Give Thanks for That Knee Injury

The Wall Street Journal—February 26, 2013

Dr. David Altchek, an orthopedic surgeon and co-chief of the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service at Hospital for Special Surgery, is quoted on his recommendations for athletes recovering from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries.

Over time, ACL surgery has become much less intrusive—enabling players who were once sidelined for a year or more to return within eight months, if not sooner, which might start to reduce the improvements to shooting.

Dr. Altchek, a knee surgeon and NBA medical consultant, forbids his players from doing any basketball-related activities for two months after surgery to allow swelling to go down. After 12 or 16 weeks, Altchek says he allows players to begin doing "light shooting," meaning set, stationary shots rather than jump shots.

But in months four to eight, he says, the medical protocol is shoot, shoot, shoot.

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