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  1. I love eating lobster but feel guilty. Does a lobster feel pain when removing the tail and how long does the head live after removal of the tail?

  2. Enjoyable blog to read. Our purchase of a yellowtail feel through. I’m pretty sure ive driven past your boat many times and have always been filled with envy. If you find a note on it asking if you’re ready to sell it’s from me 🙂

    • Glad to hear. I guess it has been a while since I added anything here… but my back is doing ok. I’m surfing about twice a week, ride my bike 1-2 times per week and I try to do some body weight exercises a couple times a week. These are things like pull ups, pushups, rows etc. Not too hard, but getting the base muscles has helped a lot with the general morning pains. I don’t think about the back too much any more. Though, I almost feel like I am getting some sensation back in my right leg… not sure, but maybe.

    • Hi mark,

      I guess we are all here with bad knees ! I am 5 months post op microfracture. How do u feel by now? Do you see any improvement? Hope yr knee feels great again

      • I’m kind of glad that they are still doing microfracture. For me, it has been… a long time. I’ve been pretty good, but I have episodes where I’m out of action for a while. I do a lot of walking, some cycling and surf a bit. All use the knee a bit differently. My main knee issues come from the meniscus area and lead do a period of swelling. The swelling can last weeks or more, but that is less and less as I’m trying to loose weight and build up a more rounded set of exercises.

  3. Thanks for writing this blog. 18 days out from laminectomy L4-L5.
    Just wanted to thank you for them. They were a light at the end of long, dark tunnel prior to surgery and now I appreciate comparing notes.

  4. Hi Steve,
    I know it’s been much too long time from your microfracture surgery. I would be very grateful if you could tell me how to deal with terrible tendinitis ?

    3th month since my meniscus and microfracture surgery, i did a lot of exercise too quicly ( ankle weights, elliptical machine, walking in the park).
    This terrible tendinitis is bothering me a lot at the moment.

    Many greetings from Bulgaria/ Eastern Europe 😉

    • Well, you really need to build up to it. That just takes time. I did the same thing multiple times. Now I’m surfing 2-3 times a week, riding my bike on fairly hard rides 1-2 times a week and fishing offshore in smaller boats. I used to get a lot of tendinitis pains from over use. Now I’m trying to build things up and make sure I’m being rounded and getting some rest. I don’t know if Tumeric works or not, but I think it helps the swelling.

      So, my only answer is “time and patients”. Don’t rush it.

      Good luck.

      • Тhanks for support and feedback Steve.
        I feel my knee pretty well and I try to think positively but the pain in the tendons is quite nasty.

        Best Regards.

    • I am so damn happy I have found this blog. I had a meniscus tear and then they found missing cartilage and did a micro-fracture. I am 36, I am not athletic, just unlucky. I am at almost 4 months and I feel like there’s no end in sight. I have never had a surgery and I didn’t know it would be this tedious on healing. But I am happy to see the same issues as I have and that makes me feel better.

  5. I am 5 weeks post op from a laminectomy at L4-5 with nerve decompression. I was tboned in a car accident, August 31st. I have 7 bulging disc with 2 disc herniations. The L4-5 was 11mm x 18mm and sitting on a root nerve. A neurosurgeon blew me off and for months. I went through PT, lumbar spine injections, patches, aquatherapy, and finally a orthopedic spine surgeon said I could have permanent nerve damage if left untreated. So 8 months after the accident, and excruciating pain, they operated May 4th. I don’t have the being burned alive nerve pain but I have other pains. Pressure in my back, random stabbing or spasms. Everything I read, says this is normal, but with each pain, the mental anguish is awful. I keep worrying that awful pain is returning. These pains are never more than a level 2 to 4 pain. Very uncomfortable but nothing like that level 9 pain pre-op. To me the fear is awful. I am not a panic, pessimistic person but this injury makes me feel that way.

    • For me, time did heal a lot of the mental pains/anxiety. I’m still cautious about things and use good form etc., but for a long time I would really freak out about doing things that I thought might trigger the pain again. Over time, I’ve done more and more and realize that I can handle it. As I’ve started to do more and more, I think less about limitations and more about the fun of what I want to do.

  6. I have 1999 Tiderunner. It is very similar to your boat with same transom bracket. I’m having trouble find trim tab that work with the transom bracket. What brand of trim tabs do you have?

    • They are small and cheap. Maybe 8″x10″. Still hydraulic. I find that I have to have the motor in fairly positive trim and then just use the tabs for a little left/right. When loaded, or heading into wind chop, I will put them both down.

  7. April 23/2021 I had my second laminectomy in 8 months. I have also had 4 hips replaced and a rotator cuff repaired during my lifetime, I am soon to be 70. in 14 days . I walked 2 miles last nite. It hurts more on the flats and downhills than when I climb. THe staples are an iritant. Sleep when it comes varies. I have had 3/14 nights that I call great. Spring has come to the mid-atlantic and I want to be out with my friends . I want to hike, bike ,kayak and row. Wathcing them is hard. I learned from the recovery this summer I need to take this slow. Let’s see what my health care providers say when I meet with them 3 1/2 weeks post-op. I am treated by the Baltimore Veternas Hospital. I began a 10 week 3 hour support program for veterans with chronic pain celled Empower Veterans. My chronic pain is a cumulative result of 8 surgeries. I am doing better then most of the younger soldiers. Peace B

    • Brian,

      I’m glad you have a support group. Patients is the hardest part. It has been years for me know and I’m doing a lot more. I rarely think about it too much. I do have bad days, but it is very worth it now. Best of luck!

    • Pretty good actually. I think the meniscus is the biggest pain (literally). I’ve been doing a lot more exercises to help with ankle and leg stability that help a lot. I don’t ride as much, maybe 200-250 miles a month. I do walk a lot, surf, ride and run on occasion. If I do anything where I’m on my knees, I need knee pads or I can’t walk well for days after. Most days are pretty good.

  8. Been reading your blog needed something positive about knee microfracture everything online is negative. Had right knee microfracture May 2020 and been doing good. December 2020 had to have plica cleaned up and small loose body removed on same knee possibly missed on prior surgery. Doing great know just getting muscles firing right. How is your knee doing now this far out?

  9. Steve, Thanks for your blog. I am scheduled for L5 S1 laminectomy and distectomy next week.
    I noticed your surgery was about 7 yrs ago. How are you doing today with your recovery?

    I am a bit nervous and would appreciate any additional information you may have.

    • Same here Richard. Due to my surgery next week. Was taken to the emergency room on the 26th of September, had an epidural injection on the 6th of October and now surgery on the 3rd of November. I hope I have relief as I’ve received several injections over the years. 4 bulging disc in lower back and two in my neck. I’m sure there’s more to come. Good luck!

  10. Hi Steve, stumbled on this page a long time ago and am still a huge fan of your boat. Wanted to see if you would be interested in parting ways with your Yellowtail?

  11. Steve. I am 4 weeks post hemilaminectomh on Tuesday. I was doing ok. Walking up to 1.5 miles at least 2 x daily. Could beep mypain was surgery pain, not nerve pain.

    Then. I wanted sex. Husband was worried, but Iinsisted. Now I feel close to major pain, not sleeping and VERY worried! Suggestions, other than to never have sex again?

    • 4 weeks isn’t very long in the grand scheme of healing. Time will help. Your pain is probably from some swelling. Give yourself some more time. 6 weeks is the general timeline for when you are healed enough to begin therapy. During therapy and recovery, I had plenty of painful days. My advice is be patient.

      • thank you. Doing better 4 weeks today. Walking average 3 miles a day, hilly Can sit for significant periods of time. (Sat in car from Vegas to Phx). And can watch a movie at a theater. Still feel some surgery pain. But on no pain meds, not even Tylenol.

        I am having messed up BMs tho, and possibly relates back to the surgery??? It took quite some time to regulate. Seeing family doc Thursday.

  12. I am just over two weeks from L5S1 laminectomy. Sometimes I feel good. Off tramadol, walking 2 or 3 X daily, about a mile each. But there is just dull pain on right side still. I sleep poorly, and bowel. Oveme ts have been pretty funky and often.

    Does the dullness ever go away? Any stretching that would be good? I feel like aside from walking I am sitting around watching Netflix

    • I still have some funny days with pain and uncomfortableness (that isn’t a real word). But things do get better. Some of it will be closer to 6-12 weeks out. There is a lot of swelling from the surgery and that swelling is going to push on something.

      One of the hardest parts was waiting for things to heal. For a long time all I did was walk. First it was more of a shuffle. It is frustrating, but once you heal you will be able to start doing more. I’m surfing 2-3 times a week, riding my bike, skating, fishing out in the ocean and, more important, I can walk and sit in a car for over an hour. I still walk a lot. It took time to get here. I still get pain and have to be careful.

  13. Hello there Steve,

    Some of what you have gone through hits awfully close to home for me. Thankfully NOT the CSF leak.

    I too had an L4-L5 laminectomy surgery. Mine was 7 months ago. Although it was nearly a 6-year journey to get there. Too many doctors that would rather prescribe pain meds instead of finding where the problem is. 4 years, and too many doctors to count, later we found a primary physician who took my symptoms seriously. Who referred me to a Neurosurgeon who did too. After getting all the necessary MRI’s, X-Rays, & CT’s. They showed that I had a small bulge coming out on the left side and it was pressing on my sciatic nerve. Then came the trips to physical therapy sessions that felt more like torture. Blocks that didn’t change anything. After all that she deemed surgery was needed. On the day before surgery we got the call saying that the insurance decided the surgery was unnecessary. I was devistated. After a year fighting the insurance company over this my work suddenly changed insurance carriers. The new insurance approved it immediately!

    Unfortunately, what was a small bulge had turned into a shredded disc and 5 hours in surgery. My wife was going crazy. We were told a simple 2 to 3 hour surgery and now this. I ended up with 4 screws, 2 rods, and a buttload of unexpected problems. The first 2 weeks wasn’t bad. The problems started in week 3. I spent 5 years praying to get feeling back in my leg and now all I had was constant hellish pain in it. A friend joked that I should have been more specific, because I was sure “feeling” it now. My wife would have to get up every morning and help dress me like I was a toddler. Then get the kids ready for school, drop them off, and then make it to work herself. Talk about a blow to your manly ego. Here I was 43 years old and feeling completely helpless. That’s one that stings.

