As most MMA followers know by now, Dominick Cruz has had a complicated recovery from an ACL injury to his knee. While rehabbing following ACL reconstruction knee surgery, Cruz suffered a second devastating injury to the same knee in November of 2012, in which he tore the replaced ACL. His original ACL surgery used a cadaver ligament to replace his ruptured ACL. (I explained his surgery in a bit more detail in a Fanpost from March 23rd, as well as on my MMA Injury blog.)
The Dominator seems to have finally hit smoother waters in his recovery. A few days ago he tweeted a picture of himself about to undergo an isokinetic test of his injured knee.
Pt isokinetic testing wit the doc this a.m! Ready to c these results from last 4 months of physical… instagram.com/p/X2x4TkqIAD/— Dominick Cruz (@TheDomin8r) April 8, 2013
Isokinetic testing is a computerized analysis of various aspects of joint movement. A typical test will include Dominick extending and flexing his knee against a type of lever arm that is attached to his leg. As he works his knee against resistance, a computer gathers various bits of data. Usually, this information is compared to an identical test performed on the healthy knee. The information gathered helps Dominick's doctor and physical therapist analyze the performance of the quadriceps and hamstring muscles, and how well the new ACL is functioning at stabilizing the knee.
Recently, I asked the Dominator via twitter if he had received "good news" from his recent isokinetic test. He replied:
Dominick notes that he has been cleared to start small (low-level) plyometrics and running. I think this is a milestone in his recovery. Plyometric exercises involve jumping or hopping movements. High-level, intense plyometrics involve high jumps, lateral hops, and any other number of movements that necessitates explosive power from the legs. In Dominick's case, he will start with low-level plyometrics, an example of which is shown here. This type of exercise is a necessary part of recovery from ACL reconstruction because the knee joint must be subjected to the normal stresses associated with high-level athletic activity in a gradual, controlled fashion. The muscles that stabilize the knee and provide power for leg movements must regain the ability to work in a coordinated fashion. This ultimately serves a protective function for the reconstructed ligament.
Cruz has also been cleared for running. Again, this will probably start in a slow, controlled fashion. He will likely start straight forward, low intensity running on a treadmill- no cutting movements allowed at this time.
Overall, it appears that Dominick is finally making some good strides toward an ultimate return to the Octagon, but it is way too early to estimate when that might occur. The results of his recent knee test have allowed him to progress his rehab program, offering a glimmering light at the end of his long rehab tunnel.