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Old 03-02-2007, 05:04 PM   #1
JiriHrdina
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OK so it looks like I'm having ACL surgery at the end of the month. I'm sure there's gotta be some folks on here that have gone through. So what am I looking at in terms of pain after the surgery, and recovery time?

Basically looking for a first hand account on what to expect.
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Old 03-02-2007, 05:08 PM   #2
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I'm just curious how you injured it? I've had a handful of knee sprains from playing hockey, to tripping over my damn cat..
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Old 03-02-2007, 05:11 PM   #3
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I'm just curious how you injured it? I've had a handful of knee sprains from playing hockey, to tripping over my damn cat..
Dislocated my knee 4 years ago playing ball hockey. Went through physio therapy and got a patella stabilizing brace, but still had times where it popped out a bit. But about 4 months ago a guy took me out low playing ball hockey and really popped it out, even with my brace in. Haven't been able to walk properly still and the knee didn't respond to physio.

Had to pay for my own MRI or wait for another 3 months to have that done. The MRI revealed a torn meniscus (sp?) and torn ACL.

The surgeon thinks I partially tore it 4 years ago but since they wouldn't do an MRI back then either (ARGH!) it was never diagnosed. So when I reinjured it this last time it completely tore.

Very frustrating but just glad now things are starting to happen.
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Old 03-02-2007, 05:17 PM   #4
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This thread is useless without pictures (of the surgery)
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Old 03-02-2007, 05:19 PM   #5
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I didn't tear mine, Jiri, but I had to have mine reconstructed anyway. They basically folded it in half and stapled it together as it had stretched so far it just wouldn't hold the knee together any more.

The pain is there, but it's bearable for the first while. Your physio isn't very fun at the start, especially when they try to get your knee to regain it's range of motion. I went to physio 3 times a week for a month. Then continued to stretch and slowly regain the muscle on my own.

The doctors said I would be out of sports for at least 6 months. My surgery was in June, I was back on the ice in September. Work hard, and it will heal pretty well (take into account the fact that I was 23 when I had this done, I healed very well). I have since been taken out at the knees a number of times and it's still holding together. 14 years and counting.....
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Old 03-02-2007, 05:45 PM   #6
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Knee surgery has come a long way in the last couple years. Gone are the days where they just cut out the injured area and stich what's left together hoping it will hold. I have a friend who had ACL reconstruction last summer, and the healing time was fairly fast (although I think it was only a partial tear). They will take a part of your hamstring muscle (I think), to go across the gap. over time this will develop into a ligament. My friend was off his feet for about a week (and really drugged up to begin with talk about funny) and on cruches for a couple more. He was back to most normal activity with a brace (and more careful about range of motion) within a month or two. Was in physio for a while after, and has already been cleared as back to as close to 100% as it will ever be. I think that took 6 months. I'm surprised you had to get an MRI. He never did get one (the MRI was scheduled for august, he was able to get the surgery done before that, so there was no point). The torn meniscus will be the part that as I understand takes longer to heal. I believe it is a worse injury, and I'm not sure cartilage heals as well as ligaments.

Make sure you feel comfortable with your surgeon, as some are much better than others. If it isn't done right, it may not heal properly at all.
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Old 03-02-2007, 06:15 PM   #7
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I had severed my ACL completely and required reconstructive surgery.

It really wasn't that bad.

I mean, it was painful at times, but I don't recall it being that unbearable.

In fact, I was up and hobbling around within a few days (probably not a great idea though, I just couldn't stand lying down the whole time).

One thing I would really recommend if you don't plan on getting one already is a little device called a CryoCuff (http://www.buyaircast.com/cryo-cuff-knee.htm) which you store cold water in, and when you physically raise it, it will send the cold water down through a tube to a container around your knee which really takes the pain away. I found it great for the first few days which were the worst. Greatly suggest you get one.

After a few days, like I said I was fine to get up and hobble around, and I stopped taking my painkillers after about 5 days.

I'm not sure if my situation was the norm, but I've been in much worse pain.
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Old 03-02-2007, 06:36 PM   #8
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My friend had a totally detached ACL repaired. Wasn't too bad, he said. There's lots of recovery time though, and you'll probably be able to forecast weather with your knee afterwards
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Old 04-02-2007, 10:41 AM   #9
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Sorry to bump an old thread guys but had my surgery on Tuesday.

AC - the cryocup is great. Can't imagine going through this without it. Thanks for the tip.

My main problem right now has been the nights. The pain gets really bad and I'm unable to get any sleep at all. How long until you guys found the pain started to subside?
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Old 04-02-2007, 10:59 AM   #10
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I just had my MRI scheduled......I tore my knee about a month ago, and I was just booked into a clinic August 16th! 6 month wait! Where did you get your MRI Jiri? How much was it? I know a girl who works at a private clinic, and I can get in within 2 frickin days, but it will cost about $700.
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Old 04-02-2007, 11:09 AM   #11
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I just had my MRI scheduled......I tore my knee about a month ago, and I was just booked into a clinic August 16th! 6 month wait! Where did you get your MRI Jiri? How much was it? I know a girl who works at a private clinic, and I can get in within 2 frickin days, but it will cost about $700.
When I broke my ankle, I had to wait 7 months for an MRI. I am under the impression private MRIs are between $600 and 800, and have between a day and a week wait period. Well worth the money frankly. 3-7 months could make the difference between physiotherapy or a light surgery and reconstruction, especially if its something like a recurring leg injury (hip, knee, ankle) where even walking does more damage. I was very lucky that when I finally got in, the fractured cartilage had properly healed on its own with physiotherapy.
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Old 04-02-2007, 11:11 AM   #12
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I just had my MRI scheduled......I tore my knee about a month ago, and I was just booked into a clinic August 16th! 6 month wait!
But it's free!
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Old 04-02-2007, 11:14 AM   #13
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I just had my MRI scheduled......I tore my knee about a month ago, and I was just booked into a clinic August 16th! 6 month wait! Where did you get your MRI Jiri? How much was it? I know a girl who works at a private clinic, and I can get in within 2 frickin days, but it will cost about $700.
I paid for my own...$785 at Canada Diagnostics.

