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Real Patient: Traumatic Knee Injury


When I hurt my knee, I was playing gatorball. It’s a cross between soccer, rugby, and American football. I was trying to run with the ball and make a cut to get around an individual to score. And when I made that cut, it just, my knee kind of just felt like it exploded from the inside.
They diagnosed that my ACL was torn and possible meniscus tears. I ended up going with the patellar reconstruction because that was the most stable option afterwards. Post surgery, it was the most stable to recover fully, to get a hundred percent recovery back into my active lifestyle. That was the best option even though it was the hardest recovery. Patellar reconstructions really take the middle third of your patellar tendon and create a tunnel and twist, twist that tendon and basically replace the old ACL.
I was doing mainly range-of-motion exercises when I started physical therapy. Trying to get, get that knee to bend as far as it could and straighten out as far as it could was the first month. So the pain level was pretty high during that. Especially the very first visit was pretty bad trying to get that. But it went well. The therapist had to set me on a table and manipulate my knee to bring it back to that 90 degrees or as close as possible.
The effect of my knee injury was pretty significant. Especially initially right after the injury. Not being able to, to going from running or working out six days a week to zero was pretty significant to me. And also post surgery, you know, with my wife and having to need extra care and, you know, to be taken to physical therapy and back and not being self-sufficient at all.
Now my activity level is basically 100 percent. I haven’t been able to run quite like I was. It’s going to take time for me to get back up to the mileage that I was performing before. Activity-wise I’ve been to softball practice and playing gatorball again with our squadron. So, I’ve recovered, you know, really well.
I don’t wear any brace now playing sports and doing any activities. I asked the orthopedic surgeon about, I thought once I graduated from wearing the brace and was able to start activity that I needed a brace, she said that with the surgeries they perform today and the technology they have and confidence in surgery that braces afterwards aren’t needed anymore.
This is the first serious injury I’ve had and playing sports my whole life, I never thought at 37 that I would have a serious injury. You expect those things to happen, I guess, earlier. So it was kind of surprising.
The support I received from everybody was definitely helpful in helping me maintain a positive attitude and come out of this, you know, hopefully better than I was to begin with. You know, that was the goal to try to get right back at it. My injured knee feels almost like my uninjured knee. The further time goes on, I’m able to do more. And there hasn’t been any setbacks and feels like it’s slowly just becoming a normal part of my body again.
Stay positive, you can come back all the way from this. You know, seek support from those who are positive. Don’t dwell on anything negative. And don’t let setbacks, if there are any, or don’t let any of the process overwhelm you. Because you can recover fully from this.