CrossFit trainer competes in half-marathon after Health City knee repair surgery

CAYMAN ISLANDS (December 15, 2020)  To see CrossFit trainer Louane Martins-Silva in action today, you wouldn’t believe it’s only been a few years since she was hobbling in pain and facing  a future without sports due to a devastating knee injury.

Although she trained for and competed in the half-marathon route of the Cayman Islands Marathon on Sunday, December 6, Martins-Silva took a tumble while participating in a prior run and tore both her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and her lateral meniscus.

“I had a bad fall and I just tore my ligament totally,” she said.

The injury brought her to Health City Cayman Islands, where she sought a second opinion from Chief Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Alwin Almeida.

“She had an injury to her knee which you could define as career threatening, something that would have kept her away from sports. She had an ACL ligament injury to her knee and also had torn her lateral meniscus pretty badly. She had a complete tear of the ACL and needed a reconstruction of the ligament,” Almeida said.

The ACL is one of two ligaments in the center of the knee, which helps connect the femur to the tibia while the lateral meniscus is a band of cartilage that spans the lateral side of the interior of the knee joint. Martins-Silva’s combined injury to both caused significant pain, and also dangerous instability in her knee.

 “When she came to me, she was in considerable pain with also a problem called instability in the knee, which happens due to your ACL injuries where you lose the stability in the knee and the knee does a movement which is not natural,” Almeida said.

The orthopedic surgeon explained that the ACL prevents the knee from moving unnaturally forward, or pivoting, which then causes the knee to buckle and almost dislocate.

“She was in a brace with a lot of pain and whenever she tried to walk she was buckling because of the instability in her knee. She had a tear of the lateral meniscus in her knee as well, and so a piece of it was stuck between her joint and we needed to trim it and smooth it out,” Almeida said.

Martins-Silva was advised that surgery was the only option to repair her knee.

“There was no choice, because my ligament was almost 100 percent torn so I needed to get it repaired, especially because I wanted to go back to training and do things I was doing before, and without the surgery I wouldn’t be able to do it,” she said.

Due to the nature of Martins-Silva’s profession as a fitness trainer, Almeida knew that the surgery was a vital one for the patient. To reduce recovery time and ensure that Martins-Silva would be able to resume her career, Almeida determined that a minimally invasive procedure was the best option.

He said, “It’s one of the minimally invasive surgeries that helps the patient not only recover fully but also get back to a previous level of activity, as in getting back to active sports – even contact sports like football and soccer and basketball and sports like that. Just any surgery will not do for anybody who wants to go back to sports at a competitive level as something like CrossFit requires.”

Martins-Silva remains pleased with the results.

“The staff at Health City, they were great with me. So I felt very comfortable there and I highly recommend anyone to go there. Without the surgery, I wouldn’t be able to work out and do the things I do today and I thank you, Health City, for that,” she said.

Almeida was also proud of his patient’s progress.

“She’s doing the half marathon this year and I wish her all the best. I am really pleased and glad that she has been able to get back to the level of activity that she could, that she has,” he said.