The good news is I have a radically brand new challenge in front of me. This new wrinkle is going to help me learn new discipline and it will push me to learn all sorts of new things. I’ll be able to relate to a large population of people in a way that I’ve never been able to relate before.
The bad news is I don’t want anything at all to do with this new “wonderful” opportunity. See, on Saturday I tore my right ACL while skiing. (At the very least I’ve torn the ACL. That’s according to the ER evaluation.) New skis, steep terrain, poor visibility all combined to pinwheel my down the slope and jackhammer my knee into some degree of twisted gristle. (I’ll also admit with some degree of dumb pride that I resumed skiing and made it to the bottom on my own. Probably not a great idea but I’m looking for all the silver to the lining of this cloud.) I’ve been feeling fantastic lately. I’ve been strong in the gym and I’ve been running a lot. Whatever the opposite of that is, this is it.
So all my high falutin’ lofty running goals are going to take a back seat to 1) surgery and 2) a very gradual return to normal human movement. Running, biking, hiking, lifting weights and all that fun stuff is way out there on the horizon. That said, I have every intention to resume all my favorite activities. No way in hell do I intend to give up the active outdoor lifestyle that I love so much.
In less than 24 hrs I’ve learned some useful things about ACL reconstruction. First, there are two basic types of ACL reconstructions. The autograft uses my own tissue either from the patellar tendon or hamstring tendon. The allograft uses a cadaver tendon. There are advantages and disadvantages to all these different strategies. I’ll probably discuss them further in the future.
I hope to get an MRI and further evaluation as soon as possible. I’ll call the doc tomorrow to see when I can get in. I want to get on this thing aggressively and soon. I may learn that there’s more damage than simply a torn ACL. There are other tendons and minisci that could also be damaged.
The full recovery progression on this condition seems to be about a full year, and that’s full-on aggressive multi-dimensional movement. More good news here is that ACL reconstruction has been around for a long while. Lots of high-end powerful athletes go through this process and come back to perform at very high levels. From my understanding, the results can be excellent.