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Old January 26th, 2009, 06:12 PM   #1
SanGabriel
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Default MCL/meniscal tears

Well, I'm sidelined for at least a couple of weeks. Thought I'd take a moment to thank the forum for all the great encouragement and inspiration I've gained here.

Thanks to you I've come to understand why my feet were killing me just when I just started to develop a good push and increase my mileage (same reason why for backpacking and XC skiing it turns out - boots too tight across forefoot, inadequate padding under ball of foot/big toe, lack of metatarsal arch support.) Finding a fix was a great 3-fer. I now lace looser, use thin socks/liners, gel pads, and metatarsal arch supports - foot pain from skating dramatically reduced. Due to skating ~900 miles since June, I skied my strongest ever a few weeks back. Also lost 25 lbs (lots more to drop but a start).

So there I was, stoked to use my speedness skates (Salomon TR Vitesse 3s) after several weeks off them (to sort out a stuck axles problem - also resolved thanks to forum member suggestions - thanks again!) and feeling pretty jazzed over my recent skiing - during which I did find one drawback to the gel forefoot pads - they conduct cold quite well, and with sweaty feet (mine) can scrunch up under your toes, feeling like wads of wet/semi frozen tissue paper) .

Anyway, back to the mishap. MLK day, I'm bombing along the river trail at a fair clip and hit a short steep uphill with some big cracks. I hopped (feet together - DOH, I should have stepped !!!) but my angulation was off and I came down wrong, hyper-extending my knee, collapsing sideways. Splayed, face down, to my chagrin I could not stand, let alone skate.

Fortunately I was near a road and had my cell phone. Getting a taxi to come to a location without a street address proved a challenge. I am also now disabused of the notion 911 is "always there". (I gave up after 1/2 hr on hold and called the taxi back, eventually convincing the dispatcher.)

So, after an MRI (high-deductible +co pay shocker there) the good news is no surgery required. Crutches, leg in splint, cabin fever setting in. I am really looking forward to getting out and back on my skates. Heck, I'm looking fwd to driving again (car & truck, both stick...)

Thanks again everyone, and enjoy your skating!
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Old January 26th, 2009, 11:51 PM   #2
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Yikes! Speedy healing.

You never gave us the actual diagnosis and how long you are laid up?

Also if you got any other road rash, it needs to be posted in the "show me your boo boo" thread. Remember our motto; if you don't post pics, it never happened.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 04:00 PM   #3
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Thanks BWI - diagnosis was sprained MCL +partial tears of meniscus. Two weeks in splint, reassess, then ltd motion brace, start PT. Dang, I should have snapped a pic - no broken skin but my knee was much more swollen than it it now, so not much to post to the boo boo file.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 03:28 AM   #4
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I tore my MCL about a year ago.

In my case, I just 'sat down' wrong while on skates. More of a fall onto my rear while standing and looking behind me. One leg slipped, and when I sat down one leg twisted a bit too far.

No MRI, just an x-ray. Had to wear a splint for about 2 months, then I was able to wear a motion control brace and PT. Not sure I got the best diagnosis, but I have to admit I'm close to 100% now so in that sense the Doc was right. I did miss the 2008 SF Inline Marathon though

I had to go buy a bicycle, Doc recommended that first to keep the knee at a particular angle/keep from twisting (but not bending).

Just like you, nothing much to show for it, wound wise.

I was also on some pills (ETODOLAC) for a while.
== John ==
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 02:16 PM   #5
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John, thanks for sharing. I've been worried I'm making too slow progress. Still not able to bend enough to spin, but walking pretty well and using a nordic track. It's hard to tell how much is too much in forcing the stretch. Still hurts like &*&^ when I try to bend it hard. Woke my self up the other night (kicking in dream) ouch.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 03:20 PM   #6
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How's your progress? I have a strong interest, as I just did my ACL, LCL, medial meniscus, with my first orthopod visit coming up in two days (see "Knee Injury" thread).
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Old April 28th, 2009, 10:28 PM   #7
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I assume you were talking to San Gabriel, but my progress is pretty much 100%

I haven't tested it a lot, I don't really do much twisting. My speedplay bike cleats have to be twisted to go out, but the hard one is the first leg, and I usually favor my other knee for that.

