ROM: it's worth the wait for it


Jul 18, 2010
United States
A lot of us struggle with ROM during our recovery. Many doctor's tell us that there is a "window" for ROM and that you have to push the knee, work hard and feel the pain to get ROM. Many doctors say if you don't get the ROM early, then you will not be able to gain anymore bend. I too struggled with ROM in the beginning and was discouraged at the lack of my progress. Everyone was telling me to push and bend, but my knee just didn't bend. I would read posts where people had great ROM and I didn't. It would really upset me.

I am here to tell those of you struggling with ROM and discouraged because you don't have the bend yet to just RELAX. You will be able to bend your knee, but it will take time. Today I went to church for a Jubilee celebration. As I sat in the pew with my leg extended over the kneeler (in the down position) I thought to myself, hmmm, maybe I can sit with my foot placed in front the the kneeler and not over the top of it. The next time we stood up I kept my TRK leg next to my good leg and sat down. To my surprise after almost a year out, I was able for the first time EVER sit down and keep both of my legs together. It was such a milestone for me. The last time I was in a church was in December (I'm Jewish and my husband and kids are Catholic so I only go on some holidays with them) and could not do this. Actually, I have never been able to sit with both of my legs together while the kneeler is in the down position. I know there is still more bend in my knee and I feel I will keep gaining as the years go on.

Oh, one more thing...I remember reading one post recently where the doctor told someone that if you had bad ROM before surgery, then your ROM will probably not be much better. That is crazy, my ROM before surgery was awful, about 40-50 degrees and now I am somewhere between 105-110. Not great for some people, but GREAT for me.

You know the old saying, "Good things come to those that wait," and I am here to tell you that it does!:biggrin:
Yay Jerseychick!:yahoo:

Some people do get rapped up in ROM, and they forget that as long as they are making progress, "that is the ticket!" I hear about all of these doctors talk about MUA's if their patients don't get this number by this date! Crazy talk in my opinion!:rolleyespink:

My doctor never measured my ROM, he asked how therapy was going, he watched how I was walking, and then asked me what "I" thought! "What a novel concept! Letting the patient decide if they are making progress or not, as it IS THEIR body!":hysterical:

I can tell you I am able to squat with my bottom touching the ground, and the PT the other day said I was at 145 when she did a measurement. But ROM isn't what I am trying to achieve. I want to be able to keep my kneecap from popping out and my leg from "buckling" when I am walking. Then I will be happy with the ROM as well!:biggrin:
Well, people, read this Myth busting: the "window of opportunity". Because it most certainly is a myth and I have no idea why surgeons and PTs insist on perpetrating it!

Only a few days ago, Tykey posted that he had gained some more ROM, many other people have too over the years. Of course there are people who unfortunately get adhesions (MUA (Manipulation under Anaesthetic) and Adhesions) but that's not their fault nor is it because they didn't do enough exercising. In fact, too much PT is the biggest single cause of low ROM in the first few weeks of recovery, because it causes excessive swelling and swelling acts like a plaster cast, actively blocking any flexion or extension. It's a total mystery to me why the doctors and PTs don't get this.

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