I Couldn't Belive That I Tore My ACL

by Margaret
(United States)

My Knee Two Days After Surgery

My Knee Two Days After Surgery

I'm a fourteen year old female, and I tore my ACL playing in a softball game the second day that we got out of school, which was May 31st.


I was pitching and someone tried to steal home, and on my way back to the mound, my coach yelled at me to watch third, so I turned and I twisted my knee the wrong way and I immediately fell down in excruciating pain. One of the girls from the other team was like "Oh, that hurts, I've done that before," so I was thinking, no, no you have not done this before.

In my heart I knew something was seriously wrong, as that was probably the most I had ever cried in my life. In my head I wanted to believe that everything was okay. My head over took my heart and told me that it was nothing.

I couldn't walk at all so my coach and my parents had to carry me off the field. I sat on the bench the rest of the game, which is one of the things I hate the most in sports, watching people make mistakes you know that you wouldn’t be making if you were playing.

When the game was over my parents had to carry me to the car it was really hard to get in the car, because my knee was bent and I could not move it at all. We went to one of my friend’s house to get her crutches that she had used when she sprained her ankle in basketball. That day I went home and lay on the couch for the rest of the day.

The next Monday I went to the family doctor to see if he could tell us what I had done. He asked me a whole bunch of questions about when it happened. He asked if I had heard a popping noise, and that’s exactly what it sounded like when I did it. He told moved my leg around and told me that it was stable so he didn't think that I tore any of the ligaments in my knee so my injury was not that serious and that I probably would not need to get surgery. He told us to come back a couple weeks later and to see if the swelling had gone down any (my knee was HUGE!)

We went back a couple weeks later and he said that I should get some X-rays done to make sure I didn't fracture my bones. After the X-rays we went back about a week later and he told us that he was sure that I didn't fracture anything, but he still wanted us to get an MRI to make sure that I didn't tear a ligament because he was not a hundred percent sure that I had not torn anything.

So we got the MRI, and by the time we went back to the family doctor I was feeling pretty good, I could walk okay, but when we got in the examination room, he told us that he had some bad news and that I had torn my ACL and that according to the radiologist that read the MRI I had a near complete tear, and that I would need to go to an orthopedic surgeon. At that point we were not sure whether I would need surgery.

We went to the orthopedic surgeon who specialized in sports medicine the following Monday and he told me that who ever read the MRI was wrong and that I had completely torn my ACL. He told me that I would definitely need to get it fixed if I wanted to keep participating in my four sports (basketball, track, volleyball and softball)

So after the appointment I went to physical therapy to try to get my range of motion back and to help get the swelling down, it really helped. I had to have a 0-120 range of motion to get operated on and by the end of the first visit I had it!

A couple weeks later we went back to the doctor, and set my surgery date for July 15th, at 7 am, so we could have time for the swelling to go down. Well the day finally came, and I was so scared. I was shaking in the waiting room. Then a nurse came out and told me that she would tell me what to do. So she had me change into all the hospital things, the gown, socks, the whole nine yards. Then we went into this little room and I had to lie in the hospital bed and she told me everything that would happen. Then she told me that they were going to have to put in the IV right now, and I’m pretty sure my face turned white.

I absolutely hate needles. Before the surgery when I had to get blood work done I was crying my eyes out. But it turned out to be not a big deal. First I got some relaxing medicine and then the anesthesiologists did a nerve block then my doctor came in and I asked him some questions and then I remember being pushed into the operating room and seeing the big lights. The last thing I remember was when one of the nurses told me to breathe into the oxygen mask. Then I was out.

I woke up about two hours later, even though it seemed like only five minutes. The nurses asked me where I was and what I was doing there to see how awake I was. My pain was pretty strong, so they gave me some pain killers through my IV. I was so tired and I just wanted to go back to sleep.

I finally got to leave and go back home, when I got there the only thing I could feel was in the back of my knee from where they took my hamstring out for the hamstring graft. The graft I chose was the combination hamstring/autograft. I took some pain killers and I went to sleep.

That night at about 4 am I woke up because my nerve block had worn off. The pain was so intense, it was horrible. I was crying again.
But things did get better.

I went to the doctor a couple days after surgery and they took all the dressing off except for the steristrips. When we were scheduling for another appointment I got really lightheaded and I almost passed out.

I started going to physical therapy three times a week. I was slowly getting better at doing things. About the second week I was walking with just one crutch and now it has been three weeks since surgery and my doctors and physical therapists tell me that I’m doing fantastic.

So far I can go up and down stairs with out difficulty, ride a stationary bike, walk without crutches, and do all kinds of things that are more advanced for the time frame that I’m in.

