IT Band Release Surgery Post #3 Week 1 Recovery

Saturday-Tuesday:

I pretty much just slept all the time. I was only awake for about an hour at a time and would wake up every 4 hours. Pain in my left knee was not too bad, it was very well managed. Pain in the right knee was still pretty excruciating. Any small movement/bend in the right leg would be searing pain. We had to be extra careful getting me in and out of  the bed/couch. Rob would hold both my legs and swing me around to the edge, and carefully set them both down. The reverse for getting into bed/couch.

I had several exercises that I needed to do that the PT gave me at the hospital. I did these 4 times a day.

30 ankle pumps-helps decrease swelling in legs and feet, and is also important in not developing blood clots. You just basically pump your ankles up and down.

15 quad sets-after having IT Band release surgery, you lose control over your quads. Your brain tells your legs that it hurts, so it doesn’t want to fire signals (it was explained to me by my therapist). The quad set helps to get your leg straight, and rebuild strength and stability in your quadriceps. For this exercise, you tighten your quad for 5 seconds and release.
I had only slight difficulty doing these on my left leg, but I would try so hard to get the right one to cooperate. It would tighten, but just barely. I had Rob show me several times how to tighten my quad, because I thought I was going crazy for not being able to do them.

15 straight leg raises-this is again, to help strengthen and tighten the quads. Tighten the quad, and slowly raise the leg 12 inches off the ground, and slowly lower back down. They did not have me hold the position at the top.
Again, only slight difficulty with the left leg, but so difficult with the right. I would use all my brain power and might to get my leg off the ground, but it would not go. It was like a dead leg. By Tuesday, I could start to get it up, but I would have extreme pain. I just did my best with these (and what I mean by best is to lift with my own arms).

Big event-Monday I decided to take a shower. This was a pain because I could not get the stitches wet. We had to take the braces off, the gauze, and all the wrap. Then we had to Saran wrap my knees and Duct tape it to my legs. As we were doing this process, I starting feeling dizzy again and passed out for time #3.

Wednesday-Doctor’s appointment in Salt Lake. Rob decided we should take his car instead of the Jeep. Most uncomfortable, longest 1 hour car ride ever! His car is pretty low to the ground, so it was difficult getting into and out of the car without bending my knees due to the straight braces. Once in the car, I still can’t bend my knees so they were popped up and hitting the underside of the glove compartment.

Finally made it to the doctor’s appointment, and it went well. They showed me pictures of the scope and showed me what they took out of the right knee. I also had a nice surprise and discovered that they did the release on the left knee as well. They removed the braces and cut the stitches and told me they should dissolve in a week, and to start physical therapy.

As we were leaving the appointment, I have ZERO quad stability. I walk like I am on stilts. I started feeling dizzy again, and you guessed it-passed out for #4. I was so super embarrassed with all these people around me and find myself lying in the middle of the hallway. I just wanted to get out of there!

I had my PT appointment set up for right after the doctor’s appointment. On the way to PT, we had a better idea to set me up in the back of the car so I could be more comfortable.

The therapist gave me some more exercises to start working on to get the strength back in my quads and some bend in my knees.

Heel slides (5 minutes each leg with 10 second hold at top)-getting the bend and range of motion back in the knee. Dig your heel into the ground so you are using the hamstring muscles. Support your knee with both hands, and slowly start bending your knee, pulling the leg towards you. Bend the knee as much as possible. It is ok if the knee catches, you need to push a little bit, but don’t hurt yourself.

Knee bend measurement: L-66 degrees R-45 degrees

Quad set-25 x with 5 second hold

Straight leg raises-15 x 3 second hold
Still can’t do right leg. Left leg can do 7 without break.

Calf pumps-using a band, do ankle pumps. Place the band around the foot and hold the ends of the band tight. 50 x

Calf/Hamstring stretch-using a towel, place around both feet. Feet should be together. Straighten leg stretching the calves and hamstrings. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 2 x’s.

Thursday-I did my exercises and slept some more.

Friday-Another therapy appointment.

Same exercises as above.
Knee bend measurements: L-120 degrees R-85 degrees.
My therapist is thrilled with my progress and says I am making great headway.

Saturday-Completed exercises and slept some more. I am a very exciting person :)

P.S. Monday was not the only day I showered that week. Thought you would like to know.

