The Pominville Injury
Folks are worried about the population of Pominville.
At least, my Twitter account says so. I keep getting a messages inquiring on the status on Pominville since he left the ice, and the 2010-11 season, on this play.
Terrible. I prefer to remember Jason’s 2010-11 campaign with this play. Smart. Nose for the net.
Trust me, folks, I would love to know exactly how he is doing right now. But hey – I don’t have the credentials to access him on his Barcalounger.
Still, due to the inquiries on his status, I did my best to find out what is going on with Pommers. I can’t get in the training/Barcalounging room, but Abby Corsun Sims (MS, PT) of “AthletiSense.com” filled me in on what to expect regarding his recovery.
Her Hockey Credentials:
I took care of Ron Duguay, (then of the NYRangers) when he suffered (a similar) injury in the very early 80’s. His was only partially cut through, but the injury was significant. Unbelievable as it sounds, they just sewed Ron up in the locker-room!
What to expect:
Recovery from surgery to repair takes the timeframe you mentioned for a variety of reasons. The initial 6-8 weeks is solely to allow for a healing response.
And the minutia you might like to know:
The tissue has to mend and the repair must be protected. The patient is casted in a position that puts the tendon on a mild stretch with the ankle essentially in a neutral position. Crutches are used to ambulate, and the limb is non-weightbearing. Once the cast comes off, a walking boot (CAM walker) is used and weightbearing is gradually restored. Of course, there is significant muscle atrophy & weakness in the lower leg to address with a strengthening program. Patients should have been performing some non- weightbearing exercises for muscles of the hip/thigh from the outset to prevent unnecessary reconditioning.
Another major goal of rehab is to restore the range of motion in the foot and ankle. The presence of swelling and prolonged positioning in the cast and boot causes loss of mobility that must be addressed.
The surgery that was performed to repair the tendon, along with the protracted period when it was kept from stretching, also causes it to shorten. Another focus of treatment is to restore flexibility. Additionally, balance will be affected and requires attention.
If a tendon is severely frayed or retracted (it kind of shrinks from both sides after being completely ruptured), approximating the ends during a repair can cause it to be even shorter. The clean cut likely with Pominville’s injury probably makes this less of an issue , especially if his surgery was performed promptly.
Lastly, movement must be incorporated into the rehab program. Agility and power must be addressed.
Complications can occur if the repair is improperly done, if it is stressed too soon , if the rehab program progresses too quickly or if the integrity of the tissue is an issue. If ankle mobility is not sufficiently restored it will limit flexibility of the calf/Achilles.
Most Achilles repairs do very well, and hopefully, Pominville will be good to go for next season.
Every injury of this nature, of course, is different, and offers doctors, patients, and fans scores of reasons to be frustrated and impatient regarding recovery time. Still, all we can do is give it time, and send Pommers some good vibes.
In the meantime, the best news is no news. So far so good.