Do you always need to have surgery?

Jan 12, 2018 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

First and foremost, here is my disclaimer – I am not a Doctor and this is purely anecdotal.

I have had multiple surgeries for various sports/aggro life style issues over the years. Meniscus repairs on both of my knees and nerves removed from my both of my feet due to Morton’s neuromas. All of these surgeries have gone very well and were most certainly needed.

Here are the surgeries I have not had:

I have a 10mm tear in my supraspinatus in my right shoulder that my Doctor insisted I needed surgery on and told me after I mentioned a second opinion that all I would hear was I would need the surgery. I even went so far as to schedule a rotator cuff repair surgery and at the last second I cancelled.

I went on to rehab my shoulder on my own, I recommend if you are in this situation that you get the help of a good Physical Therapist (I can make recommendations). I won’t get into the particulars of my rehab but again get help from a PT, not everyone has twenty years in the health and fitness industry and I started my fitness career as a Physical Therapy aide and still to this day rely heavily upon my knowledge gained from that work experience.

That being said, I eventually went on to benching 255lb., I would also not recommend the bench press to anyone with shoulder issues, but thats just me being stubborn. Either way my point is that I didn’t get the surgery and I seem to be doing pretty well.

Another issue I am dealing with currently is another meniscus tear in my right knee. Often times a popliteal cyst develops with this condition. Extra synovial fluid in the knee generated due to the irritation in the knee becomes encapsulated by a coating that comes off the tendons and forms a cyst in the back of the knee. When that cyst gets big enough it starts to become uncomfortable. I went to see my Doctor about the issue and of course he recommended if it continued to have a meniscal repair.

I decided to hold off. I got a cortisone shot, I had the cyst drained by another Doctor, modified my workouts, rehabbed the knee on my own (again go to a Physical Therapist for your rehab), and the issue has calmed down. I will also be getting Synvisc One shots in both knees in the very near future as preemptive strike ( I am back to my martial arts training and hope to be squatting 315lb. by Spring.

Is my path the right way or the wrong way, it’s neither it’s just my path. All I am suggesting in this anecdote is that you seek second opinions when facing surgery, not just from an Othopedic Doctor but a good Physical Therapist as well.

When all you have is a hammer, everything look like a nail. In my experience I didn’t always go with the hammer.

I hope this helps and please feel free to ask me questions about my experience and also feel free to ignore everything I have said as well.

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

What are you up to?

May 18, 2017 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

It seems an age since I have written a blog post, so I thought I’d check in with the JETT Nation and see what you’re up to.

I personally have been trudging along with my recovery from multiple foot surgeries (two neuroma surgeries on each foot). My last surgery was January the 13th, 2017 and my current rehab routine consists of trying to walk barefoot when I can and slowly testing the waters with my martial arts training. I have been able to resume weight lifting an am making good progress, and the elliptical doesn’t seem to bother me as far as my cardio is concerned.

It’s nice to be back in the game even if not at 100%, I am trying to remain as active as I can while convalescing but I truly think it will take a full year to get back to where I was before all the issues with my feet started.

Enough about me…what is the JETT Nation up to these days? Are you running, lifting, riding, swimming, becoming a yogi etc., let me know I would be interested to hear as I am very much living vicariously through the physical experiences of my clients these days.

Even if your not following a fitness routine I’d love to hear from your and maybe I can help change that. Especially if you are dealing with injuries, not only because that is one of fortes but because I have lived through many injuries in my day an my own issues have led me to better help my clients over the years.

I hope your Spring is going well and that you are Happy and Healthy!!

The New Year

Jan 1, 2017 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

What will you be thinking about when Auld Lang Syne is playing? I should frame this a little more particularly, I am referring to your health and fitness in the past year…this is not me trying to be Tony Robbins.

I myself have had ups and downs in 2016. I was able to focus for better or worse on a lot of weight lifting à la bodybuilding. To the point that I was contemplating entering a contest/show. This style of lifting however does come with a cost. It is all consuming, very painstaking and the rewards comes slowly. You cardio suffers, your flexibility and speed as well. But boy do you love looking in the mirror, it becomes very narcissistic.

That being said my martial arts training very much fell by the wayside, but not only due to bodybuilding. I have been having foot issues, more specifically – Morton’s Neuromas. This led to surgeries in each of my feet. The second round of surgeries will be January the 13, 2017 (yes I need two surgeries in each foot). This for all intents and purposes has brought me to a complete halt. I have only recently gone from using the upper body cycle (UBC) to recumbent elliptical and I swim when I can.

The last time I lifted was Thursday November the 17, 2016. For those that bodybuild you know thats enough to put you into absolute freakout mode. Fortunately I have vacillated from aerobic to anaerobic training so many times over the years it doesn’t really bother me and it actually sets me up for the New Year.

My plan for the New Year, although due to my next surgery really won’t go fully into effect until Spring will be focused on cardio, flexibility, speed and martial arts. I will also try my hand at grappling as well to compliment my Kung Fu training. My strength training will be greatly reduced most likely two days a week.

I am looking forward to this change of pace and programming, and pushing the limit with my new focus for 2017.

Staying Focused On Your Physical Fitness While Injured

Dec 20, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

How do you keep your focus on physical fitness while you are injured? It is an issue I am wrestling with currently. I am preparing for my second round of surgeries on my feet (yes both feet) in January.

I have been literally trying to keep my steps to a minimum to heal as fast as possible and avoid possible scar tissue and nerve damage (a possibility if I don’t ease back into my everyday routine). I keep a fold up tripod stool with me that I sit on whenever possible while at work and recently got a temporary handicap placard for my car. The handicap placard is somewhat helpful; but his humbling experience has also led me to the sad conclusion that the Bethesda area is really not very accommodating for those with disabilities, especially for longterm parking.

