Yes, just hours into my summer break during which SOooo many fun activities were planned. I was at soccer and tore my right ACL.
Nothing spectacular. I just stepped funny on the turf during a run and hyperextended and popped it. I knew what it was instantly, and I was so mad that it didn't even really hurt. I went down and rolled around for about 15 seconds...then got up and limped off with some support, swearing like a sailor the whole time. I did get hit by a girl on the side of that knee earlier in the game, but that happens all the time and so I did what I usually do - ignore it and carry on. In retrospect, I think that hit weakened my knee, so I couldn't recover when I caught my foot on the turf.
I thought, well - isn't a torn ACL supposed to hurt a really lot and you roll around on the floor screaming for a minute? It gave me a little hope that I tore meniscus. But, based on how I did it, I was pretty sure it was ACL.
I started emailing PT profs immediately asking for referrals, favors, whatever I can get. Got in to Dr. Eric McCarty in Boulder (CU Buffs team doctor) the Monday after, 8/12. It took him all of 3 minutes to decide it was torn and I don't even need an MRI and he'll just fix any meniscal damage he finds when he gets in there, and lets do surgery because he just had a cancellation and I've done a good job keeping the swelling down. A lot to take in. He asked me what graft I was thinking and I hadn't even considered it - denial 101.
SO, as the stars aligned, I am going to have my reconstruction surgery tomorrow at 7:30am at Boulder Surgery Center.
We've selected a hamstring graft with possible cadaver reinforcement if my tendon isn't big enough to create the graft from. (which is unlikely due to manlegs) What they do is harvest longitudinal strips of tendon from your semitendinosis hamstring, and sometimes your gracilis muscle too, and sew them together into a frankenstein ACL. If the surgeon can't get a sturdy enough harvest, he will reinforce it with cadaver tissue. This is the strongest graft (as I requested), but not the easiest or fastest recovery. Patellar grafts heal faster, but I can't risk the possible side effect (20-35% likelihood I think I read) of permanent anterior knee pain/ patellar tendon tissue necrosis/ nerve damage since I have to crawl around on my knees a lot for my future job. Quadriceps graft was just out of the question in my book. Don't touch the guns. So...we're left with hammy. I figure, I got three, I can make it work with 2.9 from here out...Then they drill a buncha holes and screws into your bones to attach the new ACL. Just a buncha carpentry but on bones. PT starts on Friday, another favor called in since I have crappy insurance nobody wants to accept in the PT world (go figure). I'm going to rock it and ski in March. Boom.
So goodbye solid food, goodbye walking, goodbye remaining fully clothed in front of strange men, goodbye using the toilet independently...goodbye fully formed semitendinosis. This should be fun.
I'll leave you with this: I went to my Chinese Med doc today to get some special sauce for post-op and his quote of the day was "Do you know why this happened? Because you're fu@&ing OLD. Why the hell are you playing SOCCER?! Dude, you're OLD. I told you to WALK. And stop drinking so much coffee, you know that isn't right." -bossypants. ha.