Monday, September 27, 2010

To Brace or Not to Brace

I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel! I'm just shy of 5 months post surgery. I honestly don't know where the time has gone. It's flown. My fitness level is coming back with kickboxing two times a week, taekwondo once a week, swimming once a week, a little running, lifting and some biking thrown in there. With kickboxing and taekwondo I'm still not pivoting on my left foot, doing any jump kicks or sparring. In due time. Hopefully by January at the latest I'll be back to doing taekwondo without any restrictions. I'm planning on being back to full duty at work by December 1st.

I'm getting really bored with PT, but know that I have to stick with it at least through Christmas to keep my leg muscles strong. If I don't lift there I won't lift. I'm trying to find ways to keep myself motivated. Lately I've been trying to take fewer breaks in between each exercise so I can incorporate a little cardio into it. It gets me out of there faster at the very least!

So, now that I have my eyes on the prize (unrestricted activity!) the question is...should I wear a hinged brace for sports? I asked my doc and his recommendation was to not wear a brace. His belief is that it doesn't really help a lot, but ultimately said it's an individual decision and it there's no harm in wearing one. I'm leaning toward at least wearing one for a while as I get used to sparring again. I have a $50 velcro-hinged-neoprene wonder that does the job for now. I found some sweet high end, light weight braces online. They were pretty expensive, but most had an insurance code in the description. I'm going to see if insurance will cover the cost and if so I'm probably going to order one. Ideas? To brace or not to brace?....that is the question.

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Challenges and New Pain

After running several times last week I began noticing a small bump developing just below my knee cap, between two of the scars. It's tender to the touch and I'm definitely aware of it even when walking. I decided to not run anymore until I talked to my PT.

She looked at it and said it is the general location of one of the three screws. She said it isn't uncommon for the body to reject the screw and some patients have it removed after a year because it's not needed. The screw is there to secure the new graft during surgery, but once the graft heals itself to the bone the screw serves no purpose. She said the screw removal is done as an outpatient surgery and usually does not require additional physical therapy. I was told to continue exercising as I had been if my knee will tolerate it and the new spot isn't too painful. If the pain increases I will call my doctor and get in for an appointment. As of right now I'm not due back in the doctor's office until mid-October. I'm so hoping it's not screw related and just my knee being cranky as it learns to run again!
I was allowed to start wall jumps this past Wednesday. It felt weird, like I had cement bricks strapped to my feet. The goal was to start facing a wall in a squat position, jump and extend my body up the wall, come down on my toes and allow my body to absorb the impact and smoothly/gently return to a squat position. All in all I think I did a pretty decent job considering my body hadn't moved that way since January. I'll do that for a few weeks and then move onto back/forth jumping and lateral movements. I'm very excited for that. Baby steps back to Taekwondo!