PCL recovery

Hopefully when this shapes up into something, it will help other people going through a similar surgery... not much out there on PCL's, and I think there should be.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My foot did something strange

So my foot did something strange last night while watching a movie. I was lying on the couch, and just trying to bend my knee as much as I could, and then all of a sudden, my foot felt something that was a bit soft but harder than the couch cushions. Yep, my foot touched my butt yesterday! My housemate didn't realize what all my excitement was about, he thought I got way too into the movie we were watching. When I explained that I hadn't been able to bend my knee like that in 4 months, he still didn't get it. Then again, we're only living together for this month while we're rotating at the same hospital. It was too late to call anybody, so I took my excitement to bed. This morning, it just didn't feel nearly as cool, especially because when I woke up and tried it again, I couldn't do it. I need to be warmed up to get it to bend that far. But eventually, it will come back. After all, it wasn't all that long ago that I could only get to 90 degrees with my therapist pushing hard, and then all of a sudden, I got to 90 myself, and then when trying to get to 120, it was the same thing, I could only get it if my therapist pushed hard, and then I got it myself and without needing a warm up. So soon, I'll get there.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bye bye crutches

I gave up using my crutches a while ago, but I held on to them just in case. Just in case what, I don't know, but I figured I should keep them for some time. Well, I haven't used them since my doc gave me the all clear from them, so I finally threw them out today. Put them outside, said tootle-loo. I wanted to take a picture of them, but by the time I thought of it, and went back outside, they were gone... guess someone walking past decided they could use a pair of crutches. Oh well. Still is very exciting. I kept my brace for now, not sure why. I think maybe I think I might need it just in case I tear my PCL again? Dunno, but that will probably go when I move for my residency.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Out on my own

Even though I've only just been released from PT, it feels odd to be on my own. It's almost like going to PT was a safety net. If I was worried about my knee, I could always have him look at it and reassure me that it's nothing wrong. Now, I'm on my own. Now, every little bump and crack makes me nervous. I know it's silly, but it just does. So what exercises do I do at home on my own?

  • straight leg raises on my back, my side, and my stomach
  • ham curls
  • lunges with weights
  • squats with weights
  • leg presses with resistance bands
  • leg extensions with the resistance band tied around a pole
  • straightening my knee with the resistance band wrapped around my knee and a pole
I am really happy I had the surgery done, I think it was the right decision. I'm still not 100%, and wont' be for some time yet. But, it's getting there. When I start my residency, I shouldn't have any problems running around the hospital. The scars are fading, the swelling is gone. My gait is normal, I can go up and down stairs. I still get pretty stiff, especially in the mornings, or when I'm sitting for a while, and the while I can get to full flexion, the last few degrees are still not very comfortable. But at least it's not painful like it used to be. 

And just for a visual, here's a picture of my knee that I took the other day. It's looking relatively normal. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 100...and freedom

Today is day 100 after my PCL reconstruction, and it's significant in several ways. First, I decided I need to thank my donor for giving me a chance at a normal life again, and in Asian cultures, a baby gets a name on the 100th day of life. Being how I am a huge sushi fan, and I love Korean BBQ, I am going to name my new knee on day 100. I have decided on calling it Neela. Say it out loud, Neela. Get it? I hope nobody thinks it disrespectful, but I named my cadaver when I was in my first year of med school, and since I don't know my donor or anything about them, at least this way, they can sort of live on.

I also saw my surgeon today, and he was quite pleased with my knee. I am too. He told me that after I was put under anesthesia, and they examined my knee, my knee collapsed and it was graded 3+. Right now, I'm at about a grade 1/2, and I feel a huge difference in stability and pain. My knee used to give out multiple times a day, now, by the end of the day, I realize that my knee hasn't given out at all, and the pain is much improved compared to how it was before the surgery, so I consider the surgery a success. He also told me that if I am able to do rehab at home, I can stop going to PT. My hamstrings are still weak, but I wasn't able to use them for 12 weeks, so that's to be expected. I can work on that on my own though.

Afterwards, I took the train back home and then went to the therapy office. I bought them a bowl of chocolates to say thank you to everybody, and say goodbye, and let them know that I was released from their clutches. I got a very warm reception. Lots of hugs, lots of I'll miss yous, lots of Be sure to visit us again. I now have the tee shirt to prove that I am a PT graduate.