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Return to sailing after ACL reconstruction

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Post Options Post Options   Quote thewhitewizard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Return to sailing after ACL reconstruction
    Posted: 12 Sep 11 at 9:47pm
Hi,
 
I'd like to hear from anyone who has undergone anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and has returned to dinghy sailing after surgery.
 
I usually crew RS400s and had my left ACL in my knee reconstructed in March this year after rupturing it playing football. I would like to return to sailing of some type after 9 months post op when recovery is about as good as it's likely to get.
 
My physio is not a dinghy sailor and I'm finding it difficult to describe the physical nature of crewing hiking dinghies and the likely force it places on the knee. There is also the bending and kneeling which sailing involves. I want to know when and if it's going to be safe to return?
 
Any experiences or advice greatly appreciated.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Contender 541 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 11 at 8:01am
Funnily enough, I am with the Doc's tonight for a different knee problem - Patella Tendonitis caused by damaged Meniscal and Cruciate ligaments.
 
Tonight I hope to be signed off and get some sort of understanding of what I can / cannot do (not that it shall stop me, but...).  I have been trying to figure out how to explain the forces and challenges that we dinghy sailors face as well.  Could be an interesting conversation!
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bert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 11 at 8:24am
why don`t you just show him / her by sitting sideways on an chair putting your feet under their table & leaning back, demostration is always better then trying to explain.working for hiking you will have to find something else for trap`s
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Roger View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Roger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 11 at 8:36am
Take in some pictures, magazines and a bit of video loaded onto a phone/laptop/iPad.
 
The physio should very easily be able to see the sort of strains your knee will then have to take, a demonstration with a bench is OK as well, but the video will give a better understanding of the environment and other dangers.
 
I would ask for the best exercises not only to aid the general repair process, but also aimed at strengthening the areas you will work hardest when you return to sailing.
Push them hard for specific advice, dont be fobbed off, and if your not happy with your physio then get one you are happy with, who is prepared to work with you on your recovery.
 
Oh, and give up football, not cos it's not fun, but because you don't want to do it again...
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote radixon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 11 at 12:21pm
I tore my critiate ligament at the age of 8, some years later, (13)i took up sailing. I havent had any issues. I only ever had an issue when I went on a skiing holiday before sailing and it felt painful.

I'd go for a gentle boat rather than an extreme hiking dinghy.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote timeonthewater Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 11 at 2:23pm
I tore my ACL windsurfing 16 years ago, and have since continued windsurfing and now racing dinghies.  My advice would be:

Build up the muscles around the knee as much as you can, cycling, spin classes and eventually swimming (never breaststroke kick). Get rid of the company car, and keep off the pies.

Work on core stability/balance, wobble boards, as your weight distribution differs between 2 legs

Wear a full length wetsuit to protect the knee and provide support

Forget skiing, waterskiing, and jogging on pavements ever existed

Hiking is ok, good hikers are essential, as are padded toestraps. Trapeze no problem, as long as you work on your knee flexes with the physio terrorists. You should be able to touch your bum with your heel.

Just get obsessive about knee and muscle strength on both knees now, as your weaker leg will have atrophied somewhat. 

Don't listen to the pussies on here saying sail a lower performance boat

Reduce inflammation, using frozen peas, leg height, and if you get a real needle like pain in your knee..stop
Sailing/windsurfing high performance gear hard hurts anyway, man up tablets (Solphadine), after a tough regatta will help

hope that helps



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris Turner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 11 at 2:49pm
Did my ACL in September '96, luckily enough to have a good surgeon to repair the knee, although it did not go quite to plan first time off.
I ended up with one operation full blown, five days in hospital and two further operations key hole which were walk in and out the same day jobs.
Luckily my Physio was a sailor! My final key hole was in Jan '97 and I managed to compete in the 14 Worlds later that year (4th).
Since then, I still have no feeling in the left side of my knee and you certainly know about if you kneel down, so don't...
My advice is to do plenty of balance exercise, stand on a wobble board and do plenty of squats, you do not need weights, just your body weight does it.
Since '97 I have managed to remain competitive sailing all sorts, Phantom's, 15's, 14's 49er's, all types of sailing.
Yes, it can still hurt now and again, more often in the winter may be something to do with the metal pins, who knows?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote radixon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 11 at 4:36pm
Originally posted by timeonthewater

Don't listen to the pussies on here saying sail a lower performance boat



FFS, the original poster is still within the first year on the mend. Going straight in the deep end hiking a 400 isnt going to do his post op recovery any good. Read the forum even more and I think you'll find others are moving away from hard hiking boats due to knee issues.

The reason I said "gentle boat" as not to put as much strain on the ligament but still able to enjoy the sport we love.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RS400atC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 11 at 4:45pm
Crewing some boats in light weather can involve a lot of twisting of the knees.
The 400 is perhaps not the kindest boat in this respect.
This may be more problem than hiking.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pondmonkey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 11 at 4:51pm
there is no correlation between dinghy sailing and dodgy knees.  

FACT- if you want to dispute this, you risk disputing it in a court of law under accusations of libel.

Sail whatever you want, your knees will be absolutely fine.  Trust Pondmonkey- life long fan of Laser Dinghies.   (Although we're not quite sure who pondmonkey is as there 10 users who are currently sharing this IP address at the time of posting)  

These sailors coming out here giving 'sensible advice' to take it steady for a while- well they're all like you, must have screwed up their knees playing football or doing something that wasn't related to dinghy sailing at all.

Dinghy sailing and knee issues... p'ah what a load of b**locks.
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