Forums: Community: Skydivers with Disabilities:
Missing ACL

 


GentleTiger  (B 27525)

Mar 1, 2004, 9:59 AM
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Missing ACL Can't Post

Hi, I've fallen in love with skydiving and was wondering if anyone had any insights as to how I might protect my knee in landings? I'm currently looking at docile canopies with a shallow glide, suggestions on canopies would be appreciated too. Thanx in advance. Smile

Big Blues,
Tiger


AggieDave  (D License)

Mar 1, 2004, 10:07 AM
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Re: [GentleTiger] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

Ahhh, this I know.Cool

Something that can help is a very good knee brace, not the crap you can buy at a drug store, but a solid, metal constructed, hinged brace. If your insurance can cover it, that would be best, since they are VERY expensive, but if you knee(s) are uberf**ked then they are a god send.


GentleTiger  (B 27525)

Mar 1, 2004, 10:42 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanx Dave, there is one brace that's come highly recommended by a friend at the DZ with the same prob, I'll check it out. I tried hers on and it felt great.

Looking forward to graceful stand up landings, not sliding in on my heels and butt! Wink

BS
Tiger


Laurel

Mar 1, 2004, 10:47 AM
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Re: [GentleTiger] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

One of our skydivers, Julie, wears one of those metal robo-knee braces and when she lands, she lifts that leg up, lands on her good leg and then puts her bad leg down for a more comfortable, soft landing. Becareful, though. Others that I see with bad knees, do the calm booty-slide landing. Smile


GentleTiger  (B 27525)

Mar 1, 2004, 10:52 AM
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Re: [Laurel] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

ya, been sliding on in, on my heels and butt. You can always tell which jumpsuit and rig I was using.Tongue

Part of the trick is not to trash the right one as well. Please wish your friend the best of luck for me. Smile

Thanx Laurel,
Tiger


Tink1717  (D 12524)

Mar 1, 2004, 11:17 AM
Post #6 of 30 (2287 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

Learn to slide your landings. It might not look hip and cool, but it will save your knees.


BikerBabe  (D 18644)

Mar 1, 2004, 12:13 PM
Post #7 of 30 (2282 views)
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Re: [Tink1717] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

I have to agree.

Coming off a femur break, I still can't run (well, I probably could, but I'm a chicken), and the butt-slide is the way to go, as long as you have a grassy area!

Yes, people still ask me if I'm OK after a landing like that, but I'm not proud.

I also found the butt-slide to be easier on a canopy that has some forward motion on landing, rather than a "stright-down" type. Consequently, I'm still jumping my Stiletto and my Jedei, rather than find a "docile" Spectre or something like it.


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Mar 1, 2004, 12:37 PM
Post #8 of 30 (2277 views)
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Re: [BikerBabe] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

Something else to consider is learning how to PLF. With a bad knee, you'll have to modify it a little, but you can handle a lot of things falling down that would hurt to stand up, especially when you KNOW you're going to fall down.

Wendy W.


Tink1717  (D 12524)

Mar 1, 2004, 1:35 PM
Post #9 of 30 (2270 views)
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Re: [wmw999] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

Not to start a post fight, but I think with the way you sit in the harness of a ram air, a PLF isn't practical. I know we've been teaching for a million years but the PLF doesn't take into account the forward speeds of the modern ram air. That is not to say that you can't do them, it is just that by doing them or being committed to them, you are banking on a technique that is adapted for something else. In my humble opinion, the PLF will induce an unwanted twisting motion that coinicides with the impact of landing. Not a good thing when dealing with a knee who's torsional stability is compromised. The slide, on the other hand, does account for the ground speed of the ram air.

Just my .02


GentleTiger  (B 27525)

Mar 2, 2004, 5:52 AM
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Re: [Tink1717] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Tink,

Ya, I think sliding and a good brace will be a big help, but don't I have to do some stand-ups for licenses?

