Today was a big day – physical therapy followed by my first doctor’s appointment since the surgery. There’s always some tension between the physical therapist and the surgeon about the recovery process, and solid arguments for why to listen to one versus the other. In my case, the doctor is one of the best surgeons in the city, but the PT is from the office that he specifically recommended, and they work on rehab fulltime. Here are there two beefs:
1) One crutch v. two crutches: The argument for one crutch, made by my PT, is that normalizes walking, now that my knee is strong enough to handle it. The argument for two crutches, made by my surgeon, is that my knee isn’t strong enough for perfect form, so using one crutch will encourage leg favoritism and lengthen the healing process. I know from injury experience that one crutch isn’t enough to get you a subway seat in this town – New Yorkers are cold like that. Thus, I’ll stick with two for now, while relying on one to get around meetings and such. How else can you hold anything?
2) To brace or not to brace. This is less contentious, because both agree that I no longer NEED the bulky brace, which is a relief. Likewise, the stability afforded by the brace is only encouraged by the PT because she wants me to use one crutch. I’ll probably ditch the brace in most circumstances.
The rate of recovery continues to astound me. My leg bent 110 degrees today, and the amount of weight I can put on it is at least a week ahead of schedule from my last ACL surgery in 2008.
I ran into an ex-colleague in the Hospital for Special Surgery waiting area today. He just tore his ACL, so he’s on the other side of the gulch. I told my surgeon this, as he is treating both of us, and he smiled. “Even New York can be a small city sometimes.”