Among athletes, a torn ACL is not an exceptionally rare occurrence. I have several friends who have had reconstructive ACL surgery and the majority have been fine afterwards. However, my situation is a little more complicated, involving 3 separate incidents that all contributed to my current knee situation.
1) Tore my right PCL playing football my senior year of high school.
Still don’t really know how this one happened. Apparently it’s rare to find someone who has torn their PCL in something other than a car crash. Anyway, I opted not to have the PCL repaired at first because my doctor told me I would be just fine without it.
2) Tore my left ACL playing basketball in December of my junior year.
I wrote about this for my friend Dan’s blog here: Playing with a Torn ACL
Basically, I tore my ACL playing intramural basketball like an idiot and decided to play my junior and senior seasons of baseball with a brace rather than get surgery.
3) Tore my right ACL playing pickup basketball last December.
This last injury meant that I would absolutely need surgery on my right knee. It also contributed to my to decision to never, ever play basketball again even though I’m sick nasty at it, as you can see from the following photograph of me dunking on Michael Jordan.
That’s right, a guy who beat a team of cartoon monsters couldn’t even slow me down.
Anyway, my right knee was completely useless at that point without either cruciate ligament to stabilize it. So I went in on May 28th to have my ACL and PCL rebuilt. My new ACL is made of part of my patellar tendon, and they gave me a dead guy’s PCL, which means I’m going to refer to it as my “zombie knee” from now on. 6 weeks after that surgery, I’m going to have to go back in to get my left ACL replaced as well. In short, my orthopedic surgeon is going to be able to buy himself several boats when he’s finally finished patching me up.
So that’s my story in a nutshell. My only advice after this would be to just take care of your injuries ASAP rather than letting them pile up and having to deal with them all later in life. I’ll be goose-stepping around the house in locked stabilizer braces for twice as long now because I didn’t take care of myself when I had the chance. But on the bright side, I’ll eventually be able to throw down 360 tomahawk jams again after about 9 months of rehab, so it’s not that big a deal in the long run.