Knee Surgery – No More Therapy

Posted Posted by DetectiveEstes in Detective Estes' Corner     Comments No comments

This is the continuing saga of left leg knee surgery.

On Tuesday, April 16th, I had my last therapy for my knee after surgery. The therapy took a total of 105 days after surgery. My therapist, Jorge, said 100% would not be for near a year, but I could have the other knee done in August. Jorge commented that one day I would notice that I had not had any aching from the knee and would realize it had been several days since I had felt anything amiss. Jorge also said that I would have the knee strength built back by August.

At the end of the therapy, I received several more exercises to do daily. I’ve described the previous exercises and will describe the newest ones as well. I am fortunate that my gym has all the machines as well as the large balls I can use for squat exercises.

Here are the exercises: 1) leg press. Using a machine, sit on movable table, with as much weight as I can stand in addition to my own weight. Feet up on a non-movable table. Push my body & added weight till legs straighten. Do this 30 times once per day.
(2) Leg raise – Using a machine, sit, adjust a pad over my ankles, and add weight. Push legs forward until straight out, lower slowly until all the way down. 30 reps once a day.
(3) Hamstring exercise. May be called something else on a leg machine. Legs straight out, pad under the ankles, add weight. Press leg down as far as possible. Slowly rise back to level. 30 reps once a day. On all three of the above exercises, do with only the affected leg. So far, the weights added on the machine are only about an extra 30-50 pounds low to high. This means the weight begins with the first 10 reps at 30-35 pounds and ends with the last 10 reps at about 50 pounds.
(4) This is a kind of stair exercise and was done at therapy on a step of less height than a regular step. Now that I’m out of therapy I can no longer find a lower step so I use either my own stairs in my house, or the steppers in the gym which are about 13-14″ high. The first exercise of this kind is step up on the stair, then step back with the right foot and lower that foot down till just the toe touches the floor behind me, then push back up with the affected knee till the right foot is returned to the step. 30 reps, but I can do these exercises anytime during the day.
(5) Similar exercise as #4, except that I step up with the affected foot onto the stair, then bring the unaffected foot over the step and forward of the step as though I will step down, except don’t step all the way down. 30 reps, but again I can do this as many times as I want during the day. (5) Very similar to # 4 except my affected foot is on top, but close to the right side of the step. I bent my affected leg and lower my right leg down until the heel touches, then raise back up till my affected leg is straight. (30 reps. (6) this is done with one of those large exercise balls. Put the ball behind my back, legs out in front of me at shoulder width. Squat as far as I can, hold a few seconds, raise back up to legs straight. 30 reps.

Two other exercises are done with strap equipment. The first is to place a strap with a loop in it so the loop is around the affected leg’s foot. Lying on my stomach, I pull the leg up by the strap until I can feel a pull in my muscle on top of my thigh. Hold for a count of 20, release. 30 reps. By this time the therapy had me doing this; I had no ache at all from bending this sharply of my affected leg. The second exercise is done with an elastic strap. It’s sold under the name of ‘Thera-band’. There are several colors which correspond to how much tension the strap has. I used the green strap for this exercise. Green is next to the highest tension. In this exercise, the strap is placed on an immovable object and around my leg. It is pre-tied so it’s one continuous loop. Placing the affected leg in the loop and stand with feet a bit apart, but parallel, I raise the affect foot up and push forward with it. It appears to be a kick to an onlooker. 30 reps. Another exercise with this strap is to swing the affected leg forward and back. 30 reps.

If you get the feeling that 30 reps is a lot, but seems to be the usual number, you would be correct. The therapists say to do the exercise with 10 reps 3 times. This makes it seem less difficult when you are told to do this. In reality though, it’s just as tough to do 3 x 10 as it is to do 30 in a row.

Since I’ve been away from therapy, I’ve tried to continue with the same therapy. I have to say it is far easier to attend a designated hour of therapy than it is to attempt to designate an hour out of the day. My wife and I go to the gym every day, but still, in the time we spend at the gym there isn’t enough time to do these exercises, get some cardio workout, and do some weight lifting as well. So far, I’m doing stationary bike for a while and splitting my leg exercises on one day, and the next day using the lifting time for my arms. So far it has worked out ok but it sure isn’t as good as having an hour of therapy plus an hour of gym time.

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About Detective Estes

Detective EstesMr. Estes has lived in the DC Metropolitan area for most of his life. His father’s influence and expertise in firearms resulted in Mr. Estes beginning to rifle shoot at a young age and eventually shooting on the Washington-Lee High School rifle team in Arlington, VA.

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