Torn Ligaments

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Do you hike with a torn ligament in your knee? (ACL, PCL, MCL...)

Yes/Surgery
3
25%
Yes/No Surgery
4
33%
No Problems
5
42%
 
Total votes: 12

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ASUAviator
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Torn Ligaments

Post by ASUAviator » Dec 31 2012 12:17 am

Curious if any people have knee problems and hike?

I took a fall up snowboarding this weekend and have a bad feelin I messed something up. :(

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Sun_Ray
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Re: Torn Ligaments

Post by Sun_Ray » Dec 31 2012 6:09 am

Sorry to hear about your knee. When I have knee issues I take a few days off then test it on an easy/flat walk. I use the canal that runs through Phoenix / Scottsdale as its flat and smooth. Good luck and have a happy new year.
Last edited by Sun_Ray on Jan 02 2013 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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CannondaleKid
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Re: Torn Ligaments

Post by CannondaleKid » Dec 31 2012 6:29 am

ASUAviator wrote:Curious if any people have knee problems and hike?
Absolutely... Between age and arthroscopic surgery on both knees (right in '01, left in '11) I'm dealing with arthritis and practically no meniscus in the left.
ASUAviator wrote:I took a fall up snowboarding this weekend and have a bad feelin I messed something up.
Please, don't waste any time getting it thoroughly checked out...
Although neither time was my wait by choice, I definitely paid both times by waiting too long. (The first time I had other issues going on of more importance, the second was the 4 month wait for surgery through VA)

Back to hiking with knee problems... After the left knee surgery last year I was told knee replacement wasn't too far in my future, but given my activity the doc said the knee replacement wouldn't last but 5-6 years so he recommended trying to hold out as long as possible before the first knee replacement. Well, heck yeah, no kidding I will!

That said, I won't allow the aches and pains dictate when or what type of terrain I hike because I've found by laying off for a few days my joints will get stiff and sore.
And that's the thing about arthritis, if you sit around your joints stiffen and ache but if you stay active they stay looser and you still hurt.
Of the two, I'll take the latter, as when I'm active I rarely allow the pain into my current thoughts. Oh yeah, I HAVE to take the latter, as my left ankle is threatening to fuse together... the x-rays practically show it fused already so keeping it in motion as much as possible is not an option.

So again, please do see an orthopedic specialist ASAP, you'll be glad you did... especially 40-50 years later.
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kingsnake
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Re: Torn Ligaments

Post by kingsnake » Dec 31 2012 6:33 am

*raise hand*

My knees are toast. (I was looking at my left knee when I saw it go.) Never did go to a doctor. Probably should have, but I'm stupid that way. A decade later I finally got braces, rather than surgery, for when I need to do quick-cutting activity. (The kind where functional tendons and ligaments keep the knee in place.) The braces kept things kosher several times, until I actually bent them out of shape playing Turkey Bowl a few weeks ago. Anyway ... I do not wear them for hiking or biking. Maybe should for hiking, if the surface is rocky or uneven, but they would be inconvenient, so I don't. Eventually, with enough exercise, I got them strong enough to where stepping on a pebble did not cause the slight rotation to send agony up my leg. Sunday, the right knee was experiencing occassional "needle" feeling on the outside front, but not too bad, so I went for a 5-mile 1200-foot hike anyway. Feels good today. If your knee is puffed up twice its normal size, you probably have worse issues than just a "twist", and should see a doctor. Even if you don't opt for surgery, or braces, at east you will know. (In my case, I knew, as I was looking at it when it happened.) Not sure if that helps ...
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chumley
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Re: Torn Ligaments

Post by chumley » Dec 31 2012 8:16 am

I recommend seeing a good doctor too. If you haven't previously injured your knee it is important to diagnose whether you just have a sprain or have done any kind of lasting damage. Knee sprains are very common and can heal in a matter of days, or can take weeks. I have a small bone fragment floating in my meniscus from a childhood injury (bowling... honest!), and I've never had it operated on because it very rarely bothers me while hiking beyond some inflammation after extended abuse. But sometimes when I'm laying in bed, something aligns perfectly and I get a brief, but very sharp pain from it. An MRI can help see what's going on in there, but most good sports medicine doctors can tell exactly what the MRI can show without the expense.
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gummo
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Re: Torn Ligaments

Post by gummo » Dec 31 2012 8:55 am

ASUAviator wrote:Curious if any people have knee problems and hike?