Some much energy is spent trying to not move and taking extra time for every task because of my naturally slower approach to everything that it’s hard to get motivated to workout. I started with using an upper body cycle and in just the past ten days or so I have started using a recumbent elliptical. It feels pretty good but of course it is harder to burn calories in a recumbent position.

I have been trying to eat less to not gain weight, my muscle mass due to not lifting weights is being affected, which is a little bit of vanity hit but there is a upside. I will be going back into martial arts full force once this is all over (hopefully April, 2017) and being lighter is a good thing for speed and agility. I will also be focusing on a lot of stretching and I have promised my self to try my hand at some grappling training.

All that being said, as mention it is a struggle to stay motivated and it is a little depressing to be so immobilized. However I am enjoying reading more and catching up on some Netflix viewing. I am doing my best to stay upbeat and have also been doing research for how I want to structure my eventual return to the physical.

Keep me in your thoughts and if you can move do it…you may not alway be able to one day!!

Oh Those Feet!!

Nov 23, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Well I finally got two of the four neuromas removed (one in each foot)!! Next surgery will be January the 13th. I am recovering quickly with minimal swelling. The key apparently is to really not move at all for the first three days and to ice and elevate.

Once past the extremely crucial three day no movement period (can’t stress no movement enough), it’s just a matter of pain management and minimal movement. I got off pain killers after twenty four hours and am just taking Tylenol on a PRN basis.

I can get around OK but am still really staying pretty sedentary. I will have my stitches taken out on Monday the 28th and return to work Tuesday the 29th.

I will most likely where Crocs and keep a portable stool with me so I can sit down when needed. I will also make sure to elevate my feet a few times a day.

So was it a success you might ask…still don’t know have to wait for all the pain of the surgery to die down first.

I’ll keep you posted!!

More Surgery!!

Nov 8, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

The neuroma saga continues…

I am in the process of scheduling my second surgery to have the other two neuromas excised. I will have one removed from the left foot and one from right foot on November the 18th and am hoping to have the next surgery to remove the other two in each foot respectively on December the 21st.

I previously thought that I had to wait three months before my next surgery, but it turns out that I can move forward in as little as three weeks.

For folks like myself that literally need to get back on their feet as soon as possible (if I don’t work I don’t get paid) this is great news. My recovery time will be less in the long run and I have timed the surgeries to coincide with the holidays when I would be taking time off anyway.

I really hope some of these blog posts have helped anyone out there with neuroma issues, I have been dealing with these for about three years, I am at the breaking point and can’t wait it over and one with.

I’ll let you know how my recovery goes and would be happy to answer questions for anyone with similar issues.

Wish me luck!!

Oh That Trick Knee!!

Jul 5, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

So if any of you follow my ramblings you will know that I have had a meniscus repair on each of my knees. The left knee was insidious onset about 8 years ago and I still don’t know what caused the damage to the meniscus. My right knee I hurt while sparring about 5 years ago, and in both cases I had a popliteal cyst form. This is caused by extra synovial fluid that is produced in the knee due the “irritation” that the injury is causing and eventually a coating comes off of the tendons as the synovial fluid is being pushed to the back of knee and it is encapsulated and voila you have yourself a genuine popliteal cyst.

When my doctor operated on my left knee he removed the cyst, but chose not to with the right knee. The popliteal area of the knee is very vascular and full of nerves so if the cyst isn’t in a “safe” spot the Docs will leave it alone. That being said the cyst can fill again if there is more “irritation”. Again if you follow my blog, you know of my aggro lifestyle…I push the limit with my knees. For the past few weeks I have noticed that the cyst behind the right knee is nice and full along with some pain in the area of the medial meniscus (3-4 out 10). So I made an appointment with my pal Dr. David Johnson.

He gave me a cortisone shot and told me take it easy for five days. The cortisone is supposed to calm the irritation and allow for the production of synovial fluid to slow enough that the cyst will drain/shrink. We are at day five and the cyst is winning the battle, it doesn’t cause pain but can make my knee feel tight.

I have also been taking Aleve and just started experimenting with Blu Emu Cream ( The combination of the two has helped the pain greatly and I have been able to exercise regularly, while hitting some personal best with my back squat and front squat (315lb. and 255lb. respectively).

Tomorrow I will train legs and call back Dr. Johnson to get his thoughts and Wednesday I’ll be back at the Kung Fu school.

I’ll keep you posted…

How to Stay Functional and Fit!!

Oct 21, 2015 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

I have been personal training for nearly twenty years, and it has be a pleasure to watch the field evolve. The training methodologies that are currently available for trainers and exercise enthusiasts are amazing.

The way I trained “then” and “now” are radically different. I won’t bore you with all the comparisons, but will outline what I think currently is the best approach.

There are three levels that need to be addressed:

  1. Structure – You need to make sure that you actual structure is in good order. I currently like the Chiropractic Biophysics approach to address this issue. Check out
  1. Function – Once you get your structure where it should be, you need to make sure that you are functional and have no asymmetries. I recommend an FMS Screen ( – we provide that
  1. Training – Find a trainer that espouses the the first two “levels of need” and that focuses on training in a way that provides real strength gains that have real world applications. There should be a good blend of FMS corrective movements, functional movements, and work on flexibility and balance.

Now once you find all this, yes it’s a tall order but doable, it comes down to one thing – compliance. The ball is now in your court…

Be happy be healthy