So you tore your ACL? You should totally quit working out. – Alfia Dunbar

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So you tore your ACL? You should totally quit working out.

by Alfia Dunbar

Wait, no, that’s totally not right.

I sat down recently with Vanessa who was diagnosed with a tear in her left ACL plus bone bruising in June after doing something that was seemingly harmless.

Vanessa has always been active and had never experienced an injury before. The “classic” way to tear an ACL is by dynamically pivoting on a planted foot which is exactly what occurred in Vanessa’s case. Since Vanessa had been fortunate enough to have not experienced an injury previously, it totally freaked her out to have this happen to her knee. She stopped training and cancelled a competition she had signed up for.

Doctors advised Vanessa she could have surgery or do nothing and she could just rehabilitate her knee. The doctor stated that PT (physical therapy) probably wouldn’t be any more beneficial than her regular workout routine and that if she took it easy until the bruising healed (no jumping, no running) then she could rehab the injury herself. Vanessa knew that knee surgery wasn’t the choice for her and she got in touch with Jason, our head trainer. Jason reassured her that if she kept training she would be able to heal and she could continue to gain strength. After chatting with Jason, Vanessa got back into IronFire Athletics.

Vanessa and our training staff worked together to make sure Vanessa stayed safe. She came in 3-4 times per week and would participate in the group workouts with modified movements. Rowing, step-ups and squat progressions were in regular rotation. Vanessa found that rowing helped quite a bit because she could get into a squat-like position without putting much weight on the recovering knee.

The rehab journey began in July and by mid-October Vanessa was legitimately backsquatting 120 pounds. So, in three months Vanessa was able to successfully rehabilitate a torn ACL by continuing to train smart.