PKR JusticeRider’s rehab adventure

Hey all, I’m new to this forum although I have been lurking for a while. I had a left patellofemoral replacement on August 10th. I am 44 years old and have had FAI hip labrum repair twice on my left hip, an arthroscopic cleanup on my left knee and now the partial replacement. Really hoping this is it for a good long while! I want my (formerly very active) life back! This is the hardest of all the surgeries I’ve had. Pain levels are good now but I am worried about ROM and it has been stressing me out. I hike, backpack, snowshoe, trail run, and train horses and have a farm. I need 120 degrees of flexion to mount my horse. Right now I’m at about 80. I could use some encouragement (though I already feel somewhat better after reading up on ROM on this forum). My problem is everyone else is telling me I have 3 more weeks or else! I’m tired today.
JusticeRider, I can relate how tiredness feels. I agree with others on this thread that we advance our ROM at our own pace, little by little. Glad you are here with us. Misery loves company, LOL.
If nothing hurt when I got up in the morning, I'd think I was dead.
My hubs always says "It's a good day when you wake up breathing!" Umm, don't we always wake up breathing? And...I'm sorry, but I want to do more than just breathe.:heehee:

I can easily fall into into a catastrophic mindset myself @JusticeRider . We're creative thinkers, haha. :wink:
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Thanks. I keep reminding myself it must be helping to be walking straight after years getting more crooked- but it hasn't been a magic cure just yet....
Just so I remember later, and for anyone coming along behind me…an example of what a roller coaster this recovery is.
Last week and over the weekend I was on top of the world. My knee was coming along so well, I was able to do more and feeling accomplished. I was thrilled with how it was going. I thought I was phasing new activity in slowly and gradually. But something on Tuesday made my knee really angry and the old pot roast leg made an appearance. I had some pretty icky swelling. So I stretched and iced and elevated and took an extra Ibuprofen (I’d been down to one a day).

I thought it would be better the next day (Wednesday) and it was…barely. But as if that weren’t enough, my hip flared up too and was really tight and sore. Of course that always scares me because my nightmare is me having to have that hip replaced (I know I probably will someday but I’m hoping not for like 30 years!) Anyway, I scaled back my plans and took it easy, iced a lot. Yesterday the swelling was mostly down in my knee but my hip felt worse. So I took it pretty easy again and even had a massage. But by the evening the swelling was back and my knee was a hot, meaty pot roast again. Really uncomfortable with the pressure in there. So I had a sore hip and a swollen knee and I was feeling pretty low. I have a tendency toward mood swings anyway, and it was a real downward swing.

I woke up this morning feeling irritable and not looking forward to the day at all. But once I started moving around, I realized that my knee actually felt fine! And while my hip still felt a bit tight, it was much improved. My mood lifted and I was able to get out for a nice walk. I only went about a mile just to be safe, and it felt better than ever afterwards. I iced and elevated for a while and then later I got on the stationary bike. I’ve been riding 20 minutes a day since the end of December. Right before I got the swelling early in the week I had been about to try lowering the seat a click. I held off because my knee got angry. But today it felt great so I figured I’d try it and if it was too uncomfortable I would just wait and try it in a few days. To my surprise, I was actually able to pedal comfortably with the seat down a click! I was thrilled! My progress on flexion has been improving millimeters at a time over many months, so lowering the seat another click is a huge victory for me! And for it to feel comfortable was so encouraging! I only did 10 minutes because I didn’t want to press my luck. I told my husband about it and was SO excited. The day was looking up! Until…after dinner I stood up and my knee was big and hot and swollen again. Nooo!

