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Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 6:16 pm
by David Lahey
Sorry I've only just picked up on this thread but can agree with the surgeon who said not to ride for a year after an ACL reconstruction.
I had an ACL reconstruction in 2000 at age 41 which was 6 months after the injury.
It took 6 months to walk properly after the op and 6 years to fully regain riding confidence in similar riding situations to how I wrecked my ACL.
The operation is a much bigger deal than the injury.
Despite all that, I recommend having the ACL reconstruction if you have a long time horizon for riding trials.

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:16 pm
by Tee-Why
David Lahey wrote:Despite all that, I recommend having the ACL reconstruction if you have a long time horizon for riding trials.

David, would you risk this again, or wear knee braces for protection, just interested.

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 5:38 pm
by David Lahey
Yes, I accept the risk of breaking my ACL again by continuing to ride trials and do not intend to wear a knee brace.

In my opinion, and for my body, the benefits of wearing a knee brace do not outweigh the inconvienence of wearing the brace.

My risk management strategy for trials comptition is:
If I get too fatigued to ride in full control, I stop riding.
If something looks too hazardous, I ride around it and take a five.

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 7:34 pm
by BJ

Sounds like you and me are singing from the same hymm book. If I don't feel right I don't ride. If you are young and robust (means you haven't learnt it hurts yet) go for it, but if you have a few years under your belt take that into account. In my day to day stuff on the farm it's nothing to end up carrying 3m lengths of railway line or lifting heavy things that test body to limit but they aren't catching me by suprise. If I feel off during an event I just stop off and help out observing at a section every so often. Watching what others do when they are getting tired is a good reminder sometimes, when you are not on the ball that is when you get hurt.

Like David I think it is knowing your own limitations and if you are here for enjoyment of the "gentlemans motorsport" enjoy it. If you are riding to compete for a spot in the state titles strap up if you need to.

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:22 am
by PA
BJScorps wrote:In my day to day stuff on the farm it's nothing to end up carrying 3m lengths of railway line or lifting heavy things.

He's not very bright but he can lift heavy objects. :P

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:07 am
by bigdamo
I did ligament knee damage 20 years ago(pretty bad).I don't wear a brace.Never had any problem since and i sure have pushed the knee to some extremes.But everyone heals different and i surprised the doctors when i got the go ahead to go skiing again after 2 months when they said there is no way you will be skiing for at least a year.

I do alot of MTB bike riding and stretching exercises and i try to warm up by stretching before i start riding.

I don't see well anyone stretching before riding and that is asking for trouble especially in winter and for the more older gentlemen riding.

I am in no way saying that you do not need a brace it is up to the individual.

But it makes me wonder when i see people who go through an expensive operation and timely recovery period and don't bother to do simple 5 minute stretches before exercise.
I'm pretty sure there physio would have told them to do stretches before exercise?

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:54 pm
by flatslide
Good Point bigdamo, very few people do any warm up excerices, I generally do some although no doubt not enough and I get people laughing at me! (Maybe I should wear clothes when i do them...)

I just bought a DonJour knee brace today, I have gone for that option rather than the knee reconstruction which apart from the hassle and expense of the operation means in reality 12 months off the bike. Without it there is no way currently (3 months down the track from rupturing my ACL) would I be able to ride, mind you my recovery was hampered by also having a fractured tibial plateau. I think even after i have built up the muscles, riding without an ACL would be a recipe for disaster! Knees get all sort of weird angles forced on them when doing the unplanned dab.

When I did my knee it was probably the easiest section of the trial, it was just one of those things that could happen anytime or never. It doesnt matter what grade you are riding there is always a risk of injury.

If i hadnt done my ACL there would be no way I would consider wearing a brace as a preventative measure.

As the braces are getting better, less obtrusive and cheaper, they may become a more popular safety item.

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:56 pm
by Tee-Why
After my knee injury, it actually changed the way I rode. At the time riding enduros, and having not fully torn my ACL, once recovered I initially lost a lot of confidence. It was more a mental thing, and affected how fast I could go and more worried about re injuring it again, which I eventually did. I didnt want to experience that pain again, it was the worst I have ever experienced.

