I love tennis – but does it love me back?
I love playing tennis- from hitting the ball as a stress reliever, to the competitiveness, to the calories that I burn and mostly-being able to play the sport with my husband and fabulous friends.
However, recently I’m wondering if I should continue. Three years ago, I tore my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) while going for a cross-court forehand. The ACL is one of the four major ligaments in the knee. So began a long nine months of rehab, surgery, pain killers, more rehab and finally back on the court.
I’ve discovered that my injury is one of the most common sports-related injuries, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The main reason athletes, or weekend warriors like me, experience an ACL tear is because they change direction suddenly causing the knee to give out.
I have to admit, after my recovery period, I was not going after some shots that would cause me to overly exert myself. At this point, I was happy to just be on the court again, and say “nice shot” and give up the point. After all, it is not my day job and I did not want to endure another surgery and painful rehabilitation.
Fast forward a few years later to the fall of 2013. I was practicing my serve with a friend for a long period of time and believed that this overuse may have caused my shoulder pain. I was in denial for some time. I even continued playing, but soon realized when I served or performed an overhead shot, it caused a great deal of pain and I did not have any power.
So, off I went to see Dr. Craig Cummins, my orthopedic surgeon at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill. After an evaluation, ultrasound, cortisone shot and physical therapy referral, I was good to go for a month. I am hoping over time, this too shall pass and I can avoid surgery.
I am giving my injury time to heal and religiously doing my physical therapy exercises. Only thing I know for sure is that I will not play (even though it is so tempting) until I get the approval from my doctor to get back on the court.
I also am questioning the future. I love tennis, but I am not sure it loves me back. I am determined not to be sedentary, so I am debating maybe taking up a new sport or fitness routine.
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