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ACL Injury - What Rides Can You Ride/What Are Difficult To

rockleeac

New Member
Original Poster
Hello Friends, I recently had surgery to repair my ACL and Torn Meniscus. I will be attending Disney World soon and I have not seen too many discussions on this topic specifically pertaining to which Rides people were comfortable/had difficulty with riding.

Everyone's progress and pain will be different, especially an important factor being how much flexion i am able to do. The timeline of my recovery when i arrive at Disney will be 7 to 8 weeks post surgery. I will be renting a scooter so my main concern are which rides people had a great experience with. Here are the list of rides throughout the Disney Parks I wish to ride:

MK:
Haunted Mansion
Jungle Cruise
Pirates

AK:
Avatar: Flight of Passage
Kilimanjaro Safari

Epcot:
Soarin
Frozen Ever After
Guardians of the Galaxy**

Hollywood Studios:
Slinky Dog Dash
Mickeys Runaway Railway

If anyone would like to share their experience with how they were able to handle their favorite rides, please let me know! Hope this thread can also help others who share going through this tough surgery. I know I will still have a wonderful time but it would be great to know which rides were just too uncomfortable, not enough leg room, tough getting up/down etc.

Cheers!
 
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JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Some ride cars will give you a difficult time boarding and unloading due to the limited space of entering and exiting the seating. I find 7dmt, Space mtn tight to board. JC has you stepping over the edge of the boat and stepping down to seat. Pirates is a step down into the boat. TT and RnRC cars may cause you difficulty .
You may look at ride videos on YouTube or other sites to see what you each attractions have for cars and seating systems.
Another thing to consider is how jarring the rides may be as they jostle you once the rides start. Some seating would be fine like MRRR and Dino but there are jostling moments to the ride that will knock you around and may get your knee banged.
 
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ppete1975

Well-Known Member
How tall are you? I think that would impact the discussion as well. If youre above 6 foot some vehicles you are crammed in a little more than others so that bending might affect you.
Main thing is i would take it easy, and plan in alot of breaks and time to sit down. Maybe even not doing full days.
 

mousefan1972

Well-Known Member
At 7-8 weeks post surgery, there is no reason why you should not have full knee flexion (bending) and adequate strength to get in/out of ride vehicles. (full ROM should be achieved by 6 weeks post op) Your leg may tire quickly, so using a scooter is appropriate, but you really shouldn't have any other issues. Signed, a physical therapist with 26 years of experience.
 

1420Elexismc

New Member
I had full range of motion at about 3 weeks post surgery on my acl/meniscus (knee was considered "stable" at 2 week post-op by my surgeon) I was able to return to full contact indoor soccer 5 months post-op...you should be ok as far as range of motion/strength as long as you have no setbacks prior to your trip...just rest in between and I agree a scooter will help a lot :)
 

rockleeac

New Member
Original Poster
How tall are you? I think that would impact the discussion as well. If youre above 6 foot some vehicles you are crammed in a little more than others so that bending might affect you.
Main thing is i would take it easy, and plan in alot of breaks and time to sit down. Maybe even not doing full days.
Thank you for your response! I'm about 5'6 but with my scooter I'll be about 3'4 so I think I'll have enough room for rides. Lol jokes aside, at least I love shopping and eating too so there will be plenty of down time to hang low and be on the scooter.
 

rockleeac

New Member
Original Poster
At 7-8 weeks post surgery, there is no reason why you should not have full knee flexion (bending) and adequate strength to get in/out of ride vehicles. (full ROM should be achieved by 6 weeks post op) Your leg may tire quickly, so using a scooter is appropriate, but you really shouldn't have any other issues. Signed, a physical therapist with 26 years of experience.
Thank you for the reassurance. My doctor has me on my brace for another 2 months so when I do visit the parks I'll be wearing my brace. My concern is going in/out of those rides that require more bending like the boat rides that are much lower, or rides that are more thrilling that can throw my body around in fear of my knee getting banged up.

My trip falls right in that timeline where I should achieve full ROM and extension so just taking proper precautions in case some rides might be too rough. I am optimistic with your assessment though and if you are at the parks while I am, let me buy you a drink and you can assess my knee while you're there! Hah
 

rockleeac

New Member
Original Poster
I had full range of motion at about 3 weeks post surgery on my acl/meniscus (knee was considered "stable" at 2 week post-op by my surgeon) I was able to return to full contact indoor soccer 5 months post-op...you should be ok as far as range of motion/strength as long as you have no setbacks prior to your trip...just rest in between and I agree a scooter will help a lot :)
That is great to know. It looks like your recovery went well. I'm at week 4 and still struggling with flexion, I'm at like 85 degrees but with pressure and pain. I got another month till I'll be at Disney so I should be fine by then.
 

thomas998

Well-Known Member
At 7 weeks you shouldn't have any issues as long as the surgery was a success. The only thing I can say that you want to avoid for probably 6 months is running, jumping or anything that has high impact. After I blew my ACL skiing and the everything seemed fine I made the mistake of deciding to jog, it was maybe 3 or 4 months after the injury. All was well when I was actually running, but the next day my knee hurt like hell. But you have a scooter, so unless you decide to hop off and run to a queue you should be fine.

