T Nation

Injury and a need for advice

I am a junior in high school and I love football. I have played ever since I learned to crawl. Last week was the start of spring football for our team. I was excited to start up a new season and for the chance to make myself better. Well Friday was the first day of pads and the first day of contact. The defensive and offensive ends were participating in a tackling drill and I got paired up with someone who did not know how to tackle correctly. Needless to say when he went for me (it was my turn to play the tackled) he went for my left knee and dislocated my patella, tearing my ACL, brusing my femoral condyle and tore up alot of the tissue surrounding my left knee. It was the most painful thing I have yet to experiance in my life but the physical pain was nothing compared to the feeling I got when they told me I could never play football again. I am now in a leg immobalizer and can not do anything that requires my legs, other than limping with a completely straight left leg. I have always loved to be active and I hate feeling like a jellyfish. I want to be able to strive for something. In the past year I have found that lifting weights is my second favorate thing to do other than football. Now that football is out of the question, I would like to start concentrating on lifting weights. But I do not want to bench more than I can dead lift when I am done with my immobalizer and the brace I will wear after. Does anyone know of anything I can do to help maintain my lower body without aggrevating my knee? Then nature of my injury allows me to put all the weight I want on my legs, i just cant bend the left one at all. I have worked so hard to get to where I am and I would hate to loose that along with football. I would appreciate any responses.

Same thing happened to me. Are you going to get surgery? I got surgery and was able to return to playing football, but I suppose your injury is more severe than mine. I had my ACL reconstructed and my meniscus repaired (not removed, don’t let them remove it) A few things you should do that will make your life easier, 1. Decrease the amount of calaries you are eating, I didn’t and I blew up from 205lbs to 232lbs in just a few months. 2. I found it comforting to work the opposite leg of your injured one. I read somewhere that doing that will help slow the muscle atrophy in your “bad” leg. 3. It is of the most importance (post surgery) to do physiotherepy asap. Make sure you try to get your range of motion back as fast as possible, or it may never come back. 4. I know this sounds corny, but never get down on yourself. Progress is going to be slow, but if you keep working and stay committed this is only going to be a set back. Good luck.

Chris, I feel for you man. It’s gonna be tough not playing football but for now, concentrate on getting your knee as close as possible to 100%. Your injury sounds really nasty but it’s surprising how advanced medical care is with this type of injury vs 20 years ago. Hopefully you’ll get well quick and then be able to hit the weights hard. I’m not going to give any advice here because knee injuried aren’t my forte; just wanted to offer some words of encouragement. Good luck and get well soon bud.

Chris: I learned early in my education that if I didn’t know something, then find the person who does. Like the other guys, without knowing all the details, I would hesitate giving you specific advice, but before you give up, contact Jason Seahorn of the New York Giants. (All NFL teams have an official Web Site, so it should be easy to find). He had a “career ending” injury to his knee that didn’t end it! (He ended up making one of the most spectacular plays in NFL history during the NFC Championship last year). Now, I must say that perhaps his injury was not as severe; I don’t know. But I’m sure he can give you some great advice and perhaps direct you to the rehab trainer that got him back into playing shape. (It wasn’t easy!). As always, don’t forget to run things by your parents first. Hope this helps.