oleksiy kononov

Should we undergo surgery in case of cruciate ligament?

A 7-minute article suggests what to do if you have torn knee ligaments.
Every athlete knows that even a minimal injury can be fatal and put an end to a career. Many sportsmen are ready to endure pain and discomfort; when the aftermath implies a restriction of movement, this brings a total shock that drastically worsens the quality of life and calls into question a future career.

The stereotype claims: “If broken, go under the knife”. However, such decision is often far from being rewarding or rational, if not worse.

What a blessing that there are Sports Doctors and Scientists in the World who are constantly involved in research and experiments to discover new methods of rehabilitation. This 7-minute article is just about that.

Knowing that supported me in making the crucial decision: “Not to go under the knife”.

Experts claimed that surgery was the only possible way to recover from a torn ligament. This stereotype is firmly rooted in practice. And ‘heavy’ health care systems do NOT promote information about alternative treatments. Patients simply have no idea that they can be treated differently.

New studies have proved that there are other ways. We are talking about rehabilitation through physiotherapy. Based on the facts, mentioned in the article by Dr. Kieran Richardson from Australia, you can see many successful examples in sports practice: there are patients who returned to sports without being on the operating table.
It seems to me that this is great news for every athlete, and very encouraging.
A knee has 4 ligaments at the deepest level: two cruciate (they keep the knee from moving forward / backward) and two lateral (they keep the knee from moving to the sides).
It is important to understand that a torn knee ligament does not have the ability to regenerate. It cannot grow together on its own, and its integrity cannot be restored. The damaged ligament is usually replaced with a transplant to stabilize the knee joint. Or rather, a ligament is taken from the as ... s (from the gluteal muscle).

The advantage of restoring with the operational method is that the ligament returns to its place.
The disadvantage often results in limited mobility. The knee does not bend or straighten as before.

It is also significant to understand that in addition to the main 4 ligaments, there are also small ligaments of the articular bag + muscles. And this is a team game. All ‘team members’ contribute to the stabilization of the knee. Knowing that supported me in making the decision to recover without surgery.

I started thinking it over and suggested (based on my experience with the Cirque du Soleil physiotherapists and my personal deep insight in the subject) that:
  • The main 4 ligaments give 30% of stabilization;
  • Small ligaments and articular bag provide another 30% of stabilization;
  • Surrounding the joint muscles provide another 40%.

This means, the loss of one main ligament is maximum 7% of stabilizing functions that can be superseded by muscles. After all, if desired, we can develop muscles (strengthen, increase in size).

Also in this article, I found the results of studies: patients who were treated with surgery (operation) had worse results than patients who were not operated on.
Patients who recovered with exercises demonstrated better performance than those who underwent surgery.
Yes, it’s hard to believe that after an injury to the cruciate ligament, you can return to sport without resorting to surgery, still I found real cases and left all doubts behind.

Many players of the NBA, NFL and MLB have already accepted the fact that it is possible to recover from a knee ligament injury without surgery and they successfully perform at the highest level.

  • An English Premier League football player was able to return to the game without surgery in 8 weeks after a complete rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament. In addition, he did not experience any discomfort in the game Weiler et al 2015, Weiler 2016;
  • DeJuan Blair, a player of the San Antonio Spurs, has gone through multiple seasons in the NBA without an anterior cruciate ligament;
  • This list can be extended today due to Alexei Kononov, an Artist of Cirque du Soleil, who recovered in 8 weeks only with the help of a properly elaborated program of physical exercises and physiotherapy.
I met the Physical Training Coach of “Zaria” Football Club yesterday. I told him my story, and he replied: “Now, you should always keep yourself fit and in good shape. Which is a good habit, I believe”.
The operation in this case is right only for the lazy.
My Conclusion: Non-surgical rehabilitation is possible, and it has already been used actively in the world of sport.
Here is a set of well-built exercises and physiotherapy that help develop the muscular frame, intramuscular and intermuscular coordination, thereby compensating for the loss of a ligament. You are getting stronger, than you were before the injury.

This effect guarantees the successful return of the athlete to the podium and normal life.
You are getting stronger, than you were before the injury.
It is important to take a thoughtful approach to making a decision to restore, to weigh all the pros and cons of the operation. Talk to advanced Sports Doctors, determine what the course will be, and confidently step on the path of recovery. Yes, you will have to strain well, overcoming pain and fear during the rehabilitation process. Despite everything, the result is worth it. I have proven it in practice.

I am sure that in our progressive time it is worth paying attention to the possibility of rehabilitation through physical exercises, for athletes, as well as amateurs. We can always do better than that, and our body is our first assistant.
Oleksiy Kononov
Artist Cirque Du Soleil | Professional Athlete
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I believe in you and I know you can do more.
With all my respect,
Oleksiy Kononov