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Toronto, AL M5N 2M7
Ph: 416-483-2654
Fax: 416-483-2654

Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I'm in a real slump and need some perspective. Without saying too much, I am a player on a professional ball team. Ten months ago, I had an ACL repair with a patellar tendon graft (from the front of my knee). I thought I'd be back on the team full speed by now but I'm not. I see other players bounce back but I still have pain, swelling, and loss of motion and strength in that knee. What advice can you give me?

As a member of a professional ball team, you likely have a group of health care professionals at your disposal such as an orthopedic surgeon, physical therapist, and/or athletic trainer. Any of these foks may be able to give you some good counsel and direction. They can examine you closely and directly, which is something we cannot do. We understand that sometimes players don't want to reveal the extent of their delay in recovery. So they don't seek the help, services, and guidance that's close at hand. But we encourage you to do just that. In the meantime, we can offer some thoughts that might help give you the perspective you are looking for. Ten months post-ACL surgery may be too soon to expect full recovery. Although it's true that some athletes are back on the court or field in six months' time, this is the exception rather than the rule. A 12-month (or more) return-to-sport is much more common. There can be other factors to consider. For example, were other soft tissue structures in the knee injured at the time of the ACL rupture? Damage to the articular cartilage lining the joint surface or a meniscal tear can contribute to delays in healing. The surgeon who performed the ACL reconstruction knows all that was done and can give you a better idea what to expect and why. At 10-months post-op, there is still much that can be done in rehab to reduce pain, increased motion and strength, and improve function. Don't hold back in bringing these issues to the attention of your surgeon and rehab team. Getting on top of the problem now can help ensure getting back into the game sooner than later.


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