Knee and spine

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

If you’re following my current 60 day workout posts you might wonder when I do legs and lower back.

I can’t, at least not as often as I want. My right knee has been plagued by things since I was 17 and broke it at summer camp one year. I slipped and my patella (kneecap) flung itself to the outside of my knee. Surgery fixed the tendons and pulled out a quarter sized chip that popped off something. About 6 months later I could walk without crutches, thanks to physio, but I never regained my flexibility. I’m stuck with a maximum bend of just over 45 degrees. Oh well, after a year I could ski and bike and run and do everything.

Much grinding and clicking and occasional arthritic pain followed me since then.

In 2007 I went on a canoe trip wayyyy up north on Atlin Lake, BC. One day we left the canoe behind and hiked 40 kms to Llewellyn Glacier. Once up on the glacier we were being really REALLY stupid by walking around on the edge of the breaking face, which was just riddled with crevices, fake crevice covers (thin ice), and the constant sound of rushing melt water just under our feet. We were making our way off, because we realized how fucking stupid we were being up there, when the ground under me disappeared and I fell into a hole. I saved myself by falling chest first a bit, and managed to crawl out of a deep hole. -50 points for being retarded and climbing up there without crampons, rope, or brains.

So during that little spill my knee did a funky pop snap thing, but since our legs were completely numb from the gazillion little stream / rivers crossings we had to endure to get there (ever step into a fresh glacier stream just a few hundred feet from their icy source? I didn’t know water could get that cold without freezing), I didn’t feel much other than “uh oh, wtf was that?”

We hiked 20 km back to camp, fell asleep, sunburned, hungry, and happy that we didn’t run into any grizzlies. We should have. Another reason we’re fucking idiots.

The next morning my knee was swollen badly, and I could hardly walk. Oh well, the rest of the trip was in the canoe. Eventually we were done and drove home to Vancouver, by then my knee was completely fucked. I couldn’t straighten it out, it was locked tight, and I could barely walk.

So, that turned into surgery. I tore the meniscus (little spongy squishy thing that sits between the bones so your parts can slide around properly). Physio and rest fixed it a bit, but its never been the same. Until just a few months ago I was in chronic pain, guzzling Advil and avoiding walks longer than 5 minutes. Yes, that made working out really hard some times.

Finally a few months ago (like a year and a half after surgery) it started to act a little more normal. Knock on wood, but for the last few months I’ve been able to go on long walks, long bike rides, and work out my legs at the gym. I can actually squat, fucking hooooorah.

As for my spine, I have a slight curvature and bulging disc. The x-ray is cool, I look like a snake. So deadlifts are out, which sucks hard.

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