Two years ago today I had ACL re-construction surgery on my right knee. In addition I also had my medial meniscus sutured. My surgery was an autograph (donor tissue was me, not a cadaver) of the semitendinosus (hamstring) tendon in my right leg.
Since then I’ve had over eight months of physical therapy and rehab (using the hamstring has donor tissue for the surgery has a longer recovery time than the patella-donor-type surgery plus I really didn’t want to rush), six months of prehab (injury preventative exercises) and over seven months of strength training before I started up jiu-jitsu again. Oh, I forgot to mention I even had a second surgery on my knee to remove the screws and anchors that held my “new” ACL in place while everything healed up neat and tidy.
Bionic Man for 1.7 years
Damn, my knee has come a long way.
Over the course of my two year journey I’ve picked up a lot of things, gained a great deal of experience and information in regards to knee injuries, rehab and prehab exercises, lower body – especially the posterior chain – strength training, leg mobility and flexibility, and soft tissue work, which of course includes massages. It’s led me to rediscover my passion for learning all about the human body and what it’s capable of (I was studying to be a paramedic before I found out I was coming to Japan, while I almost finished the program, I never knew how much I enjoyed learning about biology and human physiology until then).
Out of everything, there are a few important lessons I would have never received if I never got injured in the first place.
Looking back at my posts I realized that I missed a workout session. Yikes!
June 5th Lifts, Bro
Standard leg warm-ups and stretches. Front squats 3×5, snatch grip deadlifts 3×5, lunges 3×5 and my hip exercises.
June 9th Lifts, Bro
Standard leg warm-ups, deadlifts 5×5, DB rows 3×5, Upright rows 3×5, pull-ups (3) and dips (7) followed by my hip exercises.
Gimme a Finisher, Bro
It feels like I’m settling into my weekly routine. I like the way my body feels after weight training a lot more than I do after jiu-jitsu practice. Well that makes sense cause I’m not sparring in class, not very long nor at full intensity. But I really enjoy the feeling of being tired the next day from lifting. On a day I don’t feel tired it seems like I have heaps of energy just pouring out of me, which usually happens on a jiu-jitsu day and makes sitting on the sidelines far more worse than it is.
For the most part, I’m really have to say is that my right leg feels strong. It doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t bother me. My flexiblity is slowly coming back though it’s not at pre-injury levels yet. Surprisingly my right leg feels better than my left leg. Before I had surgery I casually mentioned that my left knee was bothering me as well – nowhere near as bad as my right knee at that time – but after two years of my right leg taking center stage I’m finding that my left leg is starting to remind me of its current condition. Nothing really to worry about, just something to keep an eye on.
Other than that, I’m feel amazing. I wonder how much better I’ll feel with a couple more weeks of front squats and lunges under my belt.