A more personal road to recovery

Back on the court after ACL Reconstruction

It was the end of a weekend-long basketball tournament in New Jersey. In the last four seconds of the 6th and final game, Olivia, a star high school player ran down the court, planted her right foot and pivoted. Suddenly, she felt a sharp pain in her knee, accompanied by an ominous popping sound. Her knee gave way and she tumbled to the floor. She was shocked and dismayed. When she arrived home, she stepped out of the car onto her driveway and her leg went out from under her again.

The next day, Sports Medicine Specialist Dr. Katie Vadasdi evaluated Olivia’s leg. She was cautiously optimist that the injury to Olivia’s knee was minor and could be managed through conservative treatment. But after two more days of increasing instability, she sent Olivia for an MRI scan. Dr. Vadasdi’s suspicion was confirmed: Olivia had ruptured her ACL. For Olivia to remain active and engaged in the sports that she loves, she would have to undergo an ACL reconstruction surgery.

Olivia was confused and apprehensive about having surgery and what it would take to recover. Sports activities have always meant a lot to her. She was one of her team’s star players. The idea of not being able to do the things she enjoyed the most was very upsetting.  But after talking with her surgeon, Olivia could see that this would be just a temporary setback. “Dr. Vadasdi was wonderful, and I felt completely comfortable with her”, said Olivia. “She explained the surgery in every detail and answered all my questions. She made me feel like I was in very good hands.”

The doctor prescribed two weeks of physical therapy before surgery and then performed an ACL reconstruction in the Ambulatory Surgery Center. Olivia went in in the morning and returned home the same day to begin her recovery.

After surgery, Olivia went through an extensive physical therapy program to strengthen her knee. Her therapist at ONS PT, Codi Forney, DPT, taught Olivia techniques to prevent re-injury, like how to safely pivot. “I loved PT. I really enjoyed the relationship with my therapist who was so motivating and reassuring all the way.” “Everyone told me that mental strength was just as important as having physical strength to recover from an ACL repair. You can’t let yourself get overwhelmed with the struggle. The team at ONS supported me every step of the way.“

Now Olivia is back in the game! Playing sports with friends and getting ready for the spring sports season.