SEATTLE — As the vaccinated among us begin to venture back out into the world, many people are finding themselves nursing injuries after the long layoff – some minor, some major.
Dr. John Manning is an orthopedic surgeon at Evergreen Health who has treated many injured weekend warriors. A former collegiate athlete in football and track, he himself suffered a major knee injury that put his competitive playing days on hold. Knee injuries are actually some of the most common types of sports-related injuries.
“When you grow up an athlete and you play through your college years, you see a lot of injuries around your teammates,” he said. “I saw injuries and I saw excellent recoveries, and then I myself sustained an ACL tear. I had a great experience with the surgical reconstruction and was able to get back to playing full recreational sports within the year.”
So when a patient comes to see him, Manning is able to offer encouraging words about his own past experience and current expertise. One thing to keep in mind is that recovery times for professional athletes are much different for recreational enthusiasts. Pros often need a full year to rehab from a catastrophic knee injury, but it’s less for the rest of us.
“I tell my patients that we're not quite as demanding of our extremities as those high-level athletes, and if you're a weekend warrior skier, realistically kind of the 6–8-month time frame can happen for some folks,” Manning said. “The reason why the patients come and see me as an orthopedist is most of them want to get back to their level of activity before having some degree of an injury that keeps them out.
“In the event of an ACL injury and reconstructive surgery to give them a new ACL, most the time I can assure those patients that they'll be able to get back and skiing next season.”
Not every injury is born out of a collision on the slopes or other common sources of trauma. Everyday wear and tear can lead people to Manning’s office as well.
“In general I think people first go to their primary doctor with the complaint of pain,” he said. “Particularly when it's something that's shown up over the course of time and not associated with any specific trauma or injury.
“But if the pain persists to the degree where your patients really are struggling with their daily living activities there may be something more than just the kind of the give-it-a-rest and see how you do over the span of the next few weeks.”
When patients come in for an appointment at Evergreen, they can be rest-assured that the doctors and nurses will come up with the best treatment plan for them.
"We have a really emphathetic and welcoming staff here and they're going to treat every patient as a unique case."
For locations, or to book an appointment, visit Evergreen Health’s website or call 425-899-4810.