And now we’re into week three. I was hoping there wouldn’t be much to tell this week, but it appears I was wrong!
Here comes my first lesson learnt: if you’re going in for an arthroscopy, make sure you ask them in detail to explain ALL possible applicable surgical outcomes. This may influence your decision to go ahead. I have to admit that my knee was beginning to restrict me so much I probably wouldn’t have changed my mind, but it would’ve been nice to have been prepared for this.
Friday (day 14): Had my first physiotherapy appointment this morning. Despite me hobbling in on crutches, the physiotherapist was really pleased with my progress, particularly considering how far I can bend my knee.
On measuring my knees, my right one is still 3.5cm larger in diameter than my left: not good. The swelling must be kept below 3cm. So I must ensure that I elevate my leg if it’s swollen, and keep using anti-inflammatories and ice packs.
I explained yesterday’s mishap, and she confirmed that my muscles are still weak. So I have two more exercises to add to the five I was already doing, with orders to build up repetitions as they get easier. I also got told in no uncertain terms not to stop using the crutches until I can do all the exercises easily. Bah.
Monday (day 17): I decided I should probably see the doctor before making any call about going back to work. I’d barely hobbled in and explained the score before she signed me off work for a further 10 days with orders to rest. And stick with the crutches *sigh*.
I think I need to accept that I’ve had a lot done to my knee, and it isn’t going to get better overnight. Patience is not my strong point!
I’m doing my best to combine rest, ice packs, and the exercises. And to keep using the crutches. It’s hard to overstate just how much I hate using crutches. Prolonged standing, walking or bending makes my knee swell further, too.
I decided at the weekend to try using diclofenac instead of ibuprofen, to see if something stronger had more of an effect. I’m not sure I can see any measurable difference in swelling reduction between the diclofenac and the ibuprofen. In terms of pain, most of the time it doesn’t hurt at all (possibly because I’m taking the diclofenac) and I’m hardly taking paracetamol now.
Wednesday (day 19): It’s cold and raining. Normally, this would be making my knee ache quite a lot. It isn’t. Yay! I’m much more mobile, but still using the crutches to get up and downstairs.
Back on the ibuprofen today for anti-inflammation purposes. I did a quick comparison of my knees, and I reckon my right one is about 2cm larger than my left at the moment. It is starting to look a lot more knee-shaped.
That said, there is a funny shaped region of swelling above and to the outside of my knee, almost on my thigh, and it’s still a bit swollen diagonally opposite this (the old “rugby ball under the skin at an angle” thing). If I prod this lump with my leg in front of me, relaxed, it wobbles all the way around my kneecap. I’m not sure that’s a good thing, so I’d better stop it! The odd thing is this swelling changes shape when I flex the muscles: this makes me think this must still be swelling within the joint, and / or the knee muscles are still weak. Despite me sticking rigorously to my physio regime.
Getting really annoyed that I can actually see the difference in muscle size between my two legs now. I’m going to have a left thigh like Schwarzenegger at this rate.