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Three Testimonials from Patients with an ACL Injury


As you may have heard, this week at OPTI we are celebrating ACL injuries.  Yes… celebrating!  Well, maybe NOT celebrating the injury itself but rather RECOGNIZING the individuals who are working hard during their physical therapy, remaining patient, and maintaining admirable levels of motivation to establish their own comeback story!

If you are ever near OPTI after 3pm on a school day, you will hear laughter, music, and chatter coming from the gym!  Why is that?  Because OPTI’s gym is invaded by kids and teenagers with all kinds of injuries but many of whom are doing their PT for an ACL-related injury.

I went into the gym on Monday and just by coincidence, there were 3 different patients (all 16 years-old) who had undergone ACL reconstruction surgery doing rehab with their individual physical therapist at the same time. These girls appeared more than determined to come back from their ACL injury stronger than ever.  I was in awe at all three girl’s attitudes and the smiles on each of their faces. They were performing their physical therapy with such focus and positivity and welcoming all suggestions and encouragement from their physical therapists. Each girl is experiencing their own struggles, frustrations, and each has a personal story to tell.  I conducted a series of four questions that gave me a deeper insight as to what they were all going through. From their response, I could tell that overcoming this injury definitely has not defeated them…but rather, has strengthened each of them.

Sydney Peitzmeier was the first of our patients at OPTI that I interviewed.  She is a 16-year-old who is four months out from surgery. Sydney plays competitive soccer for Elkhorn South High school and Elite Girls Academy. ACL-Sydney

How did you tear your ACL?

“I was playing soccer and I did a scissor move. When I planted, my knee dislocated and during that process I tore my ACL. It was totally non-contact.

What is the most challenging part about tearing your ACL?

“Not being able to play with my team is the hardest part of this all. Having to sit and watch my team play for this long of time has made things the most difficult.”

What have you learned from tearing your ACL?

“How much I value soccer and how it is important to enjoy it while it lasts. You never think about getting injured, but when you do it’s all you can think about.”

Since your ACL injury, what is one positive thing that has happened to you?

“When I am able to play again, I will be more determined to make an even stronger comeback!”

Claire “Ops” Opheim is 16-years-old and plays competitive soccer for Bennington High School and Sporting Omaha FC.  She is also 4 months out from her ACL reconstruction surgery.ACL-OPs

How did you tear your ACL?

“In a soccer game, a girl on the other team caught my leg.  We both went through each other and my leg twisted wrong.”

What is the most challenging part of tearing your ACL?

“The mental side of things for sure. Having to sit out of practice and games and having your teammates and other people not understand what you are going through.”

What have you learned from tearing your ACL? 

“I’ve learned patience.  I have also learned to look at the game from a coaching aspect.  I have had to step up as a leader on the field and become a leader off of the field.”

What has been one positive thing you can take away from tearing your ACL? 

“I have been able to focus on my music more.  I am in concert choir, an acapella group, and am auditioning for all-state choir.”



Rose Nigh is a junior at Concordia High School and takes Taekwondo.  She is just a little over a month from her ACL reconstruction surgery.ACL-Rose

How did you tear your ACL?

“I tore it during Taekwondo… I was sparring with someone (or fake fighting) and I kicked someone wrong and tore it.”

What is the most challenging part of this all?

“It’s really hard to basically re-teach yourself how to walk normal again… oh, and remembering to walk heel to toe like Katie tells me!”

What have you learned from this whole experience?

“The anatomy of my knee and the knowledge I have learned with the whole process!”

What is one positive thing that you experienced so far along this journey?

“Meeting everyone here [at OPTI]!!”



Marquette Pick, OPTI Marketing Coordinator

OPTI is an outpatient Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy Clinic with locations at 144th & Dodge and 144th & Giles.