    I was referred to a specialist to start a series of blocks. Hoping that this would give some relief. Before I could get to the first appointment my employer terminated me. A butt move to be sure, but I live in an at-will state. Now since I was the one with the job carrying the family’s insurance. We were in a serious bind. Now we are scrambling to find new insurance. While putting my 1st block on hold.
    So, after getting that sorted out, I ended up getting my 1st block about a month and a half later than originally scheduled. It worked out better than I expected. Until between 2 and 3 weeks later. The pain started coming back. This time starting in my back and travelling down both legs. They performed a 2nd block. I was honestly expecting results like I got the first time. I got nothing. Absolutely nothing. I couldn’t be sure on the way home what it was. I was still feeling the anesthesia and couldn’t be sure if what I was feeling was from the procedure or not. When I woke up early the next morning in the same pain as before the procedure I knew. I called, but was told it could take up to 10 days and to call back then. The pain has gotten progressively worse. Yes, I called. They want to try 1 more before sending back to my neurosurgeon. I now have to shuffle when I walk so I don’t fall down, again. I’ve had close calls where my wife and also one of the kids have to catch me. I don’t know how much more my pride can take. The pain that flows down my legs has become worse. It has taken to travelling up my spine. I walk with a cane while hunched over like a little old man now. I will have my 3rd block in 3 days. I hope it does something. Please.

    I am lucky to have a very loving wife. She has stood by me for 15 years. We have 2 awesome school aged children. Who have had to watch their father go through all of this. It’s hard to not feel like I have let them down for not being there like I should be. Instead of being there for their field trips, awards ceremonies, school plays, or just taking them to the park I am stuck at home. A trip to the grocery store is more than I can handle anymore. I am almost constantly, on either ice packs, heating pads, or pain killers. Not how I envisioned things when I held my oldest in my arms for the first time. Reading what you wrote gives me some hope and I thank you for that. I’ll find out in three days if I get what I have hoped for. Thanks for reading my story. Sorry it was too long.


    • Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry it is so epic. You are due for some good karma. Things can get better. Still a bad day here and there, but I’m surfing, fishing offshore, riding my bike and doing stuff with the kids all the time now. I’m older, slower and more cautious, but I’m doing things.

      Good luck!

  14. Hello Steve,
    Thanks for detailing your process and recovery with discectomies. I hope you are doing well these days!

    I just had a recent microdiscectomy L4/L5. I then had the dreaded spinal fluid leak as you did that was discovered 8 weeks later. I didn’t have the headaches though, but had very bad back pain from a large bump that formed on my back and ran all the way to the spinal cord leak (and I guess the nerves around that area).

    They did a second surgery to repair the dural tear. I am now 4 months past the second surgery. I was starting to feel pretty good and got back on my bike last week. Just a 45 minute ride set me back a couple weeks at least. It is so frustrating! I still have pain in my back, numbness in my foot and I can’t sit for long at all.

    My question for you is how long did it take before your back pain went away and you were able to sit for any length of time? Are you riding a more upright bike now?

    My wife thinks my back problems come from all my bike riding and spending so much time bent over, and she may be right. I don’t ever want to go through this again so I’m going to be cautious with the bike riding. Do you think your bike riding had anything to do with your back issues? Thanks.

    • Bill – let’s say that this was three years ago for me. In general, I’m doing well. I don’t have 100% strength in my right leg, but most of the numbness is better (or it doesn’t bother me). I can sit better (always use better posture now). In general, I’m back to a normal life.

      It is funny what you say about the bike. Do we have the same wife? I do get occasional pain when I ramp up the workouts. I am convinced the pain is from muscle imbalance. I’ve been working on that lately, and… less pain. I try to limit my rides to less than 3 hours. I’m slower now, so 40 miles takes closer to 3 hours. I did go with a slightly higher angled stem and put a semi-compact crankset on my climbing bike. I look in reflections when I can, and my bike posture is pretty good.

      How long? At one year, I was pretty functional.
      At two years, normal, but out of shape. Hard exercise, or new things would put me in a world of hurt. Recovery time is better.
      At three years, I’m doing stupid things again. A few weekends ago, I rode three days in a row, ice skated one day and took my older kid to a rock climbing gym. Monday and Tuesday were miserable. By Thursday I was fine. Woke up a lot of muscles.

      I really think that you need to slowly build up strength and stamina on lots of core muscles and back muscles. Getting balance is hard, but it seems to be super important too.

  15. Can you walk through all your sonar settings for offshore tuna/yellowtail fishing? What fishing mode, frequency, sensitivity/gain etc??

  16. This gives me a little hope. I had a laminectomy at L5-S1 on March 7, 2019. I am still having a little tingling in my right foot but nothing like it was before. But, I am still feeling a little dizzy once in a while. I drink plenty of water and I try to walk around a bit, but when you feel woozy, it’s hard to do. Has anyone else experienced dizziness three weeks after surgery? I go back to the doctor April 10th. I’m afraid to even drive because of this feeling. I had a lot of pain the first two weeks after the surgery but most of that is gone. Just the woozy feeling bothers me.

    • It has been a while, but it took a while to get my head cleared. Are you still taking any form of pain killer? That can contribute for sure.

      It is a long road and you are early on. It will get better and there will be some down days. Down days should get less and less.

  17. 2 weeks post lumbar laminectomy and my greatest concern is my extreme tiredness. I did leave hospital the same day as I felt amazing however landed back in hospital thinking I was dying as a result of stopping Tramadol and Pregabalin the day of surgery because I felt I didn’t need them. Had the worst withdrawals ever. Never will I go through that again. Anyway in the last few days I’ve got increased pain in my lumbar region, hamstring and buttock. No where near what I had pre op but it still worries me that it may stay with me. My surgeon said (and he had a laminectomy too) that it’s normal due to swelling etc. I hope so. The lack of energy is a killer for me. My iron levels and bloods were all good.

  18. 3 days in from a lumbar laminectomy and I feel all the muscular pain…. they say I can sleep on my back but it’s not comfortable at all… so I sleep on either side… they say I can shower today… but I’m nervous… how easy/hard was it to shower without getting your incision wet… and how physical should I be?

    • I don’t remember being worried about the shower, but we have a detachable head, so I can aim the water a bit. Point the shower head down and have a cloth handy. You will be fine. If things hurt, wait. After the shower you will feel clean and be ready for a nap.

      Sleep is good. Muscular pain can be a lot of things, The road can be long, but stay with it.

  19. I just had my L5-S1 laminectomy…. cages, graft, fusion etc on 11/13/18. Darn glad that I had the procedure finally. I’m in pain still …. but its 90% surgical related. Itching to get back to work….but I realize that bone grows at it’s own pace can’t push it …best advice for anyone recovery planning for this procedure. Slow is fast…. go extra slow at first…find your legs etc….then build upon that.

    I had C4/C5 done by same neurosurgeon last year, fantastic results …… I owe this guy majorly.

  20. Thank you for your blog. I’m recovering from similar surgery and really appreciate your blog. You’re a light in the recovery tunnel.

    • I’m glad it helps. For me, things have gotten better and very few people even remember my back issues. I have a few bad moments here and there, but that is fine with me.

  21. I found your article very helpful! Unlike you living on the east coast of NC I would have to travel a very long distance in order to be in those depths! From the beach to my limit apx 25 miles 10′ to 80′ we have a lot of WWII ship wrecks some charted but for the most part uncharted! My wife is my co-Captain (not first mate! 😉 She loves to bottom fish. I on the other hand love to troll! With that said you have given me the answer to questions I’ve ask so many times! So thank you! I always keep a split screen while trolling (gps and sonar) I’ve began to save my sonar tracks and review them later! I’ve just started this at the end of the season last year! I’ve known about this all along but just never thought of try it! I’ve been told by other fishermen that I’m missing out on finding structures that are never fished! So with what you have explained it will be a big help when I use my down scan this year!

  22. Hy i am waqas olympian of 2008 n 2012 .i am pakistan hockey player n played 12 years .suddenly i got meniscus tear n cartilage damage .i had sugery now after 6 months i start running jogging i am doing stregnthning exercises regularly but i still feel some pain medial side but it is gradually going down n muscle is getting shape .

  23. Before I had my L4-5 laminectomy in 2012, I was in constant pain while awake for 9 months, relieved with Norco 10/235 1 tab every 6 hours and Ice to my low back. The surgery went well, I was out shopping the same day. I was taken off the pain medication at my first post-op visit and was told to take ibuprofen. It took 2 months after the surgery for the residual nerve pain to resolve. I am back to my normal activities and have to be mindful not to re-injure my back.

  24. Banged my kneecap on my boys Jeep bumper this past April. Originally diagnosed as Bursitis. In May, the knee gave out and it popped going downstairs in my home. Had Open Chondral Microfracture surgery on the 16 weeks ago. Loose body measuring 20 mm x 15 mm removed. Have been a serious runner for 40 years prior to this. At 13 weeks post surgery was able to start walking/jogging 2 – 3 miles every other day on the artificial turf at the local high school football field. Other days I am biking 60 – 75 minutes. Was warned by surgeon to be really be careful of increased swelling and have have a lost a bit of weight which of course takes additional stress of the knee. Patience and self control are so important with this injury as I have learned not to even jog two days in row not to run on the roads yet.

  25. Well, I’m 10 years old for sure. The knee is doing pretty good. I’ve learned that ankle/knee stability helps a lot. It was just 10 years for me.

    I’ve ridden 2,000-5,000 miles per year since. My knees feel great riding. I don’t run and never really did. In the past 3-5 years walking is actually better. I used to get some residual knee pain, but things are better.

    Both my meniscuses are torn, so I need to be careful. Most of my pain comes from them getting in the wrong spot. So I still get the occasional swelling and pain. The funny creaks and noises when I bend it sound odd, but don’t hurt.

    Someday I might still need the replacement, but I’ve delayed it a long time for sure.

  26. I know it has been 10 years for most of you guys, however; I just had left knee meniscusectomy and microfracture for about 1.5cm grade IV lesion of the medial femoral condyle. I am a runner and stepped in a hole while jogging and hyperextended the knee.
    Immediate pain and swelling as you all are aware of.
    Lots of clicking, swelling etc.

    I’m 1 week post op! WoooHoo!!!
    Stuck in bed with CPM ugh .
    I would LOVE to hear some your success stories.
    I really want to hear how Julie is doing.
    Thanks Guys!

    • Hi Johnny, do you have a twitter or IG account i can reach you on? I did my surgery 14 weeks ago, I’d like to ask some questions

  27. Hi Guys,
    How are you all doing now?
    Wanted to get some updates since it has been quite some time since you all had your surgery.

  28. Nice write up! I am looking for a small pilothouse for fishing in Santa Cruz. This seems like it would be perfect. If you ever want to sell or have leads on others let me know. Thanks!

  29. First, good luck to you. There will be good and bad days, so patients is my main advise.

    As for the weight bearing time, I think there is flexibility. X-rays won’t show anything, but an MRI will (and will likely not be approved by insurance). So, it is hard to tell if it is healed. Time is the old standby, and bones are in the 6-8 week range historically.

    In going back to work, I basically have a desk job, so it was easy for me to go back. As you get back on your feet, really building up the supporting muscles and rehab are important. As I’ve gotten more active, the knee pains have gone away.

    Yes, the DVT thing is scary. Mentally, it will take a while. Physically, one the medications, you should not be at risk of a clot. You are at risk of more bruising and bleeding. Double check with your doctor, but there are a lot of elderly people on blood thinners full time leading normal lives.

