I had the surgical staples removed from my knee and leg yesterday, which was nice. Although they did not hurt, something about having metal bits stuck in my skin is just a bit disconcerting. The immobilizer I had been wearing previously had scraped my knee a bit, so for the next week I have to change the dressing on that to make sure that my knee doesn”t get infected. That would be bad.
I did get 30 degrees of flexion (that is, I can bend my knee 30 degrees now) on my adjustable brace. Since my leg had been locked in place for three weeks, when I tried to get off the table, I learned the hard way how much strength I had lost-I tried to lift my leg straight up and off the table and found that did not work very well. It also hurt a bit. So, I switched to lifting my leg up sidewise (so that the side of my knee is pointing up, like in doing a leg lift). I’m trying to avoid my usual way of dealing with pain and injury (just toughing it out and trying to get back to running as soon as possbible) so I have been cautious and gradually working on getting the knee to bend the full 30 degrees.
The doctor said that I could take the brace off to shower; but he also warned me that I could slip and bend the knee too far, thus tearing the tendon again. I think I’ll just stick with bathing with a wash cloth for now. While a shower would be great, I’d rather not go through surgery again.
I can sort of walk a bit now-that is, my knee bends rather than just swinging like a log. I’ll get more allowed range of motion as time goes by-something I am really looking forward to. Trying to cope with the world on crutches is annoying and being slow really wastes my time. For example, it used to take me 5 minutes to get from class to class and now it takes me 20 minutes. I also cannot drive-I cannot bend my knee enough to fit into the front seat of any normal sized car or truck.
Fortunately, I can ride my exercise bike with one leg and do most of the workouts on my Bowflex. That is really helping keep me sane. It isn’t the same as running, but at least it burns calories.