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Life after Microfracture knee surgery

I am 43 and nearly one year out from microfracture surgery (Nov. 2012) and am struggling.  I had a stage four 2cm x 2cm injury to the lateral fem condyle, right knee.  I followed the recovery and rehab to the letter, NWB for nearly two months and religiously did my time in the CPM 6-8 hours every day, plus religious phys therapy.  I wasn't an elite athlete by any means, but I enjoyed crossfit as well as being able to lift weights, play with my kids, spend long days sightseeing or shopping, etc.  I used to row or walk or even sometimes jog for fitness, as well as lift respectably heavy weights.  

My knee pain with normal walking and standing is greatly reduced, however I have not returned to the gym.  A full day of walking (say, at the mall) has me icing my knee that evening due to pain.  The thought of walking for fitness (fast-paced as to produce a good workout) makes me shudder.  I haven't even consider going back to weight lifting or crossfit (which is how the injury occurred).  My doctor happily pronounced that I can now do "whatever I want".   His solution to continued pain with activity is to start injecting my knee.  I really don't want to start injections.  

I'd like to know what exercises I CAN do that will help me regain muscle strength, my fitness level and balance (stairs are still really difficult, for example) but will not compromise my knee repair.  I am quite fearful because the microfracture was necessitated by a traumatic injury and required an even more traumatic recovery!  I've gained weight because I don't feel comfortable working out anymore... and the increased weight has my knee hurting even more.   I want my microfracture repair to last as long as possible, what can I do to stay fit that will not do harm?  Any info is appreciated!
1 Responses
351246 tn?1379685732
I am sorry to hear about your medical problems. If you have diabetes or thyroid disease, then this makes recovery slow. Other than this at times despite the surgery, cartilage damage continues. You must ask for another MRI to view this. It can also be a ligament injury or an inflammation persisting post surgery.
One way to go about is to steadily increase your walks. Start with a distance you can do comfortably and slowly increase it. Also, consult a physiotherapy center for knee exercises that would work best for you.
However, before straining your knee, please consult your doctor or take a second opinion regarding cartilage damage. Take care!

The medical advice given should not be considered a substitute for medical care provided by a doctor who can examine you. The advice may not be completely correct for you as the doctor cannot examine you and does not know your complete medical history. Hence this reply to your post should only be considered as a guiding line and you must consult your doctor at the earliest for your medical problem.
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