A Client’s Journey
Every now and then in our blogs, we like to congratulate and commend some of our patients on their hard work and dedication to their own rehabilitation.
This blog will be focused around the journey of a patient that was struggling with progressive arthritis. They had a double knee replacement planned which is uncommon as most people choose to have any replacements done at separate times from each other.
As an individual that had always been highly into sports – Rugby, Cricket and skiing etc the patient was always someone that had been extremely physically fit and strong which made me very optimistic about his progress once he had had his knee replacements.
Directly after the surgery, the patient was experiencing a large amount of stiffness and swelling which is completely normal for surgery of such magnitude. This is why if any of my patients ask about knee replacements or consider having one, I always tell them to expect a lot of work at first if they want to reap the benefits later on.
Thankfully this patient was the perfect example of a mix of persistence, motivation and patience, meaning that by the start of the second month of treatment the majority of swelling, pain and irritation had subsided.
This allowed us to focus more on strengthening to achieve his main two goals of skiing and playing cricket again.
The patient again made great progress with strengthening all the muscles that had to be altered to fit the replacements by incorporating all the exercises given to him into his daily routine. This allowed him to make great progress on the strength that he possessed prior to the surgery.
From this point, we started to focus on preparing his knees to take the load of skiing for a day, an exercise that even without any replacement can cause a bit of jip to my knees.
We did this by practising his landing mechanics so that his muscles were prepared to take more load in sudden bursts, typical of hitting a bump or mogul when on the snow.
This diligent training and effort allowed the patient to achieve his goal of skiing again with only 3 months of therapy. He managed to ski 6 days out of 7, allowing him to spend more time with his family doing what he loves.
Furthermore, he is now back playing cricket, weather permitting.
I think this patient is a perfect example of how important it is to keep exercising as we get older. To maintain muscle mass and strength helps in every walk of life, be it recovering from an operation or having fun with friends and family. It brings to mind the phrase move it or lose it!
Thank you for reading
Physiotherapist at the Markland Clinic