Hey, I just posted my knee laceration on another thread...
My injury was really deep too, and located just below my knee cap. The docs wanted me to wear a knee immobilizer to keep it straight, so that the wound edges could better heal. I wore that thing for about 3 minutes (long enough to get out of sight of the doc) and off it went!
I was afraid of getting lots of knee stiffness and losing muscle strength like you, so after the first few days, I got up and started walking immediately. I was back at work (where I walk and stand on my feet all day) on day 4. Don't let yourself get stiff- get that leg moving normally, without limping or peg-legging. It will hurt at first, but will greatly help your mobility.
I still have a pretty big hole in my knee, but I'm already walking normally (no limp) and biking. It hurts here and there from nerve damage, but as far as I can tell, I'm not hurting anything further by mobilizing the knee.
Hope this helps, and good luck!
P.S. you can see my photos in "caution: knee carnage" thread
So glad that you are rocking it loves!
Get that knee moving as soon as you can. I was not as fortunate with my knee injury and tore quite a bit in there. Due to complications, my knee was immobilized for about a month. It took two years and another surgery to get full mobility back. I'm a rare case scenario where everything that could have gone wrong did BUT there are a few things I would have done differently -
1. Get into PT and see and orthopedic immediately. Get on a regime that focuses on restoring mobility and building your quad and hamstrings back up.
2. See a chiropractor. Chances are, after walking like a zombie for a while, there are a few other things out of whack.
3. Activate that quad. If nothing else, get your quad going by setting your leg flat against a surface and trying to press your knee into that surface. Hold for 30 seconds, release and rest for 10, repeat.
Knee injuries are funny things. You have to take it slow, but hard and with purpose. Take care of that knee and it will serve you well for years to come. Good luck!
Let me get to my point here first: Can I stubbornly try to work on my hams\quads by myself, or should I go get real help to prevent further damage or delay the healing?
Thanks soo much for the words, Snowgypsy! You might be able to tell, but the hard part about this recovery is that the tear\scab is literally right over and above the knee cap. So as it's tightening up to heal and do it's thing -- it completely prevents me from bending it much. I usually try to push my body to help it heal, but I had too many tell me "take it easy, let it heal, don't push it, blah blah". But, hearing you guys it sounds like I should push it, and help get that stiffness out and strengthen the muscles.
It literally feels soo stiff. It's hard to explain. When i bend the knee, all this pressure builds up because my knee cap isn't fully healed. The pressure then causes knee cap pain. There's like a thick bunch of flesh\skin still doing it's thing so it's hard to push it.
I am lifting my leg in all the positions I can to exercise it, and getting blood flow when I can. But, still hurts to put too much range or motion into the mix.
Re: "If I was just wearing knee pads...." *Mildly Gross Pics*
I have a set of nice poc vpds for sale......size medium.
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All we have are our experiences, but none of us are doctors (at least, I'm not). Sounds like you are dealing with some scar tissue as well...is the pain or stiffness in the joints or is it just around the wound? If it's in the joints...that's reason to see an ortho. If the pain and stiffness is in the wound itself, that's normal.
I know exactly what that stiffness is like...it's terrible. You shouldn't be causing yourself pain while you are recovering, but you shouldn't be comfortable either...to quote my PT.
I would see an ortho or PT. My PT did free injury consults and then worked with me afterwards (about $25 a session) when my insurance ran out.
I've had knee issues for 15 years and two surgeries and a few other injuries that put me on the sidelines. After a few cycles of rehab I can tell you what I've learned:
1. Over rushing it in terms of working out your knee too quickly before it heals is a mistake. You can actually do more harm than good.
2. The biggest struggle is mental when you're waiting for healing. It's hard to be patient when you feel you're getting weaker.
3. When the joint gets stronger, your muscles will recover QUICKLY. A weak joint will prevent you from exercising the muscles and slow your recovery. Let it heal.
4. I found a stationary bike and swimming to be GREAT WAYS to exercise my legs/quads during recovery, but again, DON'T over do it.
5. If your exercise results in the joint being really sore the next day, you over did it. Your knee is trying to rebuild damaged cells and if you damage the new cells with your rehab, you're going backwards.
