Muscle atrophy-- or, I'm a little worried.

Ifn you read IMHO you may have found me whining about my right knee. I hurt it on Jan 3rd. The MRI shows “no visualization of the ACL” it is presumed completely torn.

The thing that’s got me worried is that the leg with the busted ACL appears to be shriveling away. I’m not doing much walking at all and I do favor my left leg when I do walk but I’m not on crutches or in a cast or anything like that. Why is the injured leg shriveling up so much?

Note: I am under a doctor’s care. I will have my made-to-order knee brace on Monday. I start PT on Monday also, although I am not scheduled to see the doc for a month.

Why is there muscle wasting after a complete ACL tear? Because the muscles are being under-utilized, as to use them normally would cause pain and further dysfunction in said knee.

A good Physical therapist will introduce one to exercises to strengthen said muscles and help correct the situation.

i remember when i broke my hand, and wore a cast for 2 weeks, by the time i took it off it was noticeably thinner than the other hand. i do not recall any problems with it coming back to normal size once i started using it again.

so your concern is that you’re not wearing a cast, and still losing it? but the muscles get stimulation from tension, not from movement itself. if muscles are not getting tensed to the max the body interprets it as there being too much muscle and its dropped.

in fact, one bodybuilding principle (not proven) states that you must increase the weight you’re training with by at least 5% every workout, or you’re wasting your time :slight_smile: now imagine you have dropped the weight by 90% … how much would your muscle grow ?

Thanks guys. I’m much less worried now. It’s just weird to look down and see two different sized legs all of a sudden.
So. . . to bad there isn’t a tummy ACL. I’d love to have that shrink two or three inches!

If moving it is too painful, a physical therapist could consider using electrical stimulation. Gentle pulses of electricity cause the muscle to contract slightly, keeping it from atrophying. (They use the same technique on parapalygics.)

That sounds like total bullshit to me.

And Biggirl, you shouldn’t worry about it too much. The muscle will all come back once you start using your leg again.

All right, I just did a quick bit of math. vasyachkin, according to the principle you quoted at me, if you start benching 150 pounds, and you aren’t benching 600 pounds after 28 sessions, you’re wasting your time. IOW, the people who tell you this are expecting you to add 450 pounds to your bench, and take no longer than seven months to do it.

Biggirl, don’t worry, that muscle will come back as soon as you start using it.

Don’t worry about it. Seven years ago, when I was 13, i was trying to open a window, but it was stuck. Being particularly bright that day, I decided that if I hit the window pane just right, I could knock open the window without breaking the glass.

Guess what? Smash. I cut open my right wrist, straight across the underside, about an inch below my wrist. I cut the tendons to my four fingers, the nerve to my ring fnger, and laid my arm open right down to the artery (I could see it, it was pulsing).

Anyway, after surgery, my tendons, etc. were reattached, and my hand was immobilised for six weeks (or was it eight?). By the time my dressing was off, my hand and arm muscles had atrophied so much, my arm looked basically skeletal. But after eight weekly physiotherapy sessions, my arm wasn’t just okay again, it was more dextrous and stronger than my uninjured left arm, and has been since then.

So don’t worry, a good physiotherapist will sort you out just fine, the muscles are just thinning down because your body’s thinking “hey, I’m not using it, why keep it about?”. Once its healed, it’ll come back.