August 14th, 2012 at 7:39 PM ^

If it is going to happen, this was the right time for it - freshman year before burning a redshirt.  Get surgery and rehab it properly and the knee will be stronger than before the injury. 


August 14th, 2012 at 8:42 PM ^

You see it all the time with baseball pitchers after Tommy John surgery - these guys come back throwing harder than pre-surgery.  The same is generally accepted to be true for ACL surgeries, partricularly because the Patellar Tendon which is used to replace the torn ACL is stronger in and of itself.  This is particularly true for athletes that are able to maintain a strict rehab regimen that non-athletes may not have the time/energy for. 


August 14th, 2012 at 9:04 PM ^

I don't agree with that. There is no literature to suggest that an ACL reconstructed knee is necessarily stronger or better than pre injury. While the transplanted patellar tendon or hamstring tendons are both stronger than the native ACL at the time of surgery, they undergo significant remodeling and revascularization which significantly

diminishes their strength and stiffness at least early on, if not always. This is not to say that ACL reconstruction is not effective; clearly many if not most recover. Not all are able to return to 100% pre injury status however.


August 14th, 2012 at 9:31 PM ^

But the rehab really focuses on strengthening the muscles around the knee to help support the ligament. Muscles that kids normally haven't worked on. If you're not smart and start doing stuff too soon you mess it up (like me) and get to do it all over again. I'd be willing to bet he's as good as ever when he gets back.


August 15th, 2012 at 1:02 AM ^

Generally speaking, yes.
The ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow is often times partially torn for a time and may or may not be completely torn at the time of reconstruction. it is typically a pain and loss of velocity issue, as opposed to gross instability, that leads to surgery, and this process can occur over time or sometimes acutely.
While there are partial ACL tears that do not destabilize the knee and do not require surgery, the vast majority of ACL injuries result in a complete or high grade partial tear of the ligament that renders the knee unstable and in need of reconstruction. ACL injuries are acute.
They are really two very different problems.

Blue in Yarmouth

August 15th, 2012 at 8:49 AM ^

but I'm glad a dr. finally set this guy straight. Just because someone had a surgery or read about baseball players having a surgery doesn't make them an expert on the surgery. Especially when the surgeries are on two completely different parts of the body.

This is what makes the internet such an unreliable source of information at times. A poster who chimes in on a subject and pretends to know what he is talking about and speaks with authority, only to be corrected by a real physician (and judging by the nature of the post I would almost think an orthopod). 

Anyway, thanks again for providing some real insight on the issue.


August 14th, 2012 at 9:05 PM ^

In terms of Tommy John, the reason they usually throw harder is that they remove the obstruction in the elbow, essentially allowing them to pitch at their top velocity. They don't actually gain velocity with the surgery in and of itself. This is from Wikipedia...



In some cases baseball pitchers throw harder after the procedure than they did beforehand. As a result, orthopedic surgeons have reported that increasing numbers of parents are coming to them and asking them to perform the procedure on their un-injured sons in the hope that this will increase their performance. However, many people — including Dr. Frank Jobe, the doctor who invented the procedure — believe most post-surgical increases in performance are generally due to two factors. The first is pitchers' increased attention to conditioning. The second is that in many cases it can take several years for the UCL to deteriorate. Over these years the pitcher's velocity will gradually decrease. As a result, it is likely that the procedure simply allows the pitcher to throw at the velocity he could before his UCL started to degrade.[8]

Blue in Yarmouth

August 15th, 2012 at 12:39 PM ^

you got caught trying to play Dr, just give it up. You prbably read an SI article on Tommy John surgery and took every word as gospel. Not only that, you assumed that it would correlate with any other joint/ligament injury in the body. Just give it a rest...you were wrong in almost everything you said. 

Plus, your comment about semantics is absurd. You clearly stated in your original post that the joint would be stronger than "before" the injury, not prior to the surgery when it was already damaged. Now you're trying to change your orignal position because you've been told it's wrong. Just admit you know nothing about the anatomy/physiology of the human body and pick a fight regarding a subject you know something about. Clearly this isn't that subject.


August 14th, 2012 at 8:46 PM ^

I'm not medical expert but from my experience I would guess if properly rehabed the chance of him tearing another ACL could be far less than before. I've had knee surgery before and after going through physical therapy I was able to develop my legs enough to where my knee felt more stable when playing sports than before the injur. That said, I do have friends who after surgery say their knee never fully recovered but they also don't excersise their legs very often FWIW.


August 14th, 2012 at 9:09 PM ^

Dude just torn his ACL for the third time since joining the Washington Huskies.  Twice in the left knee, once in the right.

But as for Wormley, I would say his odds of having his knee be the same as before are probably pretty good since he's an athlete.  But I'd say its far from a given.


August 14th, 2012 at 9:25 PM ^

Difficult. I tore mine in high school. I was cleared for all activity about 4-5 months after surgery. I only tore the ACL...if meniscus is involved, I know rehab is longer. However, I didn't feel absolutely 100% until probably 12 months.

I suppose if there's any silver lining, it's that he can redshirt and, like I've seen noted here already, study the game.


August 14th, 2012 at 7:39 PM ^

Well shit.  I really hope he bounces back from this.  He has a really high ceiling, and I would love to see him reach it.  I was also half expecting him to contribute this season, so that sucks for depth.


August 14th, 2012 at 7:40 PM ^

This is bad.  Please be good Keith Heitzman.  Also, please start eating Tom Strobel.

EDIT:  I mean I want Strobel to start eating, not that I want Heitzman to eat Strobel.  Just to clear that up.