Monday, August 25, 2008

Day 132 Of My PCL Surgery And Recovery

Strengthening.
One leg!!! I wanted to mention how important straightening is. I really haven't talked about it much but I spend a lot time every day on this bench letting my knee relax down and fully lengthen. See how it looks pretty bent there? It is. After 20 minutes or so it'll come back to straight but I have to really coax it. Lots of massage, lots of baby bends and lots of time.

We're switching gears and going to spend more time on strengthening and balance.
Six to eight weeks should show some pretty good quad strength improvement.
I actually broke a sweat on the bike today. Yup, I rode a bike for the first time in over six months. We lifted the seat to allow my leg to go around all the way. I even used the balance ball for mini wall squats!! If anyone out there doesn't know, I'm a gym rat. I go crazy for fitness. This knee thing really knocked me down but I'll get back up.
To say any of this has been easy would be a lie. It's been pretty awful. But, I would do it again.
Drop me a line. Let me know if you have any questions or would like to see anything different. Stay tuned for more PCL fun! It's coming!!!

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

So now is the time when you start feeling so-o-o-o good that you risk overdoing it. The leg presses are really fun - but, if your knee is anything like mine, those leg presses can really instigate swelling and pain under the kneecap. Be careful, use lots of ice, and give it a rest after PT.

Give that dog a hug for me, too.

Skinnygurl said...

Oh Molly!
You know! You sure know! Man, alive. My knee is really, really sore now. LOL, YAHOOUIE! Lots of ice for me tonight. I was so excited when I found out all the cool stuff they said I could start trying to do. I was like a kid in a candy store after so long of doing nothing. Everything looked good! I'm really paying the price tonight will most likely post about it just to warn others.
Poochie gave hugs back.
Wanted to also congratulate you on nine months post op and feeling like you're somewhat in the normal catagory of athletes again. Play hard, fall hard they say. Gotta love it. Keep marching soldier.

DW_TEX said...

skinnygurl,

Just found your blog while looking for info on strengthening my quads post PCL and ACL op. I too am an avid runner / sprint triathlete that used to run 30+miles week. In November 2006, I had a bad ski accident and the ski clipped my shin while I was falling. I immediately popped my ACL and had surgery in Dec. 2006. During surgery they noticed my PCL was also torn. Within a couple of months my PCL let go and I had it replaced in Sept. 2007.

Fast forward, I am still having problems building my muscles and have knee pain. I am able to walk without too much pain and ride a bike about 15 miles. I have tried running a 5K but my knee just hurt too much and I ran about 2 miles and walked the rest. Going up and down stair hurts.

It is a slow process but I like you will be running again one day. I have set a personal goal of completing a sprint triathlon within the next year and half. It is taking alot longer than I anticipated but I will not give up.

Getting into the gym will definately get you motivated. Don't over do it though, go slow and be patient (unlike me):).

mini said...

hi Sgurl!!!!
it's me your bud in pcl surg from utah. sorry, i was going to blog last night but got too tired and crashed. i also forgot your blog on my notebook; left it on my desk :(
but i remembered your address somehow so here i am reading your blog.
it's been awhile as i mentioned yesterday about my pcl surg, don't know what to say other than i agree with dw_tex "don't over do it". that's what coaches used to say; they're fav hymn. anyways keep doing what you're doing; whatever u do Don't give up, please!!! your knee, leg will be back.. it takes time to heal and grow. remember my leg was half the size; fortunately i had a good PT that helped me get it back too; should have married that girl ;)

any questions please ask; i will "be back" with more.
oh yeah, btw; ya need to change your id from skinnygurl to musclegurl...! its ya a mind thing; pls comment. :) keep up the good work everyone and be happy... :)

Anonymous said...

skinnygurl:

If you haven't tried a wobble board yet, ask your therapist about one. It really helped me gain balance and lateral movement. And it was fun.

dw_tex:

You and I are about the same, as far as length of time since PCL reconstruction (mine was on Halloween 2007). I hope you don't mind answering questions. Did you have a allograft or autograft? Is your knee stable as tested by your OS or PT, or do you have residual laxity? Are you still wearing a functional brace? Did you recover quad strength after the 2006 ACL reconstruction only to lose it after the 2007 surgery?

I still have problems with stairs, but am improving. I am taking a series of classes called ADAPT (Athletic Development and Physical Therapy). These functional fitness classes are really helping bring back my quads and lessen pain in my knee. Maybe there is a similar program in your area. You can contact ADAPT at http://www.adapttraining.com/. I didn't think I could run, but I was jogging around an indoor track after just one class - pain free. Shocking!

Anonymous said...

skinnygurl:

Now may be the time to ask your OS or PT about using compression stockings. If you have swelling from the increased activity, the stockings can help keep it down. I used 8-15 rated stockings on a daily basis - 24 hours a day, except when I was in the shower. You can buy them at your local medical supply house or online. The flesh tone stockings matched my skin tone very well. Each morning I would take the used stocking off, wash it with soap and water in the shower, and hang it over the shower rod to dry for the day. Then the new stocking would go on my freshly washed and dried leg. It really helped with the edema and aching. I don't wear one anymore, so it's only a two or three month gig. But it really helped. In my case, less swelling meant less pain.

Anonymous said...

Oh, if you decide to try the compression stockings, get the thigh-high version, not the knee-high version.

DW_TEX said...

Molly,

Lets see if I can answer your questions.

1. I did have an allograft on both ACL and PCL. The PCL surgery used a split on one end with two attachment points on one end. I just got back from PT and I do have some residual laxity.

2. I am no longer wearing a functional brace except when I run. Biking or gym exercises I do not need it.

3. I lost a lot of quad before my ACL surgery as I had to wait about a month before surgery to fit it into my schedule. I should have had it as soon as possible. I never was able to build any muscle after the ACL surgery before the PCL popped. Basically I was one crutches for close to 8 months and lost substaintial muscle mass.

