The patello-femoral joint :
Regaining quads strength after alignment op - - Posted by Helen (Helen), 20 August 2002
Ive read the rehab section and am kind of stuck between the 'dont exercise thru pain' bit and the 'dont let your quads waste, cos then your in real trouble' bit. Im 7 weeks PO from a patella tendon realignment on my right knee and really should be making some progress, but Im not and Im getting really hacked off. I cant even do the simple straight leg raises without intense pain along the lateral side of the joint and the top of the tibia. i have fairly big, hard (feel like bone) lumps in both locations and wonder if this could be causing the trouble?? They are definately not normal as I dont have them on the other knee and they were not there before surgery.
All I can do at the moment is bear weight, bend to approx 110 degrees and lift my leg vertically whilst it is bent to 90 degrees from a sitting position ( I figure if I can do it and it works my muscles then its worth a try).
I really need some advice on what I can do to strengthen my quads, because my PT has discharged me until Ive been cleared by the OS and I dont see him till Friday.
Posted by hmaxwell (Heather M.), 20 August 2002
I was where you are--unable to progress with PT and yet without normal function because of weakness. We decided to try pool therapy, and I started a little over two weeks ago. I'm now up to 30-40 minutes of exercises in the pool every day, and have seen very slow improvement in my functionality. The pain is still there, but it's not as bad in the pool, so I'm able to tolerate more exercises. When I get out of the water, I actually feel pretty darn good--loose, limber, and fairly energetic. The knee will gradually stiffen up and start to hurt again, but I feel better for the exercise.
I'm also starting to see some muscle definition in my legs and am feeling a bit more stable on my feet. I'm going to continue with this therapy. My doctor had to prescribe it, and my insurance covers it, but basically anyone can stand in chest deep water and do these exercises. I'm doing what I would normally do on land--front, side, & back leg lifts; squats; hamstring curls; toe raises; bicycle kicks; step ups & downs; and walking. We may progress to jumping and running in the next few weeks--my first aerobic activity in months!
Good luck with your rehab, and see if there are some non-stressful things like pool therapy and bike that your doctor can recommend.
Posted by Helen (Helen), 20 August 2002
Thanks Heather, Ive been thinking about it.
Im looking for pools that do hydrotherapy sessions in my area, but think Im going to have to work out a regime with my PT (when I see her again) and find a quiet time at the local uni pool. I have to wait though until my rugrats go back to school (2 weeks ) and Im capable of driving again.
I really hope my OS can give me some answers on Friday, I need to know why things are going so badly.
Updated Thu Apr 29 2010