Rob's ACL Experience
I've been unlucky, or lucky, to have had many significant injuries in my life. These injuries started with the time I decided to be Superman while jumping on the living room couch with my sister at the age of 3. Supposedly, because I really have no recollection of the incident, I vaulted myself into the plate glass window which in turn required 15 stitches to close the gap in my forehead. Injuries mounted as I got older and those included: a compound fracture of my left wrist, a severely sprained right ankle requiring 6 weeks of non-weight bearing, a fractured left foot, a fractured right wrist, a fractured left arm and finally a torn ACL.
As I look back on all of my injuries (yes, my parents got very familiar with the ER) I can honestly say that with each injury I felt sorry for myself because I missed out on so many things as a young boy. It was always, "why me?" How could I have possibly realized then that all of those injury experiences would come in handy someday?
None of those injuries came in handy, for what I do now as a profession, more than my ACL rupture and subsequent reconstruction surgery. My injury occurred my senior year of college as my friends and I were playing a friendly game of touch football in the backyard of our college house. It was a warmer than usual day in December and the ground was a bit muddy and soft from the thaw. I was defending a friend as he went out for a pass and my right foot planted in the soft muddy ground and my knee hyperextended. To make matters worse my friend also hit the inside of my knee causing another force that my knee could not handle. It felt like my knee had exploded underneath me. As I lay on the ground in agony I was afraid to look down to my leg as I believed it wasn't attached to me anymore. Thankfully it was and after a ride to the ER, I was placed in a long leg brace.
Fast forward 11 years. My surgery didn't take place at the time of my injury for multiple reasons but mostly because once I was able to regain my range of motion and strength I was lucky to be able to live and perform without my ACL. That was until 11 years later when it became unstable doing everyday things. I was even feeling instability standing still. If not for those feelings I might not have decided to undergo surgery.
Looking back now; I am happy that I did. Not only because the surgery gave me a stable knee again, but also because it gave me firsthand knowledge of what all of my ACL patients endure and have to push through. What a valuable piece of experience I gained from my injury and surgery. That experience has helped me in my career ways that I never would have imagined.
Make sure to check in for my future blog posts about my rehab process as well as life after rehab!