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30 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k s e p te m b e r/o c to b e r 2 0 2 3 30 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k s e p te m b e r/o c to b e r 2 0 2 3 By Til Luchau KEY POINTS • Copers are people who can return to full activity after an ACL injury; 20–30 percent of people can cope without surgery. ACL surgery is effective at reducing joint laxity; however, there is no difference in joint laxity between copers and noncopers. • Noncopers can become copers through training, with proprioception, strength, and expectations about recovery being the most significant factors that distinguish copers from noncopers. This suggests the mechanisms by which hands-on bodywork might play a beneficial role in ACL injury recovery and coping. Knee Journal, Part 2: Surgery or Not? THE SOMATIC EDGE On a bright blue day of Colorado skiing, I rounded a turn poorly and seriously hurt my knee. I began journaling about that experience the next day and shared the first part of my story in the May/June 2023 issue of Massage & Bodywork ("Knee Journal: A Personal Log of an Injury's Progress," page 30). That article was published before I knew exactly what kind of knee injury I had; this second installment brings things up to date. DAY 51—THE RESULTS An MRI confirmed what I suspected: I tore my medial collateral ligament (MCL) in my ski accident. But it also showed what I'd hoped it wouldn't: My anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) was completely ruptured. Not only that, but I had a complex tear of the medial meniscus. I was hoping I had just injured the MCL. Being highly vascular and outside the joint capsule, the MCL usually heals well on its own (and the MRI showed that by now, mine was doing just that). But complete ACL ruptures and meniscus tears (being less vascular and sealed deeply within the synovial joint), aren't typically thought to repair themselves without surgery. 1 And the young orthopedic physician's assistant who clumsily (but correctly) assessed my ACL was sure I was going to want surgery "to stay active." I do want to stay active, but who wants surgery? My combination of knee injuries is known as the "unhappy triad," because, according to various sources on the TECHNIQUE Sagittal MRI of my left knee showing "chronic complete proximal ACL rupture."

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