Hi! I saw my surgeon yesterday, and it was my final check up!! I won’t have to go back and see him! Everything looked great, except for a few minor things I asked him about (see in summary below), which he said was nothing to worry about. He encouraged me to get a brace if I wanted to get back into sports where I am pivoting my knee a lot, like basketball or soccer. I asked id there were studies that showed that a brace helped – he said there are conflicting studies that show braces help, or no evidence that they did help… But he has had patients come back because of a torn ACL after playing sports 6-12 months after surgery. He recommends a brace because he doesn’t want his patients to come back in for surgery again. With that being said, I don’t really play sports that intensely, so there isn’t that much of a reason to get a big bulky brace if I don’t need it. My surgeon said just to be careful until around the 1-1.5 year mark – that is when the ACL is 100% attached and good to go!
Also, my surgeon said that usually athletes feel great around 6-7 months and go back to playing their sport… but most report back that they don’t feel 100% until about the year mark. This makes me feel a lot better, as I still feel like my knee is not 100% yet.
6 1/2 Months Post-Op Summary
- Running 2-5 miles 1-2 times a week
- Icing and/or applying oils to my knee at least 1x a day
- Physical therapy only 1x every 2 weeks now
- Pain just above my scar – its on the bone. It hurts every once in awhile, and I notice it mostly when over-extending my knee (or even pressing on that area/my scar – I told my boyfriend that I am just like Harry Potter). My surgeon said sometimes there is swelling where the bone was drilled into (or more scar tissue), and this will go away with time. Also, keep strengthening my quad muscle, as this will cause a lot of pain to go away.
- Still a little swelling in my knee, it comes and goes. I am doing a whole30 – 30 days of strict paleo – to see if what I am eating is causing any inflammation. Right now I am on day 4!
- A few weeks ago, I mentioned a weird feeling I was getting behind my knee. When I am bending my knee, then straightening it – it sort of feels like the ligament or muscle is getting stuck over something. It doesn’t hurt, but you can feel it when touching behind the knee. Kind of like a clicking or catching. My PT and ART specialist said that it was my hamstring, but couldn’t pinpoint what the issue was. My surgeon said it was most likely a little scar tissue from where part of my hamstring was removed and would go away with time.
- Went to a TRX/Kettlebell class this past weekend… my body hurt for 4 days after. It hurt to squat, lift my arms, walk… but best of all, the class didn’t bother my knee at all! I honestly teared up a little in class realizing how far I’ve come – it really filled me with gratitude for how well my knee has healed 🙂
- Used KT Tape for my left IT band… i don’t really notice pain at all there anymore, just a little looseness… so I decided to tape it, and it seemed to help (you can find a video tutorial on how to tape here). I am starting to have issues with the IT band at the top part of my right hip again, so I might try to tape it on my next run!
PT Exercises/Workouts (same as month 6!)
- Elliptical at the beginning of my workouts to warm up, 5 minutes
- Run 1 mile on treadmill @ 7-9 speed
- Bosu ball jumps – like this, but only bouncing on one leg. Then I turn around and do the other side (bosu ball is against the wall). 10x each leg, 2 sets
- One-legged jumps over hurdles – kind of like this – but, with a half turn in the air. There are 3 hurdles – each one gets higher. Jump over 3 hurdles, turn back and repeat. 3-4 rounds
- One-legged ladder work like this and this and this. Complete down and back
- TRX band – side jumps: stand on left leg, jump to left of left leg onto right foot, at an angle. Jump back. Repeat on right side. 5 each side, 2 sets
- TRX band – one-legged squat jumps, alternating between hopping on right and left leg –10, 2 sets
- TRX band – one-legged squat jumps to the side – 10, 2 sets
- Agility work: shuffle around 5 cones, run to first cone directly in front of cones. Stop & pivot diagonally across court, then do 1 legged jumps over raised markers set up on the ground. Run to another cone directly in front of markers – stope & pivot, running back to the original 5 cones. Repeat 2x – 4 set of 2
- 4 markers set up on ground – stand in middle – jump up on a high box (think box jumps) into a squat, then jump down into a squat. PT calls out color of marker, and I run forward to the marker, then back to middle – about 2-3 minute each time, 3-4 times
- Standing in middle of court, 2 PTs are in front and behind me, holding colored rings. First PT throws colored ring super high into the air, and I run to catch it. As soon as I catch it, then other PT throws the next ring into the air, and I have to run to catch that ring. This was great for running, stopping, cutting, pivoting without really thinking. If I know where I am going, I over think the next move, placement of knee, extc. This helps with being more in the moment, more natural sports-related movements as if I was playing basketball, soccer, etc. Repeat 1-3x
- Stretching after every workout
- Yoga – everyday for at least 5 minutes
- Running on treadmill or outside for 10-50 minutes 2-3x a week
These past few weeks have been insanely busy – between work, trying to catch up from vacation, traveling on the weekends… I feel like I already need another vacation! I have a huge stack of books I want to read, yoga classes I want to attend, more days so that I can run more… There is just not enough time in the day! I really do not know how people have families and houses to take care of , all while working full time and trying to fit “Me” time in – I definitely respect those who can do it all!
I am also looking into going back to school to get my minor in Spanish.. However, I am having a hard time finding a good school that offers online classes. Does anyone know of anywhere I can take online spanish classes? I am thinking of just taking a few classes at a local community college, as they offer hybrid classes (both online and classroom).