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IT Band Release Surgery Post #2 The Surgery

Leading Up to Surgery: 

Wednesday-Called the therapist I planned on using to schedule an appointment for after surgery. I heard that the therapist was very good, and extremely busy. So I wanted to get an appointment scheduled ASAP.

I asked if he had ever treated anyone who had IT Band release. He had seen several patients, which was great news because I didn’t want to be the first.

He also asked who my surgeon was, and confirmed to me that he was a great surgeon and I was in good hands. Any of his patients have healed quickly with no problems. I was relieved! I have never had surgery before, and I was a nervous wreck.

Thursday-I went on a 10 mile bike ride with P.E. So fun! I wasn’t done yet, and asked my principals if I could go again. They were fine with it, and came with. At mile 15, my knees were done and killing me! I powered through the last 5 miles, but confirmation that I needed the surgery so I could return to activities pain free.

Thursday night I had dreams of pancakes and waterfalls. I was so thirsty! I was dehydrated from the bike ride and didn’t properly refuel. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well.

Surgery:

Friday-Checked into the hospital and was immediately brought back to a prep room. The nurse had me change into a gown to start the prep for surgery. I had questions galore I had to answer. I took a pregnancy test-passed with flying colors. She scoured my legs several times looking for any cuts or scabs. The nurse told me they sent a girl home last week because of a cut.

She then tried starting an IV. I was stuck twice, and then she had to call in another nurse to help insert the IV. I have tiny, baby veins (they had to use a needle they use for children), and I was dehydrated. Once the IV was put in, and blood was drawn, I told the nurse I didn’t feel well. I told her I was going to pass out, and then I went out and had a mini seizure. I scared Rob half to death. Poor guy. Apparently this is pretty common with IVs. While out, I had a nice dream of signing year books and eating root beer floats. Sadly, I awoke to the hospital. Darn.

After coming to, the doctor came in for a consultation. He looked over my legs, again checking for any scrapes and nicks. We had previously decided to do both knees, but I started to chicken out. I asked him if he could just cut the left knee and look at the band. If it needed to be done, he could go ahead and hack away. The right knee was getting scope, debridement, and released.

The OR nurse came in 10 minutes later to ask a bajillion more questions and give me a cute hat for surgery. We had the anesthesiologist post pone entering to allow Rob time to run to the car to grab the ice machine. (My dad had ACL surgery two years ago and sent me his ice machine to help save costs. They are about $300.)  Once Rob returned, the anesthesiologist immediately entered to bring me back to the OR. Rob gave me a quick kiss goodbye and I started to panic walking into the plastic covered room.

 

I was set up on a tiny metal table and told that the anesthesia was going to be put into my IV. Almost immediately, I felt tired. I asked the doctor, “Is this supposed to be working already? I feel tired.” He replied, “Yep.” And I was out like a light.

I woke up next to 10 other patients, with a nurse at my side with a cold cup of water. I guzzled it down. She asked me how I was feeling and if I had any pain. I told her left knee is fine, but pain of a 2/3 in the right. She said, “I will be right back to get you medicine.” She was gone for 5 seconds, and it escalated to an 8/9. She gave me two oxycontins and wheeled me over to the next recovery room where Rob was waiting for me.

Rob then informed me I had dried drool all over my face. He helped me wipe it. Aww. Thanks Rob! You da best! I told him I was so thirsty, so he refilled my water. Rob was pretty worried because I kept sleeping for about another hour. He kept trying to wake me up, but the nurse said it was ok that I slept.

Another nurse came into to check on me and my pain. I told her that my right knee was still killing me. She said I could have a shot of morphine. She gave me some, but it made me so sick. Soon after, the physical therapist came in and gave me instructions for therapy at home. I was in straight braces on both my knees. After lengthening the IT Band, it needs to be kept as straight as possible so as to not ruin the procedure. She fitted me for crutches and helped me walk with them and showed me how to get up and down the stairs. I walked like Frankenstein due to the braces.

I was then put into a wheelchair and as I was being wheeled out to the car, I started to feel even more sick. They gave me a bag, just in case. I was put into  the car, and had phone calls from my parents. Talking to them made me really dizzy, and I put the bag to use.

I got home and Rob set up me up on the couch to hang out, watch TV for a little bit, and ice my knees.

