Monday, January 11, 2016

Angus From South Wales needs advice

Hi it's Angus here from South Wales (UK). I've just seen your 
blog on pcl surgeries online and I am looking for some advice. 
Around two years ago I got tackled playing rugby and twisted my 
knee , it swelled up and I had difficulty walking on it the 
physio I had at the time examined it and said that it was only 
a minor sprain and to rest and ice it etc. A month or so later
 I noticed that I could move my shin bone back and forth by just
tensing my leg muscles , there was also instability when I tried 
to squat or bend my knee. The next physio I saw examined me and 
told me that I may have torn my ACL ligament and to book an 
appointment with a knee specialist who eventually ordered an 
MRI. Surprisingly the scan showed that I have a full grade 3 
tear of my pcl and the doctor suggested surgery was needed. I am 
due to have surgery in the next two months but I am back to playing 
rugby with some mild pain and instability (needing a knee brace ) ,
should I continue playing or stop ? 
Please don't hesitate to post this on your blog or to contact me back 
Many thanks 


The Fed said...

Hi Angus, there is no doubt that you'd like to continue doing what you love the most and surgery is the way to get back after a full PCL tear. Don't go back playing now, you can damage your knee even more. Have you had an MRI? Normally a full PCL tear causes extra damage to your knee, for example, lateral ligaments, meniscus etc. An MRI will show you all that, so going back to that now will damage you even more. PCL full tear is a very serious injury and it takes a lot of time and patience to come back. However keep going to your physio in the meantime making sure your quad and hamstring stay strong. I didn't do that and lost so much muscle that my recovery took a long time. It's been a year after my OP and I am not there at all. So my advice is to do an MRI, and change your mindset until you reach your full recovery, it's not worth injuring yourself more when you have the chance to do it the right way from now on. You'll hear a lot from people having torn their ACL saying you'll ocme back quickly etc, but PCL is another ball-game. Good luck and stay strong.

The Fed said...

Sorry I just read you did have an MRI, just PCL tear? Nothing else? If not you're lucky, but don't go back playing now...what did you knee specialist say about that?

Molly said...

I'm with The Fed, you need to change your mindset a bit after this. You can recover very well, but it's going to take a bit of time. I agree with the recommendation to DO NOTHING TO INJURE IT FURTHER.

Blocker said...

Just as a bit of old school experience, around 20 years ago I tore my PCL late in my career playing Aussie Rules, played on it for six weeks but had to drain a lot of blood after each game with the amount of swelling, and then had exploratory surgery which confirmed the tear. I was advised that PCL reconstructions (at the time) were seen as rarely very successful, and that I had sufficient muscle mass around the knee to compensate for the stability lost (around 15% was the indictive number tossed about).

There was also a considerable list of professional sports people whom had managed a complete career with a PCL injury. I played 11 days after the surgery and successfully for another 5 years solid, and then progressively less, while maintaining a suitable level of physical fitness. While I was told at the time to expect weakness and instability, for example, walking down stairs, I have never experienced this.

However, this year I have noticed a decline in stability, with getting older I have experienced muscle loss around the knee, and running has become difficult. Squats out of the question. Playing cricket is ok, but bowling fast and certain fielding aspects are problematic. I am now at a point where I feel I should have considered the reconstruction at the time, and I have some concerns that things can deteriorate further.

So short answer, even playing rugby, you can play on with suitable muscle mass and disciplined management of the knee, and probably go ok. But give some thought to where you might be in 20 years time, and discuss this with your surgeon or sports doctor.

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