After an intense fall during a surf session at Jaws in October 2012, big wave surfer Ian Walsh encountered pain and decreased mobility in his knee. Refusing to miss the peak of the big wave winter swells, Walsh decided to tough it out until spring 2013 when he decided to seek help.
Noticing the negative effects of his knee injury when surfing, Walsh discovered that he had a decreased range of motion in the hyperflexion position which is critical for turns on big waves.
Walsh described the experience, “From the beach it looks normal, but to me, in my head, I’m moving at 60%. My mind is going at 100% but my body is not keeping up where I want to be on the wave, so that really affected me a lot,”Walsh continued, “When you’re one millisecond off in the beginning, it changes everything.”
During April 2013, Walsh flew out to Los Angeles, CA for medical attention at Red Bull’s official medical services provider DISC Sports & Spine Center in Marina del Rey. After evaluation, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Andrew Bulczynski determined that there was a firm calcified body behind the meniscus. The calcification in the joint capsule between the femur and the tibia caused irritation to the calcified piece in Walsh’s knee.
A knee arthroscopy was then performed on the big wave surfer by Bulczynski and other top surgeons. Some knee cartilage was trimmed to increase space for Walsh’s knee that would lead to greater mobility.
With only 2 small incisions near the knee, Dr. Bulczynski and his team were successful in restoring Walsh’s mobility and ridding of the long-term chronic injury.
After a quick rehabilitation process at the Soft Tissue Center thorough mobility exercises, Walsh returned to the line up.
Stoked on the quick recovery, Walsh stated, “That just opens up my whole summer. I can have a lot more fun, unleash it and let that thing rip. I’m excited to get out and be active and do everything that I was born to do.”