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Torn ACL - Question about my follow up care
jphouse1005 posted:
Thanks for taking the time to read. During a football game 3 weeks ago I was injured during a tackle. The EMT assigned to the game decided my injury was related to cramping in my leg muscles, and proceeded to try to stretch me out and use a chiropractic tool on my leg. After about 10 minutes of no relief and further pain, she stopped (to attend another injured player), implying the pain was "in my head." Ultimately, I wound up taking an ambulance to the ER. There, an x-ray was performed with no conclusive results. The ER physician recommended I see an ortho and prescribed something for the swelling.

The next week I managed to get an appointment, and was told I'd get a call with approval to schedule an MRI. Many, many days later (probably a full week) I got the "we messed up, you never needed approval, go ahead and schedule." (My fault for not being on top of it. Lesson learned.) I had the MRI, and finally a follow up visit. The ortho advised me, after waiting over an hour for my appointment that I had a torn ACL. He didn't show me the MRI (is that normal?) and told me that he wanted to wait 3 weeks before deciding if I needed surgery. No orders of physical therapy, just another prescription for the swelling. My appointment lasted less than 5 minutes. When I asked about the pain, he was walking out the door and didn't bother to answer. Needless to say, I'm getting a second opinion, but want to ask in the meantime:

Is it normal to not be shown the MRI?

Should we be waiting a full 3 weeks before deciding about surgery?

Is physical therapy in order regardless of the decision on surgery?

sprucegoosegg responded:
JPhouse, I have witnessed two ACL tears, one was in a soccer game and the girl's knee swelled up to twice the normal size. The other was in wrestling and the same swelling occurred. Sounds to me like this did not happen to you and judging by your doctors reaction, it was not a complete ACL tear and only a partial one. Next time, ask to see the MRI to confirm. If it is a partial tear, ice, heat and rest the knee and the PT when you are comfortable again, most likely 2 to 4 weeks. Hope this helps.

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