Monday, February 04, 2008

Knee Update

Greetings from week 11.

Turns out I did get to walk at my four-week appointment, but it was seven days before Christmas when that happened and I was just too busy to blog about it.

Or take pictures. These are from week 9, and it's been looking pretty normal as far as musculature goes. I should have got some pictures at four or five weeks when the thigh was all skinny and caved in on the sides. I stepped on the scale at some point and I had lost about six pounds. I am pretty sure I didn't have a huge fat loss by lying on my couch for five weeks eating peanut butter sandwiches and Chef Boyardee ravioli for five weeks!

So, back on December 18 I went to see my doctor. My surgeon, who is known even among surgeons for being brusque, breezed into the room with his fellows and put me through the paces: Show me your quad set, show me your heel slide, show me a straight leg raise. I guess I did everything right, because he basically pronounced me healed. He said to stop using the brace completely, go to 100% weight bearing, and use the crutches for another week or so. And I could bend my knee as far as I wanted.

It was actually pretty weird, because I walked in to the doctor visit feeling all disabled, trying not to put any significant weight on my leg and worrying about overflexing my knee and busting out the stitches - and then an hour later I was supposed to walk out not worrying about that stuff? I sat in the room for a little while thinking about that and then decided to put the brace back on to walk out. After all, it would be troublesome to carry it. And I ended up wearing it for a few more hours, because I wanted to go out to Ikea and I only had one stocking on, and that would just have been weird without the brace for context.

The MD also said the next two months would be when I did my most intense physical therapy. Too bad my insurance only covers 15 visits per calendar year! On the bright side, I got to go two or three times a week in December. But I've been doing pretty well with once a week in the PT gym and lots of homework. It takes about an hour to get through all my home exercises, and I do that twice a day (occasionally feeling guilty because I'm not doing three sets a day). It's pretty annoying that it takes me an extra hour now to get out of the house after I get up.

So, a lot of things work now. Going up stairs is okay; going down stairs is a little harder but not too bad. I can walk almost as much as I want - a few weeks ago my knee started aching after walking in the park for 45 minutes, but I haven't tried anything like that since.

Still forbidden: running, jumping, mountain biking, falling, and any activity that could result in an unplanned descent. Road biking in a controlled environment I could probably do, but I haven't tried it yet. I might try climbing on a top-rope too, if I get a sports jones before the weather gets nice.

Oh, and limping, limping has always been forbidden. Apparently it's hard to retrain a limp, so they really want you to walk normally. Which I still don't do 100%, but I try hard!

So now I'm just impatient. I feel okay, but I have to keep doing PT. I have to do all these boring exercise but I'm not allowed to do fun sports. Sucks. But I have to be good if I want to play outside this summer....

No comments: