Although racecar driving isn’t often considered a sport, considerable amounts of athletic skills are necessary to bring home a win. In August, Tony Stewart broke his leg after a sprint-car crash. Nicknamed “Smoke,” Stewart has never wavered in his resolve to get back on the track. Since the injury, he’s given his leg time to heal and supplemented the healing process with physical therapy.
As of Sunday’s Daytona 500, Stewart estimated that his broken leg was about 65% healed. There was question as to whether he would participate in the race but he was determined to be there. Stewart broke two bones in his right leg, sustained soft tissue damage and underwent three separate surgeries. Anxious to get back to doing what he loves, Stewart said he felt more comfortable in his car than resting at home in bed.
This type of injury takes a minimum of four months to heal. Average recovery time is six months but may be longer if the break is complicated. Physical therapy is critical to restore normal leg function and range of motion. Mobility aids are generally part of a treatment plan to increase weight on the affected leg.
Cross Bay Physical Therapy in Howard Beach has the therapists, resources and modalities to treat various types of bone fractures. Prior to treatment, functional capacity evaluation is conducted to assess the severity of the injury as well as the impact on daily life. Cross Bay therapists may employ transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to encourage circulation and decrease pain. Strength training exercises and gain retraining may be necessary to restore complete lower body functionality. Because leg fractures require a significant amount of rest, Cross Bay therapists may also recommend cardiovascular conditioning. An at-home regimen of conditioning exercises will also help speed recovery and rehabilitation.
By Benjamin Bieber