Knee Surgery: Week 3 Recap

Here we are… 3 weeks since knee surgery! If Week 2 was a rollercoaster of ups and downs then I was riding that rollercoaster all the way up since then. This week has been the best week yet, both physically and mentally.

Here’s a run down of what’s been going on since my last update:

Physical Therapy: I started PT on Monday and had my 2nd appointment on Wednesday. So far, so good! I’m already starting to see great progress from just a few days worth of exercises.

Physical Therapy Exercises Week 1 Plica Surgery

I started out on the stationary bike on Monday and it was a bit demoralizing because I hardly able to pedal back and forth. However, with just 2 short days of exercises, I could pedal for a full rotation on Wednesday right when I sat down on the bike. I pedaled 0.4 miles in 12 minutes… not quite a PR but I’ll take it Smile

In therapy, I’m working on stretching out my knee to improve my range of motion and also exercises to strengthen my quads, like different kinds of leg lifts. I end each session with some ice and some stimulation to reduce swelling.

PT Week 1 Collage

Still getting supervision and assistance at home during my exercises.

PT Helper

Lily Supervising PT Exercises

Pain: I’m not in much pain anymore, so hallelujah for that. My knee still hurts to the touch and is a little sore after PT, but in general I’m only mildly uncomfortable.

Swelling: I have noticed a big decrease in swelling this week. The inflammation seems to be mostly localized to my incision sites and the sides of my knees now, so there still isn’t much definition around my kneecap.

Swelling Day 20 Plica Surgery_ 2

I’ve swapped out my big refillable ice bags (I use those at night now) for knee wraps. I was resistant to the wraps during the first 2 weeks because they don’t stay cold for very long, but they have been perfect for week 3.

I’m getting so good at multitasking. Ice? Check. Elevate? Check. Hair and makeup? Check, check.

Icing Knee Day 18 Plica Surgery

Stiffness/Muscle Loss: My stiffness has improved so much this week, which I mostly attribute to starting physical therapy. I have a new set of exercises and can see so much of a difference already in my leg strength. I don’t have to go down stairs one step at a time anymore- woop woop!

The muscle loss after this surgery has been crazy to me considering I was bearing weight on my leg the day of the procedure. It really feels like my quad and calf muscle disappeared. I know it will come back but my leg feels really funny.

Mobility: I’m completely mobile now and don’t have any issues bearing weight on my left leg. I’m still favoring my right leg a tad and taking it kind of slow, but things are getting back to normal. The main “everyday activity” I’m still restricting is walking up and down stairs, which I’m only doing when necessary.

Best Part of the Week: Going to the wedding this past weekend! I had a lot of fun and it was a great change to my “lay in my PJs” routine that I’ve had going on. I am such an active person that being unable to be out and about has really had me down, and seeing friends and family was just what I needed to lift my spirits.

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Worst Part of the Week: The aftermath of the wedding, haha!

So turns out trying to bust out some 1-legged dance moves at this point in my recovery was *not* the best idea. For the record, my sister tried to stop me at some points but it was a YOLO kind of evening.

My knee looked like a baseball on Sunday but after pretty much living on my couch with an ice pack for several days, things are back to where they should be.

The only other not-so-great thing right now is that I’m also still dealing with uncomfortable sleep and waking up all throughout the night to roll over and get myself re-situated. It’s kind of driving me crazy but at least it’s better than the first week when I was up all night in pain. 

Goals this upcoming week: Continue to do my PT exercises. Ice. Elevate. Rest. Don’t eat so much candy.

**Overall thoughts so far**

I can confidently say at this point that I am in less pain than before my surgery. I’m hoping things will stay that way as I continue to increase my activity. I’m cautiously optimistic and feel like I’m just waiting for 1 wrong step to set me back to where I’ve been. Maybe that sounds silly but if you’ve dealt with a recurring pain or injury before then you probably understand how I feel. I guess all I can do right now is hope for the best and continue to work on my PT stuff.

Have a great weekend!

Here are all of my surgery updates so far:

Day of Surgery

Surgery Recap

Week 1 Recap

Week 2 Recap

First Day of PT

What are you up to this weekend?

Have you ever experienced a demoralizing moment while recovering from an injury? 

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