2 weeks out pre-hab: Monday May 9 2011

I am starting this blog two weeks prior to a total knee replacement on my left knee. I decided to give my first hand experience of the process before and after the procedure in hopes that it can benefit anyone who is about to undergo the same surgery.

Since I am in the fitness and sports conditioning business I have always tried to stay in shape and have been very active in mountain biking and strength training. The pain has made the last few years much more challenging in terms of keeping up with my cardiovascular conditioning and with the inability to bike or walk, the time has come to bite the bullet and make the surgery happen.

Research has shown a direct correlation between quad strength and recovery so I have been trying to hit the legs as consistently as possible heading up to the surgery. Monday consisted of 5 minutes on the stationary bike (any more and the knee shuts down) followed by 3 supersets each of seated leg extensions and seated leg curls. That’s all for the legs that day, not able to do any modified lunging or squatting but hoping just simple extensions and curls will help post surgery. I went on to hit some upper body, core work and a combination of rowing and UBE for some cardiovascular work.

Tuesday: Today consisted of cable quad extensions (like a freemotion quad) and I combined that with a hamstring exercise in which you are in a chair with wheels, then extended your legs, dig your heels into the ground and engage your hamstrings to pull yourself across the floor. Pretty effective. 3 sets of each. I followed that with lateral tube walking to fire my glutes and combined a slide board heel slide to mimic the heel slide I will do in rehab. 3 sets of those as well. It’s all pretty painful but since it will hurt whether I work my legs or not, I’ll deal with the pain and hope that it will make my recovery much more manageable.

Wednesday: Day off today, the knee was hurting pretty bad and cutting the grass probably didn’t help things. Rest and a glass of red!

Thursday: Good day of strength training on the leg today. I did my superset with seated leg extensions and seated leg curls, also cable quad extensions with slide board heel slides again. 5 minutes on the bike, some upper body, rowing machine and UBE. Did all of my pre operative work today including: chest x-ray, blood work, EKG and urinalysis.  New York Presbyterian Hospital was very efficient, in and out in one and a half hours, very happy with that!

Travel day tomorrow, heading to Atlanta for a Kicking camp, we’ll pick it up next week.