Its a bit of a piss off but money well spent. If you can afford it at all, just get 'er done.
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Old 04-02-2007, 11:15 AM   #14
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This all has made me think... how long do you think before some of the higher end secondary healthcare insurance providers start adding private MRI clinics to their insured services? (at a price of course)
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Old 04-02-2007, 12:17 PM   #15
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Dislocated my knee a while back, tore the ACL and an artery burst. Was in the hospital for 10 days and it's still not back to 100%, never will be, that was 11 years ago. The pain was there for about a month after the surgery, still gets sore with the weather changes but i can do almost everything i could before.
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Old 04-02-2007, 12:33 PM   #16
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I tore up my knee a few years ago and had reconstructive surgery, and I still have stiffness, and it still swells up during changes in weather.

The worst part for me is getting up in the morning, I feel like I'm about 80. Nowhere near as bad as the rehab and pain I went through when I tore my shoulder up.
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Old 04-02-2007, 01:45 PM   #17
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The pain gets really bad and I'm unable to get any sleep at all. How long until you guys found the pain started to subside?
If I recall correctly, the pain subsides after about 10 to 12.....

beer....

each night...

for about a couple weeks.

Glad to hear you have finally got it over with though Grant. Hopefully you will be feeling better soon. Give it a couple weeks though, and if still painful, go back to your Doc.

Edit.. obviously a smiley is required in this post afterall... No, alcohol isn't good, especially when you are most likely taking anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen.

Most of the pain will subside as the swelling goes down. Heck the first day after my surgery, my knee was the size of a small basketball. Scared the crap out of a girl at physio who was getting her knee done the next day.

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Old 04-02-2007, 04:04 PM   #18
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This all has made me think... how long do you think before some of the higher end secondary healthcare insurance providers start adding private MRI clinics to their insured services? (at a price of course)
If it only costs $600-800, it's kinda like windshield insurance. There's no point to insure diagnostics when it only costs a few hundred dollars for once every blue moon that you need it.

Another big myth of the Socialist healthcare system in Canada is that people will go broke by paying for diagnostics and GP check-ups. One of the usual complaints by NDP-like people is that low-income single mothers can't afford to pay for check-ups for their children. My response is $50-75 per checkup = Three weeks of Number 7s, Peter Jacksons, or Canadian Classics. If you choose poorly its not everyone elses fault.

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Old 04-02-2007, 04:53 PM   #19
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Dislocated my knee 4 years ago playing ball hockey. Went through physio therapy and got a patella stabilizing brace, but still had times where it popped out a bit. But about 4 months ago a guy took me out low playing ball hockey and really popped it out, even with my brace in. Haven't been able to walk properly still and the knee didn't respond to physio.
You bruise the femur (on the ball part)? Or did you even get an MRI on the initial injury?

This is exactly what I go through. When I bend my knee with the knee cap popped out a bit, it pushes my patela down onto the ball part of the femur , it causes me a week or so of pain and makes stairs murderous.


P.S. According to the physio I went through, drinking retards the healing process. Anti inflamitorys and Ice are far better. Of course i only sprained the MCL/ACL and bruised the bone like mad
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Old 04-02-2007, 04:53 PM   #20
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If it only costs $600-800, it's kinda like windshield insurance. There's no point to insure diagnostics when it only costs a few hundred dollars for once every blue moon that you need it.

Another big myth of the Socialist healthcare system in Canada is that people will go broke by paying for diagnostics and GP check-ups. One of the usual complaints by NDP-like people is that low-income single mothers can't afford to pay for check-ups for their children. My response is $50-75 per checkup = Three weeks of Number 7s, Peter Jacksons, or Canadian Classics. If you choose poorly its not everyone elses fault.
While I obviously agree with you on choices and the inherent BS involved in pro socialist healthcare propaganda... health insurance is more like a warranty than glass insurance on cars. Warranties are based on the assumption that some cars will warrant no work at all, while some will require more work, and its all intended to keep people feeling confident, and to be return customers. So is healthcare insurance. Some people will never need to use most of the insured services, while some people will use them more often. MRIs, X-Rays, Ultrasound etc. are crucial in proper diagnosis and treatment. Without these, our doctors may as well be in the middle ages.

In other words, what's the point of healthcare coverage and yearly payments in the thousands of dollars, if one has to make a choice between paying out of pocket again, or waiting a ridiculous period of time. I don't think many people would object to paying a little more for some actual coverage on things they might actually require.

Right now what we have is a healthcare system that works like a lifetime warranty that we pay for every year in premiums and tax, except we have very few dealerships, and many major components and diagnostics aren't covered. Its positively dysfunctional.
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