I'm 16, a highschool soccer-playing sophmore, and 4 months into my recovery from surgery for acl/meniscus tear. Is there any one who has been through this before? I've spent the whole school year in physical thearpy, and working out as much as I can at the gym. I'm finally running short distances, and was recently fitted for my brace that I'll wear my first year back. That gives me some hope, but the thing is, most of the time lately, it feels like I'll never play any sports again, it's going to be so much work to get back into soccer-shape when that time does come. and make up for all the skills that I've lost over the year. it starts to seem just cant be done, and even if it can, playing soccer will never be the same as it was before. and with the odds of re-injuring my knee, or injuring the other one, it just seems impossible. How does anyone get past all this negitiveity? how does someone play soccer again after an injury this extreame?
I'm also a sophmore and tore my acl in october. I'm almost four months in from my surgery and i still feel some pain but ive started running some and im getting fitted for my brace in a week or two. You're right it sucks tearing your acl; i plan on playing soccer in college and it makes it that much harder when you can't play for almost a year, especialy when your sophmore year is when you really need to get serious about looking at colleges and getting them to notice you. It makes me dicouraged when i feel like it will never be like it use to be, im afraid that i wont be as agressive as i use to be. God has a plan for me though and he will get me through it! Hang in there, there's hope and you'll get better.
Hey guys, i thought i'd get on here and try to give some words of encouragement. i'm 25...i played soccer all through high school and college. even after college i played in co-ed leagues and indoor leagues. while visiting some friends i played in a pick up game and tore my acl. that was 11 months ago. i just wanted to let you know that you will be back before you know it. i felt the same way as you do now...like i'd never be the same, like i'd never play again. about 6 months after surgery i started running again, around 8 months i ran a half marathon, 9 months i ran another half marathon, and 10 months in, i was playing indoor again with a brace. i'm still wearing my brace and i've been able to get back to my outdoor team. you'd be surprised how much of your touches you retain...its more of the fitness and strength that will be tough to get back. my left leg is still smaller than my right but i've heard that it takes up to 18 months to get all your muscle back.
hang in there...you'll be back before you know it... it's going to be tough and it's going to be painful...i still get sore after every game, run, and workout. it's all a part of recovery.
don't give up.
Have no fear, you will heal! I tore my ACL almost 10 years ago and feel my knee is as strong today as it was then. I was able to play the rest of high school and college (out for one season). I still play soccer (indoor and outdoor) with the intensity I used to, if not more. I don't even wear my brace. I felt it was making my play worse than without it and stopped wearing it about one season in after my injury. It will take some time to recover though, don't get me wrong. If you really love the game, you will find the motivation to get stronger. Take baby steps, it doesn't require a lot of running/activity to work on your ball skills on your own, it might even be better since you don't have to worry about unnecessary contact. You can pull through, it may seem like it'll be forever until you're better, but it will be really quick in the grand scheme of things. Good luck and happy healing!
Hey, when i logged in i saw the post "acl injury anyone been there?" Yes, i have been there. I am a highschool senior who missed my entire summer, fall and half of winter sessions with my premiere team as well as highschool because of an ACL tear. I am just 3 months back into the game and i am already back to where i was skill wise. With the negativity, i remember thinking the same thing. how will i ever be the same or how will my game ever be back to where i was...well it will come back i promise. It takes a lot of time to get back into the shape to run for a full 90 minutes but it will come. The skill and strength that you lost will be back in no time. Going to the gym is the best thing to do. I have been lifting ever since i got hurt and my legs are stronger than they were before. The skill is still there, it never went anywhere. Yes you will be a little rusty when you first start playing again but in about 2 practices, it will be back. When i first came back i didnt have any confidence in my game and i have always been one to be sort of flashy and do a lot of useful moves, and when i came back i thought that those would be a burden seeing as how i didnt want to get hurt again. If you go into a practice or a game nervous and thinking oh i dont want to get hurt, your more susceptable to get hurt again because your mind is not where it should be. When you finally return to play, just play. Dont over think everything, just go out there and do your thing. Yes you will be a little sore after the game or practice, and the best thing to do then is to ice after everything. Whether its just running of lifting or a game...ice ice ice!!!!! ice became my best friend ever since my surgery. Once you get back into the game and the swing of things, everything will be fine. And your not going to re injure your knee unless someone tries to take your knee out forcefully....lol. With your new acl, your doctor should have made it thicker than it was before, which protects from any future injuires. Don't get me wrong it can deffinitley happen, but it is very unlikely. Again, when you get out on the pitch again, just play your game. And if someone does try and take out your knees, let them know whose boss. Dont let anyone push you around....lol Good luck with your recovery and you will be fine!!
