Mallory's ACL

by Mallory
(Mandevill, LA, USA)

I'm 17 yrs old and a high school senior who suffered my ACL tear on September 13, 2008 in a volleyball match. I had my ACL surgery on October 16, 2008 and went to prehab directly after the injury for nearly one month prior to surgery.

Going into surgery, my P.T. described my condition as phenomenal. Because I have a full scholarship to play in college, my Dad set up my surgery with one of the best surgeons in the country. Presently, I'm in my week 8 of rehab.

My biggest complaint is the excruciating pain I'm experiencing under flexion (i.e. bending). I've been told by my doctor that I'm a "fibrotic healer", which has made my rehab nearly unbearable.

For the first six weeks after surgery I was taking Loritab to deal with the pain from rehab. Unfortunately, the pain medication and my fibrosis condition led to my insufficient diet and depression. I've lost 20 lbs (was 140 lbs prior to surgery with nearly no body fat). At my first follow-up vist with my Dr., he took me off the pain medication all together because of my weight loss and depression.

He forced me to go to one crutch and finally none within a week. Because my knee blows up and gets irritated after flexion, my quad shuts down. I've been wrestling with this challenge all during therapy, but have been progressing. I'm about two fingers from touching my butt with my p.t. assisting in bending. This part of therapy is by far the most painful. I wouldn't even describe it as pain, but torture.

I've been working on this at home four days a week and three days with my P.T. I'm riding the bike real well (i.e. about 85 - 90 rpms). I can't wait to regain my full range of motion on my own and hope that nothing is wrong inside my knee. I can only pray that the surgery part of this experience was crystal and that my suffering is related to my body's reaction to all of this.

I've been told that b/c of the fibrosis, that this will be the most difficult challenge that I'll face in life. If I make it through this, I can make it through anything. I'd appreciate your thoughts...

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May 07, 2009
by: karen


I am a 20 yr old sports science student, I completely ruptured my acl and tore my pcl along with other muscle damage while playing football in December. Nearly 6months on and I am still waiting for my surgery.

From what I read you have recovered well but your last post was a while ago.
Please update me on how you are getting on now as I am woried about the recovery time and I want to get back to sports as soon as possible!! what was the pain like in the few weeks after surgery and how long were you on crutches for in total?

I hope you have made good progress since your op and are continuing to improve.

Keep me updated.


Dec 29, 2008
Best Wishes

Hi Mallory, I can fully understand how you feel. I'm 21 and ruptured the ACL in my left knee in October of this year. I'm currently going through physiotherapy to strengthen my muscles, but will probably need surgery because of constant instability in the knee. It's normal to feel depressed while going through this, I even have days where I don't feel like eating. It's kind of difficult when I compare how active I was prior to my injury and how inactive I am now. Just remember that a lot of people are going through the same thing and with the support of friends, family, your doctor and physiotherapist you will be back to your old self. I also find that my faith helps to keep me mentally at peace. Keep us updated with your progress.

Dec 15, 2008
Good luck!
by: Lori

Good luck, Mallory! I wish you the best, and will keep you in my thoughts!

Dec 14, 2008
You are doing great!
by: Bart - SII

Mallory, it sounds like you are doing fantastic. From what you describe, you almost have all of your flexion...if you are only a couple of fingers away from touching your heel to your butt, you are almost there.

Flexion comes slowly after surgery - especially those last few degrees. But for the most part, as long as you can get to 110 degrees, you are well on your way. With the fibrosis, it is important that you keep working on it, but the biggest worry with this type of condition is getting past that 110 degree mark. Once you are there, it is just a matter of maintaining it.

I always place much more emphasis on regaining full extension, and flexion to 110-115 degrees, and then we usually stopped working specifically on flexion and just let the exercise take care of the rest.

Keep working hard and you should do fine.


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