Are there any methods of sliding in that you would recommend? As of now, I use my heels to break the fall, and slide in on my butt...but I don't want to break my tailbone to save my knee. Wink

Thanx for your input,
BBS
Tiger


Tink1717  (D 12524)

Mar 2, 2004, 8:25 AM
Post #11 of 30 (2234 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

No, stand up landings are not required for license and ratings. Only accuracy is considered. When I opt to slide, I place both feet an knees together, at an angle to the ground, hit heels first, then ease on to my butt. Take care to try not to stop the landing (the friction with the ground will do that for you) and just coast on in. It doesn't look cool, but it saves the knees.

But beware, you still need to learn the proper flare technique. You will still thump in very hard if you miss your flare point.


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Mar 3, 2004, 5:05 AM
Post #12 of 30 (2206 views)
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Re: [Tink1717] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
but it saves the knees.

Occasionally at the expense of the ass and/or spine. It's also easy to tweak an ankle or knee if your heel catches.

imho, if you have a physical issue (knee, ankle, back problems) it's better to jump a canopy that you can land softly standing up every time - even in no wind - than it is to have to butt slide because you can't run. If that means jumping something bigger than what someone who doesn't have injuries to protect is jumping, or if it means upsizing after coming back from an injury, so be it.


GentleTiger  (B 27525)

Mar 4, 2004, 5:36 AM
Post #13 of 30 (2184 views)
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Re: [Tink1717] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

wow, that's great news Tink! And pretty much what I've been doing. Smile

BBS
Tiger


Tink1717  (D 12524)

Mar 4, 2004, 12:12 PM
Post #14 of 30 (2173 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

Glad I could help.


DSBlueskies  (D 29484)

Mar 11, 2004, 11:38 AM
Post #15 of 30 (2114 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello,

Just discovered this thread today. I jump with no ACL in my left leg and a reconstructed one on my right. I use two Robo braces when I jump. I've found that what works for me is a good PLF. Maybe not the answer for everyone. Also, I took a canopy class and have improved my landings a great deal. Doing good landings on a bigger canopy and good expensive braces are the only way to go.

Best of luck.


IanHarrop  (C 1152)

Mar 13, 2004, 8:32 AM
Post #16 of 30 (2097 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

I blew my knee skiing in 1996, both my ACL and MCL went, and wear a brace for both skiing and skydiving. I use a DONJOY which was relatively inexpensive ~$700 and does up with velcro. It rubs a bunch so when skiing its over the long johns and when skydiving it over the jeans. Won't do any sports without it.


mtpohl  (D 24069)

Mar 13, 2004, 3:36 PM
Post #17 of 30 (2089 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

My wife raptured her ACL in Aug 03 on a botched tandem landing (passenger was ok: all smiles). At 1000+ jumps (AFF-I, TAN-I, Sr. Rigger), she has not been too proud to slide in everyone of her landings ever since on her cute behind. Smart thing to do until she undergoes reconstructive surgery in early May.

/M


(This post was edited by mtpohl on Mar 13, 2004, 3:37 PM)


smiles  (D 41)

Mar 15, 2004, 4:05 AM
Post #18 of 30 (2073 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey,...I can relate, left knee snapped my ACL in 2 pieces and will not be getting surgery. Have found after a year can get by beauty with 3 ligaments in my knee. I wear a good brace and subconsiously still favor my right leg/avoid landing on left and turning to the left....or running canopy off more than a few steps. Takes time under a canopy to get to know it well and trust it.

My canopy is a dream to land (150 triathlon) ...and has made 100% improvement on my landings.

SMilesWink


GentleTiger  (B 27525)

Mar 15, 2004, 8:05 AM
Post #19 of 30 (2065 views)
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Re: [smiles] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi smiles, great name. Smile I've been jumping with a brace, but haven't landed on my feet yet, I seem to have mastered the butt-slide though. Wink I'm going to the gym this week to practice jumping up onto a moving treadmill, ankles and knees together. I'll do it at different speeds so I can then gauge what I'll need to do for a stand up landing when I see the ground rolling beneath me. (I expect to get lots of curious looks at the gym Wink) Then, when I'm comfortable with that, I'm going to continue to practice my PLFs and start jumping off of various pieces of furniture. Granted this is a pain the the butt, but, hey, I'm havin some fun with it! BBS, Tiger


DSBlueskies  (D 29484)

Mar 15, 2004, 11:24 AM
Post #20 of 30 (2053 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

Jumping onto a moving treadmill? Wow, that sounds kind of tricky. Is that an exercise your physical therapist gave you? I know my physical therapist gave me lots of great exercises to do, but I never heard of that one. I'd be really careful! When I was rehabing after this latest injury my therapist was great and got me up to jumping off a 24 inch step. Which was quite a big deal for me. Take it slow and make sure to get all the professional advice you can. Are you going to have your ACL repaired or just live with it? I've decided to just live with it this time. So far so good and the braces really help a lot. Again, best of luck.


