‘ACL injury’ Archives

Robert Griffin III ACL Reconstruction

posted on January 12th, 2013, by . comments are off for this post

With NFL fans and the popularity of  Robert Griffin III, the question has been raised, how will RG III do after knee surgery? And will he be able to match the speedy recovery of Adrian Peterson?
According to reports Dr. James Andrews repaired Griffin’s anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments on Wednesday January 9, 2013. The average return to sport with ACL reconstruction is in the 1-2 year range. But with today’s advanced techniques the outcomes have gotten better and better. Injuries which were once career ending are now just a 1 year hiatus from the game.

When considering when RG III will return to NFL football, there are many, many factors to consider. In my opinion here are a few of the  main considerations for a full recovery:

  1. How did the surgery go? 5 hours is a long time.  How much damage was there?  How good was the repair.  Will there be any post surgical complications like infections.
  2. The rehab: How efficiently and effectively will the Doctors, Physical Therapists and rehab team communicate, work together and inspire each other to succeed.
  3. Good fortune.
  4. The heart and drive of the player and his rehab team.

Moving too fast or too slow can impair progress. And coming back too soon can lead to re-injury or even new injuries.

So by now the rehab process should have begun, with physical therapy well underway.  The early recovery seeks to heal the acute affects of surgery swelling, lack of motion, and lack of muscle firing, while protecting the repair. The second phase of recovery involves strengthening, coordination, balance and muscle re-education. In the third phase,  strengthening, conditioning, coordination and agility are progressed, while in the forth phase the player moves into functional training and conditioning in preparation for return to sport. Each phase has criteria for advancement. In the end, successful completion of each phase of recovery and timely progression to the next will determine his return to football.

“When adversity strikes you respond in one of two ways….You step aside and give in..Or you step up and fight.” Robert Griffin III

Given his attitude, determination and strength of character,  I’d bet on Griffin III’s return to football to be sooner than later. I wish him well and look forward to see him back on the field. He seems to be a great role model, and a great asset to the NFL.

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photo credit: Richard Lipski, AP

3 for Thursday – Sean Payton Injury – Tibial Plateau Fractures Explained

posted on October 20th, 2011, by . comments are off for this post

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

By now most of us have seen the video of New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham crashing into Coach Sean Payton. It was a pretty ugly collision. The amazing thing was that he was so focused on the next call that he didn’t even see it coming. That’s concentration!

The preliminary report from the Saints doctors is that the surgery went well. But that by no means means that he is out of the woods. Now comes the hard part. Sean Payton will need extensive physical therapy to rehab the leg and get back to the sidelines.

Tibial plateau fractures rank high on the list of difficult injuries to recover from. A tibial plateau fracture is a break in the upper part of the lower leg bone. This fracture not only affects the bone, but also affects the knee joint.  This type of injury can include tears to the ligaments of the knee including the ACL (Anterior cruciate ligament), PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament), MCL (Medial collateral ligament), or LCL (lateral collateral ligament). Fortunately for Payton it appears that only the MCL was involved, which usually heals well. The thing that will be of particular concern for the near future, will be the overall function of the knee, and the potential for arthritis.

Picture from   http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/cybertherapist/front/knee/tibial-plateua-fracture.htm

Here’s how the process will work. Payton’s fracture required surgery to stabilize the fracture. Now it is time for the healing to take place. Physical therapy will start right away working to reduce inflammation, pain, and promote healing. Therapy will focus on restoring full joint range of motion and activating the leg muscles. This is done with manual therapy, stretching and exercise. Coach Payton will be non-weight bearing, walking with crutches for at least 6-8 weeks to allow for the bone to heal. From there, the process will involve more stretching, strengthening and conditioning to restore the normal function of the knee and leg. This will be no simple task and will take months or longer. Here is a basic protocol for progression for an injury such as Sean Payton’s. My guess is that there will be many coaches meetings in the physical therapy clinic.

My advise to Coach Payton is to find a good physical therapist, trust them, take their advice, and be patient. Injuries like these take time to heal. Compliance early on will help him speed through the phases of healing and avoid long term complications.

For more information on tibial plateau fractures and rehab, please contact us.

Additional Resource for Tibial Plateau Fractures

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Sportsmetrics – Sports Training to Decrease Knee Injuries

posted on May 26th, 2011, by . comments are off for this post

The occurance of serious knee injuries is up to five times higher in females than males.

Sportsmetrics programs have proven to decrease knee injuries in female athletes.


To find out more about sports training and preventing knee injuries please call us at 504 841-0150, or see www.sportsmetrics.net