Just What I Kneeded

What happens after a life-altering knee injury?

Rainy days and Mondays

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Another Friday, another session with my physical therapist. Another day of doing extremely familiar exercises for my post DeNovo NT and tibial tubercle osteotomy rehab. Throw in the fact that it is dreary and rainy here, and it wasn’t an exciting trip out of the house.

I’ll get the bad part out of the way first. I was totally unable to pop my heel off the ground. This was my tiny huge victory last week, and it turned into a fail this week. But we worked on it a little bit, pushing down on a towel behind my knee, and it seemed to behave a little better. Not great, but better. I’m really going to work on that this week. I mentioned, too, that active extension still hurt way too much to try. I don’t try every single day, but once in a while when I’m sitting at the edge of my bed, I’ll try to extend the leg. And I just can’t do it. Too much pain. PT doesn’t seem too worried, so I’ll discuss with the surgeon next time.

My flexion, though… My flexion is full on amazing. My word, not PT’s. I’ve been stuck at almost full flexion for about 2 weeks. But yesterday, when I was doing my heel slides, I heard (more than felt) a “pop” on the medial side of my knee. Hurt like a… something. I don’t know what, but it HURT. I sat and massaged it for a minute or two and then tried my heel slides again. I must have broken up some scar tissue because suddenly I could get that last little bit of bend I’ve been working on. Score! Since then, I’ve been able to get more flexion when starting the heel slides, and I don’t need to warm the knee up as much as I have been. So that’s something. I hope I can maintain that now that I have it.

I asked PT about rock climbing, told him about the class I found on November 7, but there was a firm, flat “no” and a lot of laughing at me. Whatevs. I’ll ask again next week. Oh, and apparently I shouldn’t be driving (which I’m NOT). PT said that I would probably be able to drive once I can lose the brace and do stairs while maintaining control of my leg. So, I’m not sure that driving is in my near future. Not cool.

I asked about biking, and PT said that we might start on a bike as early as next week. But that depends on what the surgeon says when I see him next week. I asked about timeline for riding outside, but I’m going to be stuck on an exercise bike for a while so we can have complete control over it. That’s ok, but I’m sad that I won’t be out on the bike at all this fall. I knew there was really no chance, but Mother Nature keeps taunting me with gorgeous weather.

My OS randomly stopped in the therapy room today and came over to say hi as he was leaving. He asked if I’ve had any of the pain that I’d been having before surgery. I had to think a minute before saying “No.” I haven’t had any of that particular pain. The shooting pain that nearly brought me to my knees when I made one misstep, that kept me from enjoying a lot of things I like to do. Before I celebrated too much, I reminded myself that the pre-surgery pain was all while bearing weight on a bent knee. I have not done that at all since I’ve been locked in extension while up and about. Nevertheless, this realization gave me a profound sense of hope.

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Author: Laura

I have a fern I named Frankenstein. I like leprechauns, practicing kung fu moves on my dining room furniture, and pretending that one day I will move to Fiji. I dislike my neighbors' kids, anything that is chartreuse, and Ben Roethlisberger.

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