With the recent buzz about famous athletes experiencing an ACL tear, You might ask what are they, and why does it take so long to recover? Well, I can tell you firsthand that it’s not only a time consuming recovery process but is also something that is a recurring issue in hardworking athletes. This recently happened to me about 3-4 months ago, so you can say I’ve been through it all. This blog is about my encounters, the surgery, recovery time, and other important interesting facts about my story and ACL tears.
ACL stands for the Anterior Cruciate Ligament. It is located in between the thigh bone (femur) and the Tibia bone. This ligament controls some of the movement and bending in your knee. Without it your leg can buckle or sometimes move out of place causing other things to be damaged. It is basically in simplified terms a ligament used for stability in the joint for movement. An ACL can be torn by s sudden stop in motion or twisting your leg in an unnatural way. I’ll give you a little background on the topic before I jump into my story and other facts. If you are to tear your ACL the recovery time is 6-8 months. The reason why it’s so long is you must work on gaining your range of motion back. (Remember that it’s a tendon they take, so it has to prepare itself and become a ligament.) You also have to gain all the strength back in your hamstrings and other muscles that has depleted due to not being as active as you were before the surgery. (A big thing for me was to work on my hip flexures, this helps you land properly and take the impact better.) Also to get all your flexibility back, and many other factors. You could say that with suffering from an ACL tear it’s not something that can get better right away.
The procedure I had done was a one hour operation. It’s called the Hamstring tendon graph reconstruction. What the doctor did was take a hamstring tendon from the back of my thigh since that is where it’s located and then cut out one to two strips depending on the strength of them. Hamstrings can heal on themselves while ligaments cannot. Three incisions were made on my knee. One was used to extract the Hamstring Tendon and the other were used to take my torn ACL out and put my soon to be one back in! After they strung the Hamstring they put two small metal clasps on each side to secure it in place. I woke up an hour later feeling groggy and the anesthesia doesn’t give you the greatest feeling after. Overall the surgery went great and I’m glad to say there hasn’t been anything from stopping me from recovering.
Here are a few facts about ACL tears that I’ve learned from having many doctors’ appointments. ACL tears most commonly happen to women. You can have it torn by twisting it the wrong way while landing or having somebody pushed into you. You are also more at risk in the first ten months of your surgery of tearing your other Anterior Cruciate Ligament. Symptoms of an ACL tear are extreme swelling, your knee giving out at random times, feeling a strain in the joint, or having it bruised. There is much more but those are the symptoms I personally had. Having your ACL torn is not something fun; the recovery time is also very frustrating.
Overall I’ve learned many facts about the knee, the procedure, and how to prevent it. If I haven’t mentioned yet in the moment it does happen you can have other tings happen like a small part of your shock absorber tore, your meniscus tore, or other ligaments. That has also happened to me. With famous athletes having there ACL tear you now know that it’s a long process. Let’s hope for the new theories out there on potentially making a way for ACL tears recovery time to be shorter. Thanks for reading this article; I hope you’ve enjoyed this entry.
What do you think of ACL tears?
Do you know somebody that’s had a ACL tear happen to them?
Are ACL tears more common in women or men?