Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Half Knee Replacement - 2 Months Later

Last February, I commented on this year's initial appointment with the orthopedic surgeon.

Here it is the end of July, two and a half months since my half knee surgery, and I thought I might revisit the topic.

Success?

I'd say 100%. I walk where ever I wish when ever with no pain in my knee. I climb stairs and enjoy the considerable inclines of the Kolgan Track at Mt. Cooth-tha with a little shortness of breath but with no physical discomfort.

However, I re-iterate, this surgery was 'half-knee' and the recovery period is much shorter than that required for full knee replacement.

The physio warned me that gardening and skiing were now off limits.

You know I am a rule bender who hates being caught, and so have to admit that I look for ways to 'do it my way' that keep the rule makers from discovering that I have flaunted their edicts.

I spent all day yesterday in the garden. It is looking absolutely groomed, weeded, mulched and trimmed — it should survive our ten months away and I'm proud of myself — no pain.

I visit a physio therapist twice monthly. The exercises she prescribes, if practiced religiously and daily, ought to take me successfully onto the cross-country ski runs at Izaak Walton, Montana, in mid January. Even though I have been forbidden skiing, the physio knows I intend to cross country to my hearts content if the snow is sufficient.

Her exercises require that I reach a 135 degree bend of my knee and a flat back of my knee on a hard surface. I am still not there. I have 125 degree bend and I'm 4 degrees off flat.

These are my challenges – there is pain associated with accomplishing these final degrees in both directions. The pain is NOT about walking or climbing or descending. The pain is about stretching.

After 8 years of not bending my knee very far, the tendons and ligaments of my right leg have a mind of their own - mostly shortened. My muscles need strengthening. I'm working on em, gritting my teeth into the pain and softly encouraging tissue to release and grow stronger.

I'm sure I'll reach my goals.

In other words, life is good! I know that's a television commercial, but damn, it's also the truth.

I just love the idea of keeping on, of setting goals, reaching them and setting new ones - all with a new half knee that keeps me from limping and most of all has established that I may never loose my balance again. Wouldn't that be a wonderment?