ACL Sugery Recovery Time

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bigredmachine
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ACL Sugery Recovery Time

Postby bigredmachine » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:31 pm

After three years of putting off the surgery, I am considering finally having my torn ACL repaired. I was hoping anyone who has had the surgery might be able to provide a little insight into how quickly I might be able to get back into the mountains after surgery. My doc said 6-9 months recovery for most people, but I'd like to think being relatively young (32) and in good shape I might be able to do it in 4 or 5 months. My plan is to have the surgery just after labor day, that way I can still hike through the summer and possibly still get some good turns in late winter. Specifically what I am looking for is info on how quickly before I can run, hike, and snowboard post surgery?

Thanks
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--bb--
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Re: ACL Sugery Recovery Time

Postby --bb-- » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:20 am

I had ACL reconstructive surgery the second week of April. I was 28 at the time. By July, I hiked Quandary and I started teaching snowboarding again in November. Keep in mind, I was still in PT while I was hiking.

I asked my ortho doc, "what's the latest I can have my surgery and be ready for next snowboard season?" and he said second week of April. Of course, everyone is different, but I would recommend moving your date up a bit if you want a full summer of hiking.

One thing they say is the better shape you are going into surgery, the better you'll be coming out of surgery. My experience was a great example. I spent a lot of energy working out, snowboarding, and going to yoga as prep for surgery. The results were quite remarkable compared to other knee surgeries (I've had 4).

Good luck! Hope this was helpful.
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lpyle
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Re: ACL Sugery Recovery Time

Postby lpyle » Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:33 am

I had ACL surgery in April 2005. I was running (on flat, easy ground, not trails) a few weeks later. And hiking easy 14ers a couple of months later. Note that this was completely against doctor's advice. I did go to PT and followed all their recommendations (except for going back to running and hiking too early), and I never pushed the running/hiking to the point of pain. I haven't had any problems with the knee afterwards.
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SummitKathy
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Re: ACL Sugery Recovery Time

Postby SummitKathy » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:19 am

It sounds as though the people that posted previously had a good recovery from their surgeries. I have had ACL surgery on both my left and right knees. And I had terrible recoveries from both. For some reason my body just does not handle it well. I was 17 when I had my first, and 27 when I had my second. I was in great shape entering into surgery for both, and yet it was still bad recoveries. That being said, I was still back playing basketball 5mo after the first, and was running/hiking at my normal pace about 5mo after the second. I think if you are someone that has a really good recovery you can expect to be back within a couple of months. And if you have a bad recovery, probably closer to 5 that you would consider yourself fully recovered. But I would think you could at least be doing light hiking within 3-4mo at the worst. I was running and hiking after about 3mo, but wouldn't have considering myself fully healed (aka.. at my normal condition), until around 5mo.

Things did not go well in my recovery, but I was VERY diciplined with my PT and exercise. I was patient with my body and did not push it too hard. I was eventually back at it, and my knees are in good shape now. I would recommend just listening to your body (everyone is different), and take your PT vey seriously.

I think the recovery time also will depend a lot on the sport you are entering back into. Obviously the higher impact sports with more stress (like skiing) might have more time than something like hiking. At least that has been my experience. The thing that takes the longest to come back is the mental recovery. It will be a long time before you are able to perform in your sports without worrying about your knee or babying it. Again, my personal experience.

Good luck in your recovery! And if you'd like any more advice/encouragement or anything as you undertake this, just send me a PM.
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”-John Muir
KTTFB64
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Re: ACL Sugery Recovery Time

Postby KTTFB64 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:20 am

Going on 10 weeks post-surgery now, and I'm working the bike pretty hard and starting to go on mellow hikes. The first couple weeks suck, but after that the worst part is the impatience...The doctor told me that 14ers are probably out for this summer, but I think it would be possible in August. Your timeline sounds pretty reasonable in terms of getting back to full strength with some time to ski/board.

I will say that coming back too soon like lpyle could be fine, but it is risking re-injury. The graft takes forever to fully strengthen, and one awkward step could undo all the time and money spent. About half the people I know who got the surgery had to have it re-done because they came back too soon, so I've tried to be careful. Good luck!
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rijaca
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Re: ACL Sugery Recovery Time

Postby rijaca » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:27 am

ACL reconstruction with hamstring graft on 3/8/12.

Hike Bergen Peak (9 m. 2000') on 4/28/12
Hike Mt Bierstadt on 6/3/12.
Week long backpacking trip (and climbs) 8/5 to 8/11.
Ski 12/25/12.
Dick lives.
IkeB
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Re: ACL Sugery Recovery Time

Postby IkeB » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:22 am

It took me 15 weeks from surgery to doing a 20 mile hike in bandalier nat monument. I was 16 though. Be sure you are diligent with the PT.
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lpyle
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Re: ACL Sugery Recovery Time

Postby lpyle » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:03 am

KTTFB64 wrote:I will say that coming back too soon like lpyle could be fine, but it is risking re-injury. The graft takes forever to fully strengthen, and one awkward step could undo all the time and money spent. About half the people I know who got the surgery had to have it re-done because they came back too soon, so I've tried to be careful. Good luck!


Yes, by coming back too soon you are risking re-injury. When I started running, it was on a nice smooth park trail or a bike path, so I wasn't worried about falling or anything like that. When I did Grays Peak a couple months after surgery, I was extremely slow and careful. And I wore my brace both running and hiking. Everyone is different and some people won't want to take the risk of re-injury. Oh, and I didn't ski again for almost a year...and now when I ski I am one of the most conservative people out there. :)
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Jay521
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Re: ACL Sugery Recovery Time

Postby Jay521 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:45 am

Surgical procedures improve and recovery times shorten as the years pass, I guess. I had a complete ACL rupture repaired in 1993 and it took almost 4 months to get off crutches and out of the cast and subsequent moon boot. I wanna say it was almost 3 or 4 months more before I was able to do anything serious. But that was 20 years ago and I was 40-something at the time.... But one thing seems constant over the years - be RELIGIOUS with PT...
I take the mountain climber's approach to housekeeping - don't look down

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