Tuesday, August 4, 2009

6 weeks past surgery

I am doing better...2 weeks off my crutches and I finally feel some improvement. The past few days I have made constant progress in regards to pain while walking. The feeling I have is getting better very slowly but at least I can see improvement. I can walk without limping and the pinching pain is almost gone. I have been biking between 20-30 minutes almost every day and I did a few strokes in the bay in front of the hotel completely painless.
On Monday I was coaching the Sunset Beach soccer team in the annual tournament on Shelter Island but lets not talk about it too much. Let's just say my coaching career can only take an upward trend from here on.
Tomorrow and Thursday I am off from work which means during the day I will enjoy my time doing the beach triathlon (swimming, reading, sleeping) and in the evening I plan on looking for an apartment in Hoboken or Jersey City Heights . Day #2 is devoted to Dr. Waskowitz and possibly meeting up with Rob if he has some time. I am hoping that I will get the green light to take my bike outside after Thursday. I am excited to see some pavement...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

not what I expected

It's only been 3 days since I got off my crutches but I don't like what I am feeling right now. I am experiencing a pinching pain close to where I felt my pain pre-surgery only this time it's more severe. I can tell myself that it is normal since my knee wasn't baring weight for 4 weeks or I freak out...I am kinda in the middle of those two. I figured out that if I take baby steps and keep my leg as straight as possible when I walk the pain is gone but that can't possibly be a solution for life. Right now I am hoping that this is temporarily. On Monday morning I will contact my doctor to see what the next step should be. If I have to go back to crutches I will but I am crossing my fingers that it is a normal symptom.
I went on my trainer twice in the past 3 days and I don't feel any pain. I figured since it's not much weight that my knee has to bare I will continue that to keep my leg moving as prescribed by my doctor. I was hoping to be back on the street when Rob comes to visit on the 7th-9th of August but I really need to take it slow. Sorry dude!
I envy all of you that will participate in the Lake Placid Ironman. Good luck to you all and enjoy the race.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I am walking again

4 weeks have passed and I finally put a side my crutches. Almost...
Last night I decided to do my first few steps and I think my body didn't really know what to do with my right leg so whenever I encounter stairs I still need to use a crutch to support my weight. It was the weirdest feeling I ever had...no doubt on my mind. I have a little pinching pain in my knee but I have a feeling that this is normal and it will disappear when my leg is used to the weight. Besides that I am super excited and it feels good. I am at about 95% of my range of motion pre-surgery and swelling seems to be history too.
Today was also my first day to do some stationary biking. I hooked my bike into the trainer and did 20min at a very easy pace to see how my knee reacts. I didn't have any discomfort and it felt much better than walking since the weight was gone. If I feel good later on I will do another 20min and increase my time as I progress. As most people would think indoor riding is boring...I am so excited to feel the pedal under my food I could do this all day right now. I am extremely happy to stand on my two legs. I have done everything the doctor told me to and so far it seems to be working. Tomorrow I am thinking about joining the jellyfish in the bay so that will be another exciting day.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

4 days to go

This Thursday I saw Dr. Waskowitz for the second time after my surgery. He did a quick check to see if I felt any pain by doing different movements and happily there was none. My knee isn't swollen anymore and my range of motion is better than expected. I was told to stay on crutches until Thursday and after that I can start some easy stationary biking and swimming. I have been doing my daily leg lifts (average of 3000) but I didn't get to 6000. Since last week I am keeping my leg lifted while doing my knee bends which trains my hamstring at the same time. I have lost about 1 - 2 inches off my hamstring but I am not too concerned about it since I know I can gain it back quickly on the bike.
According to my doctor I will be able to do my planed bike vacation at the end of September.I am very excited to get started on the bike. I have been doing every thing the doctor told me but the fact that I haven't felt any pain in the area of my surgery makes me a little nervous. I can't even determine where the doctor operated. I would have expected to feel a difference but I don't. I am trying to stay positive because he seems to be an amazing doctor. In 4 days I will be losing my crutches and I will see what's going to happen after that. BABY STEP'S
Here is a MRI picture of my cartilage damage. The white spot means that the cartilage is missing.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Bergfest is German as you probably guessed and it simply means I have reached the half way point of those annoying crutches. Two weeks ago I had my surgery and in two more weeks I can lose my crutches. The last two days I was off from work and all I did was relax...relax...relax.
Day 1 of my weekend I spent entirely on the beach. I got to the beach at 10:30am and left at 7pm. Due to some SPF 15 sun lotion I didn't even burn. After the beach me and some colleagues arranged a BBQ and that was it. Great day with some good rehab. My knee wasn't swollen at all and I managed to get in some good rehab exercises.

