Honest confessions of an ACL-a-holic

February 21, 2019

Photo credit: Soccer AM Twitter 


Sharing one’s recovery journey has now become the new fad - elite footballers like Benjamin Mendy and Hector Bellerin have started documenting their injury woes to millions of their followers.


With that being said, as a seasoned veteran with two ACL ruptures to my name, I feel as though I could share some light on my recovery process.


Mental Health:


The most important aspect of your injury you must address post-rupture is your mental health.  


When you're used to playing sports 3 times-a-week, having to accept you’ll be inactive for a year is a jarring experience. Combine that with being bedridden and writhing in pain, you now have a deadly combo.


To be frank, the only way to deal with such an issue is to try to remain optimistic; yes you've hit a roadblock in life, but it's only temporary. In a year you'll be back to playing the sport you love.


Learning to enjoy your sport through other mediums could be beneficial as well. As a keen fan of football, divulging more of my time to playing games such as Football Manager made me realise that my injury was not the end of the world and that I could still enjoy football nonetheless.


Surgery & Physio:


Personally, the timing of my surgery is the main reason I reinjured my knee. 


Not wanting to go through the strenuous recovery process during the school year, I decided to wait after exams for surgery. 


In hindsight, this was not a bright idea. Having my operation after school meant that I had three weeks worth of physiotherapy before I embarked on my summer holidays to Europe. This led to inconsistency in my recovery regime which ultimately hindered my progression.


My second injury gave me perspective on how important the initial bout of physiotherapy is - it’s about getting the basics right which I don’t think I ever did.


Properly plan out when to have surgery, it’s imperative that you work with the same physiotherapist to achieve consistency and progression.


Hopefully, you have gained some insight or comfort from my recovery struggles. To all my fellow ACL rupturists: good luck and I wish you a speedy recovery!



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