wow. that you so much. You have no idea how much better reading ALL of these has made me feel. Quintilani, I'll be 8 months may 5th. I've really started touching the ball and doing drills, the other night I was feeling a little more discouraged than usual, and then I came hope, checked my e-mail, and read this. it just gave me alot of confidence and was exactly all the things I've been needing to hear for a long time. And alot of things I'm definatly going to keep in mind.
So thank you very much, I hope your doing really well. Souds to me like your a great player.
Do you wear a brace while you play???
I tore my ACL twice. The first time when I was 21 and the second was a 1 1/2 ago. The first time was just my ACL and the second time was my ACL and both miniscuses. It was the same knee both times. It took about a 12-18 months until I was playing again. Once I was fully recovered I was playing without any change in my abilities. Hang in there. You are doing the best thing you can by doing your therapy. Make sure to get enough rest as well. The body needs that in order to recover from injuries properly. I would say the main thing that would hold you back from playing at 100% again would be the mental battle. A lot of people are hesitant when coming back from ACL surgery. Stay focused, stay positive and you will be alright.
I've been there. It's frustrating, and I'm 45 years old! Theoretically, you should be able to play without a brace, as your ACL should now be a strong part of your knee. But, I think I wore it more out of mental piece of of mind, rather than anything physical. It took me 2 years before I would play without the brace, but you must remember my age. Keep regularly rehabbing, following your doctor's and therapist's advice, and you'll be fine. GOOD LUCK!
Hey all! Thanks for the great posts. I am a "soccer mom" to a talented 11 year old who tore his ACL in December. We've been going to many doctors to try and decide what to do for him. He is very young to have reconstruction because of his growth plates. Fortunately he is able to continue to play right now (without surgery) but at what cost for further damage in the knee we just don't know. It's a very crappy situation to be in. Great to hear that you are all supporting one another in the recovery process. I haven't given much thought to the recovery process just yet but it doesn't sound easy. Take care to you all and here's to a speedy recovery...SOCCER IS GREAT!
That is definitely an unfortunate situation to be in. I first tore mine when I was 21. There was a kid is rehab with me who was 11 and had the same surgery. Within a month he was running around and playing basketball with his friends. They said because he was younger he recovered a lot faster then what an adult would, naturally. I would try and get surgery before he is too late into his teens where it would affect his development into a great soccer player. I would think the sooner the better. But listen to what ever the doctors say. Obviously they know the best thing for him. Get various opinions. I have several friends who tore their ACL around the same time as myself and what their doctor told them and what my doctor told me were extremely different stories. I used Dr. Westphal out of Lancaster, PA for my last surgery. I have nothing but great things to say about him. Anyone who ever has used him will say the same thing.
I too have had acl/meniscus surgery. It was almost 2 years ago now. I had originally ripped my ACL but did not want the surgery and when I completely tore it (absent ACL) I opted to be a man and go for the surgery. I am 31 yrs old and going strong. Aside from running the 20in24 this coming weekend, I also play volleyball, roller hockey in a league, mountain bike, rock climb and look for more challenges every day. I am not in top condition, however I do push myself to succeed. At 16, it is not the end of the world. Trust yourself and your body when pushing the envelop and be sure to use your brace until you feel it is safe enough not to. To this day I still get slight inflamation when I am done my activities. I still use my brace during hockey only and will probably always use it. Be sure to do all of the exercises your physical trainer has given you so that you will be just as strong if not stronger when you return to sports. I wish you all the best and please be sure to give it your all. Success is a great feeling and overcoming this injury will be a great building block for your successful life!
P.S. - Be the smart person and wear your brace in your games and practice as long as it is allowed. If your coach will not let you, well that is something to take up with your school. I have a Donjoy brace and swear by it. Do not give up and do not let anyone tell you that it is a career ender - Look at players in the NHL who finish a season with a torn ACL or Donovan McNabb with the Philadelphia Eagles, although he is not that great now, he still recovered in a year and was playing at the NFL Level.