I would also caution you not to do anything that would put more stress on that knee than you have to for at least 6 months, my buddy had his ACL repaired and a lot like me thought he was back to normal too soon, he was just doing warm ups for karate and the ACL ripped again. So just be warned even when it feels great again, it probably isn't as great as you might think, but nothing ride wise is going to be an issue... Just to be cautious if you have a lot of stairs you might want to climb with your good leg only going up them or down them just to avoid any potential issue unless you've already progressed to stairs prior to your trip.
 

ppete1975

Well-Known Member
Thank you for your response! I'm about 5'6 but with my scooter I'll be about 3'4 so I think I'll have enough room for rides. Lol jokes aside, at least I love shopping and eating too so there will be plenty of down time to hang low and be on the scooter.
You should be just fine then. My concern is if you were 6'2 or taller or had really long legs some of the vehicles might make you compress too much.
 

StarWarsGirl

Well-Known Member
I tore my PCL, so similar injury, just no surgery.

PT tries to get you bending that knee as soon as possible, so you should be good as far as getting on and off the majority of rides. You might just need extra time to board. I'm of the mindset that you shouldn't let an injury keep you from rides, but there were definitely a few I had trouble getting on...

-Space Mountain: Every single time, I had trouble on this one. Sometimes my knee locked while I was on it, or it refused to bend while getting off. Request the front row on this one; there's double gates so you'll have additional boarding room.
-Rock 'n Roller Coaster: I had trouble getting onto the ride vehicles on this one. They're a bit tight. Make sure you get a row at the front of your car; there's more rooom.
-FOP: I didn't get on this one because it makes me motion sick...but the restaints come across the back of your knee, which might make it a bit uncomfortable. That being said, you're only on it for five minutes.

The others were okay, sometimes I needed a little extra time to board, some were easy. Some on your list are super easy to board because you walk straight on (no step).

Others to be aware of:
-TSM: Ask to go to the third track so you can avoid stairs. If you take your scooter in line, they'll send you this way
-Guardians of the Galaxy and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run both have stairs at the end. There are also elevators, so if you choose not to take your scooter in line, you can take the elevator; no one guards it.
-Dinosaur: there's stairs on this one, ask a CM for assistance. I'd recommend taking your scooter through the line so there's no question of you needing it.
-Space Mountain: there's a few stairs in the standby line, not in the LL. I do recommend taking your scooter in for this one because it's a super long walk, so ask a CM for assistance.
-Both the Land and the Seas pavilions at Epcot have two floors. There's an escalator and elevators. Again, no one guards the elevators, so feel free to use regardless of whether you're using your scooter or not.
 

StarWarsGirl

Well-Known Member
I've had ACL surgery on both of my knees over the years. Like someone else said 7 to 8 weeks post surgery you should be fine. I had ACL surgery in March and went to WDW in June in 2013. I didn't use a scooter and I wore a small brace on my knee just encase. Have fun!!
Yup, I tore my PCL and just wore a brace on my trips (PCL tears take forever to heal unfortunately). A scooter might not be a bad idea, but the thing that I've noticed with my knee is that sometimes sitting for long periods is actually worse than just walking with a brace.

Something to keep in mind @rockleeac is if you decide you don't need a scooter for the entire time is that they do have complimentary wheelchairs at most of the ride entrances. Highly recommend for lines with long queues or long walks (looking at you Space Mountains and FOP).
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
My concern would be for only two rides. 7DWMT is really tight to get into and out of the left seat. If you are in the load side seat it should be ok. The one that would concern me the most would be Space Mountain. That is easy to get into but getting out is an adventure in leg strength. Even without having a recent surgery getting out of that ride is difficult. That one, I would skip until the healing is completely done and that could extend past 7 weeks. It should be OK but why chance it. Other then that, I can't think of a single one other then those two that might be a problem.
 
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StarWarsGirl

Well-Known Member
My concern would be for only two rides. 7DWMT is really tight to get into and out of the left seat. If you are in the load side seat it should be ok. The one that would concern me the most would be Space Mountain. That is easy to get into but getting out is an adventure in leg strength. Even without having a recent surgery getting out of that ride is difficult. That one, I would skip until the healing is completely done and that could extend past 7 weeks. It should be OK but why chance it. Other then that, I can't think of a single one other then those two that might be a problem.
7DMT I found was okay mainly because of how you load (you basically walk straight into it without much of a step) but I'm short so leg room wasn't an issue.

Space...yeah, just...yeah.
 

MickeyLuv'r

Well-Known Member
Another ride that potentially comes to mind is Astro Orbiter. The other flying carousels, like Dumbo are easier to get in and out of, but Astro's a bit of a challenge.

Also perhaps the Tomorrowland Speedway?
 

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