General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Bad News on the Injury Front Rss Feed  
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2013-06-12 2:55 PM

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Subject: Bad News on the Injury Front
I am in the middle of my training for my first iron-distance triathlon, great floridian triathlon in october. I am an ex collegiate xc/track runner, a xc coach, strength and conditioning coach. Needless to say, I eat sleep and breathe the athletic realm and extremely competitive. I received news today that I have torn my ACL at work last week while kicking a soccer ball with a young client. I have been injured in the past requiring surgery, but was never in the middle of training. I am CRUSHED. I was told that I can try to train through it if I wear a brace, but am risking losing workers comp if I do as well as potentially not being able to train at the level I need too due to the pain.

To athletes out there who have had major injuries occur while training, how do you deal with this?! Has anyone out there competed with this successfully? I am already heavily invested financially and timewise into this, as well as beyond invested mentally.

Help


2013-06-12 3:04 PM
in reply to: nacumbo89

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Subject: RE: Bad News on the Injury Front
I had an ACL and Medial Meniscus repair.

My ortho told be that I could do as much stationary or trainer cycling as I could handle.
I also did a ton of swim pulls with a buoy as soon as my wounds were closed.

I would have been about 100% after 4 months if I had not slipped while walking over water on a sidewalk (I could not see the layer of slippery slime that had formed).

Set me to 6 months recovery.


I attacked my recovery as intensely as I attacked any other preparation.
I did not do triathlon, I was kickboxing.
After 6 months, I was able to do a one month build up to full contact muay thai training with no problems -- leg kicks and all.
Had my first (and last) bout about one year post-surgery.

However, I would have concerns about setting myself back by trying to be race ready.

It only takes one misstep or bad foot plant before you are 100% to be in a worse situation.


Don't know if this helps, but that was my scenario.
2013-06-12 3:17 PM
in reply to: nacumbo89

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Subject: RE: Bad News on the Injury Front
I am very sorry to hear about your injury. I don't have any knowledge first hand, but have watched three friends coming off ACL surgery and in took months to get back to doing anything near normal. Good luck! I hope you heal quick and get some good news towards your Ironman.
2013-06-12 4:21 PM
in reply to: nacumbo89

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Subject: RE: Bad News on the Injury Front
Sorry to hear about the injury. What a bummer. Like the vast majority of people here, it kills me to sit still for a rest day, let alone take extended time off.

Good luck on the recovery.
2013-06-12 4:25 PM
in reply to: nacumbo89

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Subject: RE: Bad News on the Injury Front
You're not alone...I recently had to have a spinal fusion due to a spondylosis/pars defect in my spine. I had just completed a 70.3 and just a couple weeks after I couldn't jog 2 miles. The nerve pain through my leg was the worst I'd ever felt. Unfortunately, I had already signed up for my next IM and so I was devastated. An IRONMAN race that i had traveled to last year and volunteered for just to get a spot to sign up and then laid down a pile of cash to enter into. Big investment there. Unlike you, I really had no choice but to have surgery, as I couldn't train at all at that point. While waiting for surgery, I had to find other things (guitar, building guns, etc.) to occupy my mind as I had fallen into a deep depression simply due to not being able to train. For weeks after surgery, all i could do was walk but it was the best damn walking I had ever done, let me tell you! It was great just to get the blood pumping again. I'm still recovering, back to 100% in the pool, pretty much 100% on the bike and still waiting to be released to run again, which I hope and expect to be in a couple of weeks. I'm glad I had the surgery and there's a pretty good chance I won't be able to do my IM race this year but I'm considering participating in the swim and bike portions of the race and perhaps walking the marathon. We'll see. Just wanted to share that with you.
As for your situation, I would just say do what your gut tells you. I just had to do what was right for me in my situation and lived with the outcome of it. I don't regret it now and hopefully that will be the same for you. Injuries like these suck! No way around that. But the quicker you get the surgery, the better off you're gonna be. I certainly wouldn't want to be grinding around on a bum knee trying to train for a marathon or two. The race isn't going anywhere. There's always gonna be plenty of races. You only get one body, take care of it!
2013-06-12 5:22 PM
in reply to: Dave 2.0

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Subject: RE: Bad News on the Injury Front
I am glad your recovery is going well! I have had two shoulder surgeries already, potentially need a 3rd, and now this?! Im only 23 Im not supposed to be broken! haha. I dont think training will be an option any longer. Just picked up the brace I was told I would need to bike and run in, and can barely walk in this thing. ACL being the main stabilizer means a big brace. Don't think I have much of a choice anymore.


