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Question on Rebuilding bone and Muscle... Info please anyone(23 posts)

Question on Rebuilding bone and Muscle... Info please anyoneCARBON110
Apr 11, 2003 7:12 AM
Hi guys,
I visited my Doc yesterday and I now have a fiberglass cast so I can use my crutches instead of a chair to move around. He said I will most likely be able to return to competition next year and start training in like 5-6 months hard. But it is imperative I rebuild my muscle and bone in 4 months when my cast comes off. He said my diet would not matter in the meantime as far as helping this process of bone restructure.
So, is there anyplace ora nyone who knows how to do this sproperly. He said my leg will super skinny when it gets out of my cast. I am concerned of course about doing this right so I can lift weights next winter and not worry about reinjuring my bone. There is a local velodrome I am going to start doing laps around in my crutches just to get some exercise every week. I am also going to start lifting weights with my arms but just to maintain some strength.
Thanks again for all you who posted comments in my earlier post, it really moved me. Have a good day!
Slow and steady.MXL02
Apr 11, 2003 7:25 AM
In a word- Foundation miles. Let your body be your guide, but in general slow and steady.
Hey bud...jtferraro
Apr 11, 2003 7:36 AM
My leg definitely atrophied, too. It really sucks but you have to know you will build it back up. Anyway, I agree w/the other poster in that slow & steady is probably the best way to build it back up and it will be important to listen to your body. I'm going for PT 2-3x a week now and am anxious to do some easy riding...if & when the weather in New England ever cooperates. I think I'm going to initally take the mtb out on the road(w/slicks) then work in the road bike. We'll see...

You and I really need to get together one of these days!

Keep up the good spirits!

On TV I saw a guy that was rebuilt for $6 million. (nm)onespeed
Apr 11, 2003 7:37 AM
Yeah,Steve Austin - the bionic man! Remember that show? ;-)jtferraro
Apr 11, 2003 7:45 AM
Remember the sound of the bionics in action? Cool!

How to kill a joke 101. nmSpoiler
Apr 11, 2003 4:05 PM
whatever (nm)jtferraro
Apr 11, 2003 6:27 PM (nm)divve
Apr 11, 2003 11:21 PM
Yup, that's it! Exactly what I was referring to. Thanks. (nm)jtferraro
Apr 12, 2003 6:16 AM
re: Question on Rebuilding bone and Muscle... Info please anyoneryder1
Apr 11, 2003 8:02 AM
First of find a very good PT person and place you like. Let them know your goals to get back to competetive cycling, etc. - they seemed to take more interest / make it sport specific. I've had a couple rehabs, first was my elbow that I broke off at the joint and now has a pin through my forearm, the second being a torn ACL. I found in both cases that some really easy swimming right after the cast came off helped. For my ACL doing some easy frog kicking with kickboard really helped get the tendons and joint working again. I've read that lifting weights on the non-injured side somehow helps maintain muscle in the injured leg. Don't know about this but, at least you can maintain strength in one leg.

Very sorry to read about your accident. Get well, find a good PT place, and take care..........
about your ACL injury...jtferraro
Apr 11, 2003 8:14 AM
Like you, I also have a torn ACL. How did you tear it? I slid into a tree while snowboarding in the woods this winter. That was the least of my left knee injury as I also completely severed my MCL, tore up both my medial & lateral meniscus, and put a 12mm impaction fracture in my tibial plateau. :( I started going for PT a few weeks ago and I'm doing much better but can't wait til' I'm well enough to really RIDE hard again - especially since I have a new bike (purchsed in the fall) waiting for me.

How serious is your ACL tear? My OS couldn't justify the reconstructive surgery since it is still 70% good (as he said).

about your ACL injury...ryder1
Apr 11, 2003 8:32 AM
I slid the back wheel of my mtb out on some mud going fast on a corner. I tried to "dab" with my foot just as my bike went down, kinda planting my foot with my knee and everything else going the other way.

