Genetically I inherited extremely narrow bone...
Genetically I inherited extremely narrow bone structure on the ankles and lower leg area which makes my calves horrible looking chicken calves. I have over the past years made an effort to compensate for the chicken calves by doing all sorts of calf exercises however even when they would grow if i ever took a break they would shrink. Unlike my upper body which responds fast and keep its gains, the legs, and more so primarily the calves have been a real challenge. Then in 2012 I herniated my L5S1 and ended up with nerve compression with sciatica down the right leg. This created muscle atrophy in the leg and the calf just basically become soft tissue. Since then Ive tried my best to bring it up to speed but left calf remains bigger and stronger and the medial calf's weakness is compensated by outer calf and other calf area muscles which means it continues to lag no matter what I do. Finally, I started researching the doctors who could perform this surgery and short listed two, one in Toronto and another in Miami. I decided to go with the Doctor in Toronto after having spoken with him at length about my concerns and considering recovery period one is very immobile being at home might be more convenient, specially in case of complications. Price wise Dr. Marc Dupree is the most expensive I doctor I found (USD 14,000 for 2 implants per calf for total of 4) but I would rather in one shot get what I want then multiple attempts with possibly getting into complications. He took his time to explain the procedure and his experience with one/two per calf implants etc and assured me that going with two per calf is manageable. I am looking forward to this surgery and while I dont expect to get the dream calves out of this one surgery I do hope for better looking calves, fuller and thicker. If all goes well maybe in a few years I will consider custom large size implants as I will be going for max standard size this time around.
Day 1 Post Op
Well...I gotta say this surgery is painful post op. When I woke up in the clinic I immediately felt the pain. Ive been taking the pain killers which I suppose is helping somewhat but its difficult because you have to walk a bit to the toilet and my bedroom is ensuite so its not far and fortunately I have things i can put weight on along the way. My left calf is doing better and Im able to put the weight on it. Right is too sensitive for now, not stretching. I keep updating the doc the condition pain sensation etc and he replies by text that its all good/normal. I can see the shape of the augmented calves and it looks good, now Im just waiting for this to heal so the compression garmet comes off and I can see the actual look. Of coursre waiting for all of this to heal so I can be normal again.
Day 7 Post Op
Much has happened over the week but some has not changed. So my left foot is like 80% recovered. Fortunately for my left foot, I can use crutches. My right leg remains swollen and does not stretch all the way down to step on for now. The doctor took the drain out from the left one as the fluid was significantly lower, on the right decided to keep in few more days since higher output. I must confess I walked into the surgery not really comprehending its full intensity. This is a serious surgery. I do not blame anyone for this, maybe because of my past experience with rhinoplasty I thought how difficult can it be. This is a surgery for the die hard. You must really have crap calves and REALLY want to improve them. Having said that - the new shape is beautiful. Its plump, its round, its bigger, and its not the final result. Im just hoping the swelling on right foot goes down, doctor said maybe take another week, maybe take a few weeks. The doctor has always been comforting, sometimes which makes me think that he is saying it just for positive confirmation, but post surgery recovery is all about mind over matter - because there can be moments of question and confusion. With positive mindset the body continues to recover fast as possible. I would say that so far my experience of Dr. Marc is good, he is a doctor who has in detailed been able to explain anything I ever asked, he understands the post op issues and I think is a no nonsense doctor. I want to wait and see final result before I comment on that but with positive spirits I am looking forward to full recovery within next two weeks. I am wearing a compression garment and this should also help reduce swelling. The most important thing I would say post op is having your setup in place to go from bed to toilet and someone feeding you. And enough pain killers to manage the pain in the first week. My pain killers have run out (well one of them) and I im on very low dose now and its still fine so expect pain and difficult and slow recovery first week.
Day 14 Post op
Things are starting to improve to normalcy faster day by day. Until yesterday I was just barely walking on my right leg, like up the stairs i would push myself to walk on my right leg. Today Ive just put the crutches away and am step by step walking on the right leg. Although because I dont have full flexibility and the medial implant is causing too much tightness I think combined with the swelling in the leg it means I dont have the full back to forward rotation required to walk normally. So I have to throw my right foot forward and sort of lean with my arms on right knee to stablize then take left step forward. But Im pushing on the right leg because I want it to get use to working again and hopefully release the muscle. Also Im putting it in hot water while bathing and stretching it. So while still not walking - I can see normal walk coming in the next days or couple of weeks at most. Im still taking pain killers although like every 6 hours or so when needed. One is oxy and another I dont know. I get like heat waves down my food. Kind of feels like a cramp but its not. Just a heat painful wave I think nerve compression or not sure what... so pain killer helps. But say I can manage without uncomfortably. Feeling positive and happy. I have had considerable muscle atrophy on the quads and calves so while Ive got nice calves which maybe size I had originally, maybe bit more, I am overall smaller. Just need to get back to the gym. The shape looks good, its not as big as I would like them to be but its at least got a shape and theres some substance to the matter so to speak. They do look good. Now I need to blast em in the gym and take it forward. Will follow up with photos once I can get around to it.
