By Magdalena Mittersteiner

Diagnosis: cruciate ligament tear

I'm sitting in the waiting room of the clinic, looking around nervously. My name is called - the nurse gives me an encouraging smile, but I do not feel like laughing. In front of me stands the doctor in his white coat and explains the black and white pictures on his screen. I am not listening properly until he pronounces his diagnosis: cruciate ligament tear.

Everyone knows the feeling when an injury suddenly thwarts you. All athletic plans for the next few weeks are thrown over the pile. And in addition comes the all-important question: Will I be completely healthy again or will I carry consequential damages from the injury?


Many questions are buzzing in my head and at first I only see black for the near future. Why did that have to happen? What can I do now? Do I need a surgery? Will I be in great pain?


After the first shock is digested, I realize that I still have 3 healthy limbs. So I should be able to do something. And indeed, after the first days after the surgery with some painkillers are over, I start to get active again. I start with simple stretching exercises on the ground, it works quite well. Even light strength exercises such as abdominal muscle training is feasible. Handstand also works well, since you do not have to use your legs much.


After two weeks, I was allowed to use my home bike and do some easy laps. Adding a few stretching exercises afterwards and I felt great. I also ventured going into the climbing gym, and found that top-rope climbing works very well. Always listening to my body feeling, I gradually increased the burden.


As a sports enthusiast you always find ways to get some exercise with a little creativity, also while having an injury. It’s crucial to not loose the motivation. There will always be ups and downs and some days will be easier than others. But setting small goals will help to keep up the motivation. Every little step towards the right direction feels soooo good! But it’s also important to listen to your body, pushing too hard is counterproductive and can greatly extend the healing process. I've learned a lot about myself and my body through my cruciate ligament rupture. Today I'm well regenerated and I'm looking forward to tackle athletic challenges again.



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