T Nation

Post Surgery Comeback Suggestions?

Hi all,

Yesterday I had surgery on my leg to decompress a nerve, which required cutting into my leg to remove a benign cyst attached to my tibia head. This will hopefully allow my neuropathy and drop foot to heal, but nerve healing is slow. I can’t flex my left foot, and will have to wait for the nerve to heal. That said, once the acute pain and incision from the surgery heals I am encouraged to be active again within reason.

So, I want to start planning some workouts. I think next week I can start, but will have to skip out on lower body work for at least a few weeks and then start light. I really despise “bro splits”, but want to work out more often since I can’t play sports or run.

Can anyone suggest some templates/modifications for 531? Should I run all push as my main lifts (BP, OHP, weighted dips) with pull ups/rows and abs/core as assistance? Is that too much heavy push? Should I do BP, OHP, and weighted pull ups as the main lifts? Is there anyway to plan a 4-day week with no lower body and not too bro-split focused?

Also, for conditioning, I probably can’t do much for at least a few weeks. Do you think arms-only airdyne is a good option? I can’t really think of much else. I can do some walks, but those are supposed to be short and not at a fast pace.

If anyone asks what my goals are, it’s just to keep getting better and stronger at what I can do for now. My other goal, of course, is to train smart to allow my body to heal.

Thanks for any tips.

Damn dude, good luck with the recovery. I squished a nerve on a warm-up set of squats a few years ago & got the drop foot too. Was slapping my foot around just walking & tripped over low curbs a few times for ~3mo. At first it was baaaaad, like zero dorsiflexion. Almost 3 years later (41now, no medical treatment) & I’m at maybe ~70-80% dorsiflexion strength/mobility.

I had to wait for my back/spine to feel stronger, but I was able to get back on 531 (PR+ sets, fsl, 25-50reps, 3-4days/wk) about a month after the injury. The drop foot didn’t hurt squats or deadlifts, but my hill walking conditioning had to go on the shelf for a bit.

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It’s great to get insight from someone who has experienced this strange ailment. For me, I developed it two months ago, but the source wasn’t known after initial nerve tests and doctor visits. Then, an MRI showed a ganglion cyst that was compressing the peroneal nerve. That was removed on Tuesday, so I’m still bandaged up and recovering from surgery at this point.

They said the nerve will take a while to heal. I just want to be able to flex my foot and big toe again, and haven’t been able to do so at all the last two months and not still (which is expected this soon after surgery). I can’t wait to get back into the garage gym. I think I can start pushing upper body pretty hard as usual next week (I take the bandages off and can shower on Sunday, so won’t do any real lifting until after that). I want to squat and DL, but obviously not at the expense of healing. I think I’ll start with light goblet squats and DB straight legs as assistance to see how I feel.

Thanks for the info. Any other tips on the healing process are appreciated.

I do. I actually really like doing this. I don’t know how tightly you track your metrics, but you can definitely get heart rate up and challenge your work capacity doing upper only airdyne.

Oh, and chhanging seat height gives some options for having different angles/planes that your working in.

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