Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Today's Anatomy Lesson

I love this diagram. It shows major skating muscles (for hockey, but basic figure skating isn't that different).

Muscles shown above which were cut and reattached during my surgery are the Rectus Femoris (used for hip flexion) and Sartorius (used for hip flexion, abduction and rotation). Other quadriceps were moved aside when the hip capsule was opened. Iliopsoas was not cut, but is shortened due to inactivity. Adductor also stopped working when I was on crutches and had to be reactivated in physical therapy. Overall weakness and inflexibility are the result of these disturbances.

In the days and weeks following surgery, it was odd to have little control over basic movements. For example, during the first week or so I could not move my operated leg forward while standing as in taking a step. The muscles that provide that basic functionality were not working at all. Despite focusing all of my mental energy on moving my foot forward from the hip, I could not. I used my toes to "walk" my leg forward an inch or so in order to take a "step."

Similarly, while lying on my back, it was impossible to lift my operated leg at all. Try as I might, it wouldn't move. Similarly, while sitting down with my legs stretched in front of me, it was impossible to move my leg out to the side or back in toward the center. It was very disconcerting to have absolutely no use of these muscles! Of course, through physical therapy and lots of targeted exercises I did regain this functionality over time.

Knowing that the two muscles cut are both used for hip flexion, it's clear why this is still an issue.

I recently wrote to an orthopedic surgeon who is also a skater and who recently had arthroscopic hip surgery. After I described my surgery and its aftermath, she asked me if I was "in the business" because I "speak the lingo." I am not in the healthcare field, but I have certainly learned more than I ever wanted to know about my own body!

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