16-year-old's ACL story

by Carolyn
(Wisconsin)

I was involved in an indoor soccer league over last winter to prepare my for my outdoor season with my highschool. It was going to be my sophomore season, and it was going to be AMAZING.


My freshman year I had the most assist on the team and I was a real standout player. But even though getting awards is nice and scholarships to big universities was something that I always had in mind for myself, all I really wanted to do was play with my team. I was pumped to get back on the field and hear the fans cheering and feel the adrenalin pulse through my viens.

I was ready for the pasta dinners and the shouts of all my teammates in the locker room getting ready for the big game. But when it came time for my last indoor soccer game of the season, my head wasn't in the game. It was Super Bowl Sunday, 7:00 in the morning, and I really just didn't feel like playing.

I remember exactly what I was doing when I tore my ACL. The ball was in front of me and I reached for it with my left foot. As my poor little knee bent for its last time in a soccer game, number 10 on the other team tackled me hard and I heard the infamous "pop" that no sports players ever wants to hear. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. (It sounds dramatic, but its exactly how I remember it).

The pop, knowing in the pit of my stomach what had happened to me, and then collapsing on the ground in a heap. I was scared, but more than anything I was SHOCKED. My friends tell my that all I kept saying was "This isn't happening, this really can NOT be happening."

To make a really long story short, I rushed to the hospital where the doctor mis-diagnosed me with a sprained knee. I stayed in an immobilizer for the next couple of days before I went to my trainer at school, knowing in my heart that it was not a sprain. I told him of my concerns, and he referred me to one of the best orthopaedic surgeons in the country, Dr. John Heinrich.

I cried when he first told me that I had torn my ACL; it was the first time someone had actually said it too my face, and I knew that I had a long couple months ahead of me.

I'll skip ahead a month to my surgery. I chose to have a patella tendon autograph reconstruction, which I have never regretted. During the surgery Dr. Heinrich repaired my meniscus that had been torn during rehab before the surgery. I am not a big fan of needles, but when it came time for my surgery I put on a brave face and more than anything, wanted it to be over so that I could begin my road to recovery.

My surgery was a success, a "textbook procedure with textbook results", as my surgeon likes to say. Today, almost ten months later (10 months? Mentally, it feels like ten days) I can say that tearing my ACL has changed my life in positive ways as well as in negative ways.

Negatively, because this was one of the hardest, most depressing parts of my life, and for the fact that I blame my pain killers for my bad grades during finals. But of all of my bad memories, I can say that the experience has changed my into the person I am today. I now have empathy for people that are going through the same scary situation that I went through.

A couple months out of my surgery I spent a day at the hospital with Dr. Heinrich and his PA to observe surgeries and reaffirmed my dream of becoming a doctor. I found a best friend in my physical therapist, Megan Batha, who treated my knee with expert knowledge while building my confidence and simply being wonderful to talk to. I remember the day that I ran for the first time after my surgery was as much of a celebration for me as it seemed to be for her.

Even though my experience rebuilding my knee has been, for the most part, positive, I have decided that I am not going to play soccer anymore. Only my mom knows about my decision, and I know that telling my teammates is going to be one of the hardest things I have ever done. I made this decision because I know that there are more things to life than soccer. Sure, I will be missing out on the pasta dinners, the fun bus rides, the crowd cheering and the amazing rush of scoring a goal. But I know that I will never regret making this decision if it means that I will never tear my ACL again.

The experience was not the worst, but there is no way in the ENTIRE world that I will ever set foot on a soccer field again with the chances being so high that I will injure myself again.

I don't want to discourage anyone from going back to the sport they love just because Ive decided not to. If its really your thing, and you live and breathe what you do, then DO IT. But if you're like me, a person that loves to play tennis, swim, go horseback riding, go for a run with her dog, play the oboe, get good grades, a person who has more to her life than just playing soccer, I think that the mature decision is to try something else. Because in my opinion, another couple of soccer games before tearing my ACL again wouldn't be worth it, and I would look back on it with such regret.

If you have actually read this far, thank you! I'm writing this as much for myself as for anyone who wants to know my story. I wish you all the luck in the world that your surgery will go smoothly and that your road to recovery is as successful as mine was.

I want to say that I strongly believe that as important as the surgery is, what you do after the surgery is just as, or more, important. So find an excellent physical therapist and keep a positive attitude. Never give up, and know in your heart that whatever decision you make about what to do after your recovery is what YOU want to do. Not your coach, not your teammates, not your parents, but YOU. Because they are not the ones who tore their ACL, YOU are. They are not the ones having to go through rehab to walk again, YOU are.

So make the decision that's right for you, and never look back.

Comments for 16-year-old's ACL story

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 03, 2016
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Nice blog NEW
by: Anonymous

The ingredients contained in Hylix lotion are Amla (Phyllanthus Emblica), Bhringraj (Wedelia Calendulacea), Henna / Mehndi (Lawsonia Inermis),Shikakai (Acacia Concinna), Kalonji (Nigella sativa) and Azadirachta Indica (Neem) and here http://www.allanalytics.com/profile.asp?piddl_userid=790382 you can get mehndi design.

