Post by jellybellyjean on Jul 12, 2007 17:07:14 GMT -6
My son is going into his senior football year. He tore his ACL about a month ago. He had an MRI and we just got the results. No one thought it was that bad because he still had all movement, he could bend and he could run. He goes to the surgeon next week for a consult. We are wondering if he will be able to play football at all this season if he has surgery. He is a strong boy with lots of will power. Any thoughts on this would be great. Footbally camps are in August and season starts the end of August. He plays defensive tackle.
i am not a doctor of any kind, and maybe doctor fleisig or a fellow at the institute will be able to say a little more, but from personal experience i really dont think there is any way you can recover from ACL reconstruction in a month. i tore my ACL last march and was operated on in july, the long delay spent in rehab hoping i could avoid the OR because I also had full range of motion and was able to run. starting rehab 2 days after surgery i was pretty aggressive and am still young (21), so i had things on my side, but i did not feel comfortable returning to sports until this past spring.
one of the main determining factors in how long the rehab will last is which type of graft they use to rebuild the torn ligament. the surgeon preferred to do a hamstring autograft (a piece of my hamstring) for me, but the patellar tendon is also an option depending on the preference of the surgeon. either way you end up with a considerable deficit for a few months in whatever area they remove to reconstruct the ligament. the possibility of using an allograft (ACL from a cadaver) could reduce rehab some, i believe this is what the pros do such as carson palmer, but you would need to ask a physician for a definite answer
anyways, rehab is basically what makes the surgery successful, and without the proper rehab the reconstructed ligament is useless. if i remember correctly i think it was 2-3 months before i was able to run in any way, and that is just a light jog on the treadmill. cutting motions and those type movements were completely restricted. the problem is you have to allow a significant amount of time for the new graft to heal and become a part of the body, any stress on it beforehand just pops it right off. thats the main limiting factor. i was told to wait 1 year before resuming contact sports and i think that was pretty accurate, its still less than a year for me and i am 100% but i think returning to football is a completely different story. from my experience and the things i have read, i think you could get back in 6-8 months at the fastest if rehab was his #1 priority, but then again you have to consider the risk of retearing and damaging everything else in the knee due to an instable ACL-potentialy a lifelong problem if not handled the right way.
i really dont mean to discourage you, just trying to be realistic with the timetable of appropriate rehab. once the ligament is healed your son's knee should actually be stronger than it was before the injury, it just takes some time. good luck
Post by jellybellyjean on Jul 16, 2007 10:49:14 GMT -6
Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts. We have an appointment this week to discuss all the options. It sounds more and more as if he will be out this year but I do agree with what you said and others too about rehab and getting it strong again before he plays sports.
Post by jellybellyjean on Jul 23, 2007 9:35:42 GMT -6
Surgeon said it was pretty much up to my son what he wants to do but he does suggest surgery. He said my son has pretty strong hamstrings and muscles so he probably could play and see how that goes but it the long run it does break the knee down and he could eventually end up with more tears or athritis. I think my son is leaning towards getting fitted for a brace ($600 on up) and giving it a try and then having surgery after the season is over so we will see how that goes. Thanks again for the comments.
Post by mfranciscusatc on Jul 24, 2007 8:12:49 GMT -6
I am a high school athletic trainer and I have had similiar circumstances in college and high school. If he has surgery the earliest he would be cleared to play football would be 4 or 5 months. The norm is a 6 month rehab and return to play if everything goes well. I had a D end in college play his senior year with a torn ACL and he was fine. I have also had a senior softball player play a full season with a torn acl with no problems. Again, you are taking a risk of damaging the cartilage and doing further damage to the knee. My advice would be if he plans on playing college sports, have the surgery now and the knee will be healthy and strong for next season. If this is his last season of competitive football he might want to give it a shot with a brace as long as he knows the possible consequences. If he choses this option make sure he continues to rehab that knee through the season and keep his legs strong. Best of luck.
My 17 year old son tore his ACL and meniscus 9/15/06 playing football and had ACL reconsruction (patellar tendon)and meniscus repair surgery 10/2/06. He was faithful in his rehab and after 6 months, he was given the go ahead to play Spring basketball by the surgeon in April 2007 (although he is a little hazy on that point now). He was specifically told that there was no more risk of ACL injury than if he had never torn it. The first game his knee popped and "gave out" and started swelling. He was told for two months thereafter by the surgeon and the in-house PT that the ACL was "tight" and that the problem was probably just a lackof strength in his quads. In June 2006 after we went back to the surgeon again and we were assured that the ACL was fine, and my sons knee gave out again at a football camp. The surgeon said that the meniscus had retorn and that it would have to come out with surgery with only a 2-3 week recovery. The surgeon did an MRI to confirm the meniscus tear and mentioned that the ACL did not look good. He said that is not uncommon for it not to show up on the MRI and assured us that the ACL was tight and that there was only a remote possibilty that it was re-torn. The next week (6/26/07) my son had the surgery for the meniscus during which the surgeon determined that the ACL had to be replaced again and reconstructed it with a cadaver patellar tendon. Needless to say that my son was devastated when he woke up to find out that he would miss his senior season as well. His rehab and strength are ahead of schedule.
