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Coming back from a Knee Injury

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03-19-2010, 10:33 AM
  #1
ChiTownHawks
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Coming back from a Knee Injury

Hey Everyone,
2 weeks ago while in Mexico playing sand volleyball I suffered patellar sublaxation or a dislocated knee cap. To make a long story short I have been to the ER, here not in Mexico, my doctor, an ortho surgeon, and I have gotten X-Rays and an MRI. I also start PT next week, which I will be going to for a month. I meet with the ortho again next Friday to go over my MRI and to see if there is any damage to the ligaments. The ortho thinks it is unlikely that anything is ruptured, but there may be some minor tears.

Assuming I don't need surgery how long do people think it will be before I can play again? Also for anyone who has had a knee injury how long did it take for you to feel good and confident on the ice again? Also are there any exercises you guys can recommend? I am in pretty good shape and before I injured myself I ran 5 miles every other day so I am hoping this will speed up my recovery time. I am a beginner and I was planning on taking lessons this spring so I would be ready for next winter. I play with my buddies on ice all the time but need some instruction for sure. Thanks in advance for any help.

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03-19-2010, 01:24 PM
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Steelhead16
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You need to consult your doctor about specific exercises to do that will not hurt you more. But the best thing I can suggest is that you strengthen your quads and glutes. They will take the stress off the knees. The difficult part is trying to do this after an injury. It will help in the future to help re-injuring an already damaged knee. See if your doctor can reccomend some exercises to strengthen those two areas without causing further damage.

I'm from the cortisone injections and sucking it up era. Now 25 years later that doesn't seem like such a good idea anymore. Don't take that route consult a doctor who specializes in sports injuries.

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03-19-2010, 01:35 PM
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gintonic
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Hockey player with a present knee injury here. So I can talk a little about it since I've had to deal with this. My injury actually shortened my season. Presently scheduled for surgery next week. I have a meniscus tear, so on the scale of things it's not bad. Was told I should be back to full speed in about a month. Now what I've learned in all this is, that if your ligaments are strong and healthy that's a good thing, if there is any ligament damage at all, such as a tear, then it's something to be taken very seriously as this is the support structure for the knee. So in your case if you have suspected ligament damage, you should take great heed to the doctor's recommendation because pushing it could cause some serious knee damage.

I agree with the previous poster too, I've found that strengthening leg muscles greatly helps knee health. Just make sure your doctor says it's ok for you to do that.

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03-19-2010, 02:40 PM
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stick9
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Torn ACL, sprained LCL May 1st 2009, surgery to fix the ACL sept 30th 2009, returned to hockey Feb 28th 2010.

Playing 5 months out of surgery is by all accounts pretty impressive, not the norm that's for sure. I still don't feel comfortable, but I gain a little more each time I play. Everyone is different and knees are such a hard thing to judge. Expect the worst, hope for the best.


Last edited by stick9: 03-19-2010 at 02:55 PM.
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03-19-2010, 02:50 PM
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ChiTownHawks
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Thanks for the replies so far. I guess I have a couple things in my favor as I have torn my ACL before in the same knee so I know a little about that type of rehab and I am also seeing a guy who specializes in sports medicine.

It seems I am recovering a little too quickly to have any serious ligament damage. I say this b/c I am already walking without crtuches and the swelling is almost gone and I dont really have any pain unless I really overextend the knee. I guess judgement day will be next Friday when I get the MRI results.

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03-19-2010, 07:40 PM
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Hockeyfan68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiTownHawks View Post
Thanks for the replies so far. I guess I have a couple things in my favor as I have torn my ACL before in the same knee so I know a little about that type of rehab and I am also seeing a guy who specializes in sports medicine.

It seems I am recovering a little too quickly to have any serious ligament damage. I say this b/c I am already walking without crtuches and the swelling is almost gone and I dont really have any pain unless I really overextend the knee. I guess judgement day will be next Friday when I get the MRI results.
I'll be pulling for you to get positive results from your MRI next Friday.

Good luck with that.

I fear knee injury as I have avoided them for 35 years. I've injured other things I mean .... just saying. The knees and the back are the the two big ones that cause serious issues with playing.

I wish you the best.

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03-22-2010, 10:51 AM
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ChiTownHawks
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Originally Posted by Hockeyfan68 View Post
I'll be pulling for you to get positive results from your MRI next Friday.

Good luck with that.

I fear knee injury as I have avoided them for 35 years. I've injured other things I mean .... just saying. The knees and the back are the the two big ones that cause serious issues with playing.

I wish you the best.

Thanks for the well wishes! I am hoping for good results as well. I am just starting up and I need all the help I can get so I really hope I don't get delayed by surgery.

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03-22-2010, 02:45 PM
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Just be patient, you'll get back out there. Knee injuries are tricky to predict, and everyone heals at different rates. Just be sure to listen to your doctor, even if you think they are being overly cautious.

As for your confidence, when you eventually do get back out there, that's another thing that is pretty dependant on the individual. The big test for me was always taking that first big hit. After I would get rocked good, I'd usually be convinced that everything was fine and I'd stop thinking about it.

