Ok, I've been on this site before when I had my shoulder surgery & I received some useful information here so I have a couple more questions now.
Here's my story. I am a very active 19 year old female. I have played sports since I could walk & it has definitely taken a toll on my body. I've had a total of 7 surgeries already due to athletics. I have had knee surgery once, shoulder surgery once, and four different hand surgeries; one on my middle finger and three on my thumb. I tore my meniscus in 8th grade & stretched out my ACL. Shattered my knuckle and other bones in my middle finger, tore my labrum in my shoulder, and tore my ulnar collateral ligament and tendon completely in half in my thumb.
This last surgery was a result of a collision between me & our shortstop colliding for a ball (I caught it by the way!!! And that's really all that matters right? Lol). I had a hurt thumb that I taped before every practice and game but I figured I'd test it out and see if I could play without it. Go figure the first time I don't tape it I hurt it AGAIN! After colliding and making the third out I layed there for a while then got up and went to our trainer who taped me up and I finished the game. I went to the Dr. a couple days later and they wanted to cast me because I had chipped my bone and damaged the ligament. But me being the stubborn athlete I am decided to keep playing and see if it would get better. I finished the season with ALOT of pain and went back after the season was over. I figured that they would just cast me for two weeks or so and I'd be good as new but come to find out I had damaged it even worse and now it required surgery like they warned me about. I had the surgery and everything was going fine. I didn't want to get out of shape so I ran, rode my bike, and worked out everyday while I was still in my cast. Because I was so active and sweat so much running and biking, I got the incision infected. I then had to have another surgery to drain the incision and disinfect it. While spending the night in the hospital after the surgery I did something and heard a pop which ended up as the result of me tearing it up again. When we took the cast off I could not move my thumb at all....not only cuz it hurt but because it was I had ended up tearing the ENTIRE ligament in half (first surgery it was partially torn) and this time the tendon was fully in half too and those two things were what made my thumb move when it wasn't torn in half. He also had to remove the round bone or he wouldn't have been able to place my joint into it's normal position and he also had to pin my thumb with a k-wire.
After all these surgeries I am starting to get really depressed. I am determined not to quit sports because it's my release point in life, it's my passion. I seriously can't live without sports. I played college softball for one year but I don't think that I will go on to play my second year due to my heavy class schedule to complete my classes for nursing. This really bums me out but I will continue to play softball as long as my body allows. The question I have is do you get over being depressed when you are not able to play? It just seems like I am not gonna be able to play ever again....it's killin me! I get my cast off on Monday but I don't know how long it will be until I can play after that since I had three different surgeries on it within a period of 7 weeks & having a cast on it for the last three months straight!!! Has anyone had this kind of surgery before? Since the entire ligament & tendon were completely torn in half and a piece of my bone removed, what is the recovery time??? Do tendons and ligaments FULLY heal after surgery? Will it be easy to tear it again?? Any information will be helpful! Sorry this post was so long....
Let me see if I can answer some of your questions.
First, do you get over being depressed not playing sports. I know where you are coming from because I get depressed when I'm not active. I think people like us just need to be involved in sports to be happy. That being said, it doesn't have to be any particular sport. I'm happy as long as I am active and I find I like to mix it up. I currently swim, lift weights and run. Sometimes I go rollerblading for fun. My suggestion is try to find some other sports to be involved in. Perhaps ones that aren't such an impact on your body.
Ligaments definitely fully heal. I cut the tendon in my thumb as a kid. Right through with a knife. Twenty years later, I can say I don't even worry about it.
You're second point about being easy to tear again. My understanding is that scar tissue is actually stronger than what is replaces. But you definitely need to give things time to heal.
Here's my preachy advice. If you want to be involved in sports for life, you can't use up your body now. Find some other sports that won't tear you up so much!
Being active is something you should never have to give up. Being competitive can lead to injury depending on how competitive you are and how far you take things.
You can enjoy sports for the rest of your life. You can play hard and not hurt yourself. You just have to find that balance. I lived volleyball from my sophmore year in highschool until at the age 25 I tore my meniscus.
I have been active duty in the Army for 11 years. I have seen what a toll hard physical activity can do to you. The paratroopers are among the worse. Permanent limp by the age of 40 - after a number of surgeries. Look at pro athletes. They get injured enough that they can't have an active life past the age of 35!
Enjoy softball. Make sure you take care of yourself so you can still play when you are 35. Your happiness should not come at that high of a price.