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Medical Success rates


The other Snake

VIP Member
Aug 19, 2016
Sooner or later we all end up getting cut open. I am sure for things that are life-threatening, the numbers are more accurate but what about those that are not?

Statics on the success of things like cancer I'm sure are more accurate but what about the injuries we have from training? This crossed my mind after my labrum surgery; Doc said it's a 85% shot at returning to pre-surgery level of use. Wait, the average persons use or to the level we as athletes are expecting? And what constitutes a success? Is it a success if the person still has some slight pain but not enough to return to the Dr? What if they are unhappy with the results but choose to not undergo another surgery ,is that a success?

Prior to surgery for a complete pec rupture, I asked the Otrho what the odd are of returning to PLing, he said very good if there was enough tendon to stitch to and I was faithful with my PT. I then asked what my shot was to get my bench back to weeks prior to the injury? This guy was a sport guy who has worked on many top athletes and knew his stuff; it's why I selected him. He asked me, "So what was that bench right before the injury?" I told him 400. He looked at my chart and said," Dude, you're 47 y.o. and weigh 215 lbs, I can't tell a man at your weight and age they could ever do 400 and you just blew out your pec."

I admire my Orthopedic's honesty and I did hit a 390 bench in a meet about 3 years later but is that a success? What if it was only 350, is that a success? He did tell me that if the tendon could not be attached, I could expect a 20% loss in strength. That said, with my PR I would be topping out at a 320 bench.

It's fair to say that a high level athlete will have a higher level of expectations to return to what he feels is normal use. I just wonder if we should be put into a different category when it comes to the word "Success".


TID Board Of Directors
Nov 29, 2013
Ruptured Patellar Tendon w/Avuncular Fracture of Patella back in 2015. Routine scheduled post-op visits w/Surgeon. Filled out a form, only question I remember was "What Do You Hope To Do After?"

At the time I was in an "Immobilizer," a latter day version of the old white plaster casts I had seen on childhood friends. Instructions were no rotation about the joint and zero weight bearing, pending ongoing assessments + updated instructions.

At one visit the Surgeon had gathered a bunch of Surgical Residents he mentored, and he pulled out the form where I had answered "I want to be able to squat." From the laughter that followed I guessed the correct answers were "I want to be able to go out to the mailbox," or "Do a little gardening."

I quit going to his post-op's soon after, got tired of being farmed out to his P.A. who was useless. Did do the doctor-prescribed rehab for 3 months, then did self-prescribed rehab in my Gym thereafter. Never have matched the pre-injury weights I used, but some of that is a decision on my part to tone it down for the 2nd half of my gym life ... lower weights, higher reps, TUT, etc.

I (guess) my surgery was a success; I imagine the Surgeon would say the surgery HE did was a success. When I drop some mail or do some gardening, the squats I do now are, of course, ass2grass.