Jenna Minecci is the founder of Jennactive, an ACL prevention company/support network, and the author of the book "Surviving 7, The Experts Guide to ACL Surgery, Recovery, Rehabilitation and Prevention." I came across Jenna's story on Instagram and it didn't take me long to figure out that I needed to have her on the podcast. Jenna suffered her first ACL tear while playing soccer when she was just 13 years old. Both Jenna and her family lacked knowledge in the area of ACL rehab at the time and she ended up making some decisions that in hindsight, turned out to be mistakes. Some of these mistakes include the type of graft used and an insufficient amount of physical therapy post-surgery due to exceeding the number of paid visits from her family's health insurance provider.
Close to two years after tearing her right ACL, Jenna tore her left ACL while goofing around with some friends. This time she tore her ACL, MCL and meniscus. This injury was much more painful than the first, but her surgery and rehab process was more of the same. Both of her surgeries ended up failing and her revision surgeries were also unsuccessful. To date 1/3 of Jenna's life has been spent recovering from surgeries stemming from her two ACL injuries and she is undoubtedly an expert on everything that has to do with this type of recovery. Jenna has since dedicated her life to preventing other athletes from suffering what she has gone through. Her knowledge on all things related to the knee and keeping it healthy is incredible and all this information can be found in her new book. I picture Surviving 7 being in every athletic training room in the country to serve as a guide for athletes who unfortunately experience a knee injury. Below are a few topics we touch on during our conversation:
- Jenna's experience with all surgeries to date, both repairs and revisions.
- Advice for choosing the right surgeon.
- Interview questions for prospective surgeons.
- The pro's and cons of the different graft options.
- What defines a failed surgery.
- The loneliness experienced during recovery.
- The stigma of the brace.
- How Jenna has improved her productivity through journaling positive affirmations.
- Mastery skills Jenna has developed through all of her surgery recoveries.
- The roles that hormones play in ACL injuries and how to combat some of these changes.
- Goal setting strategies.