The day I tore my ACL, an important ligament of the knee, my life took a turn for the worst. I have always been physically active. I played basketball in middle- and high-school and was a member of the swim team. I played tennis and racket ball for fun. My friends and I hiked and went to the beach on weekends. We roller-skated on the quite streets of my best friend's neighborhood wearing metal-wheeled skates strapped to our sneakers. Good old memories! During and after my college time I was a dedicated member of an aerobics club, wearing in-fashion leg warmers and thighs. (I still have some, but, no, I don’t wear them!)
So I was no stranger to injuries. Ankle sprains, pulled muscles, bruises, bumps, and a broken bone on my left foot are part of my repertoire of injuries. All these injuries, however, heal on their own. The body repairs the damage in time, swelling goes down, and pain eventually disappears. Even the bone rebuilds itself cell-by-cell to rejoin the broken parts together.
But a torn ACL belongs in different category. It won't heal on its own rejoining the parts split apart by brute force. And once the swelling went down and the pain disappeared, what remained was an unstable knee that did not fully support my active lifestyle. Ten years before the ACL injury I had added martial arts, Kuk Sool Won (KSW), to my list of activities. I could practice with a torn knee ligament, but had limitations. I would have to be more careful during jumps and knee bends. The injury took a great deal of joy out of my Kuk Sool practice. Would I have surgery to fix it or would I stay with a wobbling knee? (more…)