Volleyball Victim

Varsity player sustains knee injury


IMG_9147-2During the first home Blue Valley varsity volleyball match, junior Courtney Carpenter injured her knee.

I landed wrong and tore my meniscus in my left knee. The meniscus is the cartilage between the two bones in your knee,” Carpenter said.

“I had an MRI done the next day, because something was obviously wrong as my knee was ridiculously swollen, and I couldn’t walk. They put a temporary brace on me that day, and I had surgery the next Thursday. My surgery was started at 7 a.m. at KU Med West,” Carpenter said.

She said the surgery was successful and she expects to have a full recovery with the help of physical therapy. Courtney attends physical therapy three to four times a week.

“Since I still can’t bear weight, I have to lay on a table while my therapist moves my kneecap around, rolls out my muscles, helps me improve my range of motion and hooks me up to an electric muscle STEM machine to get my quads to fire again,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter is excited to begin playing again.

“My recovery time after surgery is about three months. I am non-weight-bearing for six weeks after surgery until I can put weight on that leg again. The reason I can’t put weight on my knee is because they went in and stitched up the cartilage, so putting weight down could rip out the sutures and undo the entire surgery,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter began recovery in a wheelchair, which she believes is much easier than crutches, but embarrassing to use at school. Carpenter is now out of a wheelchair and is using crutches.

She doesn’t like them because they’re exhausting and uncomfortable. Carpenter also dislikes the fact that she needs more assistance from people when using crutches.

“I will get cleared to walk around Nov. 2, and from walking, I will slowly progress into jogging, running, jumping, landing and plyometrics. It will be around the end of November to December when I can start practicing again with limitations,” Carpenter said.

Physical therapy will be an important piece of this journey to be sure that her muscles are rehabbed correctly and to prevent another injury from occurring, she said.

“My family has helped me with my recovery a ton,” Carpenter said.

She said her sister freshman Cassidy Carpenter has played a key role. Cassidy plays on the varsity volleyball team as well and is very close with her sister.

“Playing while Courtney can’t feels really weird,” Cassidy said. “I can’t wait for her to come back.”

Both girls are looking forward to Courtney’s return to play.