About

ACL Surgery This ACL Surgery website is about providing real, unbiased, useful information to ACL patients. The site is created by someone who had ACL surgery and did not find much useful information online about cost, recovery time, rehab, insurance issues, choosing a surgeon, etc. It’s nice to learn from actual ACL patients who have gone through it and may do it differently next time.

This ACL Surgery site provides real, unbiased, useful information to ACL patients. It was created by people who actually had ACL surgery and needed more information about cost, recovery time, rehab, insurance issues, choosing a surgeon, and more. Learning from actual ACL patients who have gone through it is the best way. Learn from the mistakes and successes of others and enjoy your visit!

The content of this ACL surgery site might also trigger you to ask a question you may not have otherwise thought of. For example, getting specific billing codes, timeframe, address of where the surgery will take place, etc. from your doctor and running those specific codes by health insurance to see how much % they will cover. The cost is a key factor. While they generally don’t negotiate on price, you can always take your business elsewhere to another surgeon, even if you have a drive some distance. It’s worth it to shop around, just like you would for buying a car.

Read the stories, write down the questions, research and you will be better equipped to make your decision about having ACL surgery. Hope this website is useful to you. It sure would have been useful to me had I known this before my experience.

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14 thoughts on “About”

  1. I had ACL reconstruction surgery 3 weeks ago. I had the patellar graft, and, as others have said, I feel that the recovery depends more on the work you put in rehab and the surgeon than the method.

    I have had virtually no knee pain over the 3 weeks following surgery. My recovery process is coming very quickly with the ability to walk and near full range of motion.

    Also, keep in mind that everybody responds differently. this is a very informative and interesting forum.

  2. I have ACL reconstruction on my left knee using my patellar tendon after tearing it playing basketball. I also had my meniscus cleaned up a bit. I am 20 years old and had extensive arthritis in my knee prior to the tear according to my surgeon – presumably from years of sports. I am now a few days away from 7 months post op. I do still have some pain in my knee, but nothing severe. Generally only when kneeling on a hard surface. My surgeon said this is probably due to the tendon not being completely grown back and the grinding out of the bone he did. I can do squats, squat jumps, and basically any other leg lift without pain. I’m taking a yoga class and it’s great. I think mostly the biggest thing is putting in the work after surgery and not going back to sports so soon – these retears seem to be anywhere from 3-6 months post op. Most pro athletes with the best rehab don’t make it back that soon. 9-12 is much more realistic with full contact being closer to the 12 side of things.
    So far I am happy with my choice. Everybody is different. Whichever you choose, make sure you do the rehab everyday, don’t push it too hard too soon and pick a good doctor.

  3. I am a 17 year old male that plays football, lacrosse and I wrestle. I just tore my acl with a possible meniscus tear. Can someone please tell mhich graft is best for me. Also the doctor told me that I wont be able to play football so I will need a graft the will be most durable and efficently for wrestling and lacrosse season this is my senior year.

  4. I am a 38 year old gym rat/volleyball/mma student (not competitive, just like learning the techniques) and I tore my ACL either doing jujutsu or kickboxing (not sure which, I tweaked it repeatedly over a month.) I’m actually surprised it took me 38 years to blow it considering how much sports I play…

    I am 1 week post op from a hamstring ACL reconstruction. Just had my 1 week checkup and doc said my graft was one of the best he’s ever seen. The tissue was really good because of how active I am, so that made me pretty happy.

    Pain runs from a 0- 5 on a 10 point scale, depending if I forget to take my pain meds. I’m only doing Tylenol/Advil and ice packs now, which seems to be fine. Putting 50-70% weight on it with crutches.

    PT is great-my therapist is being pretty gentle with me this first week but still seeing good results. Got to 90 degrees in two days and going for 120 next week. He’s only known me for 2 or 3 days so I need to convince him to be a little tougher on me, but I appreciate the concern and care while my knee is still pretty swollen. I was pre-habbing pretty hard before my surgery, so hopefully that will help with recovery time.

    I was wondering if anyone knew the strength difference between a 4-strand and 5-strand graft? I understand the difference is in how they fold the tissue, but does it make an appreciable difference in strength?

