T Nation

What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger


#1

On the pursuit of being Bigger, Stronger and Leaner.. What injuries have you had?

Have you managed to repair/treat it. If so, how is it compared to before the setback?
How has your exercise selection changed over the years?
Any supplement/equipment you prefer to use now for prevention of injuries?
Had you of started again from the beginning, what would you have done differently?

One of the reasons to train is to get stronger. Ironically, you can be weaker in years to come from all the time under the iron. Is it all doom and gloom?

I would just like to know a bit about you guys and how you manage to stay in the gym year after year. You can't be getting injured just from bad form and ego lifting. It must be from other stuff too?

I would like to be going strong 30 years down the line and would like to know how some of you do it!


#2

too many to list, so i will stick with the ones that need or have had surgery.

complete triceps avulsion with destruction of tendon on left. surgically repaired / reconstructed left elbow, because of the damage to the tendon, only one of the heads of my triceps could be fully reattached, my left arm is almost an inch smaller than the right, and i estimate the triceps strength is only about 25% of what my right is now.

severe right quadraceps tear, not complete avulsion, needed surgery when i did it, but now it is too late, i have an obvious deformity at site, looks like a hole in my outer quad a little bit smaller than a lacrosse ball maybe. this injury does not bother me too much, i am pretty functional in that leg and do not notice a severe difference in strength like my triceps. but when really pushing the limit, i feel “bad things” happening in that area before my left side.

cervical disc rupture of c4-5 through to c6-7. had discectomy fusion and plates and screws placed last december. some residual numbness in my hands and fingers, but otherwise recovering well from this injury.

bone on bone disc degeneration from t3-4 through t5-6. chronic pain from this, but no issues with performance that i can tell. just hurts all the time.

3 herniated lumbar discs, cannot do good mornings, rdls, sldl, or deadlifts from a deficit anymore, or at least anymore with any respectable amount of weight on the bar.

right knee joint degeneration, unable to flex full rom, cant do full rom squats anymore, will need total joint replacement near future. scheduled to have orthroscopic procedure this summer to clean some of the chewed up cartilage in an attempt to relieve pain and improve function, basically trying to buy me a few more years before the big surgery of complete knee replacement has to happen.

complete separation right AC joint many many years ago, now i have severe degenerative disease diffusely in entire joint, will need surgery at some point, but fairly functional now with adls, but very limited with upper body pressing movements.

my life for the last 10 years (when stuff started falling appart) has been about setting realistic goals that reflect my current reality as far as my health and athletic ability go, figuring out how to continue to train at high intensity with lighter loads than i used to be able to handle, ie deadlifts and squats used to be 650-700lb range, then 600-650, then 550-600, then 500-550, now 350-to upper 4’s is where i have to be happy at, though i did hit 515x3 recently in a dead-squat bar deadlift.

also i is a challenge to keep variety in training with an ever increasingly limited pool of exercises/movements i can do as it seems every few months i have to scratch another “staple” off my list and add to the “cannot do that anymore” list.


#3

Not physical, but depression was a truly hard thing to overcome but has made me all the stronger in every aspect of life.


#4

[quote]heavythrower wrote:
too many to list, so i will stick with the ones that need or have had surgery.

complete triceps avulsion with destruction of tendon on left. surgically repaired / reconstructed left elbow, because of the damage to the tendon, only one of the heads of my triceps could be fully reattached, my left arm is almost an inch smaller than the right, and i estimate the triceps strength is only about 25% of what my right is now.

severe right quadraceps tear, not complete avulsion, needed surgery when i did it, but now it is too late, i have an obvious deformity at site, looks like a hole in my outer quad a little bit smaller than a lacrosse ball maybe. this injury does not bother me too much, i am pretty functional in that leg and do not notice a severe difference in strength like my triceps. but when really pushing the limit, i feel “bad things” happening in that area before my left side.

cervical disc rupture of c4-5 through to c6-7. had discectomy fusion and plates and screws placed last december. some residual numbness in my hands and fingers, but otherwise recovering well from this injury.

bone on bone disc degeneration from t3-4 through t5-6. chronic pain from this, but no issues with performance that i can tell. just hurts all the time.

