My final Physical Therapy appointment

Last Friday I had my final Physical Therapy appointment.  I have to say that this really gives me mixed feelings.  First off I can’t believe it’s been 6 months since my ACL reconstruction surgery.  Second, I can’t believe it’s only been six months since the surgery.  Next, I feel nervous.  Why nervous? Let me explain.

The 6 month Physical Therapy appointment is a special one in that the Physical Therapist had me perform a series of stepping, hopping, jumping tests.  I performed each of these tests first with my unaffected leg, then again with my affected leg.  The idea is to establish a % of capability between the two.  I went into this appointment pretty sure that my affected leg was significantly behind the unaffected one.  I’d had a couple setbacks over the summer; the worst of these was a really long lasting case of bronchitis that kept me off the more aggressive PT routines (jogging) for several weeks.

Long story short, I was correct.  My affected leg is at about 75% of the unaffected one.  My Physical Therapist says that they like to release people to do their prior level of activity (in my case downhill skiing only when the affected leg is around 85-90% of the unaffected one).  What does that mean for me?  Well, it simply means more physical therapy.  Continue running, continue the strengthening exercises, continue the agility exercises.

He also told me that this is completely normal.  All through the process, right from the beginning, everyone has said “As quick as 6 months from your surgery to full capacity”.  As quick as.  But, of course, that’s the optimal case, right?  The case where annoying illness and normal life responsibilities…and let’s face it, laziness at times…don’t interfere with the program to work that leg back into shape!  To be fair, several people at Tria corrected me when I said “6 months” by saying AT LEAST 6 months.  Several of my friends have had ACL reconstruction and each of them said (when I mentioned the 6 month number) “count on a year”.  Yet here I am…thinking to myself that I’ve somehow fallen behind because I’m at 75% after 6 months.

Or, maybe I’m just afraid that without a looming Physical therapy appointment every two weeks I’ll fall further behind?  On the other hand, there’s a brand new ski season in the air…Time to work out!

Posted by Greg on November 1st, 2011 :: Filed under ACL Files

Week 13 (July 19-25)

(Fri, Jul 22nd)

The big news today is that I had my 3 month check-in with the Surgeon.  I went into this one feeling very nervous because my leg feels a bit weird and the swelling still hasn’t gone down ever since London and CONvergence.  It was a very quick check-in where he had me lay back and he moved my knee joint around for about 30 seconds.  It mad this weird ‘clunk’ feeling/sound when he did it ( the exact feeling that made me nervous that I’d damaged the graft).  He said “Feel that clunk?  That’s your ACL”.  I said “Is that good?”  He said “Yes, that is a very healthy ACL.  It’s starting to get stronger again too!”.  Then he proceeded to remind me that while it’s getting better all the time it is still too soon for “cutting and pivoting”.  He also suggested that I hold off on starting jogging until the swelling abates a bit.

Relief!  That’s what I’m feeling this afternoon.  I”m so very happy that I didn’t damage anything.  w00t!

Apparently I was so relieved that I skipped my evening PT…

(Sat, Jul 23rd)

Tonight I’m going to see U2!  I’ll almost certainly over-work the knee again but I still got in the AM PT session.  I really ought to ice it.

(Sun, Jul 24th)

The U2 concert was really fantastic!  There were some glitches…such as heavy rain at times but the band played on and the rain, thunder and lightning really made the light show dramatic.  The only downside is that I never sat down during the whole show…I’m sure my knee is going to swell right up again in the morning.

Posted by Greg on October 1st, 2011 :: Filed under ACL Files


It’s been a long time since my last knee-related update. So here’s what is up. I’m coming up on 5 months since surgery and things are really progressing. The big news is that I’ve been running for the past month and a half. It’s coming along OK, though I did have a setback with a nasty case of bronchitis that kept me off my feet for several weeks. It still hampers my breathing now 6 weeks after the initial onset (argh!). My knee, is reacting well to the running finally after several rough weeks at the beginning.

When I first started running it was mostly walking with a few 1 minute very-slow jogs interspersed. They hurt. My knee ‘pinched’ with every stride and I really felt I had to step with care to keep it stabilized.

