Complete ACL Rupture - your experiences?

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hello all,

Three weeks ago I had a fall rock climbing, landed funny on my knee from 4 meters...  a trip to A&E confirmed no fractures, was given a splint, crutches and referred to trauma & orthopeadics team there.

I had a horrible experience with my consultant, who suspected an ACL tear (though I only discovered this because he wrote it on the MRI referral form) and told I would get an MRI in 6/8 weeks.  

I elected to pay for a private scan, as I simply couldnt' wait that long, plus another couple of weeks to see my consultant.  I (used to) work three manual jobs, am a single mum and do some sort of exercise pretty much every day of the week so being suddenly laid up is depressing to say the least. 

To consultants credit, he was entirely correct in his diagnosis - however, I took my radiology report to my GP instead and asked to be referred to another hospital.

Apparently this was all pointless - I read stories from people in the states who from confirmation of their diagnosis are operated on within a couple of weeks.  I had an urgent "must be seen in a week" referral from GP to new hospital, who now, at 8 days claim to not have any record of my referral.  

I still can't walk properly, or bend my knee. I am only 30, and its making me so depressed.  I can't afford to see a private consultant, but I feel so let down with our system right now.  

So has anyone else here had a sports injury to their knee?  How long did you find the process from diagnosis - treatment?

It's not even about not being able to do sport, I just want to be able to walk and climb stairs and work! 

 

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi there, yes it is very frustrating waiting on the NHS. I injured my knee playing netball 14 months ago, did it in the January & had to wait 3 months for a MRI. Every time i went to see my Consultant he would say some thing different. When I went for my MRI results he informed me that they couldent see anything, the next time he told me I had torn my cartlidge (meniscus).

    On another occasion my knee was still swollen and he offered to give me a procedure that involved putting a needle into my knee to relieve some of the fluid. I said no (wanted to phic myself up 1st lol). I was given a "open" appointment and was told if i wanted the procedure just make a appointment and they would do it.

    I forced myself to make a appointment to have it done, prepated myself and my consultant said he diden't want to do it because of the risk of infection. Arghhhh, so annoying. The tear is nearly settled according to my pysio, and i can crouch down fully but is still abit tight. Just takes a long time. You just want to get back to sport and exercise.

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    • Posted

      Did you get back into netball despite all this? I'm having flashbacks of having PIIIIVOOT shouted at me!

      Three months is an insane wait. To get what wasn't even a definitive diagnosis from the sounds of it?

      At what stage did you get physio?

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  • Posted

    Hi. Hate to say it but it sounds about the norm. I'm 6 months anniversary (today) after knee 'popped' whilst walking upstairs. (5 months after successful op for torn Mescius) been fobbed off now referred to Local Pain Clinic even though a private physio diagnosed tendinitis (outside of knee where hamstring attaches to bone). No treatment or care for the 6 month duration. Been severely restricted if not housebound since it happened and signed off. Horrendous pain. Single mum. Can't afford private care and no other consultant available for second opinion. Fed up. Sorry if I didn't cheer you up but you are not alone. 😉
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    • Posted

      It only adds fuel to my fire really. How young / old / injured do you have to be to be taken seriously! Single mum here too. It's the little things. Can't walk without crutches - there is no popping to the shops, etc you can't carry stuff!!

      I know I've read many people damage ACL / other ligaments and still be able to walk and cycle (I'm very envious) for whatever reason the way mine has snapped means the right leg is completely immobile!

      It's nice to just rant to be honest. Being housebound is depressing. Literally. How many times I've just realised I've tears running down my face - can't even count.

      And it's one of those things. The longer you leave the longer it takes to recover.

      It's so nice to know you're not alone though!!

