Monday, July 18, 2016

update: time to check the knees

Well, I went to see the orthopedic doctor last week.  My knees have been bothering me more than usual lately, so I finally made the appointment.

It was easy. Spoke to the doctor for a bit.  Told him where it hurt, when it started, that I have pain walking up and down the stairs, etc. Then they took six x-rays: one of my hips, three of my knees together and then two of the side of each knee.

The verdict:

  1. Arthritis in my right knee:  on a scale of 1 to 100, it's a 1.  That's a good thing. I was expecting it to be worse, since my maternal grandmother was in a wheelchair by the time she was 70, as was bedridden shortly thereafter.  I'm still disappointed, though, because the main reason I had weight loss surgery was to prevent arthritis in my knees.
  2. A bone spur at the top of each kneecap. They look like little cat claws.  Appropriate, given the fact that I'm a crazy cat lady. Nothing will be done about these for now.
  3. Very tight hamstrings. Apparently the hamstrings help the front of the knee move and if they're really tight, it can cause pain in the front of the knee. The cure for this is lots of stretching.  
  4. No problems with my hips, but he said they're tight. Not sure what that means, although he commented that movement seems a bit restricted in my left hip.
I went to the trainer, Mark, Friday night and he showed me some stretches for my hamstrings. Not fun!  At all.  I'd rather have had a strenuous workout than to stretch until I feel like the back of my leg will explode. I felt like I was on fire from the back of knee all the way down through my toes!  He showed me three different stretches, which he said should be done three to five times a week. The doctor had told me everyday, twice a day, so I'll aim for somewhere in the middle.

Here are some examples of the stretches I'll be doing. The goal is to be able to touch my toes. That seems really undoable right now--I can barely go past my knees!

This one is easy, and it feels good on my back, too.

In this one, my knee is supposed to be bent.  It's pretty close, though. 

This one BURNS!!!

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