Share your Story

Motocross ACL Injury - Share your storyHow did you tear your ACL?

People can tear their ACLs in a variety of ways. It can occur from high impact sports like motocross or karate, or doing mundane things like walking down stairs or hopping out of bed. Videos actually show athletes tearing their ACLs, not for faint of heart, but give you an idea of how it happens and what it’s like.

How most people tear their ACL
(From December 2010 survey)

Basketball 11.8%
Football 11.8%
Skiing 13.7%
Soccer 23.5%
Other 39.2%

The ‘other’ group contained random activities, such as:

Karate ACL Injury, courtesy of Genista (Flickr)Wrestling
Motorcycle accident
Ultimate Frisbee
MMA fight
Floor hockey
Training with marines
Jumped off truck tailgate

We look forward to hearing your story on how you hurt your knee…

12 thoughts on “Share your Story”

  1. I tore mine playing ultimate frisbee a couple years ago. I jumped to catch the disc and landed wrong with my weight off-balance on one leg on uneven grass. It made an audible pop sound and it felt weird. It didn’t hurt though. I walked away just fine for about 20 feet, then felt a little pain. I was not able to bend the knee normally (probably from swelling) and I limped to my vehicle and drove home. A few hours later and especially the next day, I couldn’t walk hardly at all. Very difficult. For whatever reason it wasn’t painful from the time of the incident to before having surgery.

  2. I tore my acl in both knees playing high school girls basketball and it was the worst pain in my entire life. My first tear was in 10th grade, had the surgery went well until my 11th grade year started having pain due to a screw not dissolving. Got that fixed and knee was 100% back to normal. Then my senior year i tore my other one in a game and got the sugery right away but now 8 months after surgery im having the same problem with the dissolving screw. So having another surgery in december to remove it:( I just cant win with these knees.

  3. I had ACL surgery with a hamstring graft- took about a year to feel back to ‘normal’, but 2 years later, I jumped my dirt bike, got off balance in mid air and landed with most of my weight on my foot of my reconstructed knee. It didn’t pop, but I felt something weird happen. It was sore later and some time later I discovered that it’s much looser than my normal knee. I think I stretched out the graft. argh! so frustrating when you spend thousands of dollars and all that rehab. It doesn’t make sense to cease all sports though. You do all that work so you can enjoy an active life, not sit around and do nothing so you don’t risk hurting it. Anyway, it’s frustrating, but it’s still tighter than it was pre-surgery.

  4. I tore my ACL as well as my MCL, because of the MCL the surgeon wanted to postpone the surgery about 6 weeks (the ACL was fully torn and needed full reconstruction while the MCL was only a third of the way torn and would heal). I wore a brace for the MCL but the part that got me the most was how much I had to stop. I cheered on two competitive teams and took dance, doing athletics through out my entire life had become the norm for me but I had to stop it all. I had previous meniscus surgery on my other knee, but the pain and down down was only about 1% compared to that of this injury. It has been a little over a week since surgery and I am getting better by the day. It has been slow, something everyone told me yet I did not want to believe it was true. No one can prepare you for something like this, such simple exercises seem so difficult now, even though I was in great shape and physical health before this. My
    Injury and case has been unique because of the MCL, my PT will be different and I will still wear the brace and be on crutches fora couple weeks, gradually adding weight. I ask, if you know someone with an ACL injury, be nice to them, you never know if it will happen to you, and they are tough to deal with.
    Just if you were wondering, my petelar tendon was used, and it has been very painful to bend my leg. I got lucky that my MCL was healed by the time of surgery and was not operated on.

  5. I tore my ACL playing in a football game in high school but the thing about it is I didn’t know I tore it until I went to the doctor and get it looked at thats like the hardest six months ever in my life so far but I’m over it now I’m about to get out of high school now in a few more months don’t know if I want to play football again but I’m going to do my best

  6. I tore my ACL about 4 months ago during football practice, i was playing as a defensive end… i didn’t chop my feet, so i caught a pothole in the practice field and my leg hyperextended. I was out the rest of the season i had surgery on November 9, a full ACL replacement by Dr. Spencer Coray, i am now in track adn field in highschool as a freshman, strengthening my knee in the weightroom and hopeful of next year as a Sophmore to not tear my ACL again.

  7. i torn my acl while playing soccer, after being fooled my a defender.
    i went with Hamstring graft surgery.
    My surgery was on 15 feb 2012 and after 2 weeks i came to know about LARS ligament reconstruction and i felt really bad about it.
    Any day i would have preferred Lars reconstruction with so many benefits over hamstring graft or patella graft.
    i missed on it.
    You guys DO your search on LARS b4 ur surgrey, i think it can b better

  8. I had torn both my ACLs, 10 years apart. The first ACL surgery was an patella tendon graft on my right knee. There was moderate, tolerable pain even when I took no painkillers. The only problems I’ve had in the past 10 years is tendonitis due to rehabbing too quickly (which has gone away) and my knee cracking when I squat.

    I tore my second ACL, but decided on a hamstring graft. This was a MISTAKE. It is a year after my surgery, and I still can not run. The doctor cut a nerve while harvesting my hamstring; I now can not feel my lower left leg from the knee down and it can not be fixed. I also can not lift 5 pounds with my left hamstring since part of my hamstring was used for my ACL. The doctor said it would decrease my hamstring strength by 10%, which in my case, was untrue. It has been a year since my second ACL reconstructive surgery.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that Sue. That’s really unfortunate. You’re just a victim of a random mistake. It’s so true that any surgery is a risk. Hope you keep your head up and are able to enjoy the physical ability you have.

