I don’t often wear shorts in public, but when I do, random people like to ask about or comment on my knee. The latest one was just a simple statement, “So you’ve had a knee replacement.”
Actually, no. I’ve not had my knee replaced. I’m way cooler than that. I had cadaver cartilage stuffed in behind my patella. My traumatized, ruined cartilage replaced by the biological parts of another human. It still amazes me to this day how the DeNovo NT transplant works. As if that wasn’t enough, I then had a tibial tubercle transfer; this is where the surgeon cuts through the tibial tubercle (where the patellar tendon attaches to the tibia), moves it over a bit and screws it back in place. Again, way cooler than a “simple” replacement.
Once before I told someone that I’d had an adamantium knee put in. But only awesome people would get that reference, and this person wasn’t awesome enough to know that’s what Wolverine’s skeleton is made of.
DeNovo NT Update
Now that I have my head back in the game and my knee behaving once again, I’ve made some strides in PT. Last Thursday, for the first time ever, my patella tracked straight when I engaged my quads while sitting on the table with a straight leg. Not really a huge deal, but kind of a huge deal. It’s a start.
After taking three weeks to control pain, swelling and heat in the knee with every tool and technique imaginable, I’ve been able to slowly start adding some exercises back in to my routine that actually make me sweat. And it feels so good.
I’ve started swimming 5 days/week for 30-60 minutes. I do this in the morning and the PT exercises in the evening. The basic PT routine is below.
Bike 5-10 mins at moderate resistance OR elliptical for 5-10 mins at low resistance for warm up.
Bosu ball exercises include:
- Single-leg balance
- Forward/backward tilt
- Side-to-side tilt
- Hip abduction
- Single-leg hip hinge
Y slides holding a 90° bend (I wish I could find a video of these because they’re pretty tough to do. PT commented before that not too many of her clients could pull these off.)
Y slides with small ROM (To protect myself from pain, I keep this movement to no more than 30° of bend.)
Single-leg deadlifts with 25 lb kettlebell
Cable column, 4 ways (Here’s a video of the hip abduction, so you’ll have to imagine it in the other three directions.)
Mountain climbers (This is a new one this week. Here’s a video. I look dead sexy doing these in the gym–more dead than sexy.)
Reverse plank on bench with leg lifts (Another new one.)
Walk out to plank with leg lifts (One more new one.)
Seated march on stability ball with 6-second hold with each raise (Here’s a video that’s close to what I do. I don’t do the hand part, and I get yelled at if someone catches me touching the ball for balance.)
Bridges on stability ball (Here’s a video wherein the trainer says “booty” several times. Now imagine me doing this on one of the tables in the therapy room with, like, 23 other people in there. I feel like I’m on display, and I really hate it. PT says they’re just impressed with my mad skills, but I don’t believe her.)
Hamstring curls on stability ball (Here’s a short video. Sorry for the loud, annoying music.)
After I’m done with each session, I ice and then ice some more. Sometimes, I use my shock box on a TENS setting. I also massage my knee in several different ways to both help with the swelling and desensitization. Once about every other day, I still prop my leg on the wall, at almost 90°, for 30 minutes to help with the swelling as well.
So far, so good. Last week was a good week, and it’s been at least two weeks since I had the bad swelling. Nor has the knee gotten hot in the last two weeks. All good progress.