Texans Team Doctor says Jadeveon Clowney “Looks Spectacular”

05 January 2021

Houston Texans team physician Dr. Walt Lowe is optimistic about the recovery of Jadeveon Clowney.

Clowney, the Texans’ No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft, has been on the mend since having microfracture surgery on his injured right knee late last year. The surgery followed a bumpy rookie season that included only four games, two starts and seven tackles, but Lowe told Forbes.com recently that Clowney “looks spectacular.”

Clowney tore the meniscus in his right knee during Houston’s season opener and had an arthroscopic procedure done on the knee. The recovery process never returned Clowney to full strength, so he went the microfracture surgery route in December.

Swelling and quadriceps weakness comes with the territory for injured knees, but Lowe said using “blood flow restriction training” has been beneficial in Clowney’s rehabilitation.

I’ll allow Forbes’ Jerry Barca to explain:

Injured knees blow up with swelling. Combine that with the accompanying pain and the body instinctively moves to shut down the quadricep, weakening it. Then you can’t put weight on it. The muscle begins to die as the player can’t do anything to build strength there.

“Even if they’ve recovered well and healed what we’ve repaired, the weakness is so profound that it takes months to get it back to a guy that needs to do what JD needs to do on his leg to be successful playing pro football,” said Lowe, who is also the medical director of the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute in Houston.

Blood flow restriction training doesn’t use weight. A blood pressure cuff, or tourniquet, is wrapped around the thigh or groin. There is still some blood flow, but it is reduced by 75 to 80 percent, Lowe said.

Even though there is no weight bearing down on the knee, the low blood flow and oxygen level make basic exercises extremely difficult. Simple movements such as three sets of 15 leg raises while sitting in chair are now similar to six sets of 400-pound squats, Lowe said.

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Image Credit: Fox Sports.