Monday, February 8, 2010

The Gluteus Medius is connected to the Piriformis ...

Today is the actual 7 month anniversary of my RPAO.

On Friday my PT watched me walk up the stairs with a smile on her face, then frowned when I got to the top and started walking down the hallway. I did the stairs just fine without holding the handrail and had no observable limp, then limped noticeably when walking on a flat surface. By the way my body was moving, she diagnosed that my left Gluteus Medius is weak. This is all consistent with the piriformis/hamstring/sciatic nerve issue I have been having as "it's all connected in there" and "it was all significantly disturbed during surgery."

She is having me build up the gluteus medius using a variation of the forward straight leg raise exercise shown here:

I am supposed to do 3 sets of 20 with no weight other than my body weight every other day. I did that and could not walk the rest of the day or the next day, so clearly I am very weak! This exercise was much easier on my right side at this stage in my recovery so evidently that gluteus medius was not as compromised by the first surgery.

When I was skating (up to just before surgery in July) I used to have huge, clearly visible muscles on the side of my iliac crest (which is exactly where the GM should be). There is nothing there now at all, not even a bump, so clearly the muscle has atrophied. Not sure why it's only a problem on my left and not my right, since both used to be huge and now both are invisible. Hmmmmm.


Matt said...

You have a great PT. I gotta find one that good!

HipSk8 said...

Matt: I think my physical therapist is one-of-a-kind. I am willing to pay extra because she is out of my insurance network, but it's worth it to heal correctly. I can ask if she has any recommendations in your area ... she may know someone.