SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — For athletes, playing sports can bring lots of joy and excitement.
But for some, sports can also bring injuries.
Twin sisters Haley and Heather Johnson say basketball has been their passion since the 7th grade.
But in December of 2017 Heather tore her ACL, a ligament in the knee.
“I was in practice and I drove in and my knee just like gave out, so I kind of went into it,” Heather said.
Heather recovered from her injury and was back playing basketball the following year. But this time, it was Haley stepping off the court.
“I remember going up for a rebound, and I came down and it just, it buckled. And I remember going down and like, oh it just can’t be an ACL,” Haley said.
The two would now be sharing matching scars on the exact same knee.
“When the second sister came in, I had to do a double take because I was like no, it’s not the same girl. And then it was her sister, and so then she went through the same process,” Dr. Eric Watson said.
What happened next left Dr. Eric Watson in disbelief.
“A month later, the first sister tore her other ACL and it’s just like oh my gosh, what are the odds? It’s just bad luck, and then it’s just the coincidence of same injuries, they’re twins,” Watson said.
“At first I couldn’t believe it. I thought she was lying to me. I was like no you’re joking, but she was like yea, and I was like well at least we have to go through it together,” Haley said.
Watson says the injury is very common in women, stating that he see’s it in basketball and soccer players often.
“8 times more common than it is in men. So it’s a bit of an epidemic now that more and more women are playing sports I think it’s happening at an exponential rate,” Watson said.
Doctors say the recovery is a long process, but for these two it become a friendly competition.
“It’s competitive to see who can jump the farthest,” Haley said.
“Who can land it without like your knee going in,” Heather said.
The two are now feeling almost completely back to normal.
Heather, now sporting two matching scars, wants others going through a similar experience to know it gets better.
“You’ll get through it, it’ll be good in the end,” Heather said.
Watson says there are preventable steps you can take to strengthen the muscles around your ACL.
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