Teagan Bosche comes back for Jays after two ACL tears
Teagan Bosche, a junior on the Jamestown High School girls basketball team, has recovered from two ACL tears in three years.
Jamestown High School junior Teagan Bosche is a great person to ask if the old cliche "absence makes the heart grow fonder" is actually true.
"The one thing I realized was that I knew I loved basketball, but I didn't how much until I got it taken away," Bosche said.
Bosche, a first-year team member for the Jamestown High School varsity girls basketball team, has undergone not one but two torn ACLs in the past three years.
Bosche's first injury was in her left leg in November of her eighth grade year. Bosche tore her ACL and both menisci at basketball practice in a non-contact injury. Bosche said she jumped up for a rebound wrong and knew something was wrong as soon as she landed.
The junior tore the ACL in her right leg in the summer of 2020 at a team camp in Jamestown. Bosche was going up for a rebound when she got hit in the side of the knee. She had to be helped off the court and couldn't put any weight on her right leg. Doctors later confirmed that Bosche had torn her ACL, medial collateral ligament (MCL) and her meniscus.
Dr. Timothy Juelson at The Bone and Joint Center in Bismarck performed both of Bosche's knee surgeries, which came within 19 months of each other.
Now, 16 months post-operation, Bosche is in full recovery and is continuing to get stronger with weightlifting three times per week and practicing her basketball skills on her own.
"Quad and hamstring strength was the biggest thing we had to work on in the beginning to get strength back before we could start any type of jumping or lateral movements," Bosche said of the recovery process. "My muscles had atrophied quite a bit with the first injury.
"With my first injury, with all of the damage and repair, I was in a brace for three months which made the healing process and my progress to running, jumping, lateral moves a much lengthier process."
Once Bosche was out of her brace, she started doing more movements like running, jumping and side-to-side movements. Initially, she could not run 100% body weight, so she got to use the AlterG Anti-Gravity treadmill in rehab at Jamestown Regional Medical Center to aid at the beginning of the running stages.
Going into her second injury, Bosche said that she was much stronger and recovery moved along at a faster pace as there was not as much damage in the meniscus.
"I was going to physical therapy for two to three days a week for an entire year with my first injury," Bosche said. "In the beginning, we worked just on being able to bend my knee again, which was painful and difficult."
With both injuries, Bosche said her physical therapist would use different techniques to help with recovery. Common practices included cupping, dry needling and electrical muscle stimulation to stimulate movement in her quadriceps.
After getting to the point of being able to bend her knees, Bosche said she remembers doing a lot of squats, hamstring curls, quad extensions, and anything that was geared toward strengthening the anterior and posterior muscles in her upper legs.
"It definitely is one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do, especially going through it twice," Bosche said of the injury."You don't realize what goes into rehabbing and an injury like that, and then when you are in the thick of it, there is a lot of days where PT was tough and having to do at-home exercises on top of that.
"I was in tears some days and some days didn't feel good rehabbing, but feeling good wasn't going to get me to recovery and back on the court."
Even with all the physical therapy that she underwent, Bosche said, the recovery process wasn't the hardest part of blowing out her knees.
"The hardest part about the injuries was not being able to do what I love which is play basketball and not knowing how long the process was really going to take," Bosche said."My doctor estimated anywhere from six months to a year recovery."
With injury one, Bosche missed her entire eighth grade season during the school year and her entire AAU team North Dakota Attack team's season in the summer of 2019.
In the case of her second injury, Bosche missed the entire high school season but was able to rehab and get back to play in the summer.
Bosche said staying a part of the team was of high importance for her, a feat made harder when she couldn't actually play any competitive minutes.
"Staying part of a team when being injured can be difficult if you don't choose to participate," Bosche said. "I went to every practice, every game and participated in lifting days, whatever I was able to do."
For her 2019 summer season, Bosche said her parents were still willing to take her to all of the games in South Dakota and Minnesota to sit on the bench and support her teammates.
Bosche said the injuries were mentally tough and draining because her confidence was low. The junior often questioned if her knees were going to do what they were supposed to do and whether or not she would be able to play the way she used to.
"Wearing a brace was tough because even though it was for protection, it also hindered me," Bosche said. "It was like a constant reminder of being injured.
"I had good days and bad days. Mentally and physically. Mentally, there were days I would be in bed crying and feeling sorry for myself. It wasn't always easy finding the will some days, but a lot of pep talks from my parents and friends, family helped a lot."
Bosche said it took some time for her to come to terms with the fact that she will never be the same athlete she was prior to her injury but now, almost a year and a half later, the junior said she is stronger physically and mentally.
As of Jan. 13, Bosche is averaging 4.8 points per game. The junior has hit nine from the 3-point range. From the charity stripe, Bosche has hit 7 of 10. On average, across eight games the Jays have outscored their opponents by 11 points when Bosche is out on the floor.
"I am a better athlete for having gone through what I went through," Bosche said. "My parents would say there was a drive to do well before but now it's a fire.
"I am learning to be more grateful because there were days where I would just pray for the day I get to play again. I am learning that even a bad game or a bad practice is what I prayed for. Just being able to play again and thrive was where I wanted to be all along."