Sometimes I feel a slight soreness, but that could just be joint pain stuff.
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Old April 29th, 2009, 02:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGwinner View Post
I assume you were talking to San Gabriel, but my progress is pretty much 100%

I haven't tested it a lot, I don't really do much twisting. My speedplay bike cleats have to be twisted to go out, but the hard one is the first leg, and I usually favor my other knee for that.

Sometimes I feel a slight soreness, but that could just be joint pain stuff.
== John ==
Yeah, I won't have a prognosis for when I'll be skating or biking yet, until I see my orthopod on Thursday. I figured the bike would come first (don't tell Sheldon -- he'll excommunicate me from skating if he catches me on a bike on the BWI trail ), and I was also worried about twisting out of the cleats -- especially if for some reason I had to do it fast, without thinking.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 02:41 AM   #9
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Re: biking: What I did until it was stronger was to stand up and twist my entire body - but that reticence is what gave me a $125 ticket.

When I did finally start skating, I didn't notice any twisting motion, but in my case I fell, it wasn't an injury when I was skating. If I'd fall less, I'd be hurt less.

I'm sure Sheldon would be just happy to see you out
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Old May 1st, 2009, 03:23 AM   #10
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Default MCL/PCL injury

Back 7 years ago (this week actually) I fell at an indoor practice and tore my MCL and PCL in my left leg. I was a complete newbie to indoor speedskating at the time and had only been skating inside several months. Crossing out of a corner, I caught the front of my left frame on the back of my right frame and went down hard on the left knee. When I couldn't get up right away and the coach yelled "everyone off the floor," I knew it was bad. Driving home with a standard transmission was less than fun, to say the least.

MRI revealed a Grade I tear of the MCL with a Grade II of the PCL. My ortho, who incidentally was a skater himself and had skated the Northshore marathon on rec skates, said that he would re-evaluate me after a month of PT to see how I was progressing and then make a decision on surgery. Luckily, I did not need surgery. I was allowed to skate again after 3 months post-injury, but only with a metal ACL brace, to prevent any reinjury. The ortho told me to continue to skate with the brace for another 6 months. I healed quite well, but had been told ahead of time the I would have a slight "sag" to my left knee because, while the PCL would heal, it would not have it's original elasticity. And I do, in fact, have a slight sag to the knee, but no performance issues whatsoever.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 06:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGwinner View Post
Re: biking: What I did until it was stronger was to stand up and twist my entire body - but that reticence is what gave me a $125 ticket.
I don't understand what that means . . . Do you mind explaining?

Quote:
I'm sure Sheldon would be just happy to see you out
No doubt, you are absolutely right. He'll just make sure to chase me down!
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Old May 1st, 2009, 06:16 PM   #12
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Sure

Well, this may or may not work, but what I would do is twist my right foot off, then swing my right leg over the bike and keep my left leg straight - no twisting. Doing this will rotate *you* and the Speedplay cleat would release.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 06:43 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by JGwinner View Post
Sure

Well, this may or may not work, but what I would do is twist my right foot off, then swing my right leg over the bike and keep my left leg straight - no twisting. Doing this will rotate *you* and the Speedplay cleat would release.
Definitely a good idea. I'm was worried about quick, pinch situations where I might not be thinking about it, possibly doing the wrong thing.

However, it's now a moot point. I can't ride at all at this time. Take a look at the update on my knee situation.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 08:22 PM   #14
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Default depressingly slow recovery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yonah View Post
How's your progress? I have a strong interest, as I just did my ACL, LCL, medial meniscus, with my first orthopod visit coming up in two days (see "Knee Injury" thread).
Yonah,

Sorry for the delayed reply - I've been so depressed (about not being able to skate) I haven't been here in a while. I've been able to spin for a few weeks now but feel I still have a long way to go e.g., can't quite descend stairs leading with the injured leg.

I gave myself a little scare mowing the lawn this week when I stepped back into a small low spot and hyper-extended the weak knee slightly- OUCH!. Guess I'll start using the hinged brace for again, and especially for yard work.