It’s been like 2 months since my pot roast leg has made an appearance, and I have to admit, at almost 6 months I was hoping I was done with this. Especially having it go on for more than a day or two. I know, I know, it takes a year. But sheesh! I’m trying to remember that I’m only halfway through this recovery and there are guaranteed to be ups and downs. But man, the ‘downs’ really aren’t very fun. Looking forward to the next ‘up’, which should be coming along soon…:umm:
So sorry to hear that but I really know what you mean.
I was really beginning to believe in my recovery but a couple of heavy activity days and I had more swelling/ heat again last night. It does worry you.
Hope your hip settles down. I know what you mean about not wanting more surgery for a good while.
  • That darn pot roast! It really doesn't like too much activity.
  • I hope your day gets better. :console2:I'm having an "over this" kind of day, too. It happens.
  • Please keep us up to date on the pot roast.
JusticeRider and friends, indeed, recovery is a rollercoaster ride, and has ups and downs. I am scaling back on my "On feet" activities. I tend to overdo and need to rest more.
Not that I would want any of you to feel down, it is somewhat comforting to know I’m not the only one getting overwhelmed by emotion. Last weekend when I cried at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (which I have seen enough times to quote dialog) I knew I was getting overly emotional about my recovery! :unsure:
My knee was coming along so well, I was able to do more and feeling accomplished. I was thrilled with how it was going
I do remember feeling exhausted just reading all that you were doing with looking after the animals and mucking out barns...
It is so easy to overdo things once we feel more like our old selves. I have had a bit of this myself the last couple of days. I had just started to believe I was on the home straight and helped my daughter more with childcare/ housework as she has some really tough work deadlines coming up. Now my knee is more sore/ warm again....
@EalingGran @beachy @LemonCheesecake @Cinders2023 ,

Thanks y’all. It IS nice to feel I’m not alone. Like you said, Cinders, you don’t want anyone else to feel bad, but at least if you know you can all commiserate. I was kind of in denial on Tuesday and Wednesday, like if I don’t talk about it will go away. Haha. But I know you guys understand!

EalingGran, I know you get it with the hip thing. We’re kind of in the same boat there. It’s scary! I’m sorry you’ve had more swelling in your knee lately too. I know you had some busy days! As beachy and LemonCheesecake said, it’s hard to know how to balance activity so you don’t over do. I keep finding with my reactive knee, I have to take the slowest I can imagine introducing something new, and then do it even slower! She’s very touchy. My husband calls her the little dictator. She has the final say on everything!

Beachy, I totally get just feeling ‘over it’. I think those were almost my exact words on Thursday pm. By the way, I kind of like your bullet points :heehee: they’re so succinct! Which is something I know nothing about. Also, Cinders, don’t feel silly for crying over Harry Potter. I’m really not much of a cryer but I swear, I’ve cried more over the last year than I have probably in my whole life! This:censored: is hard!! Sometimes you just need a good cry.

I’m a little stiff this morning but it seems ok so far. Swelling is down. It’s Saturday and I’m just going to be really lazy today. My hubby’s been doing all the mucking so I can rest :roseshwr: Happy weekend, y’all! I really do appreciate your kind words. I hope it’s a happy knee day for all of us…!
Quick little update, I’m happy to report that the swelling has been down and no pot roast for the last few days. My hip is a bit tight but it’s improved. I’m stretching it often and using the heating pad. My foot pain is pretty much gone. I’ve been trying to walk more on soft trails instead of just paved roads and also added an extra pair of insoles for good measure. I took it easy over the weekend but walked about 3 miles today on a nice little trail in a nature park. So things are looking up again :) I’m planning to post a full update in a few days when I have my 6 month kneeiversary. Night all :sleep:
@JusticeRider That is really encouraging
Glad things are settling down again. It is such a roller coaster! I still use some soft gel insoles to relieve pressure on my joints and think they probably help.
Hey y’all, I meant to post a 6 month update a few days ago but came down with the stomach flu and it hit me HARD. I’m just now coming out of it and starting to feel human again. I am so glad my knee is as functional as it is, because I passed out and went down and did not hurt my knee. I’ve been mostly sleeping the last few days but I think tomorrow I will be back to normal and I’ll be able do a full post. I also need to catch up on reading threads and see how everyone’s doing! Good night and happy knees to you all :mcoffee:

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