I had acl surgery on my right knee about a month ago. I’ve destroyed my right knee three times now, but this is my first acl incident.
I’ve just gotten on the bike in the last few days – just now getting enough flexion to handle it. Just out in the street in front of my house w/the brace. Still not too sure of using my riding shoes. The twisting motion of getting out of the pedals worries me.
I am anxious to get out on the trails and start using mt. biking as a big part of my recovery. Anyone have experience with this situation? How long ’till I can put my shoes on and crank out some steep climbs?
Everyone’s different, I know. Just want to hear of other’s experiences.
i couldnt tell you from a biking experience, but i tore up my ACL playing football a bunch of years ago, and i would be pretty wary of clipping in, namely for that twisting motion – that’s where your knee is the most vulnerable, and that early after surgery might put a lot of stress on that new ACL that it might not be able to handle quite yet.
I havent started using clips yet. I tore my left ACL in july 2005. I wear my DonJoy knee brace to avoid hyper extension mostly and to give extra bracing for when I place my left foot down unexpectedly and for the "mental" aspect of recovering after surgery. The "twisting" is not good at all under any circumstance but especially soon after surgery. Wear the leg brace at all times especially the entire 1st month after surgery and whenever you engage in athletic acitvity after that. I’m not a doctor by any means, so follow your physical therapists direction and of course ask lots of questions when you go for followups with your surgeon.
I had to wait a few months before doing anything when I tore mine "left and right knee at separate times" …tore them skateboarding. I would take it easy and work yourself up until you feel confident that you won’t hurt yourself. You’ll defiantly know when you are pushing it…I’m still having issues with mine, but hopefully going to strengthen them up a bit when I start riding again.
I had my ACL reconstructed 8 years ago, and now I rarely even think about it anymore. You will find that the mental part of the healing process is just as tough, or tougher, than the physical part. What’s most important is that you don’t rush yourself back too soon and re-damage your knee. There’s no point in having to start all the way back over at the beginning of the process! Just understand that this season isn’t going to be your fastest, best MTB season, but you can have a little fun while while you rebuild that knee! 😃 Biking is an awesome way to regain strength in your knee, it’s the main rehab that I was told to do in my recovery. I think you should start out on flat pedals for quite awhile, you can do plenty of climbing without being clipped in right away. I agree that you should avoid the twisting motion for now, probably at least 6-8 months, that’s something to ask your doctor. Also, stay on the streets or concrete trails so you can rebuild while not putting yourself in danger. It doesn’t take much to screw it up! At the 6 month mark I felt pretty good and thought I could do about anything I wanted to as long as I took it slow. I commenced to hike about 4 miles into one of my favorite areas alone (stupid move!), and then realized it was going to be tough to get back out to my car. Luckily I was able to do it, but it scared the sh#* out of me and made me realize my limits. Once I got to the 1 year mark it was really like magic, I could do pretty much anything. I would still favor the knee though when going up & down stairs, running and cutting, etc…mentally I was still getting over it. That slowly went away though and I haven’t even thought about my knee in a long, long time. The main benefit of the whole rehab process was that my knee ended up being much stronger than ever before, and the next season I was ready to go, better than ever! Just hang in there and be patient, listen to your doc and therapist they know what they’re talking about. Good luck with your recovery, you’ll do just fine! 😃
I currently have a torn Meniscus and waiting for surgery. Road biking as bad as it sounds is a great way to get your knee up and running on a bike. I would not advise mountain biking though. That causes a lot of pain, but if you want to take it easy go for it. I’m more a mountain biker but since I can’s safely mountain bike, road biking is a great way to get exercise with ought the intense pain.