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Knee Injury Recovery


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  • Knee Injury Recovery

    Hello all. I recently suffered a knee injury while at the gym. I was playing basketball, came down on it, sounded like it shattered and now I'm laid up. This happened 05/04/10.

    I got the X-ray and MRI thing done and haven't had a chance to meet with my doctor yet here is the diagnosis I received over the phone from a nurse.

    Basically the area around my LCL and it's connection to the tibia is fractured. I was told there is minor ligament damage and a fracture on the tibia. I've been put in a straight leg brace to be worn all day and can be taken off to sleep and shower. I am also on crutches and to be toe touch weight bearing on the injured leg.

    Is anyone familiar with an injury like this? If so, how long should I expect to be off of work? Overall I'm in good (not superb but not bad) health. When I get back to full duty are there any specific exercises I should focus on to strengthen this area? Any other tips/suggestions/etc I would greatly appreciate it. I'm hoping to get back on the streets ASAP.

    Thanks for any help anyone can provide.

  • #2
    Chap I have no advice but I wanted to wish you good health on your way to recovery. That stinks what happened.

    There are no stupid questions, but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots.


    • #3
      Had almost the same thing happen to a buddy of mine at airborne school. The brace sucks but make sure to wear it. Once off, he did a bunch of strengthening exercises with the colored bands (the physical therapy rubber bands) and slowly build himself back up. It was a solid 6 months before he could run on it and hump his own gear again without pain. Hopefully yours will be much quicker or isn't as severe. Best of luck, hope you feel better.
      I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's.
      - Mark Twain


      • #4
        ArmyDiver thanks for the tips! jcioccke thanks for the well wishes!

        Thanks for the replies guys. Tuesday I got the verdict from the doctor. Apparently the guy who fitted me for my brace is not a doctor (this I knew) and didn't quite relay everything correctly. There is a small fracture and some LCL damage but nothing requiring surgery. The damage was done to the posterior part of my LCL and to the fibula. I am in the knee brace, without crutches, until the last weekend of the month, so two more weeks. June 1 I start physical therapy. My doctor described it as a "bitch" of an injury requiring time to heal. He said that probably by the second week of June I should be back on the road.

        Initially he had wanted it for four additional weeks but then did some tweak tests to it and said that two weeks would make him happy. He said that if things weren't going right at physical therapy he would put me back in the brace.

        I asked about a post recovery brace for stability and he said I can wear one but he said he knows I'll eventually decide I won't need it.


        • #5
          Glad to hear it isn't as severe as you first thought. Enjoy your few days off and beat up physical therapy. Best of luck!
          I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's.
          - Mark Twain


          • #6
            good to hear bud


            • #7
              Originally posted by chaps0063 View Post
              I asked about a post recovery brace for stability and he said I can wear one but he said he knows I'll eventually decide I won't need it.
              This might sound stupid but you don't want to wear one to often and get used to wearing it. I tore all my ligaments a few years back and sometimes I use a brace here and there. Used to wear a brace and found myself getting "dependent" on it.

              Either way good luck and have a speedy recovery.
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              • #8
                Well all, I have some good news and bad news. I was cleared on Tuesday, June 8 to come back to work from this injury. I returned to duty on Wednesday, June 9 to work some plain clothes OT. Responded to a call of where a door was found to be kicked in. Long story short, turned out to be nothing, however when making entry over the door I took a small jump off of it (1.5ft high at most) and landed on both legs. My right knee gave out and sounded like it shattered.

                I went straight to the Doc and got setup for an MRI on Monday, June 14. Today I met with my Doc and found out I did some pretty wicked damage. I tore my ACL, medial meniscus, and lateral meniscus. I also had some bone bruising. Surgery is setup for Thursday, June 24.

                Does anyone have any pre/post op tips? Any preparation that can be done prior to surgery to maybe help speed the recovery time up? Any advice at all will be greatly appreciated.

                Take care.


                • #9
                  I don't know about your injury, from what I understand from a bud who has had what I had done and fairly similar to your situation,...........I'll tell you what he told me. Slow your roll and the best way to heal properly is to go slowly. You want a pre op tip? If they offer you a nerve block...take it. Post op? Don't try to rush your recovery. If they tell you to stay off the leg, the stay the heck off it. If they tell you it's okay to walk with a cane, don't go running.

