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Worst Injury So Far


I’ve had injuries before. I’ve sprained my ankle, broken my big toe, damaged the ligaments around my shoulder after falling on it, had shin splints, more blisters than I’ve had hot dinners, been bruised on almost every inch of my body, I’ve got scars on me that I have no recollection of getting, I’ve even ripped my face open [slight exaggeration] when I fell off my bike (I wasn’t wearing a helmet) and my face landed on a wall. And all that after one night out in Dundee!

Okay, just kidding. But I’ve had all those injuries over time and none of them has come close to my knee injury I mentioned the other month. To recap, I woke up one morning with a bit of stiffness in the back of my knee that I put down to walking to the train in the morning (it’s harder work than you think). That night I played football on it and that made it hurt some more. I played again the next night and that really made it hurt – I twisted around and heard / felt some rather nasty cracking noises coming from my knee. My game was over and so began my current injury lay-off.

At first I had to sit around with an ice pack on my knee (I have used that thing for so many hours it’s like a security blanket now). Then I’d hobble around, limping from place to place with a grimace never far from my face. Eventually it started to improve and loosen off until I thought I could start exercising it again. I took it easy on the weights deciding to gradually build up the strength again until I felt ready to do some running. Idiot. That just made it worse and put me back a few weeks. So I carried on taking it easy and it’s been very gradually improving. Almost imperceptibly. It’s been over two months since I had the injury and I’ve not felt any closer to being able to run with it (or even do 20 rep squat sets with a proper weight) so I thought it was high time I saw a physio to see if I’ll ever play football again. That was on Monday.

So according to the physio I managed to stretch one of my cruciate ligaments as well as one of the collateral ligaments. Nice. As they have such a low blood supply, ligaments take an age to heal which explains the long layoff. What I didn’t realise is that your brain decides to protect the injured area even after it heals and modifies how you move the joint. He demonstrated this by telling me to relax my leg and he pushed the knee so as to bend my leg in the wrong direction. Despite trying to relax the knee it keep tensing up of its own accord – i.e. my brain was taking over to protect the knee. Weird. So I’ve got to re-learn how to use my knee properly and get my brain to break the new habit. If I don’t do it then I’m just asking for a repeat injury.

None of this is helped by the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having. I can’t go out and enjoy it on the bike, or out running or playing football. All the things I love doing! So if you were wondering why I’ve been posting so infrequently lately – it’s because I’ve not been doing anything interesting enough to write about. And before you ask – no – I don’t think writing about my knee is interesting but I felt I owed you an explanation.

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

9 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. I would have thought that the opposite would have been true i.e. you’d have more time to devote to this site without all those distractions.

    BTW, expect things to detoriorate rapidly once you hit thirty. I’ve been suffering with toothache all week… (currently taking antibiotics)


  2. Ack, that’s sad news John!

    Are you completely immobilized? What about long walks? E.g. powerwalking? You will probably look silly walking with the two sticks (like everybody else). Powerwalking is very popular in Denmark nowadays. And who cares how you look, if the sticks help you getting the exercise you love and help you train your knee.


  3. I’m getting much better now – if you saw me walking you wouldn’t know I’d hurt my knee at all. As for walking sticks, it should be a few years before I need them (fingers crossed)!


  4. Hi John. I injured my knee last september, playing football!

    The first months were terrible, ’cause I used to play football twice a week, and I really missed it. My week seemed to last a hole month back then.

    Now I’m getting a little better. I’d probably be playing already, if I had worked for that, but I guess I’m too lazy. I tried playing twice, as goalkeeper, and was fun, ‘though I felt a little pain in some moves.

    My brother injuried his knee playing football too. That’s why I keep telling people that the most radical sport in the world is football. But I love it!


  5. I know exactly how you feel Ricardo, especially with the European football championships being on the TV at the moment – doesn’t help!


  6. Dear John,

    Last autumn I injured my ankle, causing a very nasty sprain. It looked like I was wearing a purple wellington boot.
    Since I’ve started wearing flip-flops tm on a regular basis it’s been much better, and improved no end.
    So use Flip-Flopstm and walk tall!


  7. once i was playing football and i was slide tackled.i fell and my foot went right and my body was left. i had to have a lot of morfine then rushed to hospital.the bone had detatched from my knee cap and it flew out of my leg and landed on the pich. the medics were sick. the player that tackled me got a lifetime ban and i had to get my right leg amputated


  8. God, that’s horrific. I wrote this a few years back but have seen some grim things playing football since including watching a teammate get a broken leg which, while nowhere near as bad as yours, was pretty horrible. I was playing on the left wing and he was our right-back and I could hear the crack of his bone snapping echo around the ground like a baseball bat smacking against the post. Football can be a dangerous game.


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