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Back on August 20 I got together with Justin, Brian and Norman from the BBTC for the "guys only" ride-loop on Kachess Ridge. Coming down from the ridge I managed to commit one of the "sins" of unsafe riding. While coming down on my HT I managed to fall from the singletrack onto the downhill side. I stuck my right leg out thinking I would get it down before I went over. I did get it down but once planted I continued to fall which pretty well wrecked my knee. I decided to wait a couple of months to see if it would get better which it did without seeing a doc. Still it wasnt in good shape so I finally went in. The x-rays didnt show anything so Doc decided to go straight to an arthropscopy.

Yesterday the knee was scoped and to the surprise of the Doc I has a torn ACL and a couple of other things that were torn. Doc said it was pretty messed up and fixed everthing except the ACL which if its fixed will mean another trip.

Can you ride with a messed up knee? I did two races and the Mt Baker Hill Climb. Although over the last four months I pretty much stayed on stuff where the chance of falling were slim. I definitely couldnt run and although I never tried it, hiking more than a couple of miles would have been a problem. :(

Doc said I would be able to ride pretty quick but right now I decided to count the painkiller pills and have been wondering if they will outlast the pain? For some reasons the Doc likes to make sure you run out of pills before the pain subsides. And of course the pill run out on the weekend when you wont be able to get a refill. :)
 

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NoGainWithPain

borregokid said:
Back on August 20 I got together with Justin, Brian and Norman from the BBTC for the "guys only" ride-loop on Kachess Ridge. Coming down from the ridge I managed to commit one of the "sins" of unsafe riding. While coming down on my HT I managed to fall from the singletrack onto the downhill side. I stuck my right leg out thinking I would get it down before I went over. I did get it down but once planted I continued to fall which pretty well wrecked my knee. I decided to wait a couple of months to see if it would get better which it did without seeing a doc. Still it wasnt in good shape so I finally went in. The x-rays didnt show anything so Doc decided to go straight to an arthropscopy.

Yesterday the knee was scoped and to the surprise of the Doc I has a torn ACL and a couple of other things that were torn. Doc said it was pretty messed up and fixed everthing except the ACL which if its fixed will mean another trip.

Can you ride with a messed up knee? I did two races and the Mt Baker Hill Climb. Although over the last four months I pretty much stayed on stuff where the chance of falling were slim. I definitely couldnt run and although I never tried it, hiking more than a couple of miles would have been a problem. :(

Doc said I would be able to ride pretty quick but right now I decided to count the painkiller pills and have been wondering if they will outlast the pain? For some reasons the Doc likes to make sure you run out of pills before the pain subsides. And of course the pill run out on the weekend when you wont be able to get a refill. :)
Of course putting some 'ice' on it won't be a problem for you either. ;-)

Let it heal though. Else you can wind up in an endless cycle of nursing things or compounding the problem. Knees are always the weak link with athletes, remember. I spent a lot of years in a job where being profiled for medical reasons curtailed a lot of good opportunities and even risked the job. And I've known a lot of tough guys -- hard as woodpecker lips -- who would always gut things out, and invariably ended up screwing themselves in the end.
 

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Get a physical therapist if you can. Better to have a professional to help you heal faster, than yourself or anyone on the net. Keep communication open with the doc, then when you're feeling good, you can press on your own.
 

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Here's the dealio....

Ouch.....unfortunately, I know exactly the moment you just described. :(

FM, Slayer Rulz, Juice and I have a good friend that rode with a torn ACL for approx. 10 years so it's absolutely possible. About once a year, he'd have a fall where he'd have to plant his leg and it would give and he'd be in serious pain. Each incident would usually keep him off the bike for several weeks at a time. I'm guessing that each time he hurt his knee, he'd sprain his MCL since his knee was pretty unstable. MCL's usually heal themselves and don't require surgery so he'd be back to normal in ~6-8 weeks.

Well, our buddy just bit the bullet and had surgery in October and should be back on the bike in February or March. At that point, he'll have a knee that's as strong as it was prior to injury and it won't have the unstable aspects of the past - where everytime he planted wrong, his leg buckled.

Now, I've torn both of my ACL's (one doing something like you in Whistler) and, to be honest, I can't imagine doing the sports I do without having it repaired - especially snowboarding. At the very least, it would change how I participate in those sports and would most definitely put an end to the stuff I love to ride up n B.C. Worrying about how my knee will react to a fall all the time isn't very confidence inspiring.

