Knee reconstruction - Andrew Hayes

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Knee reconstruction - Andrew Hayes

Post by Lee on Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:45 pm

Some of the worst fears of a footballer unfortunately become fact at times.

"He's done his knee", they say and it's soon confirmed that the player needs a knee reconstruction.

What does it mean for the player? How did it happen? What does it mean for a player, both mentally and in his life.

It happened to Andrew Hayes and he's kindly agreed to share his thoughts and experiences with us.

Looking forward to it.

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Re: Knee reconstruction - Andrew Hayes

Post by Hayesy on Sun Aug 02, 2015 4:44 pm

Thanks Lee

Its been a few months now since I had the operation and things are going really well. Im a few weeks into a running program and building up the muscles in my leg particularly around my lower quad.

A knee reconstruction was new to me and now with a reco on my ankle, knee and shoulder (all on left side) happening in the last 2.5 years, its been a bit of a battle.

The way the knee went was very innocuous we were doing a 'keepings off' drill with pretty much no contact, i jumped to catch the ball and stepped inside as i landed (a movement I had done 1000 times before), i felt my knee go crunch and and its quite painful for about 20 seconds (in that time I yelled some words I probably shouldn't repeat) and then it feels fine and you can actually get up walk quite normally. I knew these fairly standard symptoms so i had no doubt straight away that it was definitely gone. I saw the way Mattty Jaensch did his for the crows and that type of movement was pretty much exactly the same as mine.

I had the op a couple of weeks later and had a patella tendon graft instead of the hamstring graft. I think the surgery has come a hell of a long way in recent years as i had my op and part of the rehab is to be walking on it less than 8 hours after the procedure. The first few weeks is pretty tough as it just doesn't seem like it will ever get strong again and one stage i was convinced it wouldn't until I had a chat with Dustin Head, (a teammate who's had 4 reconstructions) and he told me thats normal and it will eventually come good.

Ive never been in a position before where you know no matter what you won't be playing any footy at all for the whole season, in 2012 I had a shoulder reconstruction after round 2 and got back for the last two rounds and finals but 2015 was done without even playing a trial game. Its been frustrating personally but very enjoyable seeing Westies do well this year, Mark Mickan is the best coach I've had and the playing group are going to do some great things in the next few years.
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Re: Knee reconstruction - Andrew Hayes

Post by oldfella on Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:30 pm

Thanks Andrew for joining us and providing personal information -- it is much appreciated by us supporters on the outside looking in as it were --- I hope your rehab continues well and look forward to seeing you in a game again -- Thanks again.
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Re: Knee reconstruction - Andrew Hayes

Post by UncleHuey on Mon Aug 03, 2015 12:47 pm

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. Must be a very frustrating time, I hope the recovery goes well.
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Re: Knee reconstruction - Andrew Hayes

Post by Lee on Mon Aug 03, 2015 2:00 pm

Andrew, where did you start your footy and what was your progress after that until now.

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Re: Knee reconstruction - Andrew Hayes

Post by Booney on Mon Aug 03, 2015 3:33 pm

Hi Hayesy, thanks for sharing your story on here.

- Very early rehab, what did this entail? Walking in water ( resistance ) light weights, just walking at all?

- The next process of rehab ( prior to running at all ) how much physio / flexibility work did you go through?

- Do you mind me asking what do you do for a living away from football and how have you coped with that along with the rehab?

- Another personal question, have you incurred any out of pocket expenses for the rehab?

Thanks in advance and I appreciate some of the questions may be too personal to answer.
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Re: Knee reconstruction - Andrew Hayes

Post by Big Phil on Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:32 pm

What is it about Rubbers that makes him the best coach you've ever had, Haysey?
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Re: Knee reconstruction - Andrew Hayes

Post by Hayesy on Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:16 pm

Lee wrote:Andrew, where did you start your footy and what was your progress after that until now.

Im from Wagga Wagga in NSW and went to school in Sydney playing Rugby Union until i was 18, i had a couple of mates that would kick an aussie rules footy around a bit and after finishing year 12 we all started playing for Balmain Footy Club in the inner west of Sydney, i spent the next 2 years at the Swans on the rookie list where Peter Jonas was an assistant coach which led to joining Centrals. I was lucky to play 100 games and play in 4 premierships, it was great time to be around the club. I played primarily as a defender and basically learnt football from guys like Stu Cochrane, Dan Schell, Daniel Healy and Jeff Brown. Ive been at West Adelaide for the last couple of years, the game has changed a hell of a lot in the last few seasons and I'm one of the old blokes now but still enjoying it.
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Re: Knee reconstruction - Andrew Hayes

Post by Hayesy on Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:36 pm

Booney wrote:Hi Hayesy, thanks for sharing your story on here.

- Very early rehab, what did this entail? Walking in water ( resistance ) light weights, just walking at all?

