SPOTLIGHT ON – Allyssa Lolesio-Pua Pt.1
Alyssa is a young Iron Armour athlete who enjoys playing basketball and Rugby.
On Aug 28 playing Rugby League Allyssa was caught awkwardly in a tackle and she completely tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and tore 50% of her medial collateral ligament (MCL).
She was reviewed by her specialist in September and underwent a total knee reconstruction in Oct 2018.
This is her story.
So what is an ACL tear and why is it so serious?
The ACL is a key ligament inside the knee which helps stabilise the knee.
If you tear the ACL then the knee becomes unstable and can feel ‘sloppy’.
The reason why it’s a serious injury especially for an athlete is because it can keep you out of sport for over 6-12 months depending on how severe the injury is.
If you injured the ACL + the meniscus (cartilage) + the MCL then you’re likely to miss more then 12 months of sport.
If it’s just the ACL then I’d be optimistic that you’ll recover in 6-9 months.
So what is an ACL reconstruction?
The most popular method especially for athletes is called a hamstring graft ACL reconstruction.
Basically, the surgeon takes a small part of your hamstring tendon and sticks it in the knee (grafts). This is the reason why ACL reconstructions take a long time to heal.
It’s because you are allowing a tendon (hamstring) to slowly mature into a ligament (ACL graft).
Remember Allyssa completely tore the ligament and so the surgeon is fixing her knee by taking a little part of the hamstring tendon and placing in the knee to stabilise it.
Hence, an ACL reconstruction = re-constructing the anterior cruciate ligament.
So in summary here are the rehab goals for Allyssa to achieve –
Stage 1: 0 to Month 3 post operation
- Reduce pain and swelling
- Achieve full knee bending and straightening
- Start some gentle lower leg strengthening work
Stage 2: Month 2-6
- Start some straight line running
- Increase the strengthening load on the knee
- Start some agility/jump work
Stage3: Month 6-9+
- Return to sport specific conditioning work
- Return to monitored sports training
- Return to sport
I hope you’ve found this post helpful and we’ll keep you updated of Allyssa’s well being journey!
Big shoutout to Nick Longhurst Head S&C at ACE Performance for assisting Alyssa with her ACL rehabilitation!
The orthopedic specialist has recommended that she return to 95% of her pre injury activities the only thing to watch out for is game like contact work.
That’s such a relief as we pointed out in earlier blog posts Allyssa would be looking at a 6-12 month prognosis to returning back to full sport.
So now that we have the approval from the surgeon Allyssa will continue with her power and running protocol but now look to include measured contact work and monitor other areas of concern.
We performed our Body Assessment Tool (B.A.T) Test on Allyssa and found some key areas that can do with more strengthening and control work.
- L hip strength
- R single balance
- Low back/pelvic tilting control
These ‘minor’ issues can be improved to help the overall performance of Allyssa’s athletic ability.
P.s More information on our BAT Test coming soon…
Big shoutout to Nick Longhurst Head S&C at ACE Performance for helping Alyssa with her ACL rehabilitation!