ACL/Knee Reconstruction and Boating Question(s)

Vikingstaff

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Anyone on here ever have ACL knee reconstruction as a boat owner? I blew mine out in football and “training for a come back” :D when in high school/college. Unfortunately, I recently blew it out again in a staff-student basketball game. Now I am experiencing this “fun” as an older version of myself at 49. :confused:

With summer around the corner in Michigan, and boating season and our lake levels being SHORT (boat out BY Labor Day weekend/early September with HL low water levels), I am really contemplating no boating this summer. :eek:

IF you have had specifically ACL reconstruction as an adult boater, can you share your thoughts and experience. I’m on a big lake that can get pretty rough in certain conditions. That worries me. It’s kept on a lift. I am the only one willing to really dock it, put it on the lift, etc... That often requires rapid movement, assistance and muscle power from me. That worries me too as I will not be capable of any of the above through the entire summer.

Surgery is at the end of this month, and follow up P-T will run me through July, potentially into early August. Somewhat normal mobility is a solid 4 months out from surgery, strength and flexibility 6+ months out. :(

As a result, I am really considering keeping the boat in storage and waiting on the 2020 boating season. The possibility of this is FRUSTRATING me to no end at the moment. :mad:

Is it realistic that I might be able to boat, given the above information, during P-T on an ACL reconstruction? OR am I likely risking trouble and just need to give it up for an entire season?

Any personal first-hand experience would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

lakeliving

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Ouch!! Sorry to hear that. Can't speak to the medical piece but you can always charter Steve (Michiman) to be your captain this season! How old are your kids? Time for them to learn how to drive the boat into the lift. When I was a kid I was moving the grass with a Kubota tractor that had taller tires than I was. taught me good hand/eye coordination that comes in handy behind the wheel of a car as well.
 

Vikingstaff

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I hear you. Due to cross wind, and waves, I cannot tell you how often we have to physically guide the boat into the lift. When we do, it pretty much takes all of us as my older two adult sons are almost never up to the lake with us (young men in college and post college...but never up with us). That leaves my petite 5’ tall wife, same size and petite daughter, and 1 son who is 17. He and I are the only “muscle” 90% of the time.
 

Michiman

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Ouch! Did you guys at least beat the kids or was that a setback as well? Real bummer news to say the least!

As much as I'd like to help you "crew", the truth be told I'm not such a reliable guy. :)

However, before you throw your boating season out the window, you might consider renting a slip. Ours is well sheltered so no real fighting the wind but on the negative side, you'd have to leave that beautiful boat of yours in the water all summer.

Hopefully someone will chime in with (positive) real world experience, Jeff. Right about now we could use some good news on this forum.
 

sjhorner9475

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Being a medical professional I think you have summed up things pretty well. Given your description of the lake conditions it might be better to not be boating unless you have adequate "muscle" on board so that you do not have to do anything strenuous. You do not want to risk damaging the knee before it is even healed up. 49 year olds don't recover as well as high school/college kids. However, I would suggest you talk to your doctor and physical therapist. They might consider that "therapy" a few weeks post-op.

Good Luck!
 

Vikingstaff

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Ouch! Did you guys at least beat the kids or was that a setback as well? Real bummer news to say the least!

As much as I'd like to help you "crew", the truth be told I'm not such a reliable guy. :)

However, before you throw your boating season out the window, you might consider renting a slip. Ours is well sheltered so no real fighting the wind but on the negative side, you'd have to leave that beautiful boat of yours in the water all summer.

Hopefully someone will chime in with (positive) real world experience, Jeff. Right about now we could use some good news on this forum.
First...we LOST by 3 points: 40-37. I am certain (ha,ha) that my injury 4 minutes into the game was certainly a difference maker (but we all know better). :D Also, both our girls and boys varsity made it to state quarterfinals this year, so we had some amazing players on their side of the ball.

