Microfracture Surgery Recovery: 10 Months

It has been a while since I’ve posted anything about my microfracture surgery. Largely it was for the same reason I started this site; good news means no news. I was doing great, but I had a little flare up.

The day we went out fishing offshore for the Bonito was not too rough, but there were swells coming from multiple angles. That made it hard to get and keep your balance. Ultimately, that made me use some weak leg muscles that don’t get worked during therapy too much. The following day I was a little stiff. The following Monday I went for a good bike ride. It was a little longer and at a good effort. Tuesday morning I picked my daughter up from preschool and noticed that my knee we pretty sore. I had pain and it was stiff. Then I realized it was swollen.

Back to the good news.

For months 8, 9 and most of 10, I would say that I was just feeling better and getting stronger. I was back on the bike riding twice a week and feeling stronger. Every 2 weeks or so, I would add 10-15 minutes to my rides or increase the effort. My fitness was going back up and I could tell that I was feeling better. I still had some pain in my knee that took 10-15 steps to feel better. That was slowly getting better too. I didn’t have any clicking or strange pain. I didn’t need to ice as there was no swelling or pain.

So what happened? I don’t know. There was no “one” thing that caused pain. I think it was a collection of events that translate to over use. Today I feel pretty good again. I am riding a little and the swelling is gone again. When I exercise, clicking goes away after I stretch out, so it is clearly a muscular thing.

Once the swelling started, I took it easy, but it didn’t get better very fast.  One weekend, I ended up doing a lot of icing and that helped the swelling. As the swelling went down, I noticed that I had a big knot in the muscle above the outside of my knee.  I got back on the foam roller and went back into a regimented stretching program.  This helped a lot.  I got back into my VMO exercises and I have improved a lot.

The net of it all is that the physical therapy part of the recovery is still the hardest.  Pushing my muscles in a non-normal way can cause a lot of corollary effects.  I was worried for a while.  I am by no means old (33), but I am not 16 either.  A desk job also translates into being stiffer than someone who regularly gets up and keeps their muscles loose.  I did a little bit too much, got stiff, that caused some swelling and it spiraled into a couple of uncomfortable weeks.

Structurally the knee feels good again, but I have to keep at my stretching and therapy exercises.  That said, I am back to doing what I want.  I try not to do too much, but I am a lot better than I was last year at this time when I couldn’t do anything.

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