Snowboarding Forum - Snowboard Enthusiast Forums banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
About 6 years ago i landed straight legged off a mogul and my knee bent backwards slightly. I felt an extremely painful snap in my knee and about 5 min later the pain was more or less gone. Upon trying to ride out i realized my knee had almost no support and i had a very sketchy cat track ride.

The next day i went to the dr, being almost broke and having no health insurance at the time all i could afford was a single visit which consisted mainly of my dr pulling on my knee. I was informed i more then likely tore my mcl and had possibly damaged some cartilidge but couldnt know for sure without an mri. In her opinion It should have healed within 6 months with almost no lasting effects. Within the 6 months after i regains more or less all my movement, but still have many problems. a recent visit to a physio therapist revealed my knee is quite hyperextended, and she felt a weird pop one of the times she was doing the acl pull test things. she couldnt make it happen more then the one time and said it felt ok but i should look into an mri.

Long story short i had to give up riding, ive put on a tun of weight and i have 0 faith in my knee. if i try and run and make any sharp turns i feel a pop and then get extreme pain and trouble walking for about a week same goes with any kind of impact greater then a foot or 2 high. if i climb a lot of stairs or ladders i get moderate pain. being in extreme cold, or damp/rainy conditions also causes a limp fallowed decent amount of pain by the end of the day. My knee also tends to pop out to the outside if i step on something skinny (usually not very painful unless im carrying something heavy). I'm thinking i more then likely caused damaged to my ACL?

I'm 28 years old, I'm tired of not being able to do any of the activities i used to enjoy. I want to get back in shape and try some sports again but my knee is a fairly major obstacle. I just got my extended benefits from work and I can get a custom knee brace 70% covered and im hoping it will give me the support/confidence to get back in the game?

My questions for people with similar situations is:
1. do the braces actually offer support and would it be likely to prevent my knee from popping or are they more to prevent injuries?
2. is it realistic to expect any kind of major improvement from a custom brace or would it be better to go the more expensive/time consuming route of finding a specialist, getting and mri and finding out once and for all whats happening with it?
3. anyone have any inputs on braces? I'm trying to decide between the donjoy defiance 3 and the ossur cti pro sport? id ideally like to try them both on locally before purchase but any input on quality/ joint support would be great.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,585 Posts
Which direction does your knee lose stability... Sounds like ACL to me. But likely you have some other serious damage if it still gives you problems so far down the road. Personally, I ride with a lot of different pains, I would have surgical repair of ACL done if it was still that weak 6 years later.

Now if you have medial/lateral stability issues along with anterior/posterior, t,hats even worse. Much more damage can be done by riding on the unstabilized knee like major tibia plateau impaction from improper extension and hyper extension.....

Have an MRI done and see a sports medicine specialist, not a run of the mill ortho doc.

It will cost money but probably the only good way to truly be active again cause it sounds like you have a complete tear in one ligament and partial damage to others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
231 Posts
Which direction does your knee lose stability... Sounds like ACL to me. But likely you have some other serious damage if it still gives you problems so far down the road. Personally, I ride with a lot of different pains, I would have surgical repair of ACL done if it was still that weak 6 years later.

Now if you have medial/lateral stability issues along with anterior/posterior, t,hats even worse. Much more damage can be done by riding on the unstabilized knee like major tibia plateau impaction from improper extension and hyper extension.....

Have an MRI done and see a sports medicine specialist, not a run of the mill ortho doc.

It will cost money but probably the only good way to truly be active again cause it sounds like you have a complete tear in one ligament and partial damage to others.

Sorry would love to give you support on the knee brace, but I have had a few operations on my right knee and without correct surgery or at the very least physiotherapy you will not get very far. Sort your knee out first then you will be able to do all the things you enjoy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
I use a pod rx brace for wakeboarding as I hyperextended my knee as a youngster. My knee basically swells up and fills with fluid and it seems to slip out of joint causing a heap of discomfort.
With the pod rx brace on I can't land stiff legged off kickers and it seems to make all the difference. They come with small inserts that u put at the bending joint to have as little or as much angle in the knee bend. The only problem I find with them is that they need to be tapped down as the Velcro straps come off with a fall, so keep the legs shaved lol

By the sounds of your problem though seeing a specialist would be ideal. also just some words of advice from a former competing bodybuilder, abs are made in the kitchen not in the gym. If u have put on a heap of weight it's your diet not your lack of activity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Its my left knee thats injured and it seems to pop out to the left. it will occasionally pop forward if i hit some uneven ground but im assuming thats from muscle loss as its not painful at all. a good example i can think of i was chasing a friend about a year ago he turned right hard and when i pushed hard on my left leg to make the sharp turn it just popped and i dropped lol. itll also pop occasionally if im trying to push something heavy forward with my foot. although that seems to happen more when its already agrevated.

i think i may have exadurated my problems a bit. for day to day life its fine for the most part, i get occasional discomfort from weather change, and if i stress it too hard with ladders or stairs. i work in construction and im on my feet usually 10 hours a day, with heavy lifting a lot of the time and its usually fine. Its been really painful the past few days because i have been working inside a freezer and my knee has become super loose (it cant handle the cold at all).

ive snowboarded a few times since my injury, but im not longer able to do the kind of stuff i enjoyed before it. skied out runs that are bumpy hurt my knee, and i cant do cliff jumping or kickers. i basically need fresh groomers or deep powder. groomers get boring and its hard to count on perfect powder days so i gave it up for the most part. i can run in a straight line but uneven ground and any sharp turning give me problem. used to enjoy squash, which obviously is a no go. i also cant really play soccer or beach volleyball on weekends (with putting it any effort anyways) with my friends. even playing catch with the football is pretty lame as im more or less confined to standing in one place and not being able to go for the ball very hard. id like to get back into ice hockey next winter and im worried if itll hold up.

