19/Male torn ACL & MCL; Hamstring Graft

by Jeff
(Valencia, California )

I've been playing basketball most of my life, and it was my obsession until I tore my ACL. I was practically playing everyday in my school gym (UCI) for about 5 weeks straight. I landed on some guy's leg while trying to block a shot. The initial pain was dreadful, it was throbbing for about 3 minutes until it finally went away. They wrapped ice around my knee right away and I went to the doctor immediately.

After taking an X-Ray the doctor said it shouldn't be more than a sprain and that I should wear the brace they provided until I didn't feel anymore pain. He also scheduled me for an MRI the next week just to make sure. That week I felt pretty good that it wasn't anything more than a sprain.
Once I took the MRI and the doctor told me that I tore my ACL and MCL, I started to tear thinking that I wouldn't be touching a basketball for at least 6 months.
I started going to rehab 2 weeks after the injury. It was pretty painful since I didn't have any range of motion or put any pressure on it since the injury. I believe the bike was the best machine in getting my range of motion back. I iced as often as I could until I felt no more pain.
After researching many articles, I found that the hamstring graft was the best choice for me. I knew a couple of my friends that did allograft (cadaver) and they are still in pain when playing basketball even after one year post operation. Also with patella, I didn't like the idea of feeling pain when I knelt and that there's a higher risk of arthritis. My doctor also said that the hamstring graft is just as strong as the patella, it's just that the hamstring graft is soft tissue and it takes a little bit more time to strengthen.
What I'm afraid of is that if I'm going to loose my quickness and my hops! I'm 5'10 and I just started to dunk the ball before my injury. I was wondering will I ever get back to jumping that high again? And is 6 months the earliest I can get back in playing competitive basketball?

My surgery is June 26, 2009 (tomorrow) and I'm starting to get a little nervous. I'm having the surgery an hour away from my house and I'm hoping the anesthesia won't wear off before I get home. I'm pretty happy that my insurance is giving me an ice machine to take home because I heard that it works wonders! Are there any tips I should be doing the first week post op?

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