Hope your rehab's coming along.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 06:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanGabriel View Post
Yonah,

Sorry for the delayed reply - I've been so depressed (about not being able to skate) I haven't been here in a while. I've been able to spin for a few weeks now but feel I still have a long way to go e.g., can't quite descend stairs leading with the injured leg.

I gave myself a little scare mowing the lawn this week when I stepped back into a small low spot and hyper-extended the weak knee slightly- OUCH!. Guess I'll start using the hinged brace for again, and especially for yard work.

Hope your rehab's coming along.
SanGabriel,

I'm sorry you're having such a tough time of it. I hope you can keep your spirits up, and look forward to that happy day when you're finally all healed.

My surgery is June 9th. I haven't kept up on my "Knee Injury" thread lately -- it's a lot to write all the time.

I've been doing pretty well, but I noticed today that in long sitting (with my legs in front of me on the floor), I can still get a finger under the back of the knee, with a little room to spare. The other knee rests completely on the floor, and they both have to be the same in order for my surgeon to perform the surgery. It's also still pretty painful at first bending it all the way, until I loosen it up with some self-massage, but I think I have even a little more knee flexion on the injured side than the healthy side!

I didn't exercise or anything for two days, and the knee went out on me several times -- even with the brace -- and has been very painful. Exercise stabilizes it pretty well, and virtually eliminates the pain (especially after icing). However, I have to be careful, because it's still unstable in several directions: with turning the wrong way, and sometimes it hyperextends also. On the treadmill, I make sure I keep some flexion in the knee at all times, but walking on pavement, I'm actually trying to get more consistent knee extension, as well as ankle dorsi-flexion/heel strike with every step. I have to consciously do it though. It's most painful in bed, and it often wakes me.

The brace is probably a good idea for you while doing yardwork and similar activities.

I was confused about you writing, "can't quite descend stairs leading with the injured leg". The usual way to do stairs when you have a lower extremity injury is, "Up with the good, down with the bad". That way, your healthy leg is always doing the work, and you're not stressing the injured leg. Do you mind filling me in on that?

Hang in there, and please keep checking in with us! I almost feel like an imposter posting here so much, because I'm not skating right now. All of my posts on the "What did you do today?" thread involve weight-lifting and treadmill, and I hope to be able to hit the right time slots at a pool I just got access to, so I can swim. But I can't post anything about actual skating.

However, I know I will soon enough (I hope before Winter), and I'm obsessed , so here I am. Anyway, I'm so much cooler online! I'll be looking for you. BTW, your link in your signature to that skateboard video is really something!
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Old May 13th, 2009, 04:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Definitely a good idea. I'm was worried about quick, pinch situations where I might not be thinking about it, possibly doing the wrong thing.

Thus the ticket...Blew through a stop sign or red light because you didn't want to unclip, eh, John?

In this situation, you might want to consider using a platform pedal or toe clips on the bum leg instead of clipless.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 05:11 PM   #17
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Thus the ticket...Blew through a stop sign or red light because you didn't want to unclip, eh, John?

In this situation, you might want to consider using a platform pedal or toe clips on the bum leg instead of clipless.
At this point, I can't even get on a stationary bike until a bit after surgery. My surgeon wants me to stretch into full range of motion, but I'm only allowed to strengthen into the 0 - 30 degree range to avoid doing any more damage to the meniscus -- he thinks he may be able to repair it. Getting on a road bike would be suicidal.

I'm guessing that by the time I can get onto a road bike, I'll be able to use the clips. If not, the cage is a good idea on that side (I'd probably just change out both pedals). Thanks.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 08:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I was confused about you writing, "can't quite descend stairs leading with the injured leg". The usual way to do stairs when you have a lower extremity injury is, "Up with the good, down with the bad". That way, your healthy leg is always doing the work, and you're not stressing the injured leg. Do you mind filling me in on that?
Good catch Yonah - I meant I still can't descend leading w the good leg. Re the video, I just grin every time I watch it.

Good luck w your surgery & recovery!
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