Recovering from surgery in competitive sports
Prior to his second hip operation, Andy Murray expressed fears that his tennis career was over. Yet, less than 6 months after the operation, he confirmed he would be partnering up with Serena Williams to play mixed doubles in Wimbledon.
It’s likely Murray took steps before his surgery to increase his chances of a speedy and successful recovery. Before an operation, competitive players need to work on nutrition, including getting enough protein and fibre, building up muscle strength and working on a care plan with their coach and trainers.
Young athletes who are still on top of their game are expected to carry out a phased-type recovery, which sees them making small changes over the course of weeks and months. This gives the body the chance to heal while gradually adding exercise, strength building and physical therapy into the mix. The idea behind this is to take it slow as if an athlete jumps back into exercise too quickly, they’re susceptible to slowing recovery time or damaging their body further.
Murray accredited his recovery to physio, swimming and weightlifting, with bouts of cardio thrown in for good measure. He revealed that he took to both gymnastics and breakdancing before his tennis comeback.
He uses an anti-gravity treadmill to aid his walking which allows him to exercise and build up strength while alleviating the pressure of his body weight. Users of this machine can train with only 20% of their body weight impacting their joints, going up in 1% increments right through to 100%.
Following his five-week check-up, Murray was still on crutches and underwent regular follow-up check-ups to ensure his prosthesis had not slipped.
American doubles player, Mike Bryan, recovered from a similar operation believes his recovery was aided significantly with the help of his physical therapist, Patricia Ladis.
At Watkin Davies we understand the impact that an injury and chronic pain can have to a professional sportsperson’s career. Even what could be considered a minor issue could temporarily put you out of action, and something more serious could spell the end of your career altogether. That’s why we work with sporting professionals to arrange personal accident or career-ending insurance to alleviate financial concerns when you’re out of action.
To find out more, get in touch on 02920 626 226.