Second...hmmmm. I never really considered the idea of just renting a slip for the season. Never even really looked into one, let alone on HL, so really clueless about the process. Could certainly simplify many concerns. I may very well look into that.
 

Vikingstaff

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Being a medical professional I think you have summed up things pretty well. Given your description of the lake conditions it might be better to not be boating unless you have adequate "muscle" on board so that you do not have to do anything strenuous. You do not want to risk damaging the knee before it is even healed up. 49 year olds don't recover as well as high school/college kids. However, I would suggest you talk to your doctor and physical therapist. They might consider that "therapy" a few weeks post-op.

Good Luck!
It is going to be a big part of my discussion with the surgeon and clinician. Recovery does need to be priority #1. Recovery from this when I was young was bad enough. Absolutely not looking forward to it at 49.
 

Michiman

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Yeah, we were pulling for Viking basketball. You folks have a tradition of strong athletics, not to mention education. Our area is really blessed in general.

The other downside to a slip is that the protected ones are on the north shore and east bay, which would be considerably further than a walk out your door. PM me if you have any questions. Hopefully your doctor will come through with an "all clear" for boating!
 

BigKahuna

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Sorry to hear of your recent injury. 49 yrs old? Youre still a baby! Ha! I'm 10 yrs older and play racquetball at least 3 times a week. Hard on the knees but so much fun and you get good exercise without knowing it. We've had a few guys go down with knee injuries and it scares me. Don't want to tear anything or have a knee replacement. Hope surgery goes well and you have a speedy recovery period.
 

Jack M

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I had mine left knee done in 2000 ,it was sore for a while but no limitations .I have a friend who just had a knee replacement in January .No issues at all ,and pain free .He is having the other one done next year .
 

Mike31406

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I have had my right knee replaced twice. The most recent being when I was 63. I would give it a good 3-4 months but everyone’s different. For me it was a bigger issue just getting to my boat which was on a lift in my backyard. Boating its self was not a problem. Now after my reverse right shoulder replacement it was a little different story, that goodness I have power steering. That’s a story for different day.
 

sunedog

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As the father of an 18 year old, I think you need to trust your son to take over the heavy lifting. It will be good for both of you in so many ways. You stay at the helm and allow him to do all the other parts you were doing. Explain the drill to him once. Then let him figure out the nuances. Take a deep breath and stay calm. As long as nobody gets hurt, everything will be OK.

And I've had 4 meniscus surgeries (which I realize don't compare to one ACL repair). When I was 45, I ran a mile one week post surgery. When I was 54, it took me 3 weeks. My point is I heal a hell of a lot slower as I get older. Good luck with yours!
 

basshawk84

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I had ACL reconstruction surgery at age 38. I was playing golf at 3 months, fishing bass tournaments at 5 months and playing basketball at 6 months. But I was 20 years younger than I am now, so the comparison isn't very close. I don't think I would have issues with driving my Toon a few months after surgery though. Just my 2 cents.
 

Vikingstaff

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Thanks for the input everyone! Between some ideas here, and talking with surgeon and post surgery clinician, I feel like I have a better vision for it as compared to my last one in 1990.

Doctors said boat time by the end of June should be okay. Lots of healing happening and I will be 2 months post op, and 1 mo. into P-T. They echoed much of what Sundog said. If I am at the helm, I should be fine, but nothing else. Turn the rest over to family and friends, and perhaps avoid bad weather/severe chop.

Back to being excited about summer again! Just might get a later start at boating than normal. Better than nothing. :)
 

Bob & Sandi

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Good Luck Jeff. I have not had this type of surgery, but I tend to agree that you will be OK to use the boat. You might not be there at the start of the season but after a couple of weeks ib, you'll be out barking orders. I think if you are a anything like me, you'll be starting your PT on your own prior to the official start, just a little moving every day. I have had a torn achilles and shoulder repair with pins and started flexing prior to getting the cast off my leg and the pins out.

Again Good Luck and think about the end results.

Bob
 
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