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Complete Ligament Tear

I have a completely torn ligament in my ankle. I've had an MRI done, and I've been told that I'll have to have it surgically repaired, but that I can wait years if I really want to. In the meantime I can to to physical therapy and try to regain strength. It happened three weeks ago, and is still very swollen. I would like to know if any of you have gone through something like this. Did you have surgery? Did you go through physical therapy? Did the surgery or physical therapy fail? I'm trying to make the best decision for my family, and I would like some stories from others. I'm also thinking of getting a 2nd opinion since surgery may be involved. Thank you!

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Asked by corbysmom531 at 3:23 PM on Dec. 17, 2009 in Health

Level 16 (2,347 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • I had a complete tear of my ACL (knee) ligament about ten years ago. The dr wanted me to have surgery, but we shopped around to different doctors to get 2nd, 3rd, and 4th opinions. They all said the same thing - surgery - but differed on the type of surgery and the type of recovery PT. We chose a dr that recommended a type of surgery that got me up and moving on my knee 2 days after surgery, as opposed to the others who recommended a cast for six weeks before trying to move it. The thinking was that the initial movement would help in recovery time b/c it prevented scar tissue from building up and creating severe pain. Then, a year of PT, to strengthen the new ligament. It worked.... Ish. My knee still hurts, I can't sit on my knees from the pain of having a screw in it, and I get pain when it rains. But I can walk without worrying it will give out on me. My grandma had the same problem as a child (con't)

    Answer by Iskkra at 3:30 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • (con't) but never got the surgery. And now, she walks with a severe limp and a cane, and her knee gives out on her all the time. So, there's that for ya.

    Answer by Iskkra at 3:31 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • The surgery my current dr wants me to have would require a cast for 6 weeks, and I have a two year old. The last thing I want is to be immobilized for that long! I may have to shop around and do some research on the types of surgeries. Do you know what yours was called?

    Answer by corbysmom531 at 3:36 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • I've had a lot of feet problems. My underlying problem is plantar fasciitis that started when I was pregnant 26 years ago. When it gets bad I start breaking, spraining and tearing things. I have just pretty much recovered from ligament problems my left foot from twisting it when my right foot was in a cast. It took those ligaments about 6 months to heal. In the past year I have had 4 or 5 plaster casts and the moon boot with velcro things most of the time.

    I don't think I have completely torn a ligament. I tore one off a bone once and they wanted to do surgery and I opted for long cast time instead. I have gone to physical therapy lots of times. Usually I just learn what to do and then do it at home. I avoid surgery. I suggest getting a 2nd and even 3rd opinion.

    Wheelchairs are much better than cruches. You can get good deals on craigslist.

    Answer by Gailll at 3:47 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • Thanks Gaill, but I have a two year old, and live in a small 2nd story apartment, a wheelchair is not an option. :) And I don't want to be in a cast for a long time, that's why I'm trying to avoid a surgery.

    Answer by corbysmom531 at 3:49 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • The difference with my surgery wasn't in the actual surgery - I guess I said that wrong. It was just the difference in the type of recovery. If I were you I would definitely go to another doc (or 3, like I did) to find out if anyone has a different philosophy about the cast option. I had no cast - I was on crutches for 2 weeks, with a removable brace, but it was much better than a cast, IMO.

    Answer by Iskkra at 8:05 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • I had this in my shoulder and went through MONTHS of therapy and NOTHING! They finally did the surgery and put me back in therapy and that helped ALOT!

    Answer by lovinthislife08 at 9:19 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • I tore the ACL and medial meniscus in my left knee in 2000 while playing soccer. I went to a surgeon who was kinda a quack and he just sent me to therapy. So I did that for years. I couldn't play soccer very well and it was uncomfortable to walk sometimes and just had a really hard time. So I went back to my regular doctor who sent me to another surgeon. They had me do another MRI and the new surgeon said that I damaged it more because I worked on it played soccer on it. He said if I had the surgery when I first injured it I would have been playing soccer now. So he repaired my knee and it is much better but not 100% anymore. I cannot run well and I have days where it hurts and the bad weather makes it sore. If I saw the second surgeon first I would have been able to play soccer in college. So hope yours goes well. I know that ankles are different but I wanted to tell you my story.

    Answer by rjpetty605 at 9:45 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

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