Knee Update

I was fairly optimistic after my recent doctor’s visit, in part because he was able to tell me that nothing bad was happening. I immediately started to make plans for a few short term changes in what I did every day to help with post-operative recovery, to be followed in a couple of weeks with more aggressive therapy.


However, I feel a bit less optimistic, perhaps simply more realistic, after a couple of days doing a few things differently. The truth is that seven weeks of virtual inactivity totally mess up your leg.

In the following video of my leg, I make two motions. In the first motion, I flex my hip to bring my upper leg to an angle such that my lower leg naturally rests, without any force, perpendicular to the ground. A normal leg would rest in this manner with the hip flexed a much higher angle, well over 90 degrees. This shows the stiffness of the joint which has been kept straight for seven weeks with only some flexion.

I can flex the knee joint another 15 to 20 degrees by forcing it mildly, but this is the natural droop of the leg.

The second movement, which I do twice in this video, is the maximum extension of the lower leg that I can achieve with my quadriceps. Granted, this is working against (a tiny bit of) gravity, and against knee stiffness, but this is pretty bad. Well, it is good because the tendon is still trying to grow back, and I don’t want to have strong quads pulling on it just yet. And it is good because it means that the tendon is in fact attached to the patella.

I have been able to leg press over 1000 pounds. I generally make it a goal to max out (with both legs) the leg extension machines at the gym. Typically, my neighbors borrow my quads if they need something hard, say, to shape metal objects on using a hammer. The only thing Chuck Norris is afraid of is my quads.

Or, should say, used to be afraid of.

Damn.

Comments

  1. #1 Sheri
    April 8, 2010

    “The only thing Chuck Norris is afraid of is my quads.”

    FTW!

  2. #2 ppnl
    April 8, 2010

    When you are feeling down just remember……

    If you were a horse they would have shot you by now. Hope that helps.

  3. #3 NewEnglandBob
    April 8, 2010

    I think it is looking good after so much idle time. Keep at it and we will cheer you on!

  4. #4 Virgil Samms, FCD
    April 8, 2010

    I have been able to leg press over 1000 pounds.

    Whoopee. Pat Robertson claims 2000

  5. #5 Benton Jackson
    April 8, 2010

    I know how you feel, I had my knee immobilized for 6 weeks once. My quads were completely withered when the brace came off.

  6. #6 JL
    April 8, 2010

    When does rehab start?

  7. #7 daedalus2u
    April 8, 2010

    Nitric oxide protects against skeletal muscle atrophy.

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0002086

  8. #8 Phillip IV
    April 8, 2010

    Well, not the smoothest dance move I’ve ever seen, but I guess it’s a step on the road to recovery….save for the part were it isn’t, technically, a step.

    The only thing Chuck Norris is afraid of is my quads.

    A real Chuck Norris fact: Chuck Norris is afraid of change, atheists, gays, liberals, strong women, judges, government, black people, Muslims, foreigners, the United Nations, black helicopters, bad sales of his book, a host of other stuff and likely even his own shadow – his columns at WorldNetDaily make him appear positively paranoid of everything.

  9. #9 Paul S.
    April 8, 2010

    One of the very few advantages of a lifetime of being in relatively poor physical shape is that if I am unlucky enough to suffer a serious injury, I won’t feel bad about losing great strength in my limbs, since I never had it to begin with.

    Seriously though, if the tendon has to grow back, it’s probably a good sign that you can move it even a little. Like NewEnglandBob said, it looks pretty good considering the injury and close to two months of inactivity. Try to do what you can, don’t push things too hard, and best of luck for a continued steady recovery!

  10. #10 Greg Laden
    April 8, 2010

    JL: The rehab starts in two weeks, but between now and then I will be self-inflicting a certain amount of pre-rehab rehab.