Day 7: Celebrating 1 Week

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February 11, 2005 at 3:49 pm

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Milestones this Week:

It’s a little hard to believe that , at 6:20 AM, I was being wheeled into surgery to reconstruct my completely torn ACL and repair my torn medial meniscus. (During surgery, my OS discovered and repaired a tear to my lateral meniscus, as well.) Time flies when your rehabbing!

6:30 AM: I slept in a bit this morning, then got ready for PT at 11:30 AM.

While I enjoy PT, I am also looking forward to a two day break, particularly since we all feel like we’re twiddling our thumbs until my OS signs me off for weight-bearing on Monday afternoon.

Monday is a big day for me: it’s the start of my second week post-op, my 4th PT appointment, and my first checkup with the OS.

I’m looking forward to being allowed to bear weight on the left leg again, and get rid of these pressure stockings. The stockings aren’t uncomfortable, they’re just a reminder of how recently I had my surgery — no one else in PT is still wearing theirs.

The stockings would actually be terrific for winter

— they keep my legs relatively warm and they can be removed without having to climb out of one’s pants/shorts.

11:30 AM: I worked with Kara today for my PT session. I joked with Reneé as she headed out the door for lunch and errands: “They actually let you leave this place?!”

Reneé is the Director of Physical Therapy (PhD, PT) where I’m receiving my therapy, and between her and the two other full-time therapists, they work extremely hard!

Today was a quiet day — just me and a collegiate Varsity soccer player (goalie) who’s at least 8 weeks post-op… maybe more.

As a competitive athlete, he has huge, developed ,

and calf muscles. With so much focus on muscle strengthening in knee rehabilitation, I had to chuckle to myself: rather than surreptitiously ogling his physique because he’s attractive and physically fit, I was overtly ogling him because his well-defined muscles provided a real-time display of how each muscle group flexes and extends to support the knee in various activities.

To give you an idea of his strength, the stool he was on was lashed to a chair one of the physical therapists was seated in, and he was towing her around the room by pulling himself forward with just his post-op leg. It hurt to watch, but that was just one of his “warm up” exercises. He did some advanced strength-training that I don’t want to even think about doing for a couple months, if ever!

Anyway, enough about the soccer player (did I mention he was attractive and physically fit?! ;))

My PT went excellent today, as usual. My very first exercise was 10 minutes on the stationary bike.

The first 5 revolutions of the pedals were stiff and a little painful since I hadn’t done any exercises to warm the knee up yet. After that, it was incredibly smooth sailing. In fact, I caught myself a couple times applying light pressure to the pedals with my left foot — no pain, but I eased off it; there will be plenty of time for that in the days and weeks to come!

We didn’t measure my flexion today, but I’ve graduated to a 1lb. weight for all my leg raises now.

I also got to do two new exercises (which I think the therapist referred to as “TKE” — Total Knee Extension? Dunno…)

The first was with me seated on the table, legs dangling, then lifting my bent knee up as far as I can and holding it for a 5 count.

It hurt a bit, but I got through my set of 30 easily.

Then it was back on the crutches to do some resistence exercises with a Theraband on the top and, later, underside of my knee.

I’ll be doing this one a lot next week when I’m finally weight-bearing. It felt good, actually… my only complaint was that since I’m non-weight-bearing right now, it was a pain being on the crutches for the duration of 60 repetitions (30 for front of knee, 30 for back of knee).

At home, I got back on the CPM machine and cryo cuff and that’s where I am now; I’m probably about 2 hours into a 3 hour session on it.

The knee feels great. It’s sore, but in mostly just an achy sense. I have minimal, infrequent stabbing pain that lasts ever-so-briefly and is usually caused by me forgetting myself and flexing the knee too quickly.

I can actually sit comfortably now with the knee at a pretty good angle, and my extension remains terrific.

I think I actually have some hyperextension back, though I’ll know that better when I’m standing on the leg again.

All in all, I am amazed how smoothly this first week has gone. The first couple days had their harrowing moments — like anytime I needed to get up to use the restroom! In addition to feeling awkward, the knee hated being moved or placed vertically with all the blood running to it as I stood up. Now, I just have occasional reminders that, yep, I’m only 1 week post-op and need to take it easy. Otherwise, the knee seems ready for everything the PT and I will be dishing at it soon. The CPM and cryo cuff still feel good. I asked about when I should stop using them, and they said at least until I’m up and walking again. Makes sense.

I’m eager to return them, but I won’t jump the gun.

They’re bulky and take up half the bed, so I’ll be kind of glad when they’re gone.

That, and the rental fees will add up so if I’m mobile again I won’t need to keep them around. It’ll be time for some other ACL-reconstruction-with-meniscus-tears patient to benefit from their therapeutic powers!

Still looking into a photo blog plugin I’m happy with for WordPress. Once that’s in, I’ll post more photos. Oh, by the way, I’ve added several more paragraphs of details to the

entry.

Just had to share…

General time frame goals for achieving full range of motion (approximately 135 to 140 degrees) were as follows: (1) 90 degrees in two weeks, (2) 120 degrees in four weeks, and (3) 135 degrees by six weeks.

So, I effectively met my 4 week target at 5 days post-op.

The challenge, now, becomes maintaining that degree of flexion between now and 4 weeks out, though!

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1 Comment

April 30, 2005

@

Hi!

I wrote you before I had my recon (hamstring) and finally got it done on the 20th.

Doc said no meniscus issues.

I was able to put my road bike on a stationary trainer and turn the pedals today.

Tough, but felt good!

I was wondering, did you notice any wierd feelings inside the knee, like things rubbing or clicking, or was it just tight?

Just wanting to compare experiences.

Thanks!

Geoff

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