  30. First off, thank you for posting all this, I’ve spent many hours online researching and you have one of the most informative blogs I’ve found.

    I am 7 days post op from microfracture surgery in my left knee that was expected to be a simple clean out and be off crutches in 3-4 days since I’ve had that done 3 times to my right knee during and following my collegiate volleyball career. I was not a happy camper when I came to and found out I’d be on crutches for 6 weeks.

    By day 3 I wasn’t in bad pain until I got out of bed and then it was awful so I called the on call doc and was told me not to worry about. Since this was on a Saturday I went about my business. By Monday the pain was so unbearable I called my surgeons office and after 8 hours of me calling numerous times they finally found me a person to talk to and then just like you on day 5 I found myself in the ER ruling out a DVT that I also assumed would be negative and could go home and get some rest, but I in fact have a popliteal DVT. Next thing I know the nurse is coming in giving me an injection in my stomach like a rabies patient (which didn’t actually hurt) But the amount of pain I had experienced the previous 3 days was so unbearable the pain meds didn’t even take the edge off so I at least knew that there was a solution and some hope in sight. I followed up with my doc the next morning but was still in so much pain (I’m not a nice human when in pain) so I couldn’t ask many questions but thankfully my husband pleaded with the doc that there had to be different pain meds to help and my doc agreed. Although still painful it’s substantially better (I’m not 7 days post op).

    Was your doc at all willing to move the 6 weeks NWB at all? I’ve done a lot of research via medical journals and newer evidence is showing that people have the same outcome even when beginning weight bearing with crutches as soon as 2-3 weeks depending on size and location of the microfractures. Did you have any post op X-rays to show the healing at all? And at what point did you really feel you were able to return to work? I am able to get around and drive so long as I’m not on meds but the thought of driving on blood thinners and with a DVT is pretty scary to me but I just need to get back to normal as soon as possible for my mental wellbeing.

    Finally, do you have any advice looking back at your surgery and recovery? Thanks in advance and my apologies for such a long comment.

  31. Week 3 and I am just now feeling the bad pain. The pain is located on my left side away from my incision. My incision is healing very nicely! All the pain that had been in my hips and down both legs is gone and I am so grateful for that ! But this new pain is taking a toll on me! It feels like I have a block of wood pressing on me when I sit, stand, or lie down. As long as I am completely still there is no pain. Did Either of you have/had this issue?

    • I’d be willing to say that the new pain is a byproduct of the swelling from the surgery. It could be a lot of things, but as you heal, there is a lot of swelling that will go away through that 6-week period. I did get other pains during healing. It is a long road, and you will get pains from healing and pains during therapy. For me, it has gotten better over time.

    • Hi Diane… Your post sounds EXACTLY how I feel (except my pain & pressure is centrally surrounding my incision, left, right, all around). I am just 3 weeks past my lower lumbar laminectomy. I feel like I get 2 steps forward then go 1 step back. Some days I feel like I should be further along with less pain. How long did it take for that “block of wood” pressure/pain to go away? I sometimes think I over do it and then I feel like I am under doing it… Any advice?

      • I am almost three weeks post L4-L5 laminectomy. I feel like Elizabeth. Still painful at night unless take meds; better during the day with icing. Still feel two steps forward and one back. Trying to walk more. Anyone still in pain at week three?

  32. Steve, I hope you will follow up with this blog. I hope your headache is gone. Headaches are the worst. I had a headache several days after my laminectomy, waking me in the night, but now I am 17 days post op, and it’s gone. I have back pain to the left of my incision, but my pre-op spinal stenosis pain is gone.

    • Incision pain is normal. That will take some time to go away. If you have relief, that is great as there will be swelling from the incision that will cause some pain.

      I’m feeling good. Good enough I haven’t updated this site in too long.

  33. I am in week 3 and it was so encouraging to read this. I am a single Mom and have tried to be a super hero and this has stopped in my tracks. I’ve cried buckets but now that I’m feeling better and can walk better – doesn’t look like a carrot up my bum – I’m feeling more motivated. This has being a life changing event for men time to slow down stop and pause!! I still fear whenever I feel a twinge or niggle.

    • Natasha – you’ll feel those tingles for a while, they come and go, but get better over time. The mental part will be the next big challenge once the physical parts are patched up. It is a journey, but if you feel better already, you will most likely continue to get better. I had noticeable improvement for 18+ months.

  34. I’ve had a laminectomy on my L4-L5. I’m 5 weeks out. It’s been very painful and had recovery. I’m still in pain meds. I can walk more but not as much as I thought I would. My dr said to take easy still. My back makes popping noises a lot as well as muscle spasms a lot lately. I’m holding the surgery went good. I don’t have leg pain or numbness anymore but bad new pain. Don’t know if it’s just from surgery pain or what. I’ve gotten better just really slow. I worry that I won’t get back to normal. Is it common for some to just take longer than others to recover?

    • It is normal for recoveries to take different amounts of time. I think it is also normal for pain to change locations. If the pain is centralizing, moving toward to spine, that is considered a good thing.

      I’ve had 2 laminectomies now; both were very different. The first involved a lot of new pains and many months to make significant progress. This second one I felt great that days and was off pain meds in less than 48 hours.

      Think about comparing how you feel after 3 months and then again at 6 months. I’ll bet you are pleased.

  35. Just want to say thanks for your blog! I’m nearly 3 weeks post op and just bored!
    My range of motion is returning but I am anxious for my weight bearing phase!!!! At least the Ryder Cup started today to keep me company all day!
    I have pains when I sleep and soreness to the injured part of the knee but I feel every day is a battle!
    I have a 3cm by .6 lesion on my Fib and small one on my fib! Damn London marathon and football!

  36. Hi all, just wanted to say that I’ve had two laminectomies, one was performed by a neurosurgeon and the other performed by an orthopedic spine specialist. Hands down the results were superior with the orthopedic specialist. I had always gone to neurosurgeons for second, third and fourth opinions none of which wanted to help (with the exception of the one who finally agreed to operate). However, when I went to the orthopedic specialist, he said lets get you scheduled for surgery. I wish I would have found him in the beginning as the first surgery with the neurosurgeon was a complete flop. I would encourage you to please seek the advice of an orthopedic spine specialist. My doctor only specializes in spinal disorders which makes him an expert in this area. As of yesterday, I’m 4 weeks post op and the results are amazing.

  37. Love your boat, but will make one comment re. the high bow rail. You can easily see those kids are NOT going over that rail–that’s great, BUT they can easily go UNDER it. I have seen people add some sort of heavy plastic or cloth material (looks great) to prevent going under. Same with the family dog–and I’ve had it happen when mine went overboard. Scared the daylights out of me–fortunately I had him on a tether–cut the engine NOW and hauled him back in.

  38. I’m really sorry to hear all of this. One of the worst things about the back and nerves is that causes are hard to pinpoint. The strategy of multiple opinions might be good. In hindsight, I can see a lot of little things I did to throw my body out of balance that I think was a factor. I would sit too much, small limp, ergonomics at desk… lots of little things. I daily work on balancing my core now, and that helps. I think that you need to get a base level of recovery first.

    It is a very hard road, but try to keep positive. I wish you the best!

  39. Thanks for your reply I wasn’t able to walk for 4 months after the injury happened and did pool therapy for a few months. Saw another back doc yesterday just says pain Mgmt so i don’t know what I’m gonna do. Supposed to c another neurologist in March for another emg/ncv so we will c. It’s the 21st century i don’t know y it’s so hard to find source of pain. Now my right foot is started to get numb & tingly. W the atrophy my knee cap is like jello so I have to walk w my leg stiff but oh well if I could get rid of the pain I guess I could deal w being crippled but Def can’t deal w Both. I hope I can eventually get a good doc to relieve the compression too 🙂 I’m starting to hate them though

  40. I can’t say the nerves for sure, but I do have some lingering weakness. I can’t get all of the muscles to fully fire and I still have numbness.

    I will say that exercise has helped me, but I know others that have had the atrophy.

    I hopeful that if you can get the pressure off the nerve you will be able to get some recovery. Poll therapy is great (at least for me).

  41. What nerves were affected in your legs. I have bulging disk l4-l5 s1 I have right hip, butt& leg pain for 1.5 years been to many docs. I hope I can eventually get help because my right leg has severe atrophy. One back doc said its pressing on a nerve but not enough wtf does that mean anyway let me know. I know my femoral nerve & lfcn is causing the pain and I can’t feel most of my leg. I just hope it hadn’t been too long for the muscle to recover

  42. What nerves were affected in your legs. I have bulging disk l4-l5 s1 I have right hip, butt& leg pain for 1.5 years been to many docs. I hope I can eventually get help because my right leg has severe atrophy. One back doc said its pressing on a nerve but not enough wtf does that mean anyway let me know

  43. Consuela,
    Sorry for what is happening to you,and what your fiance is planning over you,. My dear your health first don’t entertain that frustrations God is with you. I hope you read your fellow’s comments, everything is possible in God’s name and your husband will be back,when praying for your health pray for your husband too and you will receive.

  44. Very, very true. Daily brushing for the first year makes a huge difference. He doesn’t like getting the hair from his ears pulled, but he knows he has to and will get a reward.

  45. Begin accustoming your Kerry Blue to being brushed and examined when he s a puppy . Handle his paws frequently dogs are touchy about their feet and look inside his mouth. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards , and you ll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he s an adult.

  46. The only leg exercises I do on machines are hamstring curls and leg presses. My Dr. advised against knee extensions.

    Mostly I did non-machine squats and lunges in various forms.

    I doubt I started that for 8-9 months with any luck.

  47. Hello Steve!
    Do you remmember when you started to do knee extensions in a weight lifting machine?
    I’m almost 4 months post op and knee extensions still hurt.
    Thank you,

  48. I had a laminectomy done on may 29th 2015 and I m crying. And depressed. Everyday feel like my life is over I’m 39 now wearing depends even though I can feel myself having to urinate and have a bowel movement just don’t have the muscle function to control it.I have saddle anesthesia terribly complete buttocks numbness left foot completely numb and severe left hip pain. I can’t stand straight at all.I truly think the surgeon fuked me up literally. I was not like this before this stupid surgery just had sciatica pains down left buttocks to back of calf an lower lumbar pain. My disc ruptured so he did the laminectomy saying it was putting pressure on a nerve. Now I’m doomed my fiance wants to leave me do to this stress it puts on our relationship I’m just a complete wreck rite now my world is crashing all at once..

    • I hope you are coping Consuela, I too have similar results after huge herniation of the caudia equina. The Saddle aneasthesia / buttock numbness and lack of mscle strength below is he psycholigical killer.. I hope over time, nerves have improved? The majority of the issues of this I believe are from the dsc rupture, the nerves would have been crushed .
      Its years since your post so I hope its improved..

  49. Thank you Steve.
    I tihink I’m not ready yet to do squats. I tried with nine weeks but it hurt a lot.
    So, I wiil wait a little more.

