Post-Surgery: Three Months

Editors Note: I typed this blog post on Sunday, Aug 22. Evidently I forgot to publish.

 

I am half-way there!!

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I feel like I am about 70% recovered (physically) but only 50% of the way through the recovery period. I’m entering dangerous territory. Most ACL re-injuries occur during the fourth month (or so) when the patient feels 100% but the graft has not fully fused.

The appointment with Dr. Wright, orthopedic surgeon, on Tuesday went very well. He congratulated me on my progress. He admitted that he was a little worried during my last check up but I’ve come a long way. Virtually no swelling and full Rang of Motion has been recovered.

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Knee rehab is a lot like riding a roller coaster. There are some pretty big ups and some scary downs. You can’t let the ‘downs’ get into your head.

 

So, what does 70% look and feel like?

  • Well, I’m able to row at CrossFit with both feet. No more skate board! I don’t have the explosive power that I need, but that will come. I’ve also made it to the box four times this week!
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  • Full straightening (weight bearing or not) is still a struggle and at times pretty painful. If I ease my way into it, it’s alright. But if I just go to lock it out… no bueno.
  • I’ve worn wedges (shoes) once. It left me rather sore the next day.
  • I still hold on to the railing on the stairs, but sometimes I think that’s more out of habit at this point.
  • I’m no longer going to physical therapy… and I don’t go see the doc until mid-December. Between now and then, I’m supposed to start jogging and doing other cardiovascular activities. (This instills quite a bit of fear in me. It is time I start to trust my knee, and that is much easier said than done.)
  • Working on the scar tissue… scar massage as well. Trying to bust up the build up on the side. Due to some oddities in the nerve regeneration, I can touch in one spot and feel it halfway down my leg on the other side. I hear from others this is sorta normal.
  • Quad strength is slowly coming back. Seeing some slight definition in my left thigh… but it is still much smaller than my right.
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Following the M.O.O.N. ACL Rehab Guidelines, I am in Phase 3. I am a little behind the curve on the timing, but considering I had the meniscus repair in addition to the ACL reconstruction, I am not concerned. 
 
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Today, I went for my first long walk. I covered 1.5miles in 36 minutes. That is not very quick at all. But I kept a nice steady pace… paying special attention to my form. Make sure my heel strikes first, straighten all the way, and push off the toes. Steady gait, no limping or favoring.

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It was a beautiful day in the park, and the rest of my body wanted to stay out longer. I listened to my knee and decided not to push it. I still had to go to Target and do housework. No need setting myself back.

I’m going to set a goal to try to get 5,000 steps every day this week. My FitBit will help me keep track! Once I can cover those steps without pain I will start to introduce jogging. I’m so scared to start jogging…but I must fight through it.

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