Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Destruction!

Here’s a bit of a science lesson for you, and since last Thursday, a lesson for me too. I’ve been playing roller hockey for about 14 years now, and I’ve been quite lucky as far as injuries go over the years. I had a damaged right knee about ten years ago that bothered me a bit but its since then healed and works fine for the most part. My right wrist suffered some minor ligament damage but nothing life threatening. That pretty much summed up my list of injuries until last week Thursday night when I experienced what it was like to tear my anterior cruciate ligament otherwise known as the ACL.

We had barely started the first period and we were up two goals already, one of which I scored with a sniper style wrister that beat Pirate high on his glove side while we were on a three on one. I should have known something was up if I am scoring on a wrist shot. There was a face off in our zone to the left of our goalie, the puck reached behind our net where I went to retrieve, when I was met by an opposing player who was after the same thing. After fighting for the puck, I fell trying to win the puck, while trying to get back up one of the players from the opposing team fell on my left leg. It was the loud popping and tearing noises that came from my knee that told me that I was in trouble. I had never felt pain like this before, also, in the back of my mind I knew that this was the only good knee I had left which I had now pretty much destroyed.

I remember hitting the ground screaming at the top of my lungs and looking back at my leg expecting it to be pointing the other way. By this time play had stopped and my team mates and the officials were standing around checking on me. There weren’t enough things for me to kick or punch the pain away, I can remember smashing my head (with my helmet on) into the concrete to try to reduce the pain that was coming from my knee. It was horrible. My team mates helped me off the court and it was then when I realized I had really done some damage, I couldn’t put any weight on my left leg. I was sure it was time to go to the hospital.I reached home and made the calls to my doctor who set up an appointment to see him in the morning, sitting in the emergency room for a non life threatening injury just wasn’t worth it at the time.

I stayed at Nurse Rachel’s house Thursday night staying mobile on a pair of crutches that were hidden in my garage since i was 13 that were way too small for me. Rachel chauffered me around Miami as we visited a handful of different doctors who sent me to all sorts of different places. I finally ended up in the office of Dr. Ismael Montane who sent me for an MRI scan which stands for magnetic resonance scan which has been around since the mid 80’s. An MRI scanner is a huge machine with a cylinder in the middle of it that sends radio waves 10,000 to 30,000 times stronger than the magnetic field of Earth through your body affecting the body’s atoms forcing the nuclei into a different position. As each of the atoms move, they make radio waves of their own, the MRI scanner picks up on these signals and a computer turns them into a .jpg! for your blog. Just kidding, Photoshop CS3 did the .jpg conversion.

So what does this all mean? Well to get right to the point, I’ve damaged my ACL and sprained my MCL. What the hell does that mean you ask? Well these are some of the same questions I asked myself so I took the liberty of doing some of my own research to get to the bottom of it all.

There are four ligaments that hold your knee together, now, apparently, I only have two that are in proper working order. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL), Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL), and the Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) make up the four main ligaments. The diagram below shows the exact location of each. I’ll save you the mess of scientific mumbo jumbo and explain to you the functions of only the ligaments that I have injured.

The ACL is one of the most important of the four ligaments in the knee, which makes it awesome since I have pretty much destroyed it. Ligaments are strong, dense structures made of connective tissue that stabilize a joint, connecting bone to bone across a joint. The function of the ACL is to provide stability to the knee and minimize stress to the knee joint, apparently what scientists don’t know is that it also reduces stress to my brain when it is in proper working condition because the stress to my brain at this point is ridiculous.

The MCL, another one of the quad ligaments that is crucial for knee stability, and another ligament that I have injured. The MCL stretches from the end of the femur to the top of the tibia on the inside of the knee joint, which prevents “opening up” of the knee.

Now, if you’ve read all of that, and learned something you are are in the same position I am in, just with two good knees. So what are my options? Well, starting next week Tuesday, the 19th of August, I will be starting my first session of Physical Therapy at Baptist Hospital. Hopefully, the PT will help me heal everything in my knee and I’ll be able to get back to playing hockey, and oh yeah, WALK again. My other option is surgery which would entail taking a tendon from a dead guy (cadaver) and replacing my damaged one with that, gross. But if it works, it works. For now, we’ll see how the PT goes and play it by ear.

Thats it for now, just wanted to fill you guys in on what has gone on so far, I will have more posts with my handicapped antics and what I am doing to speed up the healing process, for now check out these cool photos from my MRI, I really have no idea what I am looking at if you do, please email me and tell me what I have done! (fortune@warrenshimquee.com)


2 Responses to “Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Destruction!”

  1. August 15, 2008 at 10:40 am

    WTF bro ham WTF!

    call you in the morning to converse

    July 14, 2009 at 1:29 am

    hi i am ranjith singh from tamil nadu on mar05 2009 my right knee is damage i chek the doctor he told me that do operation then i take the MRI scah then i take the report and went to clinic that time also he told that operat the knee my parners told that need not operat the knee chek till more any medicns is thir noe my age is 30 pl tell me any suggestion i am watin for ypur sugesstion

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