Erin Moss was set to play volleyball at Georgia Tech until she injured her knee. After the Arthrex minimally invasive quad tendon ACL reconstruction procedure, Erin had a successful collegiate volleyball career.
Erin Moss was in junior high when her school started a volleyball program, and it didn’t take long for her to fall in love with the game.
Eventually, she played for her school and on a club team. In high school, Erin committed to play volleyball for Georgia Tech and was excited to take her game to the next level.
Her future looked bright until a volleyball tournament in Indianapolis. Erin jumped to hit the ball and collapsed when she landed.
“I came down and I thought I hyperextended my knee,” she said. “I was on the ground, and I was not in pain, but I could not move my leg.”
Another player’s mother was a nurse, and she told Erin that her ACL might be torn. Erin burst into tears.
“I had just committed to play volleyball at Georgia Tech, and I was hitting my stride,” she said. “I was devastated.”
ACL Reconstruction Surgery
Georgia Tech Team Physician Dr. John Xerogeanes told her she would need ACL reconstruction surgery. Dr. Xerogeanes performed an Arthrex quadriceps tendon autograft ACL reconstruction, which is an ACL reconstruction using Erin’s own quad tendon (the tendon that connects the quadriceps muscle in the leg to the patella, or kneecap) to reconstruct her ACL. The minimally invasive approach Dr. Xerogeanes used resulted in a small scar on Erin’s leg.
“The hamstring [tendon at the back of the knee] used to be the preferred method [for this procedure] but did not do as well. They have a high failure rate, particularly in a jumping athlete like Erin. I thought the quadriceps graft choice was a good option,” he said. “Athletes also tend to have less frontal knee pain with this autograft ACL reconstruction.”
After her surgery in March, Erin was eager to play again, but she was also not in a rush. “I knew I had a collegiate career, and I didn’t want to jeopardize it because I was hyped to play high school volleyball,” she said.
To help her recovery, Erin started weight training and did knee-specific strength training.
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Erin’s Return to the Sport She Loves
One of her first tournaments after surgery was in Indianapolis, the site of her ill-fated jump.
“I was nervous, but my knee was there. I knew it was strong and I had done everything I needed to do. The mental piece was what I had to get over,” Erin said. “I knew how to move and my knee was solid underneath me. It was a good season for me.”
Erin went on to have a successful volleyball career at Georgia Tech, and she said her knee is stronger than ever.
“My left leg is my plant leg, the life force for volleyball,” she said. “I have come a long way from thinking I would never play again. I do not feel limited at all.”
Dr. Xerogeanes is happy she is still confident in her ACL reconstruction years later.
“It always makes you feel good when you are able to help an athlete get back to playing the sport they love,” he said. “Erin is such a special kid. You want good things for her, and it has been great to see that not only is she playing, but she is an elite Atlantic Coast Conference player.”
This real patient was compensated for the time she took to share her personal experience with the minimally invasive approach to reconstruct her ACL.
The presenting surgeon is a paid consultant for Arthrex Inc. For questions, please contact Arthrex Medical Education.