A little while later it was bedtime, and I was up every 2-4 hours for water, restroom, switching the ice machine, and pain medicine. I couldn’t sleep lying down, so I slept sitting up. That was probably another reason I was up so often.

Rob would keep constant watch over my feet and check my temperature. If my feet turned blue, lost feeling, or I got a temperature, I needed to go to the hospital immediately.

After getting up and going to the restroom, I told Rob I didn’t feel well, and I was going to pass out. He set me down on the ground, and I passed out again. That’s twice now. Poor guy.

Finally made it through night one. Phew.

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IT Band Release Surgery Post #1 The Decision

These posts are really just going to be about my IT Band release surgery. This is a very rare surgery and is typically fixed through foam rolling, astym, and physical therapy. I am just trying to put information out there just in case anyone is considering having this procedure done.

Backstory:
I had been having IT Band pain for 2 years when I decided that what I had been doing was not working. The pain would get so bad, where I physically could not walk. I would have to limp, or crawl around.

I was seen by countless doctors,  two therapists,  a chiropractor, two cortisone shots, a steroid pill pack, foam rolled like a boss, and astym therapy-where they scrape you with tools. The last option was to try dry needle therapy. They take a needle and poke a bunch of holes into your affected area.

I called my doctor in November of 2013 and said I had enough and I didn’t want to do dry needle therapy. I just wanted to opt for surgery. He gave me the name of a doctor that he refers his patients to and the only one he would recommend to do IT Band release.

I called the doctor and was scheduled an appointment for December. I then checked to see if he was covered by my insurance, and I was so lucky that he was in network. I was going to see him whether I was covered or not. After Googling, and seeing his amazing resume of patients, I was sold that he was going to be my doctor.

When I went to my appointment, I was told that I was the perfect candidate for surgery. I was also told that I shouldn’t have waited so long to have the surgery, and my recovery might be a little slower because of the wait time. He also informed me that of the thousands of surgeries he has done, he has only done 50 IT Band releases. Of the 50, only 1 had no change. This surgery has a 50/50 chance of working. I was promised that it would not get worse, just have no change at all.

I figured that a 50/50 chance of it working/no change, I was going to take the chance and schedule an appointment for surgery.

Surgery:
What is IT Band release surgery?
A small incision is made on the lateral side of the knee, and a series of small nicks  are made into the band until it is no longer tight. It is as if you take a rope, pull it tight, and make holes into the rope until it is loose.

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3 Days, 3 Things

3 days, 3 things.

Saturday:

I met up with my friend Toni for lunch at Rubio’s so I could get her Praxis II study guides. If I look like I just got done working out and didn’t shower, is because it’s true.

I still have one more test to take so I can teach next year. This will be the last one. It will be nice when I don’t have to take anymore tests :/

Sunday:

Rob put an apple sticker on Stella’s nose. She liked it so much she left it there all day! It was her gold star sticker for being such a good doggie.

I didn’t mean to cut my face out. She got too wiggly. Diva. She gets a haircut tomorrow! Yay!

Today:

Ran some random errands with Rob today. We parked by this sign.

Rob said it was ok to park there because I was Skeletor. Then the real Skeletor drove by and he looked like this:

What are three things you did today/this weekend?

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Research

I have seen 4 doctors, 2 physical therapists, and 1 chiropractor; all of whom can’t tell me what is going on, or how to help me anymore. I go through these cycles. I start to feel better, so I start training. Then without fail, my IT band starts to act up again. I break down, I do a ton of research, and see another doctor for help. I have done a TON of research when it comes to IT band. I am heading on 19 months here! That is a long time to be researching.

I am repeating the cycle, except I don’t think I will be making another doctor’s appointment (unless my next plan of attach refuses to work). I have recently stumbled upon quite a bit of research that is telling me I need to be doing some strength training. Crazy, after seeing so many professionals that not one could tell me that I needed to be strength training. Odd indeed. Here is my research. Feel free to ignore this post, or read up if you or a loved one is also suffering from IT band problems.

First article that sparked my interest:
Beating the Band 

Why yes! I know all about that!

This has been a huge problem with what I have been doing so far. I have been told to foam roll, massage, stretch, ice, repeat for 19 months now.

