Friday, 18 March 2011

Day Twenty Three

The training in the gym has been going well over the last few days. Knee is clicking less, still have a few deep clicks though. Been addicted to the Chris Moyles radio show on the red button on BBC 1. He's been awake for 50+ hours, now that's will power. I'm doing lots of proprioceptive training (balance). The knee itself is still a bit wobbly and week in loaded descent IE coming down stairs it gets so far and just lets go. I've been targeting this with short squats on the squat machine in the gym. Now up to 40kg in control. But the target is about 75% body weight. For me 75kg. That will take another 2 weeks training every day I think.
Have been walking Louis dog for half an hour the last 4 days and my knee feels hot after it but response well to ice. In the pool swimming front crawl is a chore, can do one length the have to rest it. Been doing isolation kicks in the pool trying just to get the strength endurance back up.

Sadly my knee is not stable enough yet to climb on. I've got to get it to the point where its strong and stable before subjecting it to the high forces put through it in climbing.

I'll post my new range of motion pics in a bit.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Day Nineteen

Another dog walk this time we went in the morning and afternoon. 30 mins a time.
Leg still has a few clicks.

Day Eighteen

Had a dog walk today 30 mins. Got bitten by another dog, ironic isn't it. The same breed of dog as mine aswell. My dog, Louis, is protective of me and i think it set the other one off. Its not bad but bad enough.

Day Seventeen

Went to  physio today, the knee is still unstable so have to focus on the balance work and wobble board. Also have to start doing short squats with very light weight on the machine in the gym. This will strengthen the knee and therefore stabilise it.
Gym day
short squats, lowering six inches with 20kg on the machine, IE not body weight plus 20 kg
leg extensions with a whole 2.5 kg, world beating eh
20 mins bike level 2
15 mins stair climber level 2
15 mins rowing machine level 2
1 set of 10 reps calf raises with body weight
plus stretching

Day Sixteen

Gym again
15 mins bike no load
5 mins stair climber level one
3 mins rowing machine no load
one legged balance
3 sets of 30 secs Wobble board
Knee is feeling a little unstable and has clicked a few times and locked once.

Day Fourteen

went to the gym today
10 mins bike no load
2 mins stair climber level 1 24 steps a min
one legged balance
30 seconds wobble board

catch up

had pc problems but now fixed so I've kept a written  log so I'll put them in in order.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Day Thirteen

Well its been all stations go. The session at the swimming pool went well. Managed 30 mins of walking about. Did 2 sets of 5 mins no load on the exercise bike. Followed by a stint in the spa. Nice. Now my weight target is Going to be 85kg. To do this is going to take a while so I'm setting myself the goal of 95kg by end of April 90kg by end of May and 85kg by end of June. 5 kg a month sounds like a mountain to climb but I'm already only eating twice a day. My junk food has gone out of the window, sadly I fear for all those who work at my local domino's pizza site. Snacking  on fruit has become the norm and to be honest I feel much more content, there are no longer the highs and lows of the sugar rush. This medium to low GI thing really does work!
For my birthday today I got some really good climbing DVDs, from Helen, to keep me motivated. Bless her tiny cotton socks. Watched them this morning and will watch them again tomorrow. Reading a brain training book called "Maximum Climbing" its by my favorite training author Eric Horst. Only read the first chapter but it will help me to create a focused positive training programme. Which is all its about.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Day Eleven

Progress at last I've ditched one crutch completely now. All I seem to do is my exercises and ice the knee. Doing 6 exercises 10 reps 3 sets 3 times a day is very time consuming, at least I can keep away from the TV. Managed a 10 mins walk with one crutch today. I can't get to the pool till Monday when I can do the water walking, can't wait for that cause that really moved things along last time.

Day Ten

Second visit to the physio today. P.T. said It looked good and I was to stop if I felt it start to get hot and apply an ice pack. The dressings came off and here we are
Now I have to start massaging the portals, the two scars on the knee. This is to shift the swelling. The real work starts now though, I'm doing 5 mins with no load on an exercise bike. They gave me the go ahead to start walking in the swimming pool for 20 mins. This involves walking forward, backwards and side to side. You look like a prat but it really helps to get it strong. I'm also doing lots of one legged balancing exercises, standing on the bad leg and moving the good one around whilst signing out the alphabet with your toe. This progresses over the weeks to passing a ball around my back.
The strength training steps up a little aswell now. Resting my back against a ball on the wall I lower myself about 6 inches, 150mm, then back up. Like mini squats but they burn the muscles quite quick. Stretching is now becomming assisted by the other foot assisting the other leg to go further.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Day Nine

Well it feels like I've pushed it a little too far. The area of the medial meniscus is getting very warm if I walk on it with one or no crutch. So today I've not done any physio or stretching and just iced it 15mins every hour. Feels alot better but I'll be having another easy day tomorrow that I'm sure of.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Day Eight

Here's my sexy knee again. As you can tell by the redness this is right after icing. I am beginning to see the outline of my patella, knee cap. The swelling is subsiding and the hard work will soon begin. Flexibility wise it's about where it was in the last photo but it's less painful to do it. I've added in abductor and adductor static leg raises now to help stabilise the knee from side to side.
Walking wise, well Helen is still taking Louis dog on his daily walkies but I can manage to walk with crutches for 10 mins in the garden. This helps get the blood flowing in the knee and gets me used to using it again.
Well 3rd night without the codeine and this time no sweats. The head ache is also easing off I'm trying now to cut the fluid in take down now because hiking up and down the stairs every hour is getting on my nerves. Was a sunny day today, there's hope for the summer yet then.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Day Seven

