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19 Sep 2006

KNEE INJURY & RECOVERY
Hi there. I had a netball injury last year in May. I fell and tore my ACL, medial & lateral meniscus in my right knee. I had surgery only 3 weeks later as my surgeon was fully booked. My recovery was very slow and exceptionally painful. My knee wouldn't bend more than 65degrees and after 3 months, I had another operation to remove scar tissue. My recovery was much faster after this op, but I lost a lot of muscles. I was with a physio since my injury until I was handed over to a biokineticist in January. I have increased a lot of strength, but my Quads seem reluctant to recover.

I go to gym everyday and can now run for 3 minutes on the treadmill, cycle for 20 minutes, row, legpress, etc. I use the abductor / adductor machine daily and do very light hamstring-curls.

My questions are::
1. How long will I have to be with the Bio?
2. What can I do to recover the muscles in my quads?
3. Will I ever be able to play squash again?
Answer 1,328 views
Expert
Rehabilitation after injury

01 Jan 0001

Hi Patricia,

Recovery time from such an operation depends on how well the surgical procedure goes and how well one reacts to rehabilitation. Full recovery, using a comprehensive rehabilitation program using a physiotherapist and biokineticist will generally take about three to four months.

Regarding your need to resume impact exercises such as squash and netball, athletes involved in high demand sports can be back on the field / court in about six to eight months.

Further quadriceps exercises may include wall squats, progressing to squats away from the wall, leg extension, step ups and lunges, in addition to the leg press machine that you are currently using. Continue with the abductor and adductor muscle groups using pulleys and the machines. Add hip flexion and extension with pulleys to your routine.

Very importantly, do not forget about the hamstrings and continue with the hamstring curls.

Please complete these exercises under the guidance of your bio to ensure that they are safe and effective in rehabilitating your knee.

Almost all individuals recover from this injury and subsequent operation, however healing time does depend on the nature of the injury, success of the operation and adherence to the exercise / rehabilitation programme provided by the biokineticist. With ACL injuries and playing netball / squash again, it is crucial that you perform “sport specific” agility and return-to-sport drills under the watchful eye of a biokineticist to ensure that the knee is able to cope with the demands of this sport and to prevent another injury to the knee.

Good luck with the rehabilitation and return to sport.
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