This post is thanks to Derek Tan - a physiotherapist who used to work for me and now has his own private practice. He shared with me some stuff he found on Brandon Roy. You can find Derek at Tan Hands Physiotherapy - Shop 218-219, Level 1 (Inside Medical Centre), Carlingford Court, CARLINGFORD, NSW, Australia 2118. Phone: +61 2 9872 8155.
You can read about Brandon Roy here but from what Derek tells me, he was one of the best shooting guards in the last decade with the Portland Trail Blazers NBA Basketball team. He was an All-Star and co-captain of his team. He was getting paid $13-14 Million for the 2010/11 season. But he suffered from knee injuries... here is a list of what I can tell he has had to do with his knees, not including the other hamstring and ankle issues...
First knee surgery 2004 (lateral meniscus)
NBA Rookie of the year 2006-7
2008 - L knee surgery (meniscus)
2010 - R knee surgery (meniscus)
2011 - bilateral arthroscopy cleanout
end of 2011 - retires aged 27 with quote "(no) cartilage between the bones of both knees"
OK, Basketball is a tough sport and these guys aren't small and light. However, isn't 27 years old too young to retire due to cartilage wear and tear?
Also, I am not his Physiotherapist obviously, nor was I involved in his rehab. If I was, I would have had PLENTY to say!
I have only gathered this information via some videos I have watched which are listed below...but they are enough to tell me that his rehab wasn't done right...
Evidence Exhibit 1 - Resistance Band Walking Lunge with Med Ball Rotation
This blog post has some walking lunges with resistance band and ball rotations - an advanced exercise that requires lot of different body regions working properly to get it done right. I want you to watch his knees. Now what SHOULD happen is that his legs stay in line with his feet and perpendicular to his body. Tell me, is that what you see?
That's right! His hips do what we call "internal rotation" and cause his knees to come in towards his midline. The net result of this is that the top part of the knee (the femoral condyles) twists and rubs on his lower part of the knee (tibial plateau). Guess what is between those 2 bones? That's right - his cartilage (meniscii)!!! But wait, there's more.
Evidence Exhibit 2 - Dumbell Clean Pull to Armpit Exercise
So, now you have begun to see what we physios like to look for - knees SHOULD NOT come in at all during his exercise. If one of my exercise staff did to one of my patients, believe me, they would be chewed out severely! Let's look at another video...
So, what did you see this time? Yep, you are right again - his knees caved in. I am beginning to think that he has a hip stability problem, not a knee problem. Has any of his medical staff or rehab staff ever looked at his hip stability? I am beginning to think NOT!
Evidence Exhibit 3 - Split Squat Jump with Resistance Bands
OK, so are you sure you know what to look for now? This is such a basic problem that it should be taught everywhere in every Personal Training course in the world!!!
Now if you found the other videos hard to pick what is wrong...here is an obvious one for you...
Sorry - you have to click on the link to watch it...<click here>
Oh. My. Goodness. I can almost hear the cartilage cracking and splitting and grinding away from here in Australia! It is this kind of video that needs to be used on HOW NOT TO DO exercises! What is the trainer do there? He is standing right next to Brandon Roy and is not correcting his form. I personally wouldn't hire this guy to help my patients!
How often do I see this problem?
This is so common it is not funny. I even wrote a post earlier about it - I see mainly "motor control" problems - this is where people have trouble coordinating and controlling their bodies.
From the videos I saw tonight, Brandon Roy has motor control problems. I don't know where the primary problem is but you have to suspect the hips at the very least!
Absolutely NOT. They are great exercises! But as with ALL exercises, they need to be done right. Finding the right trainer to help you is very difficult. They need to have eagle eyes and be aware about so much. It has taken me years to train my exercise staff and they still have some things to learn! but the net result is that my staff know more than most physiotherapists do 🙂
What does this mean for you?
1. If you do this during your exercises, go see someone who understands how to stop your knees from coming together - Women have more trouble than men in this for a number of reasons including their wider hips, their cultural training to "keep your knees together" when wearing skirts and dresses and a general lack of good gluteal strength.
2. If you see someone at the gym or your local exercise class doing it, tell the trainer to correct them. If the trainer won't correct them or doesn't care, stop seeing that person!!
3. Seek a professional who understands about how to assess, identify and rectify motor control problems. In my experience, the best people are well-trained musculoskeletal and sports physiotherapists - but you must be selective - not all physios are the same!
4. If you can't find someone to trust, then leave a message and I will try to find someone in your area of the world who can help.
1. Get some DECENT rehab - it isn't too late for your knees...it is just your elite level career at the moment that is gone. Ditch that guy in the video - he hasn't helped your knees at all.
2. Get someone to look at your hips, feet, back, pelvis etc. You need someone to diagnose your problems holistically - from the upper body videos I saw, they looked ok
3. Get the most anal instructor on form you can find. If you can't find someone, come to my clinic and I will kick your butt for a very small price!
4. For a modest price, I am happy to come over there and get you back up to scratch and help you return to the NBA!
What do you think? How often do you see the same problems? Leave your thoughts and comments below!