3 herniated lumbar discs, cannot do good mornings, rdls, sldl, or deadlifts from a deficit anymore, or at least anymore with any respectable amount of weight on the bar.

right knee joint degeneration, unable to flex full rom, cant do full rom squats anymore, will need total joint replacement near future. scheduled to have orthroscopic procedure this summer to clean some of the chewed up cartilage in an attempt to relieve pain and improve function, basically trying to buy me a few more years before the big surgery of complete knee replacement has to happen.

complete separation right AC joint many many years ago, now i have severe degenerative disease diffusely in entire joint, will need surgery at some point, but fairly functional now with adls, but very limited with upper body pressing movements.

my life for the last 10 years (when stuff started falling appart) has been about setting realistic goals that reflect my current reality as far as my health and athletic ability go, figuring out how to continue to train at high intensity with lighter loads than i used to be able to handle, ie deadlifts and squats used to be 650-700lb range, then 600-650, then 550-600, then 500-550, now 350-to upper 4’s is where i have to be happy at, though i did hit 515x3 recently in a dead-squat bar deadlift.

also i is a challenge to keep variety in training with an ever increasingly limited pool of exercises/movements i can do as it seems every few months i have to scratch another “staple” off my list and add to the “cannot do that anymore” list.

[/quote]

holy shitsauce. I will never complain about my back or shoulder ever again after reading that


#5

[quote]heavythrower wrote:
too many to list, so i will stick with the ones that need or have had surgery.

complete triceps avulsion with destruction of tendon on left. surgically repaired / reconstructed left elbow, because of the damage to the tendon, only one of the heads of my triceps could be fully reattached, my left arm is almost an inch smaller than the right, and i estimate the triceps strength is only about 25% of what my right is now.

severe right quadraceps tear, not complete avulsion, needed surgery when i did it, but now it is too late, i have an obvious deformity at site, looks like a hole in my outer quad a little bit smaller than a lacrosse ball maybe. this injury does not bother me too much, i am pretty functional in that leg and do not notice a severe difference in strength like my triceps. but when really pushing the limit, i feel “bad things” happening in that area before my left side.

cervical disc rupture of c4-5 through to c6-7. had discectomy fusion and plates and screws placed last december. some residual numbness in my hands and fingers, but otherwise recovering well from this injury.

bone on bone disc degeneration from t3-4 through t5-6. chronic pain from this, but no issues with performance that i can tell. just hurts all the time.

3 herniated lumbar discs, cannot do good mornings, rdls, sldl, or deadlifts from a deficit anymore, or at least anymore with any respectable amount of weight on the bar.

right knee joint degeneration, unable to flex full rom, cant do full rom squats anymore, will need total joint replacement near future. scheduled to have orthroscopic procedure this summer to clean some of the chewed up cartilage in an attempt to relieve pain and improve function, basically trying to buy me a few more years before the big surgery of complete knee replacement has to happen.

complete separation right AC joint many many years ago, now i have severe degenerative disease diffusely in entire joint, will need surgery at some point, but fairly functional now with adls, but very limited with upper body pressing movements.

my life for the last 10 years (when stuff started falling appart) has been about setting realistic goals that reflect my current reality as far as my health and athletic ability go, figuring out how to continue to train at high intensity with lighter loads than i used to be able to handle, ie deadlifts and squats used to be 650-700lb range, then 600-650, then 550-600, then 500-550, now 350-to upper 4’s is where i have to be happy at, though i did hit 515x3 recently in a dead-squat bar deadlift.

also i is a challenge to keep variety in training with an ever increasingly limited pool of exercises/movements i can do as it seems every few months i have to scratch another “staple” off my list and add to the “cannot do that anymore” list.

[/quote]

Holy shit. That’s a heck of a lot! I can’t believe you can keep going!
If you don’t mind me asking, how did some of these happen?

I guess it sort of “came with the territory” in respect to the poundage you were shifting. Once you get to the 500+ range, your joints are gonna suffer, right?


#6

haha, this is what happens when a person who was probably meant to be the small quick guy, tried to become the big strong guy.

insane hard work lead to some modest achievements in a few different “big strong guy sports” but lead to the debacle posted above.


