College tennis player returns to court after a torn meniscus

Rachel Beck is a member of the Millsaps College tennis team. She had only been playing  collegiately for one year when she tore her meniscus.

“There was no sudden movement or impact that I was aware of,” Rachel recalled. “My injury was simply from wear and tear. My knee was hurting for about two months before I got it checked out.”

Kevin Dessauer, DPT who treated Rachel said, “This is actually a pretty common injury amongst college tennis players.  The amount of mileage a college tennis player accumulates over a season through practice, conditioning, and matches is tremendous.”

When asked how it felt being injured, Rachel said, “It was both physically and mentally challenging.  Some days were more painful than others, and it was then I had to push myself harder. Staying positive was difficult because I had to be patient with my body.”

“The collegiate athletes we treat are often times some of the hardest, yet most rewarding patients,” said Kevin. “They have an unwavering commitment to training and extraordinary talent in their sport. Making them slow down, listen to their body and be patient is usually the most difficult part. They’re used to training hard and giving 100%.”

Rachel’s physical therapy included total body conditioning to restore mobility, strength, balance, power, and endurance as well as a tennis-specific program to allow for a safe return to tennis.

“I was scared and nervous to return to tennis. I feared re-injury from going too hard, too fast,” said Rachel.  “I also didn’t trust myself with a lot of the tennis-related movements. There was a big difference between feeling confident and stronger in physical therapy versus actually getting back on the tennis court.”

“Rachel was able to build confidence through our return to sport testing.  It was a blast watching Rachel develop strength both physically and mentally through this process.  I’m confident that she now moving better than ever.”

Rachel concluded, “My experience at Baudry Therapy Center was amazing! My first half of PT was done in Jackson, MS while I was at Millsaps.  PT at Baudry was incomparable. Everyone was excited to work with me and positively encouraged me through my rough days.  The return to sport program built me back up physically and gave me the confidence to get back on the court.”

Rachel finished the 2016-2017 season with an impressive 8-4 singles record and plans to build on her success this year as she enters her final year at Millsaps.

Learn more about BRIO’s Return to Sport program

The #1 predictor of injury for athletes is a previous injury. So when an athlete is injured, BRIO’s Return to Sport team gets to work with evidence-based care that gives our clients the confidence they need to resume athletic activities. For more information on BRIO’s Return to Sport program, CLICK HERE.




Robert Griffin III ACL Reconstruction

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