Orthopedic surgeon Leon Popovitz, the co-founder of New York Bone & Joint Specialists and a physician at Lenox Hill Hospital, has performed hundreds of ACL procedures. He said West’s assertion that it takes about a year to feel comfortable and confident is common.
But Popovitz, who has served as team physician of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, said it could be several months less and many factors are involved, including the athlete’s mental makeup.
“The textbook answer as far as being able to return to full impact and pivoting activities is six months, but that is subject to the quadriceps strength,” Popovitz said. “If you don’t regain your full quadriceps strength, there’s a certain sense of insecurity the patient may have, so when they go back they may not be able to go all out.
“A lot of the difference between the athlete that returns at that exceedingly high level versus just a typical level is probably that quadriceps strength and the self confidence that comes with it.”
Popovitz cited (Adrian) Peterson as someone with “an incredible sense of self-confidence and work ethic,” and believes veteran athletes who have experienced success “know how to rekindle it.”
-Long Island Newsday, 3/5/13