This week we invited Laura Asplin, our Clinical Marketing Manager, to share one of her favourite experiences since joining the JO team last year.
It was a pleasure meeting Darcy and her Mum at their home to discuss her knee injury and fit her Breg knee brace. Darcy is a very happy 11-year-old in to sport and not wanting injury to slow her down or hold her back from her dreams. Darcy’s Mum, Jane, is very supportive in all her daughter wishes to pursue and similarly does not want to let anything prevent her from engaging in her hobbies.
Darcy is a very active, sporty 11-year-old. Whilst playing football at school in 2020 Darcy felt a pop in her knee, she was unable to continue playing and rested her knee with an ice pack for a few days. She visited the GP with her Mum and they were advised to rest it and get back to activity gradually. One afternoon she was coming down the stairs at home and once again felt a pop and her Mum heard an audible pop too. At this stage Mum felt something was not right and so they arranged an MRI scan independently. Darcy then saw Mr Peter Thompson at the Warwickshire Nuffield Hospital.
The MRI of Darcy’s knee showed an ACL tear and meniscus injury, which required surgical intervention.
Mr Thompson performed an arthroscopic repair of the meniscus. However, due to Darcy’s age and her open growth plates, ACL reconstruction was not appropriate.
Darcy’s keenness to return to her activities led Mr Thompson to discuss using a ligament stability brace to protect her knee from instability to her ruptured ACL. It was also imperative to protect the meniscus repair that Mr Thompson has performed to #savethejoint.
I measured darcy’s knee at home, then fitted her with a Z-12 ligament stability brace. This has given her the confidence to return to her main passion, which is horse riding. Darcy is over the moon to be back to her hobby!
“Wearing the brace makes me trust my knee again!”
Research acknowledges that the risk of contralateral ACL rupture after initial injury in the paediatric population is 300% higher for patients aged 19 and under compared to those over 19 years old (Webster et al., 2014). I discussed with Darcy and her Mum the importance of physiotherapy at this stage of Darcy’s rehabilitation to protect her opposite knee and help her be in the strongest form going into ACL surgery at some stage.
Across the world, there is an initiative to help to prevent serious knee injuries. Many countries have their own programmes for their athletes, such as the FIFA 11+ and the PEP programme. The KNEE programme in Australia is a very well-considered exercise regime for juniors through elite sports players aimed to reduce the prevalence of serious knee injury. The programme is split out into warm-up, strength, balance and agility; the key areas shown to be in a deficit of knee patients. Players do not need to perform every exercise each time. The programme needs to be completed at least twice a week for maximum effectiveness. The UK is working towards a similar programme with a working group of knee surgeons and specialist physiotherapists.
Mr Peter Thompson is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon based in Warwickshire, specialising exclusively in knee surgery and sports injuries of the lower limb.
Mr Thompson took up his Consultant post at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire in 2005. During his time at the Trust, he has been the Clinical Director responsible for leading a large team of orthopaedic surgeons who work there. With his extensive experience in all areas of knee surgery, from sports injuries to revision knee replacement. He has strong links with several professional sports teams in the UK and is also involved in the treatment of the British Gymnastics team.
Laura Asplin is the Clinical Marketing Manager at Joint Operations. With extensive clinical experience from being a specialist physiotherapist working full time in elite sport to working with patients and Consultants in the NHS. Laura is passionate about knee injuries and rehabilitation and enjoys seeing patients relieved of their pain.
At Joint Operations, we are delighted to base our advice on braces on our extensive physiotherapy experience. It is always a pleasure to talk with patients with a genuine understanding of their injuries and anatomy. We would be delighted to help you and/or your patients with their bracing needs.