Once I upgraded to 3 minute walk, 2 minute run cycles, I quickly realized that I was tensing up my affected leg something fierce, and ended up with some pretty bad cramps after running. It took a couple weeks to gain enough confidence/strength to trust my knee and leg to do what they were supposed to so I could relax.

Now in the past couple weeks I’ve switched to 3 minute run, 2 minute walk cycles. My knee is not the limiting factor anymore, it doesn’t hurt and feels nearly as stable as the other one. I’m still dealing with some cramping from over-tensing, and still dealing with post-bronchitis and generally being out of shape too. That said it’s getting easier each time, and I’ll switch to 4 run/ 1 walk cycles next week.

I’m also doing “unsupported” hopping and agility work now, the scariest of which is hopping from the ‘good’ leg to the ‘bad’ one and back again. My leg is up to it, so it’s mostly a confidence building exercise. There are also a variety of ‘ladders’ which I’d never done before but which are typical agility exercises for soccer players. It really feels good to be starting into the lateral, pivoting movements. Makes me realize I’m going to need all of the months yet ’til winter to be ready for it though!

And the last bit of news, I can kneel again. Weird how much you can use that skill as a dad..and how much you miss it when it’s gone. I still have to do it carefully, but I can split my weight evenly between my knees without too much discomfort.

All in all, things are progressing well!

Posted by Greg on September 22nd, 2011 :: Filed under ACL Files

Week 9 (June 22-28)

Day 57 (Wed, Jun 22nd)

London Eye

This is NOT the view from our hotel room

Today is a travel day from Blackpool, UK to London.  First off…we really should have booked in advance!  It is pricey.  We waited ’til after 9:30 to save nearly 50% and still it was like 70/lbs per person!  Of course, this meant that our 5-6 hr ride blew most of Wednesday.

Anyway, it was nice traveling on a fast train and getting a look at the english countryside.  Then came the more difficult part.  We had to take 3 separate tubes to get from the train station to our hotel, hauling our unwieldy luggage the whole way.  We made it to our final tube exit without too much trial, though my knee was really feeling it.

Then we took a wrong turn out of the tube station and walked an unnecessary 1/2 mile before we corrected and found the hotel.  We stayed in an over-priced, under-appointed hotel, but the location was fantastic.  If we’d had a view (we didn’t) we could have seen the London Eye just a few blocks away.  We spent an hour or two freshening up, getting hooked up on wifi, etc.

After that we met my boss & his wife & took a ride on the ‘eye, then walked around, found some nice pubs to visit, enjoyed some wonderful Cask Ales, etc.

I sure do wish that the American public was more interested in cask ales!  They are so very tasty.  At least we have some choices here at home on occasion.

Day 58 (Thu, Jun 23rd)

Performance Artist in Trafgar Square


Today we did the lazy version of sight-seeing.  We slept in a bit, wandered around Trafalgar Square, spent a couple hours in the National Gallery.  After that we had good intentions to head over to St. Paul’s (which we’d missed on previous trips) but got seduced by Sherlock Holmes Pub ( 10 Northumberland Street).  We had a great time sitting outside and chatting with some locals and some other travelers.  After that we decided to just take a closer look at the area south of Trafalgar Square and so we wandered down Whitehall past Scotland Yard, The Cavalry Museum, 10 Downing Street etc.

After some nosing about we found a little place to grab some OK, but not terribly memorable dinner in a nice surrounding.  Then we caught up with my boss and his wife again for some post dinner pub crawling around Trafalgar square.  Finally we hit the tube for a quick ride back to our hotel.

All in all, a lot of time on my feet, my knee would really have liked an ice pack but there was none forthcoming…

Day 59 (Fri, Jun 24th)

This day was a lot like yesterday…lots of walking around.  We circled St. Paul’s and went in for a bit, walked across the millennium bridge and back, and saw the entirely unimpressive ‘London Bridge’.  (It’s a very normal bridge that crosses the Thames into London city center).  However, from this bridge you can look down the Thames to the east and see the HMS Belfast, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London just beyond.

