What Is Torn ACL ?
ACL - Anterior Cruciate Ligament. Without surgery, a person with a torn ACL is at risk for repeated knee instability. Each time the knee gives out, there is a risk of increased damage to the meniscal or surface cartilage in the knee, which is extremely difficult to repair and can cause arthritis later in life. But, Surgical treatment for a torn ACL is not always necessary.
Although surgical intervention often leads to complete success, not everyone needs the ligament to return to his or her pre-injury level of function.I am not an athlete nor a very active person but my ACL injury last December 2006 was caused by slipping at the back of a passenger Toyota Revo. It was raining and the small foot trail was wet. As I was getting out, I suddenly lost balance and slipped on my left foot. The full weight of my body pressing down on my left leg. Upon impact on the pavement, I heard a loud popping sound kind of like bones snapping. I landed on my back and good thing since I was carrying a big duffel bag, this served as a cushion on my back and spine. I howled in pain when the driver attempted to help me stand. Upto now, whenever I think about that experience, "nangingilo ngipin ko" just remembering the pain.
If you don’t do sports that require an ACL , and you don’t have an unstable knee , then you may not need ACL surgery. One type of graft used to replace the torn ACL is the patellar tendon . This tendon connects the kneecap ( patella ) to the tibia. ACL injuries typically occur with a twisting or pivoting motion or a direct blow to the knee. A lot of these injuries occur during high impact sports like football, soccer, tennis or running at a high speed. - ACL-tear
Dripping wet because of the rain while I was in pain, I was rushed to the nearest public hospital where I waited 2 hours before I was attended to. (This is after I bitched about the hospital nurses not doing their job). They did x-ray and said no bones was fructured and said it was only a sprain and I should be back on my feet within 3 days. (It was a lie! I was not able to walk within 3 days!)
I tried to walk but my left knee buckled and gave way. I knew there was something seriously wrong. I told my mom to find a taxi and at 4am, I wanted us to go to Makati Med to get a second opinion and the best medical care. At the Makati Med, they re did an xray, inserted some intra-venous pain medicine and checked the swelling on my knee. At the wee hours of the morning, they had to call another doctor, an orthopedic doctor to examine. The next day, I was told to have an MRI. (This is like an xray but instead of bones, it would show you a picture of tissues, muscles and ligament section by section). The orthopedic doctor said it was an ACL tear. This is the first time I heard about it. He explained to my mom and me what this is about. ACL has no cure. It doesnt heal on it's own technically. The only process to get the knee to perform how it used to be is to get it surgically fixed. This elaborate surgery has an option to get a replacement from a cadaver or from your own hamstring tendons. I was worried that I would not be able to walk again ever!.... I had an assurance from the doctor that I will still be able to walk but this needs physical therapy and I can forego the surgery. But! But, I should not do any athletic activities like, running, basketball, tennis, dancing or activities that will require my knee to pivot or twist. Or I risk getting my other ligaments injured.
For 2 weeks, I needed wheel-chair to go around. I even needed someone to accompany me in peeing. I needed someone to do things for me like processing HMO papers, since I can't walk. I can only crawl that time. Good thing I had the most loving mother who endured all my bitchyness during these times. Yes, emotional time brought out all the evil in me. I was not able to go to work for weeks. I can't go to the comfort room and pee because squatting or bending my knee to sit is painful. I can't help around the house. Since I was also the breadwinner for the family, I feared I could not work again. Being alone in the house was unbearable during those times. I even thought about killing myself if I wont be able to get back up and work.
I did 1 month of physical therapy and slowly, I was able to walk straight again. Although sometimes, my knees would wobble I am just happy that God allowed me to walk again. Prayers from my mom might have worked so much on it. Sometimes, being a clumsy person that I am, I have slipped and sprain again my knees for like 3 times over these past years. Each time getting my mom soo worried. Once, I was alone in the house and slipped, I thought I was seriously injured again. It took me 1 hour before I was able to get up. Although that unforgettable injury was years ago, because I refused to get my ACL fixed through surgery, they are still not stable. I am still not able to do pivots and forever will not be able to play tennis (I so love to learn how to play this sport).
I am still researching if I can join running events. For now, I will stick to brisk walking to get fit. Maybe after a few months of getting my knees to walk long distances it would cooperate with me in my goal to jog a little then be able to run.