This info comes from open ended survey responses from a December 2010 survey; their open ended ACL surgery advice is listed here in its raw form.
Click here for the ACL surgery results.
- Find a surgeon who focuses on athletes (my doc was a former team doctor for the Redskins). He specialized in knee surgery.
- If you need ACL surgery, I recommend doing it right away to avoid further injury to knee. I chose my own hamstring and now wish that I had chosen a cadaver. Why? 1. The only study I found about types of grafts showed cadaver had higher fail rate for young athlete in contact sports, and I’m triathlete so less impact chances and more linear movement. 2. I do feel my age has been an issue in recovering/rebuilding my affected hamstring. Hope this helps.
- Hamstring surgery has a faster recovery time, but you will loose some range of motion (knee fully bent) – Patellar surgery is more painful and longer recovery time but the result was better for me.
- Do not hesitate and do it asap, in order to have his / hers normal life again
- I would take more time getting healthy before and after surgery. The human body is amazing and no matter how much work you put into rehab, it really just takes time. Be patient and it will feel better.
- PREHAB! Work hard before the surgery and listen to your doctor and your therapist. Make sure you have a system for icing and pain management and surround yourself with people to care for you for the first week.
- Keep up with physical therapy even after you go and its important to regain your motion.
- Have ACL surgery. A person needs a stable knee, especially if they are active, and even if they aren’t, the risk of arthritis and further injury as you get old is too great.
And if done properly, the hamstring graft (3-5 strand) should give you a stronger ACL than you started with.
- It is a tough long recovery….be patient and work hard.
- 1. For the active folks, I would say prepare yourself mentally for being out of action for a while. That has really been the hardest part for me. I teach fitness classes and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE working out. I kind of rely on it for stress relief. I have really tried to focus my energy on rehab, but we all know it’s not quite the same.
2. Make sure you feel comfortable with your doctor and the surgical team. You really do want to feel like you are in good hands.
3. I also read “Prepare for Sugery, Heal Faster” by Peggy Huddleston and found it extremely helpful as I prepared for the procedure. The surgery was a breeze, but it does help to go into it in a good frame of mind.
4. Rehab takes a while. Just be patient, don’t rush, and listen to your body.
5. My most important piece of advice is to just keep a positive outlook-things are going to get better and if you do the rehab, you’ll get a little better every single day.
- Be sure you trust your doctor. I went to 2 who wanted to operate but were jerks to me. The 3rd was really cool and re-xrayed my avulsion fracture, which had healed itself. My knee is doing great now.
- If you’re young enough to play sports, do it cuz it will improve your life considerably but dont if you do not participate in such activities much. Patella is the strongest, hamstring the least painful and allografts the weakest and for sissies. i went for the patella for the strongest graft. if pain something you can endure for a week or two, patella tendon is best.
- Hamstring,hamstring,hamstring….no pain…quicker recovery …no question a better option
- Ask people for their advice who have had the surgery. This is a very common injury in Ultimate Frisbee, so I had advice pouring in. It was a little bit overwhelming. Different tears also require different treatment. I was only eligible for the hamstring and the cadaver. I also weighed the pros and cons of each and tried to figure out what would be the best fit for me. It’s a personal answer. Which is why I can’t properly answer the question “Which is better?”. I don’t know which is better since I’ve only had one! The biggest factor in making me choose cadaver was one of my teammates saying that he completely regrets having the hamstring vs the cadaver. He was very passionate with his argument. I had surgery October 1st and I am doing alright! Initial recovery was a nightmare but now I can walk and drive myself to PT. It feels good to move around again. I can’t wait to be able to run.
- Think long term. Patella is simply the better bet-all others refer to theirs as being as good as Patella. The skill of the surgeon makes a difference too. Ask surgeon for references. If they tell you that xxx graft is just as good ask for studies and research. We were told that the allograft was just as good but they couldn’t produce any long term studies. We did find some but the majority of the studies say patella is still the gold standard. See Dr. Benjamin Rubin in Orange CA, highly recommend.