But today we went west, though, and took a quick look at the Golden Hinde (It’s a recreation of the Sir Francis Drake ship that circumnavigated the globe in the 1500s  Then we wandered our way over to the Globe Theater to see a production of Dr. Faustus.  It was a fantastic show for these amateur eyes.  It was quite long, though, and sitting in cramped quarters was still problematic for my knee.  Thankfully I was seated on the right-end of a row where I could put my leg out into the aisle when I needed to.

We finished off the day with suggestions from friends who’d lived in our ‘neighborhood’ … go to this restaurant, make a reservation, stop at that store to get the wine for the restaurant (no liquor license), stop into another pub to enjoy the evening until reservation time.  It all worked out famously.  If you’re ever going to stay in Southwark, drop me a note and I’ll fill in the details for you!

Day 60 (Sat, Jun 25th)

The long travel day back to Minneapolis was mostly uneventful.  We didn’t have any delays, my leg held up, though feeling tender and beaten, and we made it home.

Day 61 (Sun, Jun 26th)

It’s really time to start with PT again…maybe tomorrow.

Day 62 (Mon, Jun 27th)

Finally I return to my normal PT…but for how long?

Day 63 (Tue, Jun 28th)

Stay the course!

Posted by Greg on August 16th, 2011 :: Filed under ACL Files

Week 8 (June 15-21)

Day 50 (Wed, Jun 15th)

Stay the course!

Day 51 (Thu, Jun 16th)

Stay the course!

Day 52 (Fri, Jun 17th)

Stay the course, but also ran around trying to pack for UK business/fun trip.

Day 53 (Sat, Jun 18th)

Travel day from MSP to JFK then to Manchester, England overnight.  Flights all horribly delayed but somehow we managed to get ourselves (but unfortunately not our luggage) from here to there.

Day 54 (Sun, Jun 19th)

We slept a tiny bit on the plane and today is jet-lag day.  Our luggage did not arrive.  We found out it’d get in about a day (plus transport time to Blackpool) later.  We had to stop at a Tesco to try to find some clothes for the day and for Monday as well.  The rest of the day was spent trying to stay up…we visited downtown Blackpool.  Interesting note, we’d been told it was like the “Vegas of England” but either the cabbie took us to the wrong end of town or it’s more like the “half way boarded up Jersey Shore of England”.  The only thing that made it worthwhile was the extremely low tide, which made for a very surreal looking beach.

I didn’t manage to do any PT at all today (Hint…it stayed that way for the duration of the trip)

Day 55 (Mon, Jun 20th)

Business day.  It went very well.  Thankfully there was lots of sitting so no undue strain on the knee.  We broke down and ate at dinner at the hotel…it was very tasty, but it’s a chain with 3 restaurants back home.

No PT again.

Day 56 (Tue, Jun 21st)

Business day again, it also went well.  We got out early; chatting with the cabbie on the way back to the hotel he suggested a nice pub in the charming little community of Poulton-Le-Fylde.  What a fantastic call it turned out to be.  We toured the grounds of a thousand year old church, enjoyed local cask ales from the Town Hall pub and the Thatched House as well.  We had a fantastic Thai dinner too with some friendly locals who showed us the town and told us of their travels.  Truly a wonderful night.

On the other hand, I spent way too much time on my feet…swelling will follow.

Posted by Greg on August 9th, 2011 :: Filed under ACL Files

Week 7 (June 8-14)

Day 43 (Wed, Jun 8th)

I only managed a single PT session today.

Day 44 (Thu, Jun 9th)

I missed my morning session today, but trying to take extra stairs to at least partially compensate…

Aaaaand I missed the evening one too.  It was all for a good cause, namely playing music and reminiscing with my brother.

Day 45 (Fri, Jun 10th)

Today I missed my AM PT and even then barely made it to work on time.  Then with Kammy’s help I realized I’d missed my 9 AM PT appointment.  Thankfully there was a 1:30 opening so I took it.  I came clean with my physical therapist, told him I hadn’t really done any PT in the past two days.  He told me not to worry, that I’m getting close to the point where I’ll start with every other day anyway.  He then went on to assess my progress.  I can do 20 one-legged squats (assisted) now, and 20 retro-step-ups about 4” high.  He explained how I could tweak the exercises to keep them challenging; Work toward 90 Degree bend on squats, and start adding a pause at the bottom of up to 5 seconds.  For the retro-step-ups I’ll keep adding height and also pause just after my heel comes off the floor.