Day 21 (or so)
Left leg is fully Ok. Right is better but still some distance from being ok. Swelling is down but sensation is off and some pain element remains that I cannot step full weight on it, also not full motion/flexibility limiting movement therefore requiring me to use crutches although step at a time I can probably walk. Going to doc tomorrow to see if should start physio. Lost some weight and muscle mass due to being in bed 3 weeks. Right leg more muscle atrophy that its skinnier than left including calf. Will take time to fully recover from once the pain and swelling aspect is recovered from.
Day 30 - Starting to get better
Started physio, had third session today. Also went to my chiropractor. The chiro did the adjustments and as expected told me the back is pretty tight and locked up. The physio I believe is helping. Right now I still do have constant radiating pain in the foot and numbness pretty much all over the foot except a part on top. My right 3 toes are pretty much non-functional. I cannot control them much. I dont have much grip on the foot. The calf area is still pretty tight but getting better. Now my leg extends down straight and I have been weight shifting on and off. Physiotherapist was fantastic today with what I wouldnt call massage but something like it really getting into the foot which hurt somewhat but was also necessary as the pain gradually reduced and mobility was enhanced. The tendons in heel are tight, the hams are tight, and I believe this is all due to nerve irritation/compression from the implants. Interestingly, did not have such severe affect on the left leg/foot. Just very minor numbess in a small part but otherwise fully functional leg. Dont think can run on as it is still tind and somewhat tender. So things are better, still I think will take some weeks to be normalized but certainly better. I dont really want to do photos atm. I promise to post once Im fully recovered. My left calf is significantly bigger than right. Left looks like exactly what I want my calves to look like. The implant is feeling more and more real and looks pretty natural. The scars are heeling but visible easily. Drains were taken out while back, I think in week 2. No bruising on skin. Was it worth it? I cant say now, first I must fully recover, second I must pump my calves further to get them to the ultimate look. But has this given me a distinct chance and advantage in realizing my perfect calves.... I do think so - but once again to early to say cause this recovery for right leg has been unexpected of a B***H
Day 47 - slowly getting better
Pain is significantly down on the right foot but not gone, its around 20-30%. I am walking either with soft padded home shoes or sports shoes, no hard soles. Walking is off because serious muscle loss on right and theres issues with flexibility in the calf area so the movement isnt natural plus of course the pain. If I walk too long which i did yesterday I can feel muscle fatigue. So, full recovery is long way away. But I am getting better. After 2 weeks will be full 8 weeks and I hope that at least the pain is gone. Mobility and sensation is coming back to the foot so all indicators are positive. I suppose I may say that this post surgery issue may be connected to my 2012 disc hernia because I had sciatica down right side, and the left I didnt have any issue since surgery, so why only right. Or maybe just unluckily during the surgery the nerve got irritated. I dont know, we will never know. But I most certainly have come to appreciate the seriousness of this surgery - moving of the veins aside, the nerves, proper insertion, proper size assessment, post surgery recovery assuming everything is normal - I dont know, once everything is well I will forget the pain and all I have had to suffer and I imagine once I can train and pump the calves up I will be happy - thats ONCE and I hope its not too far in future. But understand this, its a serious surgery so make sure you think this through and better go to a dam good doctor, know for sure your doctor has done this surgery enough times so that youre not his guinea pig.
Almost 3 months out
Well, Ive been walking since week 6 and without crutches since then. The sciatica is still there. Foot isnt fully painfree but Im 90% better. Theres still significant difference between right and left leg in terms of mass so soon I need to start working out. Unfortunately Im not pain free. The implants do make the calves look nice I must admit and havent yet really got the full effect as this will be present maybe two years from now once Ive grown my calves more and balanced them. But being unable to walk comfortably or stand, I hope this goes away sooner than later. Also sensation wise Im not back to normal in foot either and I hope that is not permanent either. Jumping or running is out of the question for the moment. The scar lines behind knee where implant was put in are quite visible Im using skin lightening cream for that.
5 months out about
Im back at the gym past few weeks and training hard getting legs back up to standard, right foot is not 100% hard to walk without soft cushion slippers but feel almost ok with sports shoes on. Working the right calf hard to get it up to speed and catch up with left. Left looks good and is getting bigger and theres a distinct calf look and it looks nice. I wont say Im at where I look at my calves and say perfect or wow - actually still very far from it, but i think in time with training calves hard over next two years i should be able to pack on enough muscle which the implants will make look better. the left looks good and much better than right. Ive gotten completely use to having the implants. overall... i think it will be worth it once ive reached the final destination. much work to be done until then but the implants certainly turbo charge the look of calves once inner muscle is pumped and there also. will add photos in a few months time when i visit doctor in april and have studio before/after