#7

[quote]heavythrower wrote:
too many to list, so i will stick with the ones that need or have had surgery.

complete triceps avulsion with destruction of tendon on left. surgically repaired / reconstructed left elbow, because of the damage to the tendon, only one of the heads of my triceps could be fully reattached, my left arm is almost an inch smaller than the right, and i estimate the triceps strength is only about 25% of what my right is now.

severe right quadraceps tear, not complete avulsion, needed surgery when i did it, but now it is too late, i have an obvious deformity at site, looks like a hole in my outer quad a little bit smaller than a lacrosse ball maybe. this injury does not bother me too much, i am pretty functional in that leg and do not notice a severe difference in strength like my triceps. but when really pushing the limit, i feel “bad things” happening in that area before my left side.

cervical disc rupture of c4-5 through to c6-7. had discectomy fusion and plates and screws placed last december. some residual numbness in my hands and fingers, but otherwise recovering well from this injury.

bone on bone disc degeneration from t3-4 through t5-6. chronic pain from this, but no issues with performance that i can tell. just hurts all the time.

3 herniated lumbar discs, cannot do good mornings, rdls, sldl, or deadlifts from a deficit anymore, or at least anymore with any respectable amount of weight on the bar.

right knee joint degeneration, unable to flex full rom, cant do full rom squats anymore, will need total joint replacement near future. scheduled to have orthroscopic procedure this summer to clean some of the chewed up cartilage in an attempt to relieve pain and improve function, basically trying to buy me a few more years before the big surgery of complete knee replacement has to happen.

complete separation right AC joint many many years ago, now i have severe degenerative disease diffusely in entire joint, will need surgery at some point, but fairly functional now with adls, but very limited with upper body pressing movements.

my life for the last 10 years (when stuff started falling appart) has been about setting realistic goals that reflect my current reality as far as my health and athletic ability go, figuring out how to continue to train at high intensity with lighter loads than i used to be able to handle, ie deadlifts and squats used to be 650-700lb range, then 600-650, then 550-600, then 500-550, now 350-to upper 4’s is where i have to be happy at, though i did hit 515x3 recently in a dead-squat bar deadlift.

also i is a challenge to keep variety in training with an ever increasingly limited pool of exercises/movements i can do as it seems every few months i have to scratch another “staple” off my list and add to the “cannot do that anymore” list.

[/quote]

Dude. Respect


#8

[quote]RATTLEHEAD wrote:
Not physical, but depression was a truly hard thing to overcome but has made me all the stronger in every aspect of life.[/quote]

Sorry to hear that man, it isn’t really the area i’m worried about. But I appreciate you chiming in. I think as long as your mind is occupied it will alleviate the thinking about things, which can lead to being/feeling depressed.

Going on that, what have you found that helped you when feeling so low?
If you don’t mind me asking, have you used medication for it, or have you found other ways to help?


#9

[quote]heavythrower wrote:
haha, this is what happens when a person who was probably meant to be the small quick guy, tried to become the big strong guy.

insane hard work lead to some modest achievements in a few different “big strong guy sports” but lead to the debacle posted above. [/quote]

I see, thank you for sharing. The question “if you could go back to the start, what would you do differently”. I suppose that doesn’t apply, considering I doubt you regret what you did as it were in your line of sport and to achieve what you have it was inevitable?
Or do you believe if you went about training a different way, some of these may not have happened? I mean, I have heard of “wear and tear”. But jeeze! You have overcome what’s sounds some excruciating injuries!


#10

[quote]The Recluse wrote:

[quote]RATTLEHEAD wrote:
Not physical, but depression was a truly hard thing to overcome but has made me all the stronger in every aspect of life.[/quote]

Sorry to hear that man, it isn’t really the area i’m worried about. But I appreciate you chiming in. I think as long as your mind is occupied it will alleviate the thinking about things, which can lead to being/feeling depressed.

Going on that, what have you found that helped you when feeling so low?
If you don’t mind me asking, have you used medication for it, or have you found other ways to help?[/quote]

Thats the thing, the fucker can appear out of no where and can be caused from the physical injuries you are interested in.

Mine stemmed partially from being physically injured from having chronic pain from a lumber degeneration for years, that combined with a friend dying and other factors is just a shit sandwhich you cant prepare for. Vicious cycle, wanting to go and train but physically can’t knowing it may damage you further (probably incorrect but dr.'s orders) but knowing the physical activity will help with the depression and seeing all the gains you worked so hard for wither away.

And nah I didn’t take any meds thankfully, I just waited it out and things got better after I was able to do more physical activity than just getting bed rest.

