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ACL Reconstruction and Marathons.


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  • ACL Reconstruction and Marathons.

    Early this year I tore my ACL chasing some aliens and OWC/DOL finally approved a knee scope after 7 months. Long story short, this morning the MD fixed the tear with a hamstring ligament and cleaned up the chewed up cartilage. I'm looking at 7 months PT +/- and I was wondering what some of you real runners think about the earliest date I could run a marathon with a conservative training plan. I'm not looking to rush this and re-injure myself. I'll basically be starting from scratch, again. Opinions?

    On a related note, The MRI I had after the injury looked like everything was fine. The reality was my knee was really jacked up so don't put all your trust in them. I always thought they were the tops but 10% of the time, per my surgeon, they are wrong. Unfortunately for me, the office of workers comp never got the memo on this.
    Last edited by SHU; 10-20-2010, 04:06 PM. Reason: l

  • #2
    I'm by no means a marathon runner, however, I had ACL reconstruction on June 24. Mine was done with an allograft (Achilles from a cadaver). I also had a medial meniscus repair done at the same time. I was 50% weight bearing and no flex beyond 90 degrees for four weeks. I hit PT hard to get my strength and flexibility back. It took some time but I was doing light jogging around 2.5 months. I'm sure you know, what you put into PT is what you'll get out of it.

    I received a knee brace around two months and have been using it pretty consistently. The knee brace won't protect against everything. It will provide no protection with twisting, turning, torquing type movements but can provide some stability in cutting, etc. I've been slowly getting back into some ground fighting (Krav Maga) and other things like that within the last two weeks. It has held up great. I'm back on the streets Monday.

    I wanted some support and did some Googling. The best thread I found for ACL reconstruction with people of all types of backgrounds is over at the CrossFit Forums Link to Injuries subsection. I'd head on over there to get an idea about how long until you can run a marathon. Good luck. Push hard. If you have any specific questions or need any moral support, you're more than welcome to PM me.


    • #3
      Thanks for the info and the kind words. I would have went with the cadaver but I did not want to run the very slight risk of getting some disease. My MD did not want to do it either. The hamstring ligament is going to increase my recovery time but I just did not want to take the million to one risk. Doc told me it went perfect and I'll be starting PT soon. Thanks again chaps. I'm going to check out that link.


      • #4
        Ah, that was one thing I wanted to address in my reply but missed it.

        I had a concern about picking something up, however, after speaking with many different people my mind was eased. Apparently the process for cleaning/killing disease, etc on cadaver parts is much better than it was in the past. My doctor actually recommended performing it with a cadaver as it allows recovery to be much faster (less trauma to your body). The only trauma I had was to my knee and that was all that needed to be PT'd. I ended up meeting the guy who has been selling my doctor his "parts" for the past 25 years. Apparently they deal in cadaver parts like drug dealers selling dime bags.

        The thing that I found out is that your graft is at it's absolute weakest at 6 weeks. I believe that is true for all grafts but I know it was specific to an allograft.

        I started PT the day after surgery. I was fortunate to have very little muscle atrophy. It's going to be tough, there are going to be days where you're wondering if it will ever be better. Those days are coming.


        • #5
          Never tore my ACL, but I fully ruptured my achilles tendon several years ago. I haven't had any probs with the tendon itself, but I had a recent minor calf tear that I'm getting PT for now, and the doctor said I didn't fully rehab the calf muscles after the achilles repair.
          So from that experience I offer 2 pieces of advice:
          1) keep doing the PT exercises and keep strengthening other muscles that might have been effected, long after you "heal"
          2) possibly try to find a doctor/physical therapy group that really SPECIALIZES in sports training. These days it seems like every orthopod calls himself a "Sports Medicine Doctor" and so do the PTs. But a lot of those places are mostly working on old people with hip replacements and mostly concerned with just getting you walking again and doing daily living activities like climbing stairs and getting up from a chair. The doctor I'm seeing now is an avid runner and he actually will not take patients who are not "physically active" at least 3 days a week. When I go to PT, EVERYONE I see there is trying to get back to running, soccer, football, tennis, etc. See if there are any running forums in your area, and ask them who they recommend for a sports doctor. For my injury, I browsed some forums and found ONE doctor's name coming up over and over and over, so that's where I went. Tell your doctor and physical therapist your goal is to run a marathon and ask them how they can help you get there and how long it will take.

          I haven't been allowed to run since Labor day, and today my doc told me to run/walk (1 minute run, 1 minute walk) for 30 minutes, 3 times this week. I can't wait to hit the pavement.

          Good luck to you with your healing!
          Last edited by adeutch; 10-20-2010, 08:13 PM.
          "No one can make you feel like a turd without your permission." - Eleanor Roosevelt.


          • #6

            I hope to be running the new york marathon in 11/2012. I think 11/2011 will be pushing it to hard. Hopefully by 2012 I will have won a spot in the marathon lottery drawing because I sure won't be qualifying ! The whole thing is going to be a battle. I've turned to mush since my injury earlier this year. I've been in bad pain and it has really did a number on me physically and psychologically. But I feel like I turned the corner today with my surgery.The doc was really happy with the results. I'm going to do whatever it takes to get back to where I was, and beyond, no matter what. Screw the pain.
            Last edited by SHU; 10-20-2010, 08:50 PM. Reason: m


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