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.