My ACL was a "partial tear" like 50% so, no surgery, just a cast for awhile than PT. PT really helped but, as I mentioned doing some REALLY easy frog type kicking on a kickboard in the pool seemed to do wonders. I had this happen about a month before I was to be married. Future wife was not happy. Luckily I got the cast off before the honeymoon.

Good Luck!
I have also read that exercising the uninjured leg will helpMikeBiker
Apr 11, 2003 3:27 PM
maintain muscle on the inactive side.

Agree with the take it slow and easy. Another thing,Mike P
Apr 11, 2003 8:39 AM
and you may already know this, I think it is a good idea to keep everything else in shape while injured. Find something to do with your arms, or what ever, and get out and work out the heart and lungs, upper body, back, abs; everything not injured. Pushing yourself around in a wheelchair can be an exhausting workout. There is no reason you have to get out of shape; unless you're confined to a bed or something. If you do things in such a ways you are not irritating your injuries, recovery should be quicker and you can expect to get back in full shape quicker.

Apr 11, 2003 8:49 AM
Right now, it's important to let the bone heal. Yes, the muscles will atrophy, but they'll come back, too.
Doing laps around the velodrome, or even going anywhere, is a great idea. Weight-bearing exercise encourages your body to increase bone density, and the aerobic exercise should keep that part of your fitness up. The worst thing is languishing in bed, but it sounds like you're more than motivated enough to avoid that.
Also, considering bone is a calcium and protein matrix, it wouldn't be a bad idea to increase both in your diet. I know most MD's say a supplement isn't necessary, but something like 60-80% of them take at least a multivitamin a day, so hedge your bets. Even something like eating a serving or two of yogurt or cottage cheese may help.
Once the cast comes off, and you're cleared for activity, finding a good physical therapist is key. Start scouting now - meet with as many as you can, and discuss your situation with them. Go with whoever makes you most comfortable - they're going to be causing you pain soon, so try to find someone you like. I can't recommend anything more specific than that, and the therapists know more than I do anyway.
Personally, I broke my wrist at the radius last May, and got 2 plates and 5 screws to rebuild it. Big scar, soft cast for 8 weeks, great painkillers. After 8 weeks, there was no indication of the fracture on X-rays, and I have to attribute some of that to taking calcium supplements. I'm fairly young, though - 26 when it happened.
I went through 6 weeks of fairly painful PT, and have 95% range of motion back, and full grip strength. Only one plane is partially occluded, and that's due to hardware. So I have some idea what I'm talking about.
You're far worse than I was, though. You'll be back stronger and faster next year, and some part of me believes that going through the agony of serious injury and recovering from it makes you stronger all around. New-age cheesiness, I know, but I still believe it.
It's been 1 year since my ACL reconstruction..indymac
Apr 11, 2003 8:58 AM
and the 'repaired' leg is still my 'smaller' leg where it used to be appear to be the 'larger' of the two...

I am not sure what your injury was, but find a good PT and follow their instructions.
how did you tear it?jtferraro
Apr 11, 2003 10:17 AM
I just tore mine this winter, snowboarding in the woods - sliding into a tree. I had surgery to clean up my medial & lateral meniscus and my OS performed "microfracture" to encourage scar tissue growth where the ACL tear is.

hockey (nm)indymac
Apr 11, 2003 10:24 AM
A lot of good information here from everyone.Charlie Amerique
Apr 11, 2003 9:39 AM
My take
Background: Two legs broken at the same time (don't ask), full cast on one, half cast on the other. Three months until I was in one half cast and another month before i was free.

What I did:
In that time I had nothing to do but sit and read and direct others at work... and go to the gym. Since I was on the U.S. Military medical program, I didn't take much by way of drugs and it seems that was a good thing.
I went to the gym twice a day and worked my upper body. When my casts came off (one entirely and the other to a half cast) I noticed little difference in size. When the other came out I noticed again little difference. Was it the weight training? I don't know for sure, but it's been resewarched and shown to be very helpful in maintaining overall finess even in areas not exercised... and it can't hurt, eh?