I SOUND WAY TOO SINCERE, LULZ


#11

[quote]The Recluse wrote:

[quote]heavythrower wrote:
too many to list, so i will stick with the ones that need or have had surgery.

complete triceps avulsion with destruction of tendon on left. surgically repaired / reconstructed left elbow, because of the damage to the tendon, only one of the heads of my triceps could be fully reattached, my left arm is almost an inch smaller than the right, and i estimate the triceps strength is only about 25% of what my right is now.

severe right quadraceps tear, not complete avulsion, needed surgery when i did it, but now it is too late, i have an obvious deformity at site, looks like a hole in my outer quad a little bit smaller than a lacrosse ball maybe. this injury does not bother me too much, i am pretty functional in that leg and do not notice a severe difference in strength like my triceps. but when really pushing the limit, i feel “bad things” happening in that area before my left side.

cervical disc rupture of c4-5 through to c6-7. had discectomy fusion and plates and screws placed last december. some residual numbness in my hands and fingers, but otherwise recovering well from this injury.

bone on bone disc degeneration from t3-4 through t5-6. chronic pain from this, but no issues with performance that i can tell. just hurts all the time.

3 herniated lumbar discs, cannot do good mornings, rdls, sldl, or deadlifts from a deficit anymore, or at least anymore with any respectable amount of weight on the bar.

right knee joint degeneration, unable to flex full rom, cant do full rom squats anymore, will need total joint replacement near future. scheduled to have orthroscopic procedure this summer to clean some of the chewed up cartilage in an attempt to relieve pain and improve function, basically trying to buy me a few more years before the big surgery of complete knee replacement has to happen.

complete separation right AC joint many many years ago, now i have severe degenerative disease diffusely in entire joint, will need surgery at some point, but fairly functional now with adls, but very limited with upper body pressing movements.

my life for the last 10 years (when stuff started falling appart) has been about setting realistic goals that reflect my current reality as far as my health and athletic ability go, figuring out how to continue to train at high intensity with lighter loads than i used to be able to handle, ie deadlifts and squats used to be 650-700lb range, then 600-650, then 550-600, then 500-550, now 350-to upper 4’s is where i have to be happy at, though i did hit 515x3 recently in a dead-squat bar deadlift.

also i is a challenge to keep variety in training with an ever increasingly limited pool of exercises/movements i can do as it seems every few months i have to scratch another “staple” off my list and add to the “cannot do that anymore” list.

[/quote]

Holy shit. That’s a heck of a lot! I can’t believe you can keep going!
If you don’t mind me asking, how did some of these happen?

I guess it sort of “came with the territory” in respect to the poundage you were shifting. Once you get to the 500+ range, your joints are gonna suffer, right?

[/quote]

triceps was a cumaltive injury, my ortho said only two kinds of people get that injury, weightlifters and offensive linemen. the elbow had been hurting for years, and it was a freak accident (tripped and fell one day at house, broke fall with outstretched arm and POP!), that was the straw that broke the camels back, so to say.

neck was from deadlifting 600lbs back in april 2012, i actually have a vid of that lift on my hub, lol

upper back is a cumulative injury as well,

low back from squatting march 2003, 500lbs plus chain, was nursing a groin injury so my for was off and leaned over too far coming out of bottom of lift and POP! of all these injuries, this one was by far the most painful and debilitating, i was damn near a paraplegic for 2 weeks.

shoulder is from years of heavy pressing and throwing,

quad tear happened when do a heavy set of trap bar deadlifts, 550lbs i think for reps.

knee is also a cumulative injury.

most of these are just like you said, comes with the territory.


#12

[quote]The Recluse wrote:

[quote]heavythrower wrote:
haha, this is what happens when a person who was probably meant to be the small quick guy, tried to become the big strong guy.

insane hard work lead to some modest achievements in a few different “big strong guy sports” but lead to the debacle posted above. [/quote]

I see, thank you for sharing. The question “if you could go back to the start, what would you do differently”. I suppose that doesn’t apply, considering I doubt you regret what you did as it were in your line of sport and to achieve what you have it was inevitable?
Or do you believe if you went about training a different way, some of these may not have happened? I mean, I have heard of “wear and tear”. But jeeze! You have overcome what’s sounds some excruciating injuries![/quote]

actually, i think if i could go back knowing what i know now, i would have done it differently.

that may sound a bit whiny and somewhat “north of vag” as jim wendler would say, but its true. i wish i was not in the state i am today enough that maybe i should have been more concerned with appearance and health back then.


