An Inside Look at My Knee Rehab After My MCL Quietly Quit
Friday, October 7th, 2022
I can’t say that I love the phrase ‘quiet quitting’, seems a little dumb to me and plays into the apparent need to give everything a name, but it made for a clever subject line so I went with it.
For those unfamiliar with it, ‘quiet quitting’ is a term that I think emerged from TikTok and simply refers to doing only what is required for one’s job, and nothing else. Aka, folks came up with a new name for doing your job.
But I digress.
What does this have to do with my MCL? Well, last Sunday, while enjoying my most favorite activity, beach volleyball, I heard a “pop-pop” from my knee as I went to do a teeny jump and help the ball over the net. I couldn’t put weight on my leg, my friends had to basically carry me to my car, and just a mere six hours after I walked out of the house thinking “this is the best my knees have felt in years!”, I was on crutches.
Based on the mechanism of injury, along with the location of my pain, my initial guess was, and still is, definite MCL involvement with potential meniscal involvement, though, today, five days after the injury, I’m thinking my meniscus might be ok. The quiet quitting reference simply refers to the fact that given how much I play and my history of knee issues, I was likely asking my MCL to do more than its job, and it said, “I’m done”.
For those who don’t know, the MCL (medial collateral ligament) is a ligament that provides stability to the inner (not to be confused with internal) portion of your knee. Tearing it is by no means a death sentence, and the majority of injuries to this ligament heal without surgery.
Which brings me to my soapbox: People don’t know shit about their body, the information out there is terrible, and most folks think surgery is the only solution.
WE AS HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS CAN DO BETTER!
This is one of the main reasons I stay preaching about the value of social media and using it to share what you know.
Since injuring my knee on Sunday I have literally been doing ALL THE THINGS for my knee, including:
Cupping – I did this early on to help with pain management more than anything else (via targeted sensory input), but the decompression it provides, along with tissue gliding capabilities, makes it a phenomenal tool to have in the toolbox.
Vibration – Excellent for pain mitigation, decreasing neural tension, and providing sensory input to help with movement and muscle recruitment.
Electrical stim – Phenomenal for pain mitigation. I linked the unit that I have, but I got it for free when I worked with that company, so feel free to find yourself a cheaper option 😉
Red light therapy – I have way MOAR info on this coming soon. Stay tuned. I’m incredibly stoked for this next collab.
Taking CBD, collagen, vitamin C, and zinc. Vit c and zinc are the building blocks for collagen, which is what that MCL is made up of, so we’re working on healing from the inside out. I exclusively use JoinFringe CBD, but I have no brand loyalty for the other supps.
Getting 8 hours of sleep (the first 2 nights I took THC gummies to help with sleep but haven’t needed them since then)
Gentle movement – I’m still using crutches to normalize my gait as much as possible so I don’t injure the rest of my body secondary to compensation. I’ve been focusing on simple open and closed chain exercises and will probably head down to my garage gym to do a more formal “workout” in the next few days.
Bracing – I bought a brace for my knee to help provide some external support during that early healing phase when inflammation and swelling tend to make muscles less active, subsequently putting more stress on joints
I did use ice very sparingly for the first 24 hours to help with pain management, but that was it. Ice actually delays healing, so we want to cut that out as quickly as possible.
Asking for help. My friends were incredible and carried me to the car the day of my injury. I also got wheelchair assists for my flights to and from Vegas and had my groceries delivered from Costco. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Ego ain’t the way.
I haven’t taken a single anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving pill of any sort, namely because the pain hasn’t been that bad (it’s wild what can happen when you do all the interventions listed above) and because I’m not trying to slow down the healing process. Inflammation is our friend, it’s just a matter of making sure it doesn’t get out of control, which it hasn’t. I even flew to Vegas from Tuesday – Thursday morning to present at a conference, and I had ZERO setbacks. There is literally so much we can do to help ourselves heal.
If you’re interested in hearing MOAR, I used the beginning portion of my last two podcast episodes to chronicle my healing journey, and you can click here and here to give those episodes a listen.
So what’s the point of this email?
Well, a few things:
I wanted to update you on my life because that’s what I do. Speaking of updates, I have a dope new YouTube video out, “Is Instagram Dying?!?” You can click here to check-check it out. Honestly, it’s fire. Joe KILLED the edits.
Getting injured always reminds me just how little people know about their most valuable possession: Their own body. I have said it one million times and I will die on this hill, physical therapy is THE BEST first career. When I posted about my injujry, so many folks asked, “Are you gonna go to the doctor?!” To which I responded, “I am the doctor.” No, that is not cocky or arrogant. It’s the truth. I literally specialized in orthopedics. So many of you reading this can say the same, and yet the general public has no idea what we can do for them. They’re out there getting injured, taking a million NSAIDs, using ice for 3 weeks, and “sprinting” to the MD to schedule surgery. Of note, I’m not super anti-surgery, I’m just very pro-not surgery. There is a metric shit ton of things that we can and should do before considering surgery, including giving things time. (Saying this as someone who went into ACL reconstruction grossly underprepared at age 15 and then had a meniscectomy at age 18 on the other knee because I just didn’t know any better.) The point of this rant, however, is that there is so much room for those who possess the knowledge and desire to help people take care of their body. Share your gifts with the world. Lord knows the world needs it. And if you’re already out there fighting the good fight, showing folks what’s possible without going under the knife, I see you, I applaud you, and I’m in your corner 100%.
I’m not sure that everything happens for a reason, but I do believe that everything presents an opportunity for you to choose how you’re going to respond. This injury has given me the opportunity to practice what I preach, namely focusing on solutions instead of prolonged sulking, and has also highlighted the importance of diversifying one’s streams joy and self-worth. MOAR content creation (and upper body training) here I come!!!
I think it’s important to understand that we cannot prevent injury, but we can prepare for it. Yes, I’m talking about literal physical injury, but I think the metaphor can be extended to most things. Shit happens. If you follow my Instagram Stories then you know I’ve been focusing on strengthening my legs and helping my knees for over three years now. I can confidently say that my legs are the strongest they’ve ever been, and yet, I still got injured. For me, my focus is not on, “How could this happen?!” but rather, “I’m glad that I’m as strong and mobile as I am now. Healing is going to be much faster.” When you use things, even if you use them perfectly, they get worn down, and, like I said before, shit happens. You can take perfect are of your car and still get a flat tire. Your best bet? Spend your energy on preparing, not trying to prevent.
I’m taking everything one day at a time, and if I feel there’s a need for imaging and such, I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. There’s zero point in getting it now, as it won’t change my current course of rehab, and typically only makes things worse.
I’ve got MOAR interventions lined up in the very near future, including an IV (gimme all the vitamins) and sessions with my favorite med pros.
Mentally I’m in a very good place, my knee is getting better every day, and I have zero urgency as it relates to recovery time. It’ll take as long as it takes, and I will get better.
Thank you so much for all the love and support as well.
Join the family!
You're SO close! Do me a solid and prove you're not a robot by going to your inbox and clicking the button in the email I just sent you. Let's do this!
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.