Monday afternoon I had my follow up with the physicians assistant who assisted with the surgery on my pec. She told me that when they opened me up my 'pec was a mess.' I had significant scar tissue and fluid build up and a large portion of the surgery they spent just trying to find the torn fibers. They were able to find them and retrieve them but could not get them all the way up to the tendon so in order to bridge the gap between the tendon and the muscle they made a 'bridge' using a very strong filament called FiberWire. They attached my torn muscle fibers to one end and the torn tendon to the other and this should allow them to heal together. Furthermore, she said that when they pulled the fibers back up to the tendon my pec regained the proper shape. She said they may never be perfectly symmetrical, but they will be MUCH better off than they would have been without surgery. As I'm sure you can imagine, I was thrilled to hear this news. They also took my bandages off and I got to see the incision for the first time, it is sizable running from where my pec meets my shoulder down into my armpit, but I'm not worried about the scar, it will make for a cool story.
As for my recovery, I still have to wear my arm brace for 2-3 more weeks, after that I can begin physical therapy to regain my range of motion and function. Physical therapy will be grueling and frustrating she said, as I will only be able to get back very small amounts of range of motion at a time. She said it may be 4-6 months until I am ready to be cleared for lifting. I am not worried about that though, I am still cleared to work legs! So legs it is! I am going to purchase special squat bar that allows me to keep my hands in front of me while squatting so I can begin squatting during physical therapy once my brace is off. To this point I have not lost more than about a pound since the original injury and there is no noticeable atrophy of my chest and arm, though I have lost some fullness. I think a big reason why I've been able to stave off atrophy is because I have stuck to my diet. So many people go off their diets when they get injured because they feel there is no point. They are wrong! When you cannot train your diet is the only thing that can save you. I have been even more strict with my food intake. I have also been dosing Xtend to get BCAAs between my meals as well as HMB and both of these have been shown to reduce muscle protein breakdown, so I feel they have also aided me in holding onto my size.
Overall I'm very happy and encouraged by how well the surgery went. Each doctor tried to talk me out of surgery but I did my own research and knew that surgery was the only chance I would have to regain most of my strength, functionality, and symmetry. The surgeon himself said he thought surgery might not do anything at all. I told him that I loved bodybuilding and lifting weights and if it even just gave me 5 or 10% more functionality, strength, and made it look a little better, it was worth it for me. After the surgery he told Isabel he was surprised he was able to do anything at all, but I had read many medical case studies on this surgery and knew that in most cases the surgery does help things, and sure enough it looks like it did.
I sure hope you all are ready for the comeback...