Recovery from a Torn ACL

Recovery from a Torn ACL

I had the pleasure of working with The Basketball Doctors (Marco the most) for the better part of 2018 for physical therapy to recover from a torn ACL in my left knee. I had ACL reconstruction surgery (allograft) on April 12th, 2018. I had really good insurance and was able to work with them for a full 9 months to rehab my knee after the surgery.
Marco was not only a physical therapist but a friend and counselor who was able to empathize with my new reality of a sedentary lifestyle for the first 6 weeks. He himself had ACL surgery a mere 3 months before I did and knew exactly what I was going through and the frustrations I was feeling.
We quickly bonded because of this shared experience that we were both going through. Within 2 weeks I was walking with a single crutch and by the fourth week I was walking with no crutches at all. My gait was a little wonky at first, but Marco was able to diagnose any issues early on and correct them before they became permanent. I remember many occasions where I felt fine but Marco would pull out his phone and show me the video and point out minor issues that I needed to work on, or that he said would eventually work themselves out with time and strengthening.
After I regained my gait, the next phase was strengthening, balance and muscle building. The Basketball Doctors had a myriad of different exercises that they were throwing at me – each session they would introduce at least 1x new exercise which kept the rehab fun and interesting. Yes there were many, many, many squats, but there were just enough other exercises peppered in to keep it fresh and unique. The progression of the exercises was logical and methodical, each one building on the previous. I was amazed at not just the variety of exercises he had me doing, but the fact that I couldn’t do many of them with my good leg, never mind my bad leg (ie weighted one-legged squats on a Bosu ball?!?!?). This was a huge confidence booster which proved integral in my eventual return to sport. I felt stronger than I had ever been, and this was very reassuring when it came time to start running and doing other athletic activities.
The ultimate testimony to The Basketball Doctor’s ability is my return to sport, in particular downhill skiing. Nine and a half months after my surgery I went skiing for the first time. I booked the trip a good 3 months in advance and was planning on taking it easy and sticking to flat groomers as an easy transition back to skiing. As fate would have it, Park City got 2 feet of fresh snow over 3 days while I was there. Soooo…. I promptly ditched the groomers and proceeded to shred the s%*&! out of that mountain! Double diamonds, trees, and when the backside bowls finally opened up, you can be damn sure I was on that chair to catch the last bastion of fresh snow. My knee felt great! A little stiff in the mornings but after the first few runs it loosened right up. Working with The Basketball Doctors and Marco, and going through the gauntlet of exercises he gave me provided the confidence I needed to throw caution to the wind and charge down the mountain full bore. My friends said they would have never guessed I had an ACL injury judging by the way I was skiing. That statement is the epitome of recovery – when you are back to how you were before the injury. So – aside from the brace which the surgeon says I need to wear for another year – I guess I consider myself recovered. I still have some strength training left to do to get back to 100% in terms of size and endurance, but as far as playing the sports I love, I’m pretty much back to everything I did before my injury.
I can’t thank The Basketball Doctors and Marco enough for helping me recover from my torn ACL. It was quite a journey – one that definitely changed me, both physically and my mental outlook on life. I’m eternally thankful to The Basketball Doctors for helping me through my recovery. Thanks guys and shoutout to Marco – I couldn’t have done it without you!

Alan

PS: Go PATS!!! 😉

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