Almost 6 weeks off crutches and if anybody has gone through this procedure or planning it, either Osteotemy or meniscus transplant I will continue to share my experience.
No PHYSIOTHERAPY yet..
I haven’t had any physiotherapy I visited the physio once and he looked at my knee and was not too sure how to proceed with my rehab until I had the all clear from my Surgeon Mr James Robinson who performed the surgery. Mr Robinson was interested in how I felt it was going, preferring not to offer any advice, other than he felt I had made a great recovery so far and would like to see me again in 12 weeks. We discussed the option of re-straightening my osteotemy with an opening wedge at a further stage so I that am biomechanicaly the same as before because I have been having back pains walking. However this early stages in the recovery and my back pains may settle. However we agreed this would be decided on the results of an arthroscopy possibly December 2012 to see how the graft has settled and healed.
I havent booked any physio appointments for these reasons so far.
I have had 7 previous knee surgeries before from an injury to each knee that needed fine tuning during recovery. My right knee meniscus was removed as I injured it aged 18 skateboarding. Left knee later ruptured 4 main ligaments and tore meniscus age 25 BMX riding. I have now had 4 surgeries each side, and have found what I am about to describe below has usually got me back to strength after each one.
CYCLE EVERYWHERE EVERYDAY
I do not drive anywhere, cycle everyday, always choose the routes with the steepest hills and put my bike in a hard gear and ride up as fast as possible standing out the saddle. Ignore the small lazy pains and go until my lungs feel like I am going to be sick. I have found my knees maybe swell a tiny bit in the evening but legs always feel stronger the next day as a result. My meniscus transplant has settled in well and I am cycling everywhere with a reduced amount of pain each day. However I am still very much in pain but nowhere near as much as post op. I do not think about the pain though but get the occasional reminder usually when sitting for long periods of time.
WALK UP STAIRS EVERY DAY,
multi story car parks and lift shafts, also fire exits provide lots in one go!
When waiting for anything, trains buses queues etc. Stand on tip toe on my weak leg and do calf raises up and down until a white hot pain begins to build in the belly of my calf muscle. This pain usually takes 4-5 days to leave but it seems to be the only way to get my calves to respond. Calf muscles do not return to size quickly. Any body builder will tell you how easy it is to end up barrel chested and chicken legged due to this. I do this about once every 10 days as it hurts for a while…maybe once every 5 days I will now aim for
Ok so that is working well on my thighs and calves…
For my balance and all my fast twitch reflex muscles I have been balancing on parking chains that span between concrete posts. Usually when I walk along the Harbourside in Bristol City centre as there are a few. Its is not an easy task with a good set of knees, However I did try last month and I was able to stand for about 30 seconds on my post op knee two weeks after I came of crutches. Continued for about another 30 seconds with both feet on the chain then a few more times swapping from leg to leg without stepping off. This is not easy it is similar to a slackline and can spit you on your face or back just as quick. This is the best reason to learn how to balance as it hurts when it goes wrong.
If you try this method for your balance recovery you have to be able to fall off and prevent any shock or trauma to you weak leg, so try on low chains first 6 inches to 12 inches off the ground. It is also great fun, takes a heap of concentration, doesnt cost anything and keeps the inner child in you well and truly alive.
So that is it so far, my quadriceps are filling up and beginning to split into 4, calf muscles are filling out, and balance is returning. I also had a quick roll around the skatepark on a skateboard this week just to see how it felt. Balance and ability still feels intact however I will wait at least 6-8 months and with the surgeons approval before I consider “properly going for a skate”
EXPECT PAIN MILD SWELLING AND ACHES
I am very pleased with the results 5 months post op, however I am still in pain each day and flexion is stopping at 130 degrees I do not do any flexion work at all. I am letting that return when it wants too I believe it will. I am happy with the pain and no longer take painkillers or anti inflamatories. I have been drinking glucosamine sulphate liquid every day 3000mg which is 3 times the normal dose and this seems to have a great effect. When I run out and do not take for 2 days I feel a noticeable difference.
DIET KEEP IT RAW AS POSSIBLE
Finally the biggest single factor that has the greatest effect on my recovery has been my diet. When I stopped making smoothies each morning and eating fresh fruit and veg all day for at least 5 days a week I noticed a big change in my energy levels. I slipped back into a habit of eating bread and cakes and coffee in coffee shops, and eating pizzas occasionally and standard restaurant meals. This has been smashing my energy levels, giving me bloating, gas, and putting fat around my mid rift. Going to turn this around again. In the UK it is difficult to get good organic fruit and veg raw foods when in the middle of the city when the cycling hunger pangs kick in!
Ok that is my recovery so far it ha s been a relatively uneventful,. I have been recently co authoring a book on Graffiti and Street Art Techniques with a friend, hence the time spent eating cakes in coffee shops. These prolonged laptop spells in soggy sofas have been giving me back ache so I have to remind myself to keep moving. The more I move the better me and my knees feel. I am sure you will find this too if you slouch for a long time. The recovery is not work but you have to work through the pain. However I know from many times before that it does go in the end, and that it is just my knees know have a lot more to talk to me about and this time they have demanded that I listen or they will stop working for good..
OH Just remembered…
Fell off my bike going down hill pretty fast last week 2am Fri night on the way home on a wet road when I turned and then hit an oil patch. I came off at full speed onto my surgery side, received a big graze and bruise on my thigh, cut my knuckles and hand. However knee is still absolutely fine. Hand is sore though. I am more aware of oil patches in the wet now…