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Hi guys! I'm gonna include a fair amount of detail so you get the full picture.
I had a total knee replacement nearing the end of October (23 weeks ago) to get rid of a tumour on my knee. I was diagnosed with high grade osteosarcoma - a primary bone cancer that occurs mostly in teenagers - a couple days after my 19th birthday. 4 months prior to this, I was very active with sports, parkour and freerunning being a huge hobby and planning to initiate boxing and skydiving as ones too. This is when the pain started and months later, the tumour had developed into a huge painful ball, weakening the knee. I had a biopsy done to test for a cancer, which served to fracture the knee and put my right leg in a cast for more than 3 months pre-surgery while having chemotherapy, so as to not being able to use the knee at all. I had by then lost at least 15kg.
The knee was unusually painful after surgery; I was taken into intensive care and remained on a morphine pump for a couple weeks. I don't understand why it was so painful. I've always known myself as pain tolerant. I used to win most fights with bigger guys (having loved to fight as a kid and teen), not because I was good at fighting but because I could take too many hits and everyone knew. The biggest injections don't make me flinch - I could do it myself. Hell! I'd bet I'd be able to bite a finger off if the situation presented itself. The pain meant I was progressing slower with physiotherapy. Most people would achieve a 90° flexion before leaving the hospital a week or two later, but I couldn't bend it to 90 until months afterwards. This was partly because my leg was locked straight in the cast for months before surgery. Regular high strength chemotherapy after surgery also meant I was completely bedridden in hospital for long periods and was unable to perform daily activities or participate in very much physiotherapy.
Here I am now, 5 months post-op and closing in on the end of chemo treatment, able to do very little with my leg. I've been exercising the leg a LOT over the last couple months, as my chemo is now less intense. I still use two crutches to get around. I can walk very slowly without them, but need to make sure to keep the right leg locked straight when leaning on it, as I haven't yet developed strength enough to hold myself on an even slightly bent right knee; it would reflex and lock straight or I'd just fall. I easily bend the knee to 100° and it takes a fair bit of effort to take it to 115° but beyond that is impossibly painful; I just can't do it; I'm not sure if it would even go much more. My other knee is very flexible - I can sit on the leg, bent. I can't also, from a standing position lift my leg back too much. What really bothers me, however, is the fact that I can't lift my foot at all. From a sitting position, I can move it forward a few centimetres, but that's about all. If I'm standing, I can, again, move it forward a small amount, but aside from that, nothing. When lying down, the leg won't raise from the surface, not slightly.
I love cars and driving is a huge deal to me. My poor motor skills with the knee means I can't drive now (except with adapted controls). I just can't wait to be able to lift my leg straight, but the doctor said there's a chance I won't be able to, and that I'm unlikely to ever be able to kick a football again or jog, but that walking with a limp is the limit of my rehab. What's more, I'm awaiting 5-6 weeks of radiotherapy on the knee after chemo's over, which will prove to stiffen the knee and damage even more tissues.
Why am I progressing so slow? Why is it that my recovery's completely south? I was told before the operation that I'd be able to run again within 6 months. That doesn't look likely. I'm not talking about aiming to jump from the second storey like I was aiming for with parkour before my tumour appeared. I'm not talking about starting boxing classes. I'm not even taking about continuing to run as a hobby, but why was I told it's unlikely that I walk again without a limp, and why is it taking so damn long?
Thanks for any replies.
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