I am an avid sports player and tore my ACL skiing about 4 years ago. I had it repaired right away and wound up stretching out the hamstring autograft and required a second ACL reconstruction with a achilles tendon allograft. Since this repair I have continued with periods of insability and giving way. I also have pain with running and occassional swelling with activity. Could I have possibly torn or stretched this graft? I have not had any particularly traumatic injuries to my knee that I can recall. I want all this to have been worth it and want to resume playing sports, but simply do not have the stability to do so. Any suggestions??
Thanks for writing in. An ACL tear most often occurs during sporting activities when an athlete suddenly pivots causing excessive rotational forces on the ligament. Common symptoms are sudden giving way of the knee, hearing a 'pop' at the time of injury, sudden swelling of the knee joint, pain in the knee when walking etc.
I would suggest that you get a x-ray and MRI of the knee joint to confirm the ACL tear. I think there is a tear of the graft. Also with ACL tear surgeries it is common to have knee arthritis, so work up in this direction is also important in your case.
After ACL reconstruction surgery rehabilitation is the most important part of treatment. Swimming and cycling are excellent methods of strengthening the muscles around the knee. Muscle strengthening is critical not only to recover muscle mass lost due to surgery, but also to improve stability of the joint as increased muscle strength reduces stress on the joint ligaments. Some degree of activity modification is required in recovery of patient’s with ACL reconstruction.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for your input. I have had an x-ray which looked pretty good. I am scheduled for an MRI. I am really undecided on what to do if it is torn again. It would involve a much bigger surgery this time to fix it...but I still want to play sports. I guess I will just have to wait to see what the MRI shows. Thanks again.
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