View Full Version : exercise suggestions for lifting while recovering from injury

09-01-2009, 12:28 PM
A while back I had a little injury that has turned out to be not so little. I basically tore the cartilage off of the lateral tibial plateau in both of my knees. I am going to end up with a surgery that will leave me in a wheel chair for 3-6 weeks followed by crutches for a few weeks and then braces on the knees for ~2 years. I have always lifted weights and would like to continue doing so, but I am not sure about exercise selection. Obviously I will discuss anything I do with my doctor, but I would like to have some ideas of what I want to try. I have a reasonable plan for bench/bench assistance stuff, but I would like to get thoughts on low back/hamstring work as I would like to continue to compete in deadlift once I am healed. For example, I have never used a reverse hyper so I am not sure if it would stress my knees any and I am pretty sure that my doctor wouldn't even know what one is. I am particularly looking for advice from people who lift and also have some sort of medical background. If it helps I have roughly a 30 mm full thickness defect in the lateral tibial plateau in both knees and several meniscal tares. The meniscal tares are pretty easy, but the location and size of the articular cartilage tares make them pretty unique. My doctor plans on treating the defects through osteochondral allografts, or preferably, through a newer procedure somewhat similar to autologous chondrocyte implantation but with a product called denovo nt by a company called Zimmer. Any suggestions or advice would be very much appreciated.

Sean S
09-01-2009, 12:50 PM
If you don't mind me asking, how did you manage to do that much damage to both knees? I've just never come across this kind of injury.
As far as exercise go, tough to predict. Obviously whatever you do will have to be very, very light to start with. I'm thinking leg extensions and leg curls to start with just to get some muscle function back. Then perhaps reverse hypers and back raises as tolerated provided things are recovering well. Perhaps some sled pulling at some point down the road when you are mobile. I would also assume you would eventually want incorporate some type of squatting movements, even if they have to be partial movements with bodyweight only. All of this assumes that all the ligaments are intact and the knees are reasonable stable. Louie Simmons recently wrote an article in PLUSA about rehab that has some stuff he used with his patellar tear recovery. Not all of that may be appicable to your situation, but it may give you some more ideas.
Good luck.

09-01-2009, 12:55 PM
Reverse Hypers will be your best friend for years to come. They put no stress on the knees and back.

09-01-2009, 01:06 PM
your injury was not as severe as mine (i had lowerback compression) so take my post with a grain of salt.
when I couldn't deadlift/squat for months, I used my APT harness to pull cars as my leg/quad workout. I also took a belt with attachments for oly plates and do free squats and body weight pistol squats (aka 1 legged squat). You can do the weighted belt free squats by placing two chairs parallel to each other and have the weight dip down in between for clearance.