John Dodson begins ACL rehab

UFC flyweight John Dodson recently sustained an ACL tear in his knee, and has now started his rehab. Here is an Instagram video that he posted yesterday.

Dodson is shown with his knee in a continuous passive motion (CPM) device with ice on his knee. The CPM is used in the early weeks after ACL repair to ensure full range of motion of the knee. The ice will help with pain and swelling. It would be good to see Dodson using pneumatic compression in combination with the cold therapy. This combination can be very effective at controlling swelling and lessening pain. Maybe he is using such a device when he’s not in the CPM.

Obtaining effective pain control is critical to regaining control of the quadriceps muscles. Soon, Dodson should be working on normalizing his gait and obtaining full active range of motion of the knee, both crucial to avoiding arthrofibrosis (scarring within the knee) and regaining strength of the quadriceps.

John Dodson has ACL Surgery

Fox Sports reported yesterday that UFC flyweight John Dodson has undergone ACL reconstruction surgery, and will be on the shelf until some time in 2015. He has been battling problems with his knee for some time.

His scheduled December 2013 bout with Scott Jorgensen at UFC on FOX 9 was cancelled due to Dodson suffering a partial tear of his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments. He made a successful return to the Octagon in June of this year, but soon started having problems with the knee once again.

After the original injury, Dodson chose to pursue a conservative path rather than surgery since the ACL was partially torn. The confounding fact about the ACL is that it does not heal well on its own when torn. For the average layperson, the partially torn ACL can heal well enough to maintain normal day-to-day function. However, the elite level athlete may have a totally different outcome, and this is obviously the case with Dodson.

I posted an article on BloodyElbow in April, explaining in more detail why the ACL is difficult to heal on its own. The primary problem is that the ACL is an intraarticular ligament, and cannot form a healing blood clot at the site of the tear like other ligaments can (MCL, LCL). 

I don’t expect Dodson to return to training until around March or April of 2015, and probably won’t be fight-ready until the summer of 2015. This of coarse depends on a normal course of recovery.

Image via MMAWeekly
Two big bouts have been announced for UFC 178, which will go down September 27.
Today, the UFC announced the return of Cat Zingano. She will face Amanda Nunes at UFC 178. On the same card, Dominick Cruz will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon when he squares off with Takeya Mizugaki.
Zingano suffered a right ACL tear and underwent surgery May 28 of last year. She chose to have her ACL replaced with a cadaver graft, taken from the Achille’s tendon of a young cadaver. Medical literature suggests that using cadaver grafts to repair ACL tears is not an optimal choice for athletes. The presumed benefit of this type of repair is reduced pain and less trauma to the knee compared to the traditional patella tendon graft. However, the cadaver graft takes longer to fully incorporate into the knee, and is susceptible to failure in the athlete.
This is what happened to Domick Cruz. His knee problems date back to 2012. While rehabbing from his original ACL surgery, Cruz re-tore the ACL in November of that year. His original ACL surgery used a cadaver graft. For his second surgery, he chose the gold standard for ACL reconstruction, the patella tendon autograft. (Autograft refers to taking the graft from one’s own body.) 
At the time of Cat Zingano’s surgery, I tweeted her asking why she chose the cadaver graft. Her reply was interesting.

@mmainjury I’m told the healing/pain duration is faster. Plus, I’m a doner, and I thought how I would want,when i die, to impact someone too
— Alpha Cat Zingano (@CatZingano) June 14, 2013



@mmainjury Cuz honestly, I was really on the fence about Getting a cadaver ligament, I was a little creeped out. Happy now, but wanted info
— Alpha Cat Zingano (@CatZingano) June 14, 2013



@mmainjury so I asked who it was from.They said all they knew was Achilles tendon of a 29y/o man from a car wreck. Knowing made it betterIDK
— Alpha Cat Zingano (@CatZingano) June 14, 2013


I will have particular interest in how Dominick and Cat are able to absorb kicks to their injured legs. I will be watching Dominick’s lateral movement, and how well he can plant on the injured leg to deliver power strikes (if there is such a thing in his fight repertoire).
Now, let’s hope that neither Cat nor Dominick suffer any setbacks leading up to UFC 178. 

