Training with Torn ACL?

Forum Experts:

I've already had an ACL repair (hamstring graft) on my left a couple of years ago, and now it looks like I've torn the right. Thing is, I really don't want to take the time out of training to have it fixed (8+ months before you can train again).

Has anyone here opted not to have the surgery, and continued to fight and train with a torn ACL? Is it possible to do so?


Dont be stupid mate!

After your days of training are well and truly past you the only thing you will be looking forward to is an early knee replacement. Take the hit - 8 months now, and not a knee replacement later!

Are you a pro or someone who does it for hobby?

I'm not a pro. After hearing about the problems you can have later in life without, I'm choosing to go through with it later this year. It's going to be a hamstring graft, like my other knee... not looking forward to it.

Pardon me for the thread hijack. But I just found out that I tore my ACL last week. How long were you on crutches?

No problem: I was on crutches for a month, started light cardio at six months, and 90% recovered at 10 months.

Thanks dude, looks like I have lots of fun to look forward to. I haven't scheduled my surgery yet, any words of wisdom to pass on.

Some words of wisdom: research what kind of graft you want, as there is a ton of information on the internet. Don't let anyone make the decsion for you. Seek out a doctor that prefers the kind you want. I have decided on a hamstring graft (like my left knee), but every type has it's own pros & cons. Do the rehab, and don't go back to training too quickly, as you can rupture the repair and risk repeating the whole miserable thing again. Also, my PT on the first knee was a small local shop, and not really that sophisticated. If I had to do it again I would have gone to a more modern PT, as there have been great advances in PT for ACL tears (as this is such a frequent sports injury).

Also, one thing I should correct that I said above: you really need the both crutches for two weeks, and can pretty much get by with one as needed after that.

Just had my ACL/meniscus/bone graft surgery on Tuesday. I had my patella tendon used for the new ACL. The one thing that no one has mentioned in all the knee threads is the damn pain. My patella tendon has been killing me. Thank goodness for percocet.

" I'm choosing to go through with it later this year"

Why later in the year? why not sooner?

AFTC, I read that one of the Cons of a patella tendon graft is the knee pain, which can last for quite some time. If it is worse than a hamstring graft... which I believe it is.. it must suck big time.

CH "Why later in the year? why not sooner? " Just timing with work, as well as allowing me to spend lots of time strengthening the leg muscle. Moreover, I bought a custom brace that will allow me to train at a fairly high level until then.

2 weeks out of surgery and feeling better but it still sucks. I went with the patellar graft. My dr harvested the patellar tendon from my left knee for implant in my right. I also had a meniscus tear. I'll be glad when I'm off crutches.


The braces do fuck all. if you don't beleieve me, read the research. Any competent Ortho will tell you the same thing.


I had to stop my kickboxing training, as I discovered that the brace really didn't perform as expected. My knee kept poping out of the joint, and I made the decsion to sideline myself.

So, relax....I do believe you. :)

Solid decision, imo. :)

be very careful. 6 months was always the general rule of thumb, the top surgeons are now EXTENDING that to 9-12 months, not realing it in. returning to BJJ @ 4 months would not be wise, imo.

it doesn't matter how good your surgeon is, it's a question of the amount of healing that can occur and the maturity of the graft.

Last weekend while viewing a grappling tournament, I ran into a friend who used to compete all the time, and had the hamstring graft procedure for his ACL repair.

He cannot compete anymore post-operation, and he claims to now have serious problems with the hamstring muscle from which the tissue was taken to fix the ACL. The operation was over 3 years ago and he says he took the rehab seriously.

This is the second guy I talked to who says this happened to him following the hamstring-ACL procedure. Does anybody have any pros/cons regarding the cadaver ligament as an option for the ACL operaion? Thanks...

Go cadaver. The idea of them removing a chunk of your hammy or patella tendon doesnt sit well.

cadaver = risk of rejection, and increased risk of infection, thats why its not as common.

EastCoast is correct. The ligament is taken to a lab and sterilized. Any antibodies that could cause rejection are removed. Recovery is actually shorter using the cadaver graft. Less trauma to the body becuse they are not cutting another part out. If your doctor performs the arthroscopic surgey instead of the open surgery even better, less rehab time. I had an ACL repair with the patellar tendon, if I could do it again I would do the cadaver route. I also had a friend with the patellar tendon graft that fell almost a year later and split the kneecap in half. Doc said most likely because of the small piece they take out at the bottom attached to the tendon. Hope the information helps.