This post comes a little late. The Eagles just recently won their seventh game of the season with beating the San Francisco 49ers and were playing without two of their best players, LT Jason Peters and LB Jordan Hicks. They were both injured when they played the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football.
Jordan Hicks suffered a torn achilles on the second play of the game. He prefaced with saying that he had been previously dealing with an ankle injury, which can put anyone at risk for further injury.
The Achilles tendon is the connective tissue that connects your gastrocnemius and soleus muscles to the calcaneus bone (heel bone) It’s a very strong tendon and allows you to walk, run, jump, cut, and essentially move. It takes a lot of force to rupture this tendon but is usually caused by:
– Sudden plantar flexion (toes pointing down)
– Unplanned or forced dorsiflexion (toes pointing up)
– Direct trauma
Following surgery, most text suggests individuals can return within four to six months and could have symptoms persisting up to one year. That is under the assumption the individual goes through surgery. Most do. There are occurrences where surgery is not an option, which will push back the time frame for a complete recovery.
What Could I do?
Manual soft tissue work to help with scar tissue formation. With most of these soft tissue injuries, that’s where most of my education and training lies. Helping to restore the range of motion of the ankle and helping to prevent contracture of the achilles tendon. He will be in a boot for several months after surgery, so making sure the range of motion is restored properly is important. Once he’s cleared from Physical Therapy, I also can help afterwards. Assisting the athlete in training for return to sport and sports specific training.
And then there is LT Jason Peters. He was injured in the second half of the game. I haven’t been able to find a video of it but he was rolled up on when he was pass blocking.
Immediately after being rolled up on, he laid there grabbing his knee. Initially it was rumored he might have avoided ligament damage but MRI confirmed the next day that he tore both his ACL and MCL. Most of the ACL injuries seen in NFL are usually non-contact where the leg is planted and a twisting motion at the knee usually is what causes the tear. In this case, he had a direct blow to his knee that placed an enormous amount of stress on the inside aspect of his knee.
The primary function of the ACL is to prevent forward motion of the tibia off the femur and hyperextension of the knee.
The primary function of the MCL is to prevent excessive inward motion of the knee.
He will have surgery to repair the ACL and MCL. He then will start rehabilitation. Traditionally, the focus will be geared towards strengthening the quadriceps, controlling pain and inflammation, attempting to get to full knee extension, are to name a few goals. Jason Peters most likely won’t be recovering like Adrian Peterson did, but generally guidelines will put him back at about eight to twelve months of recovery. Which the last few months will be more focused on sports specific movements; whereas the first initial months are teaching him to balance, walk, and jog.
What Could I do?
Initially after surgery, the manual work I do can help with the inflammation, swelling and pain. Aiding in helping the knee get to full knee extension (terminal knee extension) is a step in the right direction. Furthermore, as the knee continues to get stronger, aiding the knee to get maximal knee flexion is also important and manual soft tissue work can also help as well. And like Jordan Hicks, the initial recovery and the return to sport training are the two places I believe I can be the most effective in the recovery aspect for athletes. With ACLs, it’s making sure they have competent hip strength not only to meet guidelines but also “functional” hip strength to do the things that are needed for their return to sport. Often times, the hip is strengthened in a sagittal plane and not enough focus is on the other two planes of motion (frontal and transverse). That’s where I can help!
Happy Healings! The Eagles will need you for next year!!
Other Notable Injuries:
Quarterback Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts – Labrum
Quarterback Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – Concussion
Linebacker Dont’a Hightower – New England Patriots – Torn Pectorals
Markelle Fultz – Philadephia 76ers – Non-structural Shoulder