Setback on the #RoadToRecovery

Setback on the #RoadToRecovery

Sep 28, 2013


Considering how smooth everything has been going, and how I have exceeded expectations, a setback is not overly surprising.

I visited my ortho surgeon to check on progress on Friday.  We took our normal X-Ray and he did the measurements from the patella to the shin and found that the tendon repair has lengthened by about 3mm.  The first response was to ask whether or not I was squatting in the gym with weight.  Nope.  I have been following instructions and physical therapy cautiously – I know it takes a very long time for a tendon to heal (6 months for weight, 12 months to fully heal) and it has been less than four months.  I told him I was not expecting to get under a squat bar until December or January.

However, I did note that therapy has had me doing below parallel body-weight and on Tuesday had me holding a kettlebell during the squats.  My primary issue has been stepping down and holding my weight beyond a few degrees.  Then there is nothing.  Think of it this way – if you were stepping down a stair and just after you started stepping down the leg still on the upper stair loses all strength at once.  It is a weird and disturbing feeling.

I am getting better at climbing stairs – basically glutes and hamstrings.  The stepping down – no problem with glutes and hamstrings but the left quads have very little power.

The doctor was concerned about adding weight as the tendon is still healing.  He also noted that because he installed the surgical rope between the patella and shin that surgery will not be necessary, but that there will be concern that I will be weaker on that side than expected.  How will that effect my 1000lb squat by 2016?  Sounds like I will have a lot of work to do!!

There was a question about irritation.  The lower part of the tendon sometimes has a sharp pressure and even a tolerable level of pain.  As it turns out, that is irritation where the strength band (surgical rope) is embedded in the shin.

The decision at this point is to continue moving forward and monitoring at the end of next month.  While the tendon stretched a bit, it has moved into the correct position.  My primary issue beyond that is still a reasonable amount of swelling.  So, the doctor has cleared me to perform leg extensions up to, but not including, any level of discomfort.  He also asked if I felt that I was accomplishing anything with the physical therapists.  In discussion of my present condition and plan, he felt that I had a greater feel for what was going on.  I disagree and suggested that I continue therapy as there are a few things that I had not thought of – although the plan seems to be geared towards ‘normal’ human beings and high school athletes.

This past week in training:

Wednesday Training: Back, triceps and beach muscles

Military press – feel a little pain in my right shoulder when I do this.  Means that I am unbalanced a little.  Kept it to 10 reps at 95lbs to start.  Have not done these in years.  DB side raises through 35 lbs sets of 12.  Chest supported rows through 315lbs – 3 sets of 10.  Face pulls – 3x120x15; Lat pulldowns 3x120x12 with special bar for deeper pull; tricep extensions – 3x140x15; alternating bicep DB – 3x40x20; cable biceps 2x100x15 – a few other things mixed in.  Crunch machine for 50 reps straight and 20 each side at 100lbs.

Friday Training: Bench

Bench – 140×5, 190×4, 230×3, 280×2; Super Ram 320×2; loose Viking shirt 390×2 (2bd); 420×1(2bd); 440×1 (touch); 460×2(2bd)

Face pulls, tricep pulldowns


In physical therapy on Tuesday and Thursday – They pointed to an elliptical machine and said “do that.”  I said, “WTF is it?”  They told me and I said, “Never done one before.”  I am still trying to figure out why people like these things.

On Tuesday they had me exhaust the minor muscles and then do the major – basically other exercises, squats, and then attempt to go up and down a step.  Not exactly the approach I would make!  I am used to working the major and then exhausting the minor.  This Sunday I will attempt to do the same, but in reverse.

On Thursday – knee sore and tight – made even more sore and tight.  Put my foot up on a 12 inch step and vibrated a lot – but only a few degrees of movement.  Did a bunch of other things that caused more discomfort than anything else.

Now that the quads are released with limits, I think I will be able to strengthen them up to stabilize and handle things better.

Have a great day!





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