Paul's ACL Expericence

by Paul Raymond
(Hanford, CA)

I am a Forty year old middle school teacher. Two years ago, (December of 2009) I completely tore my right ACL while coaching my basketball team. I was demonstrating an “up and under" move, when "Pow!" My knee blew up and I went to the ground. I laid there for a minute, knowing full well that I had just done something really, really bad. I had just had meniscus surgery about a year before, and knew the feeling all too well. After gathering myself, I got up and went back to coaching the team.


The following day, I took a personal day off from school (I teach 8th grade Language Arts and History) and went to the Dr. He did some funny thing with my knee and thigh, and it took him two seconds to declare, "You tore your ACL." He then sent me for an MRI in order to confirm it. After completing the MRI, the tech asked me, "What's the worst thing you can do to your knee as an athlete?" I said, "Tear your ACL." He said "You got it."

After having surgery on my right and left shoulders, and my right Meniscus within a four year span, I wasn't looking forward to being down again. Especially considering the fact that I teach, coach football and basketball, run our Leadership program and have children. My school also "suggested" that I do not file a claim so some of the cost for surgery was going to come out of my own pocket.

Two years went by, and I continued to do many things despite my ACL tear. I continued to work out, and tried to strengthen my quad muscles. I also used the brace that was prescribed for me. I threw the knee out many times, and it seemed to get worse each time I did this. At one point, I feared I had torn something else when I threw it out making a cut in football. I laid on the ground for quite some time, and the pain was high.

I also believe that the people around me did not truly believe I blew out my ACL because of all the things I was able to do. I've just always been an active person; I have a high pain tolerance, and do not know enough to take it easy when I probably should.

It is now December 23, 2011, and I am three days out from having my surgery. My Dr. performed the donor graft procedure. Everything appears to have gone well. The pain is tolerable. I am doing my best to follow Dr.'s instructions (as I have not been good about this in the past). I get numbness in my lower leg and feet on occasion, and I have to shift a lot. The good thing is that I am on vacation from school, so I have three weeks to recover as much as possible before the craziness of school begins again. I have been able to put pressure on the leg, and have already showered and taken off my dressings. I have also caught up on a lot of movies I’ve been meaning to see.

If anyone has suggestions, or insight into what I can expect with my recovery, I would love to hear from you.

Paul

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Jun 13, 2016
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by: Anonymous

same happen with me. I get numbness in my lower leg and feet on occasion, and I have to shift a lot. The good thing is thatdiscountsaltcells clevachlor salt cell
I am on vacation from school, so I have three weeks to recover as much as possible before the craziness of school begins again

Oct 17, 2015
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Oct 09, 2015
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Aug 30, 2015
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Jun 17, 2015
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Jan 16, 2013
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2 months old ACL NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi, Paul.
your story is very inspiring. Got my total tear of ACl just last Nov. 10, 2012...i hvent done any surgery due to financial issue..healthcare can handle the surgeey and the therapy but the screw which soo expensive here is not covered..so i hve to save money for that purpose, to push for the surgery...reading your story have lefted my spirit while im still waiting for the time when i can possibly have my acl surgery...its been 2 months since i have my injury and im struglling myself to show that this injury will not stop me from getting back to an active life..nxt week despite bearable pains im planning to start a longwalk to prepare getting back to running..which i hope i could..again my gratitude to your story which i only stumble why broswing the net while at work..its a good shot on psych..

Nov 05, 2012
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6 month mark NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi from the 6 month mark, Grade 8 teacher.
My knee is doing well, good days, bad days of course. My greatest discovery and joy has been bike riding. I started at 8 weeks and found I could ride everyday, and the knee would demand it when I did not get out. Though we are into November now, and it is cold, I was riding about 100 km per week. I wish I could run, but the other leg took a beating playing big sister for 18 months, and it now has some arthritis. I hope that will resolve.
Thanks for the awesome website, it took the loneliness out of this recovery!

EG

Nov 05, 2012
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been there, done that NEW
by: Carla

I understand what you mean by they can't believe what you are able to do with a torn ACL. I tore mine when i was 15, and i'm about to turn 37. I go in 2 days to have it reconstructed. I just hope mine goes as well as yours!

