Sarah's ACL Story

by Sarah

I am a 15 year old girl who has played soccer as long as i can remember. I had surgery a year and 3 months ago on my ACL and meniscus, 2 weeks before my 8th grade graduation (yes i graduated on crutches with a giant knee brace ruining my dress).

Honesty I am not so sure how or when I tore it. I was in a soccer game and sometime in the first half I went down and hurt my knee, but no pop. I got up and ran it off but it was a little bothersome. It wasnt untill late in the second half when i went in for a tackle and I heard the pop. I dont know if i cut or landed wrong or anything, I just remember falling and crying. I scooted off the field because it happened right in front of my bench. When the game was over I stood up and walked to the car with no pain, and I thought "oh great I just went out crying and missed the end of a game for nothing."

The next morning it was swollen and hurt to bend or straighten all the way but nothing too awful, so I continued to practice, only sitting out if absolutly necessary. 2 weeks after the injury occured I was at training and my coach said that if it still bothered my in 2 days I have to go see a doctor. 4 days later (2 days before a big tournament) I went to training. He saw that it was still swollen and asked if I had seen a doctor. I said no because it didnt hurt. Well my coach went off on me.. he said I would be benched untill I saw one and got a written note releasing me play.

I saw a doctor the next because I wanted to play that weekend but he said i tore my ACL and i wouldnt be playing for a while. I was shocked because I seriously thought that it was nothing. Then I saw a physical therapist and another doctor to decide what graft to use. We decided a hamstring
graft was best for me. Exactly 27 days after I tore it, I went into surgery to get a hamstring graft and to repair my mensicus.

I went to physical therapy the day after and was on crutches for 4 weeks. wore a straight leg knee brace for 3 weeks, a bendable one for 6 weeks, and a donjoy knee brace during physical activity for one year. I got to 90 degrees two weeks after surgery but they told me I wasnt allowed to go any further untill 4 weeks becase of my mensicus but I alwasy cheated it back a bit when they werent looking. They told me that I had the most swelling after surgery that they had ever seen, but I was also the easiest recovery because of my super high pain tolerence (?).

I rehabed hard for 6 months, just like they said. When I was released I came back hard! I played in a game 3 days after I got the okay. I only had a few weeks before my first ever high school soccer tryouts. I worked hard so I would be back in shape in time, but it wasnt enough. I only made my school's sucky freshman team. But I didnt let that get me too down. I just continued to work my butt off so I could be ready for state cup with my competitive team. By the time that came around (1 year post op) I thought I was ready. But apparently my coach didnt think so, I didnt see the field once that entire tournament. That truly crushed me.

I figured if I wasnt back all the way in a year then I never would be. It is now 2 months since then and I feel the same, beaten and ashamed. Working hard seems to have gotten me nowhere and unnoticed.

Thank you for reading my long and somewhat depressing story. I wish it had a better, happier ending then it does. But when my good ending finally does come, I will come back and share it and hopefully inspire someone who is going through a rough time recovering or coping with their injruy.

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