Post Surgery: Ten Weeks

It has been just over 10 weeks since my reconstruction ACL and meniscus repair surgery. It’s been a while since I’ve done a status check of my knee….

Over the past several weeks I will have really good days. Some days I even feel like I’m >75% recovered. But then, I usually over-exert myself on those days and I pay for it the next (feeling < 50% recovered).

Skipping two one week of PT (so it was two weeks between visits), I felt like my progression slowed. I wasn’t good about doing my homework while in Denver and I walked a lot. At one point in Denver my knee was uber painful and a bruise started forming on the back of my knee. I got a little nervous that I’d done some damage.

Once I went back to PT and my therapist were talking about how I felt… she reminded me that at four months I’d feel good but I needed to be very careful. I reminded her that I was only at 10 weeks (several weeks shy of that mark). She said that I’m progressing much faster and she needed to remember I wasn’t at the 16-ish week mark. 

Screen Shot 2013 09 08 at 8 23 08 PM

 

At my 10week PT appointment I also achieved FULL range of motion (141*) while working on my heel slides down the wall.

IMG 4624

So, how does the knee feel?

  • The outside incision still has quite a bit of scar tissue underneath it. 
    • Pain is usually located around incision areas so I’m trying to bust up the scar tissue. The outside incision is most common achy spot. Under front of knee cap is second biggest offender.
  • The whole knee aches nearly all the time, sometimes it’s a “thickness” feeling others it’s a much sharper pain. I get tired of telling people I hurt, so I often don’t mention it or want to talk about it. I just tell them “I’m good”.
    • Sometimes I will get stabbing pains in the inside of the leg/knee. It feels a bit like I imagine electrocution would feel. Quick, intense, and then gone.
  • Going up stairs and hills is slightly more challenging than normal; but going down stairs and hills can be extremely difficult. If I don’t have a handrail, I will often take one step at a time just because I don’t feel stable.
  • Building up my quad muscle has helped reduced some of the “popping” I was feeling. 
  • Moving around (from push ups to sit ups, skin the cat upside down hangs, rolling over in bed) still feels odd. Not always painful, but just not normal. It reminds me of the “looseness” I felt when the ACL was torn. And of course that freaks me out.
  • Sometimes I feel wobbly on it. And I almost alway worry that I’ve re-injured myself. But I try to calm myself by realizing it’s likely the muscle strength and coordination that I still need to work on.
  • My PT graduated my homework to lunges and mini-squats. I do that in addition to quad sets and prone hangs.
  • There are times I wake up in the night, in pain, when I straighten/stretch my legs. 
  • Sitting/Standing too long I get stiff and tight.
  • Getting full extension when walking is tough. I really have to slow down to feel it and walk right. I hate walking so slowly… so I haven’t been doing it. But I worry that will harm me in the long run.

Most of these bullets sound like I’m not doing good. But I truly believe I am. I think this just goes to show how far I’ve come…but how much more work I will have to do! I think it also shows that when I visit the ortho surgeon in a week that I am not ready to be ‘on my own’. I want to continue some PT visits…even if it’s less frequent…but I feel I need (a) that reminder that I’m not healed and (b) someone to help keep me in check and a little less worried as I get back to it.

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