I tore my ACL, MCL, and meniscus in the last tournament of my last season with my club team. I was 18 years old and hoping to play in college. That pretty much ended that. A friend of mine had torn her ACL a few years back, and I remembered watching her and noting how hesitant she was to go in hard for the ball. I was afraid I would end up like that, which would ruin me as a player, because I had never been afraid to play physical and challenge for 50/50s. I needn't have worried. After 6 months I got back into running and stuff, and after about 8 months I started playing soccer again. Just pickup with friends at first--I was a little frustrated with how rusty my skills were, but it's like riding a bike: after some early frustration, your body remembers what it's supposed to do. It's been about 14 months since I had surgery and now I'm a girl playing a lot of indoor in the adult co-ed league taking on men twice my age. Once I get into the game, I don't even think about my knee anymore; my leg is as strong as it was before and I have better things to worry about than getting hurt again. My coach had always told my team that it's when you let up at the last second when challenging for the ball that gets you hurt. You aren't going to get hurt if you're 100% confident that you're the better player and you play hard and prove it. I wore a brace for about the first month back, when I was playing pickup and indoor, but once I forgot to bring my brace to an indoor game and thus played without it. I didn't even notice a difference. Really, it's just a matter or confidence. If you don't play hard, you're going to get run over and that's when you're going to get hurt. That's always how it is, even if you're the healthiest player out there who has never been injured. You have to play strong and don't let anyone push you around.
I know I'm responding well after your original post, so you may very well be playing like you used to at this point, but I just thought I'd put in my $.02 since I know how frustrating it is to come back from ACL reconstruction. Just know that you can ALWAYS come back. It won't be easy, but if you love the game, it will be worth it.
I've been through the ACL replacement surgery myself, replacing the blown ligament with a portion of my patellar tendon. I would say that the most practical advice that I can give is to follow your rehabilitation schedule to the letter and not try to push yourself. Do not run the risk of re-injuring yourself by taking on more than your knee can handle. More than likely you will be able to play again at 100% or close to it. I have a good friend who tore up his ACL five years ago (at age 35) who is now in the best shape of his life. He not only was able to return to soccer but is now a competitive triathlete as well. Don't lose hope -- hang in there.
My name is Steve. I coach two girls competitive teams in Anchorage, Alaska and I know exactly what you are going through and how you feel.
First let me say, I am sorry that you are having to go through this however, you are not alone. ACL tears and reconstruction are extremely common, especially in female players.
My oldest daughter tore her ACL and damaged her meniscus when she was 14 years old while at the Far West Region IV tournament. This was a extremely big blow to her because she was such a competitive player with dreams of playing ball in college etc. I have also been through the torn ACL process myself. When I was in my early thirties and still very much competitive playing basketball I tore all four of my ligaments, destroyed my meniscus, and broke part of my femur. It was extremely bad and I felt like my competitive days were over.
When I damaged my knee so badly I started researching rehab, Dr.s, and everything I could to help me learn exactly what my options were. Fortunately, I found a Dr. located in Vail, Colorado named Dr. Richard Steadman of the Steadman Hawkins Clinic. He is the leading orthopedic surgeon in the world for knees and he was my, as well as my daughters, savior. I can't even begin to describe how amazing this man is and what he did for the two of us. When all the other Dr.s I talked to told me that I would never walk properly, run again properly etc., Dr. Steadman was nothing short of positive, supportive, and there for me.
Long story short, if you desire to be back at the level of play you were at, you can be! Just focus on the feeling that you had playing and enjoying the game the way you did before your injury. Soccer skills are a lot like riding a bike. They are embedded in your mind. Fitness will be your biggest issue and as long as you are willing to put in the time and effort you can always have that back! Don't allow yourself to get down no matter what! Your mind is more powerful than anything else and if you keep it strong it will be there for you whenever you need it!
My daughter, by the way, has fully recovered and is playing soccer again. She is every bit as skilled as she ever was maybe better in a lot of ways and she is loving the game more than ever. She still wears her brace and it doesn't affect the way she plays at all!
YOU CAN DO IT! HANG IN THERE!
Coach Steve from Alaska
Don't give up. My husband tore his acl a couple of years ago playing soccer. He opted not to have surgery and although he is not playing soccer anymore, he is playing squash most days of the week, quite well without any brace. He is 44 so fitness played a key reason in his choice not to try and play soccer again.
Good luck and keep at it, you have a lot of years ahead of you.