Home > Physical Therapy, Training > Atrophy and What it Means To Me

Atrophy and What it Means To Me

Well it’s a little past midday and I just returned from STAR physical therapy. I feel great. I feel motivated. And I feel sore. Yes, sore. Come on that is expected – after all, I am two and a half weeks removed from hip surgery.

Okay – without getting too repetitive here’s the brief synopsis:

  1. I used the stationary bike for ten minutes.
  2. The Stool Stretches.
  3. Various yoga-like stretches.
  4. Jeremy continuing to commend my range of motion while he stretches my hip.
  5. Electrical stimulation treatment (I did not mention this last week but rest assured this is the norm.)
  6. Ice.
  7. Good-bye

That is the norm. Now what did I do for the time at STAR…

  1. While on the stationary bike, I peddled a bit faster than usual. Amanda noticed the rotation. Pain was not an issue. The hip felt great. I wanted to continue after ten minutes but was unable. Oh well…baby steps.
  2. I used the balance board. For those not familiar with the balance board, it is a device that moves in one direction. The purpose of the board is to maintain balance without the ends hitting the floor. Over the summer I was introduced to the balance board by the same folks at STAR and conquered the device. This morning I was able to balance myself with the board facing up to down; however balancing from left to right proved to be arduous. Again over the summer I conquered the board in both directions. Today balancing from left to right made my hips violently shake. This has happened before. According to Jeremy and Amanda when muscles stand idle for more than 2 weeks those muscles weaken.

While I am feeling great, atrophy has taken its course. What is “atrophy”? According to webster.com:

Atrophy (noun): decrease in size or wasting away of a body part or tissue.

Since the surgery I expected atrophy to play a major role – lo and behold it has. Over the course of two weeks my right leg has shown a major decrease of muscle. I expected it; and Amanda even mentioned it. In a way atrophy is a reason why I am required to continue using my crutches. My physical therapist had me walk without crutches. And while I felt great, Jeremy and Amanda both agreed I was not ready to walk without them. Their conclusion: Instability. The purpose of physical therapy is to build strength in weakened areas. In my case rebuild strength in my hips and core area. Until that is corrected weakness will persist.

In the next week and a half I have three physical therapy sessions. The week after that I am slated to return to work. My main goal during the next three sessions and during my at home therapy is to build enough strength to either A) walk with a cane or B) Walk without either crutches or a cane.

I intend to get my right leg in the best shape as possible. The road to recovery has just started and I am not going to allow anything derail my focus or goals.

Stay tuned.

  1. January 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Good luck Jorge, you can do it 🙂

    • January 5, 2012 at 7:16 pm

      Thank you. Man, I am feeling great. Despite the atrophy, I will be back on my feet in no time. My goal is to take care of myself, do my therapy and get cleared to workout again. At this point I am looking at a June return date. Happy New Year to you, buddy. 🙂

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