Learn how to treat and prevent knee injuries at this Bookworm event | VailDaily.com

Learn how to treat and prevent knee injuries at this Bookworm event

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Howard Head physical therapist Luke O'Brien co-authored a book that aims to provide a comprehensive guide on treating and preventing knee injuries.
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if you go...

What: Luke O’Brien at the Bookworm

When: 6 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Bookworm of Edwards, 295 Main St., Riverwalk in Edwards

Cost: $25, includes appetizers and a copy of “The Knee Injury Bible”

More information: Call 970-926-7323 or visit www.bookwormofedwards.com.

There are several activities ubiquitous among those who have embraced the mountain lifestyle: sunshine-filled hikes, powder days and long summer nights. Unfortunately, knee injuries are also on that list. But there are ways to prevent them and help recover from them faster, and a team of professionals ready to help you learn all about them.

The Bookworm in Edwards will host a discussion Tuesday night on knee injury prevention and recovery exercises with Howard Head physical therapist Luke O’Brien. Tickets are $25 and include a copy of “The Knee Injury Bible,” of which O’Brien is a co-author.

In O’Brien’s 18 years as a mountain town physical therapist, he’s seen his fair share of knee injuries.

“So many of our mountain sports place high demands on our legs: skiing, mountain biking, hiking, running,” he said. “The knee tends to be the most vulnerable joint in the leg. When something goes amiss, the knee takes the majority of the impact. And when the impact is too great, a knee injury can occur.”

Fixing a knee takes a village, and O’Brien had worked closely with Steadman surgeons Robert LaPrade and Jorge Chahla for years to get Vail residents back on their feet. This not only involved surgery and recovery practices, but extensive research to understand how to create the best outcome for their patients. One thing became clear during their work: Patients needed more information in order to heal.

“We thought that it would be helpful if we could provide a resource for people with a knee injury that combines our collective skills and perspectives, incorporating surgery, rehabilitation and research all in one place,” he said.

Thus “The Knee Injury Bible” was born. The book takes a comprehensive look at all aspects of knee issues, from injury recovery to dealing with chronic pain. O’Brien and his coauthors have laid out any and all information someone would need to understand how injuries occur, how to prevent and treat them and how to return to the life and sports that you love.

“As sports medicine professionals, we need to ensure that the knee is stable, has enough motion and that the muscles around the joint are strong,” O’Brien said. “Missing one of these components can negatively impact a patient’s recovery or set someone up for a future injury.”

Ultimately, prevention may be just as important, if not more important, than recovery practices. One way to protect your knees and speed up recovery is not even in the knee itself, but in the quadriceps.

“The quadriceps are the shock absorbers of the knee,” O’Brien said. “Exercises targeted at keeping or improving the strength of these muscles can not only help us perform better at the sports we love but also reduce some of the loads being placed on the knees.”

“We believe that arming patients with accurate information regarding their treatment options is essential. This book is one way to make sure that patients get the information that they need,” he said.