I’ve figured out something since my last post; something that has made a difference in my recovery. I realized that a big part of my pain while walking came from the sensation that my knee was hyperextending, or letting the bottom half of my leg bend too far forward. One thing that could cause this would be weak quadriceps muscles, or thigh muscles, and I haven’t been doing much in the way of exercising those muscles.
A bit of thinking gave me a possible bit of help for my problem. The only problem would be that I’d wind up looking like a member of Monty Python’s “Ministry of Silly Walks” sketch. Well, to hell with that, I’m stuck inside my house, and no one’s going to see me, so I might as well do it.
The solution was to raise my left leg high on every step, flexing the quad muscles in the process, then lower it and do a “glide step” (see previous blog entry). Do this enough times, and my left quads would strengthen. I tried it out starting late last Wednesday. I definitely felt a burn in my weakened muscles, but it was a good burn, along the lines of my quads saying to me, “Where the hell have you been all this time?”
I’ve stuck with the routine ever since, and the progress has been wonderful so far. I still have pain in my leg and knee area, but it’s a pain of use, not a post-op pain. I’m even able to walk away from the walker with renewed confidence.
While I’m talking about exercise, I should update you about physical therapy. I’m now seeing a home physical therapist every Monday and Wednesday, along with a home health nurse every Wednesday morning. A particularly painful PT session last Wednesday prompted me to do the thinking which led to the “Silly Walks” exercise.
Additionally, the PT brought me a pair of compression stockings for my edema-inflicted legs and ankles. (I traded her a copy of my Derivations album for them.) They seem to be helping, although I can’t be sure if it’s them or if it’s the 80mg of Lasix that’s doing the most work. Let ’em fight it out between themselves.