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Thread: 'Loose' ACL

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    'Loose' ACL

    I have had ACL reconstructions done in both knees - the last one was 17 yrs ago. Last year, I tore my lateral meniscus and had surgery to remove the tear. After the surgery, the Dr told me my repaired ACL was very 'loose'. Curious, has anyone had a similar problem and what did you do? Opt for a new ACL, or wait for the old one to tear? The Dr did not give me an option on 'repair', but told me to be very careful. This sucks because it is always in the back of your mind whenever you do anything.

    A loose ACL combined with a meniscus tear is bad news -- I am not sure if a new ACL would solve instability issues in my knee, but at 45 I am not ready to stop skiing, hiking and mtn biking....

  2. #2
    lhowemt is offline gaper-'airin out my teeth
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpr422 View Post
    I have had ACL reconstructions done in both knees - the last one was 17 yrs ago. Last year, I tore my lateral meniscus and had surgery to remove the tear. After the surgery, the Dr told me my repaired ACL was very 'loose'. Curious, has anyone had a similar problem and what did you do? Opt for a new ACL, or wait for the old one to tear? The Dr did not give me an option on 'repair', but told me to be very careful. This sucks because it is always in the back of your mind whenever you do anything.

    A loose ACL combined with a meniscus tear is bad news -- I am not sure if a new ACL would solve instability issues in my knee, but at 45 I am not ready to stop skiing, hiking and mtn biking....
    Similar story here, just a few years younger, but only on one knee, with the added bonus of two meniscus clean up. Doc says he wouldn't think I had an ACL if he hadn't seen it, plus the other knee is almost as loose. It makes me sick to watch it move, and I can do it myself with almost no effort. He's fully supported my desire for less surgery, I figure there's a limited number of times the knife can help you. I look at it this way now: I used to have to stay in top shape to skip top notch. Now I have to stay in top shape to function, it's all "prehab".

    With me, I've got quite a few injuries, I won't be skiing like I'm 25, or even 30, ever again. So I stay strong, do lots of PT, yoga, etc, and listen to my body. When it starts to hurt, that means I've gotten weak. Repeated PT visits over the years has been incredibly useful, as something goes to the dogs and the PT finds it and helps me focus, strength or stretch as needed, and get me back going strong.

    That said, I still tele. Sure it hurts my knees, but as long as I'm strong, it keeps me strong, and alpine kills my back. Which is another major maladjustment.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    I completely agree -- PT is critical.

    As for the ACL situation, my Dr is very conservative, which is likely why he did not fix it when he was cleaning up my meniscus. If I would have known how 'loose' it was, I would have asked him to fix it and deal with the rehab. I have done it twice already and would do it again.

    I am going to see how it goes over the next month and go see the Dr again for a consultation. My guess is that he will say fix it...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    United States
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    Loose ACL

    When the handle bars get loose does somthing need to be tightend or replaced?

    Im sure you guys know what I mean as all peds get this loose handle bar.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    München
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    Similar story here. After having my left ACL reattached two times now, it is stretched quite a bit and about 8-10mm longer that the one on the other side. MRI confirmed that it's there. Funny thing was that the doc wasn't so sure about that before the MRI, but my PT was sure and kept telling me "it's there, just a little loose, but still usable".

    He also said, that the knee will only feel sloppy when there is no tension in the muscles, but as soon as the muscles do their job, the knee is pulled into the normal movement pattern, even if the ACL is too loose.

    So the plan is, to stay as strong as possible, know when to call it a day, and not letting tired muscles rotate the knee to far.

    When I rotate the knee outward with my hands while sitting on chair with my muscles relaxed, I can feel a slight pain on the very inside and outside of the joint line.
    PT says, that's because of the long ACL. Femur and tibia bones come in contact, because it simply rotates further outward before the ACL stops the rotation.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    17
    Quick question....what kind of ACL replacement did you get, i.e. cadaver, hamstring tendon or patellar tendon? I wonder if the type of tendon used plays a role how much it loosens over the years.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    München
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMD75 View Post
    Quick question....what kind of ACL replacement did you get, i.e. cadaver, hamstring tendon or patellar tendon? I wonder if the type of tendon used plays a role how much it loosens over the years.
    I didn't get a replacement. They did the "headling response" method. twice. So it's still the original ligament. Both times it didn't tear, but was torn off the femur. So they drilled holes into the femur to form a clot that "glues" the ligament to the bone. After about one year, you have a solid connection again.

    I didn't expect it to work twice on the same ligament, but the current MRI says, it did.

    The surgeon said they wanted to try it this way first, so I still have anough spare parts for the next time.
    If that is going to happen, I will try the semitendinosus/gracilis combo.

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