OrthoVirginia Blog

Read how a promising 16 year old soccer player recovered from a torn ACL and is back to playing competitive soccer!!

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery is a very traumatic experience for the patient.  For athletes this procedure can be devastating, life altering and potentially lead to the loss of a scholarship, or a career, or even the ability to every play their game again.

The medical community recognizes ACL reconstruction as such a catastrophic injury that there are over seven-thousand published studies on the subject in the past twenty years.  In addition to the severity of the first injury, simply receiving an ACL rupture once increases an individual’s likelihood to injure the same or even the opposite knee by up to 33%.  Given that the recovery from ACL reconstruction surgery can last nine to fifteen arduous and often painful months, the motivation for all involved is to get an athlete back to their sport as safely as possible.

Neela Minesinger, a promising 16 year old soccer player had the unfortunate ACL rupture and repair experience in 2017.  Her parents took her to the best of surgeons, Dr. Mike Lowe, team doctor for the Houston Texans professional football team.  During her initial recovery time she was monitored by the equally talented fellow of Dr. Lowe’s, Dr. Andrew Parker with OrthoVirginia.

Neela progressed well through physical therapy but after several months her confidence was still low and even though she was given the clearance to run, she did not feel she was yet ready to play soccer again and pursue her dream of one day playing in college.

With Dr. Parker’s recommendation, Neela sought out OrthoVirginia’s new Return to Sport program.  After an initial evaluation with Program Director, Austin G Johns CCS CES, Neela indeed showed that she was not yet ready to play competitive sports.

She had trouble:
Squatting:  https://1drv.ms/v/s!Ajy-u004UmsWhVJiFjOVMIp19pCJ
Running:  https://1drv.ms/v/s!Ajy-u004UmsWhVWlAYHecnDEQUPP
Lunging:  https://1drv.ms/v/s!Ajy-u004UmsWhVRvm63zb_0z7aHf
And she was completely unable to jump on one leg:  https://1drv.ms/v/s!Ajy-u004UmsWhVMKNSwJTO4eTjy0

After three months of progressive strength training with a Return to Sport Recovery Specialist, Neela’s athleticism dramatically improved:

She could jump with confidence instead of just squat:   https://1drv.ms/v/s!Ajy-u004UmsWhVZ5iHBCmE0pdlk4
She can run and change direction at high speeds repeatedly:  https://1drv.ms/v/s!Ajy-u004UmsWhVjGL6Rgvwb0TRhK
She lunges naturally:  https://1drv.ms/v/s!Ajy-u004UmsWhVeHBnbGiH_eNRMS
She’s even comfortable jumping on her surgical leg:  https://1drv.ms/v/s!Ajy-u004UmsWhVkoT3iLDJo8hW8z

With all of her hard work and recovery success, Neela was finally able to get back to playing competitive soccer eight months after her surgery:


Neela and her parents were so happy with her progress that she has chosen to continue training with the Return to Sport coaches.  She’s recommended teammates and friends attend the program that helped her so much.  Neela even encouraged her own sister to participate in the Return to Sport program after she suffered the same unfortunate ACL rupture while playing soccer at university.

Says Minesinger, “Thank you so much! [It feels great] becoming stronger and being able to recover well!”

For information about Return to Sport call 571-599-2469, visit http://www.orthovirginia.com/returntosport.aspx  or email rtsinfo@orthovirginia.com.

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