Jun 06, 2016
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Nice post NEW
by: mehndi

Playsuits are additionally a lot of fun. Use your imagination and purchase one of these kinds of. Be whoever you to help be. http://mehandidesignsarabic.in/simple-mehandi-designs/ simple mehndi design

Nov 11, 2015
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
great NEW
by: Anonymous

how to get vine followers The worst part of it was that the software only worked intermittently and the data was not accurate. You obviously canot confront anyone about what you have discovered if the information is not right. can you buy youtube views

Nov 08, 2015
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
GAME HACK NEW
by: Anonymous

como baixar pou infinito I just thought it may be an idea to post incase anyone else was having problems researching but I am a little unsure if I am allowed to put names and addresses on here. clash of clans triche francais

Oct 30, 2015
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
disposable phone number NEW
by: Anonymous

I read it whole and going to share it with my social circules. I enjoyed your article and planning to rewrite it on my own blog.
disposable phone number

Oct 28, 2015
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
ACL story NEW
by: Anonymous

Amazing and inspiring story for all,sad to hear about that and hope you are fine.Thanks to the writer who writes and executed it well.Thanks for sharing this kind of inspiring story.
http://www.dccharterbuscompany.com/services/

Oct 19, 2015
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
ACL story NEW
by: Anonymous


Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the internet the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people consider worries that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

Alex

Oct 18, 2015
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
vento 2016 NEW
by: vento 2016

We have released all of our source code related to the Searchdaimon enterprise search engine to GitHubvento 2016

Oct 12, 2015
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
4Life Pro tf transferfactorhealth NEW
by: 4Life Pro tf transferfactorhealth

Some truly nice and useful info on this website, as well I think the design contains excellent features.4Life Pro tf transferfactorhealth

Jul 05, 2015
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Nice post NEW
by: Sini

16-year-old's ACL story is different from others. This story is very interesting for me. I really like to read this story because i'm also a sports man and this site is especially for the sports men. Here you can find the solution of different kinds of injuries here. any how, I try hard to find easy custom essays which must be according to my demand.

Feb 13, 2015
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
aweosme NEW
by: Ashley

Anyone who practices or even plays causally is to have injuries. But when all these injuries go beyond the expectations it is such a headache and can turn out to be very bad in terms of health and ruining the carrier along with it. ICD 10 Preparation

Feb 05, 2013
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Thanks NEW
by: Anonymous

Hey, must be wierd getting thanks from a random anonymous guy on the internet, you probably don't even check this anymore! But I just wanted to thankyou, because your story has really helped me into a better state of mind for my own surgery coming up soon.
So thanks, and best of luck with everything.

Oct 30, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
:) NEW
by: Jael

Your story was very inspirational!! YOu described the emotions and trials of tearing your ACL very accuratly!! Most people just don't understand all that you go through with this injury and surgery. I tore my Left ACL my Sophmore year of HS Soccer, it was in a pre seaons tournament and I was dominationg!! I was one of the only starting sophmores and we were doing great!! I play defence and I went to take the ball from an offender when another girl came and took me out from the my left side. I don't remeber hearing a POP but my knee felt really funny! I got up and tried to get my coaches attention but they did not see me so I kept playing. Then I was sprinting after a girl with the ball and my Knee just collapsed. after about a week i found out that I had torn my ACL and meniscus. It was devistating. But I had surgery using my Pattella and then went on to PT. Like you said, having a good therapist makes all the differance, and I had 2 such therapists. The one that worked with me the most had torn his ACL playing soccer so hw was so great throughout helpin gme cope with it. SO then durring my spring season I hurt my other knee tering my mensicus then the summer after my surgery I went to a soccer camp with my team and tore the ACL of my Right knee. Instead of surgery right away I got a huge brace and played my Junior year and had surgery afterward in January. I did the therapy again (with the same therapists) and got cleared to play just weeks before my senior season. I wore a brace on my Right knee to play, but During senior night I reinjured the Repaired Meniscus of my Right knee. so then I had to get my knee taped and wear my brace for the rest of the season.

You made your decision to not play soccer and I admire it!! I made my decision to continue to play and this is what I got, although I would not trade it for anything. So I finished up my Senior season on on two feet but I have been through a lot. I got awarded "Player of the Year" at our soccer banquet last night and I was honored. My coach told about all my injuries and how I overcame them an was still a great soccer play and never gve up. All of this influenced what I am going to do after HS in Sports Medicine. I have learned so much throughout and its been a journey!! I have decided that I probebly won't play spring soccer this year because I can only see something else happening and its not worth it. Like you said, I want to be able to enjoy all the areas of my life and be able to walk!

Good luck to you!!

Mar 05, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
@Anonymous NEW
by: Anonymous

Thank you! I hope your surgery went well, let me know how you're doing! If you need any advice or just someone who's been through the same thing to talk to, just ask. I really hope you're recovering well.

Dec 01, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Awesome!
by: Anonymous

Hi!Your story is very inspirational to me! I'm glad your knee surgery is a success. Mines a week from tomorrow and I'm just nervous about the outcome afterwards. I'm glad to hear about others doing well!

Nov 30, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Amazing!
by: Bart - Sports Injury Info

It breaks my heart every time I publish another story of a young athlete who has torn their ACL...I hate it because so many times it completely changes their lives forever - both physically and emotionally. But I created this site so that athletes like you have a place to express their feelings, share their experiences, and hopefully help in their recovery.

Your story was so touching, it brought me to tears...not tears of sadness, but tears of joy. You made it through your misdiagnosis, the surgery, the rehab, and now your decision on how you want to move forward. You found the silver lining that an injury like this can have - the ability to allow you to see a different perspective on the world, and what is important to you.

For some, returning to the field after an ACL tear is their way of overcoming - beating the injury. And many are successful with their plight. But far too many end up with a second injury, and a knee that wears out long before their spirits. Sharing your experiences, and your decision to leave the game will have an impact on others who read this.

Thanks, Carolyn, for sharing with us.

Bart

Click here to add your own comments

Return to ACL Surgery Stories.