Yesterday, I had my 6wk follow-up for my knee surgery. The last time I spoke with my doctor I was just 10 days past my procedure and since then I have gone back to work and finished 1/2 of my physical therapy.
We started out by discussing how I haven’t really noticed a change in my knee pain. My range of motion and strength in my knee have improved but the pain I’m feeling is the same as before my surgery. Not a good sign. I should be expecting to see *some* sort of improvement in my knee pain, even if it is just a little, so I got x-rays of my hip and back to eliminate any other issues.
The first thing I noticed with my hip is that my lady parts showed up pretty clearly on the x-ray. That wasn’t awkward at all
All of the x-rays looked fine. We had a long discussion about where to go from here since I’ve exhausted all interventions (rest, PT, steroid injection, and now knee scope) and am still having pain. Most of this discussion was me sitting there saying, “okay” as I tried not to cry but my doctor was super nice about everything.
Here is the gist of everything:
Finish PT: I’m still having some weakness in my left leg and I can’t be 100% positive that my knee pain will not resolve with this surgery until I get all of my strength back first. In most people, the pain would be improving by now but there is still a small chance that maybe I’m just taking longer to heal. I have 4 weeks left of PT.
Remain as active as possible: Even though I’m not sure why I’m having pain, I will only be making it worse if I restrict physical activity. The stronger my leg is, the better my chances are of this pain going away. My doctor encouraged me to try to do whatever activities don’t exacerbate the pain. This was a relief to hear because in the past, I was told not to do anything that caused pain (and almost everything did). As long as it doesn’t increase my pain then I’m going to try to do it.
Eliminating some things I had questions about: Arthritis, vitamin deficiencies, etc. are probably not the cause of my pain because it’s only happening in 1 knee. Those things would be more likely if I was having pain in both knees (or in more joints). Also, nothing showed up on my x-ray or scope that would indicated these types of things either.
Give it time: This issue is seen in patients sometimes and the pain could just go away on its own with time.
I felt completely devastated when I left the appointment. I mean, I knew that things obviously hadn’t improved but hearing my doctor tell me that there was nothing left for me to do hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought about my bike and running and wondered if I would ever be able to do the things I love again. I sat in my car and bawled my eyes out. Never in a million years did I think that this would drag on for 8+ months and I would go through a surgery and still have no resolution to my pain.
But then I went to work at the hospital and being around patients put things into perspective for me. People come into the hospital with a cough, ache or pain and sometimes find out they have a chronic disease or terminal illness. I am truly thankful that I am in good health and that there is nothing wrong with the structure of my knee (or hip or back).
And then I ate my feelings in hamburgers and french fries for dinner.
I started thinking about other options out there, like a chiropractor or acupuncture, and I may pursue those as some point. But I’m just honestly kind of emotionally exhausted from dealing with all of this for so long, so I am not going to worry about it until I’ve finished PT and let things settle for a bit.
So I guess I will keep chugging along for now. I have a PT appointment on Wednesday so I’m sure we’ll talk about when and how to increase my activity. I’m thinking I may be seeing the pool again fairly soon. I’ll keep you posted!
Have a nice Tuesday <3