I have had problems with knee pain since my early 30s. I've had physical therapy a number of times. Each round of physical therapy seemed to help for a while until the last round 2 years ago. When I finished that set of PT, my knees didn't feel any better.
Four years ago, I tore the meniscus in my right knee. The surgeon offered arthroscopic surgery, but said he couldn't guarantee pain-free results. I opted to skip that surgery because it offered little hope for relief.
The past year has been really bad. Exercise caused pain. Even moderate exercise would make it hard to walk the next day. Standing in one spot was incredibly painful. Sometimes I would have to grip onto something nearby to support me so I could move my right leg without falling.
When I went back to the orthopedic doctor, he had new x-rays made. In four years my knees had progressed from bad and torn cartilage to no cartilage. I tried the gel shots. The gel shots helped my left knee, but did nothing for my right knee. I decided to schedule the surgery.
Surgery was Tuesday, October 8. According to the surgery team, everything went well.
Therapy started that afternoon. The therapy consisted of getting up out of bed and sitting in a reclining chair for a couple hours and then moving back to bed. Sounds like nothing, but that small amount of movement was exhausting.
The following days included individual therapy in my room and group therapy sessions called Joint Camp. They had a small set of stairs for us to practice with. But most of the session consisted of doing the same exercises that we had done individually before. The most exciting part of the therapy was walking there and back. Friday I didn't feel well and chose to ride back to my room.
Friday afternoon (Oct. 11) I came home. Saturday morning, the home health nurse came by to check on things. In home physical therapy started the following Monday. The therapists supervise my exercises, measure vital signs, and measure the degree that I can bend my knee.
This past Friday (Oct 18), the therapists took out the staples. The staples were pinching in a couple of places. Just having them gone made me more comfortable. My knee can make a 90 degree bend. It doesn't want to bend that much and it protests quite a bit, but it can make it if I insist.
Three more home visits in the coming week, then for the next two weeks I'll go to physical therapy three times a week at a local physical therapy office.
I'm grateful for pain medications. I'm grateful for people who are encouraging and empowering. I'm thankful for friends who have provided meals for me and my family. I've enjoyed the get well cards. I'm glad that friends and family have called or emailed or messaged me.
The last two weeks have been intense. I don't enjoy the pain. I don't enjoy physical therapy. But I think the pain now will result in great gain in the future.
| Pounds lost: 13.0