- Research your options, talk to everyone as all experiences are different, consider the future, work hard at rehab, dont rush back post surgery, take your time and make sure you’re really ready both physically and psychologically!
- I have torn both of my ACLs and had replacement surgery both times. My biggest concern heading into surgery was the type of graft to use. On my first tear, I used a patellar graft. On the second, which I’m currently almost 4 months removed from, I used a hamstring graft. The patellar graft never gives me any trouble, and the hamstring graft is also coming along extremely well. I’d say to go with whatever your surgeon recommends, assuming your surgeon is good. Both grafts are sound, but there is a TON of internet “literature” out there that will exaggerate the pros and cons of both grafts. Don’t pay too much attention to that. From first-hand experience, both surgeries are good.
- Do it as fast as posible and choose the strongest graft. Also try to use resorbable screws, would save you for another operation to remove the titanium screws.
- If you have the hamstring graft, you are having TWO surgeries; it makes it worse. Have the surgery and one STRONG piece of advice DO NOT STOP PHYSCIAL THERAPY until you absolutly MUST or you are completly healed. I stopped after 20 visits and ended up back there 3 months later.
- If you do the patellar one you will have pain in the front of your knee cap for a long time (maybe forever). It doesn’t bother me all that much, but I can’t kneel without discomfort. Just something to think about if you do things like kneel to pray, or play on the ground with kids, or yoga.
- Had two ACL surgeries, first used Patella tendon, it tore third game back after rehab. Second surgery used hamstring still strong after 2 years. Also did quad fold.
- Do physical therapy both before and after surgery
- Get a doc you can trust, and then the best physiotherapist + 100% commitment to physio
- find the best surgion that fits you, and your lifestyle. REASEARCH the different grafts and proceduers. when its all over… HIT THE GYM and PHYSICAL THERAPY! workout workout workout. get stronger and good luck!
- Mentally prepare yourself for a long, difficult, but ultimately rewarding process. Don’t give up. You are more than half the battle to recovery.
- Do a lot of research for which ACL reconstruction will work best for you. Patellar is a harder recovery but the strongest of the 3. Don’t get dependant on your brace after surgery. Stop using it as a crutch after 9 months. You REALLY don’t need it after 9 months but most people wear them forever. PT, PT, PT… attend PT as much as possible and do as much as you can at home. All the best!
- Listen to your doctor and physical therapist and don’t skip on doing the rehab fully. And there are lots of good blogs out there with real first-hand experience info to let you know what you’ll go through!
- ACL rehab has ups and downs, and if you stick through it, you’ll come back 100%
- its painful, but worth it in the end, its a slow process patience is the key
- Gather as much information as possible to make an informed and correct decision for your scenario.
- research it fully in order to try to decide which graft choice would be best for you.
dicuss it with your surgeon, and only choose a technique which your surgeon is familiar with and does many of.
- Go with the procedure that your O.S has suggested and has had the greatest success with. Age is also a factor considering Patella procedure pain can linger and hamper rehap for older patients.
- Wait until your knee is dry and muscles are strong bofore the operation
- During the recovery take a balanced approach. Don’t overdo it because of something you saw online and don’t be lazy either. Keep close communication with your doctor, get them to respond to your questions, issues.
- Do your research & strengthen your legs pre surgery!
- Do it, otherwise you’ll spend the rest of your life thinking ‘what if’. For a couple of days of not being that mobile it’ll be worth it
- make a research better to be a good acl after surgery…and give more tips to improve stronger the knee every patient…not only for the athletes
- deffinetly get it because it changes your world for the better just make sure you go to a surgeon you would trust with your life because thats basicly what you are doing
- Only use a knee specialist, use patella or cadavor (sp?), be prepared for pain, use the meds your prescribed, get your knee drained if it’s too swollen to even do therapy, ask for a stim machine if your quad won’t fire by day 3.
- do it ! My knees work great. I had the surgery on both knees.
- Don’t have it too soon after injury. Work as hard as you possibly can in re-hab.