Caroline's ACL Story

by Caroline
(Pennsylvania)

I tore my ACL and meniscus on November 14, 2008 and have my surgery tomorrow (well technically today) January 12, 2009. I have a mixed bag of emotions; anxious, worry, ready, nervous, prepared, scared, angry, the list just goes on and on. I'm also nervous about my reaction to the pain killers because I have never used them before. I'm hoping that its possible I won't need them.


When I reflect back on that night, I still can't believe it happened. I'm 17 and play for my varsity basketball team. My grade school coach had asked if I would like to play with some of the middle schoolers for service hours. I was happy to help, as our basketball team is a very big deal, and most of the team unknowingly becomes role models to the younger girls.

The second transition of the scrimmage, I went to stop a ball from going out of bounds, landed awkwardly (basically a hyperextension), hopped on my "good leg", tried to walk, and collapsed. I had never screamed in pain until that night, and it was the most painful thing that I had ever experienced in my entire life.

I think that in my head I knew that I had blown my knee out, that was my first reaction, but I kept telling myself that it is natural to assume the worst in this situation.

While waiting for the MRI results, everyone around me; coach, trainer, physician, had convinced me that it was minor meniscus damage and that I would be out for 2 weeks. They did manipulations with my knee and it was stable and passed every test. A few days later I was at practice icing when I got a call from the doctor, I had completely ruptured my ACL. I was immediately reduced to tears. Everything that had been secure in my life was shaken. My season that I had prepped so hard for, and more importantly my offers to play in college were dangling.

The doctor who did the diagnosis suggested that I could try and play without the ACL. I rehabbed for 2 weeks and gave it a go, but the constant clicking and discomfort lead me to seek another opinion. It turned out that I had also torn my meniscus as well, and the first doctor had missed it. We went to a third doctor to confirm, and I had in fact torn both. We scheduled the surgery with the 3rd doctor, and here we are.

I still go to our basketball games and practices, but I feel that doing this makes the situations even harder than they need to be. It is depressing to watch the other girls play without me, but I think that if I did not spend time with them it would be worse. I try to be positive about the situation, but I often find myself crying before I fall asleep. I know that I must stay strong during the rehab process and get back to my prior level. I have set my date to be cleared for basketball on May 27, 2009. Hopefully it all works out.

I'm ready to start working hard!

All comments and suggestions are encouraged!!!!
Until next time,
Caroline

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