Monday, June 6, 2011

2 Year Update! KJ's PCL Surgical Success!

I've been meaning to send an update for a couple months now so here it goes: The end of March was my 2-year post-op anniversary. I went in for what I thought was my last PCL check-up ever. They did a KT test and found that my surgical PCL is tighter than my non-surgical PCL. Yay! Surgical success! They also told me that they want me to come back every year for the next 20 years as a research patient. What?! It's free though so I'm willing to do it to help others and also keep tabs on my own knee.

My nemesis since surgery has been patellofemoral syndrome and it has really been a barrier to getting back into serious physical shape (that and my love for food & beer!). I've had tremendous amounts of pain in my knee cap so I asked the doctor about it and he suggested a synvisc-one injection; I scheduled that May 5. It was a simple procedure and similar to a cortisone injection, just a a bit more painful. I have been very pleased with the results! The first 3 weeks I experience a lot of weird, strange, new pains, but that's a normal side effect. I'm a month out which is when the full results should be felt and my knee feels great. Not 100% but mostly pain-free.

Over the weekend I ran my first 5K since surgery. Remember, I'm NOT a runner so this was an important step for me. My husband and I did it in the form of a Warrior Dash so there were 13 obstacles included in the race. We didn't set any records but we had an absolute blast! I did have great difficulty at one obstacle that requires you to crawl on your hands in knees in the pitch dark. Leaning down on my knee still feels awful! But other than that my knee held up with the expected soreness the next day.

I am taking over as head coach for my local women's rugby team and joined the local rowing club. I hope to compete in my first regatta in the fall. It's much gentler on the knees! I hope to get into trail-running this summer as well.

Thank you for continuing to maintain your blog! I attached a picture from Saturday's race - enjoy!


Skinnygurl said...

Congratulations KJ and thank you for the update! Keep up the good work!

Molly said...

Wow! This is a great update! Here's to more 5Ks!

TRCatz said...

This blog has a lot of helpful information. I was hoping I could get some advise on my knee injury. In March 2011 I fell on my tibia while ice skating. I had an MRI done and went to an orthopedic surgeon. I was diagnosed with a partical tear to my left PCL. I saw two orthopedic surgeons and neither recommended surgery. My knee was immobilized for about two weeks and then I began intensive physical therapy. I have been doing physical therapy ever since but now my physical therapist told me that he can't do anything else for my knee. It is about as good as it is going to get. But my knee still hurts occasionaly and my current orthopedic surgeon now wants me to get a second opinion. It has now been over 4 months since I injured my knee. I have slowly been able to return to ice skating and working out. My knee still feels stiff and does still hurt occasionally. Is there anyone else that did not go through surgery and just did physical therapy that might be able to share their experience with me?

KJ said...

I waited 6 years before I got my surgery because I was initially diagnosed with a partial tear. Tearing it fully is what drove me to get surgery.

I did rehab as well but it took at least 6 months for my knee to get back to where I could run comfortably to play rugby. Even then, for about a year, every time I caught my toe on something it was excruciating pain! You have to remember that even a partial tear is a serious injury...I know it's hard to be patient.

I personally would avoid surgery if at all possible. As you can read on here, it is a LONG recovery. Scar tissue can go a long way in coping with a partial tear. Keeping your legs strong really helps.

It's something that you need to stay on top of from now on though i.e. If you take another fall and it feels funny then you'll need to get it checked again. Don't ignore new pains.