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Recovering from ACL Injury
January 2, 2020. By Athena Rapinan

On November 9, 2019 I tore my left knee ACL during a soccer game. The timing of this incident was terrible. I had an upcoming CCS Cross Country championship race, starting my second year of high school soccer, and three  scheduled College Showcase Soccer Tournaments in San Diego, CA, Lakewod Ranch, FL and Las Vegas, NV. The injury temporarily held me back for participating in any of these events that I worked hard to get to. Sports take up the majority of my life, and tearing my ACL did change it a bit. 

On November 25, I got my ACL replaced (the tissue used to repair my ACL was from my kneecap) with Dr. Arthur Ting, a renowned sports medicine doctor in the Bay Area.  Should you need a sports medical doctor, I highly recommend Dr Arthur Ting. The surgery went smoothly, and to be honest, my mom was more scared for me than I was scared for myself. The worst part of my experience with the surgery was the intravenous (IV) injection. Otherwise, I did not feel a thing.

On December 4, I had my first day of rehab at Dr. Ting’s Sports Medicine facility (which offers high-tech sports medicine treatment). The rehab facility and trainers that work there are amazing. They have many cool high-tech machines and equipment, and the trainers are both helpful and fun. Within just two weeks I hit the milestone of walking without crutches.

On December 30, five weeks post-surgery, I reached 90 degree flexion, which is what I am supposed to achieve in six weeks. Dr. Ting said I am doing great, and that I am one of the lucky ones to progress well. At rehab, I am mostly working on getting full range of motion back in my knee, but recently I have also started to work on footwork and kicking the ball. 

Currently, I am doing two hour daily rehab during winter break. When school resumes on January 6, I will be doing rehab three times a week. I plan to fill my time with other activities such as officiating youth soccer games, taking guitar lessons,  helping out at my club soccer games, supporting my school soccer and track teams by serving as team manager, and focusing on my academics and school clubs.

Looking ahead, I'm looking forward with Dr. Ting’s functional training where I will focus on speed and strength. Then, in just a few months, I’ll be back on the field with my team. I know I will come back stronger than ever. I am motivated and can’t wait to get back to my old routine. 

Video: upcoming