16 and having my third ACL surgery Tuesday

by Lydia
(South Carolina)

I am 16 years old and a junior in high school. Playing Division 1 college soccer has been my dream since I was very young. I first tore my ACL when I was in the 9th grade during a pre-season tournament for a Club team that I played on. Having done this at the beginning of the season, meant that I would miss the entire Club season but I may get to play some of high school ball. Rehab was long and very painful but I wanted to get through it so that I could get back to what I love the most. I rehabed very well and was able to play some of the end of high school season. I worked really hard to get back in shape and it payed off!!! I really wanted to step my game up because I felt with having to miss the entire Club season, that I was somewhat behind schedule. I did some research and found a school in Florida called the IMG Sports Academy and I went for the whole summer to train. It was awesome and now I felt like I was back where I needed to be. My family made a huge sacrifice and allowed me to go and live there in the fall because I loved it so much. We trained five days a week and play games on the weekends. I had really improved my game since my injury and was comfortable where I was as a player to live out my dream. Our regular season had come to an end and now we were beginning to train for up coming college showcase tournaments. At practice I went to turn because a player was getting past me and when I pivoted my right leg stayed put but my body kept going and I heard it pop three times just like the first one. I knew I had torn my ACL again!!! After the MRI confirmed that I had torn my right knee I cried a lot and sometimes felt like just giving up but I couldn't give up what I had worked so hard for. I had the surgery on November 18, 2008 and began my rehab. It was very hard this time because my parents made me come home for a semester so that meant having to leave the place that I loved. All went well with the rehab and then my parents let me go back to IMG in June of 2009. I really worked hard all summer long to get back in shape to be able to keep up with the level of play here. My knee hurt a lot and then I started having problems with my calves because of my knee hurting. They at one point thought that I may have compartment calf syndrome. All I could think about was, ok what is going to happen to me next. Well the regular season was over and I was playing in a college showcase tournament in Miami, and guess what, I jumped up for the ball and came down and landed on my right knee and it hurt really bad!!! I really didn't think it was my ACL I thought maybe just my meniscus because I had also torn that last time so it felt more like that. Well it was New Years so my doctor was on vacation so that meant that I would have to wait from Tuesday until Monday to find out the results. I was so sick that I just wanted to die!!!! Well Monday came and yes, I had torn my right ACL again!!! I called my mom and we both just cried and cried. My family lives 10 hours away so I am going back home to have the surgery on Tuesday of this week. I will go back to IMG after two weeks and start my rehab. My family has always taught me that things happen for a reason so I have to look at this as God's plan for me. I still would like to play college soccer but I will have to look at it in a different way now. I don't want to loose sight of the dream I've always had but because I'm a junior in high school It will be hard to get a scholarship. Getting a scholarship is a personal goal of mine but my parents have always told me to not pick a school because of soccer, pick a school because of academics. So maybe I will now try to be a walk on at the school of my dreams. As much as some people would think that all of what I have gone through is negative, I look at it as a positive experience because it has taught me to trust in God and turn everything over to him. I have grown personally from this and it has made me to never take anything for granted and it has made me really appreciate my family.

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Jun 06, 2011
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Similar story..
by: Kelsey

I have almost an identical story to you.. 3 acl tears and the dream of playing D1 soccer. :) However, at one point when I physically couldn't play anymore.. I chose a small school, because I liked it and because if I did ever heal, I could play for their team--not as competitive, but hey any soccer would have made me happy. As a soon to be senior there now, I am happy with where I ended up. It seems you know that God has a plan for you. That has been such a struggle for me to accept, but in the end His plan is right. I love love LOVE where I ended up. I will say I go through "woe-is-me" moments, especially when I go watch my friends play at D1 schools and think, "this could and should be me.." However, even though at times I still don't want to believe it, there is a life other than soccer. I'm not sure when your story was posted, but I hope recovery and making college decisions went well.

Feb 23, 2011
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PFS
by: Anonymous

Hello Everyone

Youre stories have really motivated me and inspired me. When I was 16 I got diagnosed with patella femoral syndrome from playing soccer. I had a really severe case and nothing seemed to make it better. I have been doing therapy for about 3 months. The physical pain is bearable but the mental pain isnt. Sometimes I feel like Im losing my mind. Despite the depression I went through really not being able to walk I still graduated Valedictorian. When i graduated I got a really good scholarship for college and I am on the verge of losing it because I focus too much on my knee and not enough on school. Your stories have really motivated me and inspired me. Dont give up.

