The patient, recalls Corbin Hedt, PT, DPT, was a women's Division I basketball player who had the "gnarliest meniscus and ACL injury that I think I've ever seen as a clinician." She'd made a routine pivot in her team's first practice of the year, "and her knee went into this massive valgus, slamming her medial tibia into the floor."
Examination revealed significant bone bruising, and an MRI showed the player had torn her anterior cruciate ligament. Later, when the orthopedist went in for surgery, "he literally couldn't locate the meniscus anywhere," says Hedt, who is a board-certified clinical specialist in sports physical therapy and a certified strength and conditioning specialist.
Eventually, the surgeon did find the cartilage — it had been pushed back into the knee's posterior capsule — "so he took it out, cleaned it up, and put it back into place," Hedt says. "And then he finished up with the ACL reconstruction."