Update for anyone who hit the same snag as me with riding a bike.
I started on a recumbent, increased the distance each day. After a while I found I could ride the upright if I did a couple of k's on the recumbent, then eventually I didn't need the recumbent. In October I rode 210 kms for the month in the Great Cycle Challenge, which is the shortest distance I have done in all the years I have been doing the challenge, but to be honest I was stoked because I was scared I would not be riding again...ever. Plus I raised $700 for kids cancer research.
I have a great exercise physio and a program that includes deadlifting and squats which makes me happy. I don't load up the bar, but I can get a good work out with low weight and high reps. My gym has Olympic bumper plates now so I can just whack 5kg plates on and do sets of 10 at 30 kilos. Nothing like the 70, 80 or 90 kilo lifts I used to do, but I can live with that. The stronger my legs, the better. Plus if you're a lifter then you will know the therapeutic benefit of holding iron in your hands and shifting weight... any weight. I don't want to live without that.
I'm on the waiting list for the other knee but I don't think I will go through with it. I am still stuck at 105 degrees and while I have found ways to adapt , the reality is if I come out with two knees stuck at 105 degrees I don't see how I will be able to get out of the bath or up off the floor. So it seems to be a choice between pain or total permanent disability.
My biggest problem now is the muscle and tendon stiffness. Deep tissue massage and cupping from my exercise physio is great and I use a foam roller and lacrosse ball when I go to gym to really get into the tight places. I go to gym 6 days a week and incorporate physio into my gym program. I am still a few degrees off being straight - I put a 5kg plate or a 7kg dumbell on my knee while resting my foot on a stool but the thing that seems to keep it from being straight is tight hammies. The only time I feel good is after a bruising massage sesh with the physio.
I don't know how much of my ROM problem is scar tissue in the knee or stiffness in the muscles and tendons, so I no longer see any value in an MUA.
I've passed 7 months now. At this point I am just hoping that by 12 months the tightness and ROM issues are better but a little piece of me has resigned myself to the possibility that I will have a stiff knee for good and that I should have just put up with the pain.
I walk with a limp, but I think that's because the other knee is really painful. In the morning when I get up the new knee is stiff and it takes a little to walk normally on it. It's weird to watch myself in the mirror when I deadlift because my new knee leg is straight while my crappy knee is bowed because it caves on the medial side. Pretty sure that doesn't help with walking.
On panadol and metacam in the morning and panadeine forte at night, but that's mostly for the other knee. I don't have much pain from the new knee now.
So at this point in my recovery do I recommend total knee replacements? No, I do not.
Merry Christmas everyone.