This past week has been eventful to say the least. It marked 9 weeks since my surgery with a follow-up appointment with my doctor.
I was excited to go to my doctor’s appointment this week. I have been working hard in PT and on my own. I was having a conversation with my therapist the other day. She was telling me that she was extremely happy with my progress over the past nine weeks. I told her that I was doing everything that they were telling me to do…BUT I wasn’t ONLY doing it during therapy. Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t doing anything that I wasn’t supposed to be doing, I was just doing what I was supposed to be doing MORE OFTEN. As I said to my therapist, which she already knew too, if I only do the exercises that you have me do during the 1 hour session that I see you twice per week, where would I be on the comeback trail? Answer: A lost ball in high weeds.
I guess it helps that I do this for a living and I know what to do and when to do it. The secret to coming back from a knee replacement, or any type of injury, is doing the little extras that will make a big difference. Injuries are a part of life, whether you are an athlete getting injured in a game or a weekend warrior rolling the ankle off the sidewalk curb. It’s how you set your mind for the comeback that will help determine your success.
Talking to my doctor at my appointment this week, she was happy to see my progress. The strength is improving…The ROM is beyond where I’ve been in over 20 yrs. There continues to be swelling in and around the knee, which I was told is normal and can last upwards of 7-10 months. But again, doing the little things such as ice after workouts and elevation and ankle pumps during rest make a big difference.
My doctor asked me how long it took me before I returned to work. Answer: 5 weeks. There were two reasons for the question. First, we have to get into the planning stages for round two (the other knee). That day will come and having a ball park timeline is important for planning everything from rehab to personal schedule. The second reason for the question was she wanted to see what “could” happen when you are focused and motivated on your rehab. As she said to me, “Glenn, you get it” with regards to the importance of strength training, flexibility, and everything else that goes in to improving performance. I told her that “Fear is a great Motivator.” I know what it’s like to have poor strength and ROM in an arthritic joint and I don’t want to go back there. Some people will go through surgery or an injury and will not stick to the rehab routine or maybe do the minimum. If you do that, you can expect minimum results.
Whether it is for fitness, performance, or rehab…Have a plan; stick to that plan; and see the results.