  50. My recovery was far enough ago that I don’t remember the exact timing. My physical therapist worked on open-chain exercises a lot to help me learn to use the muscles as much as strengthen them.

    So, I did a lot with ankle weights. I found that ankle stability helped a lot too. I did more endurance increases as opposed to weights. Once you get the endurance, you can build up real strength in regular exercises.

    One of the “your recovered” exercises was a single leg squat to 90-degrees, body weight only. You can do a lot with body weight, and that required me to track strait and use the other balancing muscles.

  51. Hello Steve!
    Congratulations for your blog, it’s a great recovery guide for microfracture surgery.
    I’m on the long way to recover from microfracture surgery on me right knee did on lateral condyle and throclear grave.
    I’m now on the 10th week post-op.
    Sometimes i did too much, and had pain.
    I would like to ask you some questions.
    When did you start with squats?
    Did you do knee extensions with ankle weights or machine? In wich week did you start?
    How did you increase the weights web you were doing the straight leg lift?
    Thank you,

  52. I am 6 weeks post op L5S1 surgery 6 weeks ago and still having great pain esp when I sit for more than 5 minutes, I find the pain is so bad when I get up I can hardly walk.. Going to see the doctor on The 6th where he will take X-rays and see if I damaged it further..

    Feeling sad as I want to get back to work and this nightmare does not seem to end, how are you now?

    • I just passed my 2 year mark. For a while I was unable to sit. Now I can sit much longer, but I still have limits. I think most of it was because of muscle atrophy and subsequently putting pressure on nerves with my sit bones.

      At 6 weeks, I still had swelling and scar tissue. Your doctor will give you better advice, but you are still early in your recovery.

      I also switched to a standing desk for work.

      Ar about the 20 month mark, I feel that I am doing most things as I did before, but with good form and some caution. I don’t lift heavy things, I don’t sit for long periods, but I do play with the kids, I do play with the dog, I am riding my bike a lot (over 1,600 miles so far this year) and I am going out fishing in the ocean. I have some numbness and some muscles have not come back all the way, but I’m doing pretty good from a lifestyle perspective.

  53. Thanks for your input. I’m getting my pax edge 30g tank in the mail today. Excited for sure. Would you be willing to meet up so I can check out your plumbing?
    Toss me an email.

  54. Hey Steve ,
    I just became owner of a used YTS and thought I would reach out to ya. What prop did you end up landing on. Mine has the standard Yamaha 115. And I can feel an issue for trolling speeds.

    • With the bow rail and bait tank, mine is heavier than stock. I ran a 4 blade 15″ for a while, but it had a hard time getting to full RPM. These 115’s don’t like to lug or be under propped. I’m running the 15″ Yamaha Aluminum one now.

      Ultimately, I want to move up in HP, but I don’t think that will change trolling.

      The boat slow trolls ~1.5-2 knts great. Just idle speed. For jigs offshore, just realize you are doing 4.5-5 knts. Over that and you are fighting on/off plane with huge stress on the engine and marginal better wake speed. I get bit fine at those speeds. Those speeds are 90% based on water line length, so prop and motor won’t do a lot to change that (.1-.25 knots at most).

      The 15″ helps the motor run better in the sweet spot (it like 4,500-4,800) in most conditions. For docking and maneuvering, I do give it a bit more throttle at times. The boat can easily spin on a dime and is easy to position for picking up hoop nets with either prop.

  55. I have an 07 here in sd as well. i like your bow rail, where did you get it done and if you don’t mind me asking how much did it cost

    • Brian – it was on there when I got the boat, so I don’t know what the break out it. I am pretty sure it was not PYT, but I don’t know who the other railing person in the SD area is. If you get one, get it this high so you can use it for balance. Easy to cast iron or bait from up there.

  56. Nice boat, really like it, don’t think they make it anymore. I moved from S. CA to NE FL, miss yellows and YFT, but I do catch some nice fish out of Jacksonville/St. Augustine area. It tends to be shallow but after 20M its blue water vs. deep pacific. Usually wind chop but easy to ride home in. My gear had to be beefed up as I was getting cut off all the time!!! I have 17′ CC, all modified with a fiberglass leaning post and hatches for storage, removable livewell as we have to catch our own bait here but a necessacity too. Same situation, limited space, boat is parked in garage due to weather and 4runner to tow, also wanted easy maint w/ easy gas consumption, been out with it upto 40 miles, even landed a 50+wahoo on it, that was insane. Thanks for your posting of the info!

  57. I’m in a condition similar to where you were. I have a 18 foot Bayrunner and just purchased a Defiance Tiderunner 18 foot boat.

    I’d like very much to discuss with you how your new boat performs and what improvements might have been put on your boat.

    With our boat we have a heck of a time running at a relatively constant speed on the ocean. We seem to gain to much speed then throttle back and then slow down until we are just plowing the water. Give it a bit more throttle and pretty soon we are going way to fast again.


    Don Libby

  58. My back cracks like that all the time. Ok? Sort of. It is the tendons around the back telling you they are too tight. They are tight from not using the muscles that normally keep them loose. As you rebuild and strengthen, it should get better. To me, they are a very scarey noise. That said, ask you Dr/Physical therapist.

  59. Plan to get better over a year. There will be hard times.

    I know I am 5+ years now and the microfarcture part of it is fine. You need to work through rebuilding, but you can get it done. Try not to let the bad days get you down.

  60. Hello!!
    Today marks week six after my microsurgery us ACL reconstruction after an accident playing tennis. I am 43 and I am also grateful to hear success stories like Steve’s. My surgeon has not been to informative as far as how tough the recovery will be. Mine was a femoral condhle lesion about 1 X 2 cm .
    I am willing to give up tennis if I have to, but I also enjoy traveling, which requires long walks and I am wondering if that is a realistic expectation to have in te near future.
    Any input will be gratly appreciated.

  61. Wow! I am going through the same thing! I have some loss in my right leg particularly climbing stairs or inclines. No BLTs either–bending lifting or twisting—but everyday a little better. You’re right–it’s incremental and sometimes the walking is smooth. After bumpy rides I feel it for sure. I go to the Dr.s in a few days to have a follow up X-ray and evaluation. I had my surgery 5 weeks ago today and am very anxious to get better. The slow progress is excruciating, but I must remain patient. Anyhow—thanks for the post. One question though—when I roll over at night I sometimes hear a popping sound in my back—like a knuckle crack—is that okay? Anyone know?

  62. Wow! I am going through the same thing! I have some loss in my right leg particularly climbing stairs or inclines. No BLTs either–bending lifting or twisting—but everyday a little better. You’re right–it’s incremental and sometimes the walking is smooth. After bumpy rides I feel it for sure. I go to the Dr.s in a few days to have a follow up X-ray and evaluation. I had my surgery 5 weeks ago today and am very anxious to get better. The slow progress is excruciating, but I must remain patient. Anyhow—thanks for the post. One question though—when I roll over at night I sometimes hear a popping sound in my back—like a knuckle crack—is that okay? Anyone know?

  63. He was younger than Bogey or Maverick when you got him – not surprising there are a few extra challenges.

  64. Yes, I get nerve sensations for sure. Are they in the back/spine, or the muscles around it? I think it is tight muscles around it since with proper relaxation it gets better. I am doing a lot more day-to-day, so my back is working more. The other thing with my “sensations” is that they are not consistent, they vary.

  65. Hi Steve ,

    thanks for the update . I am 8 months post op . My leg pain is mostly gone and my leg feels pretty much back to normal but I am still experiencing pain in my back . Does does your back still hurt ? The pain I am feeling I believe is nerve pain .

  66. Hello, I am glad you are doing well, thank God, my best wishes for all the people who are going trough this situations on their lives, I’m 6 days post op (laminectomy l5-S1) so far so good, keeping it slow, and I am glad I had surgery, there’s no more pain down my left leg, that was driving me nuts, I still have little bit numbness in my calf, but I pretty sure it will back again to normal in the future. I hope I have a real good recovery and no reijuring ,myself, wish you the best for you all, be positive and have faithth. God bless you a

  67. It is a tough road, but with your background, you should do well. I think the hardest part of my recovery has been life with a desk job. I think little of my knee these days. Getting the body back in balance and not limping/favoring is important.

    Good luck! And remember, most people go to the internet to complain.

  68. I don’t know if you’ll get this but I’ve been reading your blog about the knee microfracture surgery. Thanks for giving me hope. I’m a cyclist too and a yoga teacher. I just had the surgery yesterday. It was not expected I’d have this extensive damage. I’m glad to know the cause of my pain but never expected the long recovery process. I’ve been reading so much negative and you’re the first one to give me hope. Thank you for that. I’ll have to surrender my classes for a time, very bummed about that but I have to heal properly. Best wishes to you.

  69. Great write up. I really like the layout on this boat. I live in Seattle and for some reason we just don’t have a lot of these around. There are a number of the larger models and they are very popular offshore for tuna. If you are selective on your days you can easily run for tuna in this machine. I might put a 150hp on the back but other than that you are set for three guys and it would be very economical I would think. The tiderunner is the same hull just missing the pilothouse. It would also be nice to have some hatches installed in the hull for fish storage, maybe turn the bait tank. You could put 20 albacore between a deck bag and hull storage. Thanks again.

    • I’ve thought about most of your suggestions. There isn’t much room for hatch storage as it is foam filled (USCG). With the railing and bait tank, it needs the 150. My 115 blew the oil pump and it may be since it is lugging to much (115’s get oil in the gas when the lug). I’ve even got the lowest pitched prop which tells me I’m underpowered. 3 guys with the 115 isn’t fun offshore, the 150 should solve that. I talked to the owner, and they stopped making this size as they have the Arima line for small pilot houses now. Most of the 19.5 yellowtail’s are in Southern California from what I know.

      We did have it plugged with about 20 YFT this past summer. I really wanted the 150 on that 20 mile run home.

  70. This is some good information for the fellow fishermen out there. I also fish the San Diego waters, I am currently using an old 527i gps. I use it mostly for navigation and finding fish in shallow water. I am looking to upgrade and pretty much set on the HDS8 GEN2 is what i have in mind with the sonar hub and structure scan.

  71. Pierre,

    Yes, I do get some hip pain. It takes some stretching, but it usually feels better when loose or I stretch. My muscles are not 100% recovered, but they are coming along slowly. The main problem is when they get tired, they like to seize up. Sort of a spasm.

    I don’t think I’d say my back really hurts too much. A few vertebra up it can be sore to the touch and the PT said this was just knots from weakness.

  72. Hi Steve ,

    Did you did you ever get hip and groin pain ? Also how does your back feel . Do you have pain in your lower back ? Are your muscles back to normal ?

  73. Hi Steve , Glad to hear that your recovery is going great . Thank you for doing this blog . I enjoy reading your posts . I am 10 1/2 weeks and reading this gives me peace of mind . As I know that this is a long process .

