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Old 09-12-2003, 06:16 PM   #1
Duncan
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Riding on torn ACL with knee brace ...

I tore my ACL on Expresso at the beginning of the summer after wiping out at the bottom of the rock face (before the bouncy bridge).

I've been doing lots of road riding since and I'm looking forward to getting out on the Shore again. My knee is pretty close to healed, I'm probably fine for day-to-day, but I'll need support to handle the joint slippage that happens when my leg pivots.

I'm getting fitted with a GenII Extreme knee brace on Monday.

Does anybody have any experiences, advice etc regarding this?

I want to see if I can avoid reconstructive surgery for now. It will be another year of rehab, and I've spent 6 months of the last year doing rehab (separated shoulder last fall, torn ACL this summer).
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Old 09-12-2003, 06:23 PM   #2
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Go to your doctor and physio and see what they say, they are the experts after all, what the hell do any of us know. Even if there is a doctor or physio on posting on here, they would have to see your knee, check the mobility and stability, then make an informed decision. You only get one set of knees, be nice to them, I speek from experience here.
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Old 09-12-2003, 06:30 PM   #3
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The Gen II will do it's job... I have one

Since you have been doing rehab on your knee... how does it feel? If it still feels like it'll blow out when you twist it you may need surgery. Did you have a MRI? Was it just your ACL?


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Old 09-12-2003, 06:54 PM   #4
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i hate knees
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Old 09-12-2003, 08:25 PM   #5
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Hey Tonestar ...

I've talked to the surgeon who 'scoped my knee. I talked to my physiotherapist. Everone agrees "cycling" is fine. I showed the surgeon pictures of what I used to ride. He had no comment, (but didn't seem bothered) probably because it is not really within his personal experience. I was hoping people on this board would have some experience/knowledge of this.

I was also wondering about comfort, fit, models, and whether restriction of knee motion affects things like your balance or judgement.

Duncan.
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Old 09-12-2003, 08:32 PM   #6
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My knee got 'scoped ...

about 6 weeks ago and it feels OK now, just a little swollen. The surgeon (Paul Sabiston at LGH) removed some scar tissue and pieces of the ligament that were blocking the joint. It feels ok, just like I need to work on strength. The surgeon during postop manipulated my leg and demonstrated the looseness/joint slipage to me.

My physio thinks I should, for example be able to play soccer. Sounds like the psychological side (eg favouring your braced leg) is a major problem too.

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Old 09-12-2003, 08:42 PM   #7
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I tore my ACL on circuis 4 years ago. Initially I chose not to get the reconstructive surgery and built up my legs as storng as I could get em. The brace was a real inconvienece while biking so I tried riding without it. I was OK for a while then while stepping off the bike my knee slipped out and left me immobile (by myself) on seymour. I made it out, got the surgery (ACL reconstruct) but heres my advice:

if you chose not to get the surgery, always wear that gen2 brace, otherwise you'll tear up your miniscus and make things worse

If you get the surgery, your knee will never feel the same again, mine creaks and is painfull for no reason frequently.

Either way its a compromise, but thats the situation your in.
If you ride with your brace you should be OK, just have it done up tight. Just make shure you have enough muscle (especially lower-inner-quad) and dont push it.

How old are you?
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Old 09-12-2003, 09:24 PM   #8
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I'm 36 ...

going on 12. I know its a real compromise. The surgeon told me that reconstructed knees aren't necessarily perfect either. I figure I should try the brace. I don't think I'll be riding the North Shore alone anymore (not that I ever was big into riding alone).

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Old 09-12-2003, 09:31 PM   #9
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well, if your big on other sports, ones with running, jumping, turning, it will be a big bummer having to wear that brace all the time, plus they wear out quite quickly you'd probably need a new one every 2 years or so depending....

Try the brace out, dependning on the type of riding you do (shuttling?)it may not be such a nuisance. Even though my knee doesnt feel normal and is bothersome, it feels strong. In fact, they have done tests on kadavers showing that a reconstructed acl (non-graft-type) is stronger than the stock setup.
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Old 09-12-2003, 10:09 PM   #10
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I suspect cycling will be my major activity from now on, given that its relatively knee-friendly.

I don't think I'll be pushing the limits too much anymore. I guess you never know where the limit is until you hit the wall. I've never been into shuttling (I like riding up), but I've always liked trying skinnies and catching some air.

People have told me that the reconstructed knee is stronger, but there is a chance that the knee will be too loose or tight after construction (about 5 % - small, but a big bummer given the 9-12 months of recovery).
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Old 09-12-2003, 10:19 PM   #11
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Yes considering the surgery procedure: literally the surgeon pulls on a tendon giving it X tension, and based on feel and experience, he says, "thats enough tension" and staples it in that position/tension. Violla, instant new "ACL". Its key you get a surgeon who is experienced and specializes in knees. I went with Dr Peter Yao in white rock, my moms a nurse and his rep is pretty good. Ideally youd get one of the canucks surgeons to do it.
My advice: book for a surgery date now, as it will take months to get one and by the time that happens you may have decided to get it done.

if you ever fall, always, always keep your knees well bent.
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Old 09-12-2003, 10:40 PM   #12
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I have two Gen II's at home. I have blown both ACL's in separate ski incidents and I was older than you both times. 41 and 44. The braces were for rehab before and after surgery to help prevent doing anything worse before and from damaging the repair after. My surgeon put in a screw and staple in the shin to anchor the graft to be safe. I think it's usually just a staple in the shin and an "endo button" in the femur. Sounds funny now. Push here while riding and go over the bars. The brace is a pain in the arse. The strap behind the knee will chafe your skin away once you get sweaty and through a little dirt in there. It loosens up and needs readjustment all the time and best of all, when you sprint for a light on your road bike at Beach and Denman, it hooks your bottle cage and sends you spastically across traffic (fortunately only embarrasing not damaging). My surgeon, Paul Wright, says the brace has more of a proprioceptive function than protective. He also said the success rate of the surgery is really high, I think he said 96% or something like that. Both of my knees are as pain free as before, meaning that I get the odd minor ache and pain, but I still manage to ride almost daily, ski 50 days a winter and walk or run the dogs daily. No braces are ever worn anymore. Doctor said they do the repair so you don't need the brace. I recommend the repair if your Doctor does too. But really, ask your doctor about the consequeces of not repairing and maintaining an active life style versus the risks of repair. Your call. I take it though that the ACL is completely ruptured and the stump was impinging motion as well as other torn up bits??? Or was it a small partial which will heal in time?
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Old 09-12-2003, 11:19 PM   #13
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Yes, the ACL was completely torn off, he cleaned up the stump, and the ligament, which had fallen into the joint.

The surgeon was Paul Sabiston ... I've heard he's good. I'm pretty sure I don't need a brace for day to day. 17 days after my surgery I started commuting daily on a roadbike again from Deep Cove (home) to SFU (work). My knee *feels* stable, but I know that it can be shifted under the "right" conditions.

The surgeron hesitated to recommend repair to me, so I'm second-guessing his professional judgement here. I told him "I ride a lot", but I'm not sure if he understood what riding the North Shore involves. I showed him some pictures, eg me going off the highest drop on the Dropzone in Whistler etc.

I've been told the risks ... another injury could mean tearing the menicus and/or cartilage.

Duncan.

Last edited by Duncan; 09-12-2003 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 09-12-2003, 11:30 PM   #14
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do you live in Deep cove north vancouver ?
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Old 09-13-2003, 12:10 AM   #15
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Yes ....

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