Outdoor 101: Getting Back Into Outdoor After Knee Surgery

25 06 2012
Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Arusha, Tanzania

If you are amongst the “lucky ones” who had arthroscopic knee surgery and would like to go back into your usual lifestyle, then these tips may be for you*:

1. Don’t Baby the pain. Right after the surgery, move your legs but not too much. Walk slow but sure. I had surgery on my left knee last May 11 and was sent home. I initially was assisted by a “human walker” (Thanks to my bro! 🙂  ) The following day, I used stick for walking. I have used 2 different walking sticks for proper balance. They were my accessories for a week. The first was a straight stick with a derby handle but equipped with an “umbrella” so I only used it for 1 day. ( I found the style very strange. Was it an umbrella or a walking stick?, so I asked my sister.) Then the second was a narrow-base quad cane. (This one I liked best because I had the balance I wanted. But after a week of using, my hands were in pain!)

2. Keep the wound dry. Allow the wound to heal. Do your own magic while taking a shower to prevent it from getting wet!

3. Undergo a physiotherapy. I could hardly recognize my left knee! It was swollen and very weak so I endured going to the hospital every single day. On my 5th day, I was already doing some knee exercises to help rebuild the lost strength in my knee muscles. My 2nd week was a blast! I was already doing some cycling exercises! I even bought a leg strap so that I could exercise before sleeping.

4. Manage the swelling by a hot pack and anti-inflammatory medicines (like gel). While showering you could even allow the warm water to free flow the area. Put hot pack while sleeping. During my outdoor camping 5 weeks later after the operation, I was already tucked in my Hillary -20 degree sleeping bag with a hot water in a container prepared by our waiter named Amani. Every night, my 2 other camp mates – OMishes C and J slept with the smell all over our tent caused by my anti-inflammatory gel. Then during the trek, I made sure I was using my knee pad to keep the gel and not to stress my left knee after 10 hrs or so of walking within the 6 day Machame trail route.

5. Wear a very comfortable shoes. I intended to recover fast so I bought 3 new pair of shoes for my first few weeks of recovery so as not to put pressure on my knees. On my 30th day after operation, I was already using my hiking boots, as planned.

*NOTE: Close consultation with your doctor is highly recommended since right treatment and recovery may differ from one person to another.

This entry is related to >> https://adventureh.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/packing-checklist-mt-kilimanjaro-adventurehescape/

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