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Not Another Sports Injury

Share Your Story: How I Tore My ACL

By Brenda

Updated February 09, 2011

How I Tore My ACL

I fell out of a shed in a chair backwards. I felt a twist on the way down to the ground.

What Happened?

I felt a searing pain as I was falling down out of the doorway of my shed. I immediately knew something was wrong, since the pain level continued to be high. When I tried to stand up, the knee would not support my weight and I heard a pop. When I went to the ER, I had an x-ray and the doctor did a physical examination of my knee and assessed that I did not have a tear. He sent me home to ice it and walk on crutches, increasing weight-bearing with each day for 5 days and see if further treatment was needed. After 5 days, very little improvement had occurred, so I was seen at an orthopedic clinic. The Physicians Assistant also physically examined my knee and disagreed with the initial assessment: his examination indicated an ACL tear. I was scheduled for an MRI and a follow up with a knee specialist. Today the knee surgeon informed me that both my ACL and MCL are torn. I will wear a brace, have physical therapy, and wait to see how well the MCL heals.

Lessons Learned

  • I would definitely have kept my chair away from the doorway and been more cautious when I was near the door. I also learned that it is hard to determine whether an ACL is torn judging by the level of pain in the hours and days following the injury. It is also not always clear upon physical examination either. After 10 days, the knee felt much stronger and could support my weight with much more stability.
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