Olympic Sochi Knee Injuries

Olympic Sochi Knee Injuries

Olympic level athletes train, sacrifice and push for years to reach elite status. Even with athletic trainers, coaches and years of experience, injuries can still happen. An Olympic-level competitor can turn into a spectator with just one wrong move.

Last winter, Olympic hopeful Alice McKennis watched her Sochi dreams dissipate as she wanted for medical rescue after crashing near the end of a World Cup Race. Shattered in more than 30 places, her right knee needed multiple screws and a surgical plate. Her hardware will be removed within the next few weeks but she still faces months of rehabilitation. Currently, her focus is getting through physical therapy and preparing for next season.

Another Olympic hopeful, Lindsey Vonn is out for Sochi as well due to knee injuries. With separate injuries to her ACL and MCL, she decided that the knee is not stable enough for competition. She will have surgery to repair and re-stabilize the knee. Post-op, she will undergo several months of intense physical therapy and rehabilitation. Barring any setbacks, she hopes to be ready for next season.

Although elite level athletes aren’t common, knee injuries are. The most common injury in skiing is the knee injury. The knee is an incredibly versatile hinge joint that is capable of a wide range of motion but is vulnerable to impact. Soft issue injuries are extremely common and easy to sustain. Through the aging process, ligaments, tendons and muscles weaken without appropriate physical training. Many people simply accept that knee pain is unavoidable but this is not true. Regular exercise and lower body strengthening exercises can reinforce knee and leg stability. Cold, heat, and TENSmodalities will help alleviate pain, reduce swelling, and stimulate the muscles to increase circulation as part of your physical therapy program.

Cross Bay Physical Therapy in Howard Beach can assess lower extremity weaknesses and work towards restoring range of motion. Experienced doctor of Physical Therapy Jeff Sadaya and the physical therapy team will design safe and effective programming to re-train and strengthen the knee.

By Benjamin Bieber