Week 12 Milestone - Why is Knee now my Co-Pilot? (hint...my last PT appointment)

Feb 03, 2018

My final physical therapy session was today with Ted.  I'm both thrilled and sad... I'll tell you why.

First of all, I owe Ted an apology - Last week I called him "Evil Ted."
That's because he made me look him in the eyes and promise to stick to the plan (that was WAY harder than you'd think because I'm incredibly honest and don't commit to things I can't do) and the plan was to be less active than I wanted.

Here is how the last week went...
During the week I stuck to the plan of no more than 45 minutes of cycling at a time and no more than 1 1/2 hours total in a day.  This might seem crazy that I'd actually WANT to do more, but I teach several classes at the Club and on one day of the week, if I rode all of the classes I teach, I'd be on the bike for 3 hours and 2o minutes.  That's great when I'm training for my ride across the country this summer....but apparently its not so great when recovering from total knee replacement.  At least not yet.

I also kept up with my knee flexion stretching with the stretch strap and a modified "Child's Pose" with little more, but gentle, force.  Plus once a day for my weight bearing exercises.  I did finally start doing some core and upper body work because I'm starting to feel like a big ol' marshmallow.

This week and forever more, I will call him "Wise Ted" because, darn it, he was right!

Wise Ted-isms:

  • Less is More!
  • Your knee IS the Boss!
  • Listen to your body!

And when we measured my knee flexion angle, I was a solid 125 degrees.  THAT'S FANTASTIC!

He complimented me on my knee saying that it is the best it has ever looked.  Mind you, I'll never be a "knee model" with my multiple scars and effects from arthritis, but I'll take that sentiment to heart.

Ted's methods work.  Ted is indeed wise.
Before surgery, I capped out at 113 degrees flexion.  I'm now at 125 and am working my way toward 135.  10 degrees to go!

The only way I will get there is to heed Wise Ted's advice...

  • Small increases, not big leaps.
  • When your knee tells you its enough, you need to back off
  • Take a day off when you need to
  • Rest can be when you make the biggest gains

Since I am a cycling coach and personal trainer, I actually know these things already.  But do I listen to myself ? (you know that saying, you are your own worst coach.)  Well, now that Ted and I have parted ways, I will have to find my way forward without going too fast.

I am thrilled to be at 12 weeks post-op and the end of my physical therapy because it is definitely a milestone.

I am sad that PT is over because I realize how much I've depended on Wise Ted to keep me on course.

Today, Ted downgraded my knee from "Boss" to "Co-Pilot"

... because I have the responsibility for making the wise choices that  will lead to moving forward with recovery instead of falling back.  Ted gave me some good guidelines for progressions that let me see the tempo of adding to the load - how to add more time on the bike, when to add more challenges with weight bearing exercises, all with far smaller steps than I would have chosen for myself.

OK TED, I get it.  I will do my best to stick to it.

Thank you from the bottom of my ....knee... for all of your help.  You have been a wise and wonderful (only once evil) guide.

SO...if your are recovering from a knee replacement, a knee surgery, or a knee injury...heed Wise Ted's advice and you will feel better faster too.


PS - Coming soon!  I will record a video with Wise Ted the Physical Therapist to answer so many of your questions about what to expect with knee recovery.  Please...submit questions below and we will do our best to answer them!






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