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Case Study: Recovering from a knee injury

C is a talented power and speed athlete who has previously specialised in sprints but is now looking to wards combined events. She has had a significant knee injury, possibly growth related in puberty and has now been released to return to training by the specialist. This blog looks at the methods we’ve used in late-stage rehab to prepare her to return to sprint training.

The injury still presents pain at times in deep squatting movements, especially on one leg. Testing for RSI, Stiffness, Ground Contact Time, Take Off Velocity, Flight Time and Peak Power identified significant asymmetry with both legs being much weaker and the injured leg especially so. The focus was to regain strength levels, reduce the asymmetry between legs and improve confidence.

Initial gym sessions used isometrics to develop peak force capabilities with limited movement in the lower body, full range eccentric glute and hamstring exercises and then restricted range squats and deadlifts to build muscle mass.

C rapidly gained strength and progressed to power exercises on the Glute Ham machine and high load sled accelerations using 50-60% of bodyweight, both these exercises were chosen to load strength qualities in her muscles as a foundation for returning to power-based activities later on.

C has started to include hops, jumps and medium velocity uphill sprints and will progress these to higher demand plyometrics and eccentric strength lifts before returning to higher speed sprints.

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