Before I say anything, here is just a bit of context for those out there who have no idea who I am. My name is Adam Lambert, I am a professional snowboarder, I have competed in 3 seasons of the FIS Snowboard World Cup, raced in 2 FIS Snowboard World Championships and made my Olympic Debut at the 2018 Games in Pyongchang all competing in snowboardcross.
This is not my first ACL rupture, hopefully it will be my last but nothing is guarenteed in my sport. With it not being my first parlay into the world of rehab and recovery I thought I had a pretty good idea what to expect in the first week post injury. I assumed I would be stuck in bed icing my poor knee back to its usual size. However as I quickly learnt the world of knee reconstructions and what to do directly post injury has changed quite dramatically.
When a lot of people think of a serious injury their mind goes to RICE “Rest Ice Compression Elevation” and there have been a lot of different acronyms for the same process over the years. But, it seems the medical fields consensus on this issue is changing. The current acronym for dealing with joint inflammation post injury is, and I wish I was kidding here PEACE&LOVE.
PEACE&LOVE is the new protocol for dealing with inflammation associated with injuries, it stands for:
- Protect – Unload and Restrict Movement for 1-3 Days
- Elevate – The limb above the heart to promote fluid flow out of the joint.
- Avoid – Anti Inflammatories
- Compress – Taping or strapping to reduce swelling
- Educate – Build your understanding, know the process.
After 1-3 days of peace, its time for some love
- Load – Start moving around and exercising with minimal to no pain
- Optimism – Stay “Optimistic”
- Vascularisation – Get into some cardio to help boost blood flow
- Exercise – to reduce the risk of worsening or re-injuring your injury.
Now Imagine you’re me, thinking you’re going to get a couple weeks off to relax and recover, Ice your leg, you visit your physio the next day and she has you doing all sorts of scary exercises like balancing on one foot and doing tiny squats as she tells you that ice does nothing to help with swelling, I was a bit sceptical. But i will tell you what, It worked. I was back walking around without a crutch within 48 hours, if not a little sore at least I was functioning.
The next few weeks were a blur of insurance claims, planning with the professional staff at the OWIA and doctors appointments, but here I am almost 1 month post injury, bored out of my brains getting ready for what might be, as lame as it sounds, one of the biggest challenges in my life up until now. At Least I will get a summer this year.
What Comes Next
Well now all I can do is wait, Prehab is the big thing at the moment with physios recommending 6-8 weeks of gym work before you go under the knife. I am impatient so will be going under the knife at bang on 6 weeks, which graft will I get? Not even I know the answer to that one, maybe I’ll talk about the decision making process in another post but for now we are still weighing up my options.
If anyone reading this has had ACL or other knee surgeries in the past let me know below as any information at the moment is good information.