Juan Carlos Ponce Espinoza, PhD (c); MSc; Manual/ Manipulative/ Invasive Physiotherapy/ Sports Physiotherapist
Each athlete or non-athlete patient offers different challenges that require specific solutions in order to progress with their rehabilitation.
avg. rehabilitation yearly
ARC Sport Medicine
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About Juan Carlos Ponce Espinoza, PhD (c); MSc; Manual/ Manipulative/ Invasive Physiotherapy/ Sports PhysiotherapistThis platform is a great opportunity for patients everywhere to find a qualified professional. Today there are many of them.
My story goes like this: almost finishing my studies and between 1994 and 2002, I had the great experience of learning musculoskeletal physical therapy outside of university with a pioneer in ACL-R rehabilitation from my country (now retired). The program he used was very similar to the accelerated protocol that many are familiar with. Of those patients I remember the following: They all had an ipsilateral bone - tendon - bone graft; All wore only an elastic bandage on the operated knee; None wore an articulated knee brace or other protection or immobilization system; Most used 1 or 2 poles in the first few weeks; During rehabilitation, I never had to attend to patellar tendinopathies or patellofemoral dysfunctions. The explanation: he had been a physical trainer + physiotherapist in a first division soccer club. In addition, he had competed at the college level in gymnastics and rugby and had also taught tennis and skiing. Many patients came to his clinical center (athletes and non-athletes) with recent operations or with very long or poor quality rehabilitation. His method mixed traditional physical rehabilitation with an adapted physical conditioning plan for each case. Before obtaining my professional title (December 1995) and due to the wide variety of patients and diagnoses that I was able to meet in that place, I had already learned to solve many of the different problems that operated knees have (also: shoulders, elbows , ankles, etc.), especially the problems that are frequent in this group of patients. Since then, all my professional activity has been dedicated to musculoskeletal and sports physiotherapy.
For 18 years I taught undergraduate classes in physiotherapy schools: functional anatomy, clinical biomechanics and musculoskeletal physiotherapy. As I like to learn, I have participated as a student in more than 40 courses related to my profession. From therapeutic exercise, functional bandaging, strength training, blood flow restriction training, manual and manipulative therapy ... to the latest minimally invasive techniques used by physical therapists: dry needling, percutaneous electrolysis, neuromodulation. I have completed 3 diplomas, two masters, a doctorate ... and I keep learning.
For 16 years I have been working at the High Performance Center of Chile where I am in charge of sports physiotherapy. For this reason, an important part of my patients are professional athletes who practice various sports, both Olympic and Paralympic. My other patients (non-professional athletes and non-athletes) receive my care at a clinical center called ARC Sports Medicine (www.arcsport.cl), of which I am the owner and founding partner.
Since 2002, I have participated as a physiotherapist in the athletic team of my country (Team Chile) in different sports mega-events: South American and Para South American Games (2 + 2); Bolivarian Games (2); Pan American and Para Pan American Games (2 + 1); Olympic Games (1) and Paralympics (soon in Tokyo). In addition to various world cups and world championships in different sports.
I am currently a graduate professor in a sports medicine and science program for non-medical students and also in two programs aimed at physicians to obtain the specialization in sports medicine. I also participate in the team of teachers of two diplomas: sports physiotherapy and manual therapy.
In almost 50 years, both orthopedic surgeons and rehabilitators have learned a lot about this injury and also about the interventions that can be done from before surgery to safe return to sport. In the future, new knowledge will be added to what we already know. In 26 years I have observed an evolution both in surgical techniques and in the rehabilitation of the ACL-R itself. In my opinion, the rehabilitation of ACL-R is very similar to what happens during brain development in the first years of life: the right stimuli generate important and profound responses. In the patient, these responses are physical reeducation and motor relearning. These responses become a habit beyond the time they are under our supervision. In this way, starting with a correctly completed first stage, progression within the program is favored until the return to sport is achieved. Due to the above, I think that what we do in the first weeks after surgery is very decisive: 1) The rehabilitation techniques selected; two); The interventions carried out; 3) The exercises we choose to carry out.
Each patient permanently offers us opportunities to advance in their rehabilitation… we just have to realize, take them and take advantage of them!
“During rehabilitation, the patient with ACL-R goes on a long journey and we help him advance and have the confidence to complete it successfully.”