A bit of advice about where you get advice from on your knee though. When you said ATC, was that referring to your school’s athletic training department? Lots of athletic trainers and team doctor’s at even bigtime Div.
I programs, don’t place enough emphasis on soft tissure work for rehabbing injuries. Going through any rehab from a knee injury, and especially if you have surgery, you need to try to get as much soft tissue work around your knee as possible.
There is just a huge amount of adhesions and scar tissue that build up around your knee after and injury or surgery. Not addressing those issues will greatly slow your recovery.
I’ve personally seen some good ART work cut recovery times in half from what the head team doctor said the athlete needed after knee surgeries.
Please explain how you cut off half of the recovery time from a ACL reconstruction by using ART? What exactly is your experience w/ ACL rehabs? Not sure but you may be onto a medical miracle!!! (INSERT SARCASM HERE!!!)
I’m not saying everyone can cut a knee recon rehab in half. There are obviously phases in the body’s recovery that cannot be sped up, such as the bone graft setting (4-6 months) and the ligamentization of an allograft (up to a year). However, the soft tissue recovery phase can be significantly reduced.
I don’t have medical studies or anything to get into a pissing match with, and obviously not every case is the same, but all I’m saying is that something like ART can significantly reduce the recovery time from a knee surgery. There’s no medical miracle involved.
Anyone who’s had any kind of knee surgery knows how hard it is to get that muscle flexibility and ROM back. One example of results I’ve seen: One athlete had been running on a knee that swelled and locked up on him for a while. He had 30 free-floating pieces of cartilage in the joint removed through arthroscopy.
The head team doctor at our school (Div.I program) said he’d be on crutches for 2-3 weeks and not back to full speed for at least 6 weeks. Our track coach had him on daily ART and rehab, and the athlete was off crutches in a few days and back to full workouts in 2 weeks. There were a few other track athletes who had similar results from other knee procedures.
Granted these weren’t reconstructions, but soft tissue adhesions play a huge role in joint mobility and muscle recovery to full range of motion and flexibility in any surgery.
I’ve had a PCL reconstruction. PCL rehab requires your leg to remain mostly immobile for a month after the surgery, as opposed to an ACL recon where you’re going for full ROM as soon as possible after surgery. So needless to say, my muscles had a month to form scar tissue and adhesions.
Sure, technically I was able to play a game of basketball at one year post-op. But I had nowhere near my old flexibility and recoverability until I did ART treatments in the second year post-op. It unlocked my knee flexion and allowed me to fully recover my muscle flexibility.
I think soft tissue work like ART is an important component that most general rehab protocols completely overlook. My knee surgery was with the team doctor for my town’s NFL team, and my rehab was with his favorite physical therapist, the guy who does most of the NFL player rehabs too.
Neither of them prescribed any kind of soft tissue work or thought it would be any great help, even though I asked repeatedly. After 18 months I still did not have full flexibility back, but I had more than 135 degrees, so the doc was happy with that. He didn’t seem to think there was a problem. It was until I got some ART for it that my flexibility came back very quickly.