April 16, 2012

95 degrees!

One of the first big goals you have in physical therapy after a total knee replacement is bending your knee 90 degrees.  You have exercises that you must do a few times a day plus your physical therapy sessions which all help you get there.  It isn't easy, you have to work for it.  But, I want to get back to normal.  I want to have the most function out of my new knee possible.  And the *only* way that is going to happen is by taking my pain pills so I can do all of my exercises and work hard during physical therapy.  Friday, was my 2 weeks + 2 days mark and I was at 89 degrees by myself  and 94 degrees with help.  I had a nice weekend (good sleep at night...really helps) and today I was at 95 degrees by myself!!  I'm so excited!  I love physical therapy!  It actually feels good to work my knee and my therapist is great!

They don't work on extension as much because from the beginning they have your leg straight most of the time. When you elevate your leg or just have it stretched out (which is almost all of the time), your leg is straight.  Ice also feels fabulous on your knee because that prevents swelling. Swelling is not good because it causes pain and tightness!  Trust me, you don't want this.  If you keep your leg bent, dangle your leg down a lot or anything like that, then your extension will suffer.  You need a good extension for good, smooth walking ability.  Right now my extension is perfect (0 degrees) and as long as it remains that way we don't have to do much with it.  If I ever have an issue with it...then we will have to add stretching exercises specifically for that. And the therapist made a face when she said it...so I don't think we want to go there.  LOL!

The next goal for bending my knee is 100 degrees.  I also am hoping for a cane soon.  They haven't brought it up and I haven't asked about it.  Part of me feels ready for one but there is still a part that feels I'm not quite there yet.  When I'm tired or my leg is uncomfortable, I really lean on & use the walker.  When I'm feeling good I just barely hold on to it.  Sooo, I know I'll get it when the time is right for me to have it.


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