• Welcome to ScubaBoard


