that surgery might not be a gaurentee has gotten me hopeful.

Aug 24, 2008
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I hope you are right...
by: Bart - SII

I do hope that it is not your ACL - but, unfortunately, pain is not always a good indicator of an ACL tear - I have seen athletes with acute ACL tears who had a sharp pain and pop when it happened, and then were relatively pain free within an hour or so - neither of us thought it was the ACL until after the MRI. Not trying to rain on your day, just want you to be prepared for it should it be torn.

Spasm and locking are usually an indication of joint pathology - the muscles tighten up to protect the joint.

Surgery may not be necessary - it really depends on your MRI results as well as how you respond to conservative treatment.

Keep us updated on your MRI results and how you progress.

Sep 02, 2008
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No money ; 0
by: Kyle

Well apparently my parents' insurance deductable is 4000, wow. So an mri would cost them 4k. I don't know about getting that. My knee has improved, I can bend and extend it almost as much as my normal knee, and there is very little pain when I push it past the limits of bending. Can you suggest some basic excersizes and how often to do them or anything like that. I'm thinking I should be ok, it just keeps improving.

Sep 23, 2008
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by: Kyle

Turns out I completely tore my acl, and a major meniscus tear, life is great

Sep 24, 2008
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Sorry to hear...
by: Bart - SII

Sorry to hear about your knee.

Oct 04, 2008
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Right Knee
by: Jay

Sorry to hear that Kyle. I might be on the same boat. I hurt my knee playing basketball as well on Sept 16. I planted my foot to jump and something kinda popped inside the knee. I'm waiting for the insurance to approve the MRI right now. The pain is now minimal, but I cannot bend or straithen the knee completely. Im praying it is not an ACL injury, but I'm bracing for the worst news...

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