Well its been a week and I had my first doctors appointment. She thinks the knee looks good, no signs of infection and the swelling is reducing nicely. The only bad points were my constant headache and thirst. They checked my blood sugars, all OK, and took some blood samples to check my platelets. The knee is gaining strength daily. I can walk for about 10 mins now with my walking poles instead of crutches. I can climb the stairs without crutches but still need one to come down the stairs though.
I've been trying to come off the codeine painkillers the last two days as I've been waking up covered in sweat after about 3 hrs in bed. So I've swapped to paracetamol, see how it goes.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Day 6

Well the knee felt quite strong today so I did some loading on it without the crutches. Just standing up and gradually putting equal weight on both legs. Feels weird but that's probably just the swelling. Usual physio exercises. Managed a fingerboard work out today, let my bad leg hang free. Lasted an hour and my leg didn't hurt. If I can't climb I'll go for fingers of steel. But I'm going to be sensible about this and only do it twice a week so I don't end up with a finger injury to boot.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Day Five

Well the physio goes on. I'm up to 1kg ankle weights for my leg raises doing about 10-15 reps 3 sets 2 mins rest between sets. Legs could do with a massage i think cause they are very stiff and sore. Sleeping through to about 04.30 hrs before taking another pain killer.
Flexibility is returning slowly but am pottering around the house a little bit now on one crutch.
Have to take the little victories and just focus on one thing at a time.
Seems like a long way to go yet but just have to keep chipping away at it and remember NOT to rush things this time.

Friday, 25 February 2011

day three

Range of movement was the order of the day. Now yesterday I could only move my leg about 30 degrees. The white bits in the above photo are tendons and ligaments. Now when you can't move your leg they go stiff quickly. So the tight spots for me at the moment are the iliotibial tract, the long white band on the left side of the picture as you look at it, and the quadricep femori tendon, white bit on the picture above the patella or knee cap. Stretching these does hurt but it shouldn't be painful. I lie on my back on the floor and pull my left foot up the floor towards my bum, then hold for 10 secs before returning it to the start point. I'm doing 5 reps 3 sets. Am also lying on my back pointing my leg in the air and letting it drop down in controlled state from the knee.
Here are the results

The supplements

I'm taking arnica 2 pillules every 2 hrs to help reduce the swelling and heal the bruising.
Glucosamine, chondroitin, msm with collagen to aide the meniscus in any way I can, meniscus doesn't lend its self to regrowth unless its at the meniscal rim, the only area with a blood supply, my consultant said but others say different so I'm gonna take them anyway.
I get the arnica from "holland and barretts" and the other stuff from "good health naturally" online. Now I'm taking a multi vitamin and high strength cod liver oil as well.

The icing is on going 15 mins every hour.
I have just realised that I have over 700 channels on my sky TV package and they are all crap. So its on with the box sets form now on. 24 is in at the moment.
The fingerboard hanging from the beam in my dinning room is looking tempting, but I'm gonna hold off till Monday on that one.
The pain in the night is easing off but I do get very sore after my physio and stretches. Helen, bless her, has gone for some more painkillers for me as I'm out. Sitting with it unsupported is not good as it stresses my knee and aches.
But all in all it looks promising.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

day two

Just got back from the physio and it doesn't look that bad. They say its because the knee was strong before the op. So went through the motions of seeing how far it would bend before I felt pain and its about 30 degrees. Standing upright with no crutches and trying to put equal amounts of weight on both legs, went light headed at this point.
So just continue with my straight leg raises and light bending movements  with some mobility and I go back next week. Should be on one crutch by then and possible driving, which would be nice as I'm going mad.
Reading Ron Fawcett's book Rock Athlete which is good. Just looking out of the window onto a sunny day makes me want to be outdoors but have to bide my time. Anyway here is a picture of my knee today.

The plasters are covering the "portals" where they go into the knee with the arthroscope.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

day one

Hi just thought I'd start this blog to keep a track of my rehab and to provide info for any other climber/mountaineers that may face this problem.
Now this all started in the summer of 2009. After a successful trip to the alps I ran a half marathon 2 weeks after getting back. A large swelling appeared on the medial (inside) of my left knee.
First diagnosed as bursitis, I had a cortisone injection and it went away. Had a good winter season but still would get swelling after a days climbing.  This was bearable until I went on my stag trip climbing over 5 days. It started to swell through out the joint.
After finally getting to see the consultant he found a cyst and tear in my medial meniscus (cartilage).
Following a successful op in October 2010 I had 40% meniscus left. Rehab flew by and was signed off by my Physio after 3 weeks. I started climbing indoors in December and got away for 4 days ice climbing in January. All seemed fine.
I work as an engineer in a large plastic converters and was lifting out a cylinder when I pivoted with my feet flat on the ground when "pop" in my left knee followed by pain.
Swelling followed in the days to come and i got an MRI which didn't  show anything but my knee was still clicking and locking.

So had an arthroscopy yesterday which found a complex tear through all 3 plains. So more meniscus was removed. If you imagine a horse shoe the bit at the middle I'm down to 20% meniscus in that area but it is still quite thick. If it still gives me problems there are still options of a meniscal implant called actifit or menaflex. But hopefully it won't come to that.

Well at the mo the knee is sore and I had a few painkillers to get to sleep but I've just done my first bit of rehab exercises on it, straight leg lifts 3 sets of ten, which I have to do 3 times a day now its time to watch some TV before the next set.