Jessica Frederick is a 32-year old fitness enthusiast, wife, and dog Mom who enjoys helping women find their groove in a balanced healthy lifestyle. As an orthopaedic nurse, she works with patients that have ACL and other knee injuries. Recently, she completed her masters degree to become a nurse practitioner and plans to continue caring for orthopaedic injuries as helping patients recover and thrive is near and dear to her heart.
1) Can you share your ACL story?
My ACL story goes way back. I tore my left ACL while playing basketball at 12 years old. I had a repair done with a BTB autograft and healed fabulously. That knee has not bothered me since. At age 29, I tore my right ACL while working with a personal trainer. I had it reconstructed with an allograft (donor tissue). This past year, I was having catching and locking in my right knee with some instability events while working out. My donor graft had not held up so my surgeon and i decided to move forward with a graft made from my quad tendon. August 2018: right ACL revision surgery. I am currently recovering and rehab-ing from that procedure.
2) What was the hardest part of the experience?
I think for me personally, the hardest part of recovery is not pushing it too far. I’m an active person so resting is not in my vocabulary. That being said, I fully understand the importance of allowing your body to heal. For my patients, I encourage gentle core strengthening and upper body work to help keep them mobile while they are healing and working on getting their quad function back.
3) How did you stay motivated throughout the process?
While an injury that requires surgery can feel very debilitating and scary, I have seen and experienced how well people can bounce back. Knowing that MY recovery is completely up to ME pushes me to work hard every day to become better than I was before my injury. I know I can come back stronger. I’ve done it before, and I will do it again.
4) What advice would you give to other athletes on the road to recovery?
Listen to your surgeon! Also listen to your body. You know the difference between pushing through difficulty and pushing to an injury. Taking good care of yourself during your recovery will help ensure long term results as well as help speed the healing process. Be active while respecting your progress. Don’t beat yourself up and don’t compare yourself to others.
5) Do you think this experience changed you as a person?
Dealing with my knee issues has definitely changed me in a good way. I believe it helps me to provide better care to my patients because I truly know what they are going through. It has also shown me what I’m capable of and what I can overcome.