18 months ago, I slipped in the mud while getting out of my car. I ended up with a full thickness ACL tear, two meniscus tears, & an MCL sprain. At that time, I was getting close to my highest weight ever. I’ve never been very athletic or played sports. I’ve been very fat my whole life (like over 300 most of my adulthood) but I’m overall very healthy. The weight stigma I experienced after my knee injury was terrible and the surgeon I saw wasn’t kind. One PT recomended I do weight loss surgery, As if it’s not a very invasive surgery that alters your anatomy for life. In some ways, I’m grateful my size prevented me from getting surgery because I may have just gotten it if I was fit & an athlete.
I did one year of PT with an amazing physical therapist that never mentioned my size, unless I did. I remember walking in to the office with a walker & not even being able to lift my leg. I used a walker for 8 weeks & a single crutch for an additional 8 weeks.
Without my PTs constant encouragement & help, i couldn’t have done it. He thought pretty early on that I was a “coper” because the only time my knee gave out is when the injury happened. I’m grateful everyday that I didn’t do the surgery & that I did my own in-depth research.
After living an extremely sedentary life, I’ve worked up to walking 1-3 miles per day. I’m down 40 pounds since my injury happened. And I feel 100% recovered. I hardly ever have knee pain & if I do, it’s usually in my “good” knee. This is without me even keeping up with PT on my own, which I’m getting back to, especially now that it’s easier.
Thank you to Kieran And Sean Okeefe for all the incredible work you’re doing in Australia and support you’re providing. Surgery can be avoided in so many instances and I hope we continue to see the non-surgical approach become more mainstream.
No matter where you are in your journey, it gets better & easier. If you would have told me 18 months ago that most days I’d forget that I don’t have an ACL in my left knee, I wouldn’t have believed you.