Every Surgery is Different [2+ wks post-op]

I kept such close tabs on my recovery from the last surgery that it's hard not to go back to the blog and see if I'm "keeping up" with myself from last time.  When I'm "ahead" it's a good thing to have that comparison, but when I have unfamiliar feelings, pain or am not "on track", it can be very frustrating.

In the first week I felt a lot of improvement over the last surgery, but during the 2nd week it tapered off a little and I started to focus on my pain level and how much bend I was getting. There was a lot of aching when at rest and it constantly feels like the kneecap would catch, which kept me from improving my gait and working on things like going down stairs. More than either of those is the pain I'm feeling on the outside of my thigh, even just to the touch. Drew tried to explain that it might be coming from the bruising I have irritating some nerve endings and causing the sensitivity... I am not sure that's what he meant, but whatever is causing it, I think it's something that needs to run it's course.

There has been improvement now as I'm closer to 2.5 weeks. The general aching pain has subsided, but the thigh sensitivity is still present. I can stand/walk for longer periods of time and we've added some strengthening items to the PT exercises. Those exercises include angled squats (knee bending from 90 degree bend to straight), mini-squats on the Bosu and balancing on my surgical leg while throwing and catching a weighted ball. I feel strong in these exercises and have been doing them at home to stay on track.  Only once has Drew had to do a little "forced bending" at PT to work on my range of motion (ROM), but it was not nearly as bad as last time, and hopefully we can avoid it going forward!

One thing I have to remember is that I can't compare myself to myself... When I mention feeling "behind" to my physical therapist he stopped and (quite seriously) claimed that it doesn't matter that I've had the same surgeon, same procedure and same physical therapist... Every recovery is different and I just have to listen to my body and work on the rehab!

Photos from 7/30, 13 days post-op:

Yes, I'm trying to flex my right quad!

Working the bend, bruising starting to fade

Crazy bruising; waaaay more than last time


  1. Hi there!
    I came across your blog on the internet, and it is very well written! I am so sorry about your various knee injuries and surgeries. It sounds like your current recovery is going well, I hope it goes by smoothly and quickly for you!

    I have knee problems, but they are not due to injuries. I have patellas that ride high and have caused inflammation underneath the patella and in the hoffa fat pad just below. I have had surgery in one knee to remove the inflammation and smooth out the defrayed cartilage underneath the patella. Around that time my other knee started to go bad for the same reasons, and I am now contemplating having the same surgery on this other knee, and the issue is whether to have this surgery before or after having a baby.

    Since you have been through a pregnancy, and know alot about knees, do you have any thoughts on this? Recovery from my first knee surgery was not easy. Also, I have been trying to get pregnant for years now and I am getting old, so I hate to put it off for another knee surgery, but my knee does hurt. It feels like a really tough decision. If you have any thoughts, I would love to hear them.

    Thanks, and wishing you a speedy recovery!

  2. Hi, Thanks for the well wishes!

    Here's how I'd approach the knee surgery vs. pregnancy debate, just remember this is only my personal opinion and your situation might be different!

    First, I'd consider if the discomfort or danger caused by my knee as-is is tolerable / something I'd be willing to live with throughout a pregnancy and having a young one. For me I knew I'd want to do surgery right away because 1) my kid will only get more mobile as time goes on and 2) I'm pretty active in general and I would not be comfortable going back to sports with an unstable knee due to a blown out ACL. However, if you can "deal" with the discomfort of your knee and pregnancy is a priority, you may want to put off surgery.

    If you wait, you have to consider when the best time to have the surgery would be, assuming you're able to get pregnant as you hope! If you plan on breastfeeding, take into account what any drugs for surgery and post-op pain you would be taking, and ask if there's anything safe for breastfeeding. Or, would you be willing to go without pain meds? (eek!)

    And breastfeeding or not, how much help would you have with a little one while you go through your knee surgery recovery a second time? You can base your recovery time and ability as you heal on your last surgery... Will you have sufficient support (hubby, friends, family?) during this time to watch the kiddo? (Kids for the first 4-6 months are actually very easy in that they are immobile, but my daughter is nearly a year now and crawls quickly and is almost walking, so if I had surgery any later I would have had even more chasing to do!!).

    Those are just a few things to consider. If you want to leave me your email in a comment, I promise not to publish it and we could email back and forth if you want some more perspective on it!

    Good luck, either way! :)