Aimee Barnes

Pelham, AL

Conditions + Treatments

ACL Injury/Reconstruction

I’m not a world- class athlete. I’m a mom, a wife and a financial planner. I happen to enjoy Crossfit and weightraining because they help me feel in tune with my body and stronger in all other areas of my life. 

In April 2015, I saw Dr. Ortega for some knee instability issues that I recognized from a 2000 soccer injury - a torn right ACL. After an MRI showed that I had a partially-torn ACL (this time on the left knee), I met with Dr. Emblom to confirm and discuss my options. Dr. Emblom explained it this way: A normal ACL should feel like kevlar during hands-on tests. Mine felt like a rubber band. Because I enjoy being active and working, we decided to do a full reconstruction of my ACL. June 10 was my surgery.

Between diagnosis and surgery, I continued working out at Crossfit Riverchase with Sean Dickson. He and his team helped me modify movements so I could continue to train, while not further injuring the joint. I got pretty good at one-legged burpees and seated kettle-bell cleans.

Knowing that I didn't want to lose the progress I'd made so far, Alexis suggested Chris Allison as a physical therapist, because of his success rehabbing athletes. The next day I began physical therapy with Chris at TherapySouth. Within a couple of weeks, Chris had me under a barbell again and doing weight-vested physical therapy.

One week after surgery, I was back at Crossfit Riverchase, where Sean started me on a “Leg Injury” Workout Program to continue training the rest of my body. Twelve weeks later I was fitted for my Don Joy custom brace and began easing back into full workouts. We modified movements where needed, and I began to regain strength and confidence.

After months of training and testing my limits, I began to feel whole again. Ten months post-op, I hit my pre-surgery personal record in deadlift of 235 lbs. At 8 months, I passed my clean personal record by 15 pounds. One year out, all of the rest of my lifts are stronger than before surgery, and I’m out of my brace. 

My experience at Andrews Sports Medicine was top notch. Over and above the technical and surgical work that was performed, I was impressed with the doctors Emblom, Ortega and their fellows to confirm my diagnosis. As a working mom, I appreciated ease of scheduling appointment and tests. The entire staff was friendly and helpful, especially Alexis, who answered the multitude of questions I had. 

Treatment Providers
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Benton A. Emblom, MD
Benton A. Emblom, MD View Bio
José (Jody) O. Ortega, MD
José (Jody) O. Ortega, MD View Bio