Emerson, Pt. 1

Earlier this year, his game was interrupted by pain in his left knee and ankle. He could stand as long as he wanted, but his pain increased with walking, ascending and descending stairs. He had gone to his physician for left leg pain, who assessed him and sent him to an orthopedic surgeon. In turn the orthopedic surgeon sent the same man to physical therapy with a diagnosis of “lumbar radiculopathy”.

He had full lumbar ROM without change in symptoms. His knee pain was reproduced with provocative testing for a meniscal tear. He had weakness in resisted knee extension and plantarflexion, but had strong dorsiflexion that was symmetrical between sides. His distal-most symptoms, in the ankle, were reproduced with a straight leg raise featuring internal rotation and adduction that would increase/decrease in intensity with cervical flexion/extension.

Over the next three weeks, he would improve. His care involved education, neurodynamics and movement (albeit, structured, under a very orthopedic model of thought). After one visit, he was denying pain with walking.  He denied pain on the stairs after two weeks. Two days ago, he jogged (comfortably) for the first time in 6 months. His knee strength has improved to be nearly symmetrical to his uninvolved right side. His only remaining deficit is weakness with unilateral left calf raises.

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