MCL Tear – 33 Days

Normally I wouldn’t think I would need to post again so quickly, but there has been quite a bit of progress in the last 9 days.
The first big difference is that not having the locked leg has allowed day to day activities to become part of my recovery. I can now walk up the stairs using my bad leg and it helps work the joint to become both stronger and more flexible.
I went to a PT and a Massage Therapist in the week after my appointment and I have begun more aggressive ROM at home.
Brian at ESPR was great to fit me in on very short notice and gave me a comprehensive education on rehabbing the injury. Due to my schedule, I will have to do quite a bit of the rehab on my own and his information is critical in learning how to do that at home or during travel.
Gibble at Raining Faith is always my go to miracle worker and he was able to work on my knee, but also give me a lot of recovery advice. One aspect he mentioned is that he has gone away from icing injuries. As I have posted in the past, I have been using ice a lot on my knee. So this last week I have limited the ice usage to see how it feels. I need to look up a few of the articles he was quoting to learn more. Since I trust Gibble explicitly, I am going no ice for a while.
What am I doing?
• I am swimming 3-4 times a week. Aggressively. No letting my leg hang anymore. I am also incorporating treading water with a running type motion.
• Hiking. My brother and his family came to visit and we went for a pretty steep and rocky hike. The leg felt pretty good and was aided by the fact the little kiddos kept the pace pretty slow.
• Walking. I did a 3 hour walk at one of my project sites on Monday night. That helped a lot.
• Biking. I was able to get out a ride for 30 minutes yesterday. With my original bike seat height. It was great. It is actually pretty easy to do now, but my knee area feels numb and swollenish. I can get the ROM OK, but engaging the muscles in my leg and around my knee is pretty hard to do. I went about 10 mph and my leg was pretty tired afterward. Not cycling tired. Just tired.
How does it feel? Very stiff in the mornings still. I have been swimming in the mornings and it feels better afterward. It feels very reliable, but I can have pain occasionally that surprises me. I don’t feel like it is going to give out at all. It does feel a bit loose sometimes, just for a split second. It is usually when I am lifting my leg to go up a step or something similar.
One thing I want to make note of – It usually feels worse after any type of ROM or exercise. The knee doesn’t feel like it is making any progress, then one day it suddenly makes a big leap. So it has been 2 days for frustration, then 1 day of elation, followed by 3 days of frustration, etc… I think it is important to think about the recovery like you would any other type of adaption. You actually get faster/better/healed during the recovery periods. I am the type of person to just work it to death and keep trying to make it better faster. But I am realizing that resting it is just as important. So I am trying to find that balance for myself.

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