Colette's ACL story, age 12

by Colette
(Mandeville, LA)

It was November 2007 and i was at a soccer tournament and my team was excited for a win! There was about 3-5 games in the tournament and we started the first game against a team that we were EASILY going to beat!


We started the first half of the game and my teammate kicked me the ball and i kicked it up the field to my other teammate; i went to go and turn around but my soccer cleat STUCK in the ground. From my knee DOWN to my ankle stayed in one place but from my knee UP my thigh turned in the other direction. After that split second my knee popped and i collapsed awkwardly on the ground. I was in complete pain and i just laid there making weird noises. My coach finally noticed me writhing in pain and carried me off of the field onto the bench. i was shaking; i have never felt such pain in my life.

While i was on the bench my site was going away and i almost fainted. Thankfully i did not faint and they took off my socks and my cleat and my knee looked like a balloon. One of my friend's dad came and iced my knee with a HUGE ace bandage and he carried me to a fold up chair next to my mom, who was freaking out, and i couldn't stay still because i was in such pain. i could barely walk back to the car. So i limped to the hotel bed, and with my moms help, i just laid there on the bed with ice on my knee. At that time i just thought that i did barely anything to my knee, so i tried walking around and trying to be all "tough", and let me tell you, I deeply REGRET that. I convinced my mom to go somewhere to eat. So we went out to eat. And the next day i went to watch my soccer team's last games. We got 2nd place. I limped my way to the car with my 2nd place ribbon around my neck and i thought I'd be back to playing soccer in no time. Besides the complete and utter pain, i thought i would be as good as new in a little while.

We were on our way to the orthopedist and i was almost positive to myself that my knee just popped out of place, or something 'stupid' like that. But i found out that i tore my ACL. I didn't really know what that was at the time. All i knew was that Deuce McAllister tore his ACL and he was out for the season. My doctor explained what i had done and i was horrified. That night i lay awake sobbing into my pillow. I knew i had surgery ahead of me and i was panicking. I was so scared. I always ran into my soccer friends and they were perfectly fine and playing the best sport in the world while i had to wait there and watch. After i stopped playing i lost weight, and my legs were so much smaller. When i started 7th grade ,and turned 13, i was so bored after school. No more soccer practice. So a lot of my friends were going to try out for volleyball. So i figured, What the heck? So i played the whole season with no problems, surprisingly. But my coach was worried. I completely favored my right leg, my "good leg", and now i have one leg thats noticeably bigger than the other. When i told my doctor i was playing he was a little mad.... But he said to be careful.

Now that the season is over and i am becoming bored again i really just want my knee fixed. So i went to the orthopedic surgeon and got my surgery scheduled for March 4th, 2009. I am so nervous and scared i can't take it. I only wish i got the surgery earlier but i couldn't because i was still growing and the surgery would affect my growth plates. So my job to do now is to wait. Wait for that dreaded day that they drill into my bones... But i am excited because i can play soccer again after i recover. And i wish anybody all my luck that their recovery is good.
Thanks for reading!!

Colette

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