Luis' Story: Return to the pitch
Immediately after my injury I was taken off on a stretcher to see the on-site Doctor, who assured me that I hadn’t caused too much damage and that there was little reason to worry. I was packed off to the Leeds General Hospital to take some scans and confirm that everything was okay. The general consensus was that there was no serious impairment to my knee.”
A couple of days later I was still in pain and my club referred me to see Andy Williams at Fortius Clinic. He was a well-respected and highly recommended surgeon amongst the other players so I knew I would be in the best hands. During our first consultation he explained that I had torn my hamstring and 4-5 ligaments in my knee, which would require multi-ligament reconstruction surgery. As a 17 year old, I was very nervous and disheartened to learn that it was necessary for me to undergo such a serious operation however Andy put me at ease throughout the process and made me feel very comfortable when explaining the plan going forward.
On Friday 5th February 2016, Andy commenced operating at the Cromwell Hospital to reconstruct Luis’ knee, including the removal of hamstring tendons from his other limb.
Andy Williams said of the operation, “It was a major operation. Luis required reconstructions of both cruciate ligaments and repairs of a major hamstring tendon and 2 ligaments on the outer (lateral) side of the knee. Although complex the op went very well as it is the sort of thing that Fortius knee surgeons undertake. With the experience we have gained more confidence in the final outcome is appropriate. Luis worked really hard at the rehabilitation, which is critical in these cases, and he will have had a positive influence on his own outcome.”
Following Luis’ operation his main focus was returning to fitness as soon as possible, and he was really disheartened to learn that the physiotherapists thought he would not be able to play rugby again. He explains his rehabilitation further, “initially Leicester Tigers rehabbed me twice a week until my contract came to an end in June 2016. I then moved on to have strength and conditioning once a week at the Lilleshall Sports Injury Clinic.
Andy Williams was uncertain that I would return to professional rugby due to the serious nature of my injury but he was positive because of my age and my level of fitness that I would have a good chance. A year following my operation, I had exceeded everyone’s expectations, I was signed for by Bridgnorth RFC in a semi-professional league, and played in a festival in Bournemouth which was a great turning point in my recovery.
Alongside rugby, I have taken up Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Cage fighting and have recently won a MMA fight only 18 months since I had my operation. I believe that I have really grown through his experience over the last couple of years, it’s made me so determined and such a strong person, out of a horrible situation finally my future looks positive."