Over the years I have been to different physical therapists for various treatments to help recover from an injury or as some part of rehabilitation from a surgical procedure. Looking back, my body has been pretty abused over the years from the normal “wear and tear” of life as well as from some type of trauma. I have had issues with my back several times, a shoulder injury, elbow surgery and 5 knee surgeries prior to a full knee replacement. In all of those cases, physical therapy (PT) was instrumental in getting me back to my normal range of motion to allow me to do routine things that we take for granted. Depending on what the ailment, daily activities such as in and out of a car, in and out of a bed, bathing and dressing are some of the more basic daily functions of life that PT helps people with. My most recent PT experience has been related to my full knee replacement surgery. In comparison to prior PT experiences, this one takes the cake.
Please do not think I am complaining or looking for sympathy. Actually, I am sharing my experience so that others that have gone through a knee replacement procedure can relate to the PT post op ordeal and the significance to getting up and about with the new prosthetic knee. Also, for anyone that is considering or awaiting a knee replacement procedure, hopefully this will provide some insight into helping with the decision or what to expect post op. I will say that the procedure itself is a major surgery and the healing of the incision and the pain were both better than I was anticipating. There was more swelling of the entire leg than I expected but most of that went away within 3-5 weeks. At 7 weeks post op I still have some minor swelling around the knee but that will get better over the next several months (so my surgeon says).
Through all of this the PT has been what gives me the motivation where I see a little progress each and every day as a result. The PT is not easy and the harder you work the better the results. You have to push yourself through the pain knowing that you will be better as a result. The strengthening exercises, stretching and bike riding are part of my daily routine. For those that think they can go to PT 2-3 times a week and will have great results are in dream land and their recovery will be extensive and lengthy. I do PT each and every day and sometimes twice a day. It is hard, very hard to consistently make the time and put forth the effort but without that time and effort there would only be marginal results.
Someone recently asked me when I would be playing golf again. Ironically playing golf is not my motivation in the least. Being able to walk without a limp and go down a flight of stairs with confidence are my motivators. So PT will be part of my life for weeks and months ahead and that is fine with me. It is amazing how your priorities change and adjust.
Bring on the PT and bring on the stairs.
Until the Next Tom’s Take…