Bone breaks around the knee :
I'm on my own now-dismissed from Dr and PT - - Posted by lizl (lizl), 27 March 2004
I'm happy and scared. Yesterday it was official. The doctor dismissed me. Though I'm pleased to be freed of the routine of PT and doctor visits, it is sobering to know that this is probably as good as it gets.
I'm not 100 percent, but I'm so much better than I was even three months ago. My ROM is 125 to 130 on the "healed" knee versus 140-145 on the other one. VMO on the injured leg is actually better, but overall strength is quite diminished still. I can go up stairs with a railing and effort, but down stairs is still very limited and painful. Some degree of pain, stiffness and swelling remain.
The OS said that I'll eventually get arthritis in the knee "just like everybody else who was not injured." Though the xrays show irregular shape on the underside of the patella (when I had a second opinion that doctor said that a chunk was missing), he said that cartilege is growing there. He really downplayed any future problems. In fact, he acted as if the future of the two knees is virtually the same.
I sure hope he is right about that, but I guess I'll always have fear and doubts. I asked about the problem with stairs, and he said "You really want to be careful, especially going down."
I started a new job as a realtor (no sales, no pay--so it's almost a hobby at this point) this week, and I came home after one day of home touring and went to bed in pain. Going up and down stairs in every house is going to be troublesome. I was the slowest person on tour, though many of the people are older. It is hard to accept the limitation, but I just have to keep reminding myself how far I've come and hope that prospective clients will understand.
If I look backwards at how confident I used to be and how even my walk showed that, I get depressed and even have to fight back tears. Coming through the injury, the operations, PT, and losing my job have been very difficult indeed. I used to be such a Type A, fast walking, fast talking, decision-making leader. I'm redefining myself now. My husband remarked after I got back from the home tour, "Well, you certainly can help a handicapped person find the right home."
After all is said and done, one fact shines forth. I CAN WALK!
Posted by kgrosskurth (Kathy G), 28 March 2004
Liz, I think that your stair-stepping will actually help you with the steps. I am getting soooo much better on the steps now, and that is from going up and down them most every day. This is from someone who NEVER thought she would use stairs normally. And I don't even need to hold on much going up!! I find Ibupropen helps with the pain in the joint, and I am still taking all those supplements. I also elevate and ice when I have overdone it, but I find my swelling is less and less over time.
It sounds as if your ROM has come back rather well, considering everything. I believe you will get more back. I continue to gain ROM and I am about 5 deg. from my good leg in bending and even less in straightening. Again, I think the walking and the stair stepping will help. I also use a stationary bike which I know has been helpful.
Again, Liz you will continue to progress, but it may be sooooo slow that you will be unable to gauge it over a period of days but most likely over weeks or months.
Thanks for the update, and I pray for your continued recovery!
Posted by lizl (lizl), 29 March 2004
KG--Thanks so much for your encouragement! Without the constant measuring and goal-setting of PT, I might just be able to let improvement slip up on me gradually in everyday life.
Today is 14 months since my injury, and most of the time now I can find ways to keep my attitude positive. There are moments, almost every day, when I have to kick in the self-talk, though, to keep that positive outlook.
It just happened that my first full-blown tour day as a real estate agent and my last PT appointment came on the same day, so I was feeling some doubts just as I "graduated." Come to think of it, every graduation I've ever been through came with doubts and joy. . .
Posted by Barn_Goddess (Barn_Goddess), 29 March 2004
Liz, I've made alot of progress since I was released from PT, but I didn't get to go as long as you-was expected to do it "on my own".
One thing I've found that helps are the pilates floor exercises. They don't work the knee itself, but alot of them work the quads and hamstrings.
You'll find that you get stronger, and will feel more confident. It wasn't that long ago that it took some major thinking for me to do something as simple as stepping off a curb, which is now alot less of a problem. The more you do the stairs the easier it will get, and let ibuprofen be your friend if need be.
I'm going through the same thing as you as far as the walking. I used to pass up everyone and was always in a hurry. Now they all pass me. I guess it was just (insert deity of choice here)'s way of telling me it was time to slow down, enjoy what I have, and learn some patience.
Congratulations on your new job as a realtor. I wish you success.
Posted by neilatwork (neilatwork), 31 March 2004
Glad to hear you have finally "graduated". Since I am not as far along in my recovery as you are, I cannot offer any advice on what to expect.
I can say that I really appreciate all the information and words of encouragement you have offered to others on this site. It has been a tremendous help and I hope your kindness repays you in the form of a smooth and healthy final recovery phase. The time and effort you have contributed to the postings on this site have been worth it and useful to others. Thanks a bunch! And keep us posted on what it is like after PT.
Posted by lizl (lizl), 1 April 2004
Thanks for the pilates suggestion and the reassurance that it does continue to get better. I remember once a few months back that you suggested ankle weights that were adjustable in weight--and I went out and found them. Now I guess I'll have to give the pilates a try!
I do still hesitate at every curb and every step, but now I don't actually stop to gather up courage! Ah, progress!
Posted by lizl (lizl), 1 April 2004
Thank you so much for your kind words. I don't know what I would have done without this website to help me. I do hope that I can repay the kindness that I was shown.
I hope your recovery is smooth and steady!
Updated Thu Apr 29 2010