6. A good rehab specialist that understands soft tissue healing can be a HUGE plus during the process.
7. The absolute WORST thing you can do is re-injure it during rehab. And that's easy to do. Be careful, give it enough time and let it heal properly.
Are you really sure about that?
If damage is to the skin only, you can do it yourself. You skin will tell you when you are going too far. Sitting or laying and flexing the joint will speed recovery as is it easier to tell what your limits are, and you can be more consistent in the flex, than with loaded flex (walking), where you will always under flex to prevent pain.
Originally Posted by fastslowpronewb
Apply ointment liberally and consistently! Don't remember what... been two decades since my last major road rash, but that stuff makes a big difference.
If the injury goes beyond the skin, or if you suspect infection or inflammation, see the professionals.
Thanks soo much for the words of wisdom, MSL. #2 is the tough one for me. Doing my best to occupy myself with other things that don't have wheels..haha
Originally Posted by MSLKauai
I still just about remember it as yesterday, but it had been several months since I've seen my knee pics until recently.
I thought I'd post an update -- I am now back to that point of riding at full throttle.
Just here to share my experience:
My leg continued to get more stiff, and my muscles weaker, but I came to peace with it. I tried to use my muscles, but was limited, and found allowing my leg to heal was the best thing to do. Otherwise, trying to "tough it out" caused it to swell, which was counter-active to healing. I did, however, spend time messaging it the best I could.
I was limited to crutches for about 4-5 weeks. It was about the 6th week that my scab was in good enough shape to allow me to bend my knee more (very little, but more was a lot at that time).
At the 6th week, I was also really sick of being immobile, felt like my knee\leg was vanishing right before me, so I jumped on a road bike to take it "easy" and get my legs moving. Getting back on a bike was ironically the best thing I could have done for my leg.
It maybe took about 2-3 weeks after that for my leg to start coming back, but I will tell you that my first ride felt GREAT. I was soo happy to get blood flowing and my heart pumping. Slowly, my leg muscles started to return.
iIt wasn't too long before I got back on the trails. However, I was super cautious, and really learned a lot just overall for riding.
Learn a section of trail before going full throttle. Know it well!
Know your bike, your tires, your suspension limits.
Don't try to ride\be something you don't have the skill for.
Focus on the things you are skilled\talented at.
I think many of us fall victim to an image, or peer pressure of some sort, and try to ride out of our abilities.
Remember to have fun!
Ride with others that like to share your idea of fun
Wear protective gear when riding outside of limits, or on unfamiliar trails!
Just because I see\ride with others that can "do it", doesn't mean I should.
There's many more, but that's all I've got for now!
I hope it's helpful to somebody out there.
Somewhere in there is a nugget I ignored and is the reason I am sitting at home with a broken shoulder instead of riding my bicycle. Good advice!
Originally Posted by fastslowpronewb
I had a leg lthat looked pretty similar to yours. Same limb, but mine was on the Tibial Tuberosity (the bump below your kneecap.) I too, was bare-knee'd.
It's the reason I went home and with ice on my knee ordered some Alpinestars Paragon knee pads that are worn on every ride.
Every. Single. One.
I've since crashed hard enough to have a sore/stiff knee for a few hours or days after, and can only imagine how bad some would have been without the pads.
I've actually had strangers comment on my wearing them on decidedly XC trails- smooth, flat, and wide. I don't care. Egos heal, knee cartilage doesn't.
I started wearing pads after mashing my knee cap repeatedly. This summer it was hot and I left them at camp the first day of a riding trip. 1 hour later I sat in the hospital with a sweaty blood soaked sock around my knee to hold it shut. I slid across rock that was like a cheese grater at speed. Any deeper and I would have been in surgery for my knee. As it was I had 3 separate cuts through the side of the joint with 3 layers of stitches to pull it back shut.
I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb
Goodness dirtrider76, sorry to hear! I have started to get slightly cocky riding without knee pads. I think I need to look at my pics as a reminder.
A randombiker, I ride 80 % with knee pads now, but I think they should always be on unless I'm doing massive climbs.
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