Thread: Injury question

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    Default Injury question

    Has anyone had any experience with a torn ACL? How long after surgery did it take you till you could return to full duty? Any other information on other knee injuries would also be appreciated. Thanks.

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    Default Broken Patella

    Hey! Just got back on the job a couple weeks ago after breaking my kneecap twice. First time (November) I came down on some rocks, broke it in half. Surgery that night, fairly speedy recover time before therapy began. January, about 5 weeks into therapy, I tripped on my stairs & tore the knee all apart. Surgery again & therapy going a little slower. As I said, though, back to work 4 months after the second injury now. Being on the knee is uncomfortable but not impossible. I'm still building strength & working on climbing/descending stairs. Hope this helps!
    ~Kevin
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    Had ACL reconstruction surgery in 2000. Total reconstruction and a very slight sprain of the MCL. Took me about 4 months to get back doing firefighting work. I had to take a "test" of flexibility, strength and motion. After that, I was cleared to go back to work but I should use my brace anytime I felt I needed the security of the brace. I actually wore the brace for about a week after I was cleared. I carried with me for a few months in case I needed it but never put it on.

    My surgery was done by taking the middle 3rd of the tendon that holds the kneecap in place with a "bone splint" on the top and bottom of the tendon. Part of this bone is taken from the tibia, the other is taken from the kneecap. After 4 years I can still feel a slight dip in those areas where this was taken. Just in the last 6 months or so I can kneel on blacktop or cement without jumping up in pain. It still hurts a bit nothing as before. Took me about 4 months to be able to stay on my knees in bunker pants for anything and this was only due to the thick padding of the bunkers. I would sit or just raise knee off the ground if I had to be down for a while. I also wore a knee pad inside the bunkers which made it much more comfortable.

    Haven't had any trouble since. In fact one year after my surgery, the doctor said my repaired knee was in better shape than my normal knee. One thing is for sure, when there is a change in the weather I can sure tell.

    My best advice, DO EVERYTHING THE THERAPIST TELLS YOU TO DO!!!!
    Exercise at home religiously!! This is why my recovery was fairly quick.

    Keep your head down and your powder dry.
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    Lt.Jason Knecht
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    I've had 2 buddies that have had torn ACL's the first one only had a year on the job and they wanted to retire him. Luckily the union got him a decent job in the city's administration.


    Another buddy took about a year to fully recover. He plays softball, hockey and everything now
    Never Forget 9-11-01!!!!!!
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    Angry

    I had my surgery back in 1985 as a result of a fire. I was out for a couple of months on light duty really and then got back into full duty
    after that. I was told by the doctor at the time to find another career, I proved him wrong as that was over 19 years ago and have been front line career firefighter all this time.

    I still worry about my injury and sometimes I get hurt a little but as long as you keep in shape you ll be good to go.
    Front line since 1983 and still going strong

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    Tore one way back in my college days and well before my firefighting days. Like UTFFEMT, mine aches and swells a little sometimes but overall no big problems.

    Dickey's advice:

    DO EVERYTHING THE THERAPIST TELLS YOU TO DO!!!!
    is absolutely, positively, dead-on!

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    Thanks for all the information. Every day gets a little better. I never had a doubt that I'd be back, it's just good to have an idea when that will be.

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    Any more recent FF's experienced a ACL reconstruction? How long where you on light duty? I had surgery one month ago (patellar tendon) and have been on light duty since.

    My doc wants me to be on light duty for 6 months, but I don't think I can take it. My knee actually is not swollen at all, no pain, and I have full range of motion.

    Help a brotha out and give me some info?
    Last edited by LowKey; 04-09-2008 at 07:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LowKey View Post
    Any more recent FF's experienced a ACL reconstruction? How long where you on light duty? I had mine one month ago (patellar tendon) and have been on light duty since.

    My doc wants me to be on light duty for 6 months, but I don't think I can take it. My knee actually is not swollen at all, no pain, and I have full range of motion.

    Help a brotha out and give me some info?
    Yes I am in the last two weeks of physiotherapy. I have been on S/L for 6 months. I'll give you the laundry list of injuries to the knee.
    Torn ACL
    Torn PCL
    Crushed cartilage
    Torn miniscus
    Fractured femoral condyle
    Fractured tibial plateau

    I too had full flexion and extension of the knee prior to surgery. I also had no visible swelling of the joint and no pain 3 days after the accident. I walked on it for a month before the surgery.
    You are going to need 4 to 6 months of recovery. I thought I was an ironman untill after the surgery. My quad and calf muscles atrophied. I don't have full flexion back yet, but that will come in time. I'm set to go back on the job around the first part of May. I did the light duty thing 1 month out of surgery but had problems with swelling so I went on S/L .
    I don't know if I answered all of your questions. Feel free to p.m. me if you have any more.
    IAFF