    Also, does anyone have any thoughts on getting through the mental aspect of getting back to playing competitively? To me the physical healing/PT is the easy part. Getting back mentally is gonna be tough.

    My motto is Go Hard or Go Home. To do less is to disrespect the Gift.
    But the thought of doing this again….***shudder***.
    And the thought of never playing VB or MMA well again…***shudder***.
    :/

    1. I also had a tough time mentally (I’m 2.5 years out).

      I found that doing strength and agility exercises really helped me FEEL like my leg wasn’t going to give out on me.

      Some simple things

      1. Jump lunges
      2. light jump roping on one leg – This really made me feel that my leg would not give out on me.
      3. high jumping jacks with a kick out. Do 5 jumping jacks, but on the 5th one do a high jump and then come down and do a kickout into a pushup position. Then kick back and stand back up.

  5. I had a ACL reconstruction done and the first time around i went with the hamestring along with it i tore my MCL, PCL, Medial and Lateral Meniscus so it was qutie and intensive surgery but i was up and walking in just over a week. Unforturnatly i returned to work as an apprentice carpenter and 3rd week on the job i retore my medial meniscus. I had to go in for a second surgery to completley remove my meniscus. Several months later on light duties we had a freak snow storm i slipped on some and and re-tore my Neo-ACL (New – ACL) i now have to go in for a third surgery and im on one of my last options and that is to take the Patella graft so im very interested to see what happens and see what graft was obviously better or a difference at all. I have been doing a TON of research and it seems on almost everywhere i look there is increased pain with the Patella transfer but its quicker recovery time and can even grow in stronger then the original ACL. Yes i have also read you cant kneel after the petella graft but in my case it dosent affect me because with my whole meniscus gone i cant do that any ways. So after my surgery i will let you all know what one was actually the better choice.

  6. I am a week and a half out now and I wonder if my knee would be hurting so much if I went with the cadaver graft instead of the patellar graft. My PT is flabbergasted at how well I am doing, but I do have pain down the front of my knee. I guess it’s not that much though considering I took myself off the Percocet over the weekend after being on it for only a week. I couldn’t stand taking it anymore. I’m strictly over the counter now.

  7. My 16 yr daughter has bilateral ACL tears ( both knees) her knees are unstable and need to be reconstructed her left knee for the 2nd time. In Oct. 2008 she has ACL reconstruction of her left knee using her hamstring. We are researching several of the top 25 knee surgeons and want to consider the new double bundle technique. I am concerned about using her patella tendons. She is a 16 yr old cheerleader and the pain and long terms issues seem to be a common theme with Patella grafts and Hamstring grafts seem to be weaker. Not to mention the current scars and the potential future knee scaring. Does anyone know anyone who has had both knees reconstructed at the same time?

  8. Great to see a site that has practically built a community of ACL to-be and has-been. Very informative. Most from the US her – I am from Bangalore, India, 41 yrs old male. Had my ACL surgery on the left knee on July 8th this year with a Hamstring autograft. Tore it while playing badminton – though my regular game is more like tennis. Faced similar situation, the first doc I went to (drove to the nearest hospital myself after the injury!) – young and enthusiastic and very helpful – correctly diagnosed it (before the MRI confirmation happened) and recommended a quick surgery using the patellar, even told me about the hamstring vs. patellar debate and all. All of these were very nearly Latin to me then, of course.

    Went with the second doc I saw in a more reputed hospital here, incidentally one which is also a favorite amongst those who resort to “medical tourism” (what a term!) – so a lot of Westerners and others flock here to get there surgeries done. Well, this doc was clear on his recommendation for the hamstring thingy, and given that his credentials were also far superior, went with him – even though I clearly also liked Doc 1. At that time I couldn’t care less really, just wanted to find a Doc I was comfortable with on doing the carpentry work on my leg.

    Op went fine, on GA and following that a femural block – very very effective on pain management – saw one other person in this blog mentioning and recommending it. 3 weeks with brace, 4 on a crutch (more for safety I was told). Now off both, and seemingly recovering well. Lots of PT – some 15 different exercises 7 of them with a 2 kg ankle weight (twice a day, takes an hour to complete all!). Gait still not normal but reasonable stability. Full flexion, achieve 120 degrees on stretch. Doing stationary cycling now as well, and driving is a breeze, so now really looking forward to getting back to playing, though that is probably still 5 months away.

