I Couldn't Belive That I Tore My ACL

by Margaret
(United States)

My Knee Two Days After Surgery

My Knee Two Days After Surgery

I'm a fourteen year old female, and I tore my ACL playing in a softball game the second day that we got out of school, which was May 31st.

I was pitching and someone tried to steal home, and on my way back to the mound, my coach yelled at me to watch third, so I turned and I twisted my knee the wrong way and I immediately fell down in excruciating pain. One of the girls from the other team was like "Oh, that hurts, I've done that before," so I was thinking, no, no you have not done this before.

In my heart I knew something was seriously wrong, as that was probably the most I had ever cried in my life. In my head I wanted to believe that everything was okay. My head over took my heart and told me that it was nothing.

I couldn't walk at all so my coach and my parents had to carry me off the field. I sat on the bench the rest of the game, which is one of the things I hate the most in sports, watching people make mistakes you know that you wouldn’t be making if you were playing.

When the game was over my parents had to carry me to the car it was really hard to get in the car, because my knee was bent and I could not move it at all. We went to one of my friend’s house to get her crutches that she had used when she sprained her ankle in basketball. That day I went home and lay on the couch for the rest of the day.

The next Monday I went to the family doctor to see if he could tell us what I had done. He asked me a whole bunch of questions about when it happened. He asked if I had heard a popping noise, and that’s exactly what it sounded like when I did it. He told moved my leg around and told me that it was stable so he didn't think that I tore any of the ligaments in my knee so my injury was not that serious and that I probably would not need to get surgery. He told us to come back a couple weeks later and to see if the swelling had gone down any (my knee was HUGE!)

We went back a couple weeks later and he said that I should get some X-rays done to make sure I didn't fracture my bones. After the X-rays we went back about a week later and he told us that he was sure that I didn't fracture anything, but he still wanted us to get an MRI to make sure that I didn't tear a ligament because he was not a hundred percent sure that I had not torn anything.

So we got the MRI, and by the time we went back to the family doctor I was feeling pretty good, I could walk okay, but when we got in the examination room, he told us that he had some bad news and that I had torn my ACL and that according to the radiologist that read the MRI I had a near complete tear, and that I would need to go to an orthopedic surgeon. At that point we were not sure whether I would need surgery.

We went to the orthopedic surgeon who specialized in sports medicine the following Monday and he told me that who ever read the MRI was wrong and that I had completely torn my ACL. He told me that I would definitely need to get
it fixed if I wanted to keep participating in my four sports (basketball, track, volleyball and softball)

So after the appointment I went to physical therapy to try to get my range of motion back and to help get the swelling down, it really helped. I had to have a 0-120 range of motion to get operated on and by the end of the first visit I had it!

A couple weeks later we went back to the doctor, and set my surgery date for July 15th, at 7 am, so we could have time for the swelling to go down. Well the day finally came, and I was so scared. I was shaking in the waiting room. Then a nurse came out and told me that she would tell me what to do. So she had me change into all the hospital things, the gown, socks, the whole nine yards. Then we went into this little room and I had to lie in the hospital bed and she told me everything that would happen. Then she told me that they were going to have to put in the IV right now, and I’m pretty sure my face turned white.

I absolutely hate needles. Before the surgery when I had to get blood work done I was crying my eyes out. But it turned out to be not a big deal. First I got some relaxing medicine and then the anesthesiologists did a nerve block then my doctor came in and I asked him some questions and then I remember being pushed into the operating room and seeing the big lights. The last thing I remember was when one of the nurses told me to breathe into the oxygen mask. Then I was out.

I woke up about two hours later, even though it seemed like only five minutes. The nurses asked me where I was and what I was doing there to see how awake I was. My pain was pretty strong, so they gave me some pain killers through my IV. I was so tired and I just wanted to go back to sleep.

I finally got to leave and go back home, when I got there the only thing I could feel was in the back of my knee from where they took my hamstring out for the hamstring graft. The graft I chose was the combination hamstring/autograft. I took some pain killers and I went to sleep.

That night at about 4 am I woke up because my nerve block had worn off. The pain was so intense, it was horrible. I was crying again.
But things did get better.

I went to the doctor a couple days after surgery and they took all the dressing off except for the steristrips. When we were scheduling for another appointment I got really lightheaded and I almost passed out.

I started going to physical therapy three times a week. I was slowly getting better at doing things. About the second week I was walking with just one crutch and now it has been three weeks since surgery and my doctors and physical therapists tell me that I’m doing fantastic.

So far I can go up and down stairs with out difficulty, ride a stationary bike, walk without crutches, and do all kinds of things that are more advanced for the time frame that I’m in.

My ACL injury has kept me out of all my summer camps for volleyball and basketball. And kept me out of softball and summer track and I will not be able to do volleyball and basketball my freshman year.

That is my ACL story.

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