Nov 05, 2012
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been there, done that NEW
by: Carla

I understand what you mean by they can't believe what you are able to do with a torn ACL. I tore mine when i was 15, and i'm about to turn 37. I go in 2 days to have it reconstructed. I just hope mine goes as well as yours!

May 08, 2012
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another Gr8 teacher NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Paul,
My story sounds similar to yours, except I am female and somewhat older. I am a Gr 8 Science teacher, tore the ACL a year ago at school, jumping rope in an assembly. Although I knew right away that I had done something really bad, I maintained denial because of some politics at work. I did not get the MRI until 2 months later and the diagnosis until 2 months after that. I actually went to Colorado, backpacking and climbing 14,000' mountains on a torn ACL. The first surgeon said I was simply too old for the surgery (53). Second surgeon did not need the MRI to make his decision, he just manipulated the knee and said I needed the surgery. Surgery with a patellar graft was completed 5 days ago under a spinal anaesthetic (1 year after injury). I got to watch on the monitor. I am feeling good, putting full weight bearing on the leg the same day. Pain has bee quite manageable (I have a very high tolerance), and the range of motion is ahead of schedule. I am happy that I will get to more active stages of the rehab process at the beginning of my vacation time. I may not climb mountains this summer, but I will be on the trails. I hope your knee is a successful memory now.

Mar 27, 2012
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PAUL NEW
by: Kennedy

i tore my acl playing volleyball my sophomore year (i'm a junior now)
i totally understand what you mean about people not believing that your hurt....i don't know if mine was that people that didn't believe me or that people just don't understand the extent of the injury you have, but i got the same feeling from people! one thing i've learned though is that people truly don't understand what your going to until they have to go through it, or something similar, so of course there are not a lot of people that understand the situation.

as far as the numbness in your leg goes...most of mine went away but the upper left of my shin/(i guess it's obviously more of the muscle, but it's in that area on the shin bone), that numbness did not go away, and it's still there (my surgery was 16 months ago(ya, i know it's been a long time.) but my doctors said it's just something to be expected when you have that major of a surgery.

i had the cadaver graft tendon as well, and from my experience so far it has been good. not great, not awful. i have a lot of pain still, even now 16 months later, but i am really strong. i have more of a problem with the mental aspect of the injury then the physical, but i'm hoping to get over that eventually!

i hope physical therapy and your recovery is going well for you! good luck!

Feb 18, 2012
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Cadaver NEW
by: Jael

Hey,
I tore my left ACl in my sophmore season of soccer in HS. It was in the begining of the season so I missed the rest. I had the patellar tendon graft that time. Then this summer I tore my right ACL playing soccer again. So this time I got a big brace and played my junior season. SO 4 weeks ago I had my reconstruction. THis tiem I had the Cadaver graft. I found that this one was more painful but part of that was that they had to reapir my meniscus. Because of that meniscus reapar I am still non weight bearing but probebly will be able to in about a week.
Just from experiancing my other reconstruction I would say that the rehab is not the most fun sometimes, but in the end it does really pay off! Another thing is that I found it is really important to get your legs strong afterward. it will help prevent more injury.

Good luck with your recovery!!

Feb 18, 2012
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Cadaver NEW
by: Jael

Hey,
I tore my left ACl in my sophmore season of soccer in HS. It was in the begining of the season so I missed the rest. I had the patellar tendon graft that time. Then this summer I tore my right ACL playing soccer again. So this time I got a big brace and played my junior season. SO 4 weeks ago I had my reconstruction. THis tiem I had the Cadaver graft. I found that this one was more painful but part of that was that they had to reapir my meniscus. Because of that meniscus reapar I am still non weight bearing but probebly will be able to in about a week.
Just from experiancing my other reconstruction I would say that the rehab is not the most fun sometimes, but in the end it does really pay off! Another thing is that I found it is really important to get your legs strong afterward. it will help prevent more injury.

Good luck with your recovery!!

Feb 01, 2012
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follow the doctor and therapist!
by: Bart - Sports Injury Info

Paul, sorry it took so long to get your story on the site - ran into some technical difficulties with posting new stories.

I hope your doing well - about 6 weeks out from surgery I guess. With the cadaver graft, you probably have a lot of your motion back by now, and hopefully, the knee feels pretty good. Keep up your rehab, and you should do fine.

Let us know how your are progressing.

Bart

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