    Oh, quite incidentally, the screws he used to fasten the new ACL were something called “bioscrews” apparently they are a lil more expensive but kind of dissolve into the tissue in a couple of years so hopefully will not have to be removed. My entire surgery including a 2 day hospital stay post surgery in a great room cost approx 4400 US – of course with 80% coverage from insurance.

    1. Hi Sanjeev,

      I am from Gurgaon and got ACL tore this Friday in an accident. I am very upset about this and need some advice from someone who has already gone through this. Can you help?

      Best regards,
      Vivek

  9. Hey ACL buddies! I had my ACL replacement in 2006 with a hamstring graft. I couldn’t finish my rehab due to insurance issues so my hamstring obviously became much weaker then expected so first and foremost, FINISH YOUR REHAB. The missed rehab also had an effect on my knee because I didn’t get a chance to get it back up to strength either. But, I eventually got back into my weight training and regained the strength lost in both my knee and hamstring. I haven’t had problems since. I think with either, you just need to get your strength back with weight training and range of motion back with stretching and running/walking and keep up the physical life style and you will be a successful op.

  10. Totally! Rehab, rehab, rehab. So important. Keep training and working it out. Especially if you want to go snow skiing or something post surgery. It just eliminates risk by being well conditioned. Sure gets expensive paying for sports therapists, but I just tried to learn the principles and apply on my own time and save $.

  11. I am a 25 year old male skateboarder. I tore my right ACL and partial medial miniscus when i was 19, my allograft surgery took place about 1.5 months after the initial injury and within 8 months I was skateboarding and feeling absolutely fine. Unfortunately during the recovery of my right knee, my left knee began feeling slightly weak.

    Sure enough at the age of 22 my left knee buckled inward while skateboarding and immediately I knew what had happened. Sure enough, 6 weeks later I was going in for reconstruction on my left knee (allograft, miniscus repair). In this surgery I had a Femoral Nerve block, which was absolutely amazing for pain. Rehab seemed to go well and I felt good after this surgery up until about 1 year out.

    I began feeling intense pain at night and could not get a decent nights sleep. Initially I attributed it to a recent move from a dryer climate to a wetter colder one. After about 6 months of pain I decided to go get an MRI to see what really was going on. The MRI revealed that my OS did not repair all of my miniscus and there was a small piece dangling in the knee. I had that removed last April and have been feeling okay and skateboarding a little. My skateboarding, as you can probably imagine has become quite low impact after all these knee injuries and I am very cautious while doing it.

    After so many injuries, I stretch constantly and take great care of my knees by strength training my legs. I do these things so that I CAN skateboard safely as well as play with my dog and live an active lifestyle. As a skateboarder, I accept the risk that it is a dangerous activity.

    Last week, on my 25th birthday while skateboarding I very randomly tweaked my right knee, next thing I knew I was on the ground in an intense amount of pain. I decided to find a new OS for this one. I did alot of research and found what seemed to be one of the best knee doctors around (works with the SF 49ers) and am currently waiting for my MRI results.

    My story is probably unique considering I am most likely about to have my third ACL surgery in six years. I’ve tinkered with the idea of hanging up my skateboard for good, but its just not that easy to quit doing something I have been doing all my life and absolutely love. I’m sure most people think I am a crazy person for not quitting skateboarding by now, but they will never understand.

    I am very happy to have found this website, pre-habbing, which kind of graft is stronger, and finding the best doctor were something I was so naive about six years ago and wish I had considered then. I plan to get ACL reconstruction in May using another allograft (Achilles tendon), but until then I plan to pre-hab very hard since the swelling is already down.

    1. Can anyone recommend good ACL surgeons in the SF Bay area? I am in Marin County, CA (though with a United Healthcare HMO currently through Brown & Toland). Or, do you know of any good resources for finding a good surgeon? I am a 39-yr old active female who is anxious to be able to ski, hike, run around with dogs and daughter … I am just a couple weeks post-tear that I did while skiing 3/13/16 in Tahoe (off trail in heavy snow that pulled me in.) Thank you for any ideas!

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