My friend Patrick McHugh at North Shore Country Day school asked me to comment on the article in the May 29 issue of Sports Illustrated on Carson Palmers rehab. First of all he is obviously highly motivated to come back from the injury. That is positive. Many athletes have come back from those injuries. Is a September 10 return realistic? Without knowing all the details, but based on my experience, not very realistic. The best healer is time. Successful surgery does not mean successful return to play. It is also important to point out that as a professional athlete all he has to do is rehab. That is his job. He can spend as many hours a day as necessary without restrictions. That can often speed the process. One word of caution based on two pictures in the article. Using the underwater treadmill is fine to an extent, but you must relearn to use the ground. You can film gait as much as you want underwater, but there is no limb acceleration and deceleration. Secondly he is pictured doing leg extensions. I thought that exercise went out with Jefferson Airplane. That will cause problems. Extensions cause excessive torque at the knee. Single leg squats are preferred. The bottom line is the jury is out and time will tell.
For any of you interested in knee rehab in my opinion the most progressive person doing rehab today is Bill Knowles at Vermont Orthopaedic Clinic. Bill had an excellent article in Training and Conditioning Magazine www.momentummedia.com on knee rehab in one of the recent issues.