ACL Tear/Surgery Repair, Comeback......


30 replies to this topic
  • HS1075

Posted July 03, 2012 - 09:16 AM

#1

Hello all,

I am a new member to this forum however i have a bit of down time from everything due to a motocross related knee injury. I figured for those wondering about ACL specific injuries, surgery, ETC..........Heres my 2-cents and hopefully will help you make a more informed decision moving forward.


A little backround:

31 years old

Riding since I was 11

Got away from riding in 2003 and came back to racing 2011

In very good shape, work out and play ice hockey 3 times a week competitively.

My racing comeback has been great and I led my first HARESCRAMBLE ever raced, then burned out my clutch in mud for a sad 9th out of 20+.

I decided that I would do MEGACROSS as cross training, and I love to jump!

On june 16th, 2012 around 6:30pm at MEGACROSS, I ended up with the crazy Open-C-Class kids because a buddy racing with me (who had never raced there before) signed up for that practice (instead of 30+ :devil:) and we wanted to ride together. STUPID MISTAKE.

I was on lap 2 of practice when a young out of control kid cut met off on the face of a 50ft step up table top and I had a choice: 1.) get landed on 2.) ride down the side of the tabletop and avoid it all. I chose 2. My foot was pushed off the peg as my peg pushed sideways down the side of the jump and my 450 and I went one way and the right leg went the other.

I felt and heard a POP! Instant pain and my right leg felt loose. Down I went for 3 minutes and then the pain went away almost instantly. There was almost no swelling and I knew something was wrong with the loose feeling trying to pivot my knee. Damn it. My racing was on hold, not a chance at hockey and my job requires me walking/running and lifting so I was a mess emotionally. I kept telling myself, no swelling.........must be a sprain. Ive had worse knee swelling in the past, this will be fine. I didnt go to the ER but instead went home, iced it and waited till the next day. The knee was better, but going down stairs was uneasy at best. I went to the Urgent Care knowing that they will X-Ray and refer me to a Ortho-Doc who knows what they are doing with joints/bones. The Urgent Care nurse laughed at me for coming in for a minor sprain because my knee was looking pretty normal. Anyway, I knew it wasnt right and she sent in trainee doctors who didnt even know what they were looking at beause she thought I was full of sh*%.

I recieved my referral, went to a well known pro-sports Ortho in the area (by luck and a scheduling issue I ended up with him) and upon his initial exam, he said my leg was in good shape but felt loose where the ACL should be. He said it would be one of two things. He referred to a meniscus tear as a month or so of rehab (I think he said this to give me a little hope) and the ACL tear as a game changer, 6-months to recover. I got an MRI same day and was devastated to find out that my sacred ACL was torn in half and blown apart like a fire cracker. But how? I was going up stairs, lifting and walking ok.....So my doc sends me to pre-surgery Re-Hab. I worked hard from June 18-June 26th when my next appointment was. No swelling..........full range of motion.............Do I need surgery? Doc says "yes, if you want to be where you were at before your injury and if I dont wish to destroy the other parts of the knee that are in great shape". I was supposed to get surgery after the 4th of July but someone cancelled on June 27th so I said lets do it, scared to death having never had any surgery in 31years.

June 27th, Surgery was completed. It was a much easier process then I imagined and I had a nerve block in my leg with general. Highly recommended. Doc also found some fringe on my meniscus and cleaned it up a bit.

They put 2 absorbing screws in the Femur and Tib and I chose the cadaver tendon. The other grafts seem to damage other key muscles and bones with more pain and I was confident in my doctor who has worked on NHL hockey players, NFL and NBA players that made a full/better then full recovery with the cadaver and never lost that jump in their step.

Pain post op 1-10 with drugs 0-1 Once they wore off 5-7 ache

Stiffness in the leg 1-10 : 7 After a couple days 5

Take your pain meds even with nerve block because it wears off and then a gentle "Hello" from your bones letting you know they have new screws in them. Because I did this, no real pain, just discomfort, just an ache.

I left the hospital the same day, ate real food right away and got comfy at home for 5 days of RICE: Rest Ice Compression Elevation.

They gave me the Robo-cop knee brace and kept my leg straight.

Its been almost a week, and my knee is feeling great, 1st post OP was yesterday and doc was thrilled. Swelling down and 30degrees of bend under my own muscle power. PT starts today.

Do yourself a favor. If you have had a knee injury similar to mine and dont want to be in pain once you hit the relaxing years later in life, get a good doc and MRI. Your knee can become completely disabled if you push the envelope and its not worth it. My surgery as of now with everything will probably cap around $20,000. I have insurance so it will be a lot cheaper.

My body will be better then new. My future work outs and knee braces will be more focused on my sports and I am gonna go back to being me. My eating will improve as well as hydration.

