Patient Stories

Stay in the Game: World Class Cricket Player Back at the Top of His Game, Thanks to Arthrex Innovation

Traditionally considered a “gentleman’s” sport that was first played in 16th century England, the game of cricket is now played by hundreds of millions of men and women in 92 countries around the world. It can be grueling with matches that go on for days and demand physical fitness, agility and endurance from the cricketers.

“In a cricket game, we cover between [six to eight miles] in bursts of sprinting and walking, all in 100 heat, for about four hours,” said Keshav Maharaj, a star South African cricket player who turned pro when he was just 15.

“I started playing as a three-year-old,” he said. “My dad was a semi pro cricket player, but he broke his finger and decided to invest in me. And now I am living the dream for both of us.”

Today at 34, Keshav is making headlines for his remarkable comeback from an injury that could have ended his career.

“I got a wicket in a test against West Indies and took off to celebrate,” Keshav said. “It felt like someone punched me in the back of my leg and I crashed to the ground. I fell like a sack of potatoes, not even the adrenaline pumping through me could keep me on my feet.”

Keshav suffered a complete midsubstance Achilles tendon rupture. The team doctor rushed to his side as fans across the globe watched. Keshav’s foot was limp in his hand. An MRI confirmed the diagnosis and within days Keshav underwent surgery with the PARS (percutaneous Achilles repair system) Achilles Midsubstance SpeedBridge.™

“I used a midsubstance repair kit from Arthrex, modified with a [PARS] Achilles SpeedBridge™ procedure,” said Kevin J. MacIntyre, MD (Umhlanga, South Africa), who operated on Keshav.

The SpeedBridge repair allows the surgeon to use an hourglass pattern with FiberTape® suture over the distal end of the tendon. The construct enables a true knotless repair.

“The technique anchors the Achilles tendon to the calcaneus with more compression,” Dr. MacIntyre said. “That added stability allows for a rapid recovery and early functional rehabilitation. Moving patients into rehab sooner helps create a stronger repair and lowers the risk of the Achilles rupturing again.”1

When Keshav was first injured, Dr. MacIntyre warned him that it can take 9 to 12 months to fully recover.

“That was really hard to swallow,” Keshav said. “But when I came out of surgery, I put my head down and committed to doing everything in my power to come back and be able to compete at the top of my game again.”

After months of dedicated rehabilitation and conditioning, Keshav was selected by South Africa to represent his country at the ICC Cricket World Cup in India.

“Keshav showed remarkable determination and resilience,” Dr. MacIntyre said. “He complied fully with the medical team’s guidelines for his rehabilitation and today he is back with no restrictions at all.”

In fact, Keshav was rated the number one cricket bowler in the world at the World Cup.

“I still have a passion for the game of cricket. I want to train, bowl and bat and always get better,” Keshav said. And in a sport where most pro players only make it to 35, he plans to play until he’s 45 if all continues to go well.

“If an injury like this happens, it happens. But don’t give up,” Keshav said. “I am so pleased and proud to be back playing at the top of my sport. Trust your medical team and trust yourself.”

Disclaimers:

This is not medical advice and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by a surgeon or other qualified medical professional on the use of these products. You should talk with your physician or health care provider for more information about your health condition and whether Arthrex products might be appropriate for you. The surgeon who performs any surgical procedure is responsible for determining and using the appropriate techniques for surgical procedures on each individual patient. Arthrex recommends that surgeons be trained on the use of any particular product before using it in surgery. A surgeon must always rely on their own professional medical judgment when deciding whether to use a particular product when treating a particular patient. A surgeon must always refer to the package insert, product label, and/or directions for use before using any Arthrex product. Postoperative management is patient-specific and dependent on the treating professional’s assessment. Individual results will vary and not all patients will experience the same postoperative activity level or outcomes. Products may not be available in all markets because product availability is subject to the regulatory approvals and medical practices in individual markets. Please contact Arthrex if you have questions about the availability of products in your area.

Postoperative management is patient-specific and dependent on the treating professional’s assessment. Individual results will vary and not all patients will experience the same postoperative activity level or outcomes.

This real patient was compensated for the time he took to share his experience.

Physician is a paid consultant of Arthrex, Inc.

  1. Arthrex, Inc. Data on file (LA1-00009-EN-C). Naples, FL;2017.