Recovery times?

firecracker22

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#1
Well, it finally happened. All the details are in my ride report in the general forum. I was racing and I crashed good and wadded up my knee. It popped twice, I had to be carried back to the truck--couldn't even stand on my own--and now more than a week later I still can't bend it or take much weight. It feels like it's full of marshmallows or something.

Now I am past the "I-want-sympathy" stage and I'm just resigned, depressed and angry. My health insurance starts 9/1 so I can see a doc then. My mother and others who have had knee surgery and I have kind of self-diagnosed and I'm afraid I tore my ACL. I certainly hope not. But it's looking like I may go under the knife this winter.

Now I'm curious about the recovery? I've heard stories of grueling long battles with pain and physical therapy and I've heard from people who were back on the bike in a matter of weeks.

I have never, ever, hurt myself. I've had a few bumps and bruises and sprains and such but I have never broken a bone, never had stitches, and never been in the emergency room for any reason. I've been incredibly lucky throughout a lifetime of BB guns and bicycles, snowboarding and rollerblading, climbing trees and karate, and now dirt bikes. It had to happen sometime. Nobody told me how depressing it is! It's not the pain, it's all the doubt and "I should have been on the gas in that section" thoughts that get me.

Now that I won't be riding for a few weeks at the very least, maybe I can get around to all those bike setup things (except suspension--you have to RIDE to do that) I never had time for before, like my flywheel weight (thanks for all the info, LoriKTM--sounds great) and finally cut down the bars and definitely start with the softer spring. Maybe when I come back I can finally make some progress. I already have a second knee brace on its way!
 

txvintage

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#2
Sorry to hear about the get off Firecracker.

I've not torn an ACL or MCL, but I have had a couple of scopes for cartilage tears in the knee, two back surgeries, and shoulder surgery. I have done lot's of therapy time with guys who had ACL or MCL tears.

For a straight clean up, you could be back on the scoot in a month, if it's a ligament or tendon tear, it's has been a long haul for others.

The best advice on the planet is to listen to your Orthopod and do the therapy. Of course, if the doc says you outha give up them dang mo'sicles, just grin and chuckle and try and remember he's probably never had a fun day in his whole life!:eek:
 

CJ Rider

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#3
OK, there's a bulletin board called "Bob's ACL" or something like that. 'Got a lot of good information and support there. From everything I've read, I'd really suggest you get diagnosis from two different doctors since sometimes they vary widely. Then read up on the specifics before YOU decide! As for timing... that varies widely too. If you are really good about excersizing and rebuilding the muscles around the knee, it will go quicker. Quicker might be a whole season if surgery is involved or a month or two if not. You can get much more info from the bulletin board. Good luck and welcome to the club!:(
 
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#4
oh Sharla, I sure hope it's not your ACL... that's what happened to me.
I tore it july 3rd of 1999. I had to do physical therapy BEFORE they let me do surgery, since it's quite a recovery, they wanted me to be in the best shape possible. I had to be able to bend my knee completely, and extend it completely before surgery (flexion and extension). I had surgery Sept 16, 1999. I chose to do the patella instead of the hamstring, there are pros and cons for both.
I started physical therapy 4 days after surgery, and had it for 3 months.
I stupidly decided I could ride in a poker run in Feb. Not a good idea.
I want to say it took approx 1 year before feeling comfortable, and not babying that side of myself. However, you are MUCH younger than I am! and that should help you mend faster if you need surgery.
I wish you all the best, feel free to email me with questions etc.
and Bob's ACL board is full of great info as well, there is tons of ACL info on the web, when I found out that I needed surgery, I educated myself so I could make an informed decision about it.
 
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#5
Sorry to hear the bad news, Im going through a broken ankle/leg and now knee scoping for the tear on my MM. Keep your leg elavated and ice it to keep the fluids and swelling down, even though the PT hurts, do it, it will speed up the healing time.
 
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#6
Thats sucks, Sharla! I'm so sorry to hear that. Ricky Chrmichels MX Championship for Playstation totally helped me get through my pregnancy. It helped me mentally train and I had fun and even got pretty good at it.
My friend blew out his ACL while riding but he was out putting around on his bike shortley after the surgery. It took many, many months before he could really ride. Then he ended breaking a wrist and spraining the other while landing a jump wrong.

Welcome to our world! Jason is hurt once again from riding at the sand dunes last weekend!
 

firecracker22

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#7
That’s too bad, Sarah. Hope he’s ok. I am operating on the assumption now that I will need surgery soon. I will try to put it off until winter, like November or December. Then it will be Steve’s turn to have his shoulder cut open.

How were the dunes?
 