2013-06-12 6:03 PM
in reply to: nacumbo89

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Subject: RE: Bad News on the Injury Front
I tore my ACL in 1998 playing rugby. it was fixed in 2002. I did 3 tris and a lot of high level downhill skiing with it torn. When I reinjured in 2002, I was allowed to keep training after the swelling went down and my knee was unlocked, until my surgery which was a couple of months later. recovery was a good 6 month, but I really took a couple of years to get back to where I was before the surgery, that was mostly me though.
2013-06-12 6:22 PM
in reply to: Daffodil

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Subject: RE: Bad News on the Injury Front
I think you know what the right answer is to the question, "Should I race in October?"
The answer is likely, no.

I know that sucks to hear, but honestly, it's likely the best thing for you.
Training on a torn ACL could subject you to further knee damage. It's just not worth the risk when you look at this long-term.

You will come back stronger next year if you get your ACL reconstructed...and convert your training time to rehab time.

Best of luck to you. Yes, it sucks. I've been there, as have many folks here. It gets better!
2013-06-12 6:31 PM
in reply to: ChineseDemocracy

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Subject: RE: Bad News on the Injury Front
If you don't have the surgery now, with it covered by workers comp and you have to have it in the future and pay for it yourself I bet it will cost you more than you paid for your IM entry.

Have it fixed now you don't want to not be able to run when you are 40 because you didn't look after yourself properly now.
2013-06-12 6:33 PM
in reply to: StaceyK

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Subject: RE: Bad News on the Injury Front
Thats basically my thought right now :-/ Made a docs appt tomorrow
2013-06-16 12:35 AM
in reply to: nacumbo89

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Subject: RE: Bad News on the Injury Front
I had seen this thread the other day at work, but wanted to be able to sit down and write you a response that was worthwhile. I tore my acl August 2012 in a mud run. I knew right away what had happened and I also knew right away that I was going to get it fixed. I'm 35 years old - I've been playing sports all my life and this was devastating. I had surgery 3 weeks later (September 11, 2012) - everything went great! I got a new ligament put in me (cadaver) and it was an overnight stay in the hospital. Here is my timeline for getting back:

September - October: Swelling (your leg will be huge), I was on crutches for 4 weeks. Start by getting flexibility back in your knee with knee bends, leg raises, etc. This honestly is a workout.

October-December: Learning to walk again - it comes back fairly quickly, but feels weird at first, continue range of motion - start 5 minutes (x2) a day on bike without resistance. December I started to get in the pool again, but with a pull buoy because I wasn't allowed to kick yet.

January - March: No resistance on bike, but am able to put more minutes on it. Continue to walk (treadmill) - I'd walk anywhere from 1-3 miles depending on the day. Around February is when I started swimming without a pull buoy.

Late March-Early April: Light jogging, starting to bike outside (20 minutes), begin strength training.

End of April - May: Running, FEELS VERY WEIRD and AWKWARD! Like a newborn calf just starting to walk. Heavy biking, Running is getting easier, slow, but easier. Incorporate sprints.

June: Plyometrics, strength training, running, biking, swimming - close to release - but being cautious!

I just went to the doctor a couple weeks ago - I'm released for activity - but not sports that require lateral movements. My knee is solid, but not strong. I'm 75% deficient in my left leg compared to my right leg. Everything is getting easier and it's awesome seeing the gains that each day/week that I workout. I'm actually competing in a triathlon next weekend (my first one of the year and 9 months post-op). He said that if I were to go out and play basketball or soccer I'd have a near 100% chance of re-tear. I'm just sticking with s/b/r (oh, and golf).

My swim has improved tremendously, bike is normal, and my run is slow. I'm about 5 minutes off my normal 5k time, but I am seeing improvement each week.

I'm not going to lie to you - the beginning sucks! But time goes by quickly - you're young - get the surgery. So you miss one racing season? Big deal - you have plenty more ahead of you! You're 23 and you will probably recover faster than I did. My doc said that it takes 3 months for the blood vessels to take into the new ligament and reinvigorate it for your body. It takes a full year to actually become near 100%. Once you get to the 6 month mark - you're golden for training!

I wish you luck in your recovery and in the days ahead. It's a long road, but stick to the docs plan and don't let him force you back to soon. The sooner you push back, the greater the chance for re-tear / injury. Then you'll have to do it again. Take your time - it's a long road, but go slow! I can't stress that enough! I did everything to a "T" for what the dr. told me to do. I don't want to ever have to do this again.

If you have any questions please fee free to dm me.

Best of luck!


