Don’t be a hero

217 days since injury
155 days since surgery

Today I went for an MRI scan followed by a check-up with my surgeon.

We reviewed some of the surgery details again and checked over the scan. Everything is healing nicely and progress is great.

When I first met Mr. Barkatali, he had great positive energy and was optimistic about my knee. When we got the worse-than-expected diagnosis, he was supportive and gave me confidence that I could recover.

Today, he was realistic and cautious as I discussed my hopes to start running soon. My leg is not yet strong enough and I need more time before I start running again.

“There are no medals for getting back quickly, it’s not a race”, he warned, “Don’t be a hero”. It’s not what I wanted to hear but what I needed to hear.

You can see the lack of muscle definition and bulk in the upper operated leg (left).

Measuring the leg circumference is a good way to reliably track this, and I am aiming for about 90% of the uninjured leg before running.

It isn’t too far off, but I still have work to do to get it back to normal.

I was still feeling pain and stiffness around 3 to 4 months after surgery, and that stopped me from really pushing with my exercises to build muscle back up. I could do nothing about that and had to give my body time to heal.

During my last recoveries, I returned to running around this time. But, as Mr Barkatali also reminded me, I am 41 and not 21. My body needs a bit more time.

I will keep being patient and aim to start running about 4 weeks from now, providing muscle mass and performance in single-leg exercises (e.g. split squats) are comparable to the unoperated leg.

There is still a lot of work to do.

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