CC_RIDER

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#8
Sharla, try to be positive about this! You may not need surgery at all.
Keep a positive attitude and keep yourself busy with the things you can do.

I know it's difficult with the pain and inconvience of the situation, but you're a tough individual and you've proven that all your life, (from what I've heard here).

I know from my recent knee injury that full recovery does take a while, however, it was my experience that each day (after the first 7) I could tell an improvement in my knee. Maybe just a little less swelling, or a small amount of improvement in flexion. After two weeks I could put my full weight on it and even walk (limp) on it. I did do phy. therapy for about two weeks, but since my insurance did'nt cover it 100%, I quit and used the money I saved for knee braces. :D
They had already shown me all the exercises to do so I just continued them on my own at home. Don't skip the therapy! You WILL lose muscle and bone mass during your recovery. The therapy (either professional or self administered) will be necessary even if no surgery is required, but don't start any strenuous exercises until you have consulted with a doctor and have been told the proper exercises for your particular injury.

Keep us posted on your status, and I for one will keep you in my prayers for a fast and surgery-less recovery!
 
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WoodsRider

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#9
5/2/99 - Complete tear of right ACL at first enduro as a B rider.
5/26/99 - Patellar reconstruction of right ACL.
6/7/99 - Began physical therapy 3x/week for 12 weeks.
6/11/99 - Prescribed knee brace for recovery and therapy.
9/2/99 - Reduced physical therapy to 2x/week for 6 weeks.
9/15/99 - Attempted a short ride, with brace, near my house. Bad idea! Twisted leg and limped around for a week. Set me back two weeks in therapy.
10/7/99 - Finished physical therapy.
10/23/99 - Went for a long ride, knee felt pretty good.
10/29/99 - Dual-sport ride in West Texas with friends. Glad, on several occasions, that I was wearing the braces.
2/8/00 - Doctor released me to "go tear up his good work".
4/2/00 - Rode first enduro after injury.
1/21/01 - Chucked brace in favor of neoprene knee wraps.

If you are religious about physical therapy and don't make the mistake of trying to come back too soon. Figure on a good six months of NOT riding to let your knee properly heal. It was 11 months before I felt confident enough to race again.
 
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#10
Sorry to hear about the injury Firecracker. After 15 surgeries (yes 15!) on one leg I have to say that you'll only know your recovery time as you go along. I've had hard ones and easy ones. My only word of advice is that you should see a surgeon who supports dirt bikes or they won't work as hard to get you back riding. Good luck and keep us updated.
 
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#11
sitting at home

I am currently at home recovering from a fratured tibia. I had to have the knee scoped to check the joint and do minor repair to the miniscus.

I had been home with the fracture and a Knee imobilizer for 10 days prior to the surgery. The pain had just started to mellow out and then the surgery drove it through the roof.

Crash, 7/14/01
Surgery 7/26/01
started rehab 8/14
Expect to walk without crutches 9/1/01
expect to ride again 9/30 ?

My down time was mostly due to the fracture.

Ice, elevation, and imobilization. Take care of that knee until you can get to a doctor, you could easily do more damage if you are not carefull!.

I am 6'1 200lbs and have spare, imobilizer if you need it. Let pain be your guide and dont try to push it until you have it checked out.

Mike
 
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#13
simimi, I too have a recent fractured tibia, (also a fibula and ankle) and I just found out that my miniscus is torn and I have to have it scoped out. How was the pain level and about how long was the recovery time ?


Bob
 
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#14
just the facts,

Hi Teton,

Well, after the initial break is was about 10days to surgery. After surgery pain level was even worse than the inital break. The first 2 days were really bad, did not even want to get out of bed to use the restroom (sorry for the example, but that was how bad it hurt).

Third day and beyond, it continued to get better, and now, 2 weeks after the surgery (3+ wks after break) I was able to begin to touch my foot to the floor for balance etc. Now at 5 wks after break I can place wieght on it and hop around, going to the drs wed. for clearance to walk.

Of course, the muscle loss has been bad. I am 39 and in good shape, but my leg is shrinking badly. Therapy has me working on full extension since the strenght of the leg is in the ability to lock it extended. I have range of motion from about 7 degress, to 137. doing many exercised to regain the muscles just above the knee. The hardest muscle to work is the one on the inside of the leg equal/above the knee.

email me if you want to talk more, and compare injuries.

Mike
 

firecracker22

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#15
Well, I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, and going to the gym for low-impact aerobics. Doing well until the weekend, when I stepped down with my left foot turned sideways and pushed forward to help take down the EZ-Up. My knee tweaked and hurt pretty good for a few hours and while it’s okay again now, it did swell up again a bit. Dang it! I want to RIDE!