I dont think there is major damage to my knee. im thinking a partial/full tare of the acl or the ligiment has stretched out not giving the proper support (dunno if thats possible?). like i said before the pull test comes out good for the most part so i wont know anything until i get an mri.

in the mean time would a brace help getting out there? i dont need to be back in a competitive level but it would be nice to be able to play a game of soccer with my friends and be able to actually try a bit, or turn sharply without worring about my knee popping out.

i know my gut is more from my diet then lack of activity. however my inability to do the things i enjoy has led to boredom/ minor depression which leads to an unhealthy diet. i used to never sit still and was out every day doing something, now im a couch potatoe :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
i kind of figured that however its gonna more then likely take a few months to get an mri. plus ill probably need one if/when i do get surgery. I also cant afford/ am unwilling to give up my summer for a 6 month recovery.


when it was a fresh injury the cheap walmart braces helped quite a bit, ive also had one help quite a bit for a freezer i was in a couple years ago. they just dont really offer any support for any sporting activities. my insurance covers 70% of a brace so i could realistically get one for around $200 which seems worthwhile to me if its gonna help a bit. i know i want one i just dont know if my expectations are realistic?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Sounds to me like you have a slight torn acl. I had ACL reconstruction 1 1/2 years ago. But before that I had hurt my knee about 5 times over the past year where I thought it was just hyper extended and I could not run for about 2 weeks after each time and still never had full range of movement. Finally after the last time I hurt it the cartlidge in my knee popped. Doctor said I probaly tore it the first time, 1 year before I went to him. Surgery is not always required for a torn ACL, as sometimes rehab can be done if you are not an active person or alot of elderly choose not to have surgery.

I had the surgery at age 29 and it went smoothly. Did my rehab and 5 1/2 months after surgery I was back boarding. My Doctor had me use the the Donjoy Defiance brace and it basically restricts your knee from overextending. I used it until my 1 year appointment when my doctor told me that there is no statistical evidence that wearing it after a year helps/or prevents injuries. I quit wearing it and have had no issues.

You do see alot of lineman in football, specifically in college, who wear the brace for preventive reasons but there is no overwhelming evidence showing it prevents injuries in healthy people.

Sounds like your insurance situation is good now so I would recommend getting the MRI, than having the surgery and doing your PT and letting your insurance pay for the brace. At this point the brace is just masking tape covering up the problem.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,585 Posts
Just so yo know, I work in sports medicine at the base of one of the busiest mountains in the world. We see a lot of these types of injuries and we operate on them daily. My wife works at the local sports rehab facility. I'm not talking out of my ass, forget the knee brace until you fix the injury that is still plaguing you 6 years after initial impact. After you fix it, then get a knee brace.

Either way you will not be as active as before due to lack of ability whether it be winter or summer sports. I'd rather fix it ASAP and get over the rehab period and just be over it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Funny how the doctor of the OP said it should heal... it's a torn ligament, only surgery will fix it.

I tore my ACL in my left knee a few years back playing football (soccer). I had surgery here in Japan, and now I always wear a knee brace on the slopes. A while ago, I used a McDavid knee supporter with hinges, worked, but was a bit chunky. I then used a lame supporter the hospital gave me, but you could easily bend the hinges and my knee popped once or twice using it. Now I use a Mueller HG80 hinged supporter. It has worn over time, but very comfortable and not too chunky. I am now considering a Doctor Shock hinged Ultra Knee Support. Has anyone used these?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
My knee did swell up but it wasnt crazy huge or anything.

Funny how you just dug this post up out of the blue. I actually just got my mri results back last week. Pull tests or whatever there called didnt really show any injury to the few professionals that gave them to me. The mri showed a complete tear on the acl like I originally thought. There is a slight narrowing to the tibia and slight wear and tear on the cartilidge/socket due to walking so long without proper support. I'm still waiting to see a specialist/surgeon and discuse my surgical options but its looking like I should make a pretty good recovery when its all said and done.

That being said I'm probably gonna hold off on surgery till spring/summer. I cant really afford to take time off from work at the moment, and I'm planning on enjoying this upcoming snowboarding season (taking it easy of course). I also work 70+ hours a week 3 weeks on 1 week off so I'm fully expecting to have to take 4-6 months off of work for recovery before I'm ready for all the heavy lifting/being on my feet constantly. Plus I cant really think of a better way to recover from surgery then sitting on a beach drinking beer while on short term disability :yahoo:

As per my original idea I'm probably gonna buy a sports brace for this snowboard season. Extra support isnt going to be a bad thing, nor am I willing to give up another season of snowboarding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
468 Posts
You can get really good results with just rehab, since that's what you would do post surgery anyways.
There was a surgeon who did a bunch of surgeries, did some fake ones and did some real ones and concluded that there was no significant difference in results and that rehab is the most important part of the process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I don't really see how rehab would help. I'm on my feet roughly 12 hours a day doing alot of heavy lifting and climbing probably 50-100 feet of ladders a day. I don't have a strength issue with my leg. I have a stability issue. Its not like its a fresh injury. Even when I went for a day of physio to get an opinion on its condition the therapist only really suggested lunges and stationary bike could help slightly but I should be looking into an mri/surgical procedure to see any real benefit if it turned out to be my acl.

With the weights I'm carrying at work I'm kind of just asking for trouble. As of yet it hasnt buckled with any load on it but I can only imagine the damage I could do if I happened to be carrying 100-150lbs of supplies on my shoulders and 40+lbs tool belt.

Even if it is just a mental thing, I don't think I could ever trust my leg again without surgery. I've completely changed the way I walk to avoid it popping out.

And I'm hoping this doctor lost his license after the malpractice suits for giving people fake surgeries? I don't think i'd be very happy dealing with the pain/scars from surgery if it was just for pretend...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Having not gotten to the route the problem when it happened only makes it more difficult now. Your body mechanics are likely all wrong now from compensating for the knee. If you've done no rehab, and are still in pain, I don't know what to say. Putting on weight makes it even worse as the joint will be forced to work harder.

I strained my ACL 2 months ago playing soccer when I took a blow to the inside of my extended knee. I had pain, instability ('giving way' feeling). After rehab gave me pain relief, the advice given was strengthen hamstrings, quads, and stay flexible. I'm back to almost normal because of it. Granted, I'm in decent shape, especially legs, so the bounce back is going to be faster for me than you who's been off 6 years, but it will never get better by just slapping a brace on. You need to start doing the right activities to see improvement.

You will not be back to where you were before, but you can certainly get to a point where you can deal with this issue.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
516 Posts
Asking all the bro doctors is definitely the best way to diagnose an injury.....Don't be stupid go see a real doctor and have your knee checked out. Surgery and rehab sucks ass, but it sure is a whole hell of a lot better once you get past it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
468 Posts
http://southshoreorthopedics.com/downloads/ACL_non-operative_managment.pdf

If your practitioners you've seen haven't walked you through a protocol this extensive, then you can't say rehab has failed because no legitimate rehab has been done.
This is only one example, a doc should be walking you through on a week to week basis tracking your progress. Most good orthopedic surgeons who don't need the money will tell you to try 6 months of rehab/conservative care first.
You'll need to wear a brace in the future anyways, but without dynamic stability from your muscles it'll be pretty useless and you'll be in pain the rest of your life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I do appreciate your advice and I understrand what your trying saying. I didn't completely read threw your pdf as it is very similar to a lot of other articles I have been reading. For a seditary lifestyle my knee is more or less completely satisfactory. My recovery level would probably be fine for your average person that doesnt enjoy sports or physical activity. The problem comes when I try and push myself. Basic jogging and jumping is fine, but quick turns, sprinting and hard jumping I have practically 0 support. I also still have stability problems stepping sideways coming off of ladders or walking on uneven ground.

Meeting with a doctor/physio therapist on a weekly basis is not an option with my lifestyle. I work 21 straight days a month at 10.5-12 hours a day with a 1 hour commute each way while living in hotels in tiny remote towns in northern alberta and bc. After work and my commute I dont have the time or desire to hit the gym. Taking an extended medical vacation after surgery where I would actually have the free time to do rehab is appealing to me and is most likely my best and only option other then ignoring it.

You cant really compare my situation to a fresh injury. My muscles are at a point where they are already at a fairly high strength level. Yes I'm not a cardio star, but I work in hard physical labour and I am fairly muscular. One of my friends in sports medicine did that water weighing thing on me in the summer and I have 63% muscle mass which is fairly high for a guy who never works out and weighs 220lbs.

The knee pain I have now is only really affected by the weather and temperature, I'm thinking its more arthritus then anything. On warm sunny days I can go all day without pain, but once the cold weather and rain starts up my stability level goes down and I experience roughly 4-6 on a scale out of 10 of pain on a daily basis.

I'm kind of tired of all the argueing in this post. I originally posted my question about knee braces and what kind of improvement I would hope to see with one and everyone suggested I get diagnosed with an mri and forget about braces untl after surgery. I'm now diagnosed and I am awaiting an appointment with a surgeon. My doctor and I both believe that surgery is most likely my best option to return to an active lifestyle. Once I have an opportunity to speak with a surgeon and get their opinion I'll figure out my best course of action.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
753 Posts
Check out the Ossur CTi brace. Lots of stability and a great off the shelf brace. Or you could even get their custom one if you want to get fancy but some studys say no difference in performance/stability for most people. I know donjoys another popular brand too.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top