Surgery to repair an injury? Yes for me.
We are speaking of orthopedic surgery, not life-saving surgery or cosmetic surgery. In the last seven years, I have had two such surgeries and I don't regret either.
In 2013, I had a heel spur removed from my left foot, which I wrote about in a much earlier post. My doctor told me I could theoretically avoid the pain by discontinuing my running. I told him at 52, I was not ready to give up running. So I had one surgery, two casts and a boot over the next 12 weeks. Therapists helped me to start walking all over again and in nine months I was starting to run again.
Fast forward to the spring 2020, a year most people have written off as a bad year for all sorts of reasons, when I kicked off one of my traditional push-up challenges. Several days in, I get a stabbing pain in my left elbow and the push-ups come to a grinding halt. Another visit to an orthopedic surgeon, who after reviewing my x-rays and MRI, tells me I have a bone spur and a torn triceps tendon. I could cut eliminate activities such as push-ups, planks, presses or he can fix it.
There is no right or wrong choice, or a specific age when it makes no sense to opt for such procedures. There are people who give up activities that they love and opt not to have the surgery. We all know someone who said they would not get the surgery and now no longer do activities, like dancing, running or some activity that they liked to do. Many will say they are just getting older and perhaps it was time to stop these kinds of activities any way. It was their choice.
For me it was not much of a choice. I figured if I could hit the bench for six to twelve months, but get the next fifteen years back being able to perform activities that contribute to the quality of life, count me in! That could allow me to do these things potentially into my 80's! Imagine, playing with grandchildren, running, climbing in the mountains, having sex...you get the idea.
Keep in mind I am not saying that surgery is always the answer. I love that therapist who got that magic! I highly recommend that you establish relationships with your physician, physical therapist and massage therapist! Make them a part of your Dream Team, especially if you find good ones you can work with who will keep you running and performing well into your senior years, whenever that starts!
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