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  1. #1
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    Default ACL Surgery recovery?

    This last Sunday I, in a freak accident, was struck by a motorcycle at the motocross track. In the process of this, I tore my ACL to the point where I don't really have one! lol. ANyway, they're saying I'm gonna' need the surgery. My question is, have any of you had it, and if so, how long did it take for you to return to full active duty fire service? What did you do in that in-between period? (the part where you can walk, but can't really DO anything?). Was there anything you did to heal faster or get back online quicker?

    Thanks guys...
    "The more we sweat in training, the less we bleed in battle."


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber UTFFEMT's Avatar
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    Talking My Case

    Well it has been a few years Circa 1985. I tore mine and had Surgery and was put on light duty for a couple of months. I worked all winter to get back in shape and made it.

    It really took a couple of years for me to get all the way back, but I refused to give up as my doctor told me to find a new career but I showed him he was wrong. Now been doen this for 22 years and still goen strong.
    Front line since 1983 and still going strong

  3. #3
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    ACL surgery has come a long way since it was done 20 years ago. I imagine that UTFFEMT had his entire knee gapped open.

    I had a motorcycle crash in Nov of 04 which resulted in a torn ACL. I had surgery in December and was back to full duty in 3 months, to the day I think.

    My surgery was orthoscopic and resulted in (3) 1/2" incisions around my knee. I started physical therapy within a day or 2 of the surgery. I may have gone back a little soon. Pain was still there, in fact it is still there now from time to time, but I was tired of sitting at home.

    I offer you this to get well. Newton's 1st law of motion states that things in motion tend to stay in motion. Things at rest tend to stay at rest. Be a thing in motion.
    Robert Kramer
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  4. #4
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    Default

    like MemphisE34a said the surgery has come a long way about 3 years ago I tore everything in my right knee except my ACL playing football in high school. Although I didn't have to have surgery had to work my butt off in therapy and doctor said its healed but I still get problems out of it sometimes.

    And as far as rushing getting back to active duty quicker I would advise not to do it because you run a good chance of doing the same or worse.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Awesome guys, thanks for the replys. I had heard I was looking at 6-9 months post-surgery, and that's not cool! I'll go crazy in that time. I always tend to push my injuries along, 'cause I can't stand to sit and do nothing. At least I know there's hope to get back sooner if i work my ***** off!!!!!
    "The more we sweat in training, the less we bleed in battle."

  6. #6
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    Recovery times from ACL surgery are dependent on your doctor's recommended rehab program and your willingness to do the work. I had a complete tear of my ACL about four years ago with replacement utilizing a third of a kneecap tendon.

    The doctor that did my surgery was experimenting with a highly accelerated rehab schedule (partly due to the fact that he was one of the physicians for the Tennessee Titans and Nashville Predators) and asked me to take part. It took a lot of work on my part and on the part of the therapist, but he had me back on the job in less than two months with full duty in around three.

    Basically, do the work and the results will follow. Hope this helps.

  7. #7
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    Default

    I actually had mine done last Thursday(6/30) First session of PT was the next morning. It was a full tear, repaired with hamstring tendon. My Doc.says I will be back in 4 Months to full duty, light duty in 4 weeks.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber NorcalMike's Avatar
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    Default

    Blew out my ACL skiing 2 1/2 years ago. First day skiing that year. Second run. It sucked. Hurt like hell too.

    ACL surgery is changing all the time. There are several ways to repair the ACL. The biggest thing to think about is where the new acl comes from. There are several places.

    Patella tendon - this is what I had. The surgeon removes a strip from the center of your patella tendon. He also takes a chuck of bone at each end.

    Hamstring - strip is removed from the hamstring tendon.

    Cadaver Graft - ACL is removed from a dead person. The graft is treated to remove things that can cause rejection.

    The newest one I have heard of is using pig tendons.

    Each method has its benefits and risks.

    My suggestion is to find a surgeon who works on knees only. Don't go to just any ortho guy. Find out who the best in your area is. Ask other people who had the surgery. Find out who the doctors in your area see when they have a knee injury. Although this is a common procedure, a screw up can mean more surgery and lots of pain.

    I had my surgery in December of 2003. I was back to full duty four months later. I should had stayed for at least another month but I wanted to take a training class that required me to be eligible for full duty. I talked the doc into let me go back early.

    Along the same lines as picking a surgeon, picking a physical therapist is important. Find someone who is familiar with the job. Firefighters are more like professional athletes than sedentary office workers. Find one who will look at what firefighters do and develop a set of exercises that mimic what you will do on the job.

    Above don't expect your knee to feel normal for a long time after the surgery. It took me 2 years and 1 additional surgery to remove scar tissue before I felt my knee was 100%.

    Good luck. Hope this helps.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Thanks guys, 4 months or so is sounding alot better than the 6-9 I was hearing! I have PT today (Doc wanted to to do ao couple weeks of PT before the surgery) then my pre-op appointment on Monday. I just wanna' get this crap over with!!! Thanks for all your help though....makes it easier.
    "The more we sweat in training, the less we bleed in battle."

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber NorcalMike's Avatar
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    PT before surgery is a good idea. You would be amazed at how much muscle mass you lose after surgery. Get as much strength as possible before hand.

    Also, check out this website for the most current research on ACL injuries.

    www.stoneclinic.com

    Mike

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