Conditions + Treatments
My name is Jordan Washington and I live in Helena, Alabama. I am a currently senior at Helena High School, and I am scheduled to graduate May, 2024.
When I started playing high school football, one of my goals was to continue my football and academic career at the collegiate level. I recently reached that goal by committing to play football at Murray State University.
I’ve always loved playing sports. Growing up, I started playing football and soccer in the kindergarten. I stopped playing soccer in the 4th grade, and started playing basketball in the 5th grade.
I continued playing basketball through my sophomore year of high school, but stopped playing to concentrate on football my junior and senior years.
I've always enjoyed playing football because it's fun, it's the ultimate team sport, and it eases me when I'm on the field with my teammates working towards our goal of winning the game.
My sophomore year, I was doing box jumps during a workout when I landed awkwardly and twisted my right knee. At the time, I didn’t think too much about it, because it didn’t hurt that bad. I thought I just had a bad sprain. I had some aching pain, and I would ice my knee when it would periodically swell.
For two weeks, I lived with the pain and periodic swelling. At that point, I went to one of our school's athletic trainers, Mr. Michael Shields, who evaluated my knee. Mr. Shields felt like I had something more severe than a sprain. He suggested an appointment with our school's team physician, Dr. Ricardo Colberg, and helped my family schedule an appointment at Andrews' Pelham office.
During my appointment with Dr. Colberg, he evaluated my knee and his staff took an x-ray. Dr. Colberg said he didn't see anything structurally wrong with my knee, but he would feel more comfortable if I got an MRI. Dr. Colberg's staff helped my family schedule an MRI at a diagnostics facility in Homewood later that afternoon. The next day, Dr. Colberg called my mom to let her know that it would be beneficial for me to be seen by Dr. Benton Emblom, one of the surgeons at Andrews' Birmingham office.
Going into my initial appointment with Dr. Emblom, I was very nervous about the possibility of having to have surgery. During my appointment, Dr. Emblom confirmed that I had torn my meniscus and that I needed surgery. He could tell I was nervous, disappointed, and concerned that I would not get to play football this upcoming season.
Dr. Emblom was very laid back, but also very confident. He let me know that everything was going to be ok. He said this was an standard surgery, and because of timing, he was confident that if I worked hard in physical therapy, that I would be back to 100% in time for my junior season of football. His confidence and bedside manner definitely helped ease my nerves. Before I left his office, my surgery was scheduled for the next week.
Following my surgery, I did months of physical therapy. I worked very hard and made sure I was compliant - doing everything my physical therapist asked, but not trying to do too much, too soon. Every day that summer, I would wake up with the goal of getting back on the football field for the start of my junior season.
I continued to do my physical therapy through the summer. I saw had a few post-op appointments with Dr. Emblom throughout the summer, and he was happy with my progression. Finally, in late June Dr. Emblom approved me to ramp up my sports activities and he gave me the thumbs up to participate in full contact activities on August 1, 2022.
Looking back on my high school football career, I feel like my right knee was stronger than ever been going into my junior season. The last two years of my high school career were two of the best years of my life. I am grateful to my Helena High School teammates, football coaches, our school's athletic trainers - Mr. Michael Shields and Mrs. Gina Gonzales - and Dr. Ricardo Colberg and Dr. Benton Emblom for their support and dedication.
NOTE: During his high school career, Jordan rushed for 4,390 yards and scored 65 touchdowns in 30 games. Following the 2023 season, Jordan achieved All-State honors was recognized as Shelby County's 2023 Player of the Year. Read more about Jordan accolades in this Shelby County Reporter article.