Friday, March 30, 2018

My Legs are Different

It seems obvious, but I never really considered that having surgery to alter the natural inner structure of my legs would change how my legs look on the outside. Now that measurable swelling is mostly a thing of the past, I can see that my legs aren't the legs they used to be.

(These changes are really hard to capture in a photo; just trust me that they are super obvious in person!)

I have a weird divot at the bottom of my left leg, where the calf meets the ankle. This structural anomaly isn't present in the right leg. This is the most obvious change to me; my left leg is shaped significantly differently than it used to be, and significantly differently than its twin.
It's like my calf muscle turns a corner before it meets the ankle.
I now realize the shape of the fascia helps create the shape of your muscles; it holds them in like a girdle. The way my left calf muscle has settled post-surgery is odd, to say the least.

Speaking of divots, I now have matching calf-dimples on both legs. I never had these before! They are physical representations of what I can feel now when I massage them - nooks, crannies, and creases and an incredibly malleable muscle!
But on the plus side, check out my quad muscles! SQUATS BABY!
Another weird thing I'm experiencing in my left leg is some discoloration. My shin is still numb, which is normal. What's maybe not so normal is this weird port-wine stain splotch that appeared post-run last Monday. It went away after 10 minutes, before I was even home to elevate or ice. I will be monitoring this to see if it happens again, and under what sort of circumstances.
Scott couldn't find anything on this in medical literature but recommends that I see my surgeon if it keeps occurring. It's probably just some blood pooling after a tough run.
I know that legs getting kind of blotchy after working out can be common and benign; I just find the placement so odd.

Finally, for awhile now I've noticed a rather prominent vein in my shins. It pops up during and after runs, and is much more obvious in my right leg than my left. It looks like those snaky arm-veins bodybuilders get. After our run last week, Elizabeth asked me, "Did you used to have that giant vein in your leg?" I was like, "Nope."
This vein gets so puffy when I run or stand for a long time. This picture does not do it justice.
Maybe this vein used to be restricted by the fascia and now it can be free!

Even with all these oddities, I am still 100% happy I opted for the surgery. I wonder how my legs will continue to change as my legs recover fully and get stronger!



  1. That's so interesting about the vein and dimples. I haven't noticed any structural changes like that but my calf muscles are also very malleable now. I kind of assumed that's because the muscle has atrophied and isn't very strong right now? I remember they used to be hard as rocks, especially after a run, but they were probably super strong back then.

  2. How interesting! It's amazing how well we know our bodies and are so in tune to changes like that. I think the vein and the discoloration are the most interesting things. Paul's right temple has been changing a lot as the years go by post surgery. It now looks bumpy because you can see the screws that are in his scull and it's becoming a little concave. I only really notice it when we are playing cards and the dining room light is shining on it a certain way but he notices it a lot and he doesn't like it.