I have started back at PT becasue of lack of progress. I generally have pain in the knee cap. The PT did a test where I contracted my quads while he did something with the knee cap. It hurt so bad I about jumped off the table and had a few explitives!! He indicated that I had PFPS and I needed to improve my VMO. I also have alot of grinding in the knee cap. I will look into the training you suggested. I am not optomistic PT will cure my problem and suspect a "cleanout" surgery may be in order. The PT definately won't hurt.

How much and what type of exercises are you able to do? I am know 43 so I know things take longer to heal but I never imagined it would take this long.

Skinnygurl said...

DW_TEX,
Welcome to my blog! I’m noticing more and more that the pcl injury is either an athletes or skiing injury. I am also seeing it’s not keeping any of us down. Maybe that’s why we were chosen to have this procedure. A sedentary person might not have the drive “we” have for recovery. Actually my surgeon told me because I am so passionate about my sports, he would help me. He also said given someone “my age” in a normal lifestyle wouldn’t be such a great candidate. The age part kind of stung but I got over it. Lol

I read about residual laxity and that kind of scared me so I’m thinking there’s a big reason so me not to get overly excited. I’ve come too far. At last exam my doctor was very pleased with how things are feeling and his only concerns were my tiny quads and ROM which has improved. I believe the next few months will be more important that ever. Especially for building my muscles back. Believe it or not, two years ago I was getting ready and close to entering a body building competition. (figure) My body was ready but the last couple weeks I chickened out so you can imagine how shocked I am now seeing my hard work disappear.

You mentioned grinding in the knee. Mine seems to be pretty bad and there is pain under the knee and sometimes it hurts going across the top. I see my OS next week and will get his opinion on that. I’m sure after my struggles with ROM, he’ll be very pleased. I was stuck at 98 degrees for over a month.

Don’t worry about being 43. When I turned 45 I told everyone ‘look out, I’m only ½ to 90!!

I wish you the best of luck. Please stick around and join in, wherever you can. I hope this blog stays up for years to help anyone that needs it.

Mini!!!

Oh wow, thanks for your post and welcome to my blog! Nice to see you again buddy!
I laughed when I read that part about your rehab girlie. Never say never. Lol
You know, my ID is skinnygurl because before this accident I has just started blogging ‘be-a-skinnygurl- . It’s a little blog that I was messing with for nutrition and exercise. It’s been put to the side to work on my PCL blog. My e-mail ID is the one that represents my mindset. SPRINTER 2 FUN!!! That’s me!!
I’m really glad you have you here. Jump in anytime for opinions or just to say. Please!


Molly!!
Arghh, it’s funny you mentioned those stockings. I kept them and dang near wore them out. I used them under my ice machine so my whole leg doesn’t freeze out. I put them on again last night and it really helped. My leg has been just aching like crazy and I’ve been sticking close to the ice since Monday night. Today is round two at rehab so we’ll see what they’ve got worked up for me. My guy is pretty on the money and I trust him. I’ll let you know what we do. Pictures too! I love this blog. It’s the best thing I’ve done all year. Meeting you guys is awesome. Really.
The wobble board sounds like fun. I’ve seen those. I’m just now working on balance so we’ll what tricks they have up their sleeve.
Keep one eye over here Molly and thanks for helping me out so much. Me along with countless others. Who knows how maybe people we’re helping with this. It’s very cool.

heatheroon said...

whoo-hoo skinny i did it!

Skinnygurl said...

LOL, I see you!!!!!!!!!!
For real here is my Skinnygurl Youtube stuff.
The ground turkey with a twist recipe is the bomb and I eat it all the time. How do you think I stay so skinny? Here's the link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBhPmNu4nKc&NR=1

Then the Skinnygurl Burgers are great too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd7QdaxI2gY

Last but not least is my protein biscuit thingy. Hubby eats this for morning break every single day and when I'm training at the gym, I always include one in my daily meals.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qetabwFwJ5o

Be sure to turn your speakers up!
See you at rehab on Friday!!! :)

Anonymous said...

skinnygurl:

You look like you are having big fun on that foam pad. I used that to play catch with my PT, too. My patella pain continued for quite a while and didn't really resolve until about a month ago. So don't get discouraged, just try to keep the swelling down.

dw_tex:

OK, you had a double-bundle allograft for the PCL, just like me (mine was a donor Achilles tendon). My MCL was repaired from my own tissue. My OS says there isn't a good theory on why some grafts stay tight and why some loosen up. I read an article that says some laxity can be traced to the age of the graft donor, with older donors tissues loosening up more. My knee is completely stable, according to my OS. At least it is when I'm not swollen - so I do whatever I can to keep the swelling down (ice, elevation).

My OS has me wearing my functional brace for at least one year post-op, until the tunnels have completely healed. I don't wear it when riding the stationary bike, but I wear it for all other load-bearing activities. I find that if I pull up on the top of the brace when walking down stairs, I have almost no patella pain. I wonder if some of your ongoing pain is from inadequate bracing?

My exercise at 10 months post-recontruction includes Group RIDE classes 2-3 times per week at med high to high intensity (lots of standing climbs), a road ride or two every couple of weeks (the longest was 40.5 miles), and now twice-weekly ADAPT classes. Stork walks and side-to-side skating steps (both done on a flat indoor track) have really helped me gain balance and quad strength. My ADAPT assessment indicates that adhesions in the MCL area are really limiting my internal rotation on the operative side, so I have some work to there.

I'm 52, so I hear you about the slow-healing thing. If your OS suggests a lysis of adhesions, I can tell you about my experience.