Goalies.....Playing on a partially torn ACL
A couple weeks ago my left leg locked up on me going for a save on a breakaway. I initially just thought it was my meniscus since I could run without any pain a week after the incident, but after having gone for an MRI, I found out I have BOTH a torn lateral meniscus and a partially torn ACL.
I am 21 years old and heading into my senior season of playing college hockey (ACHA D1 Club). In other words, this is my last season of competitive hockey.
I plan on having arthroscopic surgery on my meniscus (aka, "getting my knee scoped"), and from what I gather, the turnaround time for this is about 2 weeks.
Regarding the ACL, if I have surgery now, I will miss the entire season. Therefore, I am going to try to play on it and pray it doesn't pop on me. I am looking for the absolute best brace out there to last me until March. I got nothin to lose...
I have come this braces, and was wondering if anyone cares to share their experiences with braces (or has any other comments on playing with an ACL injury).
Fusion by Breg - http://www.breg.com/knee-bracing/ligament/fusion.html
My last year of ACHA, I played on one torn ACL and one partially-torn ACL, and managed to get through the season with large amounts of Advil.
If your supporting muscles are strong enough, it can be done, but it was at the point where the pain was worse than the joy. If it hadn't been my last year of graduate school, I would have done the surgery and sat for the year. Looking back, I still probably should have.
I realize that I haven't made your decision here (but that probably wasn't your goal anyhow). Best of luck in whatever decision you ultimately make.
Personally I'd say that it isn't worth it to play through it. I had some knee/leg issues (pulled muscles in the leg, partially torn ACL, etc.) that I tried playing through a couple years ago. It wasn't a major team or anything, just a ball hockey league you buy into and get a spot.
At first I decided just to play through it, I could do everything I needed to do. It stung a little sometimes, but there wasn't much time left until the playoffs and I figured as long as I could play I could hopefully help the team out.
I just told myself finish up the playoffs and I was done for a year. So I tried playing through it, and it wasn't horrible at first. After a couple games it started getting a bit worse, but not enough for me to bother sitting out. By this point, without even meaning to, I had started to change the way I played to adjust to the knee injury. It was starting to get a little harder to go down into a butterfly, so I started relying on playing more of a stand-up style.
Kept trying to push off actually dealing with the injury, and help my team do the best that they could. Looking back on it now, I realize how stupid it was of me to try (and when my teammates found out I had been playing through it, I didn't hear the end of it for a while). The knee finally ended up giving out right before the playoffs though, and I ended up missing them anyways.
That would have been about 3 years ago maybe. Dealt with the problem, did the physiotherapy to get it back so I could hopefully play again. Got it to where I wanted it, and recently the same knee has started having problems again. Haven't found out yet if it is because of the last knee injury or not yet.
But I think the point I'm trying to make is. If I could go back, I wouldn't play through it. Obviously your situation is different, you're playing college hockey. However, your teammates would understand why you have to sit out. They won't hate you, or be mad at you, for not playing through a partially torn ACL. I understand the fact you want to play out the season, help your team, finish up your college hockey career off, and all that sort of stuff. The fact of the matter is, you are likely better off just fixing the problem before it gets worse.
If you have any questions about anything, I'll do my best to answer them. On my second knee injury now, I used a sports medicine brace I got from the physiotherapy I eventually ended up going to. Fairly basic, just had like hinges on the side of it to take some pressure off the knee while still letting it move.
I hope whatever you end up doing works out for you though, keep us updated.
I say play through it..I'm also entering my senior year and I wouldn't miss it for anything.
Appreciate the comments guys.
Like I said, I would have never guessed I screwed up my ACL b/c I've run 5.5 miles 3 times this week without any pain at all.
There's no way I'm going to get the ACL surgery done now. It's my last year, and if I'm going down, I'm going down fightin'. I want to take the best preventive steps possible to delay it until March.
I have access to one of the top knee specialists in the US....combining that with the high fitness level I'm already in, if my ACL were to pop, I have no doubt that I would make a good recovery following surgery. The doc said it is possible to play on with a brace, which is why I'm trying to figure out which one works best for goalies.
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