It has been a hectic week, but luckily my knee has been able to keep up! Between relatives being in town, spending time with family, doctor appointments, physical therapy, working late, and starting my spanish classes this week – I haven’t been able to get to bed before midnight this entire week. But I have loved every minute of it! My knee is feeling GREAT – I have almost full ROM, can walk completely without a limp, am working out on the elliptical now and have no issues riding the bike (before my knee cap would pop out). Below is a recap… and a comparison of my legs 3 weeks post op vs 7 weeks post op… my muscles are coming back!!!
Recap Post-Op week 7:
- Almost full ROM
- IT Band pain is going away, thanks to the ART therapy I have been going to. My PT also gives me an IT Band massage when I go in once a week
- Continuing strength training on my leg – one-legged squats, leg press, lunges, etc. I have no problems going up and down the stairs, my quad is considerably stronger, and I actually feel like I am getting a workout at the gym now!
- Added my first lateral movement at PT!!! Side-stepping onto a bosu ball, ball side up, then stepping down on the other side.
- Locking out knee – this is still a little bit of an issue. I can lock out my knee, but doing balancing exercises on it really puts a lot of strain on my knee… Like it feels a little unstable/not strong enough. I have hyper-extension in both knees from years of gymnastics, so I feel like being 100% straight isn’t really 100% – my knee needs to go past 0 degrees. That’s ok – I’ve been doing balancing exercises to help stretch out my knee, which is also helping strengthen those ligaments/muscles around it + the ART therapy is helping a lot.
- Started taking calcium vitamins – I am working hard to get my bone health back. This surgery was a blessing, as I found out that my tibia bone was soft.
- Taking Solomon’s Seal – I feel like I have lot more energy now. I haven’t noticed much other benefits, but it could take up to a month. I was taking 5-10 drops 2-3 times a day, but it made my heart race and I had trouble falling asleep. So now I am only taking 1-3 drops 1-2 times a day, which seems to be a good start. I will build up to more drops later down the road.
My physical therapist told me weeks 6-10 is when most people start to feel “normal” or really great… and its the time where you are at the biggest risk of doing something stupid and wrecking your knee, because your new ACL hasn’t completely stabilized to its full strength. Apparently when the ACL is put in, the muscle fibers are all tangled up and a mess. The more you move your knee and do PT, the fibers begin to straighten out in the direction of the movement of your knee. Pretty cool!
I am getting antsy to start moving more, but at the same time, loving every minute of my healing process. Our bodies are so resilient, and it amazes me every day how fast it can heal itself. Regardless of the pain, this surgery has been such a positive experience (what?!). It has taught me so much about my body, slowing down, being more in the present moment, and to appreciate everything that happens in life, good or bad. I know I am helping others going through similar situations, and I love that. The past month and a half has been such a whirlwind, but I would never change one thing about it.