This is it – the last game of the NFL season, the SUPER BOWL!!!

Our 3DPT’s NFL Injury Review covered a lot of players and injuries this season, including the star quarterback of one the Super Bowl teams – Patrick Mahomes.  So it’s only fitting that our last edition highlight a major injury that the 49ers quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, came back from last season.

The last time Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers faced the Chiefs, the quarterback went down with an ACL tear that ended his season and ended the 49ers hopes of a rebound year. Fortunately both Garoppolo and the 49ers have been able to recover leading them for a rematch on the biggest stage. We covered an ACL sprain earlier in Week 14, but the implications of a full ACL tear are different and demonstrate how impressive Garoppolo’s recovery has been.

One of the biggest issues immediately after ACL reconstruction surgery is the pain and swelling. This can cause the quadriceps muscle to lose its function, making walking difficult and why crutches are often prescribed. The early stages of rehab can be the toughest for an athlete because they are used to performing at such a high level and now are confined to much simpler activities. One of the things that helped Garoppolo was that his teammate, Jerrick Mckinnon had just gone through the same surgery a few weeks before. This allowed Jimmy the opportunity to see what was in store for the recovery and have someone to go through it with.

As the recovery progresses following an ACL surgery, there are small milestones the athlete will try to hit. Garoppolo talked about how it was important to celebrate these small victories. At 3DPT we love seeing the patient succeed from performing a straight leg raise with no quad lag to performing a smooth jump and landing. It is important for the physical therapist to not only coach the patient how to perform tasks but give them the confidence to do everything they need. For Garoppolo he had to have the confidence to get back in the pocket with people trying to take him down. Squats and lunges will not be enough to feel confident in your ability to evade danger at the last second.

To get to the Super Bowl, Garoppolo had to trust in his rehab team. His counterpart, Patrick Mahomes had his own knee issues which we covered earlier this year, in Week 7. He too has been able to get back to top form as they prepare for the biggest game of their young careers. These players highlight the importance of having a good rehab team you can trust. Even if you aren’t trying to get back to playing NFL games, you should be given the confidence to do everything you want and we here at 3DPT are ready to help however we can.

Now that the NFL season is over, our 3DPT’s NFL Injury Review will be too!  But don’t worry, we’ve got more great information to share! Over the next few weeks we’ll be starting a new series, digging deeper into the ACL injury, and more importantly how to prevent one.  Check in with us next week to learn more!