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LaRon Landry Addresses Achilles’ Rehabilitation For First Time
When the Washington Redskins placed strong safety LaRon Landry on injured reserve on Dec. 16 with inflammation in his bothersome left Achilles’ tendon, head coach Mike Shanahan said it was recommended Landry undergo surgery to deal with the problem.
But Landry chose not to have a procedure done, opting for an alternative, non-surgical treatment for the second consecutive season. Instead, as he told BleacherReport.com this week, Landry underwent a stem cell treatment designed to stimulate regeneration in the tendon.
The comments were Landry’s first on the matter since being placed on injured reserve, and he repeatedly declined requests for comment, only to say he would speak when the time was right. Landry linked to the story, posted Tuesday, on his Twitter page Wednesday afternoon.
The choice, he told the web site, was heavily dependent on the timetable. If Landry underwent surgery to repair the tendon, as Dr. Robert Anderson recommended during a consultation in late December, he would likely miss a significant portion, if not all, of the upcoming 2012 season.
Undergoing an alternative treatment could be risky for Landry. After he sustained microtears in the tendon midway through the 2010 season, he chose to undergo shockwave and platelet-rich plasma therapy, both of which were designed to strengthen the tendon, regenerate tissue and allow him to return sooner.
Instead, Landry, who missed all of training camp and the first two games before making his debut, played in only eight games as he battled inflammation in the tendon and related groin and hamstring injuries.
“When [the Redskins] said I opt out and when people said I opt out of the surgery for the past two years in a row, that’s not the case, it’s totally fabricated,” Landry told the web site. “The surgery that was offered last year, I’ve done through the team. After the shockwave, with Dr. Anderson in North Carolina, I came to Arizona to do more PRPs because the shockwave helped, but it didn’t cure it and it didn’t heal. That was the surgery offered to me by the team, by the team’s doctors and Dr. Anderson.
“This year, I went back to the same doctor in Anderson and he instructed the best thing for me was to get open up and fully cut my Achilles and that’s a tough surgery as it takes a year and a half to heal. … So I went to get a second and a third opinion and everyone I’ve talked to, and not to criticize Dr. Anderson, but they said, ‘Why would you want to operate on that Achilles when there are other options to healing?’ So that’s where the hick-up (sic) comes in with the team. I told them I wanted to try the other procedure and it’s better than the PRP and the procedure would allow my body and heel to strengthen, along with my bone structure and tendons, instead of cutting and taking away those things. It would heal on its own, so why not grant me the opportunity to do this procedure before going through a major surgery?”
Landry originally opted for the PRP treatment a year ago because he underwent a similar procedure on his injured shoulder, which returned to full strength without needing surgery.
“Give me that opportunity, instead of cutting me open to keep me out for a year and a half, risking me to lose strength and my range of motion … I would not be the same player,” Landry told the web site. “Why have a surgical procedure of shaving bones down, cleaning and taking tendons, when I can have another procedure, which is not as bad. This is what I’m going through with the team.”
He also said that because he did not choose to follow the Redskins’ recommendations, he has had to pay for the alternative procedures himself.
“They opt out of paying for the procedure, so I have to do this to heal my body and if they are looking out for my best interest, why do they want me to be cut open when there’s a better option?” Landry said. “So, whatever the team is putting out there into the public, it’s my fault as I was behind the eight ball and I should have been talking.”
Landry had 48 tackles and forced a fumble this past season, the fifth and final on his rookie contract. He is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, which further muddies his situation, though he told the web site he expects to be fully healthy by March.
He plans to return to Washington in the near future to meet with Raheem Morris, the Redskins’ recently hired defensive backs coach and former head coach in Tampa Bay.
“I’m happy he’s here, I’m looking forward in meeting him and hope to play with him,” Landry said. “Hopefully, if everything comes around and get worked out the way it suppose (sic) to work out, despite having surgeries and everything. Hopefully, the team isn’t thinking otherwise and we can talk about next [year]. Other than that, I can’t wait to meet him.”