- The next process of rehab ( prior to running at all ) how much physio / flexibility work did you go through?

- Do you mind me asking what do you do for a living away from football and how have you coped with that along with the rehab?

- Another personal question, have you incurred any out of pocket expenses for the rehab?

Thanks in advance and I appreciate some of the questions may be too personal to answer.

Gday Booney

Very early rehab involved plenty of walking but for the first two and bit weeks it was all about range of movement. The knee is very stiff after the operation (I'm sure you'd agree Big Phil) and it takes a heap of stretching to get it back to a regular ROM. It took about 3 weeks to get the leg straight but also to be able to stand and stretch your quad to the point where your heel touches your bum. These stretches are pretty much the only part of the rehab thats a bit uncomfortable and i still have a little way to go before I'm fully fit but the rehab for a knee reco has been nothing compared to a shoulder reco IMO. Once you have perfect ROM thats when you have the green light to start strength exercises such as squats, lunges and leg curls and eventually very light running. My strength is slowly coming back although it does still feel a little unstable and it will take a while before i get full confidence again, the thought of side stepping at 100% on it seems a while off but i remember after the shoulder reco in my first game back it took one big clean hit and it felt good and i never thought about it again.

Mate i work in radio so the injury has hardly affected me at all but i imagine doing something like this would be very tough for a tradie. I haven't really incurred any extra expenses and West Adelaide have been brilliant with physio and medical bills etc. The club has an excellent medical team which has made everything a lot easier.
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Re: Knee reconstruction - Andrew Hayes

Post by Hayesy on Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:27 pm

Big Phil wrote:What is it about Rubbers that makes him the best coach you've ever had, Haysey?

Gday Phil hope you're well mate

Mark is very intelligent and completely selfless. He's the type of bloke you can go up and have a conversation with about anything which i completely wasn't use to and most importantly he listens to the other coaches and even the players, another thing i wasn't use to. Everybody listens to what the coach says but Mark has a good balance of voicing his opinion and plans and also getting the players point of view. There has been times during the past couple of years where players have had fairly serious injuries and all of the players are constantly updated by text or email as to whats going on and how the player is going, whether this is from Mark or Andrew Marks its only a small thing but it is a nice touch. When i did my knee i was getting constant calls from Mickers and Marksy asking not only how the knee was going but how i was dealing with the whole situation. When i did my shoulder I don't think i heard from anyone (bar teammates) for at least 2 weeks. No player is bigger than a club but the most important part of a club is the players.
He is not the best coach I've had because he's a decent bloke, he's the best because he's not stubborn with his ideas and game plan, if something needs to change it will and thats what makes it obvious that its about winning for the football club not about him.
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Re: Knee reconstruction - Andrew Hayes

Post by Flag No.10 on Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:12 am

Fantastic insight Andrew, thanks.

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Re: Knee reconstruction - Andrew Hayes

Post by Booney on Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:48 am

Hayesy wrote:
Booney wrote:Hi Hayesy, thanks for sharing your story on here.

- Very early rehab, what did this entail? Walking in water ( resistance ) light weights, just walking at all?

- The next process of rehab ( prior to running at all ) how much physio / flexibility work did you go through?

- Do you mind me asking what do you do for a living away from football and how have you coped with that along with the rehab?

- Another personal question, have you incurred any out of pocket expenses for the rehab?

Thanks in advance and I appreciate some of the questions may be too personal to answer.

Gday Booney

Very early rehab involved plenty of walking but for the first two and bit weeks it was all about range of movement. The knee is very stiff after the operation (I'm sure you'd agree Big Phil) and it takes a heap of stretching to get it back to a regular ROM. It took about 3 weeks to get the leg straight but also to be able to stand and stretch your quad to the point where your heel touches your bum. These stretches are pretty much the only part of the rehab thats a bit uncomfortable and i still have a little way to go before I'm fully fit but the rehab for a knee reco has been nothing compared to a shoulder reco IMO. Once you have perfect ROM thats when you have the green light to start strength exercises such as squats, lunges and leg curls and eventually very light running. My strength is slowly coming back although it does still feel a little unstable and it will take a while before i get full confidence again, the thought of side stepping at 100% on it seems a while off but i remember after the shoulder reco in my first game back it took one big clean hit and it felt good and i never thought about it again.

Mate i work in radio so the injury has hardly affected me at all but i imagine doing something like this would be very tough for a tradie. I haven't really incurred any extra expenses and West Adelaide have been brilliant with physio and medical bills etc. The club has an excellent medical team which has made everything a lot easier.

Thanks Hayesy. Appreciate both yourself and Harts' responses to our direct line of questioning.

One other thing, does the rehab involve any counselling or psychological support or the like?

I would imagine the mind set of an athlete returning from such an injury would be a tough one to counter, the doubts of your own physical performance and the rehab be so focused on physical strength and conditioning that the mind may be forgotten. Is this the case?
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