It was only a few years ago where a torn ACL would destroy the career of your average professional athlete, but recent advances in diagnosing the injury along with the surgery and physical therapy in recovery has given these athletes new hopes to make a full recovery.
What might ACL Surgery look like for Gavin Lux?
The Anterior Cruciate Ligament is like a really strong rubber band that attaches one bone to another and during surgery, the torn ligament is then replaced with a tendon that usually connects bones to muscle. This tendon can be taken from another part of the body or from a donor body.
How did Gavin Lux injure his ACL?
According to the Mayo Clinic, most ACL injuries happen when the athlete does the following:
- Sudden slowing down and changing of direction
- Pivoting when foot is planted
- Landing or Jumping incorrectly
- Sudden Stop
- Direct Blow to the Knee
From the video below, it looks like Gavin Lux checked off four out of the five reasons above:
What does Physical Therapy look like for Gavin Lux after the ACL Injury?
Most people experience a popping sensation after the injury, which is quickly followed up with severe pain and swelling from the torn blood vessels in the knee.
Next steps are to ice the knee at least two hours for 20 minutes at a time, and then wrap the knee in a compression sleeve. You let the knee rest by lying down and propping the knees up on the pillow.
Once the short term pains have been addressed, the patient then needs to do some work prior to the surgery with a “pre-hab” program that prepares the knee for surgery and post-surgery treatment.
After the surgery, the patient will most likely use a cold compression sleeve to decrease the pain and inflammation from the surgery and once that is managed, the patient will be required to exercise daily and this regiment can last for months. The patient can run and ride a bike as the ACL is needed for more side to side movements of the leg.
New technologies such as a CPM machine (Continous Passive Motion), can be used by the patient to go through a range of motions that prevent the build up of scar tissue.
Overall, the recovery process takes eight to ten months, but some athletes can come back in six months. Even with this full recovery, it might take the athlete another year or so to mentally feel normal and trust the newly constructed knee. Dave Roberts mentioned an eight-month recovery timeline for Lux.
We know Gavin Lux has the discipline, so we’re wishing him the best in his recovery from this horrific injury.
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