  74. I am having the same procedure on 9/11 so it was nice to read about your recovery process. I am more afraid of all the drugs than the actual surgery! But my herniation is up from 7mm to 11mm and really impacting my nerves…my feet have constant neuropathy.
    best wishes to you both!

  75. Hi there! Reading your blog about your recovery has been great for my husband and I. He herniated his l5-s1 on April 1st and just had surgery yesterday due to workman’s comp denying surgery for so long. He woke up from surgery yesterday with as he described it “the river of lava wrapped around my leg” completely gone, what a happy moment after over 4 months of pain!

    I just wanted to comment how much we appreciate your detailing of your recovery and what has worked for you, it has been really helpful and given us a lot if hope!

    • I’m glad it has helped. It isn’t an easy recovery, but that sort of a positive change so quick is great. Best of luck on the continued recovery, and have patients.

  76. For me, 5 weeks was a hard time. I was still in the brace doing nothing, so I was getting weaker. At 6 weeks I started therapy and by 8-10 I was feeling better. Now, at 3 months+ I feel much more normal and am doing more.

    • Yeah .I have read all of your posts . I noticed that I had the same experience during week 5 when not much of a difference in progress . Going into week six I can tell a difference from the soreness in my back . Do you stil hurt inside from the surgery ? I didnt wear a brace . Did a Neuro or Ortho do your surgery ?

  77. Glad to hear that you are doing well . Keep us posted on any progress. I had my Laminectomy 5 Weeks ago .

  78. I’m glad I found somebody else that is chronicling their discectomy recovery. It’s also a happy coincidence that you are in San Diego county; me too. I just had a discectomy on 7/15/13 after being paralyzed by pain the previous week. I never really wanted surgery, but damned near demanded it by last week!! I feel fair right now and after reading yours and others’ accounts I think I might fully recover. Keep up the blog. Thanks.

    Take care, Eric

  79. Thanks – not sure I’d say “great” very often, but I am seeing progress.

    I am getting out every few days on the bike again… and it feels like I am riding again. Life even is feeling more like “life”.

    Hand in there, it is a long road.

  80. Steve sounds like you are doing great . Just had laminectomy surgery on June 27, 2013 . Reading this is helping out and keeps me feeling positive .

  81. Looks like you are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I am sure it was fun to at least power up the boat makes the day when you can use it again seem closer I’m sure.

  82. This is all very encouraging! I can see a lot of good progress… especially since I have had a couple nights of great sleep! Your walking is much better, you can move more fluidly. I can still see areas for improvement, but all in all you have made great strides in progress. Keep it up!

  83. I apologize – this site has been a bit neglected. I owe it an update.

    In 2012, I did a good job of getting some muscular balance back. I was able to spend a lot more time on my bike where I managed over 3200 miles and over 133,000′ of climbing.

    I’m not perfect. There is a lot of pain after I’ve been siting for too long, but I still say I’m doing better and it was worth it.

  84. Howdy,

    I also found your site while discovering what microfracture surgery is, I Found out last week that i have chondral damage but i still dont know to what extent, I will find out tomorrow but i am shitting my pants.

    The results i have been given by my physio is that my ACL is gone and substantial chondral damage, I had an arthroscopy 15years ago and they removed half of my miniscus
    and they also tried to tell me my ACL also broke 15 years ago……sounds like shit to me, surely its not possible to be active for 15 years with no ligament…..!

    I am now 38yo and not had any trouble after my initial op until now, i am very apprehensive on how to proceed and but know i need to move on and get it sorted, my daughter is just starting to walk so this is reaaaaaallly bad timing….

    It was motivating to read your story and anything you can help with would be great,.

    David – how are tyou getting on?


  85. Howdy,

    Yesterday, I had microfracture surgery myself for a femural condyle lesion. I came across your blog while researching today, and have been very fascinated to read about your rehabilitation process.

    Since our situations seem somewhat similar, I was just writing for a little encouragement…

    My story, briefly: I’m 34 years old, and have been an avid/competitive cyclist for years. A year and a half ago, I developed fairly severe medial knee pain while cycling which forced me to stop riding. Last summer, I had an MRI which came out “normal”, showing inflammation and tendinopathy, but no cartilage or joint damage. So for the past year, the injury has been treated as a soft-tissue injury (pes anserine bursitis). Over the past year, however, it just hadn’t improved. (still unable to resume cycling, pain and stiffness when walking, etc.) So last week, I went back to my OS. He recommended arthroscopy to inspect the joint and make sure there wasn’t something that was missed by the MRI…

    …when I woke up yesterday morning from the arthroscopic surgery, I was told that I had an “8mm grade three femoral condyle lesion” and that he treated it with microfracture. What the-what? 4-6 weeks on crutches? 6 month rehab? As you can imagine, I’m feeling really overwhelmed at this point, both with the shock of finding out how severely damaged my knee was, and with the prospect of a very long and difficult road to recovery. On one hand, I am glad that I finally have an “answer” as to what has been wrong with my knee all this time, and that there is a path forward for getting better, but on the other hand, I have a lot of fear and apprehension.

    Anyhow, thank you for taking the time to write about your journey. If you have any words of encouragement for me at this point, they would be much appreciated…


  86. Hi Steve,

    I stumbled upon your site after searching for some information regarding micro fracture surgery. Thank you so much for documenting your experiences, it really has been quite helpful. Especially considering the amount of horror stories you come across, as you mentioned. I am scheduled to have my surgery in one week and the recovery process just seems so daunting. Nevertheless, I want to be active for a long time and understand this is a necessary step…one day at a time. Once again thanks for your story and hope your recovery continues to go well.


  87. I only had one surgery that repaired 2 spots.
    The prognosis was that I would get back to being active, but I should avoid running to help it last longer. The how long was not known, but he has athletes going full tilt again.

    The surgery was done in San Diego by Dr. Chris Behr. I think the group is San Diego Orthopedics.

  88. I’m unclear on this – have you had 2 microfractures? I think I will need a second one soon. This year (4 yrs out) I’ve really upped the intensity and miles on the road bike, and I find my knee starting to wear out – same pain in the same spot. I’ve read that the scar tissue from the surgery doesn’t last very long.

    Where did you have your surgery? Did they discuss prognosis or the durability of the microfracture? Thanks and good luck.

  89. Good luck! The road ahead is long. Those with more patients will probably do better, but I am typing this with the good kind of sore muscles from using them! My knee isn’t holding me back anymore.
    And as long as I can say that; I am happy.

  90. Hey, thanks so much for posting your progress updates. I had microfracture surgery 3 weeks ago, and it is really encouraging to read about your recovery!

  91. One thing my doctor, Dr. Behr, said was that many people try to do too much too soon (like vacations with a lot of walking). So, I did get a good warning.

    Go easy on the camping trip. Nothing like needing an ice pack far from being able to get one. Bring plenty of anti-inflammatories so that you can at least fight it should it rear its ugly head. I found that swelling was mainly from muscle/tendon imbalance and once they started to swell, it just gets worse unless you stop the swelling.

    My doctor also said that the elliptical machine is the best. Gym bikes are bad for knees. The elliptical makes my knee feel good.

  92. Hi – it’s been a year since someone commented on this thread and I can only assume that everyone has healed up and all the pain and discomfort has become a distant memory. I hope so in any case.

    I’m now in week 10 post op and still limping along on one crutch. Every now and then I experience pain related to what feels like the bones rubbing against each other – I don’t know how to describe it – it’s just not muscular pain and I am terrified that all this effort has been wasted and that the op didn’t work.

    My microfracture was relatively small according to the surgeon’s assistant – essentially the size of a South African 20c piece (about 6mm diameter), so the success rate is fairly high. But with this amount of swelling and pain, it feels like he’s just about done the whole kneecap!

    I’ve been on the CPM once a week since the op and yesterday in the pool did some rotation type movements – I’ve been told not to go on the exercise bikes at the gym but I’m dying to go back and start shedding some weight, which will help with the knee. So now I need to figure out which machine will cause the least discomfort – maybe the elliptical? I see someone mentioned using this up above – should be ok I reckon?

    Anyway, we’re going camping next week – the day after Christmas and I’m a little worried about still wobbling about with the crutch. My other half is not going to be impressed about having to set up camp with very little help!

    One thing that annoys me is that the surgeon didn’t explain that I’d be out of action for so long – ‘a couple of weeks on crutches and you’re done’ was what he said. Yeah, right! I would’ve waited till next year to do this if I had’ve known – the pain was bearable and not at all constant.

    Oh well, let me know if you’re doing well now and have no further problems with the knee – it’s been a great source of comfort reading about everyone’s experiences – at least I know I’m not unique in what’s happening to me!


  93. I have really enjoyed reading your journey through your microfacture surgery. I had my surgery two weeks ago. I know it was not nearly as bad as yours. I was able to run right up to surgery. I am already riding the recumbent bike and swimming,water running. I hope to be able to get back to some kind of running in the next three months. I wish you well and look forward to reading your next entry.

  94. I have the security tight tight tight, and that is what I recommend so the random ex-girl can’t add you as a friend. Also, be VERY afraid of Facebook apps. No es bueno in terms of hacking exposure.

  95. I didn’t start putting any pressure on it until almost 8 weeks I think. A lot of it depends on where the microfracture happened. For me, it was in a load bearing area, so I had to wait longer.

    You really should ask your doctor and PT about what you should do.

  96. My physical therapist told me that you loose strength in part to the lack of activity and as part of the surgery. I found I had no muscular control the first day and then I lost all muscle by the time I started to walk again.

    Building back that muscle is hard.

    I didn’t hit the pool until over a year after, but that was only due to lack of opportunity (no gym member ship at the time). I would ask a physical therapist when to start. You don’t want to push too hard too fast. Take your time to avoid other complications.

  97. How fun your day sounded. I bet you are thrilled. Now that the girls are getting older you will have so many fun days together. I am jealous.
    Love, Mom

  98. Namon,

    Thank you for the report. Glad to hear you are doing well.

    I think a lot of the challenges with going “all out” are the lack of muscle. The bicycling rule of thumb is 1:1 for rehab to time off. I was off for 8+ months, build up over 8 months.

    I had to run to catch a train the other day, and it was the only running I’ve done in a long time. My OS says not to run if I don’t need to because of the weight bearing. It hurt a little, but I ended up ok. So I am very happy about it. I’m moving down the road still.

    Good luck getting back into action!


  99. Hello, next week will be eight months for me. I was fortunate to have my microfracture procedure done on a non-weightbearing part of my right knee. My OS told me that I should be able to do everything after six months. I had a 1 cm lesion in my trochlear groove, and for the first couple of months after surgery, it hurt to bend my knee. My patella went right over the location of the lesion. I could hear my knee click every time I bent it, and I felt a twinge of pain too. It was similar to someone poking a really painful bruise over and over. My OS told me that as the “scar” filled in, it would click less and less. He was correct. I was able to walk without crutches three days after the surgery, but I quickly realized that I pushed it too far too fast. I was able to walk without crutches, and without discomfort after a week. After three months, I could walk up and down stairs normally. That was a big milestone for me.

