Patient Story: Laura Llobet’s Knee Injury

Laura Llobet is a clinic at our Cool Springs location in Franklin, TN.  Laura had a lateral release and microfracture in 2014, and is in process now with her doctors about discussing a next possible surgical treatment.  In her story about her Elite physical therapy experience, Laura states:

“I am an automotive engineer so when someone asks me how I became injured, I say that I have an alignment and durability issue –a wobbly wheel that just doesn’t roll straight. My kneecap does not track properly in the joint grove and has been rubbing on my femur. About six years ago, I started distance running as a method for stress relief, maintain fitness and as a sorry attempt to burn off the excessive energy of my puppy. I trained and completed several half marathons and became addicted to the sport.

However, after completing the Detroit Half Marathon, I was barely able to walk and was encouraged to see a doctor. The MRI showed repeated impact to my femur and the wear of every mile I ran. My doctor recommended a lateral release procedure to relieve the kneecap from hitting on the femur and also a microfacture. My only stipulation was that he was to get me fixed so I could run a marathon. I had the surgery in May of 2014 and ran my first full marathon in May of 2015. Over the next several years, I continued to run and train for various events. As with most runners, I lacked the discipline to properly strengthen ALL of the leg and hip muscles and to stretch. This resulted in recurring knee pain, tight IT band and repeated wear on my cartilage.

My doctor recommended that I limit my running to shorter distances and to start cycling and swimming since those activities have less impact on the joint. At first, I was devastated.  I didn’t have a road bike and I’m a ‘nose plugger’ when I swim. Running is so easy and convenient. I am still running but not logging nearly the miles I once did. I have embraced these new activities and even started to complete in races.

My primary goals in physical therapy are to build the strength and stability in my entire leg. Most of the focus in the past was in my knee itself but my hips were also very weak. I also wanted the balance between both sides as I knew I favored my leg and would over compensate my movements to protect it. Finally, I wanted to learn how to sustain the results after I graduate from PT.

In my very first visit, I could feel that I was not nearly as strong as I thought. I was asked to stand up and do a standard squat. I could not do it. My right knee buckled in. Today, I can hold a one leg squat on a wobbly board while catching a weighted ball.  I could definitely feel a physical difference in my running and cycling after about 4 weeks. My husband even commented on how much stronger and more balanced I look in these activities.  It’s crazy!  I can even feel the difference in my activities.

The Elite team has helped me keep motivation to continue to improve and challenge myself. I am able to do exercises I never expected. If it weren’t for their unique approach to each patient, I don’t think I would be where I am today with my rehab. I am a competitive person and while I am in the clinic, I get to chat with them about races and upcoming events. Having that excitement keeps me motivated and focused on achieving more results with my knee.”

Thank you Laura for sharing your story with us.  We love to hear how PT is making a difference in our patients’ lives.  This gives us so much joy and encouragement as well!

Let us help you too, come see us for a free consultation.  To request an appointment, click here, or call directly to one of our three locations during regular business hours:

Cool Springs: 615-224-9810
Shelbyville: 931-684-0027
Spring Hill: 931-489-2022

About the Author :

Leave a Comment