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Welcome to the Injury Prevention Library!

An Achilles tendon rupture can be a devastating injury for anyone, but even more so if you’re an athlete. With the advancements in ACL injury rehabilitation and shortened recovery time, some would argue that Achilles tendon ruptures have taken over as one of the worst if not the worst injury for a professional basketball player to suffer.

The Achilles tendon is a strong fibrous cord that connects the muscles in the back of your calf to your calcaneus (heel bone). If you overstretch your Achilles tendon, it can rupture completely or just partially. The Achilles tendon allows you to point your foot downward and push off as you walk. You rely on it every time you walk, run and move in general. Ruptures of the Achilles tendon often occur as a result of a sudden increase in stress on the tendon. In basketball, this can be jumping, landing, or a sudden stop and change of direction.

Treatment varies depending on the severity of the rupture. Non-surgical intervention includes: icing the area, resting tendon (avoid weight bearing by using crutches when walking), NSAIDS, and immobilizing foot/ankle for first few weeks. If the rupture is significant, surgery is necessary. From two weeks to six weeks, the postoperative protocol varies based on surgeon preference. Typically at 6 weeks, full weight bearing is allowed. Physical therapy will be aimed at restoring ankle range of motion and strengthening calf musculature. Although some may be able to return to full activity at 6 months, it may be over 1 year before athlete achieves full recovery. Some risk factors include: Age (30-40 yrs), Gender (up to 5x more likely to occur in men), involvement in certain sports (basketball, soccer, tennis), and being overweight. The good news for all basketball players and programs to consider is that there are ways you can reduce your chances of Achilles injury. Activities such as stretching and strengthening of calf muscles, varying your exercise with high impact and low impact activities, and progression of training intensity slowly to allow the body time to adapt.

The NBA lost one of its brightest young stars on Wednesday to a major injury. Victor Oladipo, guard for the Indiana Pacers, suffered a ruptured quadriceps tendon in his right leg when playing defense against the Toronto Raptors on January 24th. Although some former NBA players have suffered the same type of injury, it is rare among basketball players.

The quadriceps tendon is the large tendon just above the knee cap. It is thick, strong, and is part of the extensor mechanism of the knee. A quadriceps tendon rupture in sports, typically occurs due to an eccentric contraction of the quadriceps while the knee is being straightened. In basketball, this can happen upon landing after attempting a rebound, block, or perhaps, taking a jump shot. After the injury occurs, the individual will not be able to straighten the leg without help. There may even be a visible divot or gap just above the knee.

The road to recovery from a quad tendon rupture is typically a long one, with surgery being the first step. During surgery, the tendon is sutured back to its attachment on the patella (kneecap). After surgery, the leg is placed in a brace for typically 3 months (case dependent). Depending on the surgeon’s orders, range of motion exercises can be performed in the early post-operative period under the guidance of a Physical Therapist. Once the brace is removed, flexibility and strength exercise will begin. Progression through these exercises will depend on the individual and the healing process. After the individual has regained full ROM and strength has improved enough, sport specific exercises can begin.

Rehabilitation can be lengthy, but for an athlete it may be much harder to regain the level at which they were pre-injury. Oladipo may be looking at 12 months before he is able to return to 100% at his high level of play.

Please follow us as we continue our How-To Series: Planking.

The plank exercise is a challenging exercise that strengthens various muscles in the upper and lower body with a strong emphasis on the core. This isometric strengthening exercise is able to be performed in different variations and incorporate several muscle groups. How-To Plank

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The Olympic Games are undoubtedly a major platform for athletes to display their skills, determination, and patriotism for the world on a global stage.

Olympic athletes tend to have the capacity to recover from injury quicker, stronger, and more impressively than amateur athletes. Their constant training to improve strength, flexibility, and very specific functional activity produces a human masterpiece designed to perform at peak levels. The athletes with those qualities have a much better baseline from which to start to recover from injury.

See the attached article for a summary of the most famous Olympic injuries of all time. 10 Famous Olympic Injuries

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Please follow us as we continue our How-To Series and learn about decreasing your risk of injury at work.

It is important to understand proper office ergonomics especially when that is an activity you will be doing more most of the day, every day. Keep the following guidelines in mind when setting your work computer or office workstation. How-To Decrease Risk of Work Injury

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