Jan 23, 2011
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You're an inspiration
by: Cailly

I'm 16 aswell and am a junior, im not sure how far away this was that you posted this about your acl. But in a college combine last monday i tore my right acl for the first time. It is the first injury i have had and am so upset. I am going into my junior season of high school soccer and now have to sit out. Playing DI college soccer is a dream of mine aswell, i know it is Gods plan that this happened but there is no way getting around what happened. I get my surgery on thursday and am pretty nervous aboutt itt. I wish you amazing luck with everything and i am praying for you that everything goes ok and you find the best college for you to play at!!

Nov 29, 2010
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WOW......
by: Tia.S

Wow .. wll ok now i know for sure that im not the only one! Way to stay strong mentally and physically. im in the same boat! i tore during the summer in june. i went through about 4 weeks of therapy then had my sugery a couple weeks befofe.So, i started off the school year on crutches no the best. A couple of weeks i started going back to therapy. After about 3 weeks on therapy i made the decision to get on a four wheeler as a passenger. i broke my foot it was a boderline sugery break. Back on crutches but,i was lucky. i couldnt continue therapy on a broken foot so i just took it easy. About a week ago over thanksgivng break i fell directly on my knee trying to protect my foot.i was only a week away from maybe getting of my crutches. (Going to school on crutches is the worst all the reachers annd students give you such a hard time.) the pain in my knee is too famillar but not as intense, but its the same exact feeling. i acn deal with the pain but mentally its drivin me crazy! i go to the foot doctor this thursday and on next monday i go to see whats up with my knee. Im a junior in pursiut of a b-ball scholarship!!!

Sep 26, 2010
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re: 11 year old
by: Anonymous

I'm a junior that plays varsity girls basketball and i tore both of my ACL's. My first one (my left knee) cracks and periodically it will give me pain. But, i'm 18 months out from that surgery and 6 months out since my right ACL surgery and have no problems. But, when i tore my right ACL, i knew i hurt my knee, but didn't know that i tore my ACL. And with no ACL, my knee would go out on me when i played basketball and would swell up. It may be nothing, but i would take her to see her surgeon and see about an MRI. I can't imagine being 11 and going through it. Does she wear a brace? I hope for the best for her and it is nothing. Keep us posted.

Sep 25, 2010
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life after acl surgery
by: Anonymous

My 11 year old daughter tore her acl playing Little League softball. She had surgery in Aug of 09 at the Children's Hospital in Boston. We live in NY. She has just started girls 7th grade field hockey. At least once a week during practice her knee gives out and ends up swollen. She has previously sprained the small muscle behind her knee. Any of you girls or guys have similar issues one year out from surgery? I don't want to be overly concerned - but of course I am.

Aug 13, 2010
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Pra
by: Anonymous

Sorry please pray for brother he might have torn acl 3rd time

Jul 30, 2010
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16 also, 2 acls torn, 2 menisci torn, and I mcl torn.
by: Lauren Sarah

wow im really sorry to hear about that you had to go through,i'm also 16 and i tore my left acl twice and the second time i tore both menisci and my mcl. i totally know how you feel about how this effects you emotionally as well as physically. i was only back for about 4 months until it happened a second time, from my 9 month clearance. But my dad had that surgery and so did my sister so watching them go through it was hard for me let alone having myself and reading all of these stories that people had with their knees that i can totally relate too. having you had 3 surgeries makes me look up to you and inspire me to never give up but also to know when to stop and not injure again but your an amazing person to have to go through all of that.

Jul 17, 2010
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5 weeks ago!!!!
by: Care

I had my surgery 5 weeks and 2 days ago...I am walking and basically doing everything normal again it feels GREAT! I wish I had a "nerve block"...what exactly does it do? The pain was unbearable for the first week the drugs didn't even help!!

Jul 09, 2010
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nerve block?.... yes
by: Katie

Char,

You asked about whether or not you should get a nerve block. This would be my advice: I've had 3 reconstructive ACL surgeries and each one was done a different way. The first used my own hamstring; second used bone patellar; third used a cadaver's hamstring. The second operation ( bone patellar) is the only surgery in which I received a nerve block. I think the reason behind why we only did this once out of the three times is because bone was shaved causing it to be the most painful out of the 3. Regardless of which method your doctor uses I would definitely do the nerve block. It will cushion your pain.... Don't be afraid. We all go through trials & discomfort in life. Yes, it will be painful. But yes, you will get through it. Press on!

