I am just over 4 months. It seems like I had the surgery ages ago. Here is a summary of my timeline of a few milestones:
August 22, 2016: Surgery
September 4, 2016: First day of physical therapy
October 2, 2016: Returned to work 60% (Did not start operating- started the office hours)
October 16, 2016: Ended physical therapy but continued home exercises
November 7, 2016: Returned to the OR, operating about half my normal schedule
December 12, 2016: Returned to OR Full-time
A few comments on the above timeline. Physical therapy was very valuable but at the 6-7 week point it seemed to me that most of the work was now on my shoulders. I knew the exercises to do. I was already at 115 degrees of flexion and I have full extension. I think I achieved that because I really worked hard in the first three weeks keeping the knee moving. As already noted in this blog I was not taking opioids but I did continue my naproxen (Aleve). I was continually taking 2 over-the-counter Aleve pills (440 mg) every day in the morning. I still continue that. While at some point I don’t need it for my operated on knee, I still have arthritis in my non-operated knee so I take it mainly for that now. The guidance I used for my operated knee was 3 months of Aleve.
Returning to work was not without some difficulty. The biggest complaint was that of generalized tiredness starting around 2-3 PM. I am really not sure whether this was due to my body continuing to heal the knee and taking energy away from the rest of my body and directing it to my knee or disruption in sleep patterns. I still wake up multiple times a night and then I go back to bed. This is a new issue since the surgery. many patients have shared this same complaint.
I continue to pace myself and I am aware that the tiredness can come on. This is getting better but not as fast as I would like it to.
This will be my last entry for a while. You really know you have healed the surgery when you don’t think of symptoms in your operated knee and other pains in the body take more of your attention. It won’t be a long time from now where my right knee will have the same experience as my left.