Lee Johnston

Professional Motorbike road racer (BMW RRC). Lee came to us with a grade 2 adductor tendon strain and hip impingement and fractured clavicle with internal fixation

Lee is one of our most interesting and challenging clients due to the nature of his sport.  We have seen Lee through some serious injuries included a fractured clavicle (in 4 places) and hip/groin injury.

Following a serious accident during one of his races in 2016, Lee was referred to us at flex by professional boxer, Tommy Coyle. Lee was complaining of unspecific hip pain with significant weakness after crashing his bike at nearly 120mph.

With such a significant impact our first point of call was to rule out anything sinister that can be missed with immediate X-rays and scans when taken straight to hospital from the scene of injury. We took Lee to see our top orthopaedic consultant, Mr Andrew Edwards and after our physiotherapy assessment, a series of scans and an orthopaedic examination, Lee was diagnosed.

After being told he had sustained an injury that would keep many an athlete side-lined for 3 months Lee replied to Alex “Well I’ve got the Isle of Man TT in 22 days that I have to ride in, so do what you can”. 22 days to get someone who couldn’t produce any force in his groin to holding on to a motorbike at speeds of 200mph plus was the first of our many challenges. After a quick discussion we got to work.

First thing was to brake down Lee’s needs for his sport to focus on where we had to take his rehabilitation. Unlike most sports, Lee doesn’t need to contract his muscles through different ranges like when required to kick a ball or sprint; Lee just needs to “hang on”. We initiated early strength work right away by squeezing various objects in-between his knees, ankles and groins. We observed his progression by measuring the pressure (mmHg) Lee could produce on a basic squeeze test with a blood pressure cuff and tailored goals with the use of the Copenhagen groin protocol.

To safely progress Lee as quickly as he was wanting was tough. With the use of a number of Swiss-gym ball drills we could target his proprioception and sport-specific strength. The drills eventually included Lee standing upright alongside a number of cable exercises.

Although we had no way of replicating the forces of his BMW racer one our clearance tests included a number of 10-second maximum squeezes on a seated adductor machine.

In the majority of cases we wouldn’t be this aggressive with our patients but ultimately Lee raced in the Isle of Man TT and continues to use Flex for all his physiotherapy and recovery needs.