Microfracture Surgery Recovery: 24th Week Update

From a calendar perspective, Christmas Day marked the 5th month since my surgery (July 25th to December 25th). Today marks the 24th week since the surgery.

I am in the long haul of recovery, but I think there have been a few significant changes in the past two weeks. I am still being very conservative since I had the tendinitis. These are the big changes and advances recently:

  • I now have a gym membership (first in my life)
  • I’ve been to the gym fairly regularly (the second part of the gym membership puzzle)
  • I am using ankle weights for my leg lifts
  • I am using the elliptical machine
  • I am riding the bike longer and harder (still on the trainer)
  • I am doing more balance excercises
  • I feel like running and bouncing around more
  • The pain has gotten much less
  • My knee feels like it is tracking much better

I think one of the most significant things is that elliptical machine. After the first short session, my VMO was tired and sore. This is one of the key muscles you need to strengthen in rebuilding the process. Rusty, my physical therapist, said it is because I am more upright that the bike. One thing I know for sure is that I am getting stronger and I am doing it without any major negative effects. The neat thing is that I feel like I can do a lot more.

There is still some pain in the joint, but it is not sharp. It is in the same spots since the surgery, but it isn’t like what I had before. Compared to before the surgery, I feel much better. Once I have my strength back, I will know more, but it feels like it is going well. I do have days where I am very stiff and sore, but that is part of the game. It has been a long time since the surgery, but I am still improving.

As long as I am improving, I’ll be happy.

  6 comments for “Microfracture Surgery Recovery: 24th Week Update

  1. Jim in Seattle
    January 25, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Good to see you’re doing well Lisa.

    The knee clicking has gotten much better. Still some grinding but as my quad gets strong so goes that. What i continue to have is a big pop when stretching the hamstrings. Usually just one. After that the knee feels much more flexible and loose. No pain or swelling associated with it. 5 mile run today. Interesting – knee was a little achy prior to the run, feels great after. I really think strengthing and flexibility are the key issues at this point. Really no swelling to speak of after working out now. can’t wait for my excursion on our local Tiger Mountain tomorrow am.

    Jim

  2. Lisa
    January 24, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Hi All,

    Just checking in from the sunny(ish!) UK.

    Had my first appointment yesterday with my surgeon since my op just over 2 months ago. He seemed pleased with my progress. He said that if I’m not really experiencing pain then that’s a good sign of success – however I only really had pain during running and he said no running before 6 months – so I suppose I can’t really tell til then if it’s been sucessful or not. He said I can do any exercices as long as it’s non-impact. I’ve beeen doing pilates. (Yawn!)

    He said that by the time you’re at a year post surgery you should be able to see the full results of the op. But he also said that every surgeon will give you different recommendations for exercise and timescales etc.

    I got to see the pics of the op through the keyhole which made my day!

    I’m walking fine with no crutches, no limp, stairs are not a problem and day-to-day life is back to normal. I’m doing the exercises my physio gave me and using an exercise bike. I still experience clicking which is worrying me but it’s not a lot and I’ll just have to see what happens. Jim – you haven’t mentioned your knee clicking, so does that mean it’s not doing it so much??

    The other bonus is that the doc said he expects me to be able to play netball again – it’s only for an hour once a week after all. Not like I’m a pro or anything. That made my day too. Gotta try to get some muscle back and make the season that starts in Oct 08. Something to aim for…

    Keep up the comments everyone!

    Lisa.

  3. Jim in Seattle
    January 23, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    At my 18 week checkup my OS indicated that by 4 months the tissue should be pretty well adhered and more like its cartiledge replacement then a blood clot. He really wanted me to start picking up the activities and building strength all the while monitoring the swelling and pain levels. It’s really a catch-22 cause the more you do the more pain and swelling you’re likely to see. In my case i made the decision to start ramping up the running a bit, particularly on the hills as this is where i’m likely to work the quad the most. My first excursion running up a local peak (part-way) and back down was not only, i think, beneficial physically but mentally. The knee did great.
    So i’m up to 16 – 17 miles of running, plus non-impact machines, PT, etc. now and i can really see the differences the added strength is making. My take is – don’t be afraid to use the knee a bit more to build strength and continue the icing and anti-inflammatories.

    Jim

  4. January 20, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Brien,

    While I haven’t measured out a 2 mile stretch, I can walk pretty far now. My PT says that “time” is a better measure than raw distance.

    You may be getting swelling from lack of supporting muscle. If a weak muscle gets tired, it will not be as good and can cause swelling. It may get better as you get stronger.

    Good luck, I hope it gets better.

    Steve

  5. brien wood
    January 19, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Hi Steve,

    I would like to correspond with you and compare notes. I had the same surgery and am having some problems. Wondering if you are able to walk 2 or more miles without the knee swelling?

    Brien
    brienrwood@gmail.com

  6. Rob
    January 19, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    Awesome news, Steve! I use the elliptical machine at my gym–my knees like it a lot more than the bike.

    Hope to be climbing with you again some time…

    Rob

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