Ive been without insurance before and I would find a way to get this fixed. You wil get a loan for a huge truck or fast car but wont to save yourself from a life of pain and drastic change of lifestyle? Ill drive my used car, eat smart, cheap and fix my body first.

Well off to PT. I can post pictures of my MRI and Post Op if anyone is curious and needs any advise from a patients perspective. Not everyone heals the same and no two injuries are alike.

Time to Kick A$$ in therapy so I can race!

Edited by HS1075, July 03, 2012 - 02:43 PM.


  • redrooster65

Posted July 03, 2012 - 11:56 AM

#2

Not two bills the same, my hospital billed at over 20k

  • HS1075

Posted July 03, 2012 - 02:29 PM

#3

Yes your right about that. I was suprised to see it at $20,000. But what is very cool is they gave me a cyro cooling machine, special kneebrace and my ortho is prescribing me knee braces for both knees after 6 weeks.

Ive done some research and I think im going with CTI carbon braces as prescribed by my ortho. I have to wear them during sports for a year then its up to me. I will always wear them for MX and make sure they fit.

First PT appointment went well. 38degrees flex on my own, full extension and almost 90degrees day 1 with assisitance from the PT. Electrodes to stimulate the muscles and yes that felt good!

Anyone else recently finish or is close to finishing your PT?

  • inthedirtagain

Posted July 03, 2012 - 02:38 PM

#4

My experience with healthcare reveals several truths about you comments. First, if something doesn't feel right, trust your instincts. Nurses think they know more than they actually do and often interject their own opinion over yours. Second, AMEN for wanting to take care of yourself early so that you can enjoy a longer and more healthier life to come. Many young people waste too much time and money on objects and actions that only bring immediate comfort or status. I commend you for weighing the importance of your future! And, finally, as the last poster offered, different facilities have different medical contracts for health services, so no two procedures are billed the same. You can hypothetically have twins with separate insurance companies having identical procedures and wind up with entirely different, and complex billing structures.

Not only am I Clinical Laboratory Scientist with 2 different medical degrees, but I'm also recovering from a recent knee surgery. I have no idea how it happened, but my MRI revealed a major tear in my right medial meniscus with a 6mm flap extending into the joint space. I ended up having 40% of the meniscus removed, as well as a small procedure to remove PLICA from my right knee. Once the block wore off, I was in absolute misery because they didn't prescribe strong enough pain killers. It took 2 Oxycontins, 2 Vicadins, and 1600mg of Ibuprofen for me to endure the pain enough to sleep through the night. I'm 4 weeks post-op and attending PT whenever theirs and my schedule allow. I still have swelling and fluid retention limiting my range of motion. I haven't yet tried to kick over my 450R yet. Good luck to your healing and eventual return back to work and hobbies.

Edited by inthedirtagain, July 03, 2012 - 02:39 PM.


  • HS1075

Posted July 03, 2012 - 02:57 PM

#5

Thanks! I hope all goes better with your knee. Thats sounds like awful pain and I hope you can return as normal to riding and hell, just being normal for walking etc. Knees are alot mor complex then one would think and my bone breaks have healed much faster then any ligament or tendon.

I know I have a long and careful road to recover the right way. I will say this. Although I am in pain and under mental stress of all I am sitting out, I am alive and better off then many in far worse condition. I am not religious but very conscious of others and thankful this is all I have to endure yet in life.

I will ride again next season. Probably indoor MX to start and will return to the ice in February. My hars Scramble GP starts in April. You can choose to live in a box with glass sides or do what you do to live. Its not irresponsible to want to continue where I left off, I just need to realize the price of doing business and prepare better to aid in avoiding this injury and others, realizing some are expected when pushing the envelope. This being said, I could have stepped in a hole, tripped or jumped a certain way and done the same thing.

My goal is to race in a GNCC pro event. I will get there come hell or high water, and this setback will fuel it.

More updates to come, those injured hang in there....all in time.

  • redrooster65

Posted July 03, 2012 - 05:48 PM

#6

Knee injuries are curious, with minicus you have a stable knee with pain and cant do anything. ACl is an unstable knee with limited pain so you cant do anything.

I am 47 and had my ACL reconstructed 5/8. Same deal I want to be able to function the best I can for as long as I can.

I chose the quad graft and am very pleased with the results. I started PT the next day, extension was easy for me as well but I would recommend paying attention to it during rehab as the last little bit made a huge difference in walking normal. Flex was not a problem but I still want more, get all you can.

The other thing I will advise is do as much PT at home as you can, most of it is simple stuff you can do by yourself. Two hours of PT a week is not nearly enough.

With Docs permission I plan on riding the first weekend of August and cant wait!

