Ismail Waziry, a 19-year-old high school senior from Woodbridge, Virginia, has been playing soccer since he came to the United States from Pakistan in 2009. Early in 2015, he had an experience familiar to many athletes: he tore his anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL.
“It was during a game,” Ismail says. “I tried to stop the ball and I turned really quick and one of my legs got stuck.”
At first Ismail wasn’t sure what his injury was, but soon he ended up in the office of Nadim Hallal, MD, who performed an MRI test and determined Ismail had a torn ACL. After a few weeks of physical therapy to reduce swelling, Dr. Hallal performed reconstructive ACL surgery on Ismail, taking a tendon from Ismail’s hamstring and essentially creating a new ACL for him.
“ACL reconstruction is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure,” says Dr. Hallal. “It takes about an hour and a half and patients begin rehabilitative therapy about three days after the surgery. In fact, most people are returning to most of their normal functional activities within a few weeks.”
Ismail had his surgery in June, and by December he was back to playing some light soccer with his friends. In February 2016, he returned to his high school team at full strength.
“I’m definitely happy I had the surgery,” he says. “If I didn’t have it, I wouldn’t be able to play now.”
While ACL issues are common in Dr. Hallal’s practice, he stressed that the multidisciplinary team at the sports medicine offices at Inova Alexandria Hospital can perform a wide range of services for athletes and non-athletes alike.
“We treat a host of knee, shoulder and joint injuries,” he says. “These range from soft tissue injuries to meniscus injuries in the knee to cartilage injuries. And we treat many of these injuries with minimally invasive, arthroscopic methods.”
Inova Medical Group Orthopedics