Ending my fourth week post hip arthroscopy (and more) and it feels like its been forever but many are quick to remind me that its only been four weeks. It’s really not much in the scheme of things, and it’s hard for me to remember this. So much so that it led to a few rough days, from a couple breakdowns, many frustrations, and overall rock kicking mode.
And get this…none of my breakdowns were from any pain but rather from feeling so limited in what I’ve been allowed to do yet feeling like I could do more. Enter: Irrational Jojo.
I won’t bore you with every detail of it but long story short, I’m sure my PT regrets the day he told me I could text any questions and concerns so I took advantage of that and sent over a long text about not feeling challenged in aquatic therapy and feeling that I could do more, etc. I was huffy and puffy about all this. He quickly reminded me that I’m right on track and recovering well. And that I will see an increase in workload from week 6 and on.
And THEN my crazed brain started thinking, “What if my PT is holding me back and just following a cookie cutter program for me to follow?” Migs and my friend, Kei – both having surgery recovery experience – talked me off the ledge mostly but I still had my doubts. So I decided to reach out to my trusted source for a DPT that not only understands the sport I want to get back to, is a movement wizard but is also a weightlifter himself AND has had patients that have had my surgery: Quinn Henoch, DPT. I updated him on where I am with my progress, what my limitations were and my frustrations. Long story short, he knocked some sense into me and basically told me to stop thinking I have mutant healing abilities (figuratively speaking) and to be patient. His words make more sense than mine:
Mother Nature has a finite time in which she works, in regards to healing. There’s really no speeding that up for the first 6-12 weeks. The key is not doing anything to get in her way. There’s not much evidence to say being more aggressive is any better than being conservative for the first 6-8 weeks, in regards to long-term success. But what I have seen, is people pushing things too early and pissing off the hip, that last for many weeks. You mentioned you’re not in much pain, and that’s probably why you want to do more, but I’d take that as a blessing and try to keep it that way. As the other PT said, you’ll turn a corner at 6 weeks, and progressively start ramping things up at 8, 10, & 12. – Quinn Henoch, DPT
Needed that. And I trust his perspective, so I realized I need to settle TF down. One of the hardest parts of this recovery has been patience. But, there IS good news.
Today I had PT in the early morning where I….
TOOK MY FIRST CRUTCH-FREE STEPS!!
At first, my steps were too short, being used to walking with a crutch, so once he pointed that out I was able to quickly correct it by taking longer strides. Hip definitely feels weak and I anticipate it tiring out quickly but this is a HUGE leap in my progress. Most people take for granted being able to have both arms and hands at your disposal and don’t realize how long everything takes to do with even one crutch. Nonetheless, I am to wean off using one crutch. I can walk but the minute I feel myself beginning to limp or if hip buckles or there’s pain, to go back to one crutch until I can rest. I was told that slowly I’ll be able walk more and more without tiring so quickly or any pain. Aside from the epic Christmas gift my surgeon gave me of WALKING, there are more updates:
- I can throw my stupid, annoying, annoying hip brace out the window! Apparently, he had said to wear it for 3 weeks, and up to 6 if I feel I need it. Hmph. I do not recall this. I could have thrown it out ages ago ( or two weeks ago, whatever). Argh.
- Stationary Bike for up to 45 minutes, at medium resistance – or Assault Bike for up to 30 minutes at leisure pace (if using legs).
- Elliptical – I have not used one of these in ages.
- Knees Bent Side Planks – I am to continuously work on strengthening my core to prevent hip flexors overworking.
- Dr. Huber prescribed an army crawl stretch I can begin to implement. And then in a week I can start to bring my leg into a 4-shape. Another big step to come.
- In the pool, I can start kicking my feet when supporting upper body on flotation. Seems minimal, but I haven’t been able to do anything that resembles kicking my feet like I’m swimming! Baby steps. Maybe I should join the kids in their swim lessons, haha.
- ICYMI: I was cleared last week for strict pull ups so as long as I step down with good leg, no jumping off, see the video here:
But the biggest news has definitely been being cleared to WALK. I had a one-sided bet going with Sage (gym toddler that is thisclose to walking) – HAHA, I WIN!!! In your face, Sage! Time for you to get it together, Sage.
Until next time, folks.