My question is, assuming that is has full flexibilty in his injured leg and regains a significant amount of his leg stregth, is it possible to play football this season with some type of brace that will protect his ACL and allow it to continue to heal????
Post by mfranciscusatc on Jul 25, 2007 9:05:18 GMT -6
The short answer is no. There are some things you can't rush and the healing time for an ACL reconstruction is one of them. You must allow adequate time for the graft to set and stabilize before you rush into strength and stretching exercises or you will negate the purpose of the surgery. It seems like something went wrong with the first surgery or rehab. It is important that there is a safe progression back to sport specific activities. If his quad was weak, and this should be tested, he shouldn't have been allowed to return to basketball. Swelling and the knee "giving out" are red flags that something is wrong. His injured leg should around 90% of the strength of the good leg before he is allowed to play sports with no limitations. You also may want to have a movement screening done to asses if he has a biomechanical fault that is making him more prone to knee injuries. Many times ACL tears are a result of bad jumping/landing, changing direction and or decelleration mechanics. I know it is difficult, but he has to have realistic goals with his recovery and rehabilitation. He should shoot to be ready to go for basketball season. Best of luck.
We are in a similiar quandry with my 17 y.o.who has a complete ACL tear.We met with the Surgeon to discuss/schedule surgery.We asked the question concerning playing football with the Don Joy (sp) knee brace,while he said that it is possible,the risks of further injury were very real.This will be my sons last year in football,and i want to give him the opportunity to play,since it means SO much to him,but the long term risk seems to far outweigh the benefit.Does anyone have firsthand knowledge of kids playing under similiar injuries,braces? Thanks.
IM A 17 YEAR OLD FOOTBALL PLAYER IM A MLB AND FB I TORE MY ACL LAST OCTOBER I KEEPT PLAYING ON IT TO TRY NOT TO MISS THE SEASON I SAW THE doctor AND HE TOLD ME I COULD PLAY WITH A BRACE AND GET SURGERY AFTER THE SEASON SO I PLAYED WITH THE BRACE FOR ABOUT 2 MORE MONTHS B4 I BLEW OUT MY KNEE IN THE SEMI FINALS WHEN I WENT TO THE DOCTOR I HAD TO WAIT ABOUT 2-3 MONTHS B4 GETING MY MRI WHEN I GOT THE RESULTS I HAD TORN 1.ACL 2.PERIPHERAL VERTICAL TEAR OF THE POSTERIOR HORN OF THE MEDIAL MENISCUS 3.DISCOID LATERAL MENISCUS WITH OBLIQUE TEAR OF THE POSTERIOR HORN AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST I HAD MINIMAL JOINT ENFFUSION I WAITED TILL THE SUMMER FOR SURGERY I GOT IT JULY 13 THEY USED A ACL from a cadaver SO IM LUCKY I GOT A NEW 1 LOL BUT IV BEEN GOING TO rehabilitation AND THE DOCTOR SAYS I CAN RUN IN ABOUT 4 MONTHS BUT ONLY LIGHT JOG WELL I SUGGEST FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE IF U HAVE A ACL TEAR AND YOU HAVE THE OPTION TO GET IT FIXED GET IT FIXED IN THE LONG RUN YOU WASTE MORE TIME IF YOU WAIT AND THE BRACE DONT REALY HELP AS MUCH CUZ WHEN YOU PLANING ALL U THINK OF IS YOUR LEG AND HOW YOU DONT WANT TO GET HURT SO YOU END UP GETING HURT ENY WAY ELL ILL KEEP U GUYS POSTED ON HOW ME RECOVERY IS GOIN
Post by jeffoliphant on Aug 15, 2007 11:42:04 GMT -6
I was 22 and in fall workouts before starting my final year of major college basketball. Tore the ACL druing a pickup game. After regaining motion, etc., I was given the option of wearing a brace and playing that year...or...having it fixed then and not playing at all. I chose to wear the brace and play...but was very limited and was a non-factor. Got it fixed after the season concluded. It is 17 years later and I just turned 40. MRI this years showed major degneration and arthritic changes in that knee. Other knee if fine. I am convinced practicing for 6 months with a torn ACL caused damage that I am paying for now. I got scoped again this spring and my doc says he hopes to "buy me some time" before I need a replacement. Told him I needed at least 20 years. I do not run or do anything that impacts the knee to try and make it last. Missing that last year would have been hard...but I think I would have been better of now if it had been fixed early.
