Kirsten's ACL reconstruction

by Kirsten

I'm Kirsten, a 14 year old high school and competitive cheerleader. About 4 weeks ago, I tore my ACL at cheerleading practice while landing my full. As my left foot hit the ground, my body had not completed the twist. I felt a terrible popping in my left knee and parents heard the pop over music all the way accross the gym.

I went to the ER that night and had X-rays done. There was no obvious injury on the X-ray and the ER doctor could not find any instability in the knee and thought it was an MCL sprain. He advised me to follow up with my family physician.

I rested for about two weeks and tried to tumble again. After completing a ROBHS pass, I felt another pop as I rebounded and had to stop. I went to my family physician who ordered an MRI. It showed a complete tear of the ACL, some meniscus damage, and a strain of the MCL. After an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon, surgery was scheduled for the next week.

I am now one day post surgery. I chose the hamstring graft. Last night and this morning was very painful but the pain eased this afternoon just in time for me to start physical therapy. At physical therapy, the brace and bandages were removed and I got to see my scar. I have two small incisions, one round incision (belly button) and one slightly larger incision. My leg looks much better than I anticipated. The therapist made me bend my knee (very scary) but I am glad I did it. I now have three new exercises and am learning to walk on my crutches and go up and down stairs.

I have enjoyed reading many inspirational stories from others who have suffered ACL tears and hope that my story helps inspire others as well. Although it is very early in my recovery, I am confident that I will return better than ever! My goal is to return for varsity tryouts in April and help my competitive team compete at US Finals and Worlds in late April/early May.

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Sep 15, 2015
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by: Anonymous

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Feb 12, 2011
by: Sri

I am 2 weeks post surgery. Exercises began from the very 2nd day. For the 1st 10 days however I did all exercises other than bending from the knees. Only straight - leg exercises. Post stitches removal, my leg felt better - in fact good enough to lift the leg straight (with a minor bend at the knee). I try to repeat the exercise set as many times as possible and pain permits. The muscle atrophy is slowly being taken care off although to regain the strength of the good old days will take some time - probably 3 months. All the best to you...relax, try to live through the pain and dont shirt from the physical therapy. It is as important, if not more, than the surgery itself. Cheers!

Jun 07, 2010
I know what your going threw...
by: Cheerleader4life :)

I am a competitive cheerleader and varsity cheerleader at my school. I just made a level 5 Senior Coed team and on my second practice i went to do a full. When i landed there was a large pop and lots of pain! i didnt cry because i wanted to act tough and soon after i got up and walked just to fall down again. Four days later i got an MRI and found out I tore my ACL, menivial meniscus, lateral meniscus, and spained my MCL. I had to have surgery ASAP. Now I'm 2 weeks post op and physical theropy is painful, boring, stressful, and annoying. Keep you're head up girl! I know you will make it back in time for tryouts. Just stick to the theropy, do what your suppose to, stay in shape, and never give up! Never give up on your dreams :) god bless!

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