I asked my doctor and almost every nurse on their advice on how to eat best for tendon repair.  The overwhelming answer I received was protein, then followed up by a well rounded diet of fruits and veggies and stay away from simple sugars.  I am convinced this is the answer they give for most any recovery.  What I do know is get off the drugs asap, don’t smoke, and limit alcohol.  I was pretty hard core about this plan for the first three weeks of my postop and have slipped a bit lately with some ice cream, wine and beer.  Fiber is super important especially when your on percocet and bed ridden.  Percocet is definitely a constipator so know that going in and go to Tylenol when you want to poop again.  Some of the food I had in the cooler next to my bed was hard boiled eggs, spinach, sliced turkey, wheat bagels, sliced almonds, Gatorade, orange juice and smoothies.  The smoothies were fantastic and I enjoyed them twice a day for quite a while.  The smoothie ingredients are a variety fruit, banana, vanilla yogurt, milk, orange juice and low calorie protein powder.  The protein powder is called muscle milk light, I got the vanilla creme flavor.  The powderis loaded with vitamins and minerals and tastes pretty good.  The best source of natural protein is, and always will be eggs.  Eggs contain all of the essential amino acids required for us to survive.  Essential amino acids have to be ingested, our bodies can not fabricate these.  Enough about protein right…  Vitamin D is another interesting component to survival and possibly repair.  It is essential for life and the best way to get it is through sunlight and fortified milk (since the 1920’s).  The further you get away from the equator the more likely your are vitamin D deficient.  The downside of being deficient is largely understudied but what we do know is most of us are lacking this vitamin.  This is why I mentioned sitting in the sun when possible in the healing environment segment.  Unless you eat loads of salmon and drink lots of fortified milk or are in the sun (with a fair amount of exposed skin without sunblock) for an hour a day you are deficient.  For more info on this topic go to itunes and in the podcast section click on health, search for nutrition diva.  The program is called Dficiency and is worth the 10 minutes she commits to it, and it’s free.  I tried to drink plenty of water and even took vitamin pills.  I’m not sold on multivitamins but the risk is pretty small in taking them.  I would love more info on diet for tendon repair.  If anybody has info on this please forward it to me.  Thanks

3 Responses to “Nutrition”

  1. At one point when I was having trouble with an incision that wouldn’t close I was told to eat extra protein, but when I asked how much, the answer was not very definitive and it almost seemed like it had no basis in fact. I seriously doubt that there have been any real studies on the effect of diet on recovery from any tendon rupture. Anything you find is likely to be either anecdotal or shilling for some “snake oil” concoction.

    I’m very curious though, your post indicates you were in bed for 3 weeks? Is that true? Did you have complications? I had surgery on August 3 and spent most of that week in bed but I went back to work on August 10.

  2. I’m with you Gerryr on the anecdotal info out there on nutrition for ATR repair. It’s strange to me how little good information is out there.
    I did front load my recovery with intense down time (3 weeks). No complications, just my approach to healing this beast. I was able to move around but wanted to control the swelling as much as possible in the beginning. I’m after it now though and my swelling is a non issue 24 days post op.

  3. When I tore my first AT (8 y ago) I got suggestions of the two arthritis “cures” (condroitin and whatever), and also MSM. The former are supposed to help joints (which is at least vaguely relevant to us), and the latter is touted more specifically to soft tissue repairs and tendons.

    I popped MSM last time. It doesn’t cost much, less than the other two. Hard to know if it helped or hurt, but that AT seems to have healed just fine. Haven’t done it this time, probably mostly because I haven’t read anybody recommending it!

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