Hello I am sharing my story on here to give hope to anyone who had any unfortunate knee damage and might have doubts on returning to their respective sport.
In August of 2008 I was involved in a motorcycle accident where I was nearly hit head on, I lost control of the bike trying to dodge the car as I hit a gravel patch. It was found that my ACL was completely torn and both meniscus were very damaged. I had chosen to have a new ACL grafted from my hamstring knowing this would be a grueling recovery. My surgery was a month after my accident. The ACL was said to have a high collagen content and the surgeon told me that it looked to be 250% stronger than his average grafts. I didn't know how much of that was true but it was hope. Both meniscus were repaired as much as possible with the possibility that if they did not heal properly that they may have to be cut out down the road. Also a bit of arthritis was taken out as well.
Recovery was not easy, I had a lot of pain and I dealt with feverish pains every night for the first 5 weeks. I had a hard time going from a strong athletic powerlifter to being couped up in the house not hardly being able to shower on my own. Depression was back and forth as I fought through to get rehabbed. The first year was hard just to walk without a gait, and it took almost 2 years to get full mobility. With every leg workout trying to strengthen my atrophied leg and pushing through the scar tissue, it was an emotionally draining ordeal.
By Summer of 2010 I decided to join a powerlifting gym, it was always a dream of mine to compete in powerlifting and I figured that I would probably only be able to compete in the bench press. I was only able to squat 135lbs barely to parallel with awful form, hardly able to do 30lbs on leg extensions, and could hardly do 3 reps on hamstring curls without it cramping up on me. Still every week I never backed down and squatted and deadlifted through the pain and broke down the walls that had seemed to be limiting me from chasing my dreams.
Today I am considered the best squatter in our gym and I am who people come to for help. I have a few world champion titles in the bench press and deadlift that I claimed in 2011, as well as a handful of other 1st place wins and state records. Next march is when I plan on competing in a full powerlifting competition (squat bench and deadlift). Right now i'm squatting 700+lbs and my hopes are to have an Elite powerlifting total of 1980lbs by the end of next year.
Aside from powerlifting my knee is holding up incredibly, only once in awhile I get some swelling (pitting) in my shin but that is common. I have played basketball many times on it and that might be an even bigger feat considering i'm 280lbs. haha!
To anyone who might have just had an injury and is thinks their sport might be over or that they just may never be the same, take my word for it. Nothing is over unless you let it. In many ways the injury made me a better lifter/competitor as I never take my ability to do what makes me so happy (squat and deadlift) for granted. You just never know how much fight you have until you are given an obstacle such as this to overcome.
I can't wait to get my Elite powerlifting total, i'll be putting a picture in a frame for my surgeon and hanging it up at his office.
Push hard at rehab and squat more!