It was my sophomore year of high school when it happened. In the middle of our basketball season we were playing a game at Creston High School. I was feeling good. I stretched and was ready for the game. About four minutes into the first quarter I was dribbling down the sideline of the court. I turned to pass back to my teammate when all of a sudden it felt as if my knee had been kicked in from the side. As I fell to the ground, I heard a loud pop and instantly grabbed my knee. I hadn’t felt anything like it before. I wasn’t sure what to expect since this was my first serious injury. I cried as the athletic trainer asked questions and handled my knee. After the athletic trainer straightened my knee and I got up, I remember thinking, “I’ll definitely go back in the fourth quarter.”
As I hobbled off the court and into the athletic trainer’s office, I felt checking my knee was unnecessary. Sure it hurt a little, but I was ready to go back in. The trainer checked it, felt around, bent it, straightened it, etc. When he looked up at me and said it was possibly an ACL tear, I couldn’t believe it. I had known many people who had torn their ACL but I never thought it would happen to me. The game passed as I sat on the bench, crutches by my side. The next day I went to get an MRI at Iowa Ortho and sure enough, I had torn my anterior cruciate ligament, a ligament located in the center of the knee. It controls rotation, forward movements of the tibia and stabilizes the knee and the movements it makes.
Treatment was short, but recovery was long. I got in for the procedure and was able to go home the same day. Recovery was about six months of physical therapy, a few doctor’s visits and a lot of down-time. Physical therapy consisted of leg raises, band exercises, ab workouts, glute strengthening and overall just retraining the ligament within my knee. This was very important since part of my hamstring was removed and put in place of the torn ACL during the procedure.
Dr. Vinyard was such a great doctor. He explained everything to me and my family. Dr. Vinyard actually had a vacation planned after my initial visit. Instead of turning my care over to another doctor, he took care of me and performed my surgery before he left. As strange as it sounds, I am so grateful my injury happened. Not only did it lead to my interest in the physical therapy field, but it also allowed me to get stronger and learn more about how to better my body. I have since returned to all the activities I participated in prior to my injury. I started volleyball and basketball my junior year and earned an all-district award for basketball. At our conference track and field championships, I placed first in the 800-meter run and distance medley relay. At districts, I placed third in the same events and ended up earning a spot at the state championships. With my senior year underway, I am competing in volleyball and recently committed to Central College to continue playing volleyball and pursue Central’s pre-professional program in physical therapy. Looking back, without tearing my ACL, none of this would have been possible. I am so grateful for everyone at Iowa Ortho and Select Physical Therapy, and all they did for me.