Ian's ACL surgery

by Ian
(Tennessee)

I was a pretty good soccer player and was going to be a freshman in high school. My brother played football so I decided to see if I could kick a field goal. I could kick a 40 yard field goal so I joined the team.


The second week of practice in tackling drills a kid was wrapped around my leg so I tried to twist out of it and my knee popped 2 or 3 times and I was freaking out for like 5 seconds. My coach thought I just twisted my ankle or something and told me to walk it off. I was able to limp to the athletic trainer and he just said I probably sprained my LCL or PCL or something. After about a week I could walk normally, though it hurt. My mom told My uncle who is an orthopedic surgeon and he said 80% of the time twisting your knee and hearing pops is a torn ACL.

So I got an MRI and was told I had "complete disruption of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament." Not only did I not play a game of freshman football, I was not allowed to play soccer in the spring. I was pretty nervous about the surgery, which my Uncle would do. My dad said I would have the best nap of my life when they knocked me out. My uncle prayed for me, They put a mask with a tube attached to it over my mouth after sticking a needle in a vein in my hand. I woke up and could have stuck a knife in my thigh and wouldn't have flinched. It hurt though, but on the inside.

I was an out-patient so I went to my uncles house went to sleep since I was still half asleep half high on pain pills and they elevated my leg on top of some pillows. I woke up in the middle of the night, was thirsty, hungry, in pain, crying, and could not get back to sleep. I'm still wondering why I didn't ask for my ipod or already have it with me because some songs just make me happy no matter what mood I am in. But I got through the night. Physical therapy was hard, then tiring, then kind of fun but tiring, then bored for a few months, and now I am 5 months out and I have been running 2-4 miles a day. I can't do anything but run so I thought I may as well get in shape and wait until next year.

There is a bright side to tearing my ACL because now I have a 4.0 instead of a 3.5 GPA. I still think about what I could have done every now and then to have not torn my ACL but it doesn't matter what I think because it is not going to change it. I don't get to do a lot of the things I love, but it was God's will. Can't wait until Sophomore year!!!!

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Well I recovered fully, played club soccer in the fall of 2012 as well as football, but just kicking, not any other position. The starting kicker got hurt about midseason and I was the starter. I made all my PATs and about half of my kickoffs went into the endzone for touchbacks. The first round of the playoffs we opened the second half with kickoff. I kicked the ball to about the 2 yd line and during the return I was blind sided and landed awkwardly and felt some familiar pops in my knee. I was pretty sure I had retore my ACL. Both the trainers felt my knee and it was obviously much looser than the other just like before. I had an MRI a few days later and I had a torn MCL and unconclusive evidence on my ACL. I was told there was about a 95% chance it had been retorn, which would prevent me from playing football or soccer forever because if I injured it again which was much more possible after 2 ACLs, I would have a bum knee and be near crippled around age 30. It took a while but I accepted it and decided I would run track if I had retorn it. We went to my surgeon so he could feel my knee and do other tests for a final diagnosis. He felt it and moved it around, comparing with my good knee for a few minutes, and miraculously, it was just as tight as the other knee. He said my ACL possibly had reattached itself to my PCL over the last few weeks. He said I would need to rest and have physical therapy for a few weeks and slowly build back up to full speed soccer. So long story short I have recovered from my second knee injury and went from 95% never playing soccer again to starting for my high school soccer team. I learned not to take my health for granted and it can be taken away as fast as it was given back. God works in mysterious ways.

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Update NEW
by: Ian

Well I recovered fully, played club soccer in the fall of 2012 as well as football, but just kicking, not any other position. The starting kicker got hurt about midseason and I was the starter. I made all my PATs and about half of my kickoffs went into the endzone for touchbacks. The first round of the playoffs we opened the second half with kickoff. I kicked the ball to about the 2 yd line and during the return I was blind sided and landed awkwardly and felt some familiar pops in my knee. I was pretty sure I had retore my ACL. Both the trainers felt my knee and it was obviously much looser than the other just like before. I had an MRI a few days later and I had a torn MCL and unconclusive evidence on my ACL. I was told there was about a 95% chance it had been retorn, which would prevent me from playing football or soccer forever because if I injured it again which was much more possible after 2 ACLs, I would have a bum knee and be near crippled around age 30. It took a while but I accepted it and decided I would run track if I had retorn it. We went to my surgeon so he could feel my knee and do other tests for a final diagnosis. He felt it and moved it around, comparing with my good knee for a few minutes, and miraculously, it was just as tight as the other knee. He said my ACL possibly had reattached itself to my PCL over the last few weeks. He said I would need to rest and have physical therapy for a few weeks and slowly build back up to full speed soccer. So long story short I have recovered from my second knee injury and went from 95% never playing soccer again to starting for my high school soccer team. I learned not to take my health for granted and it can be taken away as fast as it was given back. God works in mysterious ways.

Feb 19, 2013
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Thanks for sharing your story! NEW
by: Shary (a mom)

Dear Ian!
Thanks For sharing your story. My son Brian just tore his ACL last week and the MRI confirmed that he has a complete tear as well. We have not met with our orthopedic surgeon yet but hopefully soon we will be able to do that. Brian is a freshman in high school like you and plays soccer too, and runs cross country. It is nice to hear from a young man that has gone through the experience and to know that he is doing well after surgery. I am a little bit concerned because Brian's Growth plates are wide-open and he stands about 5 foot 9 inches tall now and his dad is 6 '2", and his uncles ( my brothers) are 6'5 and 6'8", so we know he will grow a bit. Our surgeon is supposed to specialize in open growth plate ACL repair, so I hope his growth in that leg won't be affected. Anyway, the best of luck to you! You sound like a wonderful young man and speaking as a mother keep that 4.0 going and you will be the next ortho. Surgeon in your family:-). Take care and keep healing! SV

Feb 18, 2012
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Keep working hard
by: Jael

Ian,
Sorry about your injury!! It really is a hard thing to go through. I tore my left ACL playing soccer last year (my sophomore year) playing in a varsity soccer tournament in the pre season. I am a defender and was going to take the ball from an opponent when a girl from my team came to help me, but she kinda ran into the side of my left knee. It was weird because my knee really didn’t hurt that much, it just felt weird. I tried to flag my coach down, but he did not see me so I kept playing and it stopped hurting. Then another girl ran bye with the ball and I was sprinting back to catch her and as I almost caught her my knee just gave out and THAT hurt. An MRI confirmed that I had torn my ACL and so I had surgery about a month later. Like you I had not really gotten to play an actual game. Its really hard, especially when you put all that work in and then get hurt at the beginning! So I went through all the rehab and got cleared to play at 4 months, although I didn’t play till about 6. Then during my spring soccer season I went to kick a ball and brought my right knee down really fast and did something to it. It was thought to be LCL or Meniscus. So I took it easy for a month, then I was at a soccer camp with my HS team just before the season and was running for a wall and pivoted hard with my right knee and it just Popped and really hurt. So after another MIR I found that I had torn my other ACL. But I played my junior HS season with a huge brace and recently had surgery (4 weeks ago).
One thing I would say is that you are right about Gods will! I have had so many neat opportunities since my injuries! I would suggest that you get your legs really strong to help prevent other injuries!!

I wish you all the best in getting back! God bless you!

Feb 01, 2012
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Thanks for sharing!
by: Bart - Sports Injury Info

Ian, thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you are doing great - running, getting in shape, and motivated for next year. I'm sure that if you stay dedicated to your rehab and strengthening (even though it can get boring at times) you will do well.

Good Luck!

Bart

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