Image via MMAWeekly

Two big bouts have been announced for UFC 178, which will go down September 27.

Today, the UFC announced the return of Cat Zingano. She will face Amanda Nunes at UFC 178. On the same card, Dominick Cruz will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon when he squares off with Takeya Mizugaki.

Zingano suffered a right ACL tear and underwent surgery May 28 of last year. She chose to have her ACL replaced with a cadaver graft, taken from the Achille’s tendon of a young cadaver. Medical literature suggests that using cadaver grafts to repair ACL tears is not an optimal choice for athletes. The presumed benefit of this type of repair is reduced pain and less trauma to the knee compared to the traditional patella tendon graft. However, the cadaver graft takes longer to fully incorporate into the knee, and is susceptible to failure in the athlete.

This is what happened to Domick Cruz. His knee problems date back to 2012. While rehabbing from his original ACL surgery, Cruz re-tore the ACL in November of that year. His original ACL surgery used a cadaver graft. For his second surgery, he chose the gold standard for ACL reconstruction, the patella tendon autograft. (Autograft refers to taking the graft from one’s own body.) 

At the time of Cat Zingano’s surgery, I tweeted her asking why she chose the cadaver graft. Her reply was interesting.

I will have particular interest in how Dominick and Cat are able to absorb kicks to their injured legs. I will be watching Dominick’s lateral movement, and how well he can plant on the injured leg to deliver power strikes (if there is such a thing in his fight repertoire).

Now, let’s hope that neither Cat nor Dominick suffer any setbacks leading up to UFC 178. 

UFC on FOX 11: Thiago Alves’ comeback, and those leg kicks!

The UFC on FOX 11 card featured some great finishes. My interest, however, was fixed upon the welterweight bout between Thiago Alves and Seth Baczynski, seen on the preliminary card on FOX Sports 1. Alves earned the unanimous decision win. 

Alves returned to the Octagon for the first time since March of 2012, when he suffered a submission loss to Martin Kampmann at UFC on FOX 2. Since that fight, Alves has had four surgeries. The list of injuries he has suffered is impressive.

  • Torn biceps 
  • Torn ACL
  • Torn PCL
  • Torn pectoral muscle

But before this series of injuries and surgeries, Thiago underwent a surgery that, to my recollection, no other active UFC fighter has had- brain surgery. In 2010, an MRI revealed an arterial/venous malformation in his brain. The surgery to repair that was uncomplicated, and he soon returned to training. Alves enlisted the help of Mike Dolce for a nutrition and weight cutting strategy. 

In his fight against Baczynski, Thiago displayed a barrage of brutal leg kicks complimented by some fine punches. His timing with the kicks was spot on. He looked as if he had been fighting regularly. This is a testament to the training and rehab that he had after each of his injuries. 

So, who’s next for Thiago Alves? Leave your comments here. And hit me up on Twitter @MMAInjury! 

Brett Roberts comments on the Affordable Care Act

Brett Roberts of BAMMA USA was on MMAJunkie radio yesterday, and commented on how the Affordable Care Act was affecting his MMA business.

"Insurance went up 30% this year in California because of the affordable care act that’s just screwing us left and right as promotions."

MMA Injury update: Cain Velasquez shoulder surgery

UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez recently gave an update on his progress since left shoulder surgery last December. The surgery was to repair a torn labrum, and it was his second shoulder surgery.

Labrum tears have the potential to alter the stability of the shoulder, which has obvious negative implications for an MMA athlete.

On his rehabilitation progress, Cain notes “I’m toward the end of my rehab now. More so starting to try to get that strength back instead of the motion. Still can’t train yet, hopefully pretty soon the doctor will clear me to start doing some stuff.”

