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What Physical Therapy Means for Kobe Bryant’s Achilles Tendon Rupture

Following an achilles tendon rupture which is surgically repaired, most patients will return to their prior level of function within six months. This can vary based on the demand of the patient’s activities, as well as the individual’s prior level of function, strength, age, and intrinsic ability to heal. Kobe Bryant’s athleticism and strength provide him with a positive prognosis; however, the extremely high level of competition and physical demands of the NBA may serve as a challenging standard and may prolong his recovery. Recent studies suggest at one-year post-surgical achilles tendon rupture repair patients return to 76% of their endurance through the calf musculature. Other predictors of recovery include resting pain levels at 3 months as well as endurance testing at 6 months. Kobe’s prognosis will evolve as he reaches these milestones. Continued evaluation by his surgeons and physical therapists will provide us with further information on Kobe’s NBA potential. -Jonathan Beck PT, DPT, SCS
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