Coordinated Health

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Rachel C.

Nazareth, PA

Impediment

When I was fourteen years old, I was practicing with the high school varsity soccer team during preseason. I had been playing throughout the east coast, going from game to game, every single weekend. I was on a nationally ranked team and I did not know how to go throughout life without playing soccer every day. Not even a week after school let out, I experienced my first ACL tear. I was hip-checked playing defense and my knee gave out as I went to catch myself. It felt like 2 pops in my knee and my whole body went limp. I was terrified because I had never been injured before that moment. I also did not know anyone who has had this injury throughout my whole soccer career. I went to Coordinated Health a few days later to meet with a recommended orthopedic, Dr. Terpstra. He did some tests on my knee and scheduled me a MRI, which led me to receive the news that I had indeed torn my ACL and meniscus. After my surgery, I thought it was the worst pain anyone could go through. The last thing I wanted to do was work out at physical therapy where I had never been before. Within the next few days, I met with Jared Kohler at the Wind Gap location. I was doing the simplest exercises yet it was one of the hardest things to do. Although I loathed going to PT two days a week, I finally met Jared’s assistant, Michelle Tice. I worked with her from that point on and she didn’t treat me like a baby like everyone else was. She pushed me to work harder and made me finally laugh at myself. I loved going to PT after that. At the end of my 6 months of therapy, I left Michelle and started working with a Frank Lupin at the pulse program. It was the best decision I made during that recovery because he made me feel confident and strong again in my knee. Right when things were looking up, I was in gym class and went to do high jump on the track. As I jumped, I felt my knee pop. Instantly the tears came to my eyes because I knew exactly what it meant. People kept telling me to keep positive and it was probably nothing but I was absolutely devastated. I went to Dr. Terpstra again and he confirmed that I tore my ACL on the same leg, but only 20%. He said I could go to PT to get it stronger but chances were that I would eventually tear it completely. I got to work with Michelle again, which at least brightened up the situation. 4 months of recovery led me right into soccer tryouts for my sophomore year. First day, first scrimmage, I was fighting for a ball with my teammate and there was the pop again. I knew what it meant but I remained strong so that I didn’t come off as weak to my team. I refused to admit that I had torn it so I kept playing throughout the season. It hurt a lot at the beginning, but I adapted to the pain and the constant clicking in my knee. However, I got to the point where I couldn’t go on anymore like that. I went to Dr. Terpstra and went through the whole reconstruction process again. I even followed Michelle to her new location in Bethlehem, just to work with her. I worked so hard and so efficiently because I wanted to play my junior year so badly. I was running out of time and opportunities to play soccer. Eventually, I was cleared and decided once again to work with Frank at pulse. He knew he had to get me strong if I continued to play soccer. After all my hard work, I went into my junior year playing the sport I loved. I wasn’t where I was before my surgeries, but I was happy I was playing. However, toward the end of the season, I tore my meniscus. I ended up getting my third surgery and hopefully my last. I am so grateful for all the the coordinated health members who I worked with and how dedicated they were to help me play the sport I love. I don’t know what I would do if I never worked with them, but I am so happy I did. They all impacted my life in such a huge way and I hope they do for all student athletes who have to through serious injuries like myself.

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