Sunday, July 27, 2014

Road to Recovery: 1 (+ a little) week post-surgery

Getting ready to go under
On the ride home with my pillowpet
Happy Sunday everyone!  Getting a little personal here--this post is all about me :).  On July 17th I was cut open... okay, not really, it's only two little holes... for a knee chondroplasty and scope.  The surgery was successful in my eyes: the doctor was able to take out a few cartilage pieces that were "floating", he cut one flap, and he was able to smooth out some cartilage.  Believe it or not, if you haven't been following along, all of this started with a silly trip and fall during a routine run in my neighborhood.  I wasn't paying attention, was looking at my I-pod, and tripped on a piece of metal on the sidewalk.  Yep, I think back over and over to that day and wish I could turn back time. 
Post-op leg
I'm a little over a week out from surgery, and exactly 5 weeks from the Disneyland Half Marathon, and I gotta be honest--I'm starting to get a little nervous about being able to cross that finish line.  The doctor was very clear over and over again that he wanted to do microfracture surgery to "fix" the problem (I, however, am totally against that surgery, so I decided not to give consent for that procedure).  There is a very real possibility that this surgery does not provide much relief from pain.  Yep, I did a surgery that may not have fixed anything.  It was a Hail Mary--my last hope before looking into some more experimental procedures.  For all of you wondering, no, my doc hasn't put me out for the race; he says it'll be based on how I heal and feel. 
My knee is starting to look normal again; I can almost see my knee cap.  I have full extension and just got beyond 90 degrees of flexion.  My calves are really tight and have actually been causing more pain than my knee.  So weird!  I'm trying to stretch, but it's tough with my other limitations.  I can't use any type of lotions or creams on my leg since the incision isn't totally healed; I'm looking forward to being able to put some arnica cream to help the muscles.  I'm still in a routine of icing most of the day, elevating, and minimal movement.  My only "exercise" is simple leg lifts, which are surprisingly difficult.  I honestly thought I'd be walking around a little more than I am at this point. 
Starting to see a real knee
I can't let myself give up any hope, but it's waning as each day goes by.  I think I will find resolution to this whole issue eventually, but I don't know when.  So, what do you think?  Will I be a spectator or a participant during the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend?  If you were me, what would you do to train?  Please be careful when you are out on your runs!


  1. After a small knee surgery two years ago to clean up my knee. I wasn't allowed to even think about attempting for run for 6 weeks. Has your doctor given you an estimated return to running date? I started PT just 24 hours after surgery and simple leg lifts 3 ways (on tummy, on side, and on back) was all I was allowed even with my 100% range of motion and being pain free 1 week later. I did get a strap to start doing a full stretch on my leg about a week out as well.

    1. Doctor said it's really based on how I feel, but he said it's reasonable to think I'll be back to most activity in 4 weeks (of course, that's if I feel good), but it could be up to 6-8 weeks. I started PT before surgery to get ready. Tomorrow stitches come out and I get back to PT. The DLHalf will be 6 weeks and 3 days post surgery--just enough time to give me a window of hope that I might be able to walk/run SLOWLY! I'm not a good patient! Thanks for the realistic perspective!