After my first visit to physical therapy, I am feeling strong and confident in my body’s ability to make a full recovery from this surgery. I am almost five weeks out of surgery, and I was beginning to feel as if I was falling behind the curve in terms of rehabilitation, but that simply is not the case.
My first therapy session started with a thorough assessment of my knee. The therapist did this by pulling, tugging, and pushing my knee in various ways. It did not hurt at all and he said that my new ACL graft is very strong, which is good. Then, he did some heat therapy (which felt so wonderful) and I started with my exercises. I am supposed to do these exercises, along with range of motion exercises, everyday to help strengthen my leg and knee. Also, since I am an athlete, he told me to do six sets of 10 reps rather than four sets. Also, since I am only five weeks out, I am not using any weight or resistance. Wow, those extra two sets really burn.
My current routine looks like this:
(Strength exercises – 6 x 10 reps each)
- Straight leg raises
- Straight leg raises on side
- Inside leg lift (man these ones were killer. I felt like my leg was going to break off at my knee).
- Straight leg raises on stomach
- Hamstring curls
- Heel/calf raises
- Partial knee squats (these were also tough. I only squat to a 45 degree angle).
- Hamstring stretch
- Calf stretch
Also, as far as my current range of motion is concerned, I was way passed 120 degrees. In fact, the therapist said that the CPM machine is pretty much pointless now because it isn’t improving my range of motion.
Even more exiting about my first visit to therapy is that the therapist said that things are looking great. He also said that I should be able to return to “jogging” in about five months, which means I will get to do some running in 2010! I will most likely use the Couch to 5K program to help me ease back into running, which I think will make for an interesting blog if you think about it -a sub 4 marathoner following the C25K program to get running again. I am going to be a beginning runner all over again and, while it is discouraging, it is also exciting.