I’ve struggled with knee problems since 2005. I was driving on the Parkway heading home when a driver in front of me lost control of his car. When his car hit a 360, I slammed into him head on. Among my injuries, I had a tibial plateau fracture. It was about a 9 month healing process. My knee has never been quite the same though.
Although I’m in corporate America, I’ve never abandoned the nature of my athlete days. I still play in summer leagues when I can. I still train some of my friends who play professionally and my workout regimen is that of an athlete. It’s hard to change up your routine when you’ve done something for so long. At this moment, my knee feels like it’s entering that stage of frailty and vulnerable to early arthritis.
I was doing vertical plyos drills last week and as I jumped down, my knee just gave out. When I heard it pop, I knew something was wrong. When you injure the same area over and over, it becomes automatic to know when to get that ice pack/heat session going. My knee immediately started to swell. I couldn’t put much weight on it. I figured it was just a bad sprain.
Once I got to NY, the pain got progressively worse. I wound up going to urgent care because the swelling wasn’t coming down. The doctor drew some fluid off and took Xrays. Nothing was broken, but she suspected a meniscus tear. I continued to make moves around the city, all the while not knowing my knee was actually worst than what could be seen on an Xray. Upon returning to Florida, I got in to see my orthopedic connect. Turns out I had a medial meniscus tear and partially tore my ACL.
I had a scope procedure done yesterday and will have my knee in a brace for about a week. Not being able to walk around painlessly is frustrating; especially because it’s the summer. What this injury makes me understand is that inside I’m not that 20 something year old anymore. 1 of my biggest fears as a former player is turning into 1 of the HoFers I idolize; chubby and out of shape. As I’ve entered my 30s, I’ve kept the same routine I’ve always had; 4 corner drills, suicide circuits, high intensity sprints, vertical plyos. However, now, my knee is basically screaming at me “look, man I know you’re trying to hold on to your glory days, but…
If you’ve had knee injuries or arthroscopic surgery before, then you know exactly how I’m feeling. As my birthday gets closer, I’m accepting that slowing down is a part of getting older.