Dominique's ACL Surgery

by Dominique

Hello. I am 40 years young :>) and recently May 23rd) tore my ACL in a martial arts kicking excercise. During the middle of it, I felt something against my leg and suddenly I was on the floor stunned, wondering what happened. It was bizarre. No popping sound. I had to ask how I got there! Still not sure how it happened- and despite the initial sharp pain that accompanied the fall, I managed to finish the class which was almost over not realizing the extent of the injury.

I went to the ER later that day as I was in a lot of pain. Surprisingly, I had very little swelling and the Dr. ordered only an x-ray. No broken bones. I was sent home with an ACE knee brace, Vicodin (one upside :>) ) and told to ice. At that point, it was treated and diagnosed as a "sprain".

After the injury, there were a few times I would land on my foot wrong and felt that same initial sharp pain I experienced when I first injured my knee. Pain that would make my eyes water and then slowly it would go away.

After 7 weeks of trying to have my leg adjusted by a chiropractor and just "dealing" thinking it was a sprain and I just needed time, my Chiropractor suggested I have it looked at by an Sports Injury clinic. I ended up at Steadman Hawkins Clinic as they treat many professional athletes and had a very good reputation. The Dr. examined my knee and in only a few minutes, indicated he was certain I tore my ACL. I was stunned. An MRI a few days later confirmed the Dr's thoughts.

I am scheduled for surgery tommorrow morning and am pretty bummed. I am a very active person and my goal this year after turning 40, was to get in the best shape of my life. I wanted to try a triathalon this fall and had just signed up for martial arts which I have wanted to do for years!

I had complications from an abdomen surgery 3-4 years ago that turned into a really bad deal. I was on intravenous antiobitics at home 2x a day for 6 weeks and hospitalized several times over a period of 2 years. The burden of my absence fell upon my husband and mother- we have 4 kids. All were under 8 at the time- one 9 months old. It was a tough year and kept me
out of any kind of sports for a long, long time. I feel like I'm back there again and guilty because of it. It also sucks that I feel like had I been in my 30's- this would not have happened. I have yet to embrace my age as everyone says will happen at 40. Whatever!

I would love to hear from anyone that does martial arts to see how long it took to get back to it after surgery. I can't even imagine feeling confident enough to even throw a kick at a bag and wonder if I'll gain that back and when. I am always on my feet with keeping up with my family and in general, my personality is one that does not allow me much "down time". It is going to be a challenge for me to slow down enough to not trip over the dishwasher daily, not have the compulsive need to clean my house and cook my family the meals they are used to having.

After much research on the net, I understand the importance of rehab and following instructions to the T! I really am going to do everything I can to bounce back stronger than ever but still fear my knee will never be the same.

After 12 years so far of raising kids- the first half of that as a single mom, I was really looking forward to joining a tennis or volleyball league or something else to do for myself for a change.

Everyone heals at a different pace I know, but I can't help asking how long I will really be "down" from this. Despite my Doc's reputation, I found that I had to do all the research on my own to discover just how big this surgery would be and how long the recovery is. I was never really given a play by play on what to expect first few days, weeks, months, etc.

I am in pretty decent shape- I weight train 4 times a week and up until this incident, did a variety of cardio in addition to martial arts. Amazing how long it takes to build muscle and how little time it takes to lose it after an injury. I hope that my lower body strength will help with my recovery.

I am going to try and document my own recovery as reading all your stories has really helped prepare my for my own situation. I hope to be able to do the same.

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