What I'm saying is....you can ride without having your ACL repaired, but it won't ever truly be stable until you get it done. One way you can combat it though is by getting your quads and hamstrings in really great shape. That will help keep the knee more stable. ACL reconstruction is not a fun surgery or recovery and I've told myself "no more big crashes", but you really can't control what happens when you're maching down a trail and shite happens. I'm not gonna change the way I ride my bike or snowboard because of it. As a result, I got my knees fixed and just keep pluggin' away!

Good luck on your decision and heal up!! It's not an easy call either way, but I'd consider the long haul when making your decision.

Chers,
EBX
 

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i've heard a great place to go for getting your knee worked on is Harborview in Seattle. Since they deal so much with trauma, they are really good with putting people back together right.

But yah if you go under the knife i'd look to get worked on in the big city.

When i broke my leg in Oregon they wanted me to stay down there and get the operation, i declined they gave me a Toradol shot in the butt and i was on my way to Highline next to where i live, for many reasons but just more confidence in the docs around here.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
SRR that reminds me I had a friend in the Army and he went out on manuevers once and got some frostbite that required medical attention. He said he came pretty close to being court martialed because he didnt wear the right clothes and he abused government property-himself. Anyways I guess I was trying to let mother nature take its course and it didnt work. If I hadnt had the time to let nature take its way I would have had it checked out earlier.

EBX-Its good to know I can hang in their with the ACL for a while longer. It does hurt like heck when you go down. I have fallen a couple of times in the snow and the last time my knee was extra sore. Even though its only been a day since surgery my knee feels better in the place where it used to hurt. Its the incisions that hurt the most now.
 

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borregokid said:
EBX-Its good to know I can hang in their with the ACL for a while longer. It does hurt like heck when you go down. I have fallen a couple of times in the snow and the last time my knee was extra sore. Even though its only been a day since surgery my knee feels better in the place where it used to hurt. Its the incisions that hurt the most now.
Yep, you may need to ratchet it back a bit, but you can absolutely ride your bike without an ACL. If you can make it work without getting it reconstructed for a while, go for it.

If you decide to get your ACL reconstructed, PM me.....my doc works at Swedish and is one of the top knee docs in the NW - he used to work with the US ski team and did a fellowship at the Steadman-Hawkens clinic in Vail (google that clinic and you'll see what I mean). Unfortunately, I know the guy a bit too well. :(

Chers,
EBX
 

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The trade offs. Always the tradeoffs

I tore my ACL about 5 or 6 years ago. I have talked to a lot of people who had the repair and said it is the way to go. But there is arguments against it too.

My doc went in and cleaned out the torn meniscus but recommended AGAINST repairing the ACL, at least immediately. He said at my age (50 at the time) there was a considerable risk of the knee stiffening up, and even if it doesn't you have a long rehab time. So the plan was let the knee settle down after the first arthroscopy, and see how it goes. In my case it has worked out fine without the repair. The knee is reasonably stable, and even after 5 years I don't have any problems with it, including biking and skiing. I do notice it some after swim workouts, but not bad

You may have the same experience as me, and be back riding and everything else pretty quickly. Or you may find your knee is really loose and the surgery / rehab is your only option. But you have nothing to lose by waiting, and they have to let your knee settle down before the surgery anyway.

I do know one person who had the experience of her knee stiffening up, and she was really SOL for at least a couple years, had to have a couple more surgeries and a lot of rehab, and meanwhile was not able to do sports due to the loss of motion..

Good luck,
Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My knee has been stiff since the initial accident. Stiff doesnt sound too bad but to unstiffen the knee you have to go through some pain and of course it stiffens up everytime you go to bed-meaning you wake up in pain a few times during the night. My guess is the knee is pretty strong and that why my Doc was pretty sure I didnt have a torn ACL. The only time it really gave out was right after the accident back in August. Right now my Doc said I was ok to pedal, just dont go up any hills for awhile. I will just have to wait this one out.
 

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Ditto. What EB said but....

I've has a torn ACL for 30 years and it hasn't stopped me from enjoying the outdoors. Although at 52, I am more cautious. Rock and ice climbing, mountaineering, competitive mountain biking and riding in some very wild places. My ACL has gone out in some precarious situations, during steep ice descents and hairball MTB rides. It was only through luck and a strong 11mm rope that the alpine descent one didn't kill me. The point is: the consequences of the ACL knee failure are what you want to think about. Do you want to risk aborted trips,serious injury or rescue because you didn't opt for surgery?
 
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