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    First off, if a guy came back to my company with a knee brace on I would make it so that he couldnt get on the rig. You MUST be 100% to do this job. NOt 99 or 98 or even 99.9% but completely healthy. A guy in my house just came back from ACL and some other slight tears from a job, it took him almost 9 months. Unless you can find a spot to 'hide' in dont risk other people's lives to benefit your own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveW View Post
    Has anyone had any experience with a torn ACL? How long after surgery did it take you till you could return to full duty? Any other information on other knee injuries would also be appreciated. Thanks.
    Going through the same thing too, I've torn mine twice, once in 2000 and then this year, just started physical therapy last monday, if you need someone to comiserate with as you go through recovery give me a yell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyirons2 View Post
    First off, if a guy came back to my company with a knee brace on I would make it so that he couldnt get on the rig. You MUST be 100% to do this job. NOt 99 or 98 or even 99.9% but completely healthy. A guy in my house just came back from ACL and some other slight tears from a job, it took him almost 9 months. Unless you can find a spot to 'hide' in dont risk other people's lives to benefit your own.
    All the brace does is strengthen whats already there, after I was done with the PT I was 100% again, went right back to doing what I was doing before the tear. I am assuming you haven't been through a tear/reconstruction?

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    If you need to wear a brace, YOU ARE NOT READY FOR FIRE DUTY! Would you want me coming to work under the influence of Valium? If all it does is strengthen whats there than why dont we all wear them to prevent the injury? It's cause it limits your mobility.

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    Cool Return to work caution

    Steve W

    Having been a PT x 15 years and a FT FFx7 years I have presented the attached article about this very subject. You are an integral part of the rehab process: be an informed consumer, you have a choice in the quality of rehab you get. You need to rehab the knee then be trained to re-establish proper neuromuscular function like an athlete. If the PT discharges you and you aren't 100% Then you will need an experienced trainer to insure you are functioning at 100%. You need to be honest with yourself and the health pro's who rely on you to make the decision to return to work.

    I have seen 4-6 months to return to 100% athletics and work. You need full range, You need 100% extension of the knee, you need to be able to go from a high kneeling position to sitting back on your feet with NO hamstring discomfort or quad tightness (after 4 months), be able to walk up stairs backwards with no deviation or discomfort. these are some of the guidelines I use for my clients. It can be done but you have to do the work and be sure you are ready.

    Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you

    Orlando Gomez
    FF/PT/PFT instructor
    www.adapttraining.com
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by ogomez; 04-09-2008 at 12:53 AM. Reason: rewording

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyirons2 View Post
    If you need to wear a brace, YOU ARE NOT READY FOR FIRE DUTY! Would you want me coming to work under the influence of Valium? If all it does is strengthen whats there than why dont we all wear them to prevent the injury? It's cause it limits your mobility.
    Look at some athletes...they wear braces all the time. All it does is make it more secure, more mental security than anything. I see it as no problem at all. Heck, people that are on the job overtired are not 100%.....you going to send them home too?
    Jason Knecht
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    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyirons2 View Post
    If you need to wear a brace, YOU ARE NOT READY FOR FIRE DUTY! Would you want me coming to work under the influence of Valium? If all it does is strengthen whats there than why dont we all wear them to prevent the injury? It's cause it limits your mobility.
    Easy there lightning. First off nobody mentioned anything about taking Valium, let along painkillers when returning to work. And since when did they prescribe Valium as painkiller? Shows how much you know about knee injuries.

    I am well aware that knee braces don't prevent an ACL tear but it does stablize the knee and give you a piece of mind.

    Also, I said that I have full range of motion. I would also hazard a guess that a lot of old timer FF/Capt don't have full range of motion, so you point it irrelevant.

    All I was simply looking for was FFs that have gone through this and how long it took for them to feel comforable returning to combat.

    Thanks for all the responses.

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    Two severe strains to the point of tearing. they both sucked. The first one on the right knee was a solid four week recovery, the second was about six due to the prior injury.
    'Adversus incendia excubias nocturnas vigilesque commentus est"

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    Quote Originally Posted by LowKey View Post
    Easy there lightning. First off nobody mentioned anything about taking Valium, let along painkillers when returning to work. And since when did they prescribe Valium as painkiller? Shows how much you know about knee injuries.

    I am well aware that knee braces don't prevent an ACL tear but it does stablize the knee and give you a piece of mind.

    Also, I said that I have full range of motion. I would also hazard a guess that a lot of old timer FF/Capt don't have full range of motion, so you point it irrelevant.

    All I was simply looking for was FFs that have gone through this and how long it took for them to feel comforable returning to combat.

    Thanks for all the responses.
    Valium isnt a pain killer its a benzo, but i like to take them to put up with stupidity such as this. Do not come back to work till you feel like you did before. I have no clue where you work, but 6 flights with 100lbs at least 10 times a day will show you how it is. Its always out of convenience that guys come back before they are ready, and its bs. If you ever were hurt or killed because some guy wasnt 100% how would your family feel?

    Think about it!

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