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Recovery Timeline

Posted Jun 21 2010 12:00am

So, my insurance approved my knee surgery.  However, since they only pay 80% I'm waiting to find out the cost to see how much damage it will do to my pocketbook!  The doctor sent along some papers including how to get ready for surgery, what to expect after, recovery timeline, etc.

In a nutshell, the first 3 months are all about regaining and retaining knee flexion and extension though exercises - some simple some better - like using a stationary bike, nordic track and stair climbing once I get to 100-110 degrees of flexion (maybe 3 weeks post op).  Right now I'm not even at 100 since my MCL injury set me back quite a bit.  I get to start on a treadmill at 6-12 weeks, light jogging (in a straight line) at 12-20 weeks and light running after the light jogging "program" is complete (whatever that means).  It's interesting they separate jogging from running.  I'm assuming jogging just means really slow running.  Also in week 12-20 I get to start agility drills which doesn't sound all that fun probably healthy knee'd people but when you are recovering the use of your knee that will probably be awesome!  6 months is the earliest return to "full" sports and it's based on Quad strength of at least 70% of "normal" leg, hamstring strength of at least 80%, full range of motion, good stability and completion of running program.

It's interesting to note the wide range of recovery timelines out there.  I did some searching and the image below shows the wide ranges you will find.  Most of them say full return to sports is 6-12 months and some go as long as 24 months.  There is a reason for that maybe I'll get into in another post.  But most healthy athletes who work hard can get back around the 6 month timeframe.  Some crazy (and maybe stupid) pro athletes (who also probably have round the cock care) have done it around 3-4 months.  The shaded area represents the consolidated recovery ranges, and the X's represent what my doctor gave me in the pre surgery docs.


I'll ask my doc some questions about some of this stuff and my readiness for my July 15th surgery when I see him on Wednesday.


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