    I had my 6 month checkup a couple of weeks ago, and got clearance to play basketball, etc… I started working out again, and there is a HUGE difference in the strength of both knees. The right one is way weaker than the left. I have been lifting weights, to try to get the right leg caught up. I finally ran on a treadmill this past week. It felt good (and extremely tiring) to be able to run again. The last time I did anything remotely athletic was playing basketball the day before my knee “popped”, and had me figuratively running to the doctor. I ran for a few minutes Monday, and felt good enough that I ran for a little longer on Tuesday. I have a little soreness in the knee today, but it feels good overall. I plan to run again today after work. I’m still a little nervous about going all out though. I want to get back to how I was last year before having knee problems. I can totally relate to what you have gone through, although I have had a far easier road. Thanks for putting your experiences out there. It let me know some of the things that I can expect. I do have a lingering suspicion that I will need to have microfracture done on my left knee at some point too. So at least now I know what to expect.


  100. Hi Tabitha.

    You are in the thick of the worst part. I think most of the hard stuff is emotional.

    I think there are different types of microfracture, at least in location. Mine was in a load bearing location, so I had to be off of it for 8+ weeks. From everything I know, it does seem you need to be off of it, or the new cartilage may not set right.

    I am no expert, but I think that being a little older will make it take longer. My tendons were tighter, and my muscle generation is slower than when I was younger. Rehab has been slow. A lot of that is because I lost all of my leg muscle and it has been work to build it back up.

    I know/knew my PT before I started (ok, restarted) therapy and told him what I was coming if for. He researched it and we set a program appropriately. There is no hard in talking to other therapists. I was an anomaly in the office since they don’t see a lot of them.

    Time is important with recovery. You need to do you work, but not too much too soon. Good luck.


  101. HI there,
    I saw your post on Knee1.com. I am now 3 weeks postop and am concerned about my Physical Therapist and his knowledge about the surgery. He is located in the same office as my OS but due to my age (38) he seems to feel I can do alot more and I stressed the importance of Non-weight bearing to him and actually printed up some info from Dr Steadman’s website to take with me today. Do you recall what your rehab was like? What types of activities at this stage?
    I would appreciate any info you may have – I just want the best result possible. Thank you in advance for your time, I am glad you say it was a positive result – it is hard to be patient when you have small children/ husband and house to take care of – but I am trying to be very positive.
    Thanks you, Tabitha

  102. Great to see the progress – last weekend, 11 months and 4 days post microfracture surgery i ran my first race. trail marathon in Oregon, clocked 3:15 even. Was amazing to be back at it regardless of the result. You’re right – it’s a long road but in the end it’s worth it. Keep progressing –


  103. Thank you for your post Julie.

    I am now at the year mark, and I would say that I feel very good. I am starting to ride more, and much harder again. Very little pain and much less icing.

    I wish continued luck and recovery to you.

  104. Congrats on your recovery. I had my microfracture surgery about a month after you, and I am experiencing the same thing(s). I am definitely getting stronger and adding more activities but the swelling still follows. I take it easy and ice it, and it seems to recover. The dr. said that is a really good sign. Keep the updates coming… they are very encouraging. Thank you.

  105. Good luck, I’ve heard the “I didn’t know thing” all too often. I knew well in advance.

    Where did you have your microfracture (meaning which part of the knee)?

  106. I just had surgery this morning and am using the cpm machine right now. Had no clue I would have microfracture as I had torn meniscus in my other knee in 2000 so I thought I knew what I was in for. I’m studying the internet and am reading your blog now.

  107. Awesome, Steve! It’s great to hear you’re doing so much better.

    Hope to hook up to do some climbing again some time…


  108. Joe,

    Good luck finding one. I think I got very lucky, there were two for sale when I decided to get it.

    If you trust the engine, I think you can take it pretty far. I get 6+mpg on my new Suzuki 40. They do pound pretty hard since they are so lite and flat. They don’t cut through the waves, so the trip back into any chop is grim. They are fairly dry, but add some wind and you will get wet (they are not a pilot house by any means). I would say they are drier than most in the same size rage because of the flared bow.
    bloodydecks.com and sdfish.com are two good place to look. They have classified and people occasionally sell theirs on the site.

    Squidco is great.

    Good luck,

  109. Hi Steve,
    My son and I are looking for a 19′ westcoaster bayrunner. A friend of ours own’s squid co. He is happy with it. How do you like yours? We plan on fishing La Jolla and maybe out 40 miles. Is your boat fairly dry and safe? Thanks for any info. I’ve been checking the classified’s, not many out there for sale.

  110. My Edge 605 is way better than my 720i. I rarely get interference anymore, and I love the motionbased website. I don’t know if I am going to get the 705 or not. A new wheelset first.

    I think I could have made it back onto the bike earlier, but I had a few set backs, and it takes a while for the muscle to come back. I don’t want to hurt myself on the bike because I am too weak. I’ve got enough rehab with just the knee surgery 😉 .

    Swelling… well, it took a while. Until I got a good base of muscle back, I had it a lot. The initial swelling took a month or so. I was actually impressed with how fast that went down. I have had very little swelling recently, but I have been ramping up slowly.

    All of the good cycling books talk about a month of cycling recovery for every month off, so I am still looking at another 4 months before I try to ride hard again. I plan to use the time to build a good aerobic base and burn off fat. This is a great time to rebuild lean muscles. So, you will get back, don’t rush it or you may hurt yourself with another set back. Temper your enthusiasm and you will enjoy even the casual rides when you start again.


  111. Hi Steve – I had my microfracture two weeks ago and I am also into biking (mostly mountain). I am happy to hear you are starting to ride outside again but it is also somewhat discouraging to me that it has taken so long to get to that point. I am now toning down my optimism to get in much riding this summer and will hopefully shoot for the fall. I am also a “wife professed” nerd when it comes to analyzing my rides. I currently have the Polar 720i and have been looking at the Garmin Edge 705 but will hold off on the purchase for while. If you get the 705 please post your experience. One question on the microfracture, how long was it for you before the swelling was completely down?


  112. Brien,

    I too had a lot of medial pain, and I still do sometimes. By Dr. said it was common and not a lot to worry about. I have noticed that it is getting better. Slowly, but it is getting better.
    So, yes, I would say that I’ve had similar experiences to you. The pain, setbacks and slow muscle regrowth echo what I am going through. That said, not that I am getting a base of muscle, I can push myself more with better results.

    Good luck,

  113. Hi Steve,

    Congratulations!! I cannot wait to be as mobile as you. I had my first microfracture surgery 6 months ago, and then a second surgery to clean out the knee about 3 months ago. My pt says that I have to look at recovery from the second surgery date and so I consider myself 3 months post op. My quad is getting a bit stronger as it doesn’t look as wasted away, but I get pretty sharp pain on the medial joint line when I overdo it or go up stairs. My pt thinks that this is referred pain, but I am confused by it and wonder if there is something wrong with my recovery. I sometimes wonder if I will ever recover from this. I still cannot walk down or up stairs normally and have to go up one step at a time. I would love to hear if others have had similar experiences.



  114. Congrats Steve on the 6 months –
    i’ve been following since week 6 when i had my MF surgery. I’ve longed to reach that 6-months – perhaps too much. I’ve kind of envisioned that at 6 months all the pain goes away, no more swelling or weakness, back to normal. I know that isn’t the case however but it is a milestone. Was hard to envision even being at 5 months ( next week for me ) when all of this started.

    Keep moving forward man – and keep posting.


  115. 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.


  116. 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!


  117. 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.


  118. 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.


  119. 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?


  120. 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…


  121. I second the elliptical machine. I just got a gym membership (first in my life) and tried the machine.
    Aside from being boring, it seems to be very good for rehab.
    Isn’t it funny how yard/house work seems to really work your knees?

  122. Up to 10 miles/week running now, with some elliptical and started on the crossrobics machine yesterday ( it’s kind of an aerobic weight workout ). In general it still hurts to pound but seems to get better later into the runs with not much pain after. Did a 2 1/4 mile run yesterday at 7.0mph and it’s a little throbby today and a bit swollen, but not too bad. I’ve ceased the weight workouts as the popping was just too nerve racking.

    Other then running not much else seems to bother it. Did 4 hours of hard yard work New Years day with no problems.

    So the plan is to continue and decide at month 6 whether to purse the OATS procedure or not. The insideous thing about this surgery is you just don’t know what’s going on in there and the fact it can fail at any time.

    Good to see everyone else making progress. Steve is correct – this is a long road we’re on and unfortunately that road cuts right across Kansas – not some beautiful scenic road in the Rockies. Stay on it everyone.


  123. Hi all. Just a little feedback that I am getting from my PT. He said the most common “mistake” / incident he sees– with this surgery/ recovery is that people push themselves too much at the beginning. Flare-ups are the result. I think everyone that has written has experienced this. Although this isn’t going to damage my knee further.. it will slow down the heal time. He told me (two sessions ago) that it could easily be a year before I am back in my normal activities (tennis/ skiing)…. but my #1 goal is to just walk. (and I mean… walk without a hobble, limp, cane, etc). I am now using one crutch with an occasional cane… but not ready for full cane yet (which only helps with balance…. .not any weight bearing features). I am sure all of you know this… but just sharing what I am learning. I use the knee more… i get pain. I scale back a bit, use ice, and after a day… I go at it again.
    I did get on the treadmill for the first time at PT this week. I am almost at 15 weeks Post surgery.
    Anyways… mojo to all… and thanks for the support, etc. I feel stronger every day.. and reading (from Jim) that pain is just something we push thru gives me encouragement. anwyays. Happy New Year.

  124. Hi All,

    Happy New Year!

    Well, last week was 6 weeeks since the microfracture and my physio told me to dump the crutches and made me walk without them. Seemed a bit drastic and soon but she’s the boss. It was quite scary as I thought it would hurt. It didn’t really though, just felt a bit weird and the bottom of my foot felt odd! She wanted to take the crutches off me but I told her I wanted to keep them to walk outside with – but I haven’t bothered with them! It’s so good to be able to carry a cup of tea without spilling it whilst hopping along!

    The next day my leg felt like I’d run a marathon – I could hardly get out of bed!! Tight muscles were killing me! OK once I got going though – but the knee feels a bit stiff initially in the mornings. I’m still taking glucosamine and cod liver oil tablets and trying to sit with an ice pack on my knee for a while every evening. I’ve got more exercises to do – just got to try to fit them in now.

    Some good news on the clicking front – it doesn’t seem to do it quite as much as it did – when it does though it’s a bit unnerving.

    Jim, how’s your clicking going?

    Pleased to hear that everyone seems to be progressing. Looking forward to reading the updates. Keep ’em coming!!