He also modified the bridge, now I’ll use two feet to get into bridge position, and then alternately lift right then left leg off the floor.  Once I’m comfortable with those I’ll switch to single-legged bridge.  He restated that I’m progressing very well, and that in a couple weeks we will do an assessment to gauge my progress.  At that point he may introduce jogging to my PT.

Day 46 (Sat, Jun 11th)

I slept in today (much needed!) then did morning PT.  I don’t seem to be any worse for wear for having skipped two days; in fact my muscles seem a bit relaxed, and ready for more.  I’ll try to get the other one in today, but in any case my brother leaves tomorrow so it’ll be back-to-normal for a week at least until we head out for the UK.

Day 47 (Sun, Jun 12th)

Stay the course!

Day 48 (Mon, Jun 13th)

Stay the course!

Day 49 (Tue, Jun 14th) Progress check-in

Today I bumped my step-down height up to 5”, I could only manage 15 step downs at that height.  I also tried single (affected) leg bridges for the first time, which went well; I was able to do 20 without much difficulty.

My walking pace is about back to normal, though I do have to be careful not to introduce a slight unevenness between sides.  It’s not quite a limp but it’s different.  I’m still nervous to start running but haven’t been given the go-ahead yet anyhow, so there’s still time to get more comfortable.

Posted by Greg on July 30th, 2011 :: Filed under ACL Files

Week 6 (June 1-7)

Day 36 (Wednesday, June 1st)

At my PT appointment today, Adam told me that I’m doing very, very well…for someone ‘my age’, perhaps the best he’s seen.  He quickly qualified it by saying that ACL reconstruction is way more common among the 14-30 year olds.   Then he said that the few over-30 he’s worked with have had a lot harder recovery than I’m having.  I’ll take that as a compliment!

He added “the Bridge” and “Retro-step-ups” to my PT list, and removed passive extension and stair step-ups.  The Bridge is an exercise for the gluts and hamstrings.  On your back with knees bent at 90 degrees, you lift your butt and lower back off the floor.  I’m doing 15, eventually I’ll work to doing it with just the affected leg.  Retro-step-ups are stepping backwards up a step.  I’ll eventually do a full stair height but this one is pretty tough, so he started me out at 2” step up.

Day 37 (Thu, Jun 2nd)

Stay the course!  The retro-step-ups seem a bit easy so I increased the height to 3”.

Day 38 (Fri, Jun 3rd)

I skipped my evening PT today, mostly because Kammy and I had the evening free and went out to a play then dinner and drinks.  Truthfully, it felt good to skip one; the increasingly physical exercises are leaving my muscles sore at times.  There was one painful part of the evening: The play.  We were in the front row of the balcony and there was really no room to move my leg around.  I’m still not ready to sit with my knee at 90 degrees for over an hour…that play could not be over soon enough.

Day 39 (Sat, Jun 4th)

Today is a beautiful day in Minneapolis!  Kammy and I overslept, and then had to go to a couple appointments.  Once we got home I took care of my ‘morning’ PT even though it was early afternoon.  Then I went out in the yard and did 3 hours of yard work.  I took down some significant branches from some trees in the side yard and cut/bundled/bagged the whole lot.  My knee was pretty tired by the end of it, but my back was probably even worse…So, normal pains were worse than knee pain, is that a win?  In spite of the 3 hour outdoor workout I still did my evening PT while we were catching up on a bit of Doctor Who.

Day 40 (Sun, Jun 5th)

It is another beautiful day here in Minneapolis so we got up early.  My leg feels tired today, but still I do the morning PT.  We all do a bit of cleaning up, normal Sunday chores, and a bit of lounging around.  Then I get the brilliant idea that we should go directly to Ikea and walk around there (and Target) for hours without finding anything we were looking for.  In case you were wondering…yeah, my leg is tired this evening.  I iced it right after dinner and will keep it up for as much of the evening as I can.  Still, I’m planning to do the evening PT.  With family coming to town in a couple days I expect it’ll be much harder to keep up with the PT schedule…

Day 41 (Mon, Jun 6th)

Today was my 6 week follow-up with the surgeon.  Unlike the 1 week follow-up this one was very quick.  He checked on my range of motion, did a quick joint exam, looked at the healing scars.  He noticed the swelling that I have left and said I could expect it to be mostly gone in another 6 weeks.

