When it won’t bend, force it!

It has been 3 months since my incident at Black River Stages, 2 /12 months since the surgery, and 2 months since I started PT.  The doctor is very happy with the repairs to the ligaments themselves but the biggest concern has been getting the flexibility back.  By the time I started PT my knee had not moved in about a month so getting this back was a difficult task.  I had been doing therapy 3 days a week and much of the sessions was spent with the therapists pushing on the knee to stretch it out.  It was painful but each day we managed to get a little more out of it.  As long as I see progress I can stay motivated and deal with the pain.

That was up until about 2 weeks ago.  We hit a limit to my flexibility.  They kept pushing but we could not get it to bend beyond 112 degrees and that was with great pain.  They would push harder and it would just hurt more… no more progress.

The doctor had considered performing an operation on my knee to clean out internal scar tissue a couple weeks before but decided since we were still making progress he would give the therapists some more time.  Now that we were no longer making progress the decision was made (which I agreed with at this point) that it was time for the operation.

So, last Thursday I went in for the operation.  This isn’t nearly as invasive as the original one to repair the ligaments so it was to be done as day surgery where I would be back home a few hours later.  But, it was still going to be under general anesthesia.

When they woke me up from the anesthesia I was given some very good news.  The doctor decided not to operate.  He was able to forcibly manipulate my knee while I was under and break up the scar tissue.  Considering how the pain from PT was unbearable I am very glad I was out for this, I imagine it took a lot of force and probably would have felt like he snapped my knee in half.

bent_knee

While I was knocked out the doctor was able to force the knee to bend.

 

bent_knee_gravity

Flexion of the knee just from gravity after the doctor loosened it up.

They had done a “nerve block” on the leg so it would be completely numb for 24 hours or so and also sent me home with some serious pain meds.  They knew it was likely to be seriously aggravated after that.

Now that it was loosened up the concern was to make sure we didn’t loose it so I need to do PT every single day (including Saturday and Sunday) to keep it loose.  The first session actually went very well because the nerve block still made the let numb.  The therapist was able to get it to 135 degrees.  Still was not at all pleasant but worth it.  The next day was a bit worse since I had the feeling back in the knee but we got to just short of 135.  Each day we seem to get there a little easier and I just have the extreme pain for the last couple of degrees.

Now that I am making progress again I am once again much more motivated.  The pain still sucks, but worth it if I am recovering.  I will be doing daily PT for the rest of this week then assuming the flexibility looks good I can get back to building strength.

 

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