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Scott Reaches the…
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Scott Reaches the Impossible with Both Arms

May 16, 2019
Scott flexing by DOC provider in front of DOC sign.

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13

For Scott, this text inspires him daily as a believer with CP: “Cerebral Palsy should not keep one from reaching the impossible.” Cerebral palsy is a permanent disorder affecting the development of movement and posture, causing activity limitation. For Scott, the disorder affected movement on the right side of his body for most of his life. This is Scott’s story:

“I am a bodybuilder. I work with a trainer, who is a PT and Fitness Manager at Gold’s Gym. She makes sure that I perform all lifts correctly while growing my capabilities beyond my expectations. On December 10, 2018, the gym was overcrowded. Everyone was trying to get their “skinny on” before the holidays. I was setting up my Smith Bar Press station, an adjustable bench with wheels on one side and a handle on the other. I lifted the handle to roll the bench underneath my Smith Bar, using a bit more force than necessary. I felt and heard a pop in my left arm. The stubborn bench finally moved under my bar and I quickly hammered out a nice set of bench presses. I got up to add more weight, picked up a mere 5 lb. plate, and felt pain and weakness in my left upper arm.

I called Dorothy Reed-Echols, my PT, about what I thought was a “pulled muscle” in my left arm and she wanted to see me as soon as possible. The next day I arrived at the gym and after a quick evaluation and consultation she advised me to go to Direct Orthopedic Care (DOC) right down the road. They close at 6 p.m. and I arrived at 5:58. I was greeted by a cheerful, kind receptionist with ‘wow, you made it just in time.’

I was evaluated and X-rayed within 45 minutes. It felt like a pit crew working double time during an Austin Formula One race. I was placed in an immobilized arm splint and scheduled for surgery that very next Monday. Doctor Chris Hall wanted to see me the next day for a Sonogram and MRI to confirm the extent of my injury.

Dr. Hall’s Report: An MRI showed a complete rupture of the distal bicep within 2 cm of retraction. Because of the complete tear of the biceps and the fact that this is Scott’s most functional and strong upper extremity, we decided on surgical repair. Diagnosis: Left Arm Complete Distal Biceps Tendon Tear.

Dr. Hall texted answers to questions. His bedside manner and information on the upcoming procedure helped to relieve my anxiety. Surgery went very smoothly and I was placed in a cast which immobilized my left wrist and forearm completely.

Postoperative Plan: No active range of motion for elbow flexion or forearm supination for a total of 6 weeks, and Scott may begin starting some light working out at 3 months post operatively, but no heavy lifting until 6 to 9 months postoperatively.

Since CP affects my right side, I never developed the ability to use my right hand and arm. For the first time in my life, I had to learn how to do everything with my right side, including eating, shaving, drinking, driving, etc.

On December 31, I returned to DOC for my first post-op follow-up. Dr. Hall cut off my cast, X-rayed my arm, and said that my recovery was going better than expected. I still needed to wear my brace, move my arm as tolerated, but no lifting, and he wrote a script to resume training with Dorothy without left arm work. I learned how to do one arm bench Smith presses, and hold dumbbells and kettle-bells right handed only. The right side of my body and core strengthened like never before. The left bicep tear was the best thing that could have happened, forcing my right side to step up and take control. 

 On February 5, 2019, Dr. Hall cleared me to begin left bicep PT with Dorothy. A month later, I returned to my pre-surgery bench press max, lifting weight with my right elbow in proper alignment, scapulars fully retracted, and my right wrist firm and straight not possible before. I am now fully able to build both sides of my body up together. My full recovery was 9 months ahead of schedule. Dr. Hall was very pleased with my progression and transformation, as am I.”

Scott is writing an inspirational book about his experiences living with CP and his transformation with the encouragement of his personal trainer. He anticipates publication summer 2020. Tentatively, the title of this chapter will be One Step Back Three Steps Forward.

Scott McCreight (N5ZL) – Facebook

ScottyMacOne – Instagram

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