How far would you go? Is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Keigo, May 22, 2018.

  1. Keigo

    Keigo Member

    Hi guys, its been awhile since I've checked in here, but i'm glad to see this forum is still active. I know this topic is going to be very subjective, and is going to be different for everyone, but i just wanted to hear about some of your experiences dealing with injuries and returning to competitive TKD. The reason for this post: I recently got diagnosed with a Lisfranc injury (after landing badly from attempting a side flip), and now looking at surgery for my foot as a possible solution.

    A little more background: This happened in end Jan, but was mis-diagnosed as a sprain, so I was put under physio. Just a couple of weeks ago, my physio felt something wasn't right, and so referred me to another ortho, and we find out its actually a Lisfranc injury. Granted, its nothing major, no fractures, just the ligament is over stretched. But apparently I've got the same injury unknowingly before, so there is some degeneration going on in that same area. So the doc proposed a minor surgery to put a screw in to stabilise the joints to allow the ligament to heal, and also prevent arthritic complications in future. BUT this ideally should've been done within 6 weeks of the injury, and now its been almost 4 months, we've missed the 'golden recovery period', there is a chance the ligament may not heal. Alternatively, seeing that I've come this far, I can also choose to continue with physio, and hope that it will heal on its own. Of course, the doc thinks surgery gives me the best chances. And my physio, she said she wouldn't recommend me to the doc if it wasn't for the fact that I still wished to compete nationally and internationally, otherwise she would've advised me to just continue conservatively, so I'm also inclined to think that she feels that surgery gives me the best chances as well. At this point, I was also convinced that surgery is the way to go.

    But of course to make things a bit more complicated, I went to discuss things with a good friend of mine, an ex national team player. She was doing so well until she had an ACL and meniscus tear, and doc told her that she couldn't compete anymore. It was at this point that she realised that everything was for nothing, all her sacrifices, medals, trophies, they meant nothing if she couldn't even walk again. So she gave up TKD in the end. But the take away for me was, is it worth it going under the knife to compete? Knowing I am already in my 30's, and have a full time office job, there is no way I can match up against 20 year olds who train 8 hours a day 6 days week. Granted its a minor surgery, but going for a surgery means slicing through muscles and nerves, will my foot ever feel the same again? Perhaps someone who has gone through surgery can enlighten me on this? My friend never did go through surgery to fix her ACL and meniscus, she chose to rehab and stop TKD, and is relatively pain free now.
  2. Mario Ray Mahardhika

    Mario Ray Mahardhika Active Member

    I never had a surgery, I just let all my injuries heal itself. My worst one was hamstring, happened to both legs, with right one being worse as it reocccured twice. It all starts from not doing enough stretching while forcing my leg to its maximum flexibility, either from doing splits or high kicks. It healed after 3 years, with the first 4 months I can't use my right leg at all. So, I use it to improve my left one as far as I can. The next right and left one healed within 6 and 4 months "only", looks like the trauma ain't as deep as the first one so my body learned not to get overly scared.

    There's still a chance to heal without surgery, doctor is not always right. Not once or twice doctor makes misprediction (but more often they're right). Many athletes that have been judged to be impossible to compete anymore return to the ring and win. However, surgery is indeed the best chance to heal. My conclusion, it all comes back to you. Are you dare enough to take the risk? Of you just want to take the safest bet?
  3. Keigo

    Keigo Member

    Hi Mario! Not sure if you remember me, but I remember you! Thanks for the reply, you are right, it all comes down to what I really want, so I've done a lot of soul searching over the past week. After I posted this yesterday, I finally arrived at my decision not to do the surgery. I weighed my options, truth is I know I wont be able to compete forever or much longer (maybe another 2-3 years?), and the day will come when I have to give up or be forced to stop. So it came down to whether I was willing to live the rest of my life with a cut foot just because I wanted to increase my chance of winning comps (which is not even guaranteed) for 3 years.

    I'm not giving up on competing yet, but just that I would rather do it with a rehab-ed foot than a cut up foot. I still feel better keeping my foot in its original form. I might not be able to get my foot back to 100%, but heck, I'm sure my coaches will help me to find a way to work around that and adapt tactics for comps :)
  4. Hi Keigo , I am also having to climb the hill again post having two rounds of surgery so i know that it takes a bit of soul searching to want to carry on . For my operations I had old damge too the left side of the chest and gut so had open cut operations to plate and guaze stomache muscle back into place ,this totally wrecks your core and takes a lot of time to heal properly so training has just not been possible.
    Though its hard yards and I am now 53 id not stop training for anything , Love doing the patterns sparring and teaching way too much to ever quit .
    I guess its the motivation thing ,,,, all i can remember is an old saying from a very bad 1970s karate film that i just love .

    A martial artist is a warrior of steel forged in the fire of his own self will .

