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.