                  I ripped the tendon that attaches the quad to the knee, ripped it straight off, I shredded the quadriceps muscles on each side of the knee. My knee cap was drilled into so they could reattach the tendon to the knee, my quad was sewn back to the bone. It's been 8 weeks to the day when I had surgery and I have just started my outpatient physical therapy program and I feel like I've made no progress, yet I have made TREMENDOUS progress from where I was 8 weeks ago. My injury is more severe than yours in terms that I didn't tear anything but ripped and shredded muscles and tendon, but when you are operated on, the injury is not a 'baby' type thing, so your injury is serious enough.

                  The best thing you can do pre op to help recovery is stay the hell off your leg and don't try to do things you were capable of doing before. Best advice after surgery, follow the instructions given you, and if you are sent to rehab, which I imagine you will be, do what you're told.

                  I would actually recommend taking Cissus (see the tendonitis thread to see more about it) just because I don't think it would hurt and it most certainly could help in this situation. I wish you all the best and once more, the fastest way to a quick recovery is to take the healing process slow and do things the right way to ensure proper healing.
                  Moooooooooooo, I'm a goat


                  • #10
                    PM me if you need any tips/advice/etc...I had the same type of injury and had surgery back in August of 06'.


                    • #11
                      JSD73 gave good advice. Not much in the way of preop: take the block and FOLLOW the anesthesia instructions. If they say no food after midnight, don't eat breakfast and then lie about it. I know it sucks if they don't get to your case until afternoon, but the instructions are there for your safety.

                      Post op is easy as well: Follow the instructions and rehab designed for you. Sometimes people think if X amount of physical therapy is good, more must be better. They are wrong. Remember, you can't do ANYTHING to make it heal faster, but you sure can make it WORSE.

                      Another thing to keep in mind would be that pain medication does not mean pain free. Pain medication makes the pain tolerable and you more comfortable. If you expect it to completely remove all your pain, you'll just be disappointed. On the flip side, if you're pain is poorly controlled... SPEAK UP! If you don't say anything your team won't know. The regimen can be altered for better control.


                      • #12
                        Hey all, I wanted to provide you guys with an update on my recovery.

                        I'm officially four weeks post op and can begin my physical therapy as an ACL reconstruction patient.

                        My surgery went well. My ACL was reconstructed with an Achilles tendon from a cadaver. My doctor was more fond of this option over the hamstring and patellar tendon options. I did my research and it seemed to be the best option to reduce the number of body parts to heal. My medial meniscus was repaired (added two stitches to it) and the lateral meniscus was left to heal on it's own. I started physical therapy the day after surgery and my initial evaluation I was able to get to 77 degrees flex. I achieved 90 degrees a few days later. My doctor's protocol was to be 50% weight bearing and no flex past 90 degrees for four weeks. I had some difficulty sticking with the 50% weight bearing portion since moving around my apartment was next to impossible on crutches.

                        Either way, recovery is going well. I've been taking the Joint Vitapak from GNC religiously. I've also been taking Super Cissus based on the things I'e been hearing.

                        My doctor said that depending on my performance in PT I could be back on the beat around 3.5 to 4 months. I'm hoping to get into the pool soon.

                        I attached pictures progressing through. They should be in the right order but if they're not.

                        1. Day of injury (06/09)
                        2. Day after injury (notice swelling, 06/10)
                        3. Six days after surgery (06/30)
                        4. Four weeks after surgery (07/22)

                        Any tips are appreciated. Take care all. Stay safe.
                        Attached Files


                        • #13
                          Hello all, I just wanted to provide an update on recovery. I am now 9 weeks post-op.

                          At week 7 I met with my doctor who approved me to start some light jogging and swimming. I was also fitted for my ACL brace that I will use when I return to work. Last week I began resisted running. Basically my PT will hang onto a resistance band and I'll do running forwards, backwards, and side to side.

                          Everything is going great. My PT is happy with my lateral strength during the running. I believe next week I'm going to start some interval jogging/walking on a track to get back into some better cardio shape.

                          Take care, stay safe out there.


                          • #14
                            Good news. I return to work at the beginning of November. Take care all. Thanks for the support!


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