It’s been almost a month since I shared my progress with you all. I returned to work, which is why this update took a while.
Some wonderful things have happened during this period of time. My driving restriction was lifted (yay work, said no one ever!!!), I can bear 100% weight on the operated knee, ditched the knee brace, started physical therapy, I’m allowed to do planks… and I’m at full flexion!
In case you’re wondering, this is pretty much what full flexion looks like.
This was 3 weeks ago, and I’ve gotten a few extra degrees in since then. Though, with full flexion, comes full screws in your leg sensitivity (I see you my spiderman fans!).
All jokes aside… I can feel the head of the screws in front, and when my calf is flush against a surface, I can feel the end of them in the back of my leg! We’ll have to wait it out and see whether they bug me in the long run. They can be removed after a year if they’re really bothersome. But it’s fun when people call you bionic!
In the beginning, it was mostly figuring out what brand of kale chips you like… pretty much doing nothing.
My intent was to have started physical therapy by my third week. Due to insurance “fun,” I ended up starting in the fifth week of recovery. Therapy is two days a week and each session lasts 30 minutes. It’s amazing how intense 30 minutes can be. At first, exercises were limited to ankle strengthening and simple leg lifts. We’ve graduated to planks and full flexion stretching. If you’re a fitness oriented person, you’ll understand how exciting planks are when you’ve been given movement limitations. I’ve certainly cheated though… by doing one legged planks in the third week. Not recommending it, just being honest 😉
PT Motivational socks!!!
These bands and vitamin E will be your best friends. They are travel sized. So you can pull them out anywhere, be awkward, and get the damn thing done!
I think I forgot to mention our other friend, the bone stimulator. A little machine used once a day for 20 minutes. It sends waves through your bone in order to promote healing. It claims to decrease bone healing time by 36%. To be most effective, it should be used at the same time everyday. It’s a lose/lose situation here. I’ve totally pulled this bad boy out at dinner. Don’t forget the ultrasound gel!
These are small pieces of the big picture. Big picture is the ability to walk, do light workouts, and finally not shower while balancing on one leg. I still haven’t ditched the crutches though. I’ll have a 14-day crutch free window.
The six week post-op appointment also provided clarity on the next surgery. We tentatively scheduled surgery for the left leg for July 23rd. 4 weeks and 2 days away. It’s tentative because my doctor will not operate if the right tibia is not fully healed by then. It’ll be the appointment in 2 weeks that decides whether we have the green light. A cat scan and X-rays are on deck to get a better sense of exactly how well the bone has healed thus far. Until then, I’ve been advised to up the calcium and protein intake levels. Yogurt, eggs, meat… repeat.
I’ll be back soon with date/progress updates. Until then, check out a few fun pictures and things any High Tibial Osteotomy/Lateral Release patient can look forward to…
Take a look at the knee caps!!! Some people say they look like boobs O_O The right patella is actually the image on the lefthand side. You can see how misaligned the left patella is compared to my new alignment on the right patella.
By the way, your friends will use you as a baby-sitting service. No problem, since this one is adorable!
A couple are upside-down, but you get the point.