  125. Good to see you’re doing well Steve. i’m now 16 weeks post surgery and am starting to become alot more active. Total of 7 miles running last week – slow ( 9 – 10 minutes/mile ) with walking breaks but it’s progress. i’m subscribing to the philosophy that a little pain is ok and even necesary to get the muscles going again. Most of my pain, i think, is muscular and tendon-related. Also started some very light weight workouts. On the whole – even though the running is not completely comfortable, it doesn’t get worse and actually gets better towards the end. No swelling or pain after. Do you think perhaps a little more activity might actually be beneficial. My PT thinks so. Good luck to everyone recovering out there – keep moving forward.


  126. Thanks for your update. I have been looking for someone to compare my recovery with. I had a microfracture surgery almost 6 months ago with several set backs because of overdoing my workouts. I feel like I am about half way recovered and need to embrace the less is more motto. I still get swelling after workouts, and I cannot walk down the stairs yet, but I feel a little more hopeful after reading about your experience. I thought maybe I was way abnormal in my recovery, but is seems that this surgery takes forever to recover from. Thanks again, Brien

  127. Julie,

    I started weening off the crutches at about 7 weeks and it took about 2 weeks to shed them. I am at 11 weeks and still have a bit of a limp but I just walked around the mall today to do xmas shopping. Not perfect and I still have a lot of work ahead but not too bad overall.

    All I can tell you is what worked for me, I focused on using one crutch at first putting more and more weight on the knee. Then walking short stretches, like the chair to the couch w/o crutches ( a few steps). Once I got past the mental block I was able to push thru the discomfort to go further distances (Like the living room to the bedroom :)). From there I walked during the day until the knee got too sore or tired, then I went back to the crutches. Within a week or so after that I realized I really didn’t need the crutches. They are still sitting there, one in the front entranceway and the other in my office but haven’t used them for weeks.

    Not sure if that helps. Good luck.

    P.S. Thanks everyone for the entries, it is nice to know there are others dealing with this same road back.

  128. I definitely started walking too much too quickly. Pretty much went cold turkey – threw the crutches away at exactly 6 weeks. I think it took a couple of weeks before I was walking normally on the flats and uphill. Still not, at 14.5 weeks, able to go normally downhill or down stairs.

    I agree with Steve that it takes a long time for the muscles to build back and that those imbalances cause pain and swelling. Normal, i think. There’s a reason NBA basketball players are out for an entire season with this type of surgery.

    I can say that each week i continue to notice some improvement though it’s slow and grinding. It does get better.


    • I’m scheduled to go for micro fracture surgery on the 14th of Oct. And I’m just wondering about how much longer I will be out of work. Right now I’m nwb and unable to but my knee straight. My knee hurts all the time and there are times when I stand to go to the bathroom and my balance isn’t there it takes about 3 minutes for my balance to get back to normal before I can move. My job is stressful on my knees and I’m on feet 8 hours a day climbing ladders and bending also for most of the day.

      • Donna,

        I hope you are getting though the first week well. Your doctor obviously knows more now that he has done the procedure. I was able to work from home and started as soon as I got off some of the heavier meds. As soon as I could drive, I could crutch to work. I was non weight bearing for 8 weeks, so that was a big factor in my limits.

        Good luck,

  129. Julie,

    I think I went to walking too fast. A cane is a great idea too.

    I think one of the biggest problems is the slow speed that your muscles rebuild in contrast to the strength of the existing tendons an ligaments. The tendons and ligaments pull/compensate like you have full muscle. That imbalance causes some pain and swelling.

    Sure there are other things, but it is a slow process. I am in the week 20 range, and I think I am just starting to walk normally. Had I used a cane and one crutch longer, I think I’d be doing better now.

    Either way, you are in the doldrums of recovery. Good luck, there is light at the end of the tunnel.


  130. Hi all. I check in on this site to help reassure me that I am ‘ok’ through all of this. I agree, wholeheartedly, that this is as much of a mental challenge as physical. Here is my question… and could use some input.. I am 12.5 weeks post microfracture and STILL using crutches. I am so frustrated with this. I am weight bearing… but still can’t put full weight and my PT advises to keep using these so that I dont walk lopsided with just one crutch. I am just surprised that you all seem to be walking with no support 13 weeks out. How did you do this? Did you just embrace the pain and go for it? It swells and sends shooting pain the more weight i put on it… and i am just a bit down/ frustrated. Any advice on how you got rid of the cruthces? (my doc said i should use a cane .. as my next step). Thanks for the feedback, support, etc.

  131. Hi All,

    So, I went to see the physio today and all seems well. She said that the cracking is normal and is a combination of the swelling and tendons and muscles being weaker than usual. She also said that it all looks like it’s healing fine. Hence, I feel slightly more optimistic.

    When my knee clicks and locks up, I do a few leg slides which is where you sit on the floor with a carrier bag under your foot (to eliminate friction), bend your good knee and slowly bend and straighten the bad leg (by sliding your foot towards and away from you). This usually loosens it up a bit….

    I’m still not allowed to go on an exercise bike and she just gave me a few more exercies to do to keep my quads and hamstrings alive!

    I have to go back on the 27th Dec to be taught to walk again – nerve-wracking as I reckon it’s going to be quite tender. I’ll be looking forward to driving again too.

    I still have a bit of swelling around the incisions and she said to massage them as it may form scar tissue.

    But for the time being, I’m happy to report, all seems good…

  132. External swelling isn’t that bad and does not even really present itself after walking or PT exercises. Internally i know there is still fluid and i’m hoping that between that and generally weak muscles and tendons the popping can be explained.

    The pain is not really all that bad – when i walk my labs around the neighborhood, 3 miles or so, i tend to try and jog the uphills. While it doesn’t feel “right” – it’s not too painful. Again, hoping it’s the weak muscles.

    I think you’re right Steve, that building back up is going to cause some pain and swelling – no way around that. At this point – 14 weeks tomorrow – i have no problem on either the bike or the elliptical. I like the elliptical, coming from a running background it feels good to be vertical working out again.

    While not back to my pre-surgery levels, i will say i can tell the surgery will have many more positive effects then not. For instance, ladders prior to the surgery caused alot of problems. Got up on the roof last weekend with no problems.

    I guess i’m lucky though – mine was an acute injury and i only had to live with it for 1.5 months and the rest of my knee is perfect.

    Hang in there – it will get better for all of us.

  133. I’ve had swelling right through now (~ week 19+). Once swelling from the surgery goes down, it feels good for a bit, then I start to rebuild (exercise). That brings on new swelling.

    I think that once you get through the beginning stages of healing, the hard battle/balance of rehab vs. continued healing kicks in. The muscle doesn’t come back perfectly, so that causes some pain.

    That said, my pain is much better now. Sometimes it feels similar to what I had before, but not too often. Week over week it is a little better, but day by day I don’t seem to notice much. My gauge is how far I can walk in the morning before I get pain. Every week I notice it is further. Last night I walked with my daughter from the parking lot to the mall without using the stroller for support. It was fun, but I was quickly in almost too much pain to walk. I swelled a bit. After stretching and icing, it got better. My PT predicted it, so I didn’t get too scared with it.

    I think it will take 6+ months total before I feel a lot better and can say how I am really doing.

    I too get popping after sitting. Particularly if I am in the car, or at my desk for a long time. Stretching helps, but when I get stiff, it takes a long time to stretch. My PT says it is a combination of weak muscles and tendons that tightened that are built up for much stronger muscles. I too thought I would be doing some more jogging at this point, but no chance. That said, I am just now starting to find myself taking fast, running like steps after the kids. My body is feeling more ready for it and it isn’t bad. I’ve got no endurance, but I think that is a sign of healing.

  134. Jim,

    That’s exactly what mine does. I have to manipulate it to try to avoid it. The physio told me it’s commonplace and usually down to internal swelling – do you think you’ve still got that at week 13.5 though?

    The thing that gets me though, is this is precisely what it was doing before I had the op….

  135. Steve – i’ve found your posts most reassuring and accurate as to my timeline. Paranoia rules however. i’m now 13.5 weeks post surgery. While i can get around fine, walk 3 – 4 miles/day, do my PT exercises, etc. there’s still much pain and weekness. Most concerning, the way the knee pops at times after i’ve been sitting and stretch the leg out. While not very painful it makes me think bone-on-bone and that the procedure didn’t work.
    I had the benefit of having an arthrogram 11 weeks after to see how the hole was filling. Result – my surgeon said in most of the defect it looked about 50% filled, mildly encouraging. Said week 16 i could being running again up to 2 miles/day. Going on week 14 – not a chance i think i’ll be there. Keep at it everyone – everything i read suggests patience pays.

  136. Thanks for the encouragement – I just seem to read bad-news stories! I’m pleased you 2 seem to be improving and maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    I think the hardest part is being stuck in most of the time. I’m forever asking people to come round for a cup of tea! They haven’t got time though, cos they’re flat out running my kids round the place!!

    I don’t usually sit still for 5mins so this is like a proper kick in the teeth. Oh well, I suppose you’ve got to speculate to accumulate! I think you’re right about the mental torture though.

    I managed to get to the shops at the weekend but my crutches ended up rubbing my hands raw. Great for the sympathy from random strangers though!

    I’m seeing the physio on Thursday so I’m going to bring up the clicking with her. I can get through it all if I think it’s not failed already! Hopefully she’ll say I can get on an exercise bike or something. My legs are quite lean anyway, but the bad 1 is fading away!

    Going out for a good old curry with friends on Saturday night so lets hope booze and crutches go well together – something tells me they won’t!! Guess I’ll be perched on a bar stool all night.

    I’ll keep you posted anyway…..!

    Thanks for taking the trouble to reply.

    P.S. Your stories have made very interesting reading. Keep it up….

  137. Lisa,

    Hang in there. The first 6 weeks or so stink! Your knee is essentially trying to heal the trauma of the surgery. For me, somewhere between 6-8 wks my knee started to feel a little better. I think Steve is right its likely swelling related.

    I am now at 10 weeks and I am walking w/o crutches and the freedom that brings is fantastic. I’m just focused at this point on range of motion and building up muscle mass. So, if you get out another month or 2 and you are still having the issues you are experiencing, then I would be concerned. Until then just keep pluggin.

  138. Good luck. I hope all goes well. I had no pressure on my knee for the full 6 weeks, so I can’t comment on any clicking. It will take time for the microfracture to set up, so I would guess it is a combination of the microfracture not being set up and a lot of swelling. Swelling causes a lot of strange things in the knee, including pain in unrelated areas.

    Too bad on the CPM, I think it really helped.

    The one thing I will say, is don’t get bummed out so soon after surgery. This takes a long time to heal. I don’t think you will know much for another 4 months, even then you won’t be fully healed.

    The hard part is probably the mental part. You body will just keep healing away.

    Good luck!