I have also read (can’t remember where) that it is very difficult to stretch the IT band because it is very difficult to reach.

I need to be engaging in strength training.

Article Number 2:

Getting the (IT) Band Back Together

Weak hips are at the root of the problem.

These most important exercises listed were:
1. Hip abductor

2. Hip gluteus medius

(See article for how to strengthen these)

Even though I need to be strengthening, I also need to be stretching.

 

I also should not forget about the foam roller. Other research has stated that I need to foam roll to lengthen and stretch the IT band. However, this new research states that the IT band cannot be made more flexible. I can use the foam roller for massage and to break up adhesion.

This third article also suggests the same techniques of strengthening, stretching, and foam rolling.
Running Tips: IT Band 

And lastly, the fifth article I discovered, although talking about tennis injuries,

again suggests to foam roll with strength training.

Knee Pain Relief with IT Band Myofascial Release

I just thought this picture was funny! Read the caption below- very painful. Why is she smiling?!?!

I hope this works! If you or a loved one is experiencing pain or difficulties with their IT Band, please contact me, Dr. Anderson Web MD. I am awesome at making self-diagnoses. On second thought, you might want to wait to see if my own tips and advice works.

 

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Recovery and Sammy’s

My knee was still on the recovery this morning when I woke up. I decided that I would spin my life out. I watched Downton Abbey. Snooze Fest! Maybe it will get better? I seriously thought I was going to die a slow death of boredom. I was there for an hour and the only thing that was keeping me awake was my furious pedaling.

After, I was planning on foam rolling and stretching, and calling it a day. I looked outside and it was just so beautiful, it was calling my name. Stella and I went on a 3 mile walk. I didn’t bring Lady Gaga with me. Just enjoyed the walk while listening, and finishing, “The Maze Runner.”

The largest dandelion puff I have ever seen. I picked it for good measures and made a wish. Can’t tell or it will never come true :)

Horses?!

Stella’s reaction to the horses. Forget deer! She is a psycho! Good thing she was on a leash.

Rob and I had some errands we needed to run and decided to stop and get Sammy’s pie shakes while in Provo. These are the best! They put an actual slice of pie into your shake. I got peach cobbler and Rob got Reese’s.


Do you watch Downton Abbey? Does it get better or stay the same?

What is your favorite dessert spot?

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Angry Knee and Cold Apple Pie

I woke up at 4 am this morning to an angry knee. I tried to just ignore it and go back to sleep, but it was so tight. I always keep my heating pad next to the bed in case something like this happens. So I turned it on and heated my leg for 1.5-2 hrs. It finally calmed down so I could fall back asleep.

When I woke back up at 7 (1 whole extra hour of sleep) I decided it was not a good idea to run on something that was waking me up. However, I did take Stella on a 3 mile walk while listening to “The Maze Runner”. So so so so good!

Stella done and got herself all dirty. This is an old picture, but she looked like this when we were done.

I was finally forced into giving her a bath. She looks like a wet rat. Poor thing needs a haircut too. She is 90% fluff.

I was trying to get a picture of the brown and sticker filled water. It was pretty gross.

I have a new smoothie recipe! It is like drinking cold apple pie. Delicious! This breakfast cured any sad thoughts I had about my knee. I will be drinking this every morning for the next 3 years.

1 c. milk (I use Almond milk-vanilla). If you use regular milk you might want to add some greek yogurt to thicken it up a little bit.

1 banana

1 apple (cored)

1/2 c. oats

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

I don’t add any ice because it makes it all watery. So I just stick it in the fridge or freezer for a little bit.

What books are on your summer reading list? (Really, I need some titles here people)

What is your breakfast of champions?

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Witch’s Brew

Rob and I were watching “How it’s Made”. Two of the strangest episodes came on, one on worcestershire sauce and the other on haggis (whatever that is).

These are the grossest things I have ever seen made. Did you know worcestershire sauce is made with anchovies? What the? And haggis (again, whatever that is) is made of ground up fat and lamb lungs. What the?

No wonder people were being accused of being a witch. Only witches would be able to come up with those weird concoctions and brews.

No workout today. I woke up and my knee was tired. Every woman knows the cure for feeling sorry for yourself is shopping! So I went grocery shopping instead.

