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Zaire’s ACL Reconstruction Patient Story

Posted on: January 25th, 2022 by Our Team

Zaire is 17-year-old football athlete at St. Mary’s Ryken High School who has been putting in the necessary work the past 4 months since Dr. Lucas Wymore performed an anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction utilizing the patellar tendon autograft approach. This is a rather common surgery we find in our higher-level athletes such as Zaire.

Bridging Program

Diego Gatica, PT, DPT and Tracey, PTA, at our California, MD & Sport Performance clinic have been the therapy team working alongside Zaire as they work together to build the required strength and mobility of his knee utilizing a variety of therapeutic interventions that align with his goals while taking into consideration the post-operative healing timeframe. One of the most innovative therapeutic approaches taken to achieve Zaire’s goals is the introduction of blood flow restriction training (BFR). BFR has gained popularity in recent years due to its wide variety of target patient populations which ranges from those with chronic pain who can’t tolerate high loads on their body to athletes such as Olympic swimmer, Michael Andrew who has been using this intervention for years. All of the CAO PT locations in Southern Maryland have Physical Therapists certified to conduct this therapeutic technique through continuing education course, which is appropriate for a wide variety of patients. Through this approach, we are able to facilitate Zaire’s healing process and increase his leg strength without putting an excessive amount of weight through his operative site since this particular surgery method results in weightbearing restrictions and movement limitations in order to preserve the joint’s structural/functional integrity.

Thank you Zaire for entrusting your recovery to CAO

Incorporating BFR, manual therapy, therapeutic exercise/activities and other appropriate interventions has allowed Zaire to return to running with proper lower extremity biomechanics under the supervision and education of our licensed physical therapy team of Diego and Tracey. The goal is to return to playing as a starting linebacker for St. Mary’s Ryken High School and take his athletic career as far as possible with the potential of transferring to our Sport Performance staff as he furthers along his post-operative protocol. Zaire’s hard work, patience, and perseverance has shown with his continued functional, strength, and ROM gains made during his PT journey at the CAO Physical Therapy and Sport Performance facility. The sky is the limit for Zaire!


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