PKR JusticeRider’s rehab adventure

Hey friends, hoping someone can shed some light on something for me. I FINALLY went on my first backpacking trip after 3 years and 3 surgeries. I basically have a new left leg that performed beautifully!! [More on that to come!]

Since we returned, I’ve noticed these strange marks that have appeared on my other (right) knee. I have no pain and did not have any injury to the knee. The marks have been there for 4 days now. It almost looks like something pressed against my knee and made indentations. But nothing did. And the marks haven’t faded at all. It’s really strange. Any idea what this could be?
 

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That is strange and I have no idea why they showed up. At least you are not having any pain with them.
 
It doesn't look like the circular bulls eye rash of Lyme or another tick bite.
Are you sure no plant brushed against your leg to scratch it?.
I agree it does look odd. I guess if it isn't painful or spreading- then just wait and see??
Or I wonder if there are any dermatology forums like Bonesmart??
 
Odd! You're right - they don't look like a "skin condition" of any kind but like a mechanical issue creating soft tissue indentation. I don't have a clue!
 
Weird, right? It does look and feel like dents in the skin. Maybe I’ve been abducted by aliens? Haha! I googled around and only came up with things that would have pain or swelling associated with them. If it was on the other knee, I’d send a pic to my surgeon’s office. But this is my non-op knee.
 
Very unusual. Were you wearing shorts or pants while backpacking? Have they changing in size since you noticed them?
 
Ok, so the alien marks have disappeared as quickly as the arrived. It’s all very strange. I wracked my brains trying to think of anything that could have been pressing against my knee, etc. No explanation, so I was actually considering messaging my PCP with a picture. And then when I woke up this morning they were gone! Very strange. Hopefully they don’t reappear, although at least they seemed harmless. :what:
 
Well friends, here I am a few days short of 14 months post PKR! So much has been happening and so much improvement still going on. 12 months truly was a turning point, and progress since then has been in leaps and bounds. My flexion on my op knee still doesn’t match my other knee, but in every other way, my PKR knee is my GOOD knee! :happydance:And my flexion has improved in the last month! It’s gonna get there for sure. Meanwhile, it is totally functional and serving me very well.

My goal was to go on a backpacking trip by the end of this summer, and I did it! Went for an overnight in the North Cascades a few weeks ago. I carried less weight than I used to for my first trip back, but I had my pack mostly full and climbed up a respectably steep 8 miles to a beautiful lake. I couldn’t believe how strong my knee felt. We even ended up bushwhacking up an extremely steep hillside after missing a turn. I thought for sure it was going to hurt my knee but actually there were no painful consequences! Wow! I will say, sleeping on the ground was absolutely miserable on a twice operated hip and a twice operated knee :groan:But I felt great the second day and hiked back down with no issues whatsoever. Iced with gas station ice on the way home and would you believe I had no soreness the next day?? All my loooooong slow work has paid off! Yay! And in that long slow work, I count post op months 2-4 of having to do basically nothing (in order to get my persistent swelling to go down) and hating every minute of it, haha.

Last weekend, my husband and I hauled our horses up to the mountains for a fall horse camping trip. Over the two days, we rode more than 20 miles of absolutely gorgeous scenery and technical terrain. Again, the knee performed beautifully ❤️ I do have to share though, that my body is still healing from the no good, very bad years I had from 2020 to early 2023. My body did so much compensating through the injuries, surgeries, and recoveries that I’m still trying to put the pieces back together. My hubby took a photo of me riding in front of him, and with that view I can see that my hips are a little off in the saddle, and my shoulders are a little off, and instead of forming a letter ‘I’, my upper body looks a little bit more like a letter ‘S’ haha. It’s very humbling. But it’s a reminder that healing still continues and there is still more work to do.

Meanwhile, life is so good! I am squeezing every drop of enjoyment out of it and not taking a single bit for granted. Sending thoughts of hope and healing to all the new knees out there. I know how hard it is. But it will all be worth it when you make it to the other side :SUNsmile:
 
Such good news- Congratulations !!
 
