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Angler, Gastronomist, Artist, Jarhead, Geek
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wanted to throw a question out to see if there are some solutions to my problem.
I recently tweaked my knee and I am currently in the recovery stage where I wear a neoprene knee brace most of the day while I sit at a desk. I am fairly ambulatory albeit a bit slow, when it comes to walking around. My doctor recommends that I get a hinged knee brace to keep my leg in alignment to speed the healing. Has anyone out there had experience wearing a hinged knee brace on the outside of their waders? or should I just wrap the hell out of my knee underneath my waders with a ace bandage and walk around stiff legged?
Insights? recommendations?
Class?... anyone?

-Lex
 

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I hope she likes whitefish
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1,724 Posts
Hey Lex, I ripped my knee cap off and destroyed my patella tendon in a motorcycle accident in 2005. It took several surgeries to repair the damage to the bone and tendons. After I got the cast off, I was recommended to wear a brace, but the pressure it applied to the newly "fixed" knee was worst than not. My leg had atrophied bad and still felt uneasy. I decided to just wrap it with an ace and let nature take it's course and hopefully rebuild the muscle instead of relying on prosthetic so-to-speak. Might I add that the doctor told me I'd never walk normal again and probably NEVER run.

I run, walk, jump, hike, and fish like nothing had ever happened now! I truly feel that it was due to the fact that I forced myself to use it normally and not keep bracing it. So I guess this is just a long way of saying, wrap it with an ace, take it easy, and go for it. Don't over do it, but don't stay in the kiddie end of the pool forever.
 

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Long Lost Member
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When I worked with sports rehab patients most of mine were knee rehabs. The belief back then was if a brace was needed, it should be as close to the body as possible. A layer or two of protective padding under the brace will allow for comfort yet still hold true to positioning. Most of the braces worn were constantly bitched about, but they did add stability. If you are considering wearing such a hinged brace and wading I'd first ask your doctor, explaining what you intend to do and ask for his/her recommendations. Barring that I'd think that you would be best suited with the brace inside the waders vice outside the waders. The bulk of the brace will dictate some of your options. If you have a neoprene sleeve with hinged side stays it might fit well inside. A larger ACL type brace with more structural support might be more problematic unless you have really roomy waders. Getting on the water should be a good way to get some exercise, but remember wading is not always as sure footed and stable standing as you might wish. Get back into the game, but don't get too crazy too fast. Beach walking, bank walking, shallow wading in soft water, shallow wading in moderate water...work through the difficulty progression in the crawl, walk, run model. Be safe.
 

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I wouldn't wade until your leg felt good climbing stairs and running tires. Some of the most amazing knee twisting saves I've made have been walking in the river. Maybe if you took it really easy you could get away with it? But, why risk permanent injury right? I'm usually stumbling around and saving myself from falling at least a couple times each outing. If I ever injured my knee, I'd stick to the drift boat or shoreline for a good while.
 

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Addicted to flyfishing
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I fished the Deschutes 5 months after reconstructive ACL surgery. When I wet waded I wore my hinged brace and when I wore my brace under my waders and then coverd the brace with an extra large athletic sock with the toes cut out so I wouldn't rip my waders. For the 6 months after I also wore a flexible neoprene knee pad which gave some torsion control and gelt a lot better when having to kneel on rocks and such. Bring a wading staff as it will give you more support and just make sure you wade mellowly.


Ryan
 

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The Great Sage
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And keep in mind and let it dictate how far in you go how you will get out if you do hurt it again. I understand the desire to get out there, but if it means much worse damage to your knee it's even longer before you can go back out again the next time.
 

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Just an Old Man
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I've had both knees operated on. My left knee has most of it's cartilage left and my right knee has nothing left. When I had my knee operations I asked my Doctor about a knee brace. He told me that braces were the wrong thing for knees. So because of his telling me they were bad for you I never wore any.

Now I can't even climb stairs anymore. If the building that I'm in doesn't have an elevator I don't go up stairs anymore.

But when wet wading the cold water on the knees feels better than any other thing you could do for them,.

Now I have pain all the time. I go to sleep with it. I drive with it. Shit they even hurt when I tie my shoes. So the moral here is, take care of your knees or you will have to get them replaced.
 

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Joe Streamer
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I don't know what you mean by "tweaked" your knee, but... I have a new ACL in one leg from surgery around 1997. I like Ryfly's advice about wearning the brace under your waders if possible as a short-term measure. Mumbles is right about being careful of course.

But more important as far as getting back in the water and back in the action in life in general: Do your rehab. Do it religiously. Whether you're an athlete or not, be an athlete now and do the strength and stretching exercises as dictated by your PT (I assume you have a PT since you have a brace).

