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I'm just literally falling apart ...

I'm a 31 year old, very active, male. I'm very conscience of what I eat, and consider myself very healthy. I snowboard religiously, cycle, and compete in martial arts (japanese fencing) tournaments.

However, in 2000, I tore my ACL in my right knee and had ACL replacement surgery. In 2003 I again tore the ACL in my right knee, along with my meniscus cartilage. After my second surgery I never felt like I healed right. I had a lot of muscle atrophy and it never really got back to the muscle tone it once had. I've never been 100% pain free when I'm doing something physical, whether is post activity soreness, or just pain from over exertion. I've also had an extremely tight hamstring in my right leg which resulted in some minor sciatic pain.

2009 I finally went to see an orthopedic surgeon to get some XRays and an MRI. I have early arthritis in both knees, and partially torn ACL, as well as a less than perfect meniscus cartilage.

This year I noticed that I can no longer sit with my legs folded underneath me, so that my butt is resting on my heels (pretty important in martial arts). Then last month came the big one ... I herniated my L5-S1 disc and now have extreme sciatic pain and all over discomfort.

I've started getting into some yoga stretching, but a lot of the poses for my back hurt my knee.

So I'm just starting to get a little overwhelmed and exhausted by this. It's been about 10 years since I've been really pain free and I feel like doctors are just not helping. I hate surgery, and I'm not a pill popper (at all). Is there one type of doctor I should be seeing or should I be going to multiple specialists?
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1741471 tn?1407159030

Hi there and welcome to my forum!!

Wow! If i may say you are being extremely patient with your journey. As an ex professional athlete there is nothing that gets you more frustrated than injuries and believe me with everything you have gone through you are coping great in my opinion.

Now lets get down, dirty and practical: It is clear that your body is screaming please change something! stop doing that!....ACL injuries although being the worst for many sports we have no clue why happens even to top athletes. So i want you to observe yourself not being critical but understanding and cope with all the injuries one by one.

Imagine that Derek jeter or Kobe bryant will not do any strength training on the side they will be getting injured over and over again that is what's happening to you. You need to focus more in your physical strength program

You know than when someone has a severe tear you need to do a very important neuromuscular proprioceptive exercise program besides of improving the isolated joint. In my book i have tons of those exercises (Super Body, Super Brain).

You should exercise in the following areas for your knees and base strength training with weights (light at the beginning) and progressively increase the load and the exercise complexity....

Semi squat positioning with balance
Balance exercises
Muscle Coordination (to improve neuromuscular efficiency-search bodysmart tv in youtube to see few of my movements)
Sensory coordination (eyes closed exercises)

For your lower back:
hamstring/calf stretch
Lower back strength
No bending lower back!!! that is why Yoga poses hurt, that area is still healing....

Please stay away from Martial Arts till you see a clear recovery of your neuromuscular system.

Like you said you are far too young to have all these injuries so clearly we need to adjust and define an individualizes neuromuscular and proprioceptive strength training program for you/ Be patient and be consistent.

If you have any doubts please ask me anything I understand your frustration and I am here to help

I hope this helps!

The advise in this comment is never to replace any medical advise and should never replace the regular visit to your regular doctor
Helpful - 0
1811716 tn?1316558472
After reading your letter in details I couldn't tell but I'm assuming you have not had any postoperative physical therapy and that could be the underlying cause to your multiple symptoms and complications.  Rehabilitation after ACL reconstruction is a lengthy process, and full successful recovery can be obtain only with a 100% patient's compliance. Return to sports and activities takes months. There are many variations of ACL rehabilitation based on specific protocol designed by a physical therapist and you must adhere to your own protocol.
My best advice for you would be to find a good physical therapist who can use conservative modalities and give you specific guidance to your overall recovery after detailed assessment of your weaknesses.
Best of luck!
Helpful - 0

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