T Nation

Leg Exercises After Surgery


I damaged a tendon in my ankle and had surgery in January. The recovery is coming along, but squats and deads are a ways off and I just can't sit and watch my legs melt away anymore. At this point, all I can realistically do is extensions and curls, but those exercises aren't recommended at low rep levels (i.e. below 10).

Any suggestions? How can I best work my legs when i'm limited in exercise selection and rep range?

Thanks for any help.


What tendon did you specifically injury and have surgery on?

I am assuming that your other leg did not have any medical intervention done on it, so that one should be full capable of a normal training routine (assuming you are smart about exercise selection and execution so that you don't put your surgical ankle in jeopardy).


The peroneal tendon. Not ruptured, but dislodged from it's natural spot. The procedure was creating a groove in the ankle bone for the tendon to sit in.

Thanks for any suggestions.


Did they create a groove or repair/reform the peroneal retinaculum that holds the tendon down?

I would be very cautious regarding rushing the recovery from that type of surgery. I have worked with one other athlete who has a peroneal retinaculum repair (he tore his retinaculum and had a subluxing peroneal tendon). We took things very slow as you do not want to stretch or damage the new/repaired tissue, because if you do the tendon will just end up subluxing/shifting again and you will be back to square one.

Listen to you doc regarding it and do not rush it. Meanwhile, continue to strengthen your healthy leg as normal.


They created a groove. The orthopedist i went to is very reputable and seems to be on the cutting edge as far as the latest methods. They definitely created a groove. I do know that. I am actually going to ask if the bone will eventually fill in. I don't know if that's what the body does, but that would make me feel even better about the procedure.