Four Weeks Post Op
I’ve officially made it to Four Weeks Post Op! This is my first of many milestones in my ACL recovery process. My pain has gone down significantly this week and my swelling has continued to go down as well. My scar is definitely visible but really is not as bad as I expected. It looks pretty good. Week 4 means I no longer have to wear my brace all the time and I can start adding more exercises in to my physical therapy regimen. I rejoined a gym and now spend my workouts doing my PT exercises and then on the stationary bike (elliptical can start around week 6). I am hoping to add swimming soon. The past four weeks have tried my patience and constant need for movement, but I made it here in one piece (and continuing to heal). Another few weeks until I am “out of the woods” as my physical therapist refers to, but if these next few weeks go by as quickly as the first four did then I will be at my next milestone in no time.
- Double heel raises- 75% weight on bad leg, 25% weight on good leg. 30 reps
- Single Leg Raises- 3 lb weights on ankles, 30 reps per leg, every direction
- Hamstring sets on exercise ball- 30 reps
- Hamstring Curls w/ resistance band- 30 reps
- Quad Sets against the wall- 30 reps
- Clam Shells w/ resistance band- 30 reps on each side
- Side Steps w/ resistance band- up and back along a line 2x
- “TKEs”- 30 reps of extending my knee backwards while hooked to a loose resistance band
- Balancing on 1 Leg (bad leg)- 3 reps of 30 second holds
- Stationary Bike- low low low resistance, 30 -45 minutes on days without PT, 20 minutes on days with PT
- Strengthen Quad in bad leg
- Improve balance. I NEED to get back to yoga but that is not possible with how terrible my balance is right now.
- Work towards adding stationary bike resistance and hopefully get to a SoulCycle class sooner than later. (fingers crossed but not hopeful until week 8-12).
- Start swimming
- Work to get rid of brace at all times. I am cleared to not wear a brace at all times but I should wear it while in public and especially in crowded places so I don’t get bumped into or knocked over.
- Work out the painful scar tissue using massage and general movement
- Take Hank outside for a walk. He isn’t the most calm dog in the world (he’s a 21 month old golden retriever) so I will need my brace for this 100%.
On days I don’t have PT I am spending 30-45 minutes working on my abs, upper body and incorporating my PT exercises. I have focused on my core a lot throughout these weeks because I know that the core is a stabilizer and helps tremendously with balance. Because my good leg has been compensating a lot for my bad leg, I didn’t want to throw out my back or tweak anything on the good side of my body. If I feel anything funny or painful in my knee I immediately stop. I’ve also incorporate upper body yoga that can be done while sitting or standing in tadasana. I am not a medical professional though, so always consult your doctor before starting or trying anything new.
Throughout the week I have been working out a lot and also have been out and about more than the previous weeks. On Wednesday I won tickets to Hamilton via the Broadway Direct lottery, so I enjoyed an afternoon matinee. I was very lucky and my ticket was in the front row, so I didn’t have to worry about my knee being bent for a long period of time. I did have to navigate through a large crowd and was very cautious of my knee. This experience was a great reminder of why I am wearing my brace.
I am so happy to have made it to this milestone and it only makes me eager to get to the next milestone (6 weeks). Recovery has tested my patience but also taught me to slow down significantly in life.
Namaste. (& happy belated Easter).