My ACL injury has kept me out of all my summer camps for volleyball and basketball. And kept me out of softball and summer track and I will not be able to do volleyball and basketball my freshman year.

That is my ACL story.

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Feb 17, 2011
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thanks
by: Anonymous

My story is so similar to yours, except I was playing soccer. Great story and good to hear from another point of view. Thanks!

Jan 01, 2011
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Similar
by: Anonymous

Omg.. Almost same thing happened to me I'm 14 male and during May I tore my ACL playing soccer. At first they didn't see the acl tear but later they did. Except for my surgery..they messed up and caused permenant nerve damage in my foot

Dec 30, 2010
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ME2!
by: Anonymous

Great Story. Im exactly your age and tore my ACL playing Basketball.

Nov 13, 2010
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sos
by: praval

i tore my acl while playing football my mri confirms that i need a surgery but my doctor told me that i could only play active sports for five years after the surgery ... Anyone else with the same situation or any knowledge on this ?

Nov 11, 2010
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ACL tear
by: Ana

hi, I am 16 years old and I tore my Acl about 2 months ago, my story is similar to yours my knee isnt that instable but I had a complete tear , my doctor told me not to have surgery because im not that unstable, its already been 2 months , I can walk perfectly, but I cant go up stairs or down the stairs witout limping, what would you recommend me?
should I see another doctor?

Nov 04, 2010
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The highlight of my day
by: Kymori

About 2 months ago i was playing indoor kickball.i tried to run to a base but as my right leg planted my knee twisted out of place and immediately gave out.i fell to the ground crying.my knee wasnt stable at all i couldnt walk and walking was a major part of my day seeing as though the incident happened in 1st period.I went home early and went to the er the doc said it was just a sprained and gave me a brace for it.pretty soon it got better and i was able to walk without the brace or crutches.however the swelling never fully went down.unfortunately today i was doing the shuttle run and my knee popped out of place again.my coach called my dad sayin i tore my acl so once again i got out of school early again.a few hours after arriving home i fell again.im now able to bounce my knee cap on top of my knee abd its really swollen.im going back to the er tomorrow for more xrays a follow up and im going to see an ortho doc. reading this story truely has been the highlight of my day it gave me comfort

Oct 16, 2010
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acl surgery
by: Anonymous

I really appreciate you sharing your story. It was very helpful and comforting. I had a lot of questions, but you answered many of them. I am about to have surgery on my knee in a few days. Thanks to you, I know what to expect. Thanks!

Oct 07, 2010
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your story sounds like mine
by: Krystyna

I am 17 and a high school SR a week ago I went under the knife to have ACL and meniscus surgery. I also recall waking up around 2 AM when the femoral artery block wore off and how much pain I was in. I am in the Coulmbia Central marching band here in my town and I can not march at all my final year because of this. Its the worse thing every to not travel around with all my friends. I can not put any weight on my right leg for 6 weeks due to the stiches they use to keep my meniscus together, also includes driving. Right now we are off of school for two weeks for Fall break and by far this is the worst break ever. But I really enjoyed reading your story

Jul 22, 2010
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ACL
by: Anonymous

Thanks for telling your story, I can definitely relate. I tore my ACL playing soccer, and heard the same popping noise, although I had no pain. I also hated watching from the sideline, and couldn't believe how long I would be out of sports. I'm 2 months out of surgery and feel like I can do anything, but I know thats not true. I'm sure by now your able to do all types of physical activity, and I appreciate you taking the time to write your experience!

Feb 10, 2010
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incorrect MRI???
by: ksmith

I liked your story. All symptoms and pain and swelling, even the loud "pop" match what my daughter is going through. The ortho upon examination states that he almost positive she tore her acl. The MRI report does not show it though. She has a screw in her leg from a previous realignment surgery and I am just curious as to if the MRI could be wrong?? I appreciate any help anyone can give me.
Thanks.

Sep 13, 2009
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ACL
by: Kay

Margaret,
I'm so sorry about your knee, but it sounds as if you are doing wonderfully. I have had two surgeries to repair my torn acl, so be careful.
Its interesting to see how many people go so long before the doctors realize that something is actually wrong. The first time I tore my acl I was told by an orthepeadic surgeon that I had merely bruised my bone. I played soccer with my torn acl for 3 months, and prepared for highschool tryouts. I would just like to say that we should all pay attention to our bodies and listen to them rather than doctors. We know ourselves, and just like you said you knew something was wrong. So if you think something isn't right then get a second opinion.
Good luck with everything Margaret!

