SPOTLIGHT ON – Davey Kaleopa Pt.3

Sep 12, 2018 | Spotlight On, Written by Leki | 0 comments

SPOTLIGHT ON – Davey Kaleopa Pt.3

Hi guys,

Here is the Part 3 of a 5-part series on a young Iron Armour athlete who suffered a serious knee injury and how physiotherapy will help get him back to full health. Enjoy!

Please read Part 1 and Part 2 here to bring you up to date.

Here’s the latest so far (quick summary):

  1. Davey suffered a R patella dislocation on Saturday 28 July 2018 and he’s now 6 weeks after the injury
  2. He has been rehabilitating his R leg from day 5 post injury
  3. He’s avoided restrictions recommended by the specialist which was no running and avoid painful movements until week 6

It is now week 6 and Davey has just seen the specialist for a follow up review.

What was the result?

He can start running! Hooray!

The only restriction now is to avoid any contact work such as kneeling, falling on the knee and tackling drills in Rugby League/Iron Armour sessions.

So we’ve got some instructions from the specialist and our job as the physio is to strengthen Davey’s knee but keeping within the boundaries set by the specialist (no contact work).

Here are the 3 main things we’ve progressed:

  1. Started a measured running program
  2. Progressed Davey’s specific R leg rehab work
  3. Re-introduced general strengthening and conditioning work

Running Program

How much running is too much? Or too little? When should I stop running?

These are common questions I get when athletes are ready to progress back to running from an injury.

I like the straight line interval running program.

Built into the program is a measured distance, speed and monitoring proper fatigue (when to stop running).

Davey’s Rehab Progression

A key weakness for most athletes after a patella dislocation is loss of pelvic control (balance).

The main responsibility of the little muscles around the hip is to give you balance and the key muscle is gluteus medius.

Early in our rehab we focused on the inner thigh (VMO) but we are now shifting to more work around the backside/gluteal region.

His new rehab exercises are with a gluteus medius focus (theraband pulling his knee inward)

(a) Split lunge

(b) Arabesque with gluteus medius focus

Conditioning Work

Apart from his running program and specific rehab work outlined above we have also encouraged Davey to return to his Iron Armour training sessions to improve his general conditioning.

After 6 weeks without running and sweating in the gym you’d be surprised about how much strength and conditioning you’ve lost!

So I’ve encouraged Davey to return to his regular Iron Armour sessions but to avoid the restrictions that the specialist had placed on him – NO CONTACT WORK!

The main issue I find in this stage of rehab is overdoing things!

Athletes tend to return to running and push heavy weights again and start to develop soreness as a result.

This is a problem as there’s a risk to re-injuring the knee or suffering another secondary injury like pulling/tearing your hamstring as an example.

So one of my primary tasks in this phase of Davey’s recovery is to outline exactly what Davey’s permitted to do and restricted from doing.

Other then that he’ll push on with is work and return for an update in another 2-4 weeks.

As I mentioned this is Part 3 of this series of 5 which Spotlights Davey’s effort to return to sport and full training after dislocating his knee cap playing Rugby League.

Into the next update – Part 4 – I will be looking at how he’s progressing back to ‘full training’ then Part 5 which would be his full return to sport!

What a journey that would have been.

Thanks for witnessing Davey’s journey and supporting him back to full health!

I hope you’ve found this post helpful.

Keeping Healthy Simple!

– Leki