#13

[quote]heavythrower wrote:

[quote]The Recluse wrote:

[quote]heavythrower wrote:
too many to list, so i will stick with the ones that need or have had surgery.

complete triceps avulsion with destruction of tendon on left. surgically repaired / reconstructed left elbow, because of the damage to the tendon, only one of the heads of my triceps could be fully reattached, my left arm is almost an inch smaller than the right, and i estimate the triceps strength is only about 25% of what my right is now.

severe right quadraceps tear, not complete avulsion, needed surgery when i did it, but now it is too late, i have an obvious deformity at site, looks like a hole in my outer quad a little bit smaller than a lacrosse ball maybe. this injury does not bother me too much, i am pretty functional in that leg and do not notice a severe difference in strength like my triceps. but when really pushing the limit, i feel “bad things” happening in that area before my left side.

cervical disc rupture of c4-5 through to c6-7. had discectomy fusion and plates and screws placed last december. some residual numbness in my hands and fingers, but otherwise recovering well from this injury.

bone on bone disc degeneration from t3-4 through t5-6. chronic pain from this, but no issues with performance that i can tell. just hurts all the time.

3 herniated lumbar discs, cannot do good mornings, rdls, sldl, or deadlifts from a deficit anymore, or at least anymore with any respectable amount of weight on the bar.

right knee joint degeneration, unable to flex full rom, cant do full rom squats anymore, will need total joint replacement near future. scheduled to have orthroscopic procedure this summer to clean some of the chewed up cartilage in an attempt to relieve pain and improve function, basically trying to buy me a few more years before the big surgery of complete knee replacement has to happen.

complete separation right AC joint many many years ago, now i have severe degenerative disease diffusely in entire joint, will need surgery at some point, but fairly functional now with adls, but very limited with upper body pressing movements.

my life for the last 10 years (when stuff started falling appart) has been about setting realistic goals that reflect my current reality as far as my health and athletic ability go, figuring out how to continue to train at high intensity with lighter loads than i used to be able to handle, ie deadlifts and squats used to be 650-700lb range, then 600-650, then 550-600, then 500-550, now 350-to upper 4’s is where i have to be happy at, though i did hit 515x3 recently in a dead-squat bar deadlift.

also i is a challenge to keep variety in training with an ever increasingly limited pool of exercises/movements i can do as it seems every few months i have to scratch another “staple” off my list and add to the “cannot do that anymore” list.

[/quote]

Holy shit. That’s a heck of a lot! I can’t believe you can keep going!
If you don’t mind me asking, how did some of these happen?

I guess it sort of “came with the territory” in respect to the poundage you were shifting. Once you get to the 500+ range, your joints are gonna suffer, right?

[/quote]

triceps was a cumaltive injury, my ortho said only two kinds of people get that injury, weightlifters and offensive linemen. the elbow had been hurting for years, and it was a freak accident (tripped and fell one day at house, broke fall with outstretched arm and POP!), that was the straw that broke the camels back, so to say.

neck was from deadlifting 600lbs back in april 2012, i actually have a vid of that lift on my hub, lol

upper back is a cumulative injury as well,

low back from squatting march 2003, 500lbs plus chain, was nursing a groin injury so my for was off and leaned over too far coming out of bottom of lift and POP! of all these injuries, this one was by far the most painful and debilitating, i was damn near a paraplegic for 2 weeks.

shoulder is from years of heavy pressing and throwing,

quad tear happened when do a heavy set of trap bar deadlifts, 550lbs i think for reps.

knee is also a cumulative injury.

most of these are just like you said, comes with the territory.
[/quote]

You sir, are just awesome and a shining example of finding the best in life despite the bad.


#14

oh and as far as all the positive comments from various people, thanks, that does a lot for a beat up old washed up meathead’s ego.

:slight_smile:


#15

[quote]RATTLEHEAD wrote:

[quote]The Recluse wrote:

[quote]RATTLEHEAD wrote:
Not physical, but depression was a truly hard thing to overcome but has made me all the stronger in every aspect of life.[/quote]

Sorry to hear that man, it isn’t really the area i’m worried about. But I appreciate you chiming in. I think as long as your mind is occupied it will alleviate the thinking about things, which can lead to being/feeling depressed.

Going on that, what have you found that helped you when feeling so low?
If you don’t mind me asking, have you used medication for it, or have you found other ways to help?[/quote]

Thats the thing, the fucker can appear out of no where and can be caused from the physical injuries you are interested in.

Mine stemmed partially from being physically injured from having chronic pain from a lumber degeneration for years, that combined with a friend dying and other factors is just a shit sandwhich you cant prepare for. Vicious cycle, wanting to go and train but physically can’t knowing it may damage you further (probably incorrect but dr.'s orders) but knowing the physical activity will help with the depression and seeing all the gains you worked so hard for wither away.

