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Farrell Treacy OLY- The six weeks after breaking my leg…

It’s been six weeks since I sustained my injury while competing at the World Championships. Recently I’ve started feeling more myself which has given me a new burst of life. It’s allowed me to focus on my rehab every day with no distraction. This in turn has translated to me lifting more in the gym and going out on the bike for some gruelling aerobic sessions. Getting back into training has been a huge shock to the system but I’m more determined than ever to get back on track just three years out from Beijing 2022. This rehab journey began at the World Championships in March. After I sustained the injury, I really struggled with the initial shock that my World Championships were over. This shock worsened as I started to realise the magnitude of the injury. Getting around was difficult as I was couldn’t weight bear. I was in a lot of pain making it almost impossible to get more than a couple of hours of sleep at night. The worst part of it all was the unknown. Without an official diagnosis from scans it was suggested by the Doctor and physio that I had ruptured my ACL and could very likely expect 12months out. This was difficult to process. As the season was coming to an end there were athletes celebrating their success and looking forward to the next season. I was not hopeful that I would even be training for next season, so that contrast really hit me hard and it was an extremely uncomfortable place to be in.  I experienced some very questionable methods to get me on and off planes and buses, but I got back to the UK in one piece. The very next day I saw the surgeon who had unbelievable news. The incredible news was that I had only broke my leg! He explained that for some reason the ACL was intact which is apparently very rare with the type of break I had (evulsion). From a possible 9-12months out requiring surgery suddenly being reduced to 6-8 weeks in a leg brace was an indescribable relief! I can’t say I ever thought I would be so relieved that I ‘only’ broke my leg! Pain for the next couple of weeks was still high. Sleeping, showering and doing anything for myself was really tough. I had soft tissue damage in the tendons and ligaments surrounding my knee and also a muscle tear in my ITB. I had to be extremely careful that I didn’t hurt myself further in this period because I was not in a cast. Due to the type of break I needed my knee to be mobile from 0-90 degrees but kept straight in the brace to allow the break to heal properly. Fuelled by FIFA and binging on Netflix I made it through these two weeks . Two weeks after the injury I got the OK from the physio and surgeon to start rehab. Under my physios supervision and wearing a supported brace at all times preventing me from twisting my knee whatsoever I started rehab. The brace was so awkward and uncomfortable! Nonetheless I started my rehab program initially focussing on basic motor patterns insuring I was walking properly, standing on one leg and supporting my body correctly. This was a difficult time because this process is extremely mentally taxing and has no instant reward. Simple movements would be hard to do and constantly having to keep in mind that I needed to protect my leg to prevent further injury but at the same time be pushing my limits was quite stressful.  It became apparent there was an issue quite early on. I couldn’t fully extend my knee and it was very painful to try and push into full extension. With the help my physio with hands on massaging and other treatment sessions, which were far from pleasant, we finally got to a suitable range during week 4 of rehab. We also had a follow up consultation with the surgeon in week 4 who gave me the all clear to get rid of the leg brace. Having this confirmation that my recovery was going well and I can push on was fantastic but the news I could remove my brace was the best. It was beginning to be the most uncomfortable and annoying thing ever! This was a clear turning point for my rehab. All my sessions were ramping up and the physical challenge was climbing along with the constant mental challenge still being difficult. These last two weeks I’ve had daily gym sessions and pool sessions. My right leg is almost feeling like normal again and I’ve regained a lot of my confidence. With the muscle starting to rebuild again in my right quads I am feeling stronger every single day. I’m still not 100% but I’m close! My Target is to feel 90 -95% fit by May and be able to train properly very soon! 

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