Local Basketball Player Has Success with New Therapy

08 November 2018

Read the full story on how blood flow restriction exercises can help speed recovery at WTAJ News.

Altoona, Pa. – A local high school basketball player hoped she was headed toward a division one school next year, but then she suffered a serious injury. Fortunately, a special therapy may help her reach her goal.

Last season, Olivia Hudson was a top scorer for the Altoona Lady Mountain Lions Basketball Team, but in June, she went for a lay-up during a scrimmage, and as she puts it, really tore up her knee.

She was fortunate to have the Steeler’s team surgeon repair her ACL, and he recommended a specific therapy–blood flow restriction or BFR.

She’s undergoing the treatment in altoona at UPMC’s Center for Rehab Services at Station Medical.

With BFR, a tourniquet is placed at her groin to cut off blood and oxygen as she performs her physical therapy exercises. The lack of oxygen makes the muscles work harder so they gain strength more quickly, so that patients recover more quickly.

Olivia says the treatment is painful, but it’s been very effective.

According to her physical therapy Brian Hmel, “This all started with wounded veterans, wounded warriors who had amputations and blast injuries ,that they were able to maintain their muscle mass and strength, simply by putting that tourniquet on.”

The blood flow occlusion training means that Olivia will be able to start the season with her team this year. A late start could have ended her chances of being chosen for a division one school.

She’s hoping to play for Pitt, while she’s studying to become a sports physical therapist.