A “dream” patient
When Saneea got back to Blue Springs three days later, her parents took her to the emergency room at Children’s Mercy East. There, the doctor scheduled an appointment for an MRI. Then she saw Kevin Latz, MD, pediatric orthopedic surgeon and Chief, Sports Medicine at Children’s Mercy.
Dr. Latz confirmed Saneea had torn her ACL. She also had a small meniscus tear, and had sprained her medial and lateral knee ligaments.
Dr. Latz scheduled surgery for July 22, 2019, but first, Saneea went through prehab therapy at the Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine Center Blue Valley facility. Her workouts helped to strengthen her leg in preparation for the outpatient orthopedic knee reconstruction Dr. Latz would perform.
Following her successful reconstruction, Saneea was anxious to start rehab and get on the road to recovery. She could bear weight on her left leg as tolerated, but had to be very careful. A few weeks later, Dr. Latz released her to begin rehab, and she began seeing Zach Gove, PT, DPT, CSCS, Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine physical therapist at Blue Valley. He helped guide her through the rehabilitation process.
“Saneea was a dream patient,” Zach said. “She was very quiet and determined—totally focused on getting back to playing basketball. She did everything I asked, including the exercises I gave her to do at home. She pushed me as much as I pushed her.”
Initially, Saneea’s rehab concentrated on regaining the range-of-motion in her left leg, while preventing strength loss, pushing so it would match the performance of her healthy right leg. After a few weeks, Zach advanced her to the next level, continuing to work on strength and balance, key elements to help her get back to the sport she loves.
About 12 weeks into therapy, Zach had Saneea jogging and doing light jumping before advancing to actual agility drills.
“Once I put a basketball in Saneea’s hands, you could see a switch flip on in her head,” Zach said. “From that moment on, I put a basketball in her hands as much as possible. Simulating the game environment was very motivating for her.”
As Saneea neared the end of her therapy, Zach performed Biodex testing, and his patient passed with flying colors. Biodex is a device used to evaluate strength, endurance, and power of the major muscles in patients before surgery and throughout the rehabilitation process.