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Marketplace Physical Therapy Riverside explains Kobe Bryant’s Road to Recovery

Sports talk show hosts have been debating for several weeks the reason for Kobe Bryant’s Achilles Tear. Was he playing too many minutes leading up to the Laker’s playoff run or did 17 years in the NBA finally catch up to him. At this point none of that matters at all. The only thing that matters is what it is going to take for Kobe to return as one of the best players in the NBA. Marketplace Physical Therapy Riverside explains exactly what Kobe will be going through over the next 6 – 9 months.

Here are the 5 areas Kobe will need to focus on after his surgery

1. Control Swelling: Immediately following Kobe’s surgery to re-attach his torn Achilles, Marketplace Physical Therapy Riverside explains that his medical team’s main focus will be controlling the swelling. A certain amount of swelling is good for the body because it increases blood flow to the injured area and thus bringing the healing white blood cells. However, massive and prolonged swelling can lead to atrophy of the muscles surrounding the joint and a decreased ability to activate the muscles. Chronic swelling can lead to tissues becoming rigid and non-pliable making the athlete much more succeptible to injury. Marketplace Physical Therapy Riverside believes that Kobe’s Physical Therapist will employ the PRICE method to control Swelling

P = Protection from further damage
R = Rest to avoid prolonging irritation
I = Ice (cold) for controlling pain, bleeding, and edema
C = Compression for support and controlling swelling
E = Elevation for decreasing bleeding and edema

2. Protect the Elasticity of the Achilles: Riverside Physical Therapist explains that Kobe’s Doctors from Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic will be very careful to keep his tendon in a shortened position. Overstretching the tendon would be disastrous because it would limit Kobe from getting any lift off of the foot, virtually guaranteeing that he will never dunk a basketball again. Once the tendon has regained its strength all exercises will be focused on pointing the ankle down and not lengthening it at all.

3. Time for the Boot: Kobe will progress quickly from a full boot with crutches, full boot normal walking, athletic shoe with heel support and then a normal shoe with no heel support. In every one of these phases Kobe will be working on range of motion, light strengthening and cardio.

4. Normal Movement: If things all go according to plan he will move into the next phase of retaining normal movement three months after his surgery. The faster he enters this phase the better chance he has of returning to his all-star status.

5. Learning to Play Basketball Again: There has been no time in Kobe’s life where he has had such limited physical activity for 3-6 months. Obviously, this will lead to deconditioning to his body as a whole.  In the beginning of this phase, his Physical Therapists and trainers will be very protective of his repaired Achilles. He will then be exposed to sports specific basketball drills and exposure to contact.

If all goes perfectly according to plan, Kobe will be able to play in 6-9 months. This falls in line with the start of the 2013-2014 NBA season.

Most people do not have the resources to have a team of Doctors, Physical Therapists, and Trainers with your 24 hours a day. However, if you are facing an injury and you live in the Inland Empire, Marketplace Physical Therapy Riverside had the knowledge and dedication to give you the highest quality rehabilitation available.

To schedule a free consultation with our Doctor of Physical Therapy, please call 951.684.2874.

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