T Nation

Surgery and Muscle Retention


I am scheduled to have surgery at the end of next month on my acl, lcl, and mcl, after the surgery I will be on bed rest then very limited with the things I can do. I am just wondering what I can do during this down time to retain as much muscle as possible?


Dial in the diet and stay disciplined. Take your rehab seriously. Return to training as you can.


Once you can move on crutches, I would go to the gym. That is what I did anyway. Back exercises will be hard to do, but with some imagination you should be able to figure it out. Good luck anow much time will you be on bed rest? While in bed (I guess less than two weeks) you can do DB floor presses, DB seted press and all back movements with a band. Good luck mate.


Whenever my brother would have surgery (has had both shoulders done), we would load him up on creatine, as the extra water retention in the muscles can have a preservation effect. Additionally, while you may not be able to actually train for a bit (even upper body right after you get out), I'm sure an extra bit of protein, or BCAAs may stave off any scavenging that could occur. Just a few thoughts :slightly_smiling:



Not sure yet how long I will be in bed, acl surgery is pretty extensive though... I hate to say this but I don't want to start going to the gym till the therapist says I'm good to go, I have heard multiple stories of people retearing ligaments after surgery and end up having to get it done again.


I tore my ACL two years ago.
The surgery was a breeze, so was rehab, you'll be fine as long as you keep eating.
I was back playing football in three months, I'm sure you can recover quickly as well.

The thing I feel helped me most was constantly moving my leg, and doing my rehab exercises religiously.
It was a wayyyyy easier process than I had envisioned..


is that you in your avatar?

doesn't seem like you have much muscle to lose in the first place.

i wouldn't worry


Shut up, I'm not huge I am 6'4" and weigh 215 I work my ass off because I want to be huge and I am learning what works. This time last year I weighed about 180 so I would say that is good progress, I just don't want to lose all that hard work...



i've found it's always easier to get back to where you were, than to make new progress.

focus on a good recovery. get good at origami and skyrim. eat teh proteinz. and don't stress about losing 'all your hard work'


Ha ha I'm not big into video games, but my roommate plays skyrim all the time and I already asked him if it was cool for me to play it while I'm stuck on my butt. That and I got a guitar to try and learn...


I did the same thing, still had the brace on and crutches in hand. upper body work was still viable, though with less intensity for a few weeks.


At 6'4'' 215, take this as a chance to add some weigh.

You can still train your upper body, just make sure you're doing movements that don't require you to bend your leg. I had serious knee surgery and was on a similar recovery plan. I had no problem maintaining muscle mass in my upper body and it didn't take me too long to get my legs back up.


Do some research into Serrapeptase excellent for for recovery.