Petra Kvitova is Back!
Petra Kvitova, a professional tennis player from Czech Republic, sustained a knife injury while defending herself from a robber in December of 2016.
Tendon and Nerve Damage
She suffered tendon and nerve damage to all five fingers. With traumatic tendon injuries in the hands it is common to have nerve and/or blood vessel damage due to the proximity of the structures. Tendon injuries need to be surgically repaired quickly for the greatest change of regaining function. Tendon laceration or rupture in the finger are almost always treated surgically.
Following Petra’s surgery she was immobilized for 6 weeks. Immobilization is done to allow the tendon repair to heal. If a patient were to try and use the injured area before it is healed they run the risk of re-rupturing the tendon. The chances of having a full recovery after a repeat tendon repair surgery decreases significantly.
After the tendon has healed the patient will begin working on gaining back strength and range of motion through physical therapy and working hard at their home exercises. Petra had a long road ahead of her after surgery. She began her therapy with minimal ability to move her finger on her own. She needed electrodes to help stimulate her muscles and nerves to fire.
Petra had months of hard work ahead of her before she could head back to the court. In an interview with The Guardian she mentioned that even 12 weeks after the surgery she had difficulty grasping and feeling her tennis racket. Through hard work and sheer determination Petra was back to playing tennis and participated in the Wimbledon Championship in 2017 and placed 12th out of 34.
Petra’s story is a great example of how working hard and following your rehab protocols can lead to good recoveries and restored function.
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