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Justin Williams Progress

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If it matters to anyone.... I had a very similar if not same surgery on my left knee. I totally tore apart my ACL, it was gone. They made a new ACL from another area around the knee cap and secured into place with screws. It took quite some time for the new ACL to grow and become stronger. Missed work for 6 months and didn't return to my hockey for almost 2 years ( wife still gets angry I'm playing)......Now with that being said , Williams being much younger and in better shape. I'm sure he'll be back but NEXT YEAR, if I were him and the knee is never really the same though

You missed work for six months? Oh man, you're scaring me now. I'm about to make a comeback from a badly strained lower back (I missed a week of work and around five months of hockey). My wife would kill me if I missed six months of work. Or are you required to walk around a lot and do heavy lifting in your job (I mainly sit at a desk)?

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I'm unfortunately also a survivor of knee injuries and multiple operations on my right knee. I partially tore the ACL playing soccer, but because I apparently had a pretty compact and otherwise strong knee compartment, I elected to bypass reconstructive surgery (this was in the eighties too and no guarantees (or even close) back then). I then completed the tear of the ACL along with significant cartilage 2 years later playing racquetball. I learned a lot since that time about the knee and one thing that was very surprising was that the tears, reconstructions, recovery times can differ dramatically from individual to individual, not to mention that there's always a ton of stuff to consider regarding the extent of other damage that occured beyond the ACL, in Justin's case the medial collateral tear is very possibly more serious than the ACL.

For anyone interested in viewing the structure and additional information about the knee joint (...and complex is an understatement!) try the following links, which have pretty good visual representations and explanations:

http://www.bigkneepain.com/knee_anatomy.html

http://www.arthroscopy.com/sp05001.htm

I've always found Clement to be entertaining, but also one of those personalities who holds his own opinions in pretty high esteem and he seemingly likes to say things for effect at times. It's really encouraging to hear the more official reports about both the professional prognosis as well as Justin's attitude. He's most likely got a long and difficult road ahead but the level of treatment he's able to receive and his initial conditioning, natural abilities, and experience with this before are all in his (and ours for sure!) favor. GO Justin, we miss you and want you back strong again soon!!!

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You missed work for six months? Oh man, you're scaring me now. I'm about to make a comeback from a badly strained lower back (I missed a week of work and around five months of hockey). My wife would kill me if I missed six months of work. Or are you required to walk around a lot and do heavy lifting in your job (I mainly sit at a desk)?

Yeah, I know the only "good" thing about this it was on the job injury (construction field) so it fell under workmans comp. The first month and half was pre-surgery therapy and then the surgery on 9/11/01 at 8:30 am, you wanna talk about a messed up time for going under the knife and then about 4 months of re-hab. The hockey was about 2 years because I messed up the right knee where i needed the scope but that was minor...Tell ya...lol....I'm not the same goalie I was back then...a little more nervous now.........anyway, I hope for you guys Williams gets back soon

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The first surgery they actually used a ligament from a cadaver, or so he said. What they did this time I haven't a clue.

The prior standard protocol was to take a graft from the patella ligament, just below the knee. Currently, the standard protocol is to leave the patella tendon intact and use a cadaver graft. A good PT friend of mine works over at Duke Sports Med and I'll ask her what the research is that caused this change.

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Possibly to avoid problems with the patellar ligament down the road? I dunno.

Anyway, I still have most of the articles from his flyers days if you were interested in some from that time period. PM me and I'll dig them up.

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Possibly to avoid problems with the patellar ligament down the road? I dunno.

Yes, I'm sure that's it. Pure REASON would dictate that cutting into the patella ligament, even if for a few fibers, would alter it's soundness. However, the surgical protocol for DECADES was to do just that. Conversely, by using a cadaver graft you would be introducing an foreign object. Much more likely sequelae for infection and/or rejection, even if minimal. Surgeons HATE infections. It'll be interesting the see the evidence for the change.

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They don't always make the best decisions in progress. But whatever the norm is, that's usually what becomes the one they're "comfortable" with.

Maybe the cadaver graft isn't popular for the general population but in an athlete who's more likely to continue to damage those ligaments it is? I guess after a couple of surgeries the patella ligament would be pretty much useless for future grafts.

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The prior standard protocol was to take a graft from the patella ligament, just below the knee. Currently, the standard protocol is to leave the patella tendon intact and use a cadaver graft. A good PT friend of mine works over at Duke Sports Med and I'll ask her what the research is that caused this change.

My surgery was in 1993 and they used a patellar tendon graft. The healing of that tendon and the PT to get range of motion back was pretty bad, and far worse than the actual ACL reconstruction itself. Basically they quit using the patellar tendon in many cases to speed up recovery and it really works from what I've heard. Another important factor for anyone with this type of injury is whether or not there was damage to the meniscus aka torn cartilage. The new ACL will be as good as the old one, and as long as his other ligaments heal properly there is no reason he can't be close to 100%. I had lots of torn cartilage from not getting mine repaired right away (injured it in 1981) and my knee is pretty sensitive to any abuse like running.

I will be pleasantly surprised if he makes it back for the playoffs, but don't doubt that he could do it since someone who can dedicate their day to rehab and not working etc, will come back quicker. Condition prior to surgery is a big factor and he was in top condition prior to surgery.

Here's some info on the different graft types.

http://www.aclsolutions.com/surgery_4.php''>http://www.aclsolutions.com/surgery_4.php' target="_blank">http://www.aclsolutions.com/surgery_4.php[/post]

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The first surgery they actually used a ligament from a cadaver, or so he said. What they did this time I haven't a clue.
Gee, I hope they didn't use anything left over from Kaberle's shoulder surgery...that kind of cross-fertilization we don't need...! :)

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