Ibuprofin, it has been said, tends to retard bone "knitting" and is not a good thing. I am not a medical professional, but I figure I'd rather live with the pain short term than the discomfort long term. I do have a buddy who broke his femur very badly a couple of years ago (on his wedding day no less) and took Motrin almost every day. It took from Sept 2001 to March 2003 to get his bones strong enough to take out the rod they had put inside of him.
Is the Motrin the culprit?? Hell if I know, but he will not see the road under his wheels until Sept this year, 2 years after the accident. If he didn't own a bike shop, I'm sure he's be in a mental institution by now...

As for your recovery after the cast comes off, muscles will regrow and as they become stronger they will increase tension on the bone and the bone will react by growing stronger still... so take it easy and be patient and you'll be hammering that new Spectrum full Carbon Campy up Mt Snow in no time.

Again, good luck and it's nice to hear you are looking forward in a positive way.

Forgot about...indymac
Apr 11, 2003 10:00 AM
the ibuprofen thing. Of course, I didn't read about it until long after my surgery...
Here's some help:coonass
Apr 11, 2003 12:11 PM
First you have to educate easy to understand book is available at every Health Food Store (GNC, etc.) "Prescription for Nutritional Healing" by James Balch, MD & Phyllis Balch, CNC...Excellent information on Vitamins/Minerals/Herbs (info on Minerals for bone repair; muscle damage/repair, etc.) but be sure that you're taking Calcium & Magnesium in a 2:1 up and be your own advisor. I've been taking a natural product called 'Dolomite' for years and so far I've been lucky surviving crashes without broken bones (knock on wood) Your leg will only get smaller because you CAN'T use it to develop it's muscle mass....Hope this is some help. (You can also do some info searching on:
Here's some help:BaadDawg
Apr 11, 2003 4:48 PM
You need a good sports physiotherapist and a certified atheltic trainer and you need to take it easy.

I did my ACL 20 years ago and went at rehab like a maniac without seeing great results, and finally stopped intensive therapy because I had to go away and could not train for a week, and I improved more from a week off than I had from 8 weeks of intensive training.
A little more Info and THANKS for sharing your experienceCARBON110
Apr 12, 2003 12:49 PM
I am going to persue some of the recommendations so thank you all for sharing your personel experiences. My leg constantly hurts but I am trying very hard to wean myself off the pain meds. I think I'm going to buy a schwinn wind trainer where I can use one leg and my arms. This way I can build some strength and aerobic fitness. I am concertrating on my diet but I have no appetite and its hard to force myself to eat. The pain meds are having fun with my digestive system too. The local shop said they would sell me the scwinn just over retail and when I was better I could trade it on a lemond o schwinn stationary bike. I thought that was very generous.
To be honest I can't wait to get on my bike but I am scared sh1tless to do so as well. Just decending stairs right now is scary and I think back to my favorite downhills of 50+mph and how hard I worked on going fast downhill this winter and I have a hard time imagining doing it again. I suppose and hope it will just come in time. How hard is it going to be to get back into the mind set of competitive road skills? Everything i have learned I fear will be lost, and I was at my best performance ever this year. I am willing to work my ass off again just because I love getting on my bike everyday more then anything, but for you out there who have broken bones and raced again, has it effected your decision making skills while you race? Are you unwilling to do somethings you would have before for fear of reinjury and going through the traumas again?
Then I think of Lance and Tyler Hamilton and they plus many others have done it, perhaps I'm just allowing it to occupy my mind to much I don't know. I guess I'm trying to think of everything I can anticipate mentally for the future and prep myself for it.
Being an athlete, even A very amature one, has never ment more to me though. Thanks again for the advice