Jul 08, 2010
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Thanks!!
by: Char

Ok, so i'm 17 and i will be having reconstructive surgery for my ACL in approx. 3 weeks. i'm pretty scared after everything i've read on this website. However i'm glad to hear you put this all in God's hands, i intend to as well. Please pray for me,as i have and will continue to pray for you. Thanks for writing. Quick question....to anyone out there.... Should i get a nerve block? It looks really painful.

Jun 12, 2010
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ACL tear
by: Anonymous

I can kind of understand. I am going into my Junior year of high school, and the sport that I LOVE is basketball. I dreamed of getting a scholarship for basketball, and I still have that dream. But, I tore my left ACL, Lateral Meniscus, bone bruising, and dislocated my knee at the end of my Freshman year. I recovered, it took a lot of work, but i got back to the court a month before my season started. I started to get a lot of pain around my right knee in mid December. The pain continued through the end of January. At the end of January, the end of my sophomore season, I tore my right ACL. The pain wasn't bad, my PT said my knee was stable, so I continued to play for the next month. Throughout the next month, my knee went out on me 4 times, but i never wanted to tell my coaches how bad it was because i didn't want them to make me stop playing, after the 4th time it went out, the season was basically done and i knew something was wrong. My dad had me get the MRI, and it showed that I completely tore my ACL. The worst thing that i wanted or expected. I had surgery in April, and supposedly at 12 weeks (the end of this month), I will be released to do almost anything. Having 2 of these injuries has definitely helped me just enjoy and appreciate every time i played, i am so much more thankful for the game and not being injured. I have learned to trust God more than ever, and rely on my family and friends. Hope your recovery is going well, and hopefully this will be our last ACL injury.

Jun 09, 2010
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Thanks!
by: Anonymous

Hey!

Im so sorry about your knee! Im 16 now and I play soccer too. In August 2009 I ended up tearing my ACL, MCL, and PCL. I had surgery in September and now Im cleared to play as long as I get a brace!!! I wanted to play college, but this has made me rethink what I want to do with my future. This has been the most challenging thing I have had to do in my life so far, and I have wanted to give up so many times! But I absolutely cannot live without soccer. I like to think that its my love for the game that has helped me get through this as well as my hard work! hehe Thanks for sharing your story because I have had my lowest points, but I have had support from my family, friends, God, and stories from online. Hope you are doing awesome!! :D

May 31, 2010
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Good Luck!
by: Anonymous

I'm so sorry to here about your knee. I know what you are going through and it totally sucks. I tore my ACL three times now. Twice in high school and now my freshman year in college. When I tore my ACL my the first time I was really upset because like you I wanted to play d1 college soccer. I had talked to coaches but hadn't committed to a school. That freaked me out a bit but when you come back coaches will still be looking for players. I know people on my club team that committed well into their senior year so you still have time. Don't give up on your dream of playing college soccer. Even if you don't get a scholarship your freshman year that can all change after a season.Best of luck!

May 14, 2010
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i can totally relate
by: amber

i am 16 almost 17 and i know exactly how you feel :(..i mean i haven't torn my acl three times but two weekends ago i injured my knee really bad in my select soccer game. i didn't think it was my acl,i mean it hurt really bad but i never expected it to be that bad. the doctor said he thought something was torn but i'd have to get an mri to see..so i got the mri report and it said "full thickness acl tear" when i read this i was so upset...i mean i haven't gone to the doctor again yet..i go monday but the mri confirmed what i had dreaded. i have played soccer since i was 7 and currently play in wags d2. i've always dreamed of going to a d1 school for soccer and getting a scholarship. i realize i probably will miss my senior highschool season and futsal nationals which are this summer. i'm also a firm believer in God. all of this is hard for me but like you said i have to look at it positively. thanks for your story! it was really inspirational to me, especially because i could relate so much. good luck with everything and like you said...don't give up ;)

May 13, 2010
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Lydia, let's talk.
by: Katie

Hey Lydia.

Our stories are eerily similar. At age 16, I was having my 3rd ACL reconstructive surgery as well. My sport was basketball, however, and I dreamt of always playing big D1 college basketball. I'll be a senior in college next fall, and even though my career didn't turn out as planned, I know God is good through it all. His plan is always best, continue to trust & believe that. Email me if you want to talk more: katie.crumpton1@gmail.com.

May 04, 2010
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hey
by: Anonymous

hey
i am so srry, i just had my 2nd surgery on my left knee so i know what u have gone through.. well mostly. i am 16and it sucks! do u hav any advice.

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