  9. I’m 17 years old and have played soccer very competitively throughout high school and middle school, especially my 11th grade year. About 2 months ago, I was playing in a 3v3 soccer tournament when I had a bad fall and heard a loud pop in my left knee. I think I knew immediately that it was my ACL, no matter how hard I tried to convince myself that maybe it was just a healthy “pop” or “crack.” However, soon the pain became undeniable, and so did the fact that I could not stand or walk without the sudden buckling of my knee. It was scary.

    A couple days following my injury, I visited the orthopedic doctor, who confirmed that it was an ACL tear. To say the very least, I was devastated, after having committed so much effort into the sport, and seeing a teammate and friend of mine experience the same injury and reconstructive surgery only a month before. So I was very aware of hardships of this, but somehow, when she had torn her ACL, this injury seemed so unrealistic or out of reach, like it could never happen to me.

    I had an MRI a few days later, which revealed that I had also torn both my lateral and medial menisci: A small tear on the lateral, and a much larger one on the medial. By this time, I was going to physical therapy and doing leg exercises twice a day, every day. “Prehab” was the best; I felt better after each session. My swelling went down and pain was not an issue. Range of motion was hard to achieve, most likely due to the pieces of torn menisci obstructing the flexing of my knee, according to my therapist. I was able to get extension much more easily. I was anxious for surgery, eager to have it done because I knew it meant I could get back to being active sooner. Fortunately, my operation was made a priority because I attend a boarding school and it was necessary that I be over the “hump” before school started. I was very comfortable with my surgeon, very aware of the procedure, and very ready for it to be done.

    Surgery went well. We used my hamstring to make the graft, and because I am relatively lean, my surgeon added part of a donor’s hamstring to mine to increase the bulk. Something that the surgeon anticipated was the repairing of my largely torn medial meniscus. Come surgery day, he did do this, which is better in the long run because I won’t lose any cartilage, but it is a pain in the short run because I am non weight bearing for up to 12 weeks post-op. Bearing weight apparently has the potential to remove the sutures that the doctor placed in my meniscus. This has definitely been the most physically trying part of my recovery thus far. I am not sure what the norm is for just ACL reconstructive surgery patients as far as starting to walk, but I am almost 3 weeks post surgery, still relying heavily on crutches, and most likely will be for at least another month. Additionally, I should not flex my knee past 90 degrees, for that also risks pulling out the stitches in my cartilage. ROM has been kind of a nightmare.

    Prehab was a walk in the park compared to post surgery rehab. No weight bearing has meant that getting my leg to extend to 0 degrees is an everyday battle. Extending my knee is like fighting with a stubborn child. There is also a lot of muscle atrophy in my quad, hamstring, calf, and glut, limited to the left side of my body. It’s all very unbalanced, and I definitely have my work cut out for me. Pain was not tolerable without the prescription medication for almost 2 weeks post op, but I tried to take extra-strength Tylenol rather than the narcotic because, well, it’s a narcotic and I felt like I was going loopy…I am currently taking Tylenol as needed, which is about one dose of 1000 mg per day (on a bad day).

    It has been a very steep uphill climb so far, both mentally and physically. It’s hard to be away from sports and to not be able to “trust” my leg as I have been able to do so often in the past. I have had to suppress a lot of emotions when my friends and family ask me what I did to my knee. I try very hard not to brood over the things I know I will be missing during the upcoming school soccer season (which is in the fall for girls, where I attend school). I still have days where the only thing I know what to do with myself is throw pity parties because I feel so restricted in my mobility. It’s very difficult to be mentally strong despite knowing how encouraging my support team of doctors, PTs, friends, and family is, especially my teammate and friend who knows all too well what I’m dealing with and will be on the sidelines with me this season as she continues with her recovery. Even with the support, this recovery can seem like a very lonely road.

    But everyday, however little I notice it, must be getting better somehow. I really can only see things improving from here. The one thing I am apprehensive about is how my meniscal repair and non weight bearing affects my recovery. How far does it set me back, as far as when I can start running? Before the MRI showed the damage to the menisci, I was told that running would be possible 3 months post op. I am already looking forward to indoor track come December and I am not sure how the repair changes my ability to participate, if at all. I run middle distance and some sprints, including 400m, 600m, 800m, and 4×4 relay. I will make sure to ask the doctor the next time I visit, but I’m hoping that someone who has had a similar experience with the repaired meniscus might be able to shed some light on this subject. Maybe I’m not looking in the right place, but I haven’t seen any repaired meniscus stories. Still, this site is empowering and incredibly uplifting and I’m glad to have stumbled upon it.

  10. I actually don’t know if I have an acl tear. I have surgery tomorrow to repair a fibular avulsion fracture and based on the MRI, my doc says my acl is probably torn. He recommends the hammy graft. My question is whether they first check the acl before grafting the hammy? Seems like they should if the MRI wasn’t clear. Thoughts? Thanks.

  11. I torn my ACL doing floor care at work. My surgeon went with my hamstring. After surgery something wasn’t feeling right. My doctor said there wasn’t anything wrong with me, he didn’t even do an exam. From that point forward he released my case and would not see me anymore. My primary doctor would not see me because it was work related. It took four years to get a second opinion and an MRI done. The MRI showed my hardware broken in two locations. Now I’m waiting for a Second surgery to be approved…… But still no luck.

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