My ACL Injury

by mend5
(Alberta)

Hi, I am 16 and on Feb 26th I was playing in a basketball tournament. I was dribbling up the floor and did an "in and out" with the ball and I guess I planted "just right" and heard a sick pop, collapsed and was in shock. Luckily my assistant coach is a doctor so he assessed the injury with some movement tests and he said he was pretty sure it was my ACL. It was really sore and painful that day and the days to follow. The night I got home, a good friend came over who had had problems with her knee starting in her grade ten season (ACL, MCL, and Meniscus). She told me all about her experience and I was devastated at the recovery time and how much i would be missing. I love basketball so much and I was so sad. I never though anything like this would happen to me! I went to see an orthopedic surgeon on March 8th and he confirmed that it was my ACL but he also said it was my MCL and medial meniscus. He also said it would be about a 9 month recovery process. I couldn't help but cry when he broke the news to me. It had been feeling a lot better since it happened, so I was convincing myself that it wasn't going to be a complete tear or wasnt going to be that bad so when he told me, it felt like I tore my ACL all over again. I was devastated! Again! He said he would try to get me in within a month for meniscus surgery then I would have to wait 2-3 months to get ACL (hamstring graft) reconstruction surgery. The following day, the hospital called and they said they had an opening for surgery the following Monday, the 14th! I was excited and nervous but just happy that I got in because it will shorten recovery time!!) We just had provincials up in Edmonton this last weekend. My knee didn't bother me much at all. I was just car sick and headachy whole week. It is now March 21st. One week from my surgery. My surgery went great! And it is feeling a lot better! I have been wearing this huge mobile brace(30-90 degree). I will go back to my ortho surgeon in one week and he will tell me what the deal is. He never talked to me after my surgery so I don't know what he found out when he went in or how it went but I'm hoping it went as good as I think it went! Anyway I just wanted to know what kind of exercises I could be doing to strengthen my knee and leg before surgery in order to shorten the full recovery process. I have already lost one and a half inches off my right leg. Feel free to give me any advice!! Thanks so much!!!!

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Jun 02, 2011
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i can relate!
by: Anonymous

I totally know what you mean about being completely upset when you were officially diagnosed with what was wrong with your knee. I was a complete wreck when i found out. I had completely torn my ACL, torn my LCL and meniscus, severely sprained my MCL, bruised my fibula, and had a ton of swollen tissue. I hurt mine playing volleyball, but i was out for all of softball season too! it's hard. it's was a constant mental battle of what if's and could-have-been's. I was actually released to do whatever i want about 2 weeks ago, but it's still a mental challenge. I'm scared that my knees going to go again, and i just find myself wishing that nothing had changed, and that my knee felt like mine again, and it didn't feel foreign.
Good luck with your injury!!!

Apr 30, 2011
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by jojo
by: Anonymous

hey girl! I'm 16 and I LOVE basketball too! I've been playing it for like ever! I actually tore the ACLs in both of my knees. :( When I was a freshman,playing varsity basketball, in our next to last game , we were actually winning (that year we were really bad!) but it was close and they were playing hard defense versus us. Well, i play the post and when i jumped to get the pass, i tried to turn to the basket at the same time that i landed but i landed on a girl's foot. All of a sudden i felt that horrible pop and i felt my knee go the wrong way. My friends said it looked horrible and my dad (also one of my coaches) said he heard the pop. Well, my coach came out and i guess i actually dislocated my knee, so she had to pop it back into place. The doctor @ the hospital said it wasn't my ACL, but we thought otherwise so i got an MRI and found out that i had not only dislocated my knee but completely tore my left ACl, 30% of my lateral meniscus, and had severe bone bruising. I had surgery on April 13 and was released to play basketball in october and started practice with my team like November 1, although looking back at it, i think my leg was still kind of weak. Well, my sophomore year, I tore my right ACL. This time its no big deal. I jumped, landed, and one of my friends bumped into my back and i felt a pop in my knee. Got up and walked it off. had all the normal leg tests by PT and doctor and was told i was fine. Well, in the back of my mind i knew otherwise but i wanted to play (i still had a month left), so i played the next month without knowing that i had no ACL, it was so painful and my knee dislocated so many times. But i just didn't want to go through it again and want to face reality. Season ended and I decided i needed to get it checked. Once again complete ACL tear but in my right leg. Trust me, i was devastated more than the first time! But i had surgery on April 8 and was back to running with my brace within 6 weeks as well as box jumps and lite agility drills. CRAZY! It was so much faster the 2nd time, doing bball drills within 3 months! Released in October and I completed my junior season better than ever and without a knee injury and even have some college coaches looking at me! But my first injury, i lost a ton of muscle like you and the best things is to do all of the exercises PT tells you to do and make sure you strengthen your hamstring, as it is weak after your surgery. LISTEN to your doctor and PT. Sorry, my story is so long but i was hoping my experience could encourage you. Let me know if you have ANY questions at all!!! I am happy to help!

Apr 07, 2011
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Update
by: Anonymous

Im back! I got meniscus surgery March 14th. It went great! Im feeling alot better. I went to see my doctor last Thursday and he said that when he went in to suture the meniscus, there was no damage to it! SWEET!! But, the ACL was completely torn. So i'll be getting reconstructive surgery in about 2 months. He said it will take about 9 months from surgery to get back to competitive sports but I've heard people say that if they rehad really hard for the months prior to ACL surgery, recovery will go by much quicker! I just got my custom brace on tuesday so the past few days I've been working out a bit! Just on the tredmill and bike and then doing some weights. Its been great and it feels good to be active and feel like I'm being productive! I had been doing little excercize before I went to bed for the week prior to getting my brace. So it wasnt a huge shock to my body when i started doing a little more intense work outs. I still havent gotten a date for surgery. I dont have a physio therapist yet either. Still working on that. Things are looking good for now! Hopefully my next surgery goes good and recovery time wont be as long as predicted!

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