C25K with a torn ACL?
January 30, 2013 11:19 AM   Subscribe

Would it be crazy to do C25K with a torn ACL? I do not plan to get surgery to repair the ACL.

Background: I have a torn ACL in one knee, and a once-bruised MCL in the same knee. I have seen an orthopedist and been going to physical therapy. Given my lifestyle ("lightly active" -- I walk 11,000 steps a day, do cardio machines 3x a week, and 2 hours of ecstatic dance a week) and age (43), my ortho left it up to me whether to get surgery. I decided not to because of the recovery time and because the tear to my ACL was not severe. Physical therapy has gone well, and I'm at the point where neither the ortho or PT think I need to keep going.

Before this injury, I had planned to do C25K with my dog. She's young and really likes to run and never gets the chance -- and I could use the extra exercise. Plus, if I'm ever going to take up running, now is probably the time. I'm not getting any younger.

Question: Would it be crazy to do C25K with this injury? My leg feels strong and stable, but I don't want to injure it further. My ortho and PT both said that it's really up to me -- they expressed no concerns about me doing it and basically said that I could try it and should stop if my knee hurts at all.

YANAD/YANMD, but what do you think? And why?
posted by OrangeDisk to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
Go for it. If your knee hurts, stop. It's not a lifetime ironclad commitment.
posted by Etrigan at 11:19 AM on January 30, 2013 [5 favorites]

Yeah, I decided against surgery for an MCL tear, did the PT, and have done several 5ks since. As long as it doesn't hurt, it should be fine. Enjoy the doggy time!
posted by ldthomps at 11:21 AM on January 30, 2013

I am currently recovering from ACL repair surgery. (Oh man, I might get some light jogging in a few weeks!)

When I was doing PT before the surgery, running straight on flat surfaces was never off the table.

Listen to your knee, but as long as it's just running you'll probably be fine. I know several people who did their ACL playing soccer, didn't get it repaired, and took up running and cycling instead of playing soccer.

Good luck!
posted by kendrak at 11:27 AM on January 30, 2013

Yeah, I think you should be fine. I was able to run for a few months before I had mine repaired. And honestly, for me, my knee felt perfectly normal during this time. The ACL seems to really come into play when cutting and changing directions like in many sports. Just make sure to run on stable predictable surfaces.
posted by villafoyager at 12:48 PM on January 30, 2013

I have a torn ACL and did a Cto10K and it resulted in further damage to my knee, which surgery was required to repair. I was fine while I was running a max of 5k, but moving from 5 to 10 did it for me, nearly immediately, with little warning. My MCL tore - bam - locking my knee.

However, I was stupid about it. I should have been seeing a PT while I was running to get me on a strength training program and monitor my progress. I was not in good shape prior to taking up running. (See comment about stupidity).

In short, I am your cautionary tale. If I were to do it again, I would keep seeing my PT and ortho periodically to check in on how the running is affecting me in ways I can't necessarily feel.
posted by girlpublisher at 2:33 PM on January 30, 2013

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