Dr. James Gladstone talks severity of Lindsey Vonn’s injury

Posted by on Nov 21, 2013 in Dr. James Gladstone, Health | No Comments

In February, days after she sustained the first major knee injury of her career, Lindsey Vonn vowed to return to ski racing in record time. To Vonn, rehabilitating her reconstructed right anterior cruciate ligament became another competition — and she sped past every milestone in her recovery.

Lindsey Vonn had been expected to return to the World Cup with a downhill race Nov. 29, but she has now suspended her comeback indefinitely.

Told by doctors that a usual prognosis would have her on skis by November, Vonn was proud to be taking some runs on the slopes of Chile in early September.

But Tuesday in Colorado, Vonn crashed in training, a tumble that partly tore the same knee ligament that she had repaired about nine months ago. Vonn, the reigning Olympic downhill champion, has now suspended her comeback indefinitely with the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics about 11 weeks away.

Vonn had been expected to return to the World Cup with a downhill race Nov. 29, but a statement by her publicist on Wednesday said that she had a mild sprain of the right knee and a partial tear of her anterior cruciate ligament, along with facial abrasions and bruising of her shoulder blade.

“She needs to rest for a few days,” the statement read, “and then will pursue aggressive physical therapy and will determine the next time she is able to compete after seeing how she responds to the treatment.”

The United States Ski Team issued no timetable for Vonn’s return to training or competition, nor did it make available Dr. William Sterett, the team orthopedist who rebuilt Vonn’s knee in February and examined her Tuesday.

Orthopedists specializing in knee surgery and sports injuries who were contacted Wednesday about Vonn’s injury said there was a wide spectrum of outcomes for her in the next two to three months.

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