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LCL KNEE INJURY - FEEDBACK?
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By BradWilson
Nov 13, 2011

I believe that I injured my LCL performing a powerful heel-toe move (self-diagnosis). Have you experienced an LCL sprain/tear? If so, can you please give me some feedback on your injury & experience?

Was your injury a Grade I, II, or III sprain/tear?
Was there an audible "pop" or series of "pops"? If so, how many?
Describe the pain and its duration that you experienced?
Describe the swelling and its duration that you experienced?
Was the LCL isolated in your injury, or were other ligaments injured?
What was your recovery time until you started climbing again?
What was your recovery time until you could use heel-toe's again?



Thanks in Advance!


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By Pat O'Shea
From Ouray, CO
Nov 13, 2011

ouch.
i tore my lcl along with my acl and medial meniscus last fall in a bouldering accident. i had a cadaver replacement on the lcl, and hamstring graphs on the acl. i remember the doctor telling me that my knee would be looser due to my lcl tear. now i'm a year out of surgery and really cant tell the difference. I climb on it 4 days a week and it doesnt bother me. If you have insurance get a MRI, and see what your options are. hope that helps


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By Pat O'Shea
From Ouray, CO
Nov 13, 2011

there definately was an audible noise when I tore it. It sounded like velcro ripping apart. After surgery i was on crutches for 2 months, and back climbing about 4 months (not bouldering).


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By Pat O'Shea
From Ouray, CO
Nov 13, 2011

post surgery - your knee will be stiff with limited motion. When i started climbing again i definately had trouble highstepping and heel/toe hooking for awhile. for serious knee ligament tears they say 9-12 months before you'll bee back to normal again, which seemed to be the case with my injury.


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By BradWilson
Nov 14, 2011

Thanks for sharing Pat. Glad to hear about your full recovery!

A couple more questions, if you have time:


Did your knee swell up immediately?
Could you stand/walk immediately following your accident?
Did you lose range of motion immediately following your accident?


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By Copperhead
Nov 14, 2011

BradWilson wrote:
Thanks for sharing Pat. Glad to hear about your full recovery! A couple more questions, if you have time: Did your knee swell up immediately? Could you stand/walk immediately following your accident? Did you lose range of motion immediately following your accident?

You might have injured your acl. It won't heal on it's own if you seriously damaged it.


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By Pat O'Shea
From Ouray, CO
Nov 16, 2011

BradWilson wrote:
Thanks for sharing Pat. Glad to hear about your full recovery! A couple more questions, if you have time: Did your knee swell up immediately? Could you stand/walk immediately following your accident? Did you lose range of motion immediately following your accident?



my knee was a grapefruit about an hour after it happened. I could'nt walk at all. when i tried to, it felt like my leg was going to bend backwards. i was put into a knee locking brace prior to surgery, and couldnt take it off till physical therapy started. i would get it checked out if you're concerned. make sure you do all the exercises your doc/physical therapist tells you to do if you want it to heal right. good luck


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Nov 17, 2011
El Chorro

BradWilson wrote:
I believe that I injured my LCL performing a powerful heel-toe move (self-diagnosis). Have you experienced an LCL sprain/tear? If so, can you please give me some feedback on your injury & experience? Was your injury a Grade I, II, or III sprain/tear? Was there an audible "pop" or series of "pops"? If so, how many? Describe the pain and its duration that you experienced? Describe the swelling and its duration that you experienced? Was the LCL isolated in your injury, or were other ligaments injured? What was your recovery time until you started climbing again? What was your recovery time until you could use heel-toe's again? Thanks in Advance!


I have never torn anything but many of my friends have (I've witnessed a few) and my mother and/or father gave most of them PT so I have a bit of knowledge.

Why do you think it's an LCL problem? Have you had knee problems before?

Many times if you tear one, you'll tear (maybe partially) or sprain one, two or all of the remaining three.

Athletes can sometimes walk immediately after, but it is not common.

Swelling usually occurs... a "grapefruit" sounds about right.

6 months post op is the average time it will take to make a full recovery. Full recovery for a non-athlete means walking around normally. For you, full recovery means that you feel strong enough to start athletic training. A pro athlete will take a year to get back to 100%, but that is because 100% for them means slamming into other huge men or doing things that most of us don't do. YOU can expect to get back into climbing after a few months, but will have to take it slow and won't be able to really push it for nearly a year. This is all assuming that you TORE something and need surgery. This is also assuming that you do your PT.

If and when you need PT, and even before that, take video of you, or anyone, climbing. Explain to your doctors and PTs that this is that you do, and this is what you want to do after recovery.

Many healthcare professionals are not used to dealing with athletes and do not push people very hard. It is obvious when watching my mother and father versus their co-workers. They made a living rehabbing NFL and MLB athletes while their co-workers treat old people. They also push harder than the young PT graduates. So make sure that you find a PT that knows what you want to get out of your body, or else they will treat you like a 70 year old total hip patient.

Get looked at. If you want a second opinion on your PT, send me a copy of your MRI and charts/status. I'll forward it to my father and he'll probably reply w/ some old school advice.


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By Carl Sherven
Dec 1, 2011

Have you seen a doctor about this? The interwebs aren't the best place to get medical advice about something potentially serious. If you've had a grade 2 or 3 sprain you really need to see a doctor.


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By Scott0101
From Laconia, NH
Dec 1, 2011

If you can go to a sports doctor. Or request to see one. I saw one when I tore my MCL and the difference in treatment was huge. You'll get more than the standard doctor answer of "Don't do that then" when you say something hurts.


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