Feb 13, 2017

A Pain in the Knee: Part VIII (aka Walk Faster!)

Well I made it through nine weeks of PT twice a week, a total of 15 sessions. My first session was the initial evaluation so they could determine how much I needed and what the PT plan was. My last session was my re-evaluation so they could determine what the next plan of action was.

I pretty much knew that I would be continuing with PT going into my re-evaluation. That's often how it works post surgery. But the hope would be that we would be able to drop the number of workouts and the number of weeks.

So I headed to PT for my big test day. I was given a bunch of new exercises that I had never done to see what I was able to do. Which I found somewhat frustrating because the first time I do exercises I often struggle as I try to figure out it, so it didn't go completely smoothly. I was also told to do deeper squats than what I could do before the surgery, so naturally I was leaning more heavily on my right leg to help me as I tried to get through the move.

I am able to get to 145 degree bend - the average is 135 degrees. So apparently my flexibility is back. I'm also able to get to 0 degrees when at a relaxed position when my leg is straight. When I am working my quad muscle, I can't quite get my leg straight because that is a harder work on the muscle. And apparently I could be a Rockette with the flexibility I have in my hamstring.

Then we went walking. Here's another source of frustration for me - apparently I'm all around frustrated with PT right now. We walked down a long hallway and I was supposed to do it 50 seconds. Most of my times were 56 seconds. My shortest time was 53 seconds. So I was told to walk faster and work on walking faster. But if I walk faster then I have more of a limp. If I walk slower then I don't have - or much of - a limp. Which they don't want me to have a limp either so I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place there.

Anyway, by the end I was told that I'm about 2/3 of the way there. He told me that he might have said I was farther along if I wasn't so young and didn't have two young kids. But I'm where he expected me to be considering I had such a slow start getting my strength back. They are pretty pleased with where I am all things considered.

But I still have six more weeks going once a week. Of course I continue to push at home every day, twice a day. But now I have A days and B days, where A days are easier days and B days are the ones that really work my leg.


So that's where I am now. At my last knee check up, I was told that when you see the atrophy that you can see in my leg that just means it's going to take awhile to get it back. So I still have a long way before it's as strong as it was - or actually stronger because it's holding my knee cap in place now. But hopefully six more weeks of PT as it is then they will release me and give me a maintenance program (although in truth I have no idea how it goes from here so I'm just winging it).

I'm definitely feeling stronger and doing better. I'm able to move around pretty good. I can get up and down off the floor. I can almost get into a crouch position - although no crawling or kneeling for me (that would be all kinds of ouch anyway). Stairs are a source of pain (not always literally) for me and one I don't want to go into now. Generally I'm not in pain. It gets stiff during the night and in the morning. I feel when the weather changes. But 95% of the time my knee feels normal. I wear a compression sleeve and it's still a bit swollen and I have fluid build up still. But I'm much better. Being out the brace has been amazing. So now I'm just pushing through PT - I can't even begin to tell you how ready to be done I am.

And I'm trying to walk faster...

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