GentleTiger  (B 27525)

Mar 15, 2004, 6:42 PM
Post #21 of 30 (2049 views)
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Re: [DSBlueskies] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi DS,

No, a therapist didn't give me this, it's my own answer to being intimidated to the ground rolling beneath my feet. If I know that I can handle different speeds on the treadmill, I'll be able to handle the ground. And with the treadmill, I'm going to start very, very slowly, and build up speed as I get the hang of it.

Ya, I'm going to live with this as long as I can without surgery. BBS and careful knees Wink


DSBlueskies  (D 29484)

Mar 16, 2004, 5:13 AM
Post #22 of 30 (2040 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

I know from my own rehab experience that jumping up to something takes a lot more strength then jumping off of something, but I guess you won't know until you try. Have you ever thought about taking a canopy course? I decided I couldn't get back in the air until I had taken one. I don't know where you are, but these classes are popping up all over. I took Scott Millers course down in Deland and it was great. Gave me more confidence and now I know what I need to work on. I also perfected my plf's there and that has helped a lot. I have always been afraid of the "butt slide". I don't want to mess up my back or catch a heel and end up breaking my leg instead. You might check at your DZ and see if they know of any canopy classes around. I know Scott travels too and might be coming somewhere close to you.

Take care,
DS


GentleTiger  (B 27525)

Mar 16, 2004, 9:01 AM
Post #23 of 30 (2034 views)
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Re: [DSBlueskies] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi DS,

Aside from my knee issues, I decided that c/c class is a must, and I'm really glad there's been much more emphasis on it lately nationwide. I plan on going to Deland as soon as I can, and my DZ will be having c/c classes once a month.

In the meantime, it's practice practice practice! Tongue

BBS,
Tiger


DSBlueskies  (D 29484)

Mar 19, 2004, 11:51 AM
Post #24 of 30 (2014 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello again,

Those canopy classes are great and I'm glad to hear you already thought of that. By the way, not trying to stick my nose in where it doesn't belong, but I talked to my physical therapist today about your idea of jumping up to a treadmill. She said that was a bad idea.....mostly because now your are dealing with two moving objects, yourself and the treadmill. When you skydive your moving, but the ground isn't. She said with two moving objects you've just doubled your risk for instability. Just thought I would pass on the info. You have to make up your own mind of course. Talk to your doctor about a knee brace, too. I think they are wonderful and I wouldn't jump without mine. I look kind of funny walking around with both legs braced, but that's the great thing about being 40! You just don't care about those things anymore.Tongue

Stay safe,
DS


Cudlo

Mar 20, 2004, 2:46 AM
Post #25 of 30 (2005 views)
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Re: [DSBlueskies] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

The butt landing works, although sometimes painful when you misjudge where the ground is. The problem that I encountered on one jump (Otter) was when everyone was preparing to enter the jump run. Getting off my duff and then onto my knees, sitting back against my heels like everyone else was doing (it was my second AFP jump) was a HORRIBLE idea. When it came time for my instructor and I to jump, once I left the aircraft I noticed a severe amount of pain and a very limited amount of mobility in my left leg (2 ACL replacement surgeries to date).


DSBlueskies  (D 29484)

Mar 20, 2004, 8:16 PM
Post #26 of 30 (702 views)
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Re: [Cudlo] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

Ugh, that hurts my knees just thinking about it. We jump an otter where I am too and when we are on jump run I just stand up and bend over a little. I could never get on my knees. I can't even do that in church anymoreSmile. When I was a student I told my instructor I couldn't do the kneeling thing and he told me that was fine to just stand up, so that is what I do all the time now. I don't think I could do Cessna jumps anymore either. Try standing up, it's much easier on the knees. I also wear braces and that just makes moving around even more difficult. I've tried the "butt landing" and I just prefer a good PLF. As long as my knees are bent when I land I know I'll be fine. You just have to go with what works best for you.

