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ACL Reconstruction- a personal experience

I ruptured my right ACL during the grand final of the Keith winter basketball season at the start of July. There was no impressive collision or awkward landing which caused my injury... I was doing a layup on a fast break with a defender next to me (something I have done hundreds of times!). I felt my knee buckle and I ended up on the ground… I knew straight away what I had done (I did my left ACL in 2015) and I think that was the hardest part- emotionally knowing what was ahead of me and how much I would miss out on (netball finals, etc).

I had an MRI the day after which showed acute ACL rupture as well as lateral meniscus tear and I saw Dr Greg Keene (my surgeon at sportsmed) the day after. I booked my surgery date for a months’ time which gave me enough time to get work sorted out, let my knee settle down and do a few strengthening exercises before the surgery.

For me the decision to have surgery was easy. I had a good result from surgery on my other knee and my goal is to return to playing netball and basketball again at a competitive level.

I had surgery on the 7th of August in sportsmed hospital. I was discharged the next day with some basic knee exercises (bend my knee up and down, straighten it and try to lift it into the air). I had bruising from my thigh down to my ankle (see the picture) which was very sore however my knee wasn’t too swollen initially which meant I was able to bend my knee well.

Every patient's recovery is different and this can depend on multiple factors (age, exact injury, response to medication and surgery, coping strategy, surgery type, goals, access to gym and physio, and many more factors). For these reasons it is important not to compare yourself to others, however it is often helpful to talk to others who have been through an ACL reconstruction as we know how hard it can be to be motivated for the entire rehab process and how it can be scary at times to learn to trust your knee again.



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