Sunday 25 June 2023

Events leading up to my ACL injury.

My very first serious injury(Knee Ligament Tear(ACL)).

My routine.

Before knowing what my injury is......I should share with you my physical activity routine.

My goal is to stay fit and healthy, and my routine to maintain this status core revolves around it. I always bike for more than  10 -15 km every day to work and run 3 - 4 times a week. 

These routines really help me retain my energy, build my stamina, strengthen my physicals, and maintain my weight. These routines have become my habit and I have been doing it for almost 4 years now.

So you can imagine how it feels when I got my first-ever injury. It completely disrupted my daily and weekly routine. These routines are not just routine. They have become my habits. 

With my injured knee, I can't do my usual routine, and as the days went by. I started to get so uneasy knowing that I was not able to run for the past few days or go biking every day.

It just kills me to think of the things I do as routine but are not able to do.

Just today I stood on my bathroom scale and my weight shot up by 3 more Kilograms. I really hate being inactive.

The decison to join Sapporo Community Judo club.

I have always been interested in trying out new things as hobbies and sport is one of them. So, when I moved to Sapporo from Fukushima I told my fiancee I would like to join Judo.

 I wanted to join judo because when I was in Fukushima one of my collage was in a Judo club. He showed me a few moves that completely captured my interest in joining a Judo club.

When I moved to Sapporo in April  2023. The first thing I did was I  searched for a Judo club in Sapporo City. Luckily, we found the Sapporo Kitagass Arena Judo Club.

It is a community-based Judo club that is mostly run by volunteers. They usually train every Wednesday and Friday. 

I then decided that I would join the club every Friday. Because Friday is the day when most beginner Judo players turn up for training.

My introduction to Sapporo Judo Club.

After searching and being fully satisfied with which Judo club to join. We (My fiancee and I) went to Sapporo Kiat Gass Arena Judo Club at the beginning of May and met Komatsu Sensei ( A black belt Judo Instructor and Dai Sensei(Also a senior black belt instructor).

At our first meeting, the introduction went really well. Listening to Komatsu Sensei during the introduction completely convinced me that this Judo club is best for me to join. 

A week after my introduction, I bought my Judo uniform and started my Judo beginner practice with the club.

Judo is a new sport for me so I was very excited and looking forward to learning Judo every Friday.  

After three days of attending training. I could not help but started preaching to everyone about joining Sapporo Kita Arena Judo Club. 

I was very excited to do a new hobby. My excitement was 110%.

Injury struck.

June 9th, Friday night, was the day my hobby and interest in  Judo ended. 

I attended the Judo training only 5 times. 3 of the 5 times, I actually trained for Judo Beginners skills.

On the night of my injury. I remembered it very vividly. 

Komastu Sensei was teaching us basic falling and receiving techniques of Judo called hukeme in Japanese. There were four of us including me. We were all beginners in Judo.

After practicing a few of the falling technical of Judo. We were asked to take a few minutes to rest. So, I went over to my fiancee and rested. 

About 10 minutes passed and Kamstu sensei called us to do the last falling techniques of Judo. However, when I walked over he called over to Onodera san and said to me. Josh, please fight with Onadera san.

At this point, honestly, I have no idea how to do Judo. I was also a little surprised because how can I fight Onodera san. I don't know the techniques of Jedo yet.

In my judgment, it was a very unwise decision by Kamatsu Sensei to tell me to fight someone without supervision or proper instructions.

The Injured Act- Mikami,dumn you. You injured me.

After fighting for 4 rounds with Onodera san. We both were exhausted and we bowed onegaisumasu and took rest. 

However, before I could sit down Mikami san came up to me and bow Onegaisumu.

I have no choice but to bow by indicating that we can fight. On the first attack.Mikami was very agresive.

He was fighting me as if I knew every technique of Judo. I was thinking. This guy must be joking. I don't know any tactics to fight.

By the way, Mikami san has 20 years of Judo. He is a black belt Judo and he also teaches Judo at Atsubastu Boys Judo Club.

One or two minutes into our bow, Minami can't tackle me because I was too strong. As the fight went on Mikami starts to get intimidated by my strength. 

