I don’t know about you, but I find that weeks 2-4 are the toughest part of rehab, recovery, or whatever you want to call it. Your body is still in full-heal mode and it wants to conserve as much energy as possible to accomplish that.
While I want to get going on getting back to whatever my new normal will be.
That push/pull of how quickly the body can heal and my desire to get back to running again has bitten me in the arse too often in the past.
I have and continue to learn that there is that fine line between keeping the healing that the body wants to continue as its priority and how much I can push the knee to keep doing more. Finding where that line is this time, continues to be a challenge.
Since the surgery, I have been (for me) quite conservative about not going over that line. Part of the strategy for keeping me in touch with where it is has been not using pain relievers once I could go without them. That way I know just how the knee is actually feeling versus the pain-reduced version that would let me do more.
Here is what my rehab exercise routine looks like, nothing overly technical or difficult as long as I don’t push too hard. I do the exercises until the knee lets me know that is enough.
The incisions for the portals are healing nicely, most of the bruising is going away and I can move around pretty well after having had knee surgery on November 28th.
Things have been going pretty well.
Well, at least until yesterday, when I attempted to do all three of Bennie’s (our dog) walks, along with several other things that I generally do. Walking a half-mile is about as far as I want to go and that usually is about what he does at this point, so I figured that it would be fine. However, doing that distance three times was probably one time too many and when you add in the rehab exercises and just normal moving around I ended up with over 7,000 steps for the day.
It was too much time on the leg and it complained enough that I paid attention to it.
As the day went on my knee swelled up pretty good. By the time evening came around, it was grumpy as hell about how I treated it during the day. Yeah, I had crossed the line and done too much.
This is something that I will do more than once (I know myself too well), but really am attempting to minimize how often I do it during this rehab sequence.
I have a feeling that if I keep my daily steps closer to 5,000 for a while, which seems to be a good amount of movement for the knee at this stage of recovery.
This morning the swelling had gone back down, so I did the first Bennie walk in 14*F with close to zero with the windchill (that wind out of the north was brutal) and could tell that the knee was swelling a little as I finished the walk. Mary and I talked about this last night. So after breakfast, I iced the knee and Mary did his second walk.
Then I waited a half and did the rehab workout. I skipped a few exercises that were repetitive and added in a couple of others, so my rehab work is evolving – as it should. I iced the knee again and it isn’t nearly as grumpy as it was yesterday.
I just needed to cut back a little on what I was doing. Mary warned me I was probably doing too much and got in a couple of those told-you-so looks this morning. Oh well, I won’t say I don’t listen because I do, but at the same time, pushing a little too much is what I will do too often and then suffer the consequences. Hopefully, not quite as often as I have in the past. 🙃
The Reality is
While things aren’t going perfectly with the recovery from knee surgery they are still going much better than I thought they would for the amount of work that the doc did in there. I will continue to challenge myself to do as much as I can, but at the same time will back off when the knee gets too grumpy about what I am doing.
More than anything else, I know that I need to keep moving and that – yes, it does take time for the body to heal. As much as I would love for it to heal even quicker than it is, the knee will heal on its own timeline, not mine. I wonder if the plan that physical therapy puts together will slow me down a bit and be the plan that I need.
Patience is the word for the next month or two.
Yep, don’t push it.
There are times to push yourself and times to be a little easy on your self.
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I also have a very concerned wife who keeps reminding me to behave. It helps 🙂