Then he told me about grafts in this stage of recovery.  It turns out that right after surgery you have a quite-strong tendon held in place by hardware.  Over the course of the first several weeks it vascularizes and in the process weakens considerably.  He hand-drew a graph and showed that in terms of strength, the graft will be at its weakest in a few weeks…which I noticed will be right around the time that I’m really feeling better.  Then over the following three plus months it will get stronger and stronger as my body converts it from a tendon to a ligament.  Basically, this is no time to think you can jump ahead in your activity.  On the other hand, I expect the physical therapist to have me start jogging pretty soon.  I have to say I’m a bit nervous about that part.  I was also surprised to hear my surgeon say he’d prefer I ran outside instead of on a treadmill…that it’s safer.  Kammy pointed out that the physical therapist was very impressed with my recovery to date “for a guy my age”.  I will take it as a compliment again.

Day 42 (Tue, Jun 7th)

My brother is in town…I’ll have to be careful to keep up with PT!

Posted by Greg on July 27th, 2011 :: Filed under ACL Files

Week 5 (May 25-31)

Day 29 (Wednesday, May 25th)

Whoa, I forgot to do PT last night.  Well, strictly speaking I did remember about it but not ‘til I was already in bed and quite tired.  That wasn’t the first time that I didn’t do PT but it was the first time that it wasn’t a conscious decision not to do it.  This AM I was feeling pretty good though and I added some more weight to the leg-lifts in the form of a heavy shoe; I also added more height to the step-downs bringing it up to 4”.  Thankfully, the discomfort I was feeling last night is gone.  I think it was due mostly to swelling, and I think the swelling was from standing (not walking) too much yesterday.  I’ll ask during my PT appointment at 9.

My PT appointment went well as usual.  Adam introduced a new exercise he called the single-leg dead-lift.  This exercise replaces the standing balance that I’d progressed on pretty well to the point that I could do it eyes-closed for over 45 seconds.  The single-leg dead-lift works like this: You balance on your affected leg and then bend forward extending your leg backward as counterweight.  Ideally you keep bending forward until your fingertips touch the floor, then you return to a standing position, still balanced on the one knee.  Work up to 10 reps.  Adam also modified my step-downs to be full height steps, but no step up.  Basically it’s walking down steps which I do on our actual steps now.  The other things stayed the same, continue working toward 20 single legged knee bends (I’m up to 6 or so out of twenty); Step ups stay the same for now.  Continue leg raises with weight (a heavy shoe); Knee bends, Hamstring stretches, Passive extension.

Also, today, I walked from my office to Chipotle for lunch.  It’s a 1.2 mile round-trip which I accomplished nearly at normal walking speed.  It felt a bit uncomfortable but I was able to do it with very little to no limping.  Felt good, really, and it definitely tasted good!

Day 30 (Thursday, May 26th)

Stay the course!

Day 31 (Friday, May 27th)

Physical therapy is a commitment.  On a daily basis you have to choose it.  You have to look ahead and decide to do it instead of whatever else you have going on.  There will be times when it doesn’t fit in.  There will be times where it only fits in because you make extra effort to do so.  Today was one of those days for me where I realized early enough in the day that I had to take the opportunity right when it presented itself.

That said, it went well; my PT is becoming more strength-oriented and less flexibility-oriented.  The exercise are actually leaving my muscles sore, I’m starting to do the exercises with my ‘uninvolved’ leg to make sure that it really is stronger than my ‘involved’ leg.  I really do want to come out of this raring to go for the ski season…don’t want to end up with an injured leg that’s better than the uninjured leg!

