• Claire Riley

Real Stories of ACL Tears of Viz Students

Because I have personally fallen victim recently to my own ACL tear, I have begun to do some research. These injuries are very common with up to 200,000 ACLs torn per year in the United States alone! That is insane to me, having gone through it myself, and as I looked around Viz I realized that many of us have fallen victim to this horrible injury. These are their stories: Annie Restovich I tore my ACL on July 6th of 2021. It was on the first day of my first summer AAU basketball tournament out of town since May. I’ll probably never forget the moment of when it actually happened, but I do feel that I have grown in many ways that I would not have if this didn’t happen. To explain how it happened, I just remember that I got a defensive rebound and went down the opposite end to try and draw a foul on the left side while going up for a layup. As I was stepping down to make the contact, someone hit me from the opposite side and my left knee collapsed in. I had never had a serious injury before, but for some reason I knew that it was my ACL right away, which was the worst feeling of frustration I had ever felt. I remember feeling a pop in the inside of my knee and I could not move after it happened. The trainer at the tournament did some tests and I saw her whisper something to my aunt, so I think everyone kind of knew. The healing process has been pretty tough but as I am in the second half (about 6 months out of surgery), it's crazy to think how fast it has gone by. I didn’t play field hockey this year and won’t make it back for basketball, so it sucks to have to miss out on what I love to do most, but there are always different ways to learn and get better. Obviously there have been plenty of slow days and plenty of bad days along the way, but it is very cool to see how far I have gone since the day it happened. There is still lots of work to be put in to get back to playing the way I did, but I am thankful for the growth and am very hopeful as I somewhat near the end. Maggie Wright I tore my ACL, MCL, and Meniscus on November 4, 2020. It was a Saturday, and my teams final MRL league weekend. I actually do not know when I tore it, there were a few times when it popped. I had a pulled quad during the game, and was favoring my left leg. The other team had a break away, and I was defending. The girl attempted to cross the ball, but I blocked it with my left foot. I landed on the side of my ankle and I remembering a shooting pain in my whole leg. I remember looking at my center back and telling her that I had to go out. I walked off the field, and originally thought it was my ankle. As I walked back, I didn’t have much pain and I actually thought that I was being dramatic. The first actual pop I heard was when I jumped up on the training cart. It was so painful and I tried so hard not to cry. I remember asking the trainer if there was any way I could go back in and he rolled his eyes at me. I found out a week later that I would not be able to go back in for a while. I am now 13 months post op, and it has been one of the hardest things I have done. I missed freshman year high school soccer, as well as sophomore club season. Although not playing was hard, I had time to focus on myself, my friends, my family, and also develop my soccer knowledge from the sidelines. I am so excited to be back and grateful that I am able to be. This experience taught me to value all I have, as one bad step can take it all away. I am grateful to have pushed through my injury, but if this happens again I will 1000 percent be quitting. Hailey Robinson I injured my knee during a Viz soccer game. It was the third game and about fifteen minutes into the first half. We had a corner but no one to get to the ball, and I ran out of the box to chase after it, as well as a defender. After catching up with the ball and the opponent, I lunge to guard the ball and steal it. My knee slid farther than it should've, causing my ACL to explode, as well as my leg bones to collide. All of this occurred on April 2nd, 2021, with my surgery scheduled nineteen days later. The whole surgery process was a breeze, in and out of the surgery center in just a couple of hours, but I had a long road of physical therapy and rehab ahead of me. After surgery, I started physical therapy very soon, and I went twice a week for eight months straight. Over the summer, soon after being cleared to run again in early July, I started working out to build back mobility, as well as limb strength in my injured leg. I was cleared for non-contact practice around late September, excited to do things with my team finally. As soon as I surpassed this goal, the months flew by, and before I knew it, I was cleared for contact practice in December. And finally, on January 1st, 2022, I was cleared for full-on contact, expecting to play my first games back in a couple of weeks. Emma Behrman Exactly halfway through my lacrosse season last year, I thought I just dislocated my knee again. I have been dealing with recurring knee dislocations since middle school and had already gotten knee surgery in 7th grade to stabilize my patella. During lacrosse practice, I was sprinting for a drill and took a quick pivot. I heard a pop and it felt like someone kicked the back of my knee, but no one was there. I fell to the ground and couldn’t straighten my leg. However, I wasn’t really worried. I thought I just dislocated my knee again and that I would be able to play in our game against Incarnate Word the next day. The next day I went to my orthopedist and got an MRI, missing JBD in the process. My doctor recommended that I not play in the game that day because he wanted to check the MRI first. Halfway through the game, my mom walked over to the bench and told me the MRI results came back. I tore my ACL, medial and lateral meniscus. She told me I would need to get surgery and that it would end my lacrosse season. I had no clue why this would happen to me, and I was crushed. A few weeks later, I had surgery to repair my knee. The recovery after surgery was the hardest part of the experience. I was bedridden and in the worst pain of my entire life. My friends and family got me through this rough time. My lacrosse team brought me flowers, my brother organized my medications, and friends brought be brownies. After a month or so, I began physical therapy and worked to get back to normal. I learned to walk again, increased my knee flexion, and learned strengthening exercises for three days a week throughout the rest of the summer and into the school year. Although I couldn’t place field hockey this year because of my knee, I am excited to be able to play lacrosse this season. I have still been doing physical therapy a couple times a week just to prepare my knees for lacrosse season and am basically back to normal. Although it was a long process, I am excited that I have been able to overcome my torn ACL and return to sports!