What a wonderful update! I am happy to read how well you’re doing and how you handled the trip like a champ. Thanks for all of your supportive contributions here. I hope you have a lovely weekend! @JusticeRider
 
Hey y’all, just wanted to post a monthly update. Yesterday marked 15 months for my knee! I celebrated by going on my longest hike yet since the injuries/surgeries: 10.5 miles! I also hiked the fastest I have since then, though not entirely on purpose!

A very important part of returning to hiking (and even just walking) for me has been regulating my speed so I don’t hyperextend. Even as recently as a month ago, I had to be aware of not going too fast or I would get pain in my knee. I have gradually been able to increase my speed, but yesterday was the first time I pushed it and hiked at my fastest pace.

Due to some mishaps, my friend and I got started very late on our hike. The trailhead where I parked my truck had a gate which locked at 5 pm. About halfway through the hike, we realized that if we continued at the pace we were going, we would get back down no sooner than 5:30. Uh oh! My truck would be locked in over night, or towed, if we didn’t make the cut-off.

So away we went! I went in front so I could set the pace and hopefully not hurt myself. Then I hiked really fast! My friend couldn’t believe it! Neither could I! I tried to be really, really aware of every step…my form and muscle engagement, as well as rocks, etc. It was cold and wet up there and if I injured myself it could have been a very bad situation! Not to mention how devastating a set back would be. But everything worked and my knees both held up. I felt strong!

We got down to the parking lot at a quarter to five!! Victory!! :yes!:

I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to see my knee continue to grow stronger even as I pass 15 months.

Another milestone. At around 9 months post-op, I had returned to PT (a new one at that point) after taking several months away from any PT. This newer therapist has been an absolute gem…very holistic, thorough, gentle and respectful. She works on the entire body as an integrated, connected, and dynamic whole. Obviously the focus has been mainly on the left knee, but also my operated hip, right knee, and all my other crazy joints. She has really respected my ROM work on this knee, never pushed it or pressured me, only encouraged and celebrated my progress. Her work with my knee has been all about alignment, correct movement, and strength.

Anyway, back to that milestone…last week my therapist told me that my knee has ‘graduated’ PT!! My knee has never graduated PT in my whole adult life!! They usually just give up at some point. But she said my knee is doing absolutely fantastic and from this point on we will focus mainly on my hip, which is still trying to find its ‘normal’, specifically with regards to my riding. It still needs rehab, but my knee is officially a grownup. No more baby knee!

Just because my knee has graduated PT doesn’t mean it’s totally done, though. There is still improvement yet to happen (including a few more degrees of flexion so I can hopefully mount my horse from the ground). But I’m so happy to report, it is well on its way! Thanks for all here at BoneSmart for your continued support on this long journey. The adventure continues!
 
What a great report! But I WAS worried about those indents. Then I saw that you are only 45. When you get to be my age, weird stuff like indents happen like all the time. And then they goes away. Not. No, they stay, and simmer, and they often turn crusty, but what can you do? I am blaming your treks into nature. But if you must, you'll have to live with the possible indent consequences and decide if it's worth it.

I am going to make your knee a degree for graduating. Whoooweee! When oh when will my knee graduate? I am in the slow snail's pace class. Argh!
 
So very happy for you, JR. :yay:
Thanks for sharing the update and for all of your encouraging messages to others. I think I've worn out your ROM post scattering it around the forum. I Love it!
Have a wonderful week!
@JusticeRider
 
@JusticeRider
I've just finished reading your tread. Yes, all 26 pages! You are an inspiration to me. I've just barely passed 6 weeks. I am going to remember that snail pace and listen to my baby knee. (It's the second one same side). She is boss for sure. And needs a name! I am going to stop physio this week and concentrate on the bike.

Thanks for your monthly updates. It sure does help to know things will get better, especially since my first round was a failure. I think it's time to share my story about that on my thread.

All the best to you and your increased mobility! May those hips and the other knee behave.
 
Well done! So good of you to return with your updates, they will help many new members that are scared/worried about a joint replacement.
I can just picture you both scurrying along that trail!
Happy trails!
 

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