  • thestuz

Posted July 03, 2012 - 06:03 PM

#7

bravo!!!!

one always needs to put the body first before his toys imo.

i am now 5 weeks post op. just started at the gym for first week and wow! it helps.

now that you guys have obama care, hopefully health costs will come down like every other industrialized nation.
it only cost me $4,500 to get my miniscus and acl done over here. or i could of waited a year and had it done for free :devil:

  • redrooster65

Posted July 03, 2012 - 06:10 PM

#8

Obama is not doing me any favors with this.

I work hard and pay my bills (I have insurance). My injury happened April the 1st, I saw a Doc the second and had MRI the 4th. Surgery was May the 8th after pre surgery PT.

Today is July the 3rd and I am looking at riding my motorcycle again on August the 4th.

What was your time line?

PS I figure to pay about $7,500.00

Edited by redrooster65, July 03, 2012 - 07:34 PM.


  • HS1075

Posted July 04, 2012 - 09:23 AM

#9

Hey Redroost,


I hope your return goes smooth in August!

I was told 6 months for me to return to riding/hockey and with hard work and a quick healer 4-5months tops. I hope to return to work at 8-10 weeks with a brace.

I agree completely with your comments on PT. I am doing 3 sessions a day at home and fortunately have PT 3 times a week averaging around 1.25hrs a session. I have a process of vitamins, protein and carbs each day now and I feel GREAT.

Please send a picture of you kicking A$$ on your bike again for motivation please!

  • redrooster65

Posted July 04, 2012 - 04:09 PM

#10

I wish I could play hockey again, a price of living in AZ.

The allograft does take longer to heal than ones own tissue.

I am in the brace fitting process right now and am looking foreword to having it. I will feel like I could do about whatever I want to with some common sense. I chose CiTi as well but may still end up with the Don Joy.

First rides will be easy but I will post up.

Edited by redrooster65, July 04, 2012 - 04:11 PM.


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  • thestuz

Posted July 05, 2012 - 01:22 AM

#11

Obama is not doing me any favors with this.

I work hard and pay my bills (I have insurance). My injury happened April the 1st, I saw a Doc the second and had MRI the 4th. Surgery was May the 8th after pre surgery PT.

Today is July the 3rd and I am looking at riding my motorcycle again on August the 4th.

What was your time line?

PS I figure to pay about $7,500.00



well i think it was about the 8/2/12 that i had the injury.
i went to 3 different doctors over the period of a month to get a good opinion and got prices and a doctor who sounded like he knew what he was talking about.(had to wait for the swelling to go down so the mri scans were more accurate)

i was advised to wait for the swelling to ease before surgery as it would provide better surgery results so i waited it out while pondering my decisions (since there was no pain after 5 weeks and it went back to 90 percent mobility & strength).

so i went back to work and strengthened up the leg and decided to have it operated on 23/5/12 (as its wet and windy and i want to have it good by summer)

here i am 4 weeks later, and i can say that doing gym work and cycling has made a huge difference!

the biggest obstacles i have faced so far have been psychological.

im not sure if i will do mx again, or even ride again, its a tough lesson learnt. ive decided my knees will be better taken care of from this point on.

how come you pay $7,500 even though you got insurance?????? over here, insurance means you pay bare minimum, say $100- $300?

i paid $4,500 for surgery and follow up appointments and thats uninsured.

Edited by thestuz, July 05, 2012 - 01:29 AM.


  • redrooster65

Posted July 05, 2012 - 05:24 AM

#12

5,000 deductible, 2,000 coinsurance and some misc. However auto insurance (on the bike) is paying 5K and AFLAC paid 1800 so it really not going to cost me much, I have to wait for the dust to settle.

Sounds tike seeing a doc is not an issue for you, that is always the knock on socialized medicine. What would if cost for you to be insured?

  • DrMark

Posted July 05, 2012 - 05:46 AM

#13

In Austraiia or the UK, the costs are taken out of your paycheck in the guise of high taxes. THose folks in the USA with a high deductable, pay a smaller amount ever month, and essentially bet against a severe illness.

In the end we all pay the same because the costs are the same. THe difference is when, and to whom you will write the check.

  • HS1075

Posted July 05, 2012 - 12:28 PM

#14

Well day 2 of official PT. Im supposed to be at 90 degrees flex and 0 extension by week 6 post op. It is the beginning of week 2 and today I was at 78 degrees flex and 0-negative extension on my own!

I have another PT session tomorrow cause the holiday schedule but it is looking good! Almost all of my swelling is gone and all of my wounds are almost 100 healed from the surgery with virtually no scar. I think im lucky!

I need to make a correction in surgery cost as my first bill arrived today at over $20,000 and I originally said it looked like a total of around $20,000. I guess the other bills were off or they forgot some details? Looks like $30,000 now when all is said and done. I have insurance so that should bring it way down.

