Week 7-12: Ups and downs
Welcome back. Time flies fast. Here we are again. In the previous part I gave you insights only pre-surgery, surgery and re-start afterwards. Week 7-12 are behind me now, too.
How’s it going
Thinking that I have left the hardest part behind me after week 6 definitely wasn’t right. I’ve invested a lot of time and worked on flexion and extension … and it nearly felt like I didn’t make any progress at all. Looking back now in week 12, I know I made tiny progress – just not enough.
Deep inside I always had the feeling that nothing is actually going according to plan during the last six weeks. I should have been actually much further. At the beginning of January I finally decided to go to a massage therapist in addition to physical therapy. I definitely feel like it’s one building block that brings me further. It’s been a good decision.
Bike, Wallsits, Lunges…
Shortly before the end of 2022 I was finally able to start cycling very slowly – always in my range of motion of (back then) almost 90 degrees. It was better than nothing and good to finally get more movement into my knee. But don’t think of it as getting on a bike and just kicking off. The first few times it was really difficult to execute the movement at all – and without much compensation with the hips. The first time I managed 2km in 30 minutes. Six weeks later I’m at 8.5km in the same time.
In the meantime, I made progress with squats. Lunges were added. In the gym I worked on core stability and rowed a lot with gentle speed. Wallsits and many more exercises became part of my training plan. It doesn’t sound so bad now, does it? If it wasn’t for the fact that I was still struggling with knee flexion and extension.
If I practiced stretching, it was incredibly difficult to bend the knee afterwards – the same goes the other way round. In the mornings my knee felt incredibly stiff and I wasn’t actually able to really stretch it at all.
In week 11 there was still about 3-4 degree of extension missing which made walking just difficult and exhausting. The same week my doctor said that because of this deficit and the scar tissue inside my knee another surgery would probably be necessary. What a setback!
The good side of it: He didn’t seem to be very pessimistic. He said that because I can fully stretch my knee passively he’s actually positive that it’ll get better and better – also when looking at the active range of motion of knee extension. He recommended a treatment with cortisone which is a common thing. Since then, I finally see real progress.
It was basicslly like a 180-degree-turn. Suddenly it was easy to extend the knee when sitting on the ground. It became easier to engage the quadriceps. And it was no longer painful in the back of my knee when shifting the weight to the left leg. Stiffness and swelling was much more better, too. I really felt relieve. Maybe in addition with physiotherapy and all those exercises and massages I’m on the right path now.
But I don’t want to sugercoat anything. It’s still not the way it could or probably should be. I often think about the reasons. Did I overstrain my knee? Did I do too little? I probably won’t get the answer to that. If I want to spare myself of one thing, it’s another surgery.
I just keep on working and see to what situation the next few weeks lead me to. See you then.
Will be continued