Sep 11, 2009
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my new acl
by: Anonymous

i tore my acl 22 may 2008...i got it fixed 10 september 2009. the nhs rules!!!!
i was coming home from watching my football team win the league, i kicked a bottle in the street and fely my knee snap and i hit the ground. i could hardly walk, but had to get home so hobbled for what seemed like hours. i went to accident and emergency the next day, they x-rayed it and said id badly sprained it, i knew sshe wasd wrong but what can you do when medical "experts" tell you theres nothing wrong. i did what any self respecting scotsman would do, i hobbled to the pub to continue celebrating the football success. i didnt have to go to the bar once as my mates knew how bad my knee was. after god knows how many visits to the hospital, my gp, the physio and finally giving up and playiong football again, i was finally refrred for an mri scan in june this year. the physio told me a icouldnt have torn anything or i couldnt play football and my gp wouldnt have let me leave the surgery....but can you believe it, the mri confirmed id ruptured my acl and torn the meniscus cartledge. i guess she was embarrassed because she never came back and i had to see anotyher physio for the results. they said theyd get me in for an operation, but i did more damage playing football whilst waiting so they rushed me in this week. i was taken in on monday morning, sedated with morphene and next thing i knew i was awake in the ward with an enormous knee. i was released this morning once the morphene wore off and i got to see the physio to make sure i could walk. i watched the nurse change my dressing and i have two small holes either side of my knee cap where they went in, a long cut below the knee and a small one on my thigh. basically they had to drill through the top and bottom of the knee bone, they cut part of my hamstring off and used that to repair the acl and then they cut away the torn cartledge. i now have around 9 months of rehab before i can play football again. im out now, off work and about to enjoy the holiday. nphysio starts next week.

Sep 11, 2009
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my new acl
by: fat one legged del

i just got home from hospital today after getting my acl rconstructed yesterday. had the meniscus repaired too. peice of piss really, walking on crutches today. started stretching it this morning so it usable again.

Jun 08, 2009
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Thanks
by: Alex

i realy related to your story and i found it very telling from the vew of a patient .I just had that happen to me the other day. i tor it when i tryed to get around some one in soccer. it was my second to last game and it was more pain full to watch two goals go in through my stand in on d. the ortho doctor said that it looks like i tore it. im gona have an MRI in a few days. im realy scared because this stop me from working over the summer.

Feb 20, 2009
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Same here...
by: Dave B

5 days ago the same thing happend to me. I was playing indore soccer andturned my body and my right foot stayed planted in the oposite direction of my body. I heard a pop and instantly went down in pain. I have not been able to walk or put full wait on it. I went to the hospital got an x ray they told me I didnt break anything. Then I saw an ortho doc and I have an MRI next week on Wednesday. The ortho docs bed side manner was horrible and instantly diagnosed me with an ACL tear. While im sure he's write I did not appreciate the way in which he handled the situation. For now Im waiting for my MRI. Today when I woke up I could walk a little better but Im limping and I cant fully locck my leg out without any discomfort. I hope I can come back from this. I turned 28 the day after the injury.

Jan 12, 2009
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so true
by: Robert

Thanks for the story.

I tore my ACL about a month ago. Went in for surgery 6 days ago. Your story is very similar to mine except mine was playing soccer.

Good luck with the knee

Rob

Jan 08, 2009
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Ironic comment
by: Katie

Wow that sounds aboslutlely terriable, but i did the exsact same thing! except i was playing basketball and i twisted my knee also, and the doctors told me what they told you nothing was wrong and no perticuluar signs of anything torn in the xray's until i got a mri and then i tore my acl and maybe fractured my minscuss i was really touched by your story i was looking for something like this all night to calm me down i saw pictures on the knee being cut open and i felt sick i am not good with this stuff nor needles either. I really hope you can play sports again cause i know EXSACTLY how you feel about sitting on the bench watching your team mates makeing mitakes so the point where i was no longer able to take sitting on the bench watching the soccer or basketball games i just left, i was just wondering how you feel now like how stationary your knee is and if you are able to jogg or run alittle please get back to me, your story is exsactly what i am going through.

Aug 14, 2008
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Thanks for sharing yor story.
by: Michelle

I recently tore my ACL playing softball and will need to get surgery as well. I'm very nervous about the whole situation. Your story made me feel better.

Aug 06, 2008
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thanks for sharing!
by: Anonymous

That was a great story. I'm sorry about your injury, but sounds like you'll be back in NO time. I loved reading it because I could relate to every detail. thanks for sharing, and good luck!

Aug 06, 2008
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Perfect!
by: Bart - SII

Margaret, your story and all of the details of your ACL reconstruction are a great addition to the site! You have answered so many questions that other people have about ACL surgery and what to expect - it is fantastic.

So sorry to hear that it ruined your summer, but it sounds like you are doing well, and are motivated to get better. Keep following your doctor's advice, don't try to go too fast, and most of all, remember that in a few months you will be back to sports!

Best,

Bart

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