I spent the first day after surgery at home resting, icing/compressing using the thermocomp machine while trying to keep my leg elevated. I was mostly on the couch and attempted to fire my quad muscles a handful of times, or when sitting on the floor I would try to lift my heel off the ground. The good thing about this being the second time around is I knew what I could expect going into physical therapy, and I wanted to be capable of doing the first "easy" things without much pain.
Between surgery and 2-day post-op PT, I kept a steady diet of pain pills, assuming if I didn't the pain would be close to unbearable. I popped one before PT and my brother drove me in. I had the immobilizer on and utilized the crutches going in, but once we were in, Drew had me doing a handful of exercises I expected: straight leg raises, heel slides (knee bends), balancing on my surgical leg, walking across the PT area and back, straightening my surgical leg while laying on my belly... Luckily I was able to do all these things without too much pain or needing any outside assistance.
That being said, Drew told me I didn't need the crutches anymore, and would only need to wear the immobilizer when in public so people around me would be cautious of my leg! This was huge (and, perhaps a little over-confident) but it made me glad that I was already on the right track. At home I keep the crutches nearby, but can tell I'm not leaning on them heavily anymore (literally!)!
We even cancelled the 3-day post-op PT, as Drew knew I would take the at-home PT seriously, and he handed me a sheet of suggested exercises. Today I've been doing them (rather) religiously, and each set of reps builds my confidence a little more. I even ventured across the street to do my exercises in the park while my bro and hubby played some tennis at the courts there. All in all this is not a bad way to start recovery!
On top of that, after a pep talk from Drew, I was encouraged to scale back the pain meds and only take them when I'm in need of them, instead of as a preventative measure. The 4-6 hour schedule turned to "as needed" and I was surprised to find myself successfully doing at-home exercises well after the meds were no longer in my system. I still have one now and then, but am grateful that it's more for achey pain than for anything more serious.
I'll be back at PT bright and early Monday morning (day 6 post-op) and my only concern is getting my knee bending back. In the meantime I'll work on it at home and try to go beyond 90 degrees so that the forced bending doesn't reduce me to the puddle of moans and tears I was when it was done to my other knee!
6 years ago