15 year old ACL injury story

by Susan
(Kansas)

It was the greatest time of my life. I was at my favorite volleyball camp in the world, and that day seemed to be perfect. My roommate and I were having the time of our lives, the coaches could not stop watching me, and I was on top of the world.


July 6, 2011 changed my life forever. I was playing in a tournament at camp when they put random people on teams for a day, and I was the only setter. My team was doing great, and we were going to win the tournament. I was in the back row, and someone dug the ball tight to the net. So I ran up, jumped, set the ball to my hitter, and the next thing I knew, I was on the ground. I was rolling around screaming in fear and in pain. I had never felt this before. I was scared.

It felt like a growing pain, only 100 times worse, and magnified in my knee. My dad, one of the coaches, and the athletic trainer came rushing over. My dad gave me a wet towel to put over my head because it was extremely hot. I just took it in my hand and squeezed as hard as I could. I felt like I was laying there, struggling to breathe, about to die. I was so scared.

When I flew back home, I had an MRI and it confirmed my worst fear. I had ACL surgery 2 weeks later, and it was hard. Now, I am almost 5 months out of surgery and doing great. Exactly 6 months from surgery will be January 21st and my first club volleyball tournament is the 22nd, and I am so nervous!!

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Jun 26, 2012
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How long to return to sports?
by: Anonymous

My son is a 15yo 10th grader and plays football at a high level. He tore his ACL this spring and had reconsruction surgery May 16th. Before the injury he was scheduled to start varsity next year at cornerback and kick returner as well as back up runningback.
Being that the 11th grade year is the most important year regarding college recruiting, it would be great to make it back before the season ended.
I've seen ACL recovery times anywhere from 6-12 months. What is a realistic recovery time for a teen who was in top shape pre injury?
I do not want him to return to early and risk re-injuring himself.

Jan 11, 2012
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by: Amanda

heyy. same thing here. except after my six months. i tore my other acl in my other knee. worst thing of my life. i seriously thought my career with volleyabll was over... i was scared to death. but now i am a senior in high school and colleges are looking at me. i learned to never give up.

Jan 03, 2012
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Susan
by: Kennedy

Hi!
I tore my ACL a little over a year ago, i was playing volleyball as well. I am a middle hitter and i jumped up to block, and in the blink of an eye, everything changed. Like you i was in an unexplainable amount of pain.
It took them awhile to diagnose me with a torn ACL (i eventually learned that i had a completely torn acl, torn lcl, torn meniscus, and a very bad sprain to my mcl) but when they did finally diagnose me i had surgery about one month after i initially got hurt. i rehabbed for 6 months. it was hard. physically grueling, mentally tough, nothing about it was easy but i managed to get through it.
i was released to play may 17th 2011, and i played volleyball for a majority of the summer.

if there is anything i have learned from my knee injury it's been that volleyball is a very physically demanding sport when it comes to the knees. (your a setter right?) that might be a bit easier on your knees cause you won't be doing as much jumping as i did as a middle hitter.
but i'm also having some additional problems when it comes to my knees so you will probably get back to playing and be good as new! good luck!
keep us updated!!

Dec 21, 2011
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Susan
by: Jael

It’s awesome to hear that you are doing good! I tore my ACL last year (I was 15) playing soccer. I got run into bye a girl from the side and by left knee just felt weird. I had an MRI and found out that I had torn my ACL I had surgery October of last year and things went well. I got cleared at 4 month to play but I didn’t until 6 months. Like you, I was very nervous before my first game. It went ok though, no issues. But I played HORRIBLE!! I think I was just nervous and did not want anything to happen so I did not play very hard. Like Bart said, it takes some time before you get your “feel” for it again. After about my 3ed game I was back into it:)
Before you play and even while you are playing remember to keep BOTH your legs strong!! That is probably one of the most important things you can do! This year at a camp this summer I tore my other ACL. But I opted not to have surgery yet and do my junior year of soccer, and now that it is over I am going to have surgery in January some time. So just keep working on your leg strength!! And even though you feel nervous, just play!! Play your best and just do it!! My therapist told me that it is when you go for it and then hesitate that is when you re-hurt yourself!

Keep me up to date!

Dec 21, 2011
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Good Luck!
by: Bart - Sports Injury Info

glad to hear that you are doing well, five months out from surgery. I'm sure you are working hard to get to that six month mark, and that you are wondering what playing will be like again.

Every athlete questions what their knee is going to feel like when the get back on the court or field. And that is a very normal thing to be nervous about.

Even though most people are able to return to sports at six months, it is going to take some time to get the "feel" back for the game. You may be slower than you used to be, or more timid, or just feel "weird". That is completely normal, and if you feel that way, don't be discouraged. It takes time to get back into the flow of activities, and to regain that sense of "normal".

Just be sure that you take your time. I have seen too many young athletes who focus so much on the 6 month date, only to realize that they probably tried to do too much too fast. I'm not saying this is you, but remember that a few extra weeks of practicing, easing back into sports may mean the difference in a successful season and another torn ACL. There are all too many stories on this site about athletes who have had multiple ACL tears.

Go through your rehab, work hard on improving your balance and neuromuscular control. Get into a ACL prevention exercise program, and most of all, make sure you are ready, both physically and mentally, when you return to the court.

Best of luck!

Bart

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