Day 32 (Saturday, May 28th)

It’s funny that the day after a post where I state that physical therapy is a commitment, I can’t manage to do any physical therapy at all.  That said, I predicted it’d go this way, and I DID spend a significant portion of the day on my feet, going up and down stairs, hauling things.  Heck, I even trimmed the hedge and picked up the trimmings.  I spent about 2 hrs at the barbecue grill.  Strangely, my leg did not swell up horribly.  Knowing what I was getting into, I wore a Tubi-grip today for the first time in a week to help with it.  Actually, now that I’m typing that I didn’t get any PT in…maybe I’ll actually do it.

Day 33 (Sunday, May 29th)

Stay the course!

Day 34 (Monday, May 30th)

Stay the course!

Day 35 (Tuesday, May 31st)

I woke up today feeling like my knee had made another jump forward in its healing process!  Sleeping last night was less tedious; that is, my knee tolerated more positions.  This is a good day!

Posted by Greg on July 26th, 2011 :: Filed under ACL Files

Week 4 (May 22-28)

Day 22 (Wednesday, May 18th)

Today I tried a trick I figured out a while ago.  If an exercise is giving me trouble, do it with the ‘good’ leg for a while, paying close attention to how I move when there’s plenty of strength and no pain.  Then switch over to the bad leg and try to duplicate the exact move.  The exercise that is giving me trouble is still step-downs.  I really haven’t progressed this week on these, and it seems, if anything, that they’re becoming more painful to do.  Anyway, after paying close attention to form with my good leg/knee I tried again and they seemed at least a bit easier to perform.

Another disconcerting thing: The passive extension has started to hurt more than it did before.  I really don’t like the weird way that my progress moves forward then backward, swelling goes up and down, pain decreases then increases again.  With luck it’s nothing bad and just part of the normal process.

Day 23 (Thursday, May 19th)

Today is the first day that I drove the car to work.  Parked in the ‘close’ ramp, but up on the 6th floor.  That meant a lot of steps to traverse but not such a long walk (one city block in St. Paul).

Day 24 (Friday, May 20th)

There must be something psychological about going to Physical Therapy; this morning my knee felt better than it had in a long time while I was doing my PT.  (Later when walking in to the PT area I was walking the fastest I have since my surgery.)  Passive extension still feeling a bit off, and Step-Downs still giving me trouble, but otherwise a smooth start to the day.  I didn’t have time to ice before heading out for Tria.

Kammy drove and I sent off a couple emails, then we talked about my ongoing fantasy of creating (or even imagining) a fully functioning Utopian society.  She shares the view of many (most?) people that human nature is basically incompatible with Utopia; that once you take away any struggle that people might experience to acquire basic comforts that they all become sloths.  I have to admit that it is one of my stumbling blocks in my mental exercise trying to imaging how we’d get from here to there (there being utopia).

Once we got to Tria we checked in and I paid for my last-week’s visit too; then it was back to the PT room with Adam.  He immediately noticed I was off of the crutches and watched me carefully as I walked back.  He said I was looking strong.  He examined my knee and asked about my progress; I complained about the painful passive extensions and the Step-Downs.  Next he took flexion and extension measurements, both of which were great!  I got to -5 degrees with extension and 125 degrees of flexion which was 4 more than last week.  Adam said that the passive extension might be hurting just because I’m at the full extension and there’s still swelling…and that I can drop that exercise going forward unless it feels good to do it.

Next he took me over to a stationary bike to limber up a bit.  I talked with him about leg stiffness…it is stiff so much of the time.  He said it was something that would be with me for the better part of 6 months, and that it would come and go with the swelling that will also take that long to be rid of.

Adam led me over to the horizontal squats machine and he had me do some exercises; first both legs then just the bad leg.  It felt good to work it this way.

After a few minutes of those we went over by the mirror to look at my form and progress on the Step-Downs and Knee Bends.  Watching me struggle, he pointed out that I was going way slower than he recommended, and showed me how to tweak the exercise to make it better (and easier) for me.  My Knee Bends were coming along well so he had me try a couple of single-legged ones…they are hard but I can feel how good they’ll be soon.  He said I should start doing 15 normal then 5 single legged Knee Bends and slowly reverse the proportion over the next week or so.

I was feeling a bit short of time so I didn’t get iced with the game-ready today…Next time!

