Ramblings of knee surgery and recovery

Discussion in 'The Locker Room Bar & Grill' started by Xue Sheng, Mar 8, 2020.

  1. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Well, it appears the MT Blog area is inoperative so I guess I will post here, unless the Blogs come back, then it will switch to there

    Bringing this back for a bit….. rather annoying but also rather minor (in the overall scheme of things) knee surgery

    I am going to have more knee surgery (right) the end of March to fix the meniscus and a compound fracture of the tibia. Interesting thing though, the left knee that has surgery last June currently hurts much more than the right that is the reason for surgery at the end of the month. Had acupuncture in the knee this morning and it is doing a bit better.

    There is a word I learned all about after knee surgery last June; sarcopenia. Basically, anyone who has surgery or an injury that stops them from exercising loses muscle mass. Under 40 it is not really a big deal, it comes back quick, but over 40 it can be problems and the older you get the bigger an issue sarcopenia becomes. That is if you are not taking supplements like steroids they you can artificially boost your muscle recovery, which is something I will not do nor would I recommend. To many other possible nasty side effects from that.

    I lost a lot of strength, especially in my legs, because I could not work out like I once did due arthritis in the hips and knees. But I have worked to try and maintain what I had. But after surgery it became very obvious very fast.

    Physical therapy, after surgery, is important and helps, but the goal of physical therapy is to get you to an average functional level so you can get back to your normal life. However, most people do not include martial arts in their normal life and that is where the problem of muscle loss, and loss of flexibility, come into play bigtime.

    When your younger, recovery time is quicker, been there a few times, but the older you get the longer it takes. And when the MD told me it would be 6 to 8 weeks to recover, I did not realize he was talking mobility, not full recovery. After 6 weeks I asked him how long “recovery would take? Answer, 6 to 8 months. I was convinced that was not true, I’d broken my ankle in my 30s and was back to training Shaolin long fist, xingyi and taijiquan in about 3 months. However this time it took 8 months, almost to the day, before I could walk up and down stairs normally…most of the time. At about the same time, the right knee started causing me issues. I tried to work through it, but after a month of using the stationary bike to try and get it back I realized the bike was causing me a lot of pain.

    Taijiquan was becoming difficult, Xingyquan was out of the question and the Bike was not happening so I started losing, the little gains I had made, rather quickly. And the prospect of more surgery and more down time was weighing rather heavy on me and got me wondering of would ever get back to taijiquan again, since walking normally was not going to be possible for several more months afterwards. I thought I would be returning to push hands and training in January 2020 and now it looked like not before November 2020, and I was wondering what my leg strength, or any strength would be by then. And don’t get me started on flexibility. Weight was up (257lbs @ 6’1”), mood was down, strength was going away, all in all I was not having a great time.

    That is when I started looking at the exercises I had been doing over the last, almost, 30 years. I then remembered there was a period of time in my early 30 that I pretty much only did 3 weight training exercises; Bench press, dead lift, military press. All were heavy and all two or three sets at low rep, no more than three to five. That was probably the time I had the biggest gain in strength. And I attribute much of the whole body and leg strength to the dead lift. But there was no way I could do a proper deadlift with my hips and knees so now what. I found a Roman Deadlift with a kettlebell, that is what I have been doing and it is working rather well. It is not heavy, it is only 30 pounds, but it is strengthening the knees rather well, even though you do not bend the knees as much.

    But after the end of the month that is not going to be possible for several weeks, what about the rest of the muscles of the body? Well I have got a dumbbell routine now that I can do seated and I even have been working on chair yoga for flexibility. After surgery I will discover what my limitations are, but unlike last time I plan on doing a lot more exercise while I recover.

    Also have it in my head that I will return to Taijiquan, have a goal of trying to meet with a student of Cheng Manching the end of summer, who is about 3 hours south of me, and I have even thought I might try and get back to Xingyiquan. Found 2 guys now that are 2.5 hours east of me, one who is reported by all as being very good and trained in Taiwan, and the other is a student of Tom Bisio. And I am most definitely planning on getting back to the push hands group.

    I cannot be certain if I will get back to any or all of these, but I have a goal I am shooting for and I plan on exercising as much as is medically advisable while I recover.

    Well that pretty much gets me to today, I plan on posting more about this as time goes on, there may be long gaps, there may be some day by day. I am coming out of retirement for this, but I do not have plans to be as prolific a poster on MT as I once was.

    More to come

    Note: For those without kettlebells, like me, I found something much cheaper than buying kettlebells that allows me to you my existing dumbbells. It works great for me and saved me some money too. I have dumbbells up to 40lbs and this will take up to a 50 pound weight.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    I'll have to try that out that Kettle Grip. Does it balance out really good. No sliding?
     
  3. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    Hope you have a good speedy recovery.

    You know what is great for your knees.....bacon.
     