Good luck,
DS


Raefordite  (D 17243)

Mar 21, 2004, 1:03 PM
Post #27 of 30 (695 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

What kind of canopy do you have? # of Square feet? Your exit weight? Number of jumps on that canopy? DZ surface (sand, grass, flat, sloped, etc)?

As a Physical Therapist, most of what folks have entered sounds good (except for that moving treadmill thing). Next, let's look at your canopy, etc.


Tinkerbelle  (D 272)

Mar 21, 2004, 11:13 PM
Post #28 of 30 (689 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

As far as the tredmill goes...
I have been at lots of skydiver parties where there was a treadmill in the house. From my experience tredmills and skydivers don't mix. If there is a tred mill in the house, someone is gonna get hurt! After a while, inevitably the damed thing gets turned off by the most adult supervisors!
The last incident I recall was playing around with the volume button, trying to make people fall, or rather trying to stay upright. Then when one chick was sitting on the thing sideways eating a snack on a plate, someone snuck up and turned it on full speed! She went flying off the end and got stuck with the thing spinning under her spine. She got a big bruise and a tremendous surface burn. I'm sure it wasn't funnt to her later after the pot and booze wore off, but it was pretty funy at the time to her and everyone else in the room. The whole place erupted! Guess you had to be there! Again, after that, the tred mill got unplugged!
Aren't skydivers a hoot!
Tink! Wink


jillr  (C License)

May 29, 2004, 9:54 AM
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Re: [GentleTiger] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm late to this thread, but I wanted to add my own experience with a missing acl. Mine was missing for probably three years, I lived fine without it for QUITE a while until one night I was at a concert hopped up to jump with the crowd and things changed. It wasn't a big hop, I wasn't pushed to have to react sideways with landing- my point is it wasn't much to cause me significant pain and further my problems with my knee.

After that, the knee would seem to pop out of place, my leg would go tingly and I couldn't put weight on it. Walking 100 yards to the pop machine would make it "pop" so I decided to see the doctor. It was a quick visit as my knee would unnaturally bend and surgery was scheduled shortly after. I had lived with the missing acl for so long I had torn my cartlidge- in a bucket tear- and that was what was causing me pain catching in the joint. They ended up taking out a lot of cartlidge in my knee while using another tendon from the back of my leg to fix the acl. My second point- waiting to get it fixed isn't a great idea because it won't fix itself and you're only causing more damage.

I now have a descent acl and I'm back to skydiving. Surgery was in October and I've made 4 careful jumps in the last few weeks. I've also been left with bursitis and the outlook of premature arthritis in my knee because it's missing so much of the cartlidge.

Jump with a brace, and go see a good pt to get some excersices to stregthen your leg (it will help now, and for a quick return after surgery).


DSBlueskies  (D 29484)

May 30, 2004, 8:48 PM
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Re: [jillr] Missing ACL [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't quite agree with the idea that all complete acl tears have to be replaced. The human body is an amazing thing and we have several ligaments and tendons that compensate for a missing acl. I'm in the gym four times a week making sure my hamstrings, quads, and calf muscles stay in shape for just that reason. Premature arthritis is sometimes inevitable with an injury sever enough to rupture your acl. I've torn out both of mine. One I had replaced and one not. The one I had replaced is going on about 8 years now and I have terrible arthritis in that knee. The other one has been about a year and it feels great. But I have no illusions, it will be full of arthritis in a few years too. ACL replacement wouldn't have avoided that for me. Another factor is age. If your young they usually do replace your ACL for all the reasons you mentioned. But for some of us total knee replacement is a very near future reality and replacing an ACL won't prevent that. I skydive with braces on both legs, spend lots of time in the gym, and pray God gives me at least 10 more good years on these knees!

I guess it all boils down to individual circumstances and I'm glad you were able to get yours fixed and it works better for you. Learn how to do good PLF's. They can really save the knees in a bad landing situation.

Blue skies,
DS



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