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    • Posted

      Totally sympathise. I relied on my legs for independence as I have a long outstanding injury to one arm. Pain and delayed care (MRI lost for 5 months) from that resulted in me collapsing at home. Heavy fall damaged knee but missed in original A & E exam. It just keeps on going. Gives a whole new meaning to 'single' patent More like single arm single leg. 😳 Not that I am laughing.
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  • Posted

    Who has lost the referral notes??  Don't give up, go back to the doctor. Rant if you will, play the single mum card to the fullest; you can't do this that or the other. You cannot work etc, which to some degree is true.  Just big it up, play the system, create fuss. Are you wearing a support?  If not, get one.  You can reasonably priced ones made of neoprene with hinged metal stays. Absolute life savers. Depending where you are, in some areas treatment is soon and in other places, well you can wait ages.  You are not confined to one hospital, but sometimes they all share the same orthopaedic team on rotation.  Look into your options. Whatever happens, you need the doctors letter, so get him/her on your side and get them to push.  If all the above fails, or you feel they are not taking you seriously enough, find out when each hospital has an orthopaedic rotation in the A&E, go along, say you just "your leg has given way and you twisted it" etc etc.  You have a damaged leg, so you are not lying, Good luck
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    • Posted

      Not very clear at this stage where they've gone wrong! My GP seems to be on the ball but they're investigating again today. Though that said she's the one who was insistent on the particular hospital that has a terrible reputation for their wait lists... She said I couldn't be referred to one of the central London trusts that I know have an outstanding record for this type of injury (though others have also told me this is rubbish as I have a right to be seen by whoever will do the best job for me!) don't know who to believe!

      I felt so guilty playing the system! Did already cheat a bit as I have a neighbour who works in admissions and she's the one who confirmed I'm not on the system at all.

      I have the cricket splint originally given to me at the A&E dept. It's cumbersome to say the least but wasn't offered alternatives and didn't want to buy my own nice neat hinged one in case it's not right.

      Felt I should give GP a chance to sort rather than paint myself as a trouble maker! Funny I've already twisted / re damaged it a couple of times - the other night my cat decided to get in a fight with a fox, I just leapt up (the noise was horrific!) and forgot I couldn't run properly - ended up on the floor screaming too, woke the kid up scared the poop out of him too. I have to laugh as it was probably funny to watch but makes me want to scream!

      Thank you so much for your reply!! I really needed to let off this steam!!

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    • Posted

      It might be cumbersome, but try wearing the splint.  It will take some of the weight off your knee.  Or crutches, would not like to swear on it but am sure the Red Cross or some other similar organisation hires them out for a nominal fee.  It gives you a certain amount of freedom to be able to get out and about in less pain.  Sometimes going where we want to go is not always viable.  All very well having an operation in a well known hospital, but you then have to get home. Or rather someone has to collect you. I know that is not of comfort to you, but it's a "reason". Sometimes waiting lists mean that this particular hospital has a good reputation (forget bedside manners)!! Again, it's a "reason". You are not a troublemaker, you are a human being in pain.  Unfortunately, unlike animals, we can't go to the local knackers yard 😩😩😩

      I know exactly how you felt regarding your cat, instead of a fox we have an unneutered tom in the area. Got out of bed, "ran" down the stairs, cat wouldn't come in, so back up I go to put on a dressing gown, went to go back down and fell.  The front door was still open and stopped me tumbling out of the house. Thank goodness it was too early for the milkman, what a sight it would have been. So was the black eye and the knot on my forehead.  My knee survived without a hitch!  Yup I think I screamed, but then the giggles came.  

      In times of stress we have to laugh, otherwise we would go crazy. It is not fun being in agony and sometimes to get treated in an uphill struggle. So make a nuisance of yourself, so what that there are other people out there in the same position as yourself, they would also most probably be making a nuisance of themselves.  You need to be able to move on. You need to be able to look after your family, get from a to b on stable legs.

      So rant as much as you like.  Hopefully you will get on a waiting list (when that happens, ask the secretary or whomever is in charge of patients lists, to call you if there is a cancellation, that way you get to move up the list). If you can't rest your knee, wear a support. If you can, exercise your muscles as they will atrophy from lack of use.

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    • Posted

      Finally finally after calling around what felt like every orthopaedic dept in London managed to get myself into see a consultant on 15 April!

      Long, boring road to recovery this is. This time I'm lowering my expectations about how and when I will get referred for next treatment. It's a small step but progress regardless! X

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    • Posted

      I wish you all the very best of luck, ask as many questions as you want (write them down before going).  Be honest with them, say how much you being in pain is impacting on your family life.  Keep us posted. xx
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