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  4. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    It works great with the set of dumbbells I have. My set is exactly like this

    [​IMG]
    Kettlebell grip
     
  5. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Had both my knees total replacements 6 months apart at the age of 61. I am still working out. Lifting for strength how ever no running and biking actually hurts my knees. I was told not to lift more than my own body weight so I keep my deadlifting to about 190-200 lbs. No squatting with the thighs below parallel to the ground.
     
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  6. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    it wont swing like a KB coz the weight distribution is different, if you want to swing like a KB, buy a KB, the plastic ones filled with concrete are really cheap.

    if you intend to use it like a dumb bell, then just leave it as a dumb bell, dumbbells are better at being DB, than kettle bells are

    if for no obvious reason you decided you need a dumb bell with a plastic handle, then this is clearly the product for you
     
  7. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I saw my Ortho today because the swelling had gotten worse over the course of about 4 weeks. He did a doppler and ruled our DVT (thank goodness) but did find a large cyst sitting right on the sciatic nerve. He numbed me up and used a tool that looked an arthroscopic tool and made two small incisions to 'suck' out the cyst. Kind of cool to watch. Then removed two large syringes of milky fluid that he is going to check for infection. If it comes back positive, they will do some sort of 'wash out' Friday.
    Definitely feels better with the cyst and fluid gone. Still looking at replacements in May.

    @Xue Sheng , I sure hope you can avoid all of this.
     
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  8. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Had a knee drained a couple of times several years ago, but no cyst. This is a meniscus repair and some sort of injection into the bone to fix the tibia fracture. But I'm knocked out for all of this. Then a few weeks of crutches
     
  9. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    You may not have seen the post, but I have had 4 plates removed in two surgeries in the last 5-6 weeks. For the first two weeks things seemed normal. One large incision, one smaller incision on each side of the knee with the typical mild pain/discomfort you would expect. Then the swelling started Increasing and I started having sharp pain running from about mid calf up to my lower back if I tried to bend the knee at all. That is why my doctor did a doppler to rule out DVT.
    It will still be a rough road getting to May but hopefully a little easier now that the cyst and fluid are gone.

    March, April and May are VERY busy months on the farm. A lot of ground remediation and fertilization, and a lot of equipment prep getting ready for hay harvesting. I am so very fortunate my son is home for a while. He will be added as another paid farm hand so between the three of us hopefully we will not miss a step.
    It's gonna be a trying, costly year.
     
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  10. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I am quite curious about the injection. It is actually supposed to help repair the fracture?
    Or is for joint pain? Do you remember if the trade name is Synvisc-One?
    I tried this once lieu of a steroid injection and honestly felt it did no better even though they are supposed to last longer, and they a quite expensive. I also know this is very patient specific so hopefully it will work for you.
    Prayers for a speedy recovery.
     
  11. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    It is kind of like a glue that helps repair the fracture. The only other injectionsI have had in the knees was a cortisone shot and that was a long time ago
     
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  12. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Very interesting. I am not familiar with it. I Googled it and it appears to be very new. Cool stuff. If it works well it makes a tons of sense and simplicity.
    The cortisone shots are what I mentioned earlier when I said steroid
    .
    I wish I had a photo of my leg xray's to show you. It was/is pretty crazy to look at; even with 4 fewer plates.
     
  13. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    All I know is they told me that recovery will hurt a bit more because of that procedure
     
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  14. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I hope it beats the hell out of plates and screws.
     
  15. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    I have no doubt it will. The last time, with just the meniscus repair, I did not take any of the prescription pain meds, just ibuprofen, and I was ok. I do not expect it to hurt much more than that, but if it does, there is always the prescription stuff
     
  16. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Took Synvisc injections for 2 years didn't do much for the pain overall, reduce it very slightly but helped lubricate the joint and was able to get the 2 years before having them replaced. Cortisone greatly reduced the pain but only lasted 36-48 hours.
     
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  17. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Agree. It did not do that much for me either. I would say I could get close to a month out of Cortisone before the cartilage was completely gone.
    Not sure why but the fluid has already came back on my knee about like it was before they drained it yesterday. Going to be a rough year.
     
  18. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic and the potential shortage of medical supplies needed by healthcare workers and patients who are much worse off than I with my knee, I am postponing my surgery. They have told me it ia still a go but I cannot, in good conscious, go through with this when there is a shortage of these things. I grew up in a household with healthcare professionals and I spent many years working in it myself so I think it is best I postpone this for the time being.
     
  19. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Senior Master

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    That's very very kind of you Xue, especially with how much discomfort you've been in. If they let you do that anyway, which it's your call anyway. Hopefully not postponed for too long
     
  20. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Thanks, its not to bad at the moment, it occasionally gives me a jab, but it does not last long, the regularly annoying knee is the one they did surgery on last June.
    Also, I am getting into regular acupuncture now to help, and its free, my wife is a TCM Doc. And I have to look at diet and figure out what type of cardio I can do for weight loss. The extra weight is not helping either.123
     
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