Later I bought the knee guards when trail riding, it gave support and confidence, and when I started trials, I was already used to wearing them. Its a bit like riding without your helmet, feels wrong and naked. I suppose its a false sense of security, but I know that I have had the odd off and bad dab since that hasnt caused any concern to my knee what so ever, so they must work. Not like I use them when I have played indoor cricket or tennis or basketball etc, I have tweaked the knee a few times doing just that.

Yes bigdamo, cycling is one of the best exercise for knees, as it works all muscle groups, especially if you use clip shoes or toe clips to uplift as well.

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:18 pm
by davo
Yeah id agree with BigDamo and the rest there. Exercise and stretching are probably the best way to prevent injury like these.
Nice work Flatside for getting some braces (or brace). This helped me a lot after my injury and one of the biggest things to get over is the mental damage and building up confidence again. After you come off a few times and put you leg in all sorts of positions and realise wow... my leg is still together and working- these braces must really work - you will see that this was money well spent. And yep once they get knee braces more affordable then they will definately take off. They are allready starting to do this on the US MX scene!
To me personally my knee braces are my most important piece of protective clothing because my knees are what have caused me more problems than anything. And as I said in a previous post it is a small price to pay to keep riding and ride with the confidence I enjoy!!
As you guys also stated there can be a lot more implications from the surgery than the actual injury itself. I was told I would need a full knee reconstruction after my last major injury and Im still walking and running and riding etc etc. And I did not just ignore the doc. After several opinions one of our countries leading knee specialists has advised me that I have definately made the right move and I am best leaving knee surgery for as long as possible. Speak to your doctor and definately get several opinions. The first opinion could have caused me a lot more problems that I have now!!


Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:18 pm
by ajharry
Have read all your comments above and, well, I think I'm a little qualified to give a side to this topic...
I used to race enduro's, at 19yrs old clean complete break of my ACL without coming off the bike at low speed checking a track marking prior to a competition.
I tried all the knee braces of the time in enduros and trials, had my own CTi2 which was very poorly measured for me (relaxed on a bench when the muscle bulk falls aside...). I did feel more secure with them however kind of grew out of them and when I did try going back after putting my knee out again I felt is was a 'false' sence of security.

Following another dislocation at the nationals 2005 NSW while catching myself in a run (never hit the deck) I figured enough was enough. Had the reconstruction in the UK with more reasearch etc.
I was driving a car in a week, cycling indoors at same, on the trials bike 5 months with caution. I felt more stable and stronger from pretty well day one but in the back of my mind it was never really tested. By the 12 months stage was tested on 3 distinct occasions and now I have never felt as stable or as strong on a bike. I have never worn a brace since the op and never intend to. This was a 100% choice of treatment with plenty of research (ie not financially based in buying a brace).
I now have a stable knee with long-term damage that could have been prevented if I had the reconstruction earlier. I'm sorry lads but without a stable knee FACT is you're knee is wearing in places that it shouldn't be and no brace will prevent that.
An ACL is NOT a major operation these days and is barely considered invasive. If you are into your sport at all and have some years left... I struggle to beleive any surgeon in the know not to recommend it. I went against their recommendations for years against the op and regret it.
There are many good points above. To stress one you may like to read again how I did my knee. You DO NOT need to be 'trying' much do have a serious injury, in fact odds are on your knee going when you're not as its not being 'held'.
By the way an operation is only as good as the one god gave to start with so the same incident will get the same result. Just that without an ACL you're much much more likely to have a giving way knee which can catch / rip cartlilage then require removal. Then you're in trouble...
Get some professional advice! There is plenty of literature on this also.

I would like to drop Graham Jarvis name in this one, he did his ACL in a crash you can all see some years ago, he was in within a week for reconstruction. Now how expensive was his time out? He does not ride with a knee brace in trials. He has since done his PCL in a trials crash also, he has not recon this and does wear knee braces for enduros, not trials. I shouldn't have to explain the differences here...
Enjoy and go hard!