At this point, I have no idea how to fight him because he was too aggressive. So, I have to use my strength to keep fighting and standing.

As the fight went on, we move to the left corner, and Mikami by now was getting more aggressive and intimidated by my strength. 

In the second before he injured me. My eyes were fixed on his face. I believed he placed his right foot between my knees and kicked so hard in the opposite direction on my left knee.

I think he used a very bad technique. Uncalled for by a guy like Mikami, who is being doing Jedo for 20 years. But most annoying is, he teaches Judo as well.

What kind of a teacher would be so aggressive and ended up breaking his student's leg. I know it was an accident but I still could not accept the fact that he has much experience and yet he played dirty.

At that moment where is kicked my knee. I heard a pop sound. He also heard it too. 

I felt a jolt of pain shoot up from my knew to my brain. For a few seconds, I went blank.

I slowly sat down but the pain was still there. My knee by now was completely free. I knew something terrible is wrong with my knee but I could not know the type of injury I got.

I knew at that point that my Judo hobby has ended.

Next day, the 10th of June  I went to Mastuda Orthpathic Hospital, and through an MRI scan the doctor determined that my knee injury was serious. 

My anterior cruciate ligament(ACL) was torn. It was serious and can only be healed through ACL reconstruction.

The anterior cruciate ligament(ACL) Injury 

For many people who don't play sports or are not physically active. You will have no idea of what an ACL is.ACL refers to the anterior cruciate ligament.

It is the ligament in the center of the knee that prevents the shin bone(Tibia)from moving forward on the thigh bone(femur)(Mt. Sinai Hospital,2023). 

The function of ACL is to stabilize the knee joint by preventing excessive forward movement of the tibia or mimicking rotational knew movements. ( 

ACL knee injury is very common among high-intensity sports like rugby, Judo, basketball, and others. I never knew about ACL injury before I got  ACL injury.

ACL reconstruction surgery.

ACL is the ligament inside the knee. It connects the tibia and fibula together. If the ACL is tear or torn through direct impact or pressure on the knees.

The only way to have it fixed is through ACL reconstruction surgery. 

ACL is a non-blood circulatory ligament.Therefore, it would not be healed by itself. Currently, ACL reconstruction surgery is the only option available to fix it.

Types of ACL surgery.

There are three types of ACL recontraction surgery.

  • Autograft. Your doctor uses a tendon from somewhere else in your body (like your other knee, hamstring, or thigh).
  • Allograft. This type of graft uses tissue from someone else (a deceased donor).
  • Synthetic graft. This is when artificial materials replace the tendon. Silver fibers and silk were among the first ones used (in the early part of the 20th century). More advanced options are available now, like carbon fiber and Teflon, but researchers are still working to find the best material for ACL replacement.
If you have an ACL injury, consult with your doctor about what types of surgery suits you. Also,  check the process for each surgery. After that, you will be in a better place to decide the surgery types you wanted.

After surgery and the healing period.

In the first week after surgery, you will have swollen knee, experience mild pain, and might need support to walk with.

After a week, the pain and swelling should be reduced and you will be able to move a little freely.

Depending on doctors ' recommendations, the hospitalization period after surgery is between 3 days to 7 days or more.

Return to Normal.

It takes almost a year to return to normal. But to return to normal activities like running and playing. It would take up to 6 months. 

After 6 months you can run and play again. But it is advised that when running or playing extra precaution should be taken.

Sports Insurance.

Sports Insurance is very important in any sport. Unfortunately, I just started so I didn't get sports insurance.

Sports insurance will be able to cover injury and medical fees when seeking medical treatment for injuries caused by sports.

There are several types of insurance; some cover only you while others cover the third person.

In my case, I was not covered by sports insurance. I  was very unfortunate.

But the most disappointing thing is Mikami san. The person who injured me. His sports insurance covers only him. I was very disappointed.

Therefore, from what I learned, get sports insurance if you join high-contact sports. Because if you don't then you will spend a lot of money on my medical fees if you get injured while playing /doing sport


NHS Web 2021 .Surgery Recovery, Knee ligament surgery.NHS Web.

Tyler Wheeler, MD. 2022.ACL.WebMD.

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