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|Aaron Ross, pre-surgery truck to fakie in Austin, Texas.|
Last week, etnies/Sunday/Odyssey pro Aaron Ross underwent ankle surgery to clean up bone spurs, which over the past few years, had affected his recovery time to the point that he was sometimes sitting around and healing more than riding. According to Aaron, surgery went well, but he's not in the clear just yet. While his ankle is healing, Aaron is taking care of more bodily maintenance and getting a piece of floating bone removed from his knee. And when that heals, Aaron should be back at 100% just in time for the busy summer season. Earlier today, we caught up with Aaron to discuss his ailing leg injuries and more. This is Aaron Ross in between ankle and knee surgeries.
ESPN.com: What ankle did you have surgery on?
Ross: It was my left ankle.
And what happened that prompted the surgery?
Over my entire life riding bikes, I've rolled my ankle so many times, and I've never really done a good job of taking care of it. I'll roll it, wait a week or two and start riding again. Maybe I can't ride street but I'll ride trails cause it's easier on my ankle, and I'd do that as my physical therapy to get better. Over the years, the calcium build up in my leg got to the point where I had two bone spurs that stuck out. And they were working like a door stop, stopping my ankle from working correctly. And when I would hit it, and I could hit it doing anything, like putting pants on. You know when your foot gets stuck sometimes? I would hit it in the morning or doing a 180 off a curb, and then I've also hit it doing really big things. And when it got hit, it would take a day or two to get better. It was bone on bone pain, and it just hurts. It's been like that for two years noticeably, and I've been talking about getting it fixed. Finally, I just set a date, and decided to do it. I hurt my ankle and my knee on a trip, and that was why I set a date. I didn't ever want to go on another trip and feel like that. I wanted to come home from that trip and do surgery in a week. But it took longer to get it situated, which made it hard. Because by the time I was scheduled for surgery, I was riding fine. There was a three-week break between when I hurt it and when I scheduled surgery for. But I'll be able to ride on trips every day again, and I'll be happier. And I won't get hurt just randomly pedaling down the street anymore.
|Aaron Ross, post-surgery (left), at home (center) and back in the doctor's office (right).|
And what about your knee?
I'm having another knee surgery in a week and a half too. I have a bone chip the size of a penny that's been floating around and getting in the way for two years. The doctor told me that they could get it out and that it would take two more days to recover. I figured that I would do the ankle first, cause it's a four to five week healing period, and the knee is getting done in the middle of that. While I was on that last trip, when my ankle was hurting, my knee locked up for two days, because that big floating piece was jammed in my joint. I had to wait for the swelling to go away, and then I had to wait for it to move out of the way. And then I was fine, and I've been fine since. But it happens every few months, and it will be nice to get it taken out of there. It's on the same left leg, the doctors are just waiting for my left leg to get a little bit stronger so I don't have super gimp leg.
How has recovery been so far?
It's a good sign that I'm already walking and that I can handle the pain. There's definitely more of a confidence-type pain, like, can I do this yet? But my doctor is pretty surprised at how quick I'm healing. He's done surgeries like this for other people, and the recovery time can be up to three months. I had surgery last Friday, and I'm already walking pretty normal, and there's not a lot of pain. Obviously, bike riders have a higher pain tolerance than most people, but what my ankle feels like today is better than what it would feel like if I rolled it.
What have you been doing in your spare time off the bike?
Since the surgery, I have done nothing. The first few days, my parents came to town to help me because I was messed up on whatever they used to put me under. But I actually didn't end up taking a lot of pain killers after the surgery. I just watched tons of movies, played on the Internet, paid bills and played a lot of video games. I played a lot of MX Vs. ATV. I thought I would watch a lot more movies or get into a season of something on TV, but now I'm walking again. I spent some time at Odyssey in town, and going to the doctor. I thought it was going to be two weeks of me on the couch, and I didn't have to do that.
When can you ride again?
I think I could probably ride again in three weeks, but I'm going to wait the recommended five to six weeks just to be safe. I paid for it, I might as well sit it out and do it right so I don't have to do it all over again. June 1 is my date to officially do tricks again. I think that's a good period of rest for my whole body. I'll probably start pedaling in two or three weeks, let it rest and go from there. It all depends on the knee surgery. After that, I can think about riding bikes again.