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Lake Zurich’s Panico produces the ultimate football comeback

Published on: 08-Nov-2018

Vinnie Panico's amazing recovery from serious injury has him ready to go for Lake Zurich's Friday season opener against Fremd.

The hosts of Sports Medicine Weekly discuss the comeback and remarkable medical transformation of Vinnie Panico, a senior at Lake Zurich and voted Wintrust player of the week.

Four weeks into the 2017 season, in a game against visiting Zion-Benton, on the 12th play from scrimmage, Panico, a junior defensive end for Lake Zurich, hurt his knee. He was chasing down the quarterback and a teammate fell on him from behind and Panico’s left knee violently went in a direction it shouldn’t have. He knew right away that something was terribly wrong.

Doctors feared blood clots, and also that the artery behind his knee could have been severed. A typical knee injury doesn’t produce the kind of swelling that Panico was experiencing. As he was being examined and options were being discussed, Panico was told that he probably wouldn’t play football again. Worst-case scenario, he was in danger of not walking again and possibly losing his leg altogether. Yes, losing it.

Doctors kept Panico in an MRI for two hours as they desperately tried to identify the source of the swelling. The good news after those two hours was that the artery wasn’t severed. The bad news was that Pancio’s knee and the area around it was essentially obilterated.

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), the medial collateral ligament (MCL), the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and the menicus were all completely torn. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) was partially torn. The tibia was fractured and the top of the quad muscle was also torn. The inordinate amount of swelling was due to the comprehensiveness of Panico’s injury. Pretty much everything in his knee was compromised and his body was in all-out panic mode… Complete article from The Daily Harold.

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