Conway Making Good Recovery
July 20, 2010 | 3:35 P.M. EST
After sustaining multiple fractures to his lower left leg and a compression fracture to his T3 vertebrae, Conway underwent surgery in the States to repair the damage to his leg and was fitted with a neck brace to heal the compression fracture to his vertebrae.
Conway returned to the UK in mid-June to recuperate and last week, thanks in part to his high levels of personal fitness prior to the accident, has been able to start work on an extensive and carefully designed rehabilitation program.
He is working with a close-knit team of experts from across the UK on a rehabilitation program that will help him recover from the high-speed accident.
The first stage of the rehabilitation process began when Conway was able to remove his neck brace at the end of last month.
Pro Performance (The Science Behind Sport), a sports science consultancy that Conway has worked with for the past three years, put together an initial rehabilitation program designed to gradually increase his return to full fitness. The program focuses on key muscle groups through a range of cardiovascular and functional exercises; including swimming and resistance bands, while also undertaking regular sports massages as part of the program. Throughout the program Pro Performance will be monitoring Conway's fitness to ensure that he's making good progress and a full recovery.
Last week marked another significant step in Conway's rehabilitation when he had his leg cast taken off. Continuing to work with Pro Performance, he has been attending regular sessions in a Kriotherapy rehabilitation chamber. The chamber involves Conway having to endure temperatures as low as -130 degrees for up to four minutes at a time. The treatment helps to speed up the healing process of the bones in his left leg by creating a flushing effect (vasodilatation and constriction of the blood vessels) which helps to remove the waste products at the site of the injury, while also supplying the vital nutrients for the healing process.
"We are very pleased with Mike's progress. As he continues to work through the rehabilitation program he's in good sprits and working very hard towards making a full recovery and getting back on the track," commented Dan Williams Pro Performance Director.
On Wednesday, Conway made another significant step towards recovery and returned to the cockpit in a single seater racing simulator at the PureTech Racing Centre.
The PureTech Racing Center uses the most advanced simulator technology and includes 10 full motion racing simulators which allow head to head racing action at over 1.5G and features its own purpose made racing circuit incorporating many of the best corners from the world's leading tracks. At this stage in his rehabilitation Conway is using a simulator which has been specially adapted to cater for drivers with restricted movements.
"It is great to be back in the cockpit after the accident seven weeks ago. This was the first day my left foot is out of plaster and the first time I put weight on it so I was surprised how well I could hit the brakes. I am pleased to say that it is all there and I have feeling in my foot and it felt good," he said.
"The simulator is very realistic and you can really feel the rear tyres working, which is hard to incorporate into a simulator. It gives realistic feel and good feedback, both when shifting up through the gears, and the motion cues are excellent under braking and through high speed corners. It is a good circuit and not easy to get right, you have to work the car and push hard to get a competitive lap time."
During his first session in the simulator, Conway set a lap time which places him sixth overall in the fastest ever times recorded. He will be returning to the simulator as part of his rehabilitation process and, as he continues to work with Pro Performance on strengthening his left leg, he will be looking to shave more time off his current lap time.