|April 21, 2011|
|New Blog: 50 Weeks and Some Huge Gains Including a Run|
|It has now been 50 weeks since Dr. Glashow and his assistant Chris Prezzano transplanted a De Novo NT Allograft into my left knee. It has been 26 weeks since my last arthroscopy. And it has been a year and sixteen weeks since I tore a pothole (1.5 cm X 2.1 cm) in the articular cartilage of the femoral condyle of my left knee. |
It has been four weeks since my last blog. During those weeks I have experience more improvement and growth than at any time during my recovery. I am going to break this blog into four segments. By doing so I will be better able to discuss changes as they relate to swimming, biking and running.
During the last several weeks, Brandon, Shani, Sophie, Nate, Ed and Wolfgang have spent so much time trying to get my knee to hinge correctly and without pain. Well, they have now succeeded in that effort. In so doing, what seems like the last of the adhesion and scar tissue has come loose. And it is indescribeable how good I feel.
You may notice in the shot above that my VMO is starting to come back now. If you look carefully you may actually see it protuding beneath the pad. This is huge as its return will minimize the patella femoral pain that I am experiencing.
In addition to the NMES, Nate now has me doing several additional exercises. These execises aare focused on the glute, the hammy, and the quad. We are doing a ton of short arc work on the extension and curl machine. in addition, I am doing bench squats, leg press stepdowns, monsters, side walks and TKE. I am also using a band as much as possible as I am trying to give myself feedback if and when my knee collapses.
I have also continued dry needling and needling with electro stimulation. By inserting needles directly into the muscle belly, the electrical circui in the muscle is in essence reset. In addition to the dry needling, I am also using electrical current to reeducate the VMO. Here is a good shot of that treatment.
Running - yes!!! for the first time in over 16 months I am writing a section on running. Why? Well because I am actually doing a little bit now. With the adhesions gone, my pain is so incredibly dimished. In fact, I feel great. Here are some video's that I have shot over the last couple of weeks that document these changes.
Below is a look at the first time that I ran in the past sixteen months. I am definitely favoring my good leg. However, that is out of habit and fear not out of pain as I am pain free.
Shortly after this video was shot we began to work on keeping me on my toes rather than my heels. Here is a shot of the very first agility work that I did. No commentary is necessary as I recognize that I am not quite ready for prime time.
Here is a shot from a day later. This time was a little better. I amd definitely starting to fear using the joint less and less.
Everyday was better than the day before. I was shocked when Brandon told me I was ready to do some jumping. I was certainly apprehensive at first but after doing one and realizing that the De Novo graft was doing a more than awesome job I became more and more comfortable. I am not sure these hops are quite ready for league play.
I would be lying if I did not share that during this process I doubted, at times, if I would ever run again. The learning from this is that no recovery from major surgery has a linear progression. My progress has always seemed like it was two steps forward and one back or three forward and four back, etc. And I anticipate that this will continue as I advance in my therapy. Last Friday, I ran for the first time in approximately sixteen months.
I ran on the Alter G Treadmill. The Alter G is an amazing device as it allows the user to change his effective body weight. These machines are used to help athletes increase their turnover and to allow an athlete to recover from injury quickly and safely. Here is a shot of my first run.
Above, I weighed 180 pounds. Depending on who is doing the calculation ervery step that I take results in approximatelty 180-250 pounds going through my foot and into my knee. At full weight that calculation yield a number in excess of 1400 pounds per foot strike. On the Alter G I was able to reduce my effective weight by 80%. So when I ran for the first time, I effectively wieghed 36 pounds. Thus every step during my run yielded between 250 and 300 pounds of pressure - an amount not appreciably greater than walking at full weight. This machine is amazing in that it allows you to retrain muscles without injury. Below i am running with an external rotation with my affected leg. Thus, I am rying to fix that flaw. Without this machine, I would likely have an injury to my foot as well.
Not bad as it allows me to work on form without hurting my self. I have increased my runs to 20 minutes. If I have no problems this week then we will increase my effective body weight by another 20%. Thats what I am talking about!!!!
I started riding again three weeks ago. Not surprisingly, as soon as I got on the bike I noticed huge improvements in my knee. The patella femoral pain had subsided and the popping and pain on the medial side was dimishing ride by ride. In three weeks I rode approximately 550 miles. I am super happy with where I am at on the bike. I seriously thought it would be much much worse.
Swimming - swimming continues to improve. Like in any other pursuit, if one puts in the time generally the reward is improvement. Well, I have definitely put in the time. My total swimming yards for the l;ast four weeks total 109,800 yards. My biggest week during that time was just over 40,000 yards. The return - my monthly test set has improved dramatically. At the end of every month, I swimm 4000 meters and then do an all out 8X100 @ 2:00. Last week, the group of 8 was on average 7 seconds better than where I was prior to getting hurt. Over the course on an Ironman 7 seconds per hundred is huge!! My fastest Ironman swim was just under an hour. Thus, I feel comfortable that my Ironman swim is now somewhere around 56-57 minutes.
There is nothing as rewarding to me as being a parent. I love my boys and I enjoy being a boy with them. During their recent break we did some guy stuff.
Above is a shot at the Skeet shooting range. I know very little about shooting but we ran into a gent that did. This guy was awesome and gave the boys and me some excellent pointers. The good news is that I think my boys may be able to survive in the wild. Me - not so much.
Thanks for checking in! every week is getting better. I will continue to strengthen the muscles surrounding my knee again and I will continue to work on the Alter G,. Next week I will travel to Las Vegas for another round of shots. And the following week I will travel to New York for anoher checkup. If all goes well, which I anticipate will haooen, I will be running outside by July 1. Never give up folks. You can and will destroy your limitations!
The numbers below represent four weeks of work. I have not blogged in a little while and I wanted my numbers to remain accurate.