This week, I began the process of getting off my crutches. After 6 weeks, I’m definitely at a point where I’m ready to be mobile again.
Monday’s PT session began the same way they all had, going through my standard rehab exercises. Afterwards, however, I finally got to try something new – the stationary bike. I was able to ride for 10 minutes (on the lowest resistance level) without any discomfort in my hip. In fact, the only trouble I had was the fatigue in my right (good) leg from supporting me for the last 6 weeks. Believe me, it felt good to do something different.
Beginning Monday, I was instructed to begin putting weight on my leg. I did this slowly over the next couple days, and by Wednesday morning, I was able to go very short distances on just one crutch.
This progress allowed me to make additional strides at PT on Wednesday afternoon. After starting with my standard exercises, I used the leg press machine for the first time, pressing 45 lbs with my left leg. I was instructed to do it 30 times, which I did, but around #20, my hamstring began to tighten up, probably from the recent lack of use.
Next up was the balance board (see picture below). I tried to balance on both legs, left-to-right, for two minutes. This was a full weight-bearing exercise, though I was next to a table to help me regain my balance when needed. After the two minutes were up, the board was rotated 90 degrees, and I did the same, balancing front-to-back this time. I was able to do this pain-free for the entire two minutes each time, grabbing the table for balance roughly every 15 seconds.
I continue to use only one crutch when walking short and medium distances, though I find that the using just one crutch causes me to lean awkwardly, which in turn is causing pain in my good leg. Additionally, my leg is more sore than it has been in a while, and it’s hard to tell if the soreness in my hip is the joint itself or the muscles around it. Sometimes, I’ll move in a way that I’ve done without pain many times before, and suddenly it will hurt. Currently, my discomfort is in my calf (general soreness) and the front of my hip (may be the joint or my hip flexor, hard to tell). It’s a mental balancing act, really, getting excited about progress, and being disappointed by the new pain and soreness that comes with it.
On Monday, my goal was to get to one crutch by the weekend, and no crutches by the following weekend. So far, I’m ahead of that pace, and I hope to keep it up! It feels great to make progress, and I’ll keep posting as I continue towards walking again.
Are you recovering from surgery for FAI or a torn labrum, or considering it? I’d love to hear how you’re rehab is going – feel free to post a comment or question below!