Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hamstring update

So the last couple times I've posted I've alluded to an upcoming hamstring surgery.  Now I'm not so sure that said surgery will actually take place.  It's not that I've changed my mind per se, rather the doctor isn't so sure I'm a candidate.

Apparently hamstring surgery is not typically done for partial tears which is what I originally had.  It isn't that surgery couldn't be done, or even be successful.  However the overall prognosis isn't all that much better than simply doing rehab.  A new MRI is needed to see what we're really dealing with.

With a partial tear, after some rest and rehab the injured area will scar over and that scar tissue will provide a certain degree of strength and stability back to the muscle.  Unfortunately the injured area is generally not as strong as it was prior to the injury and is never as flexible.  Surgery for both partial and full tears comes with its own list of risks and potential complications including a ridiculous amount of time in a brace and on crutches.

What this means for me: 
I don't know yet.  I had another MRI on Thursday last week to see what additional damage I did to the area.  I see the surgeon this Thursday to talk about the results.

Based on how I am feeling, I doubt surgery will be the recomended solution.  I'd like to think that I'd know if I had fully torn my hamstring.  I think the giveaway would be the muscle gathering around my knee...and I am of course assuming a certain amount of pain.  While I've been known to stupidly push through pain in the past, I'm guessing it would be more difficult to push through when there is absolutely no hamstring muscle remaining.

So, we'll see.  In the mean time I've been swimming a fair amount, but that has to stay somewhat limited due to shoulder issues from high school swimming.
I've been biking, but its all been easy stuff.  I will have to modify my bike fit to take the pressure off my glute and hamstring again.  Hopefully we won't go quite as far as we did for last season...I don't need my quads cramping in every race again.  I have not been able to run at all yet, but I've been doing a lot on the eliptical and other rehab type exercizes.  I'm hoping to try a light run in the near future to test things out.  We'll see.

So, this is both good and bad news.
I was hoping that surgery would be the long-term solution that would get me back to normal once and for all.  That doesn't appear to be the case.  So this is something that I will always be dealing with.  Having said that, I will most likely be able to race this season.  I won't need 6 months of rehab.  And I might be able to start slowly running in the next few weeks.

Stay tuned.

I saw the surgeon today and no longer have a diagnosis of any kind.  The MRI showed no evidence that a tear ever existed. 
So now I am off to a new doctor to see if we can figure out what in the hell is going on.

On the bright side, no surgery as there is nothing to repair.  On the negative, I don't know what's wrong. 

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