"There's a lot of money riding on their recovery. They get incredible, intensive physical therapy not accessible to the average person." That's how orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal El Attrache from the Kerlan Jobe Orthopedic Clinic explains what Kobe Bryant calls his "record shattering" recovery. The Lakers star tore his achilles tendon during a playoff game in April. At the time sports writers worried the injury could be career ending.
Dr. ElAttrache operated on Kobe the next day. He says while tendon surgery so soon after an injury is tricky, there are benefits. The body's inflammatory response that is primed to deal with the injury is thought to help speed healing from surgery. Dr. El Attrache says for the best chance of recovery from a tendon tear, surgery needs "swift and strong", and it needs to be combined with "early mobilization."
With top-tier treatment, the average person returns to full activity 6 to 10 months following surgery. Kobe is vowing to shatter that statistic. Will he? Dr. ElAttrache won't say. Even though Kobe tweets about the doctor and the treatment he's received, it's would be a HIPPA violation for Dr. ElAttrache to talk specifics about his patient.