My 3rd ACL surgery, age 16

by Colette
(Madisonville, Louisiana, America )

Hello, my name is Colette. I thought I would write my story on here because I need some advice.

Soccer was/has always been a huge part of my life. I started playing soccer when I was about 7 years old and I have always loved it! That sport made me so happy, and it definitely kept me in shape as well! But, unfortunately, all of that was put on hold when I tore my ACL when I was only 12 years old. I collided with a girl on the opposing team and in that moment my ACL and both menisci were torn and my bone was bruised.

Another bad thing was that I was at a tournament in the middle of nowhere so there wasn't an ambulance or any immediate medical care for me after I injured myself. So, instead of being taken care of by doctors, I sat through the rest of the tournament with a bag of ice on my knee and tried to pretend it didn't happen. Anyways, that was in 2007 and my doctor said that I had to wait a while for surgery because my growth plates were not fused yet.

In March of 2009, March 4th to be exact, I finally got my ACL/Meniscus reconstruction surgery. The weeks and months following that day were not very pleasant and I sure didn't enjoy seeing everyone else walk normal while I was trying to catch up with my crutches.

After a week or two of being immobilized by crutches and what not, my doctor sent me to physical therapy. And that started my 9 month journey through physical therapy. It seemed like FOREVER! I went three times a week, too. But, one positive outcome was that I was getting stronger and I felt like I was strong enough for soccer again. My doctor cleared me to play sports with my brace on, and I felt like I was ready.

The first season of soccer was very hard and I was terrible compared to what I used to be, I knew I would never be
the same. The season after that one, I was put on an advanced team which really boosted my confidence and helped me work through my injury. But, to my surprise, during the first game of that season I blew out my ACL again while I was jumping. And the surprising part is that I had my brace on. To this day, I still don't understand why that happened to me.

In December of 2010, I got my second knee surgery and it went really well. I only had to do physical therapy for about two months and I finally felt stable again. The recovery was not nearly as bad as the first surgery but I knew that my soccer career had ended. My doctor told me that it would not be a good idea to play again and my mom tears up every time she thinks about it. So my dream was thrown out of the window, and I tried to focus on other things that I was able to do.

My doctor said it would be fine for me to do track because it was strictly running in a straight line and I was able to do that without any problems, and I also didn't have to wear my brace. I decided to only practice with the track team instead of playing and I did really well. I continued that up until a couple months ago. While we were practicing different types of starts and doing warmup exercises, my knee gave out three separate times. So I'm pretty sure you know what that means....torn again!

I just went to the doctor and he recommended me get full reconstruction surgery AGAIN but use my patella instead because my hamstring graph didn't work well for me. I really need advice about this whole patella thing...I'm going to the doctor again soon to schedule my surgery and I really want to know what its like to get ACL surgery with the patella.

Thanks for reading, I know it was long!
God Bless, Colette

**Colette's original story, just before her first ACL Reconstruction**

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