    Also i regualrly re read my tkd encyclopedia for inspiration.
    PM if you need anything
  5. Finlay

    Finlay Active Member

    whether it is worth it or not is a very subjective thing

    ultimatley...MA is not about medlas or fighting but about self improvement.... can you find that in your current condition?
  6. Keigo

    Keigo Member

    Hi guys, thank you for your replies. It's really inspiring to hear about your stories, and see how determined and passionate you are about continuing your TKD journey, and it puts me to shame. I had totally forgotten about this thread until I rec'd an email notification that someone had replied to it, and I'm really thankful because the timing could not have been better. Let me just share an update.

    Things were going well with my rehab since I last posted in May. About 5 weeks ago though, my physio had allowed me to start working on some simple footwork. I could feel it was unnatural for my foot, but I just brushed it off at first thinking I was just out of practice. I worked on it for another 2 weeks, but I started getting frustrated at how stiff and unnatural it still felt. I started getting angry at myself for being over protective of my foot, and not being able to overcome the fear of putting weight on it, until i pushed it too hard and hurt it again.. I just fell apart then. To most people, it would seem like an insignificant setback, but for me, it was crushing. 7 months of rehab, doing physio exercises diligently everyday, people telling me I was doing so well, and yet I could not do the one thing that mattered to me the most. I felt so angry that I lost it, went to a random gym and started crazy kicking with the injured foot, I wanted to break it so that I don't have to do anything anymore. But of course it wouldnt break, and I was internally screaming at my foot, WHY WONT YOU BREAK?! JUST BREAK! Just break already if youre not going to recover!

    I felt so defeated and heartbroken, and it was the first time I thought to myself, I don't want to do TKD anymore, I dont like TKD anymore.. I lost interest in everything after that, and wished I could just rot away in bed everyday. My friend and physio would check in on me, trying their best to get me back on my feet and going again, but nothing was working. And more and more everyday, I felt like I was letting everyone down, and how I couldn't face them anymore. Fast forward up to yesterday, I was still lost and trying to find myself, then I suddenly had an urge to visit my dojang. I don't know why I wanted to go, I didn't want to watch the training anyway because it felt too painful. But I still went, and first thing I did was hide in the corner and cry to our dear receptionist. After 2 hours and some encouragement, I finally plucked up enough courage to go watch the competition team do some sparring (our instructors usually leave the doors open at that point for the parents to watch and video their kids). And that's when it lit a spark in me again and I realised how much I missed training hard like that, pushing myself to be better and better. But in order to do that, I need to get my foot back in proper working order. As my physio said, I'm stuck with a crap injury for TKD (esp if I want to continue with competitive sparring), if it was any other sport, I'd do fine even in the current state I'm in. So now, I'm back working hard at my rehab exercises again, trying to get back on track, and more determined than ever to return to TKD better and stronger than before.

    @Ade Tomlinson Thank you for that quote, it couldn't be more true. And its inspiring to hear about what you've gone through, and still kept at your TKD journey, you have my utmost respect!

    @Finlay you're right, all the medals mean nothing at the end of the day (heck, its just a piece of metal, and not even real gold at that :D) its the journey that counts and what we've learned that's important. Mine is probably a baby injury compared to what some of you guys here have gone through, but I would like to think I have grown and matured a lot since. Never have I ever thought it was possible for me to hit such a rock bottom, questioning myself what TKD meant to me, whether I truly enjoyed TKD and what I was trying to achieve, whether I was blindly and stubbornly pursuing a childish and futile dream. But I think I found my answer now. And to answer your question about self improvement, maybe I have not improved much physically over this period of time (in fact, I probably have deteriorated), but I know for certain that I have grown mentally.

    I'm sorry this turned out to be a huge wall of text, but I just wanted to share, and hopefully this might help someone/anyone who may be also struggling with their own rehab :)
  7. David Fhu

    David Fhu New Member

    Hi Keigo,

    It boils down to what do you want to achieve. I had a spinal injury during my active time. I listen to Dr to keep away from sports during my younger time to prevent any more injury spin from it.

    I miss all my prime time. It is slowly recovery without further care from any Dr. Until, I found chiropractic. They help me to realign my spine and now I have so much less pain now. With lesser pain, I pick up my Taekwondo training again.

    This time, I limited myself. I learn where to stop and rest, in order me to go much further in the future. As long as I don't break it, I will always have an opportunity to come back.

    Last, but not least, always seek a second opinion. I seek my many years later. But I worth it after all. Nothing is too late.
  8. Keigo

    Keigo Member

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the advice, you are right! Knowing when to stop and rest in order to go much further in the future is very important, and I was too impatient. I'm very happy for you to hear that you have picked up TKD again, and hopefully I will soon be able to as well!

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