Ruptured ACL, no 'popping sound'. age 17. soccer injury.

by Bethenney Thuurman

I am a 17 year old female. I am pretty athletic. About a month ago, Oct. 8, 2011, my ACL was ruptured. I was playing in the first district game of soccer. I was kicking the ball with my right leg and a girl came running over to try and get the ball. She accidentally ran into me. She hit the outside of my knee. My foot stayed planted and my knee twisted in. I did not hear any popping sound. After my injury before my Dr's appt. I was trying to figure out what an ACL tear was like and I kept reading everywhere that you would hear a popping sound when your ACL tears. Mine ruptured, meaning it is in half, and I didn't hear a thing.

At first I couldn't remember what really happened. When I asked my friend she told me that my knee twisted in. When this happened, I fell to the ground on both knees. Then my knee hurt REALLY bad. I was going to stand up but the pain worsened. So I went on my hands and knees trying to wait for it to get better, but it didn't.

My goalie came over and asked if I was ok. All I could say was, "no." So then the ref asked the same, I gave the same answer. Then they allowed our team Dr. to come out. He asked what happened, but I was flustered and in a lot of pain so I couldn't really explain through the sobs.

He kept asking if I heard a pop. But I didn't. All I said was that "It just hurts REALLY bad." So they took me off the field and he examined it and said he was worried about my ACL. They put ice on it, but it swelled quickly. I could hardly walk. It hurt so bad. probably a 9 on a scale of 1-10.

It was swollen for about the first week and a half and I could feel something moving in my leg, a good indicator that something is not longer connected. We saw a professional, and he said my ACL was ruptured. He didn't even have to take an M.R.I. He said that it was all squishy where my ACL was supposed to be. And he bent my knee in an awkward way it wasn't supposed to go.

For the first five days I walked SO SLOW. Little baby steps VERY slowly. It hurt too bad to go any faster, and my knee just didn't feel at all stable. On the sixth day I could walk faster, but with a limp. And that pace was still pretty slow.

Then I was limping around very slowly for about another two weeks. I
probably should have used crutches those first two and a half weeks. I really haven't been able to walk even kind of normally till about last week. It still hurts most of the time ranging from a 2-8 on a scale of 10. It always feels uncomfortable. I don't like to straighten it, cause it feels like it is going backwards.

If I put too much pressure on it, it hurts like it did the first day and begins swelling again. Examples of too much pressure would be: dancing, basketball, pivoting. Basically, I can't do anything but walk, bicycle, and swim, and I was told by the Dr. that I shouldn't do anything other than these things.

My knee kind of feels like it's falling apart. So I like to 'hold it together' with my hands. I also feel something still moving in my knee occasionally. Sometimes I get sharp pains going up and down my leg. They hurt very bad. On a scale of 1-10 probably a 7.

I have been bicycling in the weight room after school to keep my range of motion ok. But I can only do it on resistance level 1 and it still hurts. I put a little band under my knee so that my knee does not pop so much when I'm bicycling. It still pops with the band, but it pops much more without the band. I cannot run. My knee does also randomly give out on me.

It has tired my other knee out, having so much extra pressure on it. It now gets sharp pains occasionally. Compared to my other knee though, they barely hurt. With decreased activity, my bad knee has felt a little better.

I am not able to get surgery until February because it just doesn't work out with our insurance and with school until then. So I will be putting up with this injury for 4 months. It is my senior year and I wasn't able to play with my soccer team in the state tournament, which we won, and I cannot play basketball this year. It's very frustrating, but it's life.

I do have breakdowns occasionally. It is hard to realize that my knee will never be the same. I will admit that the first month I was, for me, pretty depressed. It is normal to be depressed when injuries happen, but just remember not to dwell on it for TOO long. Life goes on. Tomorrow is a new day.

Recovery time for this injury is usually 6-9 months, which isn't a huge chunk of time out of your life. These are all the things I've had to accept and realize, I hope it helps. Good luck to everyone else suffering with this injury. God bless!

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