Time for a catch up!! Felt that there have been more pressing matters in the world other than my knee recovery journey! However, I know a few people have been following their own surgery. If this helps you great! Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to chat anything through or for a video consult.
3 weeks post surgery today on 9th March. In need of reminding myself progress is being made!
Since Thursday I’ve got rid of the crutches, having been down to 1 for a few days. Usually I would advise not doing this until gait is symmetrical & looking good. However, mine is no better with a crutch than without. No crutches has also meant I am beginning to weight-bear more evenly.
I’m working hard on gait re-education. Despite having over 90 degrees of knee flexion I’m still walking with what looks like a particularly stiff leg. Which is frustrating. Walking backwards up & down the hall has progressed to short spells of 5mins walking backwards on the treadmill. The other gym members at David Lloyd may well think I’m odd but it’s definitely a useful technique to break down the walking pattern & puts less load on the patello- femoral joint (knee cap).
The kids are helpfully involved in rehab. They kindly scatter 3 weeks worth of stuff/clothes/toys all over the house that need picking up. Nerf wars seem particularly helpful for a round of mini squats!
I had a hydro session this week but had been restricted for a few days with what I’d describe as anterior knee pressure which somewhat limited my session. A feeling that something was pushing out on my patella tendon as I squatted and extended or walked which was particularly uncomfortable. It’s likely this is the result of effusion or joint swelling being compressed as I bend & straighten, so I tried to take it easy & get the leg back elevated.
The benefits of hydrotherapy which takes place in a warm pool include pain relief, reduction in swelling due to increased hydrostatic pressure and increased circulation. The buoyancy of the water provides a great environment for gait re-education as well as work on joint range of movement and can progress to work on strengthening by using the resistance of the water. This local pool is at Broadstone Physiotherapy practice where I used to work.
I also had a soft tissue massage this week with the renowned Mrs Sarah Tidey with the aim of working into my hamstring, quadriceps and hip flexors as well as working around the patella (knee cap) to ensure it is still able to glide.
I admit I have been coming a bit despondent with the lack of increase in range of movement into flexion. Whilst this is usually slow with a patella tendon graft, I had a hamstring graft & the expectation would be to be at least 100 degrees by now. Also from a biomechanics point of view and quads activation with appropriate patella (knee cap) gliding getting full extension is more important right now, plus i didn’t have full range of movement going into the op so I need to adjust expectations. The most exciting breakthrough this week was getting a full rotation in on the static bike. Whilst a lot of hip hitching went on to create it & the seat was super high to accommodate reduced knee range- I got round! The little video of it truly doesn’t convey the effort that went into it & continues to do so….
I’ve been back in the pool swimming with a pool buoy since Thursday which is liberating & a chance for pain-free movement & some minor cv work- hooray! Chris is off to Miami to do some sailing so no wheels again but all things going well I should be able to start driving on 16th March on consultant advice. Remember to check these timings with your consultant, check you are happy performing an emergency stop & speak to your insurance company.
Then some independence awaits!