After devastating injury, teen creates resource for recoving athletes

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on June 29, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 29 at 7:29 PM

DALLAS - Soccer was 16-year-old Christina Gordon's life, until a play last September almost "86'd" No. 22.

"I went into a tackle and a girl had stepped in front of me and elbowed me in the back, causing me to tear my ACL, MCL, and meniscus all at the same time," Gordon said.

ACL injuries are amongst the most common in sports, with an estimated 200,000 cases per year.

After finding sparse information or support on the web to help aspiring teen athletes overcome a potentially sports-career-ending injury, Christina was inspired to create her own site called "Friends in Kneed."

"Because of my sort of state of loneliness, I thought of sort of a website that could help athletes share, inform them and help them recover from their knee injury, or any other sports injury in general," Gordon said. "And that's how Friends in Kneed got started."

On the site, young athletes can share their stories, get information about sports injuries and recovery, and learn what questions to ask.

"Like, what are you going to ask your doctor?" Gordon explained. "And what are you going to ask your physical therapist? Because it's scary going through this. You don't know what's going to happen to you next."

"I think it's one of the most wonderful things I've ever seen," said Gordon's physician, Dr. James Montgomery, an orthopedic surgeon at Texas Institute for Surgery. "Teens don't really want to listen to us old people. They'd much rather talk among themselves. And they'd much rather be going peer-to-peer."

Montgomery said he believes Friends in Kneed can coach other injured youths through a frightening experience.

With quality surgery and the proper rehabilitation, the vast majority of athletes with ACL injuries recover in 6-to-9 months.

Now training to get back in the game, Gordon has an additional goal: raising money for disadvantaged athletes who need quality treatment. So they, too, can play again.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

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