John age 40.  Occupation: Personal Trainer

This is a good’un…. !

John LIMPED up to the doors of Procuro Physical Therapy Clinic in June 2010.  He presented with a very painful, very swollen left knee.  His story is a 7yr long tale of pain, swelling, bone breakages and life changing injury.

John came from a background of marathon running and fitness training.  7 yrs ago he broke 2 bones in his left foot.  These bones were re-set incorrectly by a surgeon.  This lead to postural changes and major swelling of the knee.  In time, a number (yes… more than ONE!) clots had formed right up his left leg.  Bear in mind that John is a personal fitness trainer and had a passion for running marathons on a regular basis!  This was not good for John.  He spent 3 months in hospital with doctors trying to clear the clots using IV anti-coagulants. (blood thinners).  Muscle wastage in the legs followed due to laying down for so long.  Cue muscle weakness and the decision to stop running…. for good… 🙁  (Have I mentioned he was a marathon runner…!)

The next two years were spent trying to get back to some form of training.  He had some physio with positive results but the furthest he could run at his best was 6 kms. (once again…… 6  kms is a stroll in the park to fanatical marathon runners). He suffered terrible pain and swelling in the knee after each run so had to rest for weeks in between before he could try again.  This was 5 years ago.

Cut to the aforementioned “limping” into Procuro!

So, to June 2010…  pain in the left knee had become constant.  John could not jog from his car to the front door of his work place without pain, he could not bend down on his ‘haunches’ and he could not even demonstrate ‘squats’ to his personal training clients in the gym as it caused too much pain.  His knee was visually so distorted and inflamed that I could not give a proper diagnosis as to what injury had been caused.  Tendons were swollen, the left knee joint was twice the size of the right.  The left Quad muscles (Muscles at the front of the thigh) were much narrower than the right and had little if no definition.  Bearing weight or contact with the ground was unbearable and he found it hard to drive long distances.  Something had to give… and it couldn’t be his knee!!

So I began treating John with a course of ultrasound to reduce the swelling.  I then had to ‘clean out’ the knee joint by using very deep tissue massage on the knee joint, the muscle tendons inserting from the Quads and hamstrings and the collateral ligaments.  It was difficult to even isolate the knee cap to work around it and free it up to examine it so I had to mobilize that aswell .  I treated John on a weekly basis since June.  It was a slow healing process due to the nature of his job and each evening he had to sit with his left leg elevated and ice on the front of the knee so the swelling would reduce and he could cope with work the following day.

Cut to the good stuff….  Last week we made a breakthrough in Johns healing process.  He had been pain free for about 3 weeks, only stiffening up after a long day or a gentle TEST  jog of 300mtrs.  The shape of the knee was back and movement was 90% better!  John was so far a happy man!  This week, for the first time in 7 YEARS, he has been able to squat down, almost on his ‘haunches’, he has run nearly a kilometre with no after effects and his left knee and quads are looking more symmetrical with the right knee.  John is more able for the strengthening exercises we do together in the clinic.  Pain is down to 1% since his first visit.   Range of motion is back at 95%  (it was at 40% at his first treatment) and although his knee stiffens slightly after a gentle run, that stiffness is loosened out almost immediately after his treatment!  EUREKA!!  Turning a corner…!!

Over all, in 9 months, John has progressed from, not being able to walk without pain or swelling to a man, who after 7 years, can now start his running regime again to hopefully build up to a marathon next year!  Step by step, mile by mile, that’s the goal we are hoping to reach!

It’s great to come into work each day and see a part of a patients life change for the better.  Through months of commitment and diligence from John, I was able to help him get back on his feet and start to run again!  A hobby he loved and missed from his daily routine.  I was very happy to witness him doing exercises he himself hasn’t been able to do in 7 years and to say that I was a part of that success story is truly a rewarding feat!  Smiles all around!

So that is one of this months success story!

If you are training for the Cork City Marathon in June and have any injury related questions please don’t hesitate to call 021 2409186!  Good Luck!

Stay well people!