Soccer Injuries and Knee Stem Cells
A 15 year old Bosnian soccer player, sustained a terrible knee injury. The terrible triad is known as tearing the ACL, Medial Meniscus, and Medial Collateral Ligament(MCL). This teen soccer player did more. He tore his ACL, PCL, Medial and lateral collateral and sustained a bone bruise to the Medial Femoral Condyle. His father, also a soccer player, had torn his ACL and had it surgically repaired, the son wanted to avoid this, thus the families research led them to seek consul from Dr. Lox about knee stem cells. Dr. Lox has treated many athletes with a variety of knee pain.
Knee Ligament Injuries
Interestingly, despite all of this, the 15 year old soccer player was not unstable. Instability is a great problem for running and cutting athletes with ACL tears. He had well developed quadriceps and hamstrings. There was an initial 3 week period of severe swelling consistent with a hemarthrosis. Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears (ACL) are violent injuries which cause significant macro and micro trauma to the knee joint. The force necessary to tear the ACL ligament results in a violent disruption of knee joint tissues. This ensures that blood occurs in the knee joint or hemarthrosis. Often the femoral or tibial condyle is contusion as well. Sustaining a bone bruise is not surprising giving the disruptive force involved with a tearing of a ligament that connects the femur and tibia. This patient did report an initial period of severe swelling, which prevented walking for days. This is compatible with a hemarthrosis (blood in the knee joint). It gradually subsided and he was able to walk normally without a limp. A new MRI revealed intact PCL fibers and the question of any intact ACL (anterior cruciate fibers) was debated. A non-cutting athlete can do just fine without a complete ACL ligament. However, a soccer player, basketball player, or football player places great strain on the ACL ligament with cutting and pivoting moves. If the athlete doesn’t not display instability on physical examination this suggests some of the ACL remains, the surrounding supporting tissues and muscles are providing support. While nothing is certain in sports, a re-injury can occur at any time. ACL reconstruction surgery is a lengthy process that is difficult. Many top professional athletes from a wide variety of sports have not made it back to their previous level. Since this athlete was doing well, the teen patient and his parents wanted to try a Regenerative Medicine approach while continuing to work on his skills with a trainer under Dr. Lox’s guidance.
Knee Stem Cells and Training
Not all patients do the same routines after having knee stem cell procedures. Not only are sports different, but injuries are different, and thus require different approaches to post Regenerative Medicine care. No two athletes circumstances are alike, therefore a customized approach is needed. Luckily, this soccer player was ambidextrous with his legs. He could shoot and set up passes with either leg. This allowed great freedom in post knee stem cell care with his trainer. We could essentially utilize an ACL or a double upright brace to limit stress to both the ACL and PCL while he practiced shooting skills with the opposite leg. This was a nice luxury not seen in most athletes, and allowed early soccer training with minimal chance of aggravating his injured knee. Developing a personalized approach to treating not just athletes with injuries but all patients is key to a successful outcome, and accomplishing their goals.
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