three acl surgeries, return to play football?

is it possible for my son to play football again after three ACL surgeries in the last 20 months.

The first tear came during a block. The second tear came when he returned back to contact too soon. The third tear came because the graft failed and had died in his knee.

He is a junior now and wants to come back for his senior year. He has worked extremely hard during his rehab each time and has the will power and the support of his team and coaches.

I am just wondering if it is the right thing to do
This surgery was done with a patella tendon (cadaver)

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May 11, 2011
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12 yr. old daughter, 2 ACL tears
by: annonymous

My now 12 year old daughter just tore her left ACL, less then two years after tearing her right. She did they surgery and all the rehab for a full year, and was finally ready to go back to soccer. 8 months into her new team, new year--- she went down and heard the 'pop' in the other knee. Why does this happen to the same kid twice?
She actually wants to go back to soccer... what to do?

Jan 25, 2011
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DONJOY KNEE BRACE
by: Anonymous

I also have the donjoy knee brace not yet had the confident to tryplay football yet . P.s I have had to acl surgery. Should I try the brace ?

Oct 19, 2010
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to dog's Sports Fan
by: Luv the game mom

I am sorry for your son's injury, we know he worked really hard to achieve what he did.
You have the right attitude. Life does go on after football, our kids just have to learn to be spectators. It must be hard to end it that way.
Keep up the great outlook, it helps us all.

Oct 18, 2010
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I hear you football mom
by: Dogs Sports fan

I hear you mom; My 20 yr old son Is undergoing knee surgery on Oct.29th He is a junior at a D3 school. Back in high school he tore the MCL in his Lt knee during the football season and had his Rt knee scoped in spring baseball.
He went to college to play D line at the d3 level and was a 2 yr starter as a Freshman and Soph. This year at camp he was moved to Lt.Off. Tackle and he tore the meniscus in his Lt knee. rehabbed it and returned to the practice field in early Oct. Two weeks back and he took a hit again, he is now having sugery not only to repair the meniscus, but a chipped knee cap, chipped femur,and torn patellar ligament.
He will never play again. His spirits are good and he has realized there is life after football, and other ways to be around the game. Injury is never the way you want to leave the game but it happens all the time. Life will go on.

Oct 12, 2010
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2nd acl tear in one year
by: Anonymous

My almost 16 year old daughter has just torn her acl graft after a hamstring repair last September. Just one year later and we are so dissapointed and she is devastated to be out of soccer again. What are the chances she can play again? Are some kids just more prone to acl tears?

Sep 30, 2010
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Return to Football?
by: Luv the game mom

Dear Anonymous,
First off we are so sorry, we know you have gone through a very devestating and frustrating event.
The brutal rehab and the antisipation of return to play is unbelievable. You sound like you have as much passion for the game as our son. Please know we are very proud of your accomplishments and your continued passion for the game.

Having said that....

Let me give an update on our son.
We choose as a family to let our son play football
his senior year, his 3rd surgery was in september his junior year again he did all the rehab and the team training. He did pretty good and after his first touchdown (running back) his team lifted him on their shoulders and carried him off the field. It was amazing and we felt we made the right decision to let him return. All was good the whole year, No pain or problems. He was recruited to play football at a Div III college. We felt all his dreams had come true....College football. Ironically he has choosen to study Physical Therapy and this school has a great program. We took him to school to start the football program in mid August of this year and we hung around for a few days to see how he would do. He did great, no pain or problems (we are now at 2 years since surgery) 1 week into practice he took a lateral hit and felt a pop (that familiar Pop) YES HE HAS TORN IT A FOURTH TIME! He still hangs with the team, however he is shadowing the team trainer to see if this is an avenue he might take to keep him involved in football.

The fourth ACL surgery is different. In laymens terms....it is a two step process. They shave bone off your hip and put it in your acl drilled holes to fill in. In a second surgery they do the new acl surgery.

Now to some advice....
What division football are you playing? Are you a NFL prospect? Will playing football provide you with a future?
Please remember we know it is not just football and these decisions are very hard but....
You need to take a step back and look further down the road as Doctor Bart recommended to us (we did not look hard enough down the road)
We would highly recommend you not play again, try to get involved in the game in a different manner (coaching, training, therapy, etc.)
You will want to be able to do other activities that do not involve lateral hits, your knee can not take these and as a WR you will surely get lateral hits.
You are already at risk for problems with your knee as you age.
I wish we could give you better advice with the answer you want to hear but our eyes have been opened wide. As much as we love football it is time to hang it up.
We would love to hear how you do in the future
Please keep us informed.
Take care and enjoy life, make it count!

Sep 29, 2010
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I feel your pain
by: Anonymous

I feel your pain, I too am coming off my 3rd ACL surgery since OCT 2008. I tore mine as a freshman WR in college, then a year later they determined the graft was misalliened when they fixed the staph infection so I had my second acl surgery. Then I rushed my rehab (cadaver) and had a 3rd in Febuary of this year(ironically on the same day as my favorite receiver Wes Welker). I think I am going to return though, I purchased a Donjoy Custon Knee Brace and am just wondering if either of you know how reliable those are? Any advice would be appreciated.

Oct 06, 2008
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return to football
by: Bart - SII

This is a very hard decision, and one that cannot be made lightly. It is also one that only you and your family will be able to make.

I sometimes question returning to contact sports after a second ACL reconstruction, simply because of the amount of trauma and stress the knee has already been through. I think that the rehab is the most important part after surgery, and the deciding factor on whether or not someone should return. After two surgeries, a third one becomes even trickier simply because of what the knee has gone through with 3 surgeries.

If it was my knee, I would give up the contact sports, even though it would be something very hard to do. I just don't think that the risk of another ACL tear is worth it considering the long term health of the knee. Seeing the long term picture is hard when you are in highschool though.

I would talk with your physician and see what their recommendations are, and then you and your family will have to come up with a decision everyone can live with.

Best,

Bart

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