You can see the video of this interview on my post that’s up today at BloodyElbow.com.

John Dodson returns to gym, recovering from knee injury

UFC flyweight John Dodson has been inactive since an early December 2013 knee injury, when he suffered partial tears of his MCL and ACL. The injury occurred during training, and forced him to withdraw from his scheduled fight at UFC on Fox 9 vs. Scott Jorgensen.

On February 25, he Tweeted a picture of himself sparring, having apparently been cleared to return to more aggressive training.

 

At the time of the injury, Dodson expected an 8-10 week inactive period. He has past that point, and I expect that we will see him in the Octagon some time this spring or possibly early summer, depending on fights that may be available to him.

Watch those outside leg kicks, John.

Miriam Nakamoto continues her rehab from ACL surgery. She tore her ACL in her fight at Invicta FC 7. Looks like she has regained full knee flexion based on this  picture she recently posted. 

https://twitter.com/MiriamNakamoto/status/442218978430042112

She had a patella tendon autograft for her ACL reconstruction. She expects to be out for about 1 year. I think she will make a successful return. This is her second ACL surgery- one on each knee.

Miriam Nakamoto continues her rehab from ACL surgery. She tore her ACL in her fight at Invicta FC 7. Looks like she has regained full knee flexion based on this picture she recently posted.

https://twitter.com/MiriamNakamoto/status/442218978430042112

She had a patella tendon autograft for her ACL reconstruction. She expects to be out for about 1 year. I think she will make a successful return. This is her second ACL surgery- one on each knee.

UFC featherweight sensation Conor McGregor continues his rehabilitation from ACL surgery. In early February he posted a pic of himself engaged in a component of his rehab regimen. There are three things that I notice in this photo.
1. Most obvious is that he is standing on an unstable surface.
2. He appears to be squatting.
3. The green band around his lower thighs.
This is a complex, but excellent exercise that addresses the goals of strength and balance after ACL surgery. The unstable surface requires that Conor maintain his balance, while simultaneously he is performing a squat. No easy feat to be sure.
However, the added component of the green band makes this exercise even better. The band provides resistance to the hip abductor muscles- the ones on the outside of the hip. These muscles function to move the leg outward. The hip abductor muscles are critically important in controlling valgus (inward) stress on the knee. Undue valgus stress on the knee during jumping and landing could re-injure the ACL.
It appears that Conor is progressing well with his rehab. He injured his knee in his last fight at UFC Fight Night 26 on August 17, 2013

UFC featherweight sensation Conor McGregor continues his rehabilitation from ACL surgery. In early February he posted a pic of himself engaged in a component of his rehab regimen. There are three things that I notice in this photo.

1. Most obvious is that he is standing on an unstable surface.

2. He appears to be squatting.

3. The green band around his lower thighs.

This is a complex, but excellent exercise that addresses the goals of strength and balance after ACL surgery. The unstable surface requires that Conor maintain his balance, while simultaneously he is performing a squat. No easy feat to be sure.

However, the added component of the green band makes this exercise even better. The band provides resistance to the hip abductor muscles- the ones on the outside of the hip. These muscles function to move the leg outward. The hip abductor muscles are critically important in controlling valgus (inward) stress on the knee. Undue valgus stress on the knee during jumping and landing could re-injure the ACL.

It appears that Conor is progressing well with his rehab. He injured his knee in his last fight at UFC Fight Night 26 on August 17, 2013

Julianna Pena injury update

Julianna Pena suffered a nasty knee injury in late January, in which she tore her ACL, LCL, MCL and a meniscus. She is in the early phases of her knee rehab now. Later tonight, I will have a post up on BloodyElbow.com where I review her rehab based on some comments that she shared earlier this week in a radio interview.

Watch for the article, and please follow me on twitter @MMAInjury!