MCL Update

I am now 12 days into my recovery. My knee is feeling much more stable and I am just starting to be able to walk close to normal. I still have a fair amount of swelling around my knee, but it is ½ of what it was before.
The biggest challenges currently are:
1. The brace needs to be tight to keep my leg locked in place; however it definitely can affect my circulation. I’ve had much more pain with swelling than I have had with the actual knee. I try to get up frequently and keep moving as much as possible.
2. The brace keeps my knee at a 30 degree bend and requires me to walk quite strangely. This has a great potential to cause muscle strains and other ligament issues due to the supper odd way of getting around. I’ve had a few Achilles and calf issues that have popped up.
3. Sleeping is still difficult. I have to adjust my brace for circulation issues or my leg gets really sore.
4. Mornings are painful due to stiffness. This has been getting much better the last few days. But my knee is definitely tight still, just not completely locked in place.
I do feel like I am making progress. Enough that I tried talking my doctor into letting me start range of motion exercises now. Unfortunately, he didn’t go for it. My biggest concern (outside of having a permanent knee issue) is that my recovery will take forever due to a lack of mobility. Since my knee is locked at 30 degrees with the brace on, which is 95% of the time, it is also locked at 30 degrees with the brace off. I’ve seen varied reports on this online. I am hoping mobility comes back quickly and it is mostly a swelling issue.
My current plan is:
1. Ice 3-5 times a day.
2. Keep it elevated as much as possible.
3. I am walking around a bit. Quite slowly.
4. Swimming. I tied to swim 7 days in and it didn’t work out. I was able to put an hour in the pool yesterday and it felt pretty good. Only 10 times did it bark a tiny bit on the MCL area. I went to swim this morning, but decided against it. I don’t want to do too much too quickly.
5. Stretching. I am trying to stretch a lot. I can actually do a fair amount of stretching with the brace on and not put any tension on the MCL. I hope this prevents any secondary injury and helps keep my legs somewhat strong.
6. Lifting. I was given the OK to do whatever upper body workouts I want. I don’t do a lot of upper (any) body work usually. Just core and swimming. So I got out a few weights and knocked out a few pushups. It was OK. Not as fun as riding or trail running, but it was a workout at least. I guess I’ll keep it going as a way to stay a bit fit while I am recovering.

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