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  • New Cast, New Activities, New Difficulties

    After I received so many responses on my first post about my wrist surgery, I decided it would be interesting to continue updating the Twins Daily community on my progress. Hopefully my journey provides everyone with a little insight into something different in the world of professional baseball.

    Today is 13 days post op. My wife and I took a short jaunt down Highway 52 to the Mayo Clinic. On the docket was a switch from a splint to a hard cast.

    We arrived at the 15th floor for my appointment. It's the kind of place that offers a surprise behind every door. Door A for pre op, door B for surgery, door C for casts-a super utility floor for a super utility guy. Makes me feel right at home.

    I was extremely excited for the arrival of a real cast as it meant a return to exercise, and a possible return to video gaming.

    The nurse came in and started cutting away, she got through all the fluff to reveal the forearm of a 7th grade boy. What happened?


    You don't want to see what's under there

    A new nurse named Bill entered with the PA who was present during my operation. She said Bill was the best at this-he had been doing it for 33 years. He was an experienced casting magician.

    After my arm was cleaned and sanitized, he started the wrapping process, I swear I heard him call out a few spells under his breath. After sufficient pre-wrapping material, Bill started getting the hard plaster material wet. He used some more wizardry and the cast began hardening.


    Going to need a silver sharpie so all my friends can sign it

    When the PA returned I asked an important question regarding video games. She said one hour of Madden at a time would suffice.

    Working out for the first time in a couple weeks felt great, even though I am still unable to use both arms. I thought it would only prevent me from doing bench press and push-ups. What I didn't imagine was difficulty...tying my shoes. I mean really, have you ever tried to tie your shoes with one hand? Do yourself a favor and do the one-handed shoe tying challenge today. It is incredible. I used my teeth and my other foot, and eventually got them tied loosely.

    The next step to look forward in my recovery is when the hard cast comes off in four weeks.

    I hope you enjoy a look inside my rehabilitation. While not one journey is the same, many ball players go through the process sometime in their career.

    To follow my journey and the randomness the offseason often brings, check me out on Twitter- @apettersen1
    This article was originally published in blog: New Cast, New Activities, New Difficulties started by AJPettersen
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. big dog's Avatar
      big dog -
      Great post, AJ. Good luck with the rehab and recovery. I'd go with some kind of croc-like footwear for a while, but you probably already thought of that.

      Do the doctors give you exercises or do you get those from the trainers? Is there some kind of hand-off from one to the other at some point?

      Thanks for all the insight!
    1. AJPettersen's Avatar
      AJPettersen -
      Quote Originally Posted by big dog View Post
      Great post, AJ. Good luck with the rehab and recovery. I'd go with some kind of croc-like footwear for a while, but you probably already thought of that.

      Do the doctors give you exercises or do you get those from the trainers? Is there some kind of hand-off from one to the other at some point?

      Thanks for all the insight!
      Funny you mention it, I wore my Vibram Five Fingers today, they just have a pull string to tighten, made things much easier. Someone suggested elastic shoelaces as well.

      Right now I'm just following the workouts the Twins strength coach made for the offseason. Obviously I can't do two handed exercises, so I have modified all of them to fit my situation.

      Once I start rehab in a few weeks, I think I will be using the protocol from the doctor with some insight from the trainers. It was a very unique surgery (called a UT split tear repair), so the doc has developed a return to playing program. The Twins have an excellent training and rehab staff that can closely monitor progress and adjust accordingly.

      Glad you enjoyed the article!
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      Outstanding post AJ. Good luck with the recovery. Try to be patient and do not overdo it. We don't want to see you have a relapse. Can you type with both hands or do you only use one to make these posts...

      I tried the shoe-lace test using only my right hand and could not do it. UGH. Maybe if I wasn't a 65 year old grandpa...so I cheated and tied with both hands...
    1. AJPettersen's Avatar
      AJPettersen -
      Quote Originally Posted by DAM DC Twins Fans View Post
      Outstanding post AJ. Good luck with the recovery. Try to be patient and do not overdo it. We don't want to see you have a relapse. Can you type with both hands or do you only use one to make these posts...

      I tried the shoe-lace test using only my right hand and could not do it. UGH. Maybe if I wasn't a 65 year old grandpa...so I cheated and tied with both hands...
      Thanks for reading! The hardest part for me is the patience, but I'm learning. It's good practice for baseball and life.

      I'm able to make these posts on my phone using only my right hand. I'm thankful for the iPhone and autocorrect!

      The shoe lace challenge is really hard-took me forever. Today I gave in and wore different shoes.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      The nurse came in and started cutting away, she got through all the fluff to reveal the forearm of a 7th grade boy. What happened?


      There's something that I'll probably have a nightmare about now. Maybe not so much the smaller forearm, but smaller bis/tris since I imagine the entire arm suffers. The muscle loss must be a big drawback while rehabbing. The whole "Use it or lose it," saying in effect.
    1. AJPettersen's Avatar
      AJPettersen -
      Quote Originally Posted by YourHouseIsMyHouse View Post


      There's something that I'll probably have a nightmare about now. Maybe not so much the smaller forearm, but smaller bis/tris since I imagine the entire arm suffers. The muscle loss must be a big drawback while rehabbing. The whole "Use it or lose it," saying in effect.
      It's pretty incredible how fast it goes away. Luckily I had surgery pretty early on, so I should be able get most (if not all) of my strength back in that arm before the season. It is alarming to compare my right bicep and tricep with my left after just two weeks.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      On the subject of muscle atrophy, isn't there an electro-stimulation treatment available to keep muscles at least a little bit in tone?
    1. AJPettersen's Avatar
      AJPettersen -
      Quote Originally Posted by jimbo92107 View Post
      On the subject of muscle atrophy, isn't there an electro-stimulation treatment available to keep muscles at least a little bit in tone?
      I haven't heard of anything that does that. I have the ability to go through motion with my bicep in my current cast, but they don't want me using the muscles at all. Part of the healing is having my whole arm be still.
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      Thanks for these AJ.
      It's is interesting to be able to follow your progress. Please keep us posted.

      We wish you all the best.

      (they don't let us have shoelaces in here)
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