And nah I didn’t take any meds thankfully, I just waited it out and things got better after I was able to do more physical activity than just getting bed rest.

I SOUND WAY TOO SINCERE, LULZ[/quote]

Yeah, I didn’t really see it from that angle. Sucks to go through ordeals like that. But at least you have overcome it and with smart training you will keep your injury from acting up!


#16

[quote]heavythrower wrote:
oh and as far as all the positive comments from various people, thanks, that does a lot for a beat up old washed up meathead’s ego.

:)[/quote]

You deserve all positive comments possible, you stay strong and keep moving forward whilst people like me crumbled at lesser problems.

AND

Most importantly you don’t draw attention to it!


#17

again thanks,

sorry to hear about your issues rattlehead, looking lean and sick as hell now though.

my wife wishes i had your waistline

as a health care professional working in a major trauma center emergency department, i can attest that the services available to those suffering mental health issues is sad to the point its tragic.


#18

[quote]heavythrower wrote:
actually, i think if i could go back knowing what i know now, i would have done it differently.

that may sound a bit whiny and somewhat “north of vag” as jim wendler would say, but its true. i wish i was not in the state i am today enough that maybe i should have been more concerned with appearance and health back then.
[/quote]

So had you of been more concerned, what would you of done differently. Health and appearance wise (hypothetically).

There is a man in his late 60’s, who has a small garage gym near the gym I go too, he was a decent powerlifter. Or so I hear!
But even now, once warmed up, he can squat and dead in the high 400’s. Which is amazing! He has competed in the older classes, but due to being ill and stuff, he prefers training in his gym, when he can, with the younger folk.


#19

Thanks heavythrower :slight_smile:

How is training/eating going now btw recluse?


#20

[quote]heavythrower wrote:
too many to list, so i will stick with the ones that need or have had surgery.

complete triceps avulsion with destruction of tendon on left. surgically repaired / reconstructed left elbow, because of the damage to the tendon, only one of the heads of my triceps could be fully reattached, my left arm is almost an inch smaller than the right, and i estimate the triceps strength is only about 25% of what my right is now.

severe right quadraceps tear, not complete avulsion, needed surgery when i did it, but now it is too late, i have an obvious deformity at site, looks like a hole in my outer quad a little bit smaller than a lacrosse ball maybe. this injury does not bother me too much, i am pretty functional in that leg and do not notice a severe difference in strength like my triceps. but when really pushing the limit, i feel “bad things” happening in that area before my left side.

cervical disc rupture of c4-5 through to c6-7. had discectomy fusion and plates and screws placed last december. some residual numbness in my hands and fingers, but otherwise recovering well from this injury.

bone on bone disc degeneration from t3-4 through t5-6. chronic pain from this, but no issues with performance that i can tell. just hurts all the time.

3 herniated lumbar discs, cannot do good mornings, rdls, sldl, or deadlifts from a deficit anymore, or at least anymore with any respectable amount of weight on the bar.

right knee joint degeneration, unable to flex full rom, cant do full rom squats anymore, will need total joint replacement near future. scheduled to have orthroscopic procedure this summer to clean some of the chewed up cartilage in an attempt to relieve pain and improve function, basically trying to buy me a few more years before the big surgery of complete knee replacement has to happen.

complete separation right AC joint many many years ago, now i have severe degenerative disease diffusely in entire joint, will need surgery at some point, but fairly functional now with adls, but very limited with upper body pressing movements.

my life for the last 10 years (when stuff started falling appart) has been about setting realistic goals that reflect my current reality as far as my health and athletic ability go, figuring out how to continue to train at high intensity with lighter loads than i used to be able to handle, ie deadlifts and squats used to be 650-700lb range, then 600-650, then 550-600, then 500-550, now 350-to upper 4’s is where i have to be happy at, though i did hit 515x3 recently in a dead-squat bar deadlift.

also i is a challenge to keep variety in training with an ever increasingly limited pool of exercises/movements i can do as it seems every few months i have to scratch another “staple” off my list and add to the “cannot do that anymore” list.
[/quote]

Have you ever used steroids, gh or peptides? It would be well worth trying to heal your injuries rather than resort to surgery. Having cartilage cleaned out is not a good move. Surgery should be an absolute final last resort. Once you have a replacement then it’s downhill from there.