6 Weeks Post Op: 2 big reasons why “Less is More” and the PT smackdown

Whoa there, not so fast.

There are TWO big reasons to not do too much too soon:  PAIN & SWELLING

Having a new knee is a whole new world.  I am learning that, unlike the past where I lived with daily pain and swelling, it’s not supposed to be like that now.  WHAT?!!  This is actually such a foreign thought that I can’t quite get my head wrapped around it.  No pain?  No swelling?  It is hard to imagine after a lifetime of enduring just that.  I have high hopes for my ConforMIS custom knee and until now I have been focused on the day to day, week to week recovery.  But a future without pain?  Astonishing.  I was hoping for full function; no pain would be a huge bonus.

To that end….

I got the PT (physical therapy) smack down on Monday….

NO, I should not yet ride 55 minutes on a bike while teaching a cycling class (ok, even writing that feels like I’m a little dumb for doing it – twice – but it felt so  good while riding)

NO, I should not yet be walking down stairs stepping with my new knee

YES, I need to continue my range of motion exercises and gently move forward with strength.

PT Smackdown and a few new moves:

Here’s what is on my PT list (I am providing this list for interest sake – please confer with your own doctor or physical therapist to find the right combination of exercises for you) – my goal is 0 – 135 degrees range of motion.  I’m currently working to maintain 0 and am reaching 120 degrees with big effort.

RANGE OF MOTION

  • Cycling (no more than 30 minutes)
  • Walking (no more than 30 minutes)
  • Foot slides down wall (full extension + deep flexion)
  • Foot slides under chair
  • Knee flex with foot on seat of chair
  • Knee extension while lying on stomach and foot hanging over hassock (gravity assists extension)

STRENGTH MOVES

  • Wall sits with a squishy ball between my knees
  • 4 inch step downs
  • 6 inch step ups forward and lateral
  • Bridging with opposite leg raise
  • Monster walk with band
  • Single leg balance
  • “Running Woman” single leg balance

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