Asking Questions and Doing Things

CK Knee Surgery – Week 11 Update

Today marks 11 weeks since I had surgery to repair a torn meniscus, MCL and ACL in my right knee and I’m happy to report that my PT rehab sessions and pool therapy is really paying off.

Truth be told, it’s been a crazy couple of months. Prior to my injury, I was messing around with a new website, but worked as Director of Business Development at Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana.

Then I got hurt, left the restaurant business and re-discovered a lifelong passion for writing.

It’s ironic how it happened. I was playing golf with my Dad and Uncle and just hopped down into a sand trap to play my show and my right knee buckled in the sand.

I worked Memorial Day Weekend with my knee surrounded by giant bags of ice, the was forced onto medical leave on May 31, 2013, when I was diagnosed with a torn meniscus, MCL and ACL in my right knee.

After realizing I’d be spending the summer out of work and temporarily disabled, I began reaching out to my contacts to offer freelance writing services – something I could do from home on my laptop, with my leg elevated and iced.


I had successful surgery on Tuesday, June 25th and am now 11 weeks today into my rehabilitation and was rated last week by my surgeon and physical therapist as being 90-percent recovered.

I am presently working as contributing writer for BFG Communications, Triad Design Group, Hilton Head Monthly Magazine, Falmouth Publishing Company, Simply Falmouth Magazine and Cape Cod Outdoors. I blog on new technology, travel and hard news. My creative writing is a study of journalistic transition with the evolution of new media digital platforms.

Last week, my surgeon cleared me to resume 100% of my daily activities, but in reality I’m about 90-percent of the way there. My mobility rehab score is 87%, up from 79% when last tested August 1st. I’m optimistic that my score is borderline on jumping up to 89%, as weakness and fatigue scores are both ready to move from  4 to 5, meaning I am no longer experiencing these symptoms during daily activity.

Physician in-training Brandon at Drayer Physical Therapy in Sheridan Park, Bluffton is having a field day designing a routine of focused isolation, stretching and weight bearing exercises on my right knee. My two hour therapy session includes one-legged squats with a 5-second hold, one legged balance board front, back and side, side and about a dozen eccentric, or lowering, exercises aimed toward active recovery.

I start with fifteen to twenty minutes of stretching at home prior to arriving at PT, then the fun begins. For warm-up I ride 3 miles on the bike, #8 setting, hills. transition to calf stretch (3×30 sec), then hamstring stretch (3×30 sec.) * Reminder: turn right toe inward to isolate hamstring. core stretch – on back, rolling the ball from out to in, 5 second hold. skiing squat and 5 second hold. weighted knee extension, single leg (3×70#). weighted leg press on rocker chair, single leg (3×20#). weighted squat laying down, single leg, up then back to 90-degrees, 10-second hold (3×80#), lunges (3×10), balance board, front-back, single leg (1 min). balance board, side-side, single leg (1 min). throw and catch against angled trampoline, single leg, front, face left, face right (10x ea.). lunges, 3 sets of 10.

We finish with a Monster Walk, which involves a green resistance band being secured tight around my ankles and me doing a version of the basketball side-to-side defensive shuffle. Hands up, down and back, down and back, in a squat, moving laterally, not allowing full resistance of band to go slack.

On Monday, Henry told me the only way to complete this exercise is, “to man up.” In my experience it helps if the person is very stubborn.

Adam called as I was pulling into the driveway after therapy yesterday and has agreed to join me on my goal of running a 5-K before Christmas; 10-K at The Falmouth Road Race next August, and a summit trip to Springer Mountain in Georgia, which marks the start of the AT.

Springer Mtn TopoES_Map

Suggestions from my Physical Therapist toward maximizing performance:
– Try to drink one pint glass of water every hour.
– Change diet to smaller portion sizes, especially with side dishes such as potato, rice or pasta with double helpings of fresh fruits and vegetables
– Must limit bread intake to small portions (ie. if breakfast on toast, ok, then no garlic bread with butter and pasta that night)
– Regular exercise regimen that includes cross training component (ie. bike, run, swim for warmup, then stretching, then weights, then isolation exercise, then endurance for difficult, but obtainable goal).

Finish with ice, rest, lots of water and healthy snacks. Repeat.



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