Kneecap Dislocation: 1 Month Update

If you're interested in my kneecap dislocation story, you can find my other posts here.
Photo by Dave

It's officially been one month since my kneecap dislocation, so I figured I'd fill everyone in on what's happened since. 

The hospital had given me a referral to one of their orthopedic surgeons immediately after my knee was put back in place. Unfortunately I wasn't able to see him for 10 days since summer weather and long weekends have a tendency to reduce the availability of specialists. Instead, I endured a week and a half with the full leg brace (called an immobilizer) and a bunch of burning questions concerning my injury.

For some of the wait, my friend Dave came into town for a trip that we had planned months earlier. I felt bad that I was injured, tired and weighed down by my brace, especially since we had meant to explore and hike. We made do though, and visited Golden Ears Provincial Park (pictured above), White Rock, and the Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant. Dave also explored the city without me and wrote about his experiences on his blog.

After Dave left I was quickly swept up in medical appointments. I finally met with the orthopedic surgeon who gave me a prescription brace and physiotherapy recommendations. I also finally got a timeline for my recovery: 3 months until a light jog, 6 months until I can resume all my high-impact sports. I think I was still in a state of shock by then, because the timeline really didn't sink in. I was just happy to be in a lighter brace that allowed my knee to bend.

I started physiotherapy a day after my meeting with the specialist. I managed to find a physiotherapist who works in my neighborhood and specializes in knee injuries. It turns out that when your knee is injured and swollen, your quad muscles stop working properly. A month later, we've finally got most of the swelling down and have been working on awakening the quad muscle and rebuilding the muscle that's atrophied. 

At two and a half weeks after the injury, I started practicing walking on my leg without crutches. My physiotherapist also realized I was a little insecure walking without the knee brace, so she's been taping my knee as a baby step between walking without any support. The tape supports the knee and keeps it in the correct location as it heals. I'm still not allowed walking without my crutches when I'm out, but just being able to move around my apartment and clean and cook normally has been so liberating.

It hasn't all been success and progress though. During the third week of my recovery I think the reality of my injury started setting in. I got a little depressed from the situation, especially after losing a lot of my independence and realizing many of my summer goals were off the table. I've also struggled with feeling guilty over how unproductive I've been, but that's slowly been improving as I recover. 

The injury has also been socially isolating. I don't feel comfortable in crowded places with the crutches and I no longer have the energy to travel across the city or stay out late. It doesn't help that I don't do well with attention and pity, which are two things I've been drowning in this whole month. However, I'm hopeful that I'll be able to graduate from the crutches in the next couple of weeks, and with that will come some return to normalcy.