Updated: Nov 21, 2020
After my first ACL and meniscus surgery, I was on crutches for 6 weeks, non-weight bearing. That's a long time to be bearing all of my weight with my arms (and of course, I overdid it in the beginning), and by weeks 5-6, my arms, shoulders, wrists, and elbows were in total agony. But the problem, as anyone who's been on crutches knows, is that you have to keep crutching! You don't have a choice -- if you have to go to the bathroom, you gotta crutch to get there! If you're hungry, you gotta crutch to the kitchen! If you have an appointment, you gotta crutch to the car! Point being, I overextended every muscle, joint, tendon, and ligament in my poor arms during those agonizing 6 weeks of non-weight-bearing crutching.
It took about 2 weeks for my arms to recover. My muscles, shoulders, wrists, and left elbow all made a full and fairly speedy recover. My right elbow continued to sear with pain. I couldn't lift the milk carton out of the refrigerator. I couldn't put the dishes away. I couldn't lift anything heavy off the ground, and I could barely raise my 2-lb computer off the table to put into my bag. Something was not right with my elbow.
The doctor diagnosed the ailment as tennis and golf elbow. My PT got to work right away. Between my knee and elbow recoveries, I found myself at PT for nearly 3 hours. I did everything I was supposed to do for my elbow: all of my exercises, massaging, hot and cold packets. This lasted 3 months. Nothing was working.
When I realized I would be having ACL surgery again, this time a revision, I put my elbow on the back burner. "I'll get to it later," I thought. So I continued to ignore and tolerate my painful elbow. At the time of my second ACL surgery, a year had passed since my tennis and golf elbow diagnosis.
When I started drinking my bone broth concoction after the ACL revision, within about 2 weeks, I noticed a significant difference in my elbow. Before, there had been pain whenever I tried to straighten my arm. Now, suddenly, as I sat in my bed with my recovering knee, I could straighten my arm...there was no pain! I straightened it again...again, no pain! I straightened it a third, fourth, and fifth time....again, completely pain-free!
I got out of bed and went straight to the refrigerator. I opened the door...there was the milk carton. I took a deep breath. I slowly reached for the carton and gingerly picked it up. There was still a little bit of pain, but overall, it was significantly less than it had been.
I continued to drink my bone broth every morning. 6 weeks later, my elbow was completely pain-free. I couldn't believe it. I had done nothing -- no PT exercises, no massages -- except drink bone broth.
I couldn't wait to tell my PT. I told her the whole story, beginning to end. "I swear it was the chicken feet!" I exclaimed.
She replied, "You know, as crazy as this sounds, I had a client a few months ago who had the exact same experience." "Chicken feet bone broth cured her tennis elbow?" I asked. "Yep," my PT replied and continued with quite an amazing story. She had been a pianist her entire life and developed tennis and golf elbow about 2 years ago. She was 65 at the time and went to physical therapy for 2 years for her elbow. She finally gave up on PT, went back to her surgeon, and asked if she could have surgery to relieve the pain. He said it wouldn't help; she would have to learn to tolerate it. She started doing research and discovered the benefits of collagen in chicken feet. She made bone broth, just as I had done -- simmering the feet for hours and hours -- drank it every morning, and in about 6 weeks, her elbow was completely pain-free. "She has started playing piano again," my physical therapist explained, "when before, she couldn't tolerate it. She, too, swears it's the chicken feet bone broth."
That sealed the deal for me. If there was any skepticism still lingering in my soul, that story squashed it. I was now a believer in the miracle of chicken feet and collagen.
What do you think? Is collagen the answer to joint and connective tissue health? Do you have any collagen stories? I'd love to hear your thoughts!