Cat Zingano continues her recovery from ACL surgery on her right knee. At this point, she is about 6 weeks out from her surgery date of May 28th. Cat was in attendance at the recent UFC Fan Expo in Las Vegas, NV, and she posted a brief video in which she talked about how her knee is feeling after two days at the expo.
(Video via zinganobjj.com)
She states "After 2 days at the Expo, I can move my leg to here", demonstrating bending of her knee to about 120-130 degrees. She notes that this is a bit less bend in the knee than when she left Colorado for the Expo, and that the knee "feels really tight." The tightness is probably joint swelling, and is likely due to being up on her feet for countless hours. She has been out of her normal routine since the surgery, without the routine of her physical therapy treatment, and has lost a little of her knee bending range of motion. However, I fully expect that she will quickly regain any lost motion when she is back on her rehabilitation regimen.
Successful rehab from ACL surgery is very much dependent on a consistent, daily effort, especially in the first 6-8 weeks post-operatively. As a practicing physical therapist, it is my opinion that aggressive strengthening should not proceed until full range of motion has been obtained. I find that stepping up the intensity of an exercise program too early, before full range has been achieved, leads to increased swelling and stiffness of the knee. From the Tweets, pictures and videos that Cat has posted, it seems that she and her rehab team are following that line of thought.
In the near future, Cat will possibly start working on some simple single limb exercises. This is the opportunity for her to start rebuilding her sense of proprioception in her knee. Proprioception refers to the body's ability to sense movement within joints . This ability enables us to know where our limbs are in space without having to look or "think" about the joint. This will ultimately be a key element of her rehab, and will pay dividends as she progresses to fight-specific rehab activities.