Browsing all articles from May, 2013

Knee Surgery Additions

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

This is the continuing saga of my recovery from partial replacement surgery on my left knee. The surgery was done on January 21, 2013. I had therapy till April 16th, near 3 months later. I am continuing the saga until my knee is at 100% in my view.

When I first stopped therapy, I also slowed down on the exercises I was used to doing. I did this slow-down for three days. I quickly found this was a bad thing to do! My knee ached badly. So after those few days, I returned to my exercises.

On the last day of therapy I received my last therapy exercises. These exercises required the use of a “Thera-band” elastic band, and also some other kind of strap. I used a dog leash. The exercises were as follows: The leash was used to loop around my left foot. I lay on my stomach and pulled my strap attached to my foot. This pulls the calf of my leg up. I pull it up as far as possible and hold it for a count of 10, if I can stand it that long. My knee doesn’t hurt at all during this exercise, but it really stretches my thigh muscle. The point of this is to strengthen that thigh muscle to strengthen my hamstring. The other exercise, with the Thera-band. I tied the Thera-band together and put it around the leg of my bed. The Thera-band is elastic. Dependent on the color, is how difficult the stretch is. Yellow is weakest, red is stronger, green is very strong, and black is close to a bike inner tube and is the strongest. There are two exercises with the band. Both are standing with feet shoulder width apart. One exercise is to pick the left foot up about 90 degrees and kick outward. Do this 30 times. The other exercise is to keep the left knee straight and kick out that way. Do this 30 reps as well. None of these are difficult, but as I’ve stated previously, it’s pretty amazing how much development goes on day by day due to these exercises.

I went shooting a week after therapy ended. Rifle shooting, and shotgun shooting. As I was standing in position to shoot rifle, my right buckled in. As I proceeded in shooting, my right knee continuously buckled inward so I could barely get through with my string of firing. I was also in pain in my right knee; severe pain. I could hardly stand on both feet. In fact, I couldn’t stand on the right leg alone! Later, when I was shotgun shooting, my right knee buckled so badly that I had to stand in a completely different position so I wouldn’t fall down while I was trying to shoot! This was bad.

I had known I was going to have to redo the other knee, but I had hoped there would not be much pain; maybe just a twinge occasionally and that would do it. Just enough to let me know it was good that the replacement surgery was getting done. But, with the amount of pain I endured on shooting day, I figured the twinge thing was done. Not going to have it that simple.

I contacted my surgeon, Dr. Fricka and arranged an appointment the following week. After telling him my experiences with the right knee, we arranged a partial knee replacement in August, 2013. Yay. Another good thing came out of this appointment. Dr. Ficka ordered me to do my exercises with both legs now. This will build both knees up. The left one to return it to 100%. The right one to build it up for the surgery.

However, after all the above is said… partially replaced knee is not NEAR 100%!! I would say the knee is at about 70% of a good knee. In comparison with my old knee though, I’d say the new knee is at about 87 percent right now. The old knee was in sad shape, just like the right one is currently. I thought about that knee a few days ago. I’m fairly certain that I had pain in the knees over 25 years ago. I remember it has been a long time since I could freely kneel down without some adjustment to make me land softly. Another thing is that I gave up prone (lying down) shooting many, many years ago because I couldn’t get into prone position by dropping on my knees with my rifle in hand, or get up after shooting a string. That was more than 25 years ago. So this knee business, when looked at it through a microscope, has been ongoing for at least 25 years, perhaps more.

I think it’s interesting how things creep up on you, and you never think about the adjustments you have to make to accommodate yourself to doing what you want to do. Like shooting for instance. Stopping prone position shooting because my knees were so painful that I was unable to get into position. But how long had I had almost enough pain, but adjusted myself so I could continue the activity. Just something interesting to think about is all. I suggest to anyone who reads this today…if you are having knee difficulties, don’t wait to get anything done. It really does only get worse. Get the replacement done, do the therapy and you’ll eventually fill like a new person. The pain, and the crippledness of your knee sneaking up on you is something you may not want to put up with. The backing off of things you did when your knees were good, and then slowly, and insidiously your body does you wrong. Finally, after much waiting, much pain, much endurance of these aggravations, you have the surgery done. And after the therapy, you’re back…except that you have lost all the time you could’ve been doing what you enjoy if you had the knees replaced when it was first diagnosed. Just my thought.

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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