I took a fall up snowboarding this weekend and have a bad feelin I messed something up. :(
What's wrong with your knee? If you need to see a doctor, see Dr. Peairs (N. Phx). He's great. I recommend taking a month off hiking, at the least. When I couldn't hike that well due to an ankle injury (from July 2011 until now), I explored areas that were easy, yet scenic and full of wildlife, like Joshua Tree NP, Chiricahua NM (minus the Big Loop), Cibola NWR, Gilbert Riparian Preserve, Watson Lake, Death Valley NP, and Sabino Canyon.

Actually, I recommend these spots even if you were not injured. Some of them, you can do on crutches too. Also, the Salton Sea looks cool, but I haven't really explored it.

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Jim_H
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Re: Torn Ligaments

Post by Jim_H » Dec 31 2012 10:36 am

What makes you think you tore a ligament? When you say, "tore", I assume you mean small fiber tears that are causing severe pain, more than with something like a tendonitis, but not complete rupture so that mobility is limited and you would never consider walking on the limb. What have you done to ease the pain?
Nothing more enjoyable than a good hike out of town.

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big_load
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Re: Torn Ligaments

Post by big_load » Dec 31 2012 10:46 am

I tore a meniscus in 2004. It wasn't too bad at first, but it rapidly worsened until I almost couldn't walk. After a couple months, I finally went to the doctor, a sports medicine specialist connected with some local minor league baseball and hockey teams who had done ligament and meniscus surgery on a few people I know. He was more conservative than I expected and didn't want to do surgery until all else had failed. Six weeks of physical therapy fixed me up pretty well. I get a little soreness now and then, but not enough to really bother me. I did quit running, though, and now do all my aerobic workouts on an elliptical trainer.

I definitely recommend seeing a doctor sooner rather than later.

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Re: Torn Ligaments

Post by outdoor_lover » Dec 31 2012 10:54 am

Go see a specialist, but I would wait a week from the time you injured it. I went straight from the hospital to my specialist and he sent me home and told me to come back in a week. My knee was too traumatized and sore for him to manipulate it properly. And don't allow lack of any swelling dictate whether you go or not. When they took the immobilizer off the morning after I injured it, everyone was surprised. I had no swelling or bruising whatsoever, my knee "looked" completely normal. Even a week later, after the doc had manipulated it, he was optimistic that I hadn't done anything serious. But the pain was enough to warrant a precautionary MRI. Turns out, I had torn my ACL completely off the bone and all of the Meniscus on the inner knee was torn into big chunks. After what my specialists call a "Gold Medal" surgery and 20 years later, I'm still going, although arthritis is a real pain and I'm looking at Replacement of both knees, probably within the next ten years.

I hope it's just a sprain Kyle, I sure would hate to see it be something worse, but you do need to go get it checked out to be sure. Even if it is worse than a Sprain, depending on the extent, you will have some options. Sending optimistic thoughts your way... :)
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Re: Torn Ligaments

Post by paulhubbard » Dec 31 2012 11:05 am

Like Pam, I tore my ACL completely off my thigh in 1986 :stretch: - Hot dogging down the Ridge Run and jumping Waterfall in it's entirety. (if you know the Snowbowl you'll know where I'm talking about.) Oh to be young and indestructible again :wlift: ... There was no pain, no swelling, and no bruising, I simply couldn't put any wait on it without the bottom part of my knee sliding about 2" to the side. It felt really strange! Major Surgery, 6 months of no wait bearing, another year of PT, and ongoing exercise has kept me in pretty good shape, but it's starting to bother me a little now and then.

I wouldn't wait too long to see the doctor, you may be doing more damage by walking around.
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Re: Torn Ligaments

Post by johnlp » Dec 31 2012 12:20 pm

Hard to say what damage may have been done to your knee for sure without an MRI. Like others have said, don't wait too long to get it looked at. I've had surgery on both knees. Major - ACL, MCL, PCL and meniscus tears, and more recently minor surgery for meniscus tears and some other clean up. The worst thing for me was not knowing what the problem was (second injury). Hard to have a plan if you don't even know what you're dealing with.