Kind of coming in late here but been on my mind lately as I'm an Oregon Ducks fan and devastated like so many people about Dennis Dixon's torn ACL. Anyways, I tore my ACL back in High school and did not have surgery until about 5 years later. I am 40 now and have tons of problems with my knee and have been informed by orthopedic doctor that I will probably have to have my knee replaced in 10 -15 years time due to degenerative arthritis caused by cartilage eventually widdling down to nothing. I wish now that I would have gotten surgery THE DAY AFTER I TORE IT. Seriously, it was those five years before getting surgery I think did some more damage on my leg. Wish I would have gotten to it sooner.
hey i am eighteen and i tore my acl during basketball this last year and then i tore my miniscus the day before my first baseball game and it was stuck between my knee and knee cap. but i played on my torn acl all the way up to the miniscus tear. i had surgery about a week after it happened... it happend on may 19, 2008 and had surger on the 27th of may and started rehab the next day trying to get my knee straight. my doctor and physical therapist have different thoughts on when i should be back. my doctor has changed his mind a couple times sayin i will only miss about a month of college football then 2 then the whole season. but my physical therapist says that i will miss about a month and then be ready to start contact and playing. my question is which one should i believe?? i am just getting flustered thinking about which one i should believe. and also if anyone can help me on this one will my rehab time be cut down by going to an extensive physical therapy up at my college when i move up there??? well thanks to anyone who has an answer...
Post by statesmendad on Oct 29, 2008 10:15:55 GMT -6
My son had his ACL, MCL and meniscus torn while playing in his first college football game for Hobart College back on Sept. 13, 2008. That's the same day that Notre Dame Coach Charlie Weis had his blown out and a week after the Patriots Tom Brady injured his. This was my son's 12th season of football and he never had a major injury until that day. Obviously, my wife and I were sick about it. He had just finished his first week of classes and had a terrific camp and scrimmage against the Cornell JV's. He was playing special teams, engaged in a block on a kickoff return when a player for Dickinson College fell into the side of his left knee.
The team doctor is also an orthopedic surgeon and he recommended waiting for surgery until 5-6 weeks after the injury to allow the MCL to tighten back up. My son was walking just fine by the time the surgery was performed last Thursday.
His Doctor prefers harvesting part of the hamstring tendon and using that as a replacement for the ACL, but he has a "Plan B" in case there's a problem with the hamstring tendon and that's an allograft. When the Doctor harvested his hamstring tendon, it turned out to be too short and was unsuitable, so the Doctor used the allograft. The Doctor told us that the rest of his knee looked good and the meniscus tear was very minor and he shaved it smooth.
We took my son back home (his college is only an hour away) and he stayed with us until Monday. He had a rough time recovering from the anesthesia, so we kept him home an extra 1/2 day. He did miss classes on Monday, but we did get him to his first physical therapy session and he came out of that invigorated! He had another session yesterday morning and meets with the Doctor today for a follow-up. He will be getting 3 PT sessions a week for the next month, then he'll be working with the team trainers after that. The Doctor told us that it was important to NOT RUSH the rehab or he could damage his new ACL.
Our concern is with the allograft. Does anybody here know how successful allografts are for football players? We were told by the Doctor and the Physical Therapist that barring complications (Tom Brady's situation comes to mind), that he should be good to go for camp in August 2009.
Post by Jesse Pace, DO on Oct 29, 2008 16:59:21 GMT -6
The main three ACL graft choices are bone-patella tendon-bone autograft, quadrupled hamstrings autograft and allograft. Each of the graft choices have their pros and cons. I'm assuming your son had a bone-patella tendon-bone allograft? The advantages of the bone-patella-tendon-bone allograft are as follows: less surgical time than obtaining an autograft and less surgical morbidity (smaller incision, less anterior knee pain, decrease risk of patella fracture). The disadvantages are as follows: increased risk of infection (viral and bacterial), slower incorporation of the graft compared to an autograft (which is most likely why your orthopaedic surgeon said to NOT RUSH the rehab), immunologic reactions and a paucity of long-term outcome data. The success of a graft choice depends on four factors: correct surgical placement/fixation, graft incorporation/revascularization by the patient, rehab and patient compliance (patient following instructions of the therapist and surgeon with respect to activities/rehab). If the aforementioned goes well and barring any unforeseen occurences your son should be ready for August 2009.