View Full Version : ACL recovery

Martin Malley
April 23rd, 2002, 03:31 PM
I ripped my ACL off (Tibia side) and cracked the top of my tibia (vertical crack through the right side of the planer (sp?). It's been three weeks and I want to get back in the pool!

The doc said to wait six weeks, but I'm not sure he understands what a pull-bouy is and that swimming is a horizontal sport that doesn't involve walking on the bottom.

Anyone have any experience with this? Did you wear any sort of brace or wrap to keep the knee still?

Martin Malley
Lancaster, Ohio

April 24th, 2002, 11:24 AM
Hi Martin,

Not sure in regards to the bone fracture, but in the case of the ACL it sounds like the damage is done and you can't do much more to it. I recently had ACL reconstruction (early February - done with a hamstring tendon and also had some repair work on my medial meniscus) once my incisions had healed sufficiently they (Athletic trainer and doctor) let me get back into the pool. Obviously some restrictions - I have yet to do breastroke kick but have worked a little on the range of motion and able to do a little bit of an eggbeater kick. I only wore a wrap for about one week post-op only. I actually damaged the ACL in late November but continued to swim and even play water polo (though my eggbeater kick suffered and I didn't do any breastroke during this time) and I was never told to wear a brace or anything.
As of now, following a good rehab program doing swimming, biking, stretching and some weights in a few weeks I am looking at a green light to start doing some mild running on grass.
Has the doctor set about what they plan on doing? you could go untreated with the ACL but always risk the fact of having that knee prone to injury. Good luck - stay patient and if they suggest weights to build up hamstring and quads- definitely do them.


Martin Malley
April 24th, 2002, 11:39 AM
Jeff -

Thanks for your thoughts on this.

Doc says the existing ACL is probably toast. He expects it to heal over where it disconnected, but there will be a lot of slack from stretching before breaking. The new connection point is also about a .25 inch higher than it was.

So I'm waiting for the bone to heal, then we'll see how stable the knee is. There is a chance that the scaring from the healing process will take out the slack, but it it unlikely.

The next step would then be reconstruction. My doc also prefers the hamstring option (opposed to the patella or dead guy sources).

When I was going through WSI, they were changing the focus on the breast stroke kick. The way I teach it is to kick back with legs apart, pushing the soles of your feet. Then squeeze the legs together. By making two motions, you help eliminate a lot of knee stress caused by the whip (keeping your feet outside your knees).

You might think about this (if you haven't already) when it's time to try some breast stroke again.