by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
A player goes down, feels his knee pop, then gets the bad news from doctors. The knee's anterior cruciate ligament , known for short as the ACL, has ruptured. The inevitable knee reconstruction and subsequent rehabilitation puts the player on the sidelines for at least one year.
And so it was for Sydney's Nick Malceski just a little over three months ago when he badly injured his knee. At least that was going to be the original prognosis. However, the club and Malceski opted for a radical treatment. Instead of using a graft of Malceski's own tissue to repair the damage, surgeons used a procedure developed by French surgeon J.P. Laboureau. The procedure, copywrighted and trademarked as LARS (Ligament Augmentation and Reconstruction System), involves replacing the damaged tissue with industrial strength synthetic polyester fibers. The LARS are purchased in ligament form and are specified to the required needs, as they can be used in shoulders, achilles and hips as well as knees. Each of the over forty different LARS ligaments is designed to meet the required needs of any given natural ligament. Each LARS ligament contains the necessary number of fibers in their required lenghs in order to match the body's natural make-up of ligament fibers. The LARS ligament can then match the body's natural structure.
During the surgical procedure, the LARS ligament is placed placed alongside the damaged ligament to allow the surrounding tissue to grow into it. The natural tissues eventually cover the synthetics.
Malceski, who ran second in the club's 2007 best and fairest voting, lined up for his first senior game in Round Eight. Not only was he watched by the Swans, but most other clubs as well. Should he get through the season without any setbacks, it will bode well for others who suffer similar injuries. Another good sign that the knee is holding up well came during a recent training session when teammate Craig Bolton collided with Malceski and landed on top of his knee. Malceski got up with no ill effects.
Source: Melbourne Age & keepmovingusa.com
Coughan Seeks Geelong Cure
Injury-prone Tiger Mark Coughlan is following in the footsteps of Geelong's Max Rooke, all the way to Germany. Rooke traveled to Germany last year to undergo radical treatment for his troublesome hamstrings. Coughlan, who has battled osteitis pubis and undergone a knee reconstruction, will spend several weeks in Germany. The treatment, developed by Dr Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wolfhart, has treated a variety of sports people for soft-tissue injury using an extract from rooster combs. Richmond's rehabilitation and conditioning coach will accompany Coughlan.
Article last changed on Friday, May 23, 2008 - 1:35 PM EDT