2013-06-18 11:55 PM
in reply to: jayhawk_sean

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Subject: RE: Bad News on the Injury Front
Originally posted by jayhawk_sean

I had seen this thread the other day at work, but wanted to be able to sit down and write you a response that was worthwhile. I tore my acl August 2012 in a mud run. I knew right away what had happened and I also knew right away that I was going to get it fixed. I'm 35 years old - I've been playing sports all my life and this was devastating. I had surgery 3 weeks later (September 11, 2012) - everything went great! I got a new ligament put in me (cadaver) and it was an overnight stay in the hospital. Here is my timeline for getting back:

September - October: Swelling (your leg will be huge), I was on crutches for 4 weeks. Start by getting flexibility back in your knee with knee bends, leg raises, etc. This honestly is a workout.

October-December: Learning to walk again - it comes back fairly quickly, but feels weird at first, continue range of motion - start 5 minutes (x2) a day on bike without resistance. December I started to get in the pool again, but with a pull buoy because I wasn't allowed to kick yet.

January - March: No resistance on bike, but am able to put more minutes on it. Continue to walk (treadmill) - I'd walk anywhere from 1-3 miles depending on the day. Around February is when I started swimming without a pull buoy.

Late March-Early April: Light jogging, starting to bike outside (20 minutes), begin strength training.

End of April - May: Running, FEELS VERY WEIRD and AWKWARD! Like a newborn calf just starting to walk. Heavy biking, Running is getting easier, slow, but easier. Incorporate sprints.

June: Plyometrics, strength training, running, biking, swimming - close to release - but being cautious!

I just went to the doctor a couple weeks ago - I'm released for activity - but not sports that require lateral movements. My knee is solid, but not strong. I'm 75% deficient in my left leg compared to my right leg. Everything is getting easier and it's awesome seeing the gains that each day/week that I workout. I'm actually competing in a triathlon next weekend (my first one of the year and 9 months post-op). He said that if I were to go out and play basketball or soccer I'd have a near 100% chance of re-tear. I'm just sticking with s/b/r (oh, and golf).

My swim has improved tremendously, bike is normal, and my run is slow. I'm about 5 minutes off my normal 5k time, but I am seeing improvement each week.

I'm not going to lie to you - the beginning sucks! But time goes by quickly - you're young - get the surgery. So you miss one racing season? Big deal - you have plenty more ahead of you! You're 23 and you will probably recover faster than I did. My doc said that it takes 3 months for the blood vessels to take into the new ligament and reinvigorate it for your body. It takes a full year to actually become near 100%. Once you get to the 6 month mark - you're golden for training!

I wish you luck in your recovery and in the days ahead. It's a long road, but stick to the docs plan and don't let him force you back to soon. The sooner you push back, the greater the chance for re-tear / injury. Then you'll have to do it again. Take your time - it's a long road, but go slow! I can't stress that enough! I did everything to a "T" for what the dr. told me to do. I don't want to ever have to do this again.

If you have any questions please fee free to dm me.

Best of luck!
thanks for this info. My DH is having this surgery today but his new ACL is being grafted from his hamstring. He isn't into SBR but its great to have some idea of what to expect. His work expects him back next week, which will be interesting (it was a work injury).
2013-06-19 8:01 AM
in reply to: StaceyK

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Subject: RE: Bad News on the Injury Front
Can an IM spot be sold? Not that I'm buying, but it would relieve some of the finantial investment. I agree that training on a torn ACL is not worth it. As for the mental investment, it seems like two characteristics of triathletes are resiliancy and long view. Get the surgery, refine your rehab like a pro and throw yourself into extended recovery with the mind-numbing patience of an IM build.
2013-06-19 10:09 AM
in reply to: Dave 2.0

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Subject: RE: Bad News on the Injury Front

Originally posted by Dave 2.0 You're not alone...I recently had to have a spinal fusion due to a spondylosis/pars defect in my spine. I had just completed a 70.3 and just a couple weeks after I couldn't jog 2 miles. The nerve pain through my leg was the worst I'd ever felt. Unfortunately, I had already signed up for my next IM and so I was devastated. An IRONMAN race that i had traveled to last year and volunteered for just to get a spot to sign up and then laid down a pile of cash to enter into. Big investment there. Unlike you, I really had no choice but to have surgery, as I couldn't train at all at that point. While waiting for surgery, I had to find other things (guitar, building guns, etc.) to occupy my mind as I had fallen into a deep depression simply due to not being able to train. For weeks after surgery, all i could do was walk but it was the best damn walking I had ever done, let me tell you! It was great just to get the blood pumping again. I'm still recovering, back to 100% in the pool, pretty much 100% on the bike and still waiting to be released to run again, which I hope and expect to be in a couple of weeks. I'm glad I had the surgery and there's a pretty good chance I won't be able to do my IM race this year but I'm considering participating in the swim and bike portions of the race and perhaps walking the marathon. We'll see. Just wanted to share that with you. As for your situation, I would just say do what your gut tells you. I just had to do what was right for me in my situation and lived with the outcome of it. I don't regret it now and hopefully that will be the same for you. Injuries like these suck! No way around that. But the quicker you get the surgery, the better off you're gonna be. I certainly wouldn't want to be grinding around on a bum knee trying to train for a marathon or two. The race isn't going anywhere. There's always gonna be plenty of races. You only get one body, take care of it!

