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  #1  
Old 10 Apr 2010
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Riding with a torn ACL (Knee ligament)

Yesterday I tore my Anterior Cruciate Ligament in my knee. Not only is it excruciatingly painful, it's turned my knee to jelly and I can't walk on it (YET)...

I think im going to need surgery as once a ligament is torn, it can only be reconstructed. IT WONT HEAL !! But, the NHS waiting list is 6-12 months.

I'm commited to a UK-Capetown trip this September and I just can't back out of it. I'm planning on going anyway but I could be asked to go for the op while im away..

Has anyone ridden in a similar condition ?? Any hints and tips ? Advice ??

I'm going to invest in a quality hinged knee support but I can't see what else I can do.
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Old 10 Apr 2010
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Bl**dy hell Ted, how did you do that. With your knee and Neil's wrists you're not being sponsored by the air ambulance are you?

I friend of mine did exactly the same about two months ago in a skiing accident. She had the scans to confirm it just before Easter and it'll be late summer before she gets anything done. Even after two months she can just about hobble with a stick - and her's wasn't completely snapped. After surgery she was told it'll be weeks and weeks of recovery. Sorry if that's not what you want to hear but unless you can do something to get round the waiting lists I don't think it'll be a quick fix.
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Old 10 Apr 2010
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Bl**dy hell Ted, how did you do that. With your knee and Neil's wrists you're not being sponsored by the air ambulance are you?

I friend of mine did exactly the same about two months ago in a skiing accident. She had the scans to confirm it just before Easter and it'll be late summer before she gets anything done. Even after two months she can just about hobble with a stick - and her's wasn't completely snapped. After surgery she was told it'll be weeks and weeks of recovery. Sorry if that's not what you want to hear but unless you can do something to get round the waiting lists I don't think it'll be a quick fix.
Playing football..... I'm a bit of a nutter when it comes to sports. I "popped" my knee last year and left it to heal on its own. Bad idea it seems as it's left a weakness.

TWO MONTHS !!! Holey crap... That's not what I wanted to hear. After 24 hours im already walking about, be it with a stick ! I'm really hoping to be back on the bike within a week.

Yeah.. Me and Neil should be sponsered for sure. We'd be better off driving an ambulance to Capetown lol.

On a more serious note, this has seriously thrown my plans into chaos !! I could get the op this summer but I would have to cancel my trip for rehab or go to Africa and just hope it will be ok and get the op after...
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Old 10 Apr 2010
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If you're already walking around, it's not a serious tear. I know someone who skied for two decades on a partial tear, but eventually he had the surgical repair....and he's an animal.

Obviously, you're more at risk with a partial tear than with an intact ACL, so if you're going to Africa in that state you need to be really clear about what you can do and (more important) what you can't. It's ridiculously easy to shred your ACL completely--one wrong step, one slip on a wet patch of grass, or presumably one errant dab while riding. Stiff boots endanger your ACL even more by eliminating the ankle flex which might otherwise save your ligaments.

You need better advice, more specifically adapted to your specific situation, than you can get on the internet. Plus with knees it always helps to get a second professional opinion.

Hope that helps.

Mark
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Old 10 Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by markharf View Post
If you're already walking around, it's not a serious tear. I know someone who skied for two decades on a partial tear, but eventually he had the surgical repair....and he's an animal.

Obviously, you're more at risk with a partial tear than with an intact ACL, so if you're going to Africa in that state you need to be really clear about what you can do and (more important) what you can't. It's ridiculously easy to shred your ACL completely--one wrong step, one slip on a wet patch of grass, or presumably one errant dab while riding. Stiff boots endanger your ACL even more by eliminating the ankle flex which might otherwise save your ligaments.

You need better advice, more specifically adapted to your specific situation, than you can get on the internet. Plus with knees it always helps to get a second professional opinion.

Hope that helps.

Mark
Well, im not walking.. Im hopping with a walking stick ! I can't put any weight on that leg at all.

I've been to A&E and they sent me home with Ibuprofen and told me to see my GP if it didn't get better. I didn't expect anything more from them to be honest. I saw a Physio yesterday (a friend) and he said its a grade 2-3 tear. He said I really need to see an Orthopedic Surgeon to be sure as he's more involved with the post surgery than diagnosis.

I'm glad to hear that it's not the end of the world. From further research, many people go their whole lives without having the surgery but as you say Mark, one bad twist and thats it !! And knowing my luck, that will be in the middle of the Sahara ! And trust me to have the biggest stiffest boots on the market....
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Old 10 Apr 2010
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Tough.

Not quite the same as you, I have a right knee problem from too much mogul skiing and running the streets of London for many years, earlier in my life. I have worn away the miniscus layer of the bone end (the sort of shiny teflon type layer) such that the raw bones grind on each other.
The reason for telling this is to say that I use a neoprene knee support for most physical activity, upgrading to a more sophisticated, stabilised, hinged one for skiing. They make the activities still enjoyable and pain free.
Although I took them on SibEx, I never had a problem or pain while riding so I never used them.

Quite honestly, think what your forthcoming trip is worth to you in terms of costs or loss. A good few thousand pounds I am sure. A couple of hundred pounds spent privately seeing an orthopedic consultant, specialising in sport injuries, for an assessment and advice is not going to push the budget up too much. For the cost of a pair of good tyres you will have better advice than you will ever pick up from a BB.
And I am sure it will be more meaningful than a cup of tea and asprin at A&E!

