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Old 09-01-2017, 01:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Torn ACL, future functionality?

So I was playing woodsball with my friends and while in a dead sprint I tripped and took a hard fall on my left knee. After xrays and an MRI I've completely torn my ACL, luckily it looks like that's all that took damage. So now I'm icing, doing regular pt, and home exercises/stretching to rehab my knee. In four weeks I follow up with my orthopedic surgeon to discuss the surgery.

So my current debate in my head is when to do the surgery, serious paintball play is out of the question til that happens and then also til after that heals. First question to any who have had this happen, did you play in any capacity before surgery or is the possibility of more damage too great to consider it?

My future concern is the capacity I'll be able to play after surgery. I am a fast paced player, unless it's a massive scenario I'm running around the field at top speed. I'm in my mid thirties and with this injury does it mean it's time to slow down?

Any suggestions, advise, experience stories, encouragement, I'll listen to it all.
Thanks
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Not a paintball experience but from football. First game of the year had a team mate tear basically everything in his knee. Befor surgery he was in a wheel chair and for a few weeks after as well. He couldn't walk at all during that time. He did make it back and played the last 2 games. He bought one of the heavy duty knee braces to keep everything from getting torn again. Hope that helps maybe not haha
Definetly recommend a Hevy duty knee brace they are a little cumbersome but you can still run in them.
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Best advice I can give is to follow through with all of your PT. That is going to give you the best strength and range of motion back. If it hurts, back off a bit and continue to follow through.
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here is the long version https://www.mcarterbrown.com/forums/m...e-surgery.html

Short Version -
Injury sounds just about exactly the same as mine. I was headed into a village at a Stalingrad game in CT and went down trying to make a sharp cut to run in another direction.

First meeting with the Surgeon to decide if I were going to do it or not I explained that I'm a martial artist and I play paintball. He said that I didn't NEED to have the surgery, there there are professional athletes that have had my injury and gone back to play without surgery but that I would be more prone to other knee injuries if I didn't have it.

I opted for the surgery using part of my hamstring instead of a cadaver ligament because I didn't want to deal with the possibility of my body rejecting it (Slim chance but still possible.

So I went into the surgery in... January? I was playing, in a Don Joy hard knee brace that summer, very conservatively, no running, but on the field.

1 year post op at my check in they deemed me 100% recovered with 97% of my original range of motion.

Key takeaways -

1. Unless the doc tells you otherwise, if it's just the ACL that's damaged, use it up until the surgery. My doc told me that I should walk on it and use it as much as I could stand because if I didn't the muscles would start to atrophy and because most people loose .... 70%? of the muscle around the knee from the surgery it would mean more PT after the surgery if I didn't use it.

2. You will know when the drugs they gave you during surgery wear off, and it will suck.

3. PT, PT, PT and after you are done PT stay in shape and keep it moving. If I'm too stationary and inactive for a month or so when I try to be active my knee is stiff and hurts.

I stay active and after having this surgery I still sprint during games and Since the surgery I have earned my 2* black belt in Tae Kwan Do.

Listen to the professionals and you will be fine. But don't be surprised if cold weather bothers you, at least it does me.
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Old 09-01-2017, 02:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Not quite the same, but I recently had two ligaments repaired in my ankle, ATFl and CFL, both full tears. Just turned 30.

I had the injury for years, so the stability is night and day difference. PT is a long process, but it works, especially for these types of injuries. I made a lot of progress really quickly, then hit a wall. I would say I am about 80%, and have been kind of stuck here for a month or so.

I am now six months out of surgery, and am going to play in two weeks. Still not 100% on running, so I won't be able to play my usual style, but definitely good enough to hit the field.

Based on experiences of friends that have had your injury, you are young enough that you will be able to get back to 100% (or close enough), but it will probably take longer than you think it should.
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Old 09-01-2017, 03:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Coming from someone with a history of knee issues and surgery, it'll get better. Stick with the PT and follow your doctor's advice. If they give you the green light to play again, then great. Until then, hold off until your body says it's safe to play. When that happens, take it easy and test your body slowly at first. Don't go all out your first time back on the field - baby steps. Your body will let you know what it can and cannot handle. But rest assured, you'll be able to play again soon enough. Just be patient and focus on healing first.
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Old 09-01-2017, 03:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Stem cells. Head to tiajuana.... totally serious too.
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenmtnphantom View Post
1. Unless the doc tells you otherwise, if it's just the ACL that's damaged, use it up until the surgery. My doc told me that I should walk on it and use it as much as I could stand because if I didn't the muscles would start to atrophy and because most people loose .... 70%? of the muscle around the knee from the surgery it would mean more PT after the surgery if I didn't use it.
Doc told me to walk on it, and I am. Stairs are still difficult and I did some lawn mowing, that was surprisingly tiring. Some of the exercises I'm doing are for the thigh muscles to help keep them from atrophy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pearcem View Post
I am now six months out of surgery, and am going to play in two weeks. Still not 100% on running, so I won't be able to play my usual style, but definitely good enough to hit the field.

Based on experiences of friends that have had your injury, you are young enough that you will be able to get back to 100% (or close enough), but it will probably take longer than you think it should.
This is very encouraging for playing next year, thanks.
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Old 09-01-2017, 11:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hopefully I turns out well for you.

Not the same injury for me. But I have broken my back twice. First time back when I was 26 (military injury), 2008, and second time 2 years ago when I slipped on one of my daughters toys in the hall. First injury compressed and misaligned my back. Second one game me a hairline fracture on my C5 vertebrae. I have had my back realigned and have to do monthly chiropractic to keep the alignment. As for the hairline fracture I was told not much they can do since the muscles around the spine will want to keep trying to pull it apart. The chiropractor, physical therapist and doctors are all in agreement that the best thing I can do is keep active and strengthen the muscles around my spine to prolong the delay/time frame for when I WILL have to have my back plated. I am 35 now and don't want to have the plating anytime soon, since they have told me they will have to plate from the base of my neck down to 3 vertebrae above my hip. Which means I will lose 100% of my rotation ability. So I keep myself as active as my body will let me. I am in pain everyday, but it's something I have gotten used to dealing with. Some days will be worse than others, some completely unbearable, but I'm still alive.

Just know your limits and don't try to superman past it. Hope your able to see the field again soon.
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Old 09-02-2017, 12:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Heres my take.

I tore My ACL in middle school. Because i was still growing, I couldn't have surgery until junior year of HS. So no sports ( I did anyway) If you don't get surgery soon or what ever. Get real comfortable with the idea of dislocating your knee and resetting it yourself.
I was doing that about once a day when I started getting more and more active.

I got a sports brace when I started doing soccer again. Which helped a lot. But HS budget, $600 sports brace was a luxury I lived without for a long time. I didn't play paintball then but I was pretty active.

If or when you get the surgery have you or your Dr look into Dr. Simonian.

He developed a new method to repair it that involves using your Hamstring instead of drilling in a ligament from a cadaver. Its orthoscopic, so very small incisions. Cuts recovery time by a huge margin, I was able to walk (heavily braced leg) an hour after waking up from surgery.

I don't know where you are located, or if his method is like patented, but I highly recommend it.

My left knee was done by him, my mother's right knee, and both of my dad's knees. His first was done the old way, and the second was the orthoscopic method.



The only damaged I think I got from playing on it while it was still torn, was breaking my arm. My knee dislocated and I fell.

That's another story....
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