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My preparation for cruciate ligament surgery

Hi all Welcome to my first blog post! Given this site, it probably won't surprise you if I tell you that I was injured in my knee a while ago. Namely, I had torn my anterior cruciate ligament and have since had surgery on it. Now I've been asked to write a monthly piece about my rehabilitation for the next year, so I'm going to take you guys up on that.

Before I tell you how these first weeks have gone, let me introduce myself! I am Kyra, 19 years old and studying econometrics. Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have torn my cruciate ligament, as the counter now stands at two. At the age of 17, in March 2020, I tore the anterior cruciate ligament of my right knee during field hockey training. With a feint I tried to pass someone, but made a misstep and felt that famous snap in my knee. An MRI showed that I had completely torn my anterior cruciate ligament and had a tear in my meniscus. I had surgery on that in June 2020 after which a long (but fun) rehab followed. Fourteen months later I was fit again, had confidence in my knee and played my first game again without fear!


Hockey schijnbeweging

Pre operative preparation

Yet not much later in October 2021, it went wrong again. Even before the sixth league game it was hit, only this time it was my other knee. In preparation for the game, we were doing a 2-on-2 and at one point I step out with my left leg to reach out for the ball and in the process, yep, make a misstep with my knee falling in. I immediately felt exactly the same pain as last time, just not that snap, so that gave hope. It remained a bit uncertain what exactly was going on with my knee, but it looked like there might be something with my cruciate ligament. Bummer of course, especially because it was so soon after my right knee. So I made an appointment with the orthopedist anyway. He thought, just like my physio, that my cruciate ligament might be torn or even whole. My knee seemed stable, so eventually no MRI was made and I opted for a conservative route (= no surgery). Recovery actually went pretty well, but you guessed it, not for long. About two weeks after my orthopedist appointment, I was doing side hops when I suddenly felt my knee snap during a landing. Not necessarily painful, but not a nice feeling either. After being checked by the physio, my knee seemed to have become more unstable and I had more (actually too much) play in my anterior cruciate ligament. I was told I wouldn't be able to play field hockey again without surgery.

I doubted whether I wanted another operation like that. I had it in my head that I would only have the operation to be able to play field hockey again. But at that moment I was not sure whether I wanted to continue playing field hockey; was this what I still wanted and was it worth the risk? Together with the physio I discussed this and came to the conclusion that even if I decided not to continue playing field hockey, there were plenty of other reasons to have surgery. With that in mind, I went back to the orthopedist and an MRI was done which showed that my anterior cruciate ligament was completely torn. That wasn't a very big surprise, since my knee had become more unstable in recent weeks and suddenly snapped a lot. The only thing I could do now was strength training to go into surgery as strong as possible.