About 3 years ago, in an ego-driven gym moment, I put enough strain on my left shoulder to peel off some cartilage and jamb the joint so I couldn’t do outward rotation over the full range of motion. And, every time I ramped up my effort it got sore as hell. That also prevented me from doing squats, because I simply couldn’t support the bar on my back with my left arm.
So I switched to the inclined leg press for leg workouts. My leg strength kept going up and before long I was using 9 plates/side on heavy days – and here is my 75-yr-old brain wondering if I can get to 10 plates like the big guys. Yes I felt some aggravation of the knee joints after such a workout, but within a week I had no discomfort.
Well, toward the end of ’15 it started taking longer to fully recover, and then it wasn’t recovering. After the new year I decided to get them examined by my trusty Orthopedist, Gregg Hartman, and he revealed that I was basically out of cartilage, approaching bone-on-bone. He reminded me of my age and reduced mental capacity (echoing my wife’s opinion), but offered a temporary solution: injections of a compound of hyaluronic acid called “OrthoVisc”. I’ve had one of three scheduled injections, and going up stairs is pain-free – a big improvement. I haven’t really put my knees to the test, but daily use is comfortable.
In the meantime, I was doing more upper body gym work and my left shoulder finally got me annoyed enough that I proposed that, while we were fixing my knees, he should clean out my shoulder as well. So Monday he did arthroscopy and removed the loose stuff. Today is Friday and I have virtually all my range of motion back and haven’t needed pain meds since Wednesday. The guy is a master; if you live in the Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Ventura or Moorpark (CA) areas you should consider Ventura Orthopedics and Gregg Hartman as your best option for orthopedic repairs.
I’m due for post-op exam on Monday and the next injection for the knees. The intent there is to keep me humming until he integrates Platelet-rich-plasma and stem-cell therapy into the practice, at which point we may be able to coax my body into rebuilding the joint surfaces – I’m signed up for that as a study of One.
To your greater Health and Fitness!
Your Senior Fitness Coach,