If you don't do the PT right, your injured leg will might never return to normal. If you do it right, it will very likely be back to normal.
 

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skeeps
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I had part of my patella removed along with some tendon repairs in 2007, due to a car accadent. My main problem was stability. A few weeks following the surgery i remember taking a header into a clothing rack at Sportsmans Warehouse because my knee gave out. I was wearing a neoprene brace which I concluded did nothing for my particular problem, I shortly thereafter swichitched to a hinged knee brace which helped a lot.
 

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Angler, Gastronomist, Artist, Jarhead, Geek
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks for all of the responses. My Dr. says that I can be up and wading in 2 weeks if I just stick to my therapy and play it safe... with a brace
I was clipped in to my bike and couldn't release my foot when mt knee fell smack into a concrete curb, for those asking.

-lex
 

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Smells like low tide.
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I hate going down clipped in. Not so bad when you've got your helmet on and can just tuck and roll, not releasing your hands from the grips. This is a good move to practice on a sandy beach! Too bad that stinkin' curb was there
I popped my left ACL loose when surfing back in 1995. I hit the lip on a thick double wave, with too wide a stance where my forward (left) leg was extended pretty much straight, with no bend in my knee when I smacked it. The wave won. My ACL made a loud cracking pop, sounding like something snapping, followed by intense pain. At first I thought I broke something. I made it in to shore OK, but had to be helped up the beach by my surf buddies.
I had no insurance. I just iced and wrapped it and started doing mild workouts when it felt OK to do so. It healed up fairly well on its own, but looks to have "re-attached" itself about 1/4 inch lower than where it was before. I didn't surf again for several months, and then wore a neoprene knee brace over my wetsuit. that was a hassle, and I switched to a thinner neoprene sleeve under my wetsuit.
I don't surf hardly at all any more, but when I do go out (only in clean, smaller surf now), I worry about a lip hitting me in the side of that knee. That's the weaker stress point. I think my knee is somewhere around 80% as strong as it was before the incident. But a side blow could injure it again. It doesn't bother me now.
Good luck and a speedy healing process, Lex!
 

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Everyday is a sweater day in Port Angeles!!
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A hinged knee sports brace like the Don Joy that football lineman wear is not going to fit under your waders. The neoprene braces with metal side hinges should work fine. I feel your pain!!! I hyperextended my knee last weekend chasing native cutts way up Barnes Creek by stepping on a rotted log. I was about four miles up from Lake Crescent with no cell service and unable to put pressure on it for about 45 minutes. It is the same knee that I tore the ACL in five years ago, and had to have reconstructive surgery.

So for now I am just going to take it easy for awile and just float tube (good knee rehab with the fins), and chase SRC's on easy beaches. After my ACL surgery I rehabed like an animal and was playing tennis, skiing, mt. biking, and surfing in less than 8 months. I think with initial rest and then good rehab you should be back to normal in no time....just don't push it and let it heal.
 

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Lots of opinions. Here's some facts from a licensed and certified Orthotist (brace professional): The effectiveness of bracing depends on the type and extent of injury. Is there laxity present? If so, on how many planes? The size and strength of the brace depends in part on what we're bracing for. The fit is also dependent on the person doing the fitting. There's a huge difference between being fit by some tech in a doctor's office and being properly evaluated, measured, molded (if necessary) and fit by a professional Orthotist. Othotists guarantee the fit, often following Medicare guidelines with a 3 month fit warrantee.

There are a huge variety of hinged frame-type knee orthoses out there, some prefabricated, others custom made to a mold of your leg. Some are quite bulky, others not. Depending on your need, some low profile braces can be very effective. Since a neoprene brace is sufficient for walking, it looks to me like you won't need a very bulky brace. If your waders are loose enough, you can probably fit the brace inside. If the waders are thin, like the breathable type, you can probably wear the brace over them. Just rinse out the hinges with water from the hose to get out any grit. Another option is what Mumbles alluded to - a neoprene brace with hinges. The short ones with flimsy aluminum hinges are almost useless. If you go this route, get one with the heavy duty polycentric hinges and make sure the clinician contours them to your leg shape.

My best advice is to get a prescription from your doc and make an appointment at a local Prosthetics and Orthotics clinic. Tell the orthotist everything you can about what you want to do in your brace. Be sure to have the orthotist order a brace cover to go over the brace if you are going to wear it inside the waders. This will help keep the brace from damaging them. Please don't just wrap your leg to make it stiff. You may need to bend the knee to keep from getting dunked, or worse. Good Luck!

Rich
 

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Angler, Gastronomist, Artist, Jarhead, Geek
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think that last response was way awesome. I will try to cover all of the questions you brought up on my next visit. My therapy seems to be really working out well.
Thanks for the info.

-Lex
 
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