8 Weeks Post Op
It’s officially been 8 weeks post op. 2 months. That’s insane. The past two months have been some of the most difficult moments of my life thus far (first world problems. I know). I’ve spent days in bed icing my knee, learned how to walk again, regained much needed strength in my hamstring, calf and quad and improved my confidence in my operative leg. 4 Weeks ago I was able to stop wearing my brace full time and now I am looking ahead to 4 weeks from today and being able to start running again. This past week I spent a lot of time at the gym doing PT exercises, upper body strengthening and core work, took 2 spin classes (cage pedals only), and took my first yoga class post op. I am limited in my yoga capabilities but it felt amazing to spend 90 minutes going through the Bikram sequence. My Core Power membership is currently on hold until next week but I cannot wait to get back to CPY and take some HPF classes and gradually add in C1 classes to build up to C2’s.
My PT schedule was taken down to 2x per week instead of 3x which means I am making progress. My extension is perfect and I can bend my knee to 127 degrees which is something my PT and I are working on improving. To improve my flexion, my PT gave me the exercise of heel slides on the floor with a stretching strap around my heel. I lay on my back and bend my knee, then pull my knee towards my glute to bend my knee, then once I reach my max flexion I hold for 5 seconds. I am assigned to do this exercise 2x per day for 15 reps each time. I already feel my knee loosening and allowing more flexion just from this exercise.
- Hamstring stretching: 30 seconds, all directions, both legs
- Calf stretching: 30 seconds, 3 reps
- Hamstring curls on exercise ball: 30 reps
- Lateral Step downs: 30 reps
- RDLs (Roman Dead Lifts): 30 reps, 7.5 lbs
- Single Leg Sit to Stand: 30 reps, both legs
- Step Ups: 14″, 30 reps, both legs
- Heel Slides (as described above), 30 reps
- Planks: 3 reps of 30 second holds
- High to Low Boats: 30 reps
- Forward Reaches on One Leg: 30 reps, both legs
- Elliptical: 5 Minute warm up on days I have PT, 30 minutes on days I do not
- Spin Class/Stationary Bike: 45 minutes on days I don’t have PT
A lot of my PT involves utilizing my core for stability, so I have always added in core strengthening to my workouts as soon as I could after surgery. The next few weeks I will be adding in more and more exercises to my PT program in hopes of strengthening my leg for week 12 (running). I am officially cleared to go down stairs again but I am required to always use the handrail just in case I misstep or get clumsy…
It’s weird to look back at my progress and remember how desperately I wanted to be able to bend my knee just to make a full rotation on the stationary bike or how I would avoid drinking water during the night because I didn’t want to have to get out of bed and attempt to walk to the bathroom the week after surgery. In 10 months I hope to look back at this and feel gratitude for all that my body is capable, but also that my mentality was positive and confident during this process. Most people would say I’m crazy for wanting to ski again after tearing my ACL skiing in February, but skiing is something I am passionate about and have been since I was 4 years old. I may not be the daredevil I once was, but I hope that this process will strengthen and condition me to get back to the slopes again.