Chelle's ACL Surgery

Hi, I'm a 21 yr old active, athletic college student - that was until my injury. I was tackled in an intramural flag football game the beginning of September. I just remember the excruciating pain that I was in. I couldn't move my left leg, it had hurt too much so one of my friends immediately applied ice and 911 was called. After being taken to the ER I got an xray taken and a brief gait analysis. I didn't want to believe that I had done anything major, I just wanted to believe that I would wake up the next morning and be good as new. I was told I had a segond fracture (usually related to ACL tears) and an appt with an orthopedic surgeon was set up the next day. Upon leaving the ER I was new to crutches so I ended up falling and felt the same excruciating pain once again. I let out screams and tears - it was awful.


Since I am a college student, getting around the next couple of days was tough. I began to lose interest in going to classes and I just wasn't dealing with my injury well. It was a complete 180 for me, since I usually spend most of my time doing some type of physical activity - running, tennis, biking, going to the gym, any and all types of sports. I felt confined to my apartment, my couch, or my bed. I felt even more left out since the school year had just begun and all the new clubs and organizations were starting up again. I cried at least once a day for the first two weeks but then I realized that was not getting me anywhere. Surely it's easier said than done, but you have to get through it, life goes on and there's far worse injuries out there. I was lucky to have the support of my roommates and boyfriend at school and my family support through phone calls and emails.

When I went to see the orthopedic surgeon he was almost certain that I tore my ACL and scheduled me for an MRI in October (just days before my planned surgery on Oct 13). My doctor had a cancellation in his surgery schedule so instead of getting it done in the winter, I was able to move it up. This way I will have the summer to enjoy. After discussing different surgery methods, my doctor seemed very intent on the hamstring allograft surgery. Since I'm a small figure, my doctor believed that allograft would be the best method. My knee has been improving since I last saw my doctor. He was very intent that I wean off the crutches and wrap that I was using for the first week so that I could promote healing and reduce the swelling. Certainly I felt insecure without my bandage on but I became used to it. I was certainly very careful and within in a week the swelling and bruising reduced significantly. I have almost full ROM and things seem almost back to normal, except I know it's not. I still ice a couple times a day and do light exercising every other day especially focusing on gaining more ROM.

I've recently been researching more on ACL injuries and surgeries since mine is coming up in 2 weeks and I am so glad to come across this site. After reading a couple stories myself I felt as though I should wait until Winter break to do the surgery so that I would have more time to recover but I hope that I will have a speedy recovery and I hope to manage the surgery and pain well and handle school at the same time. I hope to keep this updated pre/post surgery and I hope that those who read it find it helpful! Best wishes to those going through this experience, stay strong!

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Oct 12, 2015
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Dental Health NEW
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Dec 25, 2010
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My reconstructive surgery
by: Fadi

Hey Michelle thanks for posting your story it helped.:) I had my surgery done 2 days ago I'm 17 and I tore my ACL and meniscus during a basketball game almost a year and a half ago. I didn't know my ACL was torn but when I visited like 3 doctors I knew for sure my meniscus was torn. I recently visited a very professional doctor who specializes in knee injuries and he diagnosed it very accurately. It's been almost 32 hours ago and I'm in a lot of pain. My doctor put on a knee brace for me and I'm supposed to keep my knee as straight as possible for the next 7 days which is kind of contradictory to what the others said about stretching the knee constantly. I cannot sleep at night don't really know why, it must be some sort of insomnia after the surgery the pain killers help a lot but I'm still stressed out and tired hopefully the pain will subside soon. Moving around is a challenge because I had never used crutches before.

Oct 27, 2010
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by: me again :)

thanks thats helpfull

Oct 27, 2010
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Re:
by: Michelle

Oh no! I'm sorry to hear. It may be a tough time but it will pass and you will get better soon :)

Yes, I did end up having the surgery 2 weeks ago. This was my first surgery (other than getting wisdom teeth out) and I wasn't sure what to expect. The whole procedure is about 2-3 hrs. I did the hamstring graft procedure and used my own hamstring. I also got a nerve block to help the immense amount of pain after surgery. It wears off in 14-24 hrs after surgery. After surgery I felt woozy from the anesthesia and my whole leg was swollen and numb because of the nerve block. I was discharged the same day, brought home, slept, and on painkillers for 3 days. By day 5 I got myself off the painkillers and switched to Advil for 2 days and discontinued since. I went back to school on the 5th day and didn't have much trouble, people are nice and willing to help. By day 9 I found myself more comfortable for weightbearing and started walking without crutches for a little bit. Lots of icing and elevating since the surgery. The knee is still swollen but I get my stitches out tomorrow and start PT next week.
Good luck with your surgery, let me know if you have any more questions!

Oct 27, 2010
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im broken too
by: im broken too.

hey i tore my acl too im 19 and in the army kinda anxious bout the surgery because i dont know how long ill be off duty, im wondering if you had the surgery or what not

Sep 28, 2010
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Also
by: Michelle

Over the past few days I've been more anxious and scared to undergo the surgery. I'm slowly regaining full ROM and getting around is so much easier. My mood and spirits have improved so much. I'm afraid that when I get surgery 2 weeks from now I'll be discouraged and I'll be back where I started. I am aware that the healing process is a slow and long one and I'm unsure if I should go with it in 2 weeks or wait until my winter break so that I don't feel like I'm missing out on so much of my college life - academically and socially. If I do it over winter break though I could risk further injuring my knee in the meantime. Also I'll have to wait longer/miss a part of summer (graduation/celebrations) because of the rehab. I guess I'm just scared.

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