Is a medical exemption possible to defer your race to the following year?

I applaud your willingness to participate in some way, however as you mentioned, a huge outlay of cash that an injury is about to flush for you..

If you haven't checked into it, I would if I were you.  And if you've looked into it and their policy says they don't do medical deferment, I'd still reach out and plead your case.  Some races have rules like this in place simply to cut down on the volume of requests...They aren't always out to penalize legitimate injury cases...

Good luck to all the folks dealing with injuries...

2013-06-19 1:13 PM
in reply to: StaceyK

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Subject: RE: Bad News on the Injury Front
Originally posted by StaceyK

thanks for this info. My DH is having this surgery today but his new ACL is being grafted from his hamstring. He isn't into SBR but its great to have some idea of what to expect. His work expects him back next week, which will be interesting (it was a work injury).


Your welcome - honestly - I sat on the end of my couch for 3 weeks before I went to work, and when I did after 3 weeks - I sat in front of a computer for 2 more weeks. It's not something you just bounce back from. I also had told OP that it really is a minimum 9 month injury. There is no fast track for this type of injury. If you pay attention the the NFL - RG3 tore his ACL, IMO they are pushing him back way to fast, and his risk for re-tear is far greater than if he came back slowly. Look at Derrick Rose of the NBA - granted his was far more gruesome, but he is taking his time.

My sports doc told me that it takes 3 months for the blood vessels to attach themselves to the ligament to make it live again. Then it begins the healing process. Thats why it was a good 7 months before I even got to jog or lift weights. If the OP's doc or your husbands doc tries to push back faster - I'd be asking a lot of questions as to why. Granted, you have to have your flexibility and range of motion back before a certain time, but that isn't a big deal. What is a big deal is the healing process. It takes a full year to be near 100%. I'm 9 months post-op right now and I still have a 75% deficiency in my left leg compared to my right leg. My doc said if I were to go out and play a sport that requires a lateral movement I would have a 100% chance of re-tear because my leg isn't strong enough to support that type of movement.

The good thing is - I am 3 days away from my 1st race of the year - I am able to do start racing again 9 months after the surgery. My run will be slow (which before was my strong suit). Now I have to settle for mediocrity on my run.

2013-06-19 2:30 PM
in reply to: jayhawk_sean

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Subject: RE: Bad News on the Injury Front
I am debating contacting the race company for partial refund. Their policy is no deferment and no refund. I was supposed to race last year with my significant other, but we both moved across country for work and could not make it back (race in Fl, moved 3200 miles to Wa). They were nice to give us 100% of the cost as credit towards a race this year. They already did us a favor with that and I feel bad asking for a refund. Im the type of guy where Policy is policy, and they already helped me out once. I posted on their facebook about not being able to make it just out of curiousity to see if they would contact me. So far they havent.

We shall see.

I saw my surgeon yesterday, hopefully getting it fixed in the next week or two.

THANK YOU ALL for the help! I posted that immediated after finding out, it did not take me long to realize I need to have it done sooner rather than later.


2013-06-19 6:36 PM
in reply to: nacumbo89

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Subject: RE: Bad News on the Injury Front
Originally posted by nacumbo89

I am debating contacting the race company for partial refund. Their policy is no deferment and no refund. I was supposed to race last year with my significant other, but we both moved across country for work and could not make it back (race in Fl, moved 3200 miles to Wa). They were nice to give us 100% of the cost as credit towards a race this year. They already did us a favor with that and I feel bad asking for a refund. Im the type of guy where Policy is policy, and they already helped me out once. I posted on their facebook about not being able to make it just out of curiousity to see if they would contact me. So far they havent.

We shall see.

I saw my surgeon yesterday, hopefully getting it fixed in the next week or two.

THANK YOU ALL for the help! I posted that immediated after finding out, it did not take me long to realize I need to have it done sooner rather than later.
i wonder if you offered to volunteer at the race if they might give you a different answer.
2013-06-19 6:40 PM
in reply to: StaceyK

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Subject: RE: Bad News on the Injury Front
It wouldn't be worth the cost to fly to florida and hotel rental car etc. That'd cost more than the race haha
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