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HHS Press

Hopkinton High School's Student News Site

HHS Press

Hopkinton High School's Student News Site

HHS Press

Varsity Tennis Player’s Experience With an ACL Tear

Aryaa Dixit on the tennis court where she plays for the varsity tennis team.
Eva Katyan
Aryaa Dixit on the tennis court where she plays for the varsity tennis team.

Aryaa Dixit, Junior, continues her tennis journey on the varsity tennis team after two leg injuries.

“I was playing basketball with my friends in my neighborhood, and I fractured my ankle while playing. That was my first injury. I got a second one after that. I was skiing at Wachusett mountain, and tore my ACL while skiing.” Dixit said.

In her five years of playing, she has found a home within the sport.

“I stuck with tennis because I just really enjoy the feeling of being out there at the courts with my friends.”

Her ACL tear came with many difficulties. Initially, Aryaa had gotten a simple cast and began physical therapy in January, but when her leg still didn’t feel right she got an MRI showing she had a tear. In July Aryaa had surgery on her meniscus and ACL.

“So, In July I had a surgery where they basically fixed my meniscus and ACL.  The healing process for the surgery was really long. Initially, they gave me this huge cast that my left leg was in, and basically, I was on bed rest for the first week. And it was really hard to sleep in that”

Even after two months, when the larger cast was replaced with a smaller brace, her healing journey stayed at its slow pace.

“I had to do a lot of physical therapy. The process was really slow. First I was on bed rest, and then I had crutches, and I could barely walk at all. And then when I first started to walk in the big cast it was a really big transition because I was limping everywhere.”

Aryaa was very upset that she had to hit pause on her tennis career.

“I wasn’t in a condition to be playing a sport, such as tennis, where you make such quick movements and turning around quick and sprints and stuff. My knee definitely was not ready for that. I didn’t play tennis for maybe a year after my injury.” Dixit says

Although the process was mostly hard for her, it also was a tough time for both her mom and dad.

“It was not that great. No one likes to see their kid get hurt and Aryaa got hurt. As a mother, it’s not a good thing and I didn’t like that time.” Said Aryaa’ mom, Nidhi Dixit.

Her dad, Alok Dixit shared the same feeling about the injury.

“I felt very sad for her because she’s young and I did not know how much time  the injury would recover.”

Looking back at the injury, Aryaa has noticed many changes in the way she plays since her recovery.

“I am definitely more careful. I feel like before I could play more normally. I wasn’t conscious of the move I was making. Now I’m more conscious of when I’m turning, what muscles I’m using, how I’m supporting myself. I definitely make sure I stretch and warm up for practice because that’s something I used to neglect before my injuries, but now I actually take it seriously and make sure I’m fully warmed up and everything so I can prevent something like from happening ever again”

Being careful is something her parents also continue to remind her to do, but they are also very excited to see her back out on the court.

“I feel very happy and delighted that she recovered well in time and she’s back on the court.” Said Aryaa’s father.

Her mom found her strength in recovering very inspirational and had found a new piece of advice to offer other injured athletes.

“I feel good. I feel good to see her playing. She’s all active and she recovered very well. It’s a good example for everyone who wants to resume their sports in the future. You have to just be patient, and you just have to recover well, and you can play more.”

Aryaas teammates are also happy to see her play. Evanya Mathur, senior tennis captain, believes Aryaa brings a lot to the team.

“Well, Aryaa is very versatile and she’s willing to take on any role that you give her which I think is a really special quality about her. She’s really good at, you know, when someone needs something or someone is in need of a partner, or if we need her to do something logistically, she’s always willing. I think she provides a really supportive and kind of dependable role on the team.” Mathur says

Aryaa is very thankful for being able to play again. She says because she has been playing more tennis than she has in a while her leg gets sore, but nevertheless is glad to play.

“I guess, going through that whole recovery process changed my mind on things because you don’t realize how capable your body is of doing things until one of your body parts isn’t able to do that anymore. So when I was in my bedroom for that long, stuck in my bed and I couldn’t use my left leg basically at all, I realized how important it is to take care of yourself. The way you live your life changes completely. It was everything from showering to going outside. It was even hard to get up and get a glass of water. You become more conscious of how important each body part is and how important it is to take care of yourself. You don’t worry about that in the long term.

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