I am so glad I was able to do this surgery as quickly as I did. Its been frusterating trying to get up and down my multi-level house and out and about with a leg locked straight all day, but my injury could have been worse.

Keep on keepin on injured riders........all in time.

  • thestuz

Posted July 06, 2012 - 04:27 PM

#15

5,000 deductible, 2,000 coinsurance and some misc. However auto insurance (on the bike) is paying 5K and AFLAC paid 1800 so it really not going to cost me much, I have to wait for the dust to settle.

Sounds tike seeing a doc is not an issue for you, that is always the knock on socialized medicine. What would if cost for you to be insured?


i think it costs about $1,000-$1,400 per year.
the kicker is that the best surgery standards come from our public hospitals because of there size and scale.
because private doctors have to compete with the "free" public system, it seems to drive down there prices(perhaps quality too)
my origional quote was $9,500-$10,000. when they found out i was uninsured, they changed the quote to $5,100. (total cost came down to $4,500 inc anethesist)

sorry for hijack.

but to add to the topic again, after 8 days of gym, i am now able to walk up stairs without pain. i cant say how important light gym and cycling have been. i recommend to do it and listen to your body!
i also found using hot and cold packs on the knee (ten minutes between each) have helped also.

Edited by thestuz, July 06, 2012 - 04:35 PM.


  • redrooster65

Posted July 06, 2012 - 04:35 PM

#16

It costs me about 3,000 a year to insure myself and my children with the hight deductible plan. Premiums and health savings contributions are pre tax so you can figure I get a 20% break on those things

Surgeon billed 6K, got paid 4, anesthesia billed 3K and gets 20% of surgeon, so it looks like we are in the same ball park. The differences being a 1k MRI, the hospital/surgi center at 23K and insane amounts of PT.

Oh yea and my 2,000 dollar brace

  • HS1075

Posted July 06, 2012 - 08:24 PM

#17

Day 3 off official PT.

About 90 degrees flex on my own. Starting new exercises. Doc cleared me for exercises dependant upon my pain tolerance.

Brace moved from locked straight to 40 degrees! What a dream!

Walked with some weight on the new knee (supported by crutches).

I have a weekend of at home PT and hope to do some work on my MX bike. Making progress!!!!

Glad to hear you guys are getting up stairs now and hitting the gym hard. I cant wait! Keep updated rolling and pics if you can of when you make progress/ride again!

Thanks guys!

  • thestuz

Posted July 08, 2012 - 04:25 PM

#18

Day 3 off official PT.

About 90 degrees flex on my own. Starting new exercises. Doc cleared me for exercises dependant upon my pain tolerance.

Brace moved from locked straight to 40 degrees! What a dream!

Walked with some weight on the new knee (supported by crutches).

I have a weekend of at home PT and hope to do some work on my MX bike. Making progress!!!!

Glad to hear you guys are getting up stairs now and hitting the gym hard. I cant wait! Keep updated rolling and pics if you can of when you make progress/ride again!

Thanks guys!


i would not recommend "hitting the gym hard", but defiantly do as much as comfortable.

i recommend starting out on exercise bike to loosen up your leg and warming up the body. and doing the minimum weight on legs just to get base movement.
do a light leg workout exercise and then slip in a upper body workout in between.
its good to take out some frustrations on a bench press between leg exercises.
ive been mixing it up with great results and eating healthy. your whole body will feel good, and more importantly. YOUR MIND!.
my gym has a huge olympic style pool area too, which is great for a water walk and light swim after workouts.(and slip in a spa too)
im now taking two steps (lunges) up the stairs comfortably and without pain instead of one careful step at a time.. its little gains like this that bring the smiles to your face.


redrooster65, a mri scan with doctors consultation cost only $120 down here. and hospital xrays are free.

thats why i got 3 opinions. :devil:

Edited by thestuz, July 08, 2012 - 04:26 PM.


  • HS1075

Posted July 17, 2012 - 12:05 PM

#19

Alright! Made it to week 3 of physical therapy. I am now at 125 degrees flex with 0 extension and made it to 140 with some help.

I can bike on a stationary bike at level 3 and maintain 80+rpm now!

I have had my crutches taken and now have a cane to walk on. Muscle strength is finally restoring itself in the surgery leg.

Tomorrow I go to light and short leg presses on a machine. Its so nice to walk without the crutches and swelling is way down, almost gone. Not given the green light to drive yet, but hopefully in a week or so. Hope you guys are still recovering well and look forward to walking unassisted soon!

  • redrooster65

Posted July 17, 2012 - 03:51 PM

#20

Great news, keep up the hard work & good attitude.

Something I started to do later in my routine is icing the back of my knee. It has really helped get that last bit of flex. I wish I would have started sooner.





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