Re: Question About Ligament Tears
posted at 12/10/2013 4:58 PM EST
In response to DeadAhead's comment:
I know we've had some on here who have experienced this and I was just curious about what it feels like and what the experience is like in comparison to a broken bone. Just curious.
I noticed when it first happens it's clearly very painful, but then a minute or so later, the person isn't grimacing, experiencing the same kind of an intense pain.
Does it just subside a bit after the intial pain and when the tear happens? A broken bone hurts for sure, but it continues to throb and be very uncomfortable until it can be reset.
It just seems like the player is always somewhat comfortable when on the cart, as opposed to just after the injury occurs.
I've had my left knee rebuilt/repaired 3 times.
As with every injury it depends on the nature and severity of the injury when it happens and also the way in which it happens.
It also depends on if it is happening to a non athlete or finely tuned athlete as well. What I mean by that is how strong your surrounding tendons, ligaments, and muscles are around the affected area.
I've had my ACL replaced by part of my petellar tendon, hamstring and a cadaver, my medical meniscus reattached, and also later a piece clipped out, the knee cap dislocated, and my MCL repaired.
To keep it simple and to the point, generally speaking you are correct.
Tearing the ACL itself is like an instant sharp pain but then not really much afterward. The nature or how it happened comes into play with the pain. Welkers probably hurt less because he was not "also" being slammed into at the time. Gronks leg was being smashed so that in and of itself carries pain with it in addition to the tear. Sometimes the ligament is torn, stretch to a fray etc and other times its blown up/apart/snapped.
That is also why people who claim that one athlete is a warrior while another is a p*ssy because of how they handle seeming the same injury is a joke. Two players may have a torn ACL. One has a tear/fray and the surgeon goes in to clean it up to keep anything from catching on anything else during movement and then the rehab is mostly strengthening. The other player might have his blown up and he need a new one grafted in and then reattached by drilling through the bone and bone plugging it. Sure both have torn ACL's but drastically different surgery's, recovery, and rehab.
As with most other traumas to the body the injury will generally be instantly flooded and surrounded by supportive fluid by the body. Hence the swelling. One of the quick tests they can also do in addition to the traditional stability test is to stick a needle in the swelling and draw fluid. If it is is mostly clear if might be some sort of severity of strain but if there is a significant amount of blood your f'd.
Depending on the ligement damaged depends on what movements the knee is weakened in, rotationally, side to side, etc. If it is just ACL then it is conceivable, depending on severity and over all strength of everything in the leg around the knee, to still be active and productive. Mankins playing in the guard spot, if not asked to do a lot of pulling etc can play as he did on a torn ACL. Trying to cut and or do a lot of change of direction or anything requiring constant full leg extension would not be possible. Which is also when you see many of these types of injuries occur. The knee joint is at its strongest in a bent state, weakest fully extended.
For me, personally, tearing out my medial meniscus was excruciating to the point of almost throwing up but tearing my ACL and MCLs not so much. Thinking about what my leg did while the tears happened was more sickening than the actual pain caused by the tears. That is why you will hear many say that the psychological part of getting over the injury is harder than getting over the injury itself. It was for me. I was always thinking my leg was going to fold up sideways on me again.
The other reasons cartilage and dislocations are more painful is that you are altering the normal functional kinesiology of the body where as the ligaments are often more supportive roles.
I'm no doctor but those are my recollections from things that happened to me in my experiences and memories of what was explained to me by my doctors and physical therapists.
I also have less confidence in a players future who has substantial cartilage damage than I am an ACL.