Patient Spotlight

Submitted by: The Training Room

Alex Papaccio's Success Story

Alex has been playing ice hockey for years, staying relatively injury-free, until an unexpected hit from behind knocked him out of the game for the foreseeable future.

On September 9, 2012, Alex suffered a traumatic ACL tear. This is devastating news for most athletes as it means months of recovery and hard work in order to return to their previous competitive form. This news did not discourage Alex. He is a mild-mannered, hardworking individual and was on the physical therapy table three days later to begin his rehab process.

Alex was presented to PT prior to surgery in order to reduce inflammation and perform strengthening activities to best prepare for a quick recovery following surgery. The more a patient can do prior to surgery, the better their outcomes will be after surgery. Alex was dedicated from the start, rehabbing diligently and staying compliant with his home exercise program until surgery on October 5, 2012.

On October 19, two weeks after surgery, Alex reported back to PT. Typically after ACL reconstruction it is imperative to achieve certain metrics as quickly as possible to prevent complications down the road.

Alex was aware of this and was eager to get back onto the ice as soon as possible. By attending PT sessions three times per week, and not missing a single session, he met certain milestones quickly and was only delayed because of certain healing parameters that needed to be followed to allow for proper setting of his new ACL graft.

Once these time tables were met, Alex was able to quickly progress past simple range of motion and targeted strengthening exercises into more dynamic strengthening and stability. He then worked with his therapist to progress toward jumping, hopping, and more globally focused activities to best prepare him for the Velocity Bridge Program and return to hockey.

After careful collaboration with the Velocity strength coaches, Alex was discharged from PT on Feb 6th to the Velocity Bridge Program; a program dedicated to helping injured athletes "bridge" the gap between rehabilitation and return to play. After just 3 ½ months Alex was performing box jumps, single leg hops, running and advanced stability drills without pain or difficulty! He has since begun skating and working with Velocity's Sports Performance Director Trae Tolliver in private sessions, looking to return to hockey in the near future.

Alex is a great example of the perfect synergy and collaboration between rehab and performance that will undoubtedly get Alex back to playing at a high level.

Congrats Alex on your superb recovery! If not for your hard work and dedication to your rehab process you would not be where you are today. We look forward to seeing your name in the papers for years to come!


Alex Papaccio Before