Good luck.
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Old 10 Apr 2010
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Hi Ted Football again, That's why I watch now and don't play!
I did my cartilage and finally my ligament in the 04 Weston, it took the NHS a year to fcuk it properly and now its 2010 and I often limp, I'd been better off having nothing done at all, just try and rest and pray it improves, don't put your trip/life on hold waiting for the NHS clowns to possibly be incompetent!
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Old 10 Apr 2010
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there seems to be quite a lot of people that have had this injury. In my case, I proper knackered my knee, ACL, cartlidge, meniscus, etc.
I still did a 2 up trip in Europe, but, it caused no end of trouble, once whilst kneeling down without thinking to check the chain, I almost passed out with the bolt of pain, the knee had a habit of collapsing backwards at inoportune moments, and this was a soft trip by your standards.
Iain of this site, rode for a couple of years with a bust ACL, but eventually got it fixed.
Personally, I think if you fall off the bike awkwardly again, you may not be able to walk properly for quite some time. fine in europe, but dodgy elsewhere.
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Old 10 Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by Joe C90 View Post
there seems to be quite a lot of people that have had this injury. In my case, I proper knackered my knee, ACL, cartlidge, meniscus, etc.
I still did a 2 up trip in Europe, but, it caused no end of trouble, once whilst kneeling down without thinking to check the chain, I almost passed out with the bolt of pain, the knee had a habit of collapsing backwards at inoportune moments, and this was a soft trip by your standards.
Iain of this site, rode for a couple of years with a bust ACL, but eventually got it fixed.
Personally, I think if you fall off the bike awkwardly again, you may not be able to walk properly for quite some time. fine in europe, but dodgy elsewhere.
Did you wear a support ??? Did you ever find yourself stranded ??

That is my main concern.. Twisting my knee on a rough road in the middle of nowhere.

With an knee strain, it's impossible to walk let alone ride.. I've had a few of my less educated friends saying "man up" or "walk through it".. They seriously have NO IDEA !!
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Old 11 Apr 2010
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Quite honestly, think what your forthcoming trip is worth to you in terms of costs or loss. A good few thousand pounds I am sure. A couple of hundred pounds spent privately seeing an orthopedic consultant, specialising in sport injuries, for an assessment and advice is not going to push the budget up too much. For the cost of a pair of good tyres you will have better advice than you will ever pick up from a BB.
Ted,

I'd agree with Tony. Try to get it sorted ASAP. Stick it on your plastic and worry about it later.

BYT
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Old 11 Apr 2010
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You are not going to want to hear this but....

Get it repaired before you go; if you have to delay your trip, so be it. Converting a partial tear to a full tear in Africa - almost inevitable I would say - will be inconvenient to say the least - and your insurance will not cover this pre-existing condition.

Consider a private op to get it down more quickly if you have the cash.
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Old 11 Apr 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
Tough.
Quite honestly, think what your forthcoming trip is worth to you in terms of costs or loss. A good few thousand pounds I am sure. A couple of hundred pounds spent privately seeing an orthopedic consultant, specialising in sport injuries, for an assessment and advice is not going to push the budget up too much. For the cost of a pair of good tyres you will have better advice than you will ever pick up from a BB.
And I am sure it will be more meaningful than a cup of tea and asprin at A&E!

Good luck.
I had same problem and I lived 12 years whit it before the surgical repair. It's fu.. painfully but you can manage with a neoprene knee support or even more sophisticated, stabilised, hinged one like Thor. Here in Finland you can get the surgical repair and mine cost some 3000€ on private clinic, DYI that wasn't the clinic what Beckham used .
After six weeks I was able to ride some trails with hinged knee supporter but I did lot of training every day and met my Physio three times a week.
You can also try to live with it but things in side of you knee are going wrong direction all the time when time pass and leg is coming weaker and heeling after surgery will be longer.
So like Tony P said "Quite honestly, think what your forthcoming trip is worth to you in terms of costs or loss."
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Old 11 Apr 2010
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Jeeez !! I don't know what to do...

Private is out of the question. From what i've learnt, it's about £5000 ! I'm just not in a position to even consider that and it's not going on plastic (Debts and loans have ruined my life in the past)

I'm going to demand to see an Orthopedic Surgeon and see what he says about it..

I know it's risky (and stupid) to travel like this, but sometimes risks are what life is about..

BUT !!!!!! If I can't have the surgery for 9 months (average NHS waiting time), I'll be back by then anyway...

Putting my trip off for a whole year does seem total madness. I'm working a shit job that I hate and living in my mums spare room... The only thing keeping me sane in this country (for many reasons) if that I know im getting away in September.

On the other hand... Will I enjoy the trip with that in the back of my head. Too scared to go offroad, climb mountains etc.

Ahhhh this sucks !!
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Old 11 Apr 2010
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What if you could get the repair done privately for much less, say £1500? Is that feasible?
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Old 11 Apr 2010
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What if you could get the repair done privately for much less, say £1500? Is that feasible?
Well, affordable at a push but still a bitter pill when I pay a shit load of tax to have a national health service which will do it for "free"...

How could I get it so cheap ?? Fly to Romania ? Russia ?
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