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after ACL surgery/when to start climbing
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olive


Mar 14, 2011, 6:28 PM
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after ACL surgery/when to start climbing
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Hi all,
I had to have an ACL surgery in january. Apparently my meniscus was also torn, so that got stitched up as well. My physical therapist tells me that I should probably be able to start toproping 4 months after surgery. But it also looks like she is not very familiar with climbing.

So I want to ask - if any of you had surgery - when did you start toproping, when did you start leading, and then bouldering?
Those of you who are physical therapists etc., does that time frame sound reasonable or is she being too conservative? Can I start climbing earlier? If so, what kind of movements should I be careful about?
Thanks so much - I am really itching to climb :((


onceahardman


Mar 14, 2011, 8:05 PM
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Re: [olive] after ACL surgery/when to start climbing [In reply to]
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If the surgeon really did a meniscal repair, rather than meniscectomy, then rather than being conservative, it may actually be a bit aggressive. Where was the donor ACL taken from?

What is your PROM? AROM? Quad strength?

Some climbing might be OK at 4 months. High-level bouldering, drop knees, big heel hooks if they took the graft from your hamstring, not so much.

Toproping some 8s and 9s, shouldn't be too much of a problem. You will not be fully healed until a year or so out.


olive


Mar 14, 2011, 8:27 PM
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Re: [onceahardman] after ACL surgery/when to start climbing [In reply to]
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Hi onceahardman
Thanks for the reply. Yeah, the meniscus tear was where there is more blood supply so they repaired it. The ACL came from a cadaver. The last we measured I could bend that knee for 150 degrees (I cant quite bend it and sit on it yet (like in the yoga poses - does that make sense) but it is getting there). The PT seems to think that I am doing well. The quad is weaker than the other one but am doing weights etc. There is still some swelling.

I was not thinking about bouldering initially at all, I think that is out of question for a long time, but roped-climbing. Why is it that I should be more careful with the meniscus repair - does it take longer to heal? What kind of movements should I be careful about regarding that (did you say drop knees because of that?)


kshockley187


Mar 15, 2011, 11:39 AM
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Re: [olive] after ACL surgery/when to start climbing [In reply to]
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I had acl surgery December 15 2010 and I also had my medial and lateral meniscus repaired, so I'm kinda in the same boat as you. My doctor told me that on April 1st he would give me an acl brace for climbing, and that it was out of the question to do any bouldering until may or June. He is familiar with climbing and said that I should start on 5-8 to 5-9 and avoid any quick movements on the knee like turning or pushing really hard for a hold for the first two weeks. He said after that I could start doing harder climbs but no heel hooks or drop knees and that if it feels like I'm really pushing it to slow down.
The reason he told me I shouldn't boulder is because of the risk of falling to the ground or jumping off.
I have been DIEING to climb so I cant wait to get on the rocks. For now ive been sticking to the finger boards.
Good luck with everything!


erisspirit


Mar 15, 2011, 12:19 PM
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Re: [olive] after ACL surgery/when to start climbing [In reply to]
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first... be very careful and take posts as it is... information off the internet. Your doc and PT know best.

That being said ...

I had acl reconstruction and meniscus repair (trimmed) in November.

I started climbing again ( TR only ) when what I was doing in PT was more intense than what a TR i wanted to do was. I was careful not to do twisting motions and always wore my brace. If something felt difficult or weird I wouldn't push my luck.

be careful not to push it... healing fully is way better than re-injuring yourself.

I also enjoyed reading Steph Davis' writeup of her experience with ACL reconstruction
http://www.highinfatuation.com/...-to-acl-replacement/


onceahardman


Mar 16, 2011, 3:57 PM
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Re: [olive] after ACL surgery/when to start climbing [In reply to]
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olive wrote:
Hi onceahardman
Thanks for the reply. Yeah, the meniscus tear was where there is more blood supply so they repaired it. The ACL came from a cadaver. The last we measured I could bend that knee for 150 degrees (I cant quite bend it and sit on it yet (like in the yoga poses - does that make sense) but it is getting there). The PT seems to think that I am doing well. The quad is weaker than the other one but am doing weights etc. There is still some swelling.

I was not thinking about bouldering initially at all, I think that is out of question for a long time, but roped-climbing. Why is it that I should be more careful with the meniscus repair - does it take longer to heal? What kind of movements should I be careful about regarding that (did you say drop knees because of that?)

Your flexion ROM is stellar...well done! You will miss not being able to sit on your heel, though.

Do you have full extension?

A drop knee is really similar to a type of clinical test to rule in/rule out meniscal tear. Near end-range flexion with tibial rotation and compression... I don't like it for the health of menisci in general.

Bouldering, I generally don't like for injured people, because all the falls are groundfalls.

Yes, meniscus repair takes longer to heal than meniscectomy-but the advantage is, it is meniscus-sparing. There is other really good advice upthread. Let me know if you have other questions.


bearbreeder


Mar 17, 2011, 1:38 PM
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Re: [olive] after ACL surgery/when to start climbing [In reply to]
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i started 6 month post op ...

i would strengthen the legs as much as possible with walks, physio and other boring but needed stuff before climbing


rkuehn07


Apr 14, 2011, 7:10 PM
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Re: [olive] after ACL surgery/when to start climbing [In reply to]
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I had ACL surgery July 2010 and was top roping easy climbs by Nov. I definitely took it slowly and wore the acl brace up until about 8 months. I just recently started climbing with out it. Also I still don't boulder because all it could take is one awkward landing, definitely strengthen the entire leg first and relearn how to land softly from jumping. It's tough to start working on harder climbs that involve side to side movements because you actually shouldn't be doing that for about 6 months. Once you are cleared to start moving side to side i would focus of a lot of energy on that. It will help with the twisting of the knee while climbing and also give you confidence for harder moves down the road. Also, quad sets are the way to go during the first few months.


(This post was edited by rkuehn07 on Apr 14, 2011, 7:13 PM)


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