One of the hardest things to determine when undergoing rehabilitation after surgery for a broken leg is the rate of recovery. Where am I 12 months after surgery? How much recovery has there been in my broken leg? How strong is the broken leg compared to the unbroken leg. Today I got the chance to find out.
After our normal Wednesday session Belinda – She who must be obeyed – announced, “Ok, It’s time for you to go on the machine. I haven’t done this before as I didn’t want you to get discouraged, but I think you are ready for it now.”
“Shit, what could this possibly involve? I’ve been on just about every bloody machine in the joint. There are no machines I haven’t been on.”
I looked around like a cornered ferret. I imagined some gym Bastinado which would rip me limb from limb. How had I had missed it?
“I wonder what she’d do if I just turned around and pissed off and hid in the men’s locker room?” I thought. Male pride wouldn’t let me do that and I meekly followed Her Indoors, to a far wall of the gym previously unvisited.
It turned out to be an InBody machine which measures the structure or composition of a human body. In short
• My right (broken) leg now has more muscle mass than the unbroken left leg.
• I have more skeletal body muscle than most people my age
• I’m about 3 kgs over-weight. I weigh 83kgs and should be 80kgs.
The stuff on muscle mass in my leg is easy to understand as I’ve been concentrating on it. The overweight bit is a strange gig. I was 80kgs when I left school in 1970. 83kgs now doesn’t seem too bad.
I recommend everyone incorporate this machine into rehab if you can. If you are doing surgical rehab it will be progressive ie the experts will try and get you to do progressively more difficult exercises to improve
- Muscle bulk
- Joint mobility
- Recruitment of nerves and
- Muscle strength.
The problem has been all along: How do you measure progress? This can be:
- Visual ie you can see the muscle bulk in your broken leg coming back
- Bio-mechanical eg I can stand on the broken leg and do a one legged squat where I couldn’t six months ago or
- Mechanical using machines eg I can leg press 90kgs where six months ago I could only do 15kgs.
This is all a bit hit and miss and an Inbody machine is excellent for more objective results. Also if you stand on one at the begging it gives you a baseline to work from. I wish I had stood on it at the start and I could have monitored it once a month. The full report is reproduced below.
I don’t like machines that tell me I’m fat.