They say time heals all wounds, and a horizontal gluteal crease incision from hamstring repair surgery is no exception. Now 2 weeks post-op, things are slowly progressing forward.
I had my first follow up appointment on August 1st, 11 days post-op. The doctor said that the incision is healing quite nicely, and I no longer need a bandage any more (good riddance). Instead, he put some steri-strips on the area, and when they fall off they fall off, leaving my booty free once again.
I also was able to get a little more detail on my surgery since I don’t remember 90% of what the surgeon told me post op (thank you morphine). My MRI had shown a full avulsion of the semimembranosus tendon, but because of inflammation the fate of the conjoined tendon of the biceps femoris and semitendinosus was unsure. The surgeon explained that as shown on the MRI, the semimembranosus was completely torn, but that also the semitendinosus tendon was avulsed. Both tendons had retracted 3 to 4 cm from the bone. Since the bicep femoris is a much bigger muscle, I essentially avulsed half of my hamstring. Good news is that that means half was still attached. This means I only needed 2 bone anchors and there was much less tension on the hamstring when attaching it. After gently testing the hamstring, the doc confirmed everything is still attached (which was a relief – no way I would want to start all over).
So moving forward, I am stuck in a full knee brace and non-weight bearing/toe touching only for 4 more weeks. I am, however, allowed to remove the brace while lying around and when showering. What a relief to get that clunker off my leg even if it’s just for short bursts of time.
I also got the green light to start some very gentle physical therapy. I had my first PT session on August 4th, exactly 2 weeks post op. Obviously, I couldn’t do anything too strenuous (being non-weight bearing and not allowed to activate the hamstring is a wee bit limiting), but glad to start some basic exercises to keep the rest of the leg flexible and to combat atrophy. I received a small arsenal of exercises that I have dubbed my couch-listhetics program.
The past 2 weeks have also been a humbling learning curve, attempting to do everyday mundane things, but on one leg and often with no hands (the curse of the crutches). Here are 14 fun things I have learned in the past 14 days:
- It takes longer to carry meals back to the couch then to actually make them
- There is a whole new meaning to things being a pain in the butt
- Anything with bottom drawers or high shelves clearly has a faulty design
- Once something is dropped on the floor it is gone forever
- Change of scenery means switching from one couch to another
- The barefoot trend is back (mainly because putting on your own socks and shoes is impossible)
- The muscle gains in your triceps will make up for the atrophy in your leg
- Getting up and down from the couch and in and out of bed are the hot new ab exercises
- Recent post-op purchases will make your ‘recommendations for you’ section on Amazon resemble a geriatric medical supply store
- Carrying things in your mouth like a golden retriever has not only become acceptable but necessary (the curse of the crutches strikes again)
- Pain meds and prunes go together like unicorns and rainbows
- If you can get both legs into the tub and keep 51% of the water inside the curtain, it is a successful shower
- Crutching to the top of a flight of stairs holds a similar feeling of accomplishment to cresting Mt. Everest
- Staying optimistic and having a sense of humor is key