Michael’s Chronic ACL Tear diagnosis

My husband used to be the captain of school basketball team. He represented his school to play basketball in different competitions. However, about 6-7 years ago– during the freshman year, he was hit by a big strong guy in a game and tore his ACL. He stayed in bed for several months.  It was the worst nightmare in his life.

Until today, he felt persistent knee pain and has a constant sensation of the knee giving out. Since we are together, I haven’t seen him playing basketball or doing any intensive exercise since then. His lifestyle is much slower and calmer, like a middle-aged man. He is not the young active guy he used to be.

After that basketball accident, he just did an X-ray. X-ray only diagnosis that his bone is fine. However, he didn’t have money to do the MRI. Until today, he didn’t know what exactly happens to his knee. Only MRI can tell whether it is ACL tear or not. Luckily, he got his H1B visa this year and can apply for a good insurance from Kaiser. He finally did the MRI this time. The MRI does show that there is chronic ACL tear in his left knee. He expressed his desire to do knee surgery and got a referral from the primary doctor to meet the orthopedist. We did research online and chose the best one in this area. Dr. Chedder is the top doctor in Virginia from 2011 to 2017.

On November 8th, we finally met the orthopedist. He said Michael only tore the ACL.  There is no emergency to do the surgery. It can be put off to next year. The alternative way we can consider is to do physical therapy. Through physical therapy, he can build up stronger muscle around the knee to make it more stable. The doctor said even if he did surgery his knee cannot go back to the old days. The whole recovery takes about 18 months.

After consulting, we are a little upset.  It is an irreversible injury. Once the ACL is torn, it is forever. The recovery is not in weeks but in years. He cannot jump and run as freely as he used to be. It is very sad but we have to face the reality positively. Life is unexpected and out of our control. Cherish our everyday life and fully enjoy it! I am glad that Michael adjusts the new situation and lives the most of it. Wish everyone a healthy and happy life!


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