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Kitesurfing injuries-knee ACL tears

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Kitesurfing injuries-knee ACL tears

Postby Toby » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:02 pm

A user asked me to put this question up for him:

About a month ago i landed a kiteloop hard and had a bad knee dislocation. Ended up with a torn ACL. The doc advised me to have surgury in a couple of months after the holiday trip I have planned. Until then he advised me to wear a knee brace when i kite and specificly the Donjoy Armor brace.

I was wondering if anyone else had a similar problem. I've already spoke with 1 kiteforum member who encouraged me that i will be able to kite with a brace. I already went kitesurfing 3-4times but i'm scared to do anything else than sailing upwind and a few jibes here and there. I tried to jibe a little hard on a wave and felt some serious pain. The doc said it must be the knee bone touching the miniscus at some certain angle when I jibe. That got me more scared to try anything else.

So, is there anyone else with a similar problem and how do you deal with it?

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Re: Kitesurfing injuries-knee ACL tears

Postby WindRyder » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:25 pm

I had an ACL injury several years ago, and I went with the conservative method of rehabilitation first. After 6 months of therapy, I was at a volleyball practice and came down hard from a jump to block at the net. The instability from the ACL tear caused my leg to buckle and tear the meniscus as well. I had reconstructive surgery and meniscus removal three days later. Since then, I am always aware that my knee is not the same. I am extra cautious with everything I do when I kite. The knee brace is not going to solve the instability issue. I would not recommend kiting until you have it repaired!! You can cause further damage to surrounding structures, potentially placing you at risk for tears in the other ligaments that are trying to work overtime.

I am sure you will get several responses on this, including those who have been successful with being consersative and not having reconstruction. However, with the high intensity impact you put your knees through with kiteloops, the brace will not keep you safe and stable without reconstruction. Best of luck!! And be sure to follow your physical therapist's instructions after surgery. As a therapist myself, I know that following post-op protocol will get you safely back on the water.

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Re: Kitesurfing injuries-knee ACL tears

Postby Bstevs » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:48 pm

I did the same exact thing this past weekend. Did a kiteloop and landed in really shallow water hard, board dug into sand and my knee snapped. Went to the doc yesterday and doesnt think i have an ACL injury but possibly LCL. Anyway I really dont think you should be kiting on that bad knee. I will not kite until mine feels 100%, as like Soleas said, it could injure other parts of the knee. That would only prolong your recovery time.

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Re: Kitesurfing injuries-knee ACL tears

Postby sarcasm » Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:22 pm

I also had a total ACL rupture about 8 years ago due to kiting. I couldn't really imagine kiting after the injury without the surgery, as walking alone was difficult. If you do have the surgery, please discuss the option of using a cadaver tendon with your surgeon. :)

If it makes you feel better, I feel my knee is as good as new. Haven't had a single issue with it in 8 years.

Also, do a search on here. The topic has been discussed plenty, with lots of guys saying surgery is a waste of time. I obviously disagree.
I think one area of misunderstanding on this topic might be not thoroughly defining ACL tear. From my understanding, you can have a minor tear - all the way to complete rupture (as in none left).

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Re: Kitesurfing injuries-knee ACL tears

Postby cowboy » Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:44 pm

I had an completely blown ACL 7 years ago from american football. Docs for 5 years kept saying it was meniscus which I had cleaned up twice. Knee kept buckling even going up & down stairs

eventually moved house and as I had a new doctor to go to had him refer me to hospital, within 3 months was diagnosed correctly, even though I had said it from the start.

23 months ago had knee surgery and then physio & therapy for the next 6 months. back to playing football 7 months after the surgery. 1st game knee bent back but held so started wearing a donjoy again and never looked back since. As im just starting kiting im not going to wear a brace but once I get past the cruising stage Ill probably wear it if I dont think the knee is strong. I had a length of hamstring taken out and doubled over, but AVOID the artificial tendons as they dont give under load just snap most of the time Ive heard

best thing is to build the leg back up after surgery, but follow your physio's advice and dont push earlier than they say. 3 months before you can do leg curls and no extensions on weight machines. Strengthen your hamstring as much as you can before and after surgery as this really helps

The donjoy brace will help hold against lateral movement and the hyper extensionof the knee which leads to the bucklling effect, but shouldnt be restrictive. Just keep it lubricated well and make sure its rinsed & dried after being out onthe water as they aint cheap

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Re: Kitesurfing injuries-knee ACL tears

Postby Scribble » Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:06 pm

Completely Tore my ACL in 2006. I had good stability and doc said I may be able to go my whole life without the surgery. I decided to get the surgery because I didn't want to completely blow it out. I kited with a brace for 6 months before the surgery and never had a problem. If you are really worried just work on riding strapless for the rest of the season.

When you do get your surgery enjoy the pain killers and make sure you rehab hard. Do all the exercises and stretches and you will be back in no time. I had the surgery at the end of January and I was kiting by the end of May and felt better than ever.


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Re: Kitesurfing injuries-knee ACL tears

Postby STORMBIRD » Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:02 am

Tweaked my knee pretty well about 6 weeks ago landing guessed it....kiteloop! Doc says it's not a blown ACL and i believe him, but things got stretched pretty well and there is still some swelling....I took 30 days off of the water and am now riding with an Asterisk Cell knee fits really nicely and really does provide tremendous support. The doc (GP) says that I don't need the brace but i got it anyway, and I'm glad that I did. :thumb:

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Re: Kitesurfing injuries-knee ACL tears

Postby jatkinson » Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:01 pm

I completely tore my ACL in 2005 on one of my early kiteloop attempts. Docs have told me that considering my ACL is gone my knee is extremly stable, so I have not had the surgery. I still kite with a brace and have not had any problems, although I only throw kiteloops when somewhat underpowered now.

I think that what you can do will depend greatly on how stable your knee is. If it is buckling or giving you pain then you better take it easy until surgery. If you can ride without pain then brace it and slowly build up to more aggressive movements.

Good Luck


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Re: Kitesurfing injuries-knee ACL tears

Postby Pike » Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:03 pm

Complete rupture of my acl march 2008 (snow skiing) and damaged meniscus on both sides - now, all injuries are different but:

went to see a top UK specialist who said that there was no need for surgery unless the sports I was doing required it (ie stop/start running eg: football, squash etc). So I didn't and soon started up kiting again (within 1 month of injury) firstly with a brace BUT I soon got rid of it because you soon become dependant on it and your muscles will waste. You MUST build up the muscles around the knee to keep stability. Dump the brace as soon as you feel you can. There are 4 of us kiting without ACL's at our beach - none have had surgery. My knee feels fine but I'll keep an eye on it.

However...I do not kiteloop and have no wish to do so. I do jump plenty high enough with the odd trick but get most enjoyment from strapless surfing.

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Re: Kitesurfing injuries-knee ACL tears

Postby islandstylen » Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:29 am

i have no acl or pcl or meniscus. i am kiting alot with a brace and workout 4 days a week working alot on my legs.
i have been using the breg xk2 but just brought a lower profile donjoy defiance, better for surfing as it doesnt dig into my board.
i did mine doing kiteloops too. dont do them anymore.
i'd say get the surgery if you can. i got the hamstring one but it didnt work properly for some reason. i did all the PT to the book. i can be bothered to waste another 5 grand and get it again.

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