Good luck, I'm sure you'll recover just fine, just take it slow, and do your rehab religiously.

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03-22-2010, 04:04 PM
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stick9
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Good luck, I'm sure you'll recover just fine, just take it slow, and do your rehab religiously.
Take it from me, it really has a big impact on how quickly you recover. Had I blown off physical therapy or did it half ass'ed, I'd still be limping around.

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03-22-2010, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toonces View Post
Just be patient, you'll get back out there. Knee injuries are tricky to predict, and everyone heals at different rates. Just be sure to listen to your doctor, even if you think they are being overly cautious.

As for your confidence, when you eventually do get back out there, that's another thing that is pretty dependant on the individual. The big test for me was always taking that first big hit. After I would get rocked good, I'd usually be convinced that everything was fine and I'd stop thinking about it.

Good luck, I'm sure you'll recover just fine, just take it slow, and do your rehab religiously.
Excellent advice.

The best way to keep stress off of your knees is to have strong and flexible supporting muscles (quads, hamstrings, etc), and a low body weight. First things first... do your recovery and your rehab. Take it slow, and take it seriously. When you're 100% comfortable and cleared by your doctor, make a point of cutting excess fat (if you have any) and keeping your supporting/stabilizing muscles strong and flexible.

I'm working on rehabbing my knee right now. For the time being, my physiotherapist has me working on range of motion and muscular endurance. I'm busy learning how to do yoga so that I can start working on flexibility and eventually strength through a regiment of biking to work, swimming once or twice a week, and possibly hitting the weights.

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03-29-2010, 10:24 AM
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I figured I would update everyone since I got my MRI results on Friday afternoon. So here's the damage; I have 2 fractures one in the femur and the other in the tibia. Basically when the knee dislocated it smashed into the femur on the way out and the tibia on the way back in. I also stretched out and thinned out the band of tissue that goes from the side of the leg to the patella.

The diagnosis; There are no pieces of bone that are loose from the fractures so no surgery is required to retrieve any bone pieces. Also the band of tissue that was stretched out should respond to physical therapy. If it does not respond to therapy then I may need surgery to reconstruct it, but that seems unlikely right now.

All in all I think I ended up lucking out and hopefully I will be back to running soon, and on the ice at the latest in the fall.

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03-29-2010, 03:17 PM
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UPDATE:
I had my knee surgery last week so now I'm on the recovery road. I found out the tear (meniscus) was worse than MRI indicated, but now fixed. According to doctor, 30% was removed but it was the back part and it was removed uniformly, so according to him I should have no adverse effects from this near or long term, and should be back to full speed in 4 weeks. I'll keep posted on whether that's accurate and how it feels first time back on the ice, which at this point is probably at least a couple weeks or so away.

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04-01-2010, 11:05 AM
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I dislocated my knee about 2 1/2 years ago, and it depends on the severity. I had about 7 semi-dislocations since (knee cap to the edge, then snaps back) and finally was required to have knee surgery (Nov 20) I'm currently in the strength process now, thats been the hardest, you lose alot of your quad strength, so if i can tell you anything, its that if you know your having surgery, try to do your best to get your legs strong before hand, and the recovery will be less difficult. Other than that i've started skating, and it feels a lot more comfortable then before.

Best of luck to you, i know how it feels.

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04-01-2010, 12:01 PM
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DogFoodEnforcer
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my knee injury was different, but it took me 3.5 to 4 years to come back from.

the reason it took so long was that my meniscus was worn down, i had holes in my knee cartilage, and where there wasnt holes in the cartilage it was worn ridiculously thin. it was kind of like trying to run a car engine without oil.lol

on another note, my bro-in-law's little brother dislocated his kneecap last year. i cant remember how long he was out for. a few months maybe? ill call him up and ask.

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04-01-2010, 12:37 PM
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ChiTownHawks
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Update:
The PT is getting tougher each time I go and I can't even believe how much strenght I lost in my quad. I had to put both my roller hockey league, and my ice hockey classes on hold and I am hoping to resume them in May sometime. Thanks for all the advice and well wishes everyone. I will make sure to update as I get more info.

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Old
04-01-2010, 12:51 PM
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Just tape it up and you'll be fine. MAN UP.

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Old
04-01-2010, 02:36 PM
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JayRoadkill
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Yea i know about the quad, apparently it takes about a month to lose a majority of it, and to rebuild what you lost takes 3x as long (3 months) so i suggest use your muscle as long as you can (if you feel pain stop, and ice) and wait till you see a doctor for further instruction.

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Old
04-01-2010, 03:42 PM
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Throughout my knee injury I continued to skate to coach. It was the only thing that helped keep the muscle. Oddly enough, it felt spongy but it felt less painful to skate than to walk with the exception of strong strides. Stopping, transitioning(Facing the same direction As seen here) hurt less. I think it was the impact from walking and lack-there-of from skating. Lockups almost wiped me out quite a few times though, haha.

Right now I'm using a simple McDavid class II ligament stability brace to avoid the surgery and it feels much better. Soo much so that I skated in my first game in three months.


Last edited by TBLfan: 04-01-2010 at 03:48 PM.
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