Good thing I showered and got ready today. (Remember, it’s summer and I take a complete break from life during the summer). I ran into 3 students

Killing the environment one shopping trip at a time.

Bah! I spent all my blogging time looking for a meme I saw on Pinterest. There it was born, and there it died in the black abyss.

Short post tonight. I will run and blog tomorrow! :)

What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten or made?

Hate Pinterest or love it?

 

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A Day of Nothing

Sorry. Yesterday we changed internet providers, so it was down all day. I did nothing yesterday. It was wonderful. You should try it too sometime.

I snacked on peanut butter, apples, and chocolate chips

Finished this book. Fabulous!

When Rob came home, we decided to try the Wendy’s frosty cones.

I couldn’t get the paper off of the cone. I almost resorted to eating the cone paper. Phew! Good thing I got it off just in time!

Today, I did a 3 mile run. Average 10 min mile. Bleh. It was hot by the time I started running, and I felt tired. I was having a hard time picking up the pace. Monday will be a better day.

I made brownies for breakfast. I love being an adult.

Rob brought (snuck) me home lunch from the golf course. There was a tournament today, and they provided food.

How was your workout today?

Have you ever eaten junk food for breakfast?

 

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Summer Kickoff (This post is quite long due to an overextended absence)

To kickoff the first day of summer I ran a 5k in the Run of Remembrance. During the race, you run through the cemetery. This got me thinking of all of the men and women who are serving,  who have served, and who have died protecting this country and my freedoms. I am so thankful.

I did this race with Holly and Steph numero uno and their families. I ran with K K (Kenna and Kayden) for 1.6, but then my knee started to pull. I had to stop and walk for a little bit. K K left me for dead! After I finished I told them that I disowned them forever. They are done being my 13 year old besties ;)

Holly’s fam and Steph’s fam

I am not a giant. Holly and Steph just have some growing to do in their spare time :)

This week I have been spinning a lot and catching up on all my teenage drama shows. I wonder what it feels like to be an adult? Rob changed my bike seat to a more comfy one, and my pedals to clips. I used to spin twice a day everyday from 2006-2008 back in the day. I would get to the gym at 5 am for the 6 am class. Yes, you had to be there an hour early in order to get a seat! Sometimes I had to get there at 4:30 (now that is dedication). Then I would go to the 6 pm class for extra fun.

My dearly beloved. He/She needs a proper name. This picture was taken in March. No it did not snow this week. I wouldn’t put it past Utah though.

Today I ran 2 miles in my favorite spot with my favorite dog. My splits were a 9:15 and a 9:30. I am pretty proud if I do say so myself, since I haven’t ran since last September. I walked 1 mile just for extra effort. It is hard and weird knowing that my favorite distance is 16 miles, and that I used to be able to run marathons. Now I know what it feels like to be a mere mortal, a human. Running sucks. Haha. I am just grateful that I can now walk, sit, and bike pain free.

I seriously love running in the spring time, it is so green and beautiful. Plus the weather stays nice all day long, so I don’t have to start running when it is dark outside or I would die a long slow death of heat.

After running, I spun (correct term?) for an hour then foam rolled like a boss. Rob came home, rolling pinned me, and then stretched me. Sadly, foam rolling nor rolling pinning  hits the sweet spots anymore! What does this mean? My IT band is still flared. It has gotten significantly better since last year, but it is still bothersome.

Not only do I still have IT band problems I have the case of the walrus foot. This picture does not do it any justice.

I tried cutting out my alien toes because feet are gross and gross looking. I thought I post a picture of feet for all the world to look at.

After I came home from school on Friday (last day of school ya-hoo!) I took my shoes off and Rob shouted, “Holy walrus foot! What the freak is wrong?!” I sprained my ankle, 2 weeks ago now. It wasn’t sore, didn’t bother me, and there was no swelling. Then all of a sudden on Friday, it swelled up like a balloon. I put socks on so I could ice my ankle, and I had skin hangover on the side. Umm yeah.

I just irritated the ding dang thing again by playing tennis this evening. What’s a girl to do? Tomorrow I will spin, ice and sit around eating chocolate chips (semi-sweet, duh. What kind of girl did you take me for?) while reading a book. Maybe wally the walrus will stop freaking out sometime soon.

What did you do for your summer kick-off?

Name suggestions for the bike?

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