Immediately following my injury, I transitioned my everyday weight lifting workouts to intensive BFR prehab exercises. There was so much atrophy that happened immediately after acute injury to the surrounding muscles and I knew I needed to address this immediately, especially if I was considering surgery.
Blood Flow Restricted (BFR) training has been shown to regain muscle girth and size faster than just traditional loading and requires less resistance for load as well. The BFR system we use in our clinic is from Smart Tools called the Smart Cuff. I like them the best because they have a wide cuff that allows for even circulation inhibition without a narrow tourniquet effect. They also come with a regulated pump that will automatically pump up and calculate your lower extremity blood pressure. You can set it to autoregulate and it will maintain the percentage of blood flow restriction that want, allows to ease during muscle contraction, and more constriction during muscle relaxation. I purchased my own set to use at home because I was using it every day, traveling with it, and will be using it again after surgery.
So this was my progress over 3 weeks of prehabbing with the BFR 5 days a week for 45 – 60 minutes continuously.
Week 1: L 45cm, R 48 cm
Week 2: L 46cm, R 48 cm
Week 3: L 46.5 cm, R 48 cm
Week 4: L 47.5 cm, R 48.5cm
BFR Program 80% LOP (144mmHg)