  139. Hiya, I had microfracture on my lateral femoral condyle and a bit of a meniscal clean up almost 4 weeks ago.

    I was playing netball in June and felt a bit of a “pinging” in my knee so I came off the court but when I got in the car it totally gave out on me. Typical hey?! I could hardly put any weight on my leg for a couple of weeks but after a couple of months, the only symptom really was a slight locking and clicking on the outside of my knee on a day-to-day basis when straightening – not really painful – but more pain on running. There was no way I could’ve played netball. 6 months later here I am – with 1 withering leg and 1 other half realising it’s not easy being a worker, housekeeper, taxi driver, food shopper etc!!

    I’m toetouch-weight bearing on crutches for 6 weeks and not driving either – not easy with 3 kids to run around after and school runs to arrange! I’ve only got a few exercises to do from the physio and we don’t seem to have CPMs in the UK.

    I know I’m only a short way down the road, but what do you think of the fact that my knee is still clicking and slightly locking in the same place as it was before m/f? My physio (who I’ve only seen once) said it’s probably down to swelling inside settling down but it’s really getting me down as it doesn’t seem to be getting much better. I haven’t seen the surgeon since the day of the op and don’t know when I will again.

    Anyway, better get on any do some knee slides but I’d be grateful to hear your thoughts!



  140. i’m now 11 weeks post-surgery. there are dull aches and patella issues with downstairs and steeper slopes but i can pretty much walk as much as i want – take the dogs up to 3 miles around the neighborhood. Had an MR/arthrogram yesterday and 12-week follow-up next Tuesday with my Dr. to review the results. I’m not optimistic – looked at the pictures yesterday after the procedure and i really don’t see a diff from the orginals. however i’m not a radiologist so i’ll wait and see what the Dr. says. I have however started investigating the OATS procedure. You’re a very correct – this rehab is not for wimps and is incredibly frustrating in the slowness of the progress. Hang in there – and good luck from here.


  141. Good luck at your appointment, buddy. I remember the ups and downs of visiting the doctor when my elbow was buggered up–I’d let myself get hopeful, and then leave discouraged, sometimes at the point of tears. It is a long, hard road. But one day it’ll all be a faint memory…

  142. I hear you on the pain and associated mental block. I know there is a certain amount of pain that means things are getting better, but I am very worried about pain meaning I am taking a step backwards.
    I am lucky to have a good physical therapist I can talk to about it. He is very supportive and has been through similar recoveries himself.
    One thing I go back to is that fact that even with a little pain, I am feeling much better than I did before the surgery.

  143. Sorry to hear you are experiencing pain.

    Unlike you, I had only sporadic pain associated with exercise that eventually brought me in for surgery. I dealt with it for almost 10-months and played golf 4 days before surgery. It was supposed to be a simple meniscus tear but when I awoke from surgery I was told it was much worse and required the microfracture surgery. No mention of that possibility beforehand, so I wasn’t mentally prepared for this rehab battle. I’m left wondering if I should have just kept putting up with the occaisional flare up of the knee cause this is much worse at this point in the process.

    I haven’t even started with PT and my next Dr appt isn’t until the end of next week………

    Thanks again for the weekly log and providing a place to vent 🙂

  144. I am 5 weeks in and was glad to find this site to get an idea of what I was in for….thank you for taking the time to do this. My Dr is allowing me to start weening from the crutches now but I am finding it easier said than done. There is pain and an associated mental block. Thanks again for the useful info and looking forward to your next entry.

  145. Congratulations on the month!
    Based on what my Dr. told me, any biking type exercise at this point should be for flexibility with no resistance. So, make sure what you are doing is ok.
    As for the device you are talking about, yes I have an OPINION, and just and opinion. It is the same as the exercise bikes you see at gyms and hotels. Be careful with it.
    It is probably ok for just practicing the range of motion, but don’t build up muscle with it or bank on it for training. It will not be set up like your bike and could invite other injuries. It is fairly common knowledge that exercise bikes can cause knee problems. That is why it is better to set up your bike on a trainer.
    I did a lot of heel slides with my heel on a towel that sat on wood or linoleum to keep up flexibility. Ask you physical therapist.
    I think your theory is good, but after my last couple of weeks, I think it would be an easy way to do too much and cause bad pain.
    So, with that, I am not a qualified person to tell you what to do. I would just be careful. It may turn out to be a great way to have a portable CPM machine.

    Good luck!

  146. Hi. I do read your blog (have written before) since i am now a month out of microfracture. I have started time on my stationary bike (have a trainer that converted my bike to stationary) but I have to travel to a new location for a few weeks. Just curious (since you are a biker) if you know anything about those machines that are just “pedals”. I was hoping to buy one and have it sent to where i am staying since i need to get on a bike everyday and move my knee. They are, of course, cheaper than an upright stationary bike. Do you have any idea what i am talking about? Here is an example:

    just curious if you think this will be helpful? I think my main goal as I continue NO weight bearing is that I get motion/ flexibility in my knee. I wont put any weight on it for another month. any feedback is appreciated!

  147. Crack and pop when I started walking again? It still does if I am a little stiff or swollen. My PT tells me that this is normal. I keep doing too much and get more cracking, poping and grinding.
    Over time, it is getting better and I can do more without the extra noise. That is rewarding.
    As for the MRI, my insurance isn’t so kind. My Dr. said we will look into in around the year mark. I also have a meniscus with a 50% chance of failure. He stitched it to help the microfracture.

  148. Is your Dr. having you undergo another MRI? I hit week 6 yesterday and am just not beginning the process of walking. In 5 weeks i’ll have another MRI with Dye injected into the knee to see how it’s filling. Did you knee crack and pop when you first started walking again?

    thanks for all the info – it’s been most helpful to read your entries and get a feel for what the next few weeks might hold.


  149. Hey Estevan,

    Just wanted to let you know I’m checking your blog every day now. Your experience is bringing me back to all the pain and frustration I went through when I hurt my elbow and had to give up rock climbing. I feel for you, buddy.


  150. Julie,

    Good luck in the rehab. My Doctor gave me a sheet of paper with exercises to do. In short, leg lifts/raises (brace on, and leg locked strait). I would ask your doctor to see what they suggest. I also had my first session with my physical therapist 5 days post-op. Your PT will know best and should come up with a plan (including milestones).

    The big things really were flexibility in the joint (CPM) and getting the muscles (particularly the VMO) to fire again with leg lifts. There is something strange that happens during surgery where the once good muscles have a hard time working. This is why you go through so much re-learning of how to use your muscles again.

    Ask about the bike and get some opinions before you try it. If you knee cap is aligning correctly, you may do more harm than good. The recovery will be long, so don’t get too excited.


  151. I have been reading your blog and gaining insight into this procedure. I just had the microfracture surgery on my right knee 3 days ago….. I am curious as to what basic exercises your doctor gave you when you left the hospital? All I am doing is spending time (8 + hrs a day in CPM machine)? I was told I would get on a stationary bike soon, and, of course.. NWB for 8 weeks.

  152. Stumbled on your site while reviewing some microfracture experiences from others. Good to see life is getting better.

    had my surgery 2 weeks ago this Thursday. virtually no pain now. i had a patellar-femur > 2cm acute “ripping out” of cartledge on July 21st of this year. i was somewhere between mile 80 and 85 of the Vermont 100 mile run. my prognosis isn’t good for the MF working due to the sheer size of the area affected. Thus i’m leaning towards a second surgery, an OATS procedure to implant some cadaver cartledge. my goal is to at least get back to 50 mile runs.

    i’m 44 and was in excellent shape prior to the surgery. Hopefully this will help.

    Look forward to your future posts – keep moving forward.

    James Kerby
    Seattle Washington

    • Hi Jim, i came across this old forum and am very interested in hearing how your recovery has gone since your microfracture in 2007. Did you end up having an OATS procedure- was it necessary?

      I got microfracture (about 1×1 cm) on the medial trochlea area of my knee a few days ago. I’m an avid trail/ultra runner and curious what to expect post recovery. Worth it to try running again, or will it just land me back in the same position?

      Any advice you can offer is much appreciated.

  153. so enjoyed reading about your great day. Am looking forward to going on the boat with you. I remember fondly the fun times we had with you and Kristen on the sailboat.
    Love, Mom

  154. Just thought I’d pop in and let you know I’ve decided to go through with my surgery. My physio strongly recommended me to do it. Probably sometime early october…

    Good to hear you are on the right track – gives me hope as well! =)


  155. Thanks for the comment Johan, and good luck with your knee.

    As for the 3×3, I don’t know if that is a hard and fast rule.

    I am in my low 30’s, so no spring chicken, but by no means old.

    My knee turned out to be worse than he thought, so it is hard to predict a success rate. No matter what, it feels better now. The floating junk was causing me a lot of problems. There is still rehab pain, but it is not uncomfortable to just exists now like it did before.

    I do hope to get back to full speed, but I don’t want to be disappointed if I don’t. I know I won’t be doing any contact or running sports. I do hope to ride hard again, but time will tell.


  156. Hi,

    this is Johan who wrote on the knee1 forums asking for advice on microfracture. I have to go to bed so this will be short, but it was very interesting reading through your blog. I’m not sure I am any wiser as far as my decision goes, but I definately have some more information. Sounds like you have had quite an experience.

    I will have to read through this more thoroughly tomorrow, but if you don’t mind me asking I have a few questions.

    How old are you? Did your doctor say anything about the age factor? I’m not old, but not 19 either…

    You mentioned him saying something about 3cm being the maximum size that can be treated. I’m assuming that means 3*3cm which is about what I have. I read somewhere that the success rate was 80% for 2*2cm. Did he discuss success rate at all with you?

    Are you trying to come back to competitive sports or are you aiming more towards just casual sports and being able to play with your kids?

    Hope you don’t mind me asking, and all the best with your rehab!

    Best, Johan (in Sweden)

  157. Thanks “nurse”. Now that I have gone through the blood clot scare, I am getting daily shots. Zoe is being a true champ in giving them to me each morning. Thank you.

    All of the attention that dad is getting seems to be getting to the girls. They have been going crazy recently. I think it is too much energy and a lack of attention. I just hope to gt better soon so I can help more.

  158. This is the “wife”. I have to say that Steve has been a great patient. He follows directions for recovery very well and although he is looking quite bored at times, he is still keeping a positive attitude and pushing forward with his prescribed exercises, machine times and icing. One thing he should let go of is the stigma of being classified as needy or dependent if he asks for help. He is getting better at this. on the flip side, I think he will have a stronger recovery as he tries to do more day to day things, as long as he doesn’t push too hard or attempt to do things prematurely. I am not too concerned as I know that Steve’s goal as a recovery as close to 100% as possible. I am optimistic because I have faith in Dr. Behr and also in Steve; a best case scenario will prevail fir Steve.

    Sidebar: Katerina is doing her best to combat Daddy’s boredom. They are having a tea party in bed while Daddy is on the CPM machine. The tea party is complete with a tea set, matching dishes, forks and cups… and also cupcakes! Enjoy…