Day 25 (Saturday, May 21st)

Hey, my leg is feeling a bit better, and the swelling is down some more…I can see my kneecap, well almost.

Day 26 (Sunday, May 22nd)

Stay the course!

Day 27 (Monday, May 23rd)

Walking: Almost normal pace today…Almost.  I’ve been watching morning news channels while exercising, and I think that I was better off for not knowing what was going on in the world.  During my evening PT I’ve been watching “The IT Crowd”.  If you’ve never heard of it it’s a British sit-com about a couple of IT guys and their boss who knows nothing about IT.  Mindless humor ensues.

As for the PT itself, it is going slower now (less progress per day) but that’s just as Adam said it would.  Getting range of motion back happens pretty quickly, getting all the strength back will take the rest of the 6 months.

Day 28 (Tuesday, May 24th)

I don’t know what happened today, exactly.  I think maybe I stood up too much.  Whatever the reason, by the time I got home my leg was pretty swollen and walking was harder than it’s been recently.   I suppose that some elevation and icing will do me well this evening.

Today marks four weeks since surgery.  Adam (my physical therapist) says I’m doing well, well ahead of the curve.  It feels sloooowwww though.  When it feels slow it’s good to reflect on what all has happened and just how far I’ve come in four weeks.  Stairs are very manageable (up is easy, down needs handrail help); Walking is almost back to normal pace most of the time; Getting up from and down to floor is pretty reasonable; Driving? No problem.  What’s left to go?  I still have a ways to go before I’ll kneel again, and there’s no running yet.  Obviously sports are a several months off too.

So, my initial Injury was at the end of February, pre-hab lasted 6 weeks, now I’m 4 weeks beyond surgery.  I am 2 ½ months into an approximately 7 ½ month process.  Hey I’m 1/3 of the way done with this.  From here on out it’s just a matter of staying the course with PT and waiting for everything to heal and strengthen up.  I can’t decide if 5 more months feels like a long time or a short time.

Posted by Greg on July 24th, 2011 :: Filed under ACL Files

Days 14-21 (May 10-17)

Day 14 (Tuesday, May 10th)

Not much to report.  Did morning and evening PT.

Day 15 (Wednesday, May 11th)

Today’s PT resulted in more shifting of my exercises and also marks the beginning of once-a-week visits.  Here’s the new regimen: 5-minute Passive Extension; 20 Heel Slides; 1-minute Hamstring Stretch; 30 each of front and back Leg Raises (but drop side ones).  Then I stand up for 20 Step-Ups; 20 Knee Bends with 5 second pause, but now I squeeze a midsized kick-ball between my knees.  The goal is to get my Medial quad to work harder, right now my Lateral quad is doing all the work; 1 minute Balance, but now do it on a pillow or other more challenging surface.  The 20 Knee-Bands were dropped in favor of my new bane: 20 Step-Downs.  I can only do these from about a 3” platform of magazines, and even this feels painful, uncomfortable, and awkward.

In the evening I hit another milestone.  I drove for the first time since surgery.  I’ve been feeling like I was maybe up to it for the past couple days…so I gave it a try and it was fine.  Once I’m a little more mobile I can start driving to work too; it’ll have to wait until I can comfortably make the walk from  the parking ramp to the office.

Day 16 (Thursday, May 12th)

Stay the course!

Day 17 (Friday, May 13th)

Stay the course!

Day 18 (Saturday, May 14th)

Stay the course!

Day 19 (Sunday, May 15th)

Today was a beautiful day in Minneapolis, we got out and took care of some business, I picked up a track-suit at a second-hand store for a work event on Friday, and Z wanted one too so we got him one. It was so nice that we decided to take a walk by the lake.  This was a big milestone…I did it with no crutch at all!  I walked very slowly to ensure that I didn’t limp and Kammy stayed with me while Z zoomed all over the place, first on his scooter, then just running around.

Day 20 (Monday, May 16th)

Today’s main news is that I left the crutches behind entirely.  I walked (slowly) to lunch and back, but my co-worker is still dropping me off and picking me up…Won’t be long now until I start driving to work again.

Day 21 (Tuesday, May 17th)

Stay the course!

Posted by Greg on July 23rd, 2011 :: Filed under ACL Files