07/08 leg lifts: 4000 bends: 1600

Day 2 was very similair and doesn't need anymore explanaition than relaxing.

07/09 leg lifts: 3000 bends: 1200

Congratulations to my training partners Josie and Rob. Both finished the Griskus Sprint in a great time and took home some 3rd place bling from their age groups. Well done!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Week #2 after Surgery

And another tough day on crutches is coming to an end...
My rehab has been going pretty good and I see a lot of progress every day. After week 1 my knee had been very stiff and it was constantly swollen. Every time I tried to do some bends it felt as if my skin and muscles on the inside where attached. I started off with only very little range of motion and light pain when I did bends. Now my bends are easy going and I can bend more than 90 degrees without a problem. At 110 degrees my knee seems to be blocked but I gain more range of motion from day to day. Whenever I do my exercises my knee feels so much better and the swelling goes away for a short period of time. After sitting at the desk at work it swells back up. I am almost done with week 2 on crutches and can't wait to lose them. Next week Thursday I have a second appointment with my doctor and I am hoping that he will allow me to do some very easy stationary biking. This is the first time I am looking forward to sitting on the trainer indoors.

this is my log of the passed three days.

07/05 leg lifts: 3500 bends: 1500
07/06 leg lifts: 4000 bends: 1600
07/07 leg lifts: 4000 bends: 1600

I am coming closer to the 6000 mark but the day is simply not long enough. It takes me about 30 minutes to do a set of 1000 leg lifts and 400 bends.

GOOD LUCK TO ROB AND JOSIE AT THE GRISKUS. Rob, I hope you place this year. Josie...kick some ass ala rosie the riveter ;)

Saturday, July 4, 2009


In March my doctor (Dr. Waskowitz) diagnosed me with cartilage damage on my femur. My MRI pictures revealed a 1.6cm small area of missing cartilage that seemed to have caused my pain after running sessions. It was difficult for me to decide if I should get it fixed now or if I should simply step back from such intensive workouts. My final call was based on the facts that:

I am young (better chances of healing quickly)
I wanna be active (what’s life without heavy workouts)
I am covered under my school insurance (why do I pay insurance if I don’t use it)
I am not job hunting yet (crutches at an interview – not a good idea)

Thursday June 25th the day finally arrived. I got a little nervous but who wouldn’t. My orthopedic has done a great job explaining the ins and outs of the procedure called MICROFRACTURE and he made me feel confident in what I was going to do.

MICROFRACTURE is a procedure where small holes are being drilled into the bone (in the damaged area) to stimulate cartilage growth. The cartilage formed fills in for the original cartilage. The downside of this procedure is that the new cartilage will not be as strong as the original cartilage. In my case however a little layer of cartilage was left at the damaged area which will serve as a base for the new cartilage.

The procedure however is only half of my way to returning to competitive triathlons. Rehab is just as important because the new cartilage (scar tissue) can restrict the joints range of motion if not performed seriously. I also have to stay on crutches for 4 weeks so that I don’t damage the cartilage which needs become strong enough for weight baring activities. Range of motion exercises are started early on after surgery so that the cartilage will be shaped correctly. The rest of rehab involves strength exercises to retain the hamstring muscle which I am working on….

07/04 leg lifts: 3000 bends: 1000

(I know I need to do 6000 but it’s difficult…really...I will get there)