Outside of getting in my regular workouts each day (cardio & hot yoga) I am following a pretty strict nutrition and pre-hab (yes, pre-hab) regimen outlined in the book: The Rapid Recovery Handbook: Your Complete Guide To Healing After Surgery. This book aligns super well with my own personal beliefs on nutrition and healing. The author really advocates a green and veggie heavy diet, which I follow every day anyways. However, the she does advocate the healing properties of heavy Omega consumption via either fish or supplements. I have been trying to integrate as much Omega supplements and fresh wild salmon as possible (canned and fresh); with the idea being that the natural anti-inflammatories will provide less of a need for traditional pain medications. As a vegetarian this can be challenging, however, with such a major surgery I want to heal as quickly as possible. The book also has an in depth list of pure supplements she recommends such as Vitamin C, a good multi, and other natural supplements to promote healing. I have also been supplementing a bit of green drink into my day for extra boosts for nutrition.
Another good thing I am taking on as part of my pre-hab, is meeting with my PT before the surgery. If you are doing an FAI or torn labrum surgery and have never used crutches, I highly recommend meeting up with your therapist beforehand. Also, you will be with your therapist quite a bit of time for recovery, so you might as well ensure you mesh well. I couldn't ask for a better match in personality and professionalism than Anne at Edge Physical Therapy. Not only has she worked with patients post-surgery FAI & Labrum surgery, she is supportive of my choice to go through with surgery, understands my love of running and exercise, knows what I do for work, and has great personal insight into healing. We met twice this week to go over all my home exercises and yesterday she walked me through using crutches properly up and down the stairs.
When I say rehab is not inactive, I mean it! The great thing for me is it appears there's not too much sitting, I will be getting started with passive range of motion and stationary bike post-op day 1. I am hoping I see positive changes and progress most days. The surgery protocol is intensive but from what I hear from my physical therapist, does vary quite a bit from patient to patient per the surgeon. Some of my post-surgery protocol is listed below.
1.) Crutches for 4 weeks, only 20 lbs weight bearing. (Can I use my crutches to do bicep curls?)
2.) Continuous Passive Motion Machine (4-6 hours per day). This is a machine that moves your leg for you, while you lie on your back. (I wonder if I can do crunches at the same time?)
3.) At home exercises with assistance from husband, Mom, or friends (which friends would like to come over and do my exercises so we can chat?)
4.) Physical Therapy 2-3x per week (Will my PT let me work out/train her patients verbally while I am lying on the table?)
5.) Stationary bike: 20 min per day starting post-op day 1 (Can I race someone next to me?)
Some of restrictions include no driving, walking, etc. However, I am looking towards the cutoff dates where I can swim, elliptical and eventually run!
I truly belive that in spite of the hard days (and I am having the hard days), the efforts to stay healthy and active leading up to my surgery will only serve me well. It's the ability to keep looking forward that's the hardest! Keeping your eye on the eventual goal, when it's so far away, may be the most tedious part...but the feeling of running through the woods again will be the victory. I see the same say-to-day struggle with my personal training clients; making change and working for a goal (weight loss, a 5K , etc.) is what takes the most effort and focus-but your health and vitality is the gold medal. I am reminding you, as well as myself to take it day by day and the gold medal will be around both our necks come 2014.