I started my Prehab today. Yep. Prehab. It's not a typo-even though the 'droid keeps trying to correct it.
Last month my PCP (Primary Care Physician) and I had a heart-to-heart about my knees. The steroid injections are no longer giving me any relief, so it's time to consider replacement. We updated the knee x-rays and when he reviewed my x-rays, he could see I'm not faking the pain--2 years ago, I still had some space with just a little bone-on bone action. Now, I have no space--both knees are bone-on bone all the way across, AND I have bone spurs on the outer aspects of my knees.
We talked about options, prayed about it, and he referred me to an Orthopedic Surgeon. He also cautioned me that the Surgeon would probably encourage me to lose some of the weight I've put back on the past couple of years. I expected that, so I started back on healthier eating practices that very day: high fiber/high protein, low carbs (my downfall), and portion control.
By the time I saw the Orthopedic Surgeon a couple of weeks later, I had dropped 6 pounds. Even without being able to exercise. The Surgeon was encouraged that I'm taking this seriously and started eating healthier before I came to him, but he still wants me to lose 50 pounds (I was kind of hoping for 25 🙄). And he likes that I'm doing LifeStyle Changes rather than fad dieting.
LifeStyle Changes are really the only thing that works over the long haul. It comes off slower, so it takes longer--but it's healthier and ultimately you're more successful in keeping it off.
He also wants me to do Physical Therapy prior to surgery to strengthen my knees and get the edema (swelling) under control. So today I had my initial PT evaluation.
My therapist gave me some home exercises (stretching exercises done on my back and side, so they are no impact). They are the kinds of things I'll be doing during my post-surgery Rehab as well. She also taped up my knees with some blue stretchy tape for some added support and stability. I wear the tape 3-5 days, the remove it and give my skin a 24 hour rest period, and then reapply new tape. The tape makes quite the fashion statement. Luckily I don't wear light-colored pants to work. We also set up additional Prehab sessions--which I'll be doing for the next 6-weeks--hence the "pre" rather than "re." And I'm back to support stockings to improve the circulation.
If all goes according to plan, the next time I see my Orthopedic Surgeon, I'll be 50 pounds lighter, we'll be able to see my ankles once again, and my knees will be stronger. Then we will schedule surgery, and I'll get new knees sometime late summer.
So there you have it: healthy lifestyle choices+Prehab with support hose and blue tape+surgically enhanced new knees+Rehab=increased mobility and (eventually) reduced pain.
That's the plan. I'm off to Prehab now.