Mind over knee-matters

By 2017-02-26Uncategorized

So, been doing a lot thinking. Kind of necessary with the current situation. That’s why I haven’t really written much. Thus this post will also be quite a hefty one.

The current physical situation is quite simple, the ACL in my left knee is completely ruptured. It shows very clear on the MRI. I have met with the surgeon now as well, and started rehabilitation of the knee. It’s up to me if I get surgery or if I do only rehabilitation exercises, but I’m leaning towards getting reconstruction. Anyway, even if I get reconstruction or not physio starts more or less as soon as possible and I’ve had my first sessions with my therapist. I have a daily exercise routine, and I meet my physio three times a week, so it’s quite a ambitious program.

As for the mental bit, there has been ups and downs. It’s harsh knowing I won’t be able to ski more this season, and probably not do much climbing this summer either. What’s more, it easily gets lonely sitting about during the days when everyone else is at work. I’ve started to sort it out though I think. Some time I have been forced to spend with insurance companies, doctor visits etc naturally, but I’ve also had a chance to work a bit on my landscape photography. I’ve also scoped a good gym where I live at the moment and started figuring out a routine for at least somewhat keeping my upper body strength as well as cardio even though my left leg is pretty much bust. I only need to figure out somewhere to get my hangboard up and it’ll be up to nothing but my own discipline in order to keep fit for future climbing.

Another mentally harsh thing is the knowledge that if I get reconstruction I’ll have to start rehab over from pretty much where I started from when I got the injury. That is not to say that anything I do now is in vain, quite the opposite. Before they’ll even do a reconstruction, the knee has to have regained full movement, and all swelling will have to be gone. If they reconstruct earlier there’s a heightened chance of getting fibrosis in the knee joint, which is catastrophic as well as virtually untreatable. Apart from that, when there’s severe trauma to the knee, pretty much independent of what exact type of severe trauma, the nerves get a bit messed up. In practice that means that I currently don’t have full control over my thigh muscles, as in I cannot tighten them to the degree I should be able to, especially when the leg is in full or near full extension. Having full control of my leg muscles when the operation is done will help out rehab after reconstruction. But this is the part I’m talking about, since it’s a new trauma to the knee having the reconstruction, I’ll loose the nerve control again and have to start from nought again. Same goes with swelling and mobility, I’ll be back to nought and have to start over with the rehab from the very beginning again. The big difference the rehab does is that I’ll get to restart from square 0 rather than square -1, or worse.

The one thing I that won’t restart from square 0 again is that every bit of muscle mass I’ll manage to get back pre op will make a big difference post op. That will deteriorate as well, but that’s due to the fact that for the two-or-so first week post op I won’t be allowed to do anything with the leg, so the relationship is more linear. What I mean is that every bit of progress I do pre op will have a direct impact on how good it will be after the reconstruction. That’s easier to manage mentally.

I try to stay positive and focus on what I’m doing at the moment. Compared to the first sessions I did, my rehab exercises has become much easier, so at least I’m making quite quick progress!

Stay positive, there are more winters to come. (And honestly, if there’s one season here in Europe to blow a knee early on, it’s probably this one. From what I’ve heard there’s still bad coverage in pretty much the whole of the alps.)

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