Daily Recovery Drink

For Body Aches & Pains

Buy Now

Vinnie Rua: Elite Senior Basketball after Knee Replacement

On January 7, 2014, Elite Senior Basketball player Vinnie Rua, 61, underwent knee replacement surgery. He severed his ACL completely and tore much of his medial meniscus in 1975, playing hoops in college.  At that time his surgeon removed most of his medial meniscus and did not repair the ACL.  Still, Vinnie continued to run daily, and competed in hoops at the highest levels available.

Vinnie’s post-op rehab was carefully overseen by his physician and physical therapist. Vinnie tracked his surgical and post-op progress on our blog, Recovery Now in the article “My Experience with a New Knee.” Here is a progress report from this #teamplayagain athlete.

What’s the update on your new knee? No problems with the new knee. My surgeon says I’m doing great. He says I’m doing stuff that most of his knee patients would only dream of doing. Feeling really good on the basketball court. No fear of playing. I’m able to do a lot of stuff – I’m actually probably doing stuff that is aggravating my glutes and my lower back because of box jumps that I do.

Neither my surgeon nor my physical therapist had ever seen a knee replacement reduce in swelling so quickly. We believe the only variable was that I was taking Play Again Now. I iced my knee, I stretched – like all the athletic knee replacement patients do. I was able to get on a bike 6 days after knee replacement – typically recovering patents can’t bend their knees enough.

I continue to take Play Again Now. Logically I would say that it is helping me recover by continually helping reduce inflammation in all my joints as I work out. I’m sure that my other joints that would be aching a little bit if I wasn’t taking it. I really don’t wake up stiff. I don’t need an hour or two to loosen up as people my age tend to need.

How often do you work out? 4 to 5 days a week. I play ball once or twice a week – an hour and a half to two hours of steady aggressive basketball – usually playing against younger guys. My general workout: a couple of Tabata routines. Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo created this intense workout style. It consists of eight 20-second intense routines, with short breaks. For my upper body I’ll do push-ups and dips – as many as I can do in 20 seconds. Sit-ups, jumping jacks, squat thrusts, bench presses, pull-ups. Each Tabata set takes 4 minutes. It’s tough to find an excuse not to do this workout!

I also have resistance bands I put on my thighs (K-Bands) – and I’ll do a whole series of 5 sets of resistance work. And then, I always do a little aerobic at the end – a 30-minute bike ride or 20-minute Stepmaster. No matter what I do on the bike – interval, endurance – I do another four minute Tabata at the end. For 20 seconds I spin as hard as I can. With 10 seconds in between…repeated 8 times. My workout takes about an hour and half a day.

How long have you been training? I’ve been training at this level since 2012. I always worked out four or five times a week. I never rested between sets. Always rotated, never rested. No recovery time in between sets. I can do this kind of workout, and run as well as guys who play constantly.

What do you enjoy most today? Playing on two legs is a real joy. I mean, playing before the replacement, I didn’t have full function in both legs. With two legs, everything is more enjoyable. I have a lot more control on the court. I’m playing like I used to play before I needed surgery. Prior to my knee replacement – almost every time I went out and played, my knee would suffer sharp pains. Now, there’s no pain – even when I‘m playing golf or riding a bike. I bike 50 miles, no problem, with one-mile hills.

What would you say to someone who is considering taking Play Again Now? Try it. If it doesn’t work after 30 days, stop. It’s not invasive. Chances are you’ll see improvements somewhere. You have nothing to lose – just try it.

«Back to Blog

No Comments

Be the first to comment!