My name is Ryan. I tore my ACL and suffered meniscus damage while playing volleyball in December, 2012. I had ACL reconstruction surgery in May 2013 and decided to document my recovery process here, in hopes of helping anyone going through similar circumstances.
At first I thought someone kicked my knee, causing it to hyperextend and my ACL to tear, but after reading that 80% of sport-related ACL tears result from non-contact injuries, my knee probably just buckled under my weight as I landed from a jump.
I've played sports my entire life (football, basketball, soccer, indoor track, and volleyball), and managed to go 23 years without ever suffering a significant injury. I also frequent the gym 4 days a week, and do full body stretching regularly. When I tore my ACL I had fully warmed up and stretched, but it didn't seem to make a difference as a seemingly regular jump landing resulted in me hyperextending my knee.
The ACL provides so much stability to the knee, especially for athletes. As someone that still participates in sports and maintains a healthy, active lifestyle, I couldn't imagine not getting ACL reconstruction surgery. The ACL is located deep within the knee joint, and is responsible for connecting the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone). The ACL ligament prevents the knee from hyperextending (moving too far forward or backward), and helps with rotating the knee. ACL ligament surgery helps prevent arthritis later in life, and helps return to normal athletic activity. When I tried jogging before ACL surgery, I could only run every other day, where pain would stop me often, and I never was able to jog feeling completely normal.