I can’t believe the thing I love to rehab the most is now going to be the thing I will have to rehab myself with. The ACL is one of the most unique structures in our body, with the ability to resist sagittal, frontal, and traverse plane forces in our knee. I have been fortunate enough to work in the sports field my entire career and have become an expert at ACL injuries and rehab post-op reconstruction. With my experience and passion for ACLs, I feel like I am one of the best sports physical therapists in the LA region to rehab ACLs.
I decided to take Lee Taft’s Speeds course to increase my bag of knowledge on return to sports and how I can further enhance my ACL athlete’s rehab as they return to their respective sports. This course is learned by doing and on the second day, I felt confident in my movements. We were working on some agility, fake cutting and pushing off in order to change direction quickly. My friend and colleague Kirk, told me to square up, fake right, cut left. I faked right but my foot was not completely planted, while still on my forefoot, I felt my left knee cave in and a giant POP. Kirk told me he thought I dropped my cell phone on the ground, but it was actually you, my ACL.
Fast forward to that night, my knee was mildly swollen but I still had most of the range. Hyperextension and weighted end range flexion hurt the most. I could walk on it, but it felt very unstable, like a baby giraffe. Lachman was mildly positive and Pivot shift was not tested because I guarded too much. Negative McMurry and Thessaly test.
[A little history on my left knee.]
10 years ago, I was training for a mud run and I strained the back of my knee running on the beach on the sand. There was pain in the posterior knee with end range extension for a few days and it felt like my upper gastroc was strained. Two weeks later my knee felt great, and I did the mud run…and strained the same spot again. Symptoms were the same and lasted a couple days. A few years later, I got my USA Weightlifting Coach Certification, and I was practicing my clean and jerks. I hyperextended my L knee on accident during a lift and flared up my knee in the same way. This year, I stood up and pivoted from my coach and re-aggravated the knee, and then re-aggravated it again walking 35 miles on the cobble stones of Rome. Throughout the 10 years since that first mud run injury, I would consistently work on my hip mobility, my hip stability and strength, and maintained a healthy lifting regimen. However, the L quad was always 1 cm smaller than the right and my L glute was weaker than my R.
I believe I had sprained or partially tore my L ACL this entire time and this time, it broke up with me completely.