For those interested, I very recently talked to a PT who said rigorous physical activity (kamakaze downhill) is possible after knee replacement. He thought it would only knock five years off the life of the replacement. What more can you ask for? :)
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Re: Torn Ligaments

Post by outdoor_lover » Dec 31 2012 12:48 pm

@johnlp
What more can you ask for? The year that I finally have to get mine replaced, I'm gonna ask Santa to give the world the technology so that my first Knee replacement will last as long as my original knee. I've put these knees through hell and it would be nice to not have to stop doing that simply because we can't seem to come close to duplicating nature in this particular field. My reconstruction has lasted 20 years and it's still in perfect shape, I would like to hope that Knee technology would have taken bigger strides since '93... ;)
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"

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ASUAviator
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Re: Torn Ligaments

Post by ASUAviator » Dec 31 2012 7:17 pm

Thank you all for your replies!! I feel much much better now reading some of your horror stories :scared:

I was heading down the mountain after the catwalk up aggassi(sp?) I picked up too much speed and put on the brakes on a steeper icy slope ](*,) . I went down to my knees and skidded a good 30-40 yards. I had a sharp pain in my left knee and sat down for about 5 minutes until it faded. left a strawberry the size of a quarter. didnt think much more of it and was able to do a few more runs no problem. around lunch it started to swell about the size of a tennis ball so I went to ski patrol, iced it up, and called it a day. It didnt feel loose, no pain, and could bare weight. stayed on an ice and ib prophen. the swelling has since reduced but it sure has turned colorful. It feels kinda weak and if i touch it in some spots there are pin prick pains on the surface.

As you have all adviced im going to make an appointment with a specialist on wednesday. My sister has been to him 3 times for ACL surgeries (she's a soccer player and the weaker of the 2 of us :D ) Ive always felt fortunate about my joints and havent had any problems. Sucks being reminded im mortal :D

Welp ill keep ya updated and thanks again for makin me feel a lil better.

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Re: Torn Ligaments

Post by kingsnake » Dec 31 2012 7:58 pm

Hah! Soccer's how I did my left knee. :stretch:
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Re: Torn Ligaments

Post by Hippy » Jan 01 2013 7:42 am

Injuries keep things interesting :stretch: : queen :
Pulled something in my right foot in late summer after I over-hiked myself on a 3 day trip, dumptruck tailgate fell onto my knees in september which ultimately led to full blown bursitis in my right knee in october, which was followed up by a severely sprained ankle in november and only stopped hiking after the ankle. Probably not my best idea but it's like an addiction, hiking, not injuring myself...or both.
I'm really glad I went to the dr with both the knee and ankle I could've messed myself up worse than I did...better to rest, recover and not hike this week then to stay injured longer and not hike for 6 months!

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Re: Torn Ligaments

Post by Trishness » Jan 01 2013 10:45 pm

HEY ASU,

I'm a long time HAZ member and a bit of a lurker. Get your knees evaluated ASAP so you don't develop scar tissue if you have any kind of MCL, ACL, PCL or any other problem. I have wicked bad ankle issues (osteochondritis dissecans) that I wish I addressed 30 years ago but then there wasn't any real treatment for OD back then either. I happen to work for the TOP DOC in orthopedic surgery in the East Valley...he's amazing with sports injuries and knees.

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chumley
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Re: Torn Ligaments

Post by chumley » Jan 02 2013 9:22 am

The Hippy wrote:better to rest, recover and not hike this week then to stay injured longer
Who are you and what did you do to the Hippy? I'm reporting this account as clearly having been hacked.
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BrettVet
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Re: Torn Ligaments

Post by BrettVet » Jan 02 2013 9:42 am

Notice how everyone jumping on the "get your knees looked at" is 50ish age range. That’s because we all thought we were invincible in our 20’s and screwed up our joints and now have to live with the consequences. I can only hike a few miles with massive amounts of Motrin and went through wilderness withdrawal, then discovered mules to carry me and my pack . I still wish I had been a little less tough. The invincible part was fun however

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ASUAviator
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Re: Torn Ligaments

Post by ASUAviator » Jan 04 2013 2:42 pm

Welp I went in to the doc today and received some good news after a short look over. He said everything seems ok, but after an mri would know for sure. It is still pretty colorful, with some swelling. Its tight to bend and there has been a constant tingle when walking. I feel a load of relief for now. Gonna have to take it easy this weekend, maybe take the boat out.

Im thinking in this time of weakness, now would be a great to get myself a pack goat. Like 'winston'. ;) Seems like a great excuse to me

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chumley
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Re: Torn Ligaments

Post by chumley » Jan 04 2013 2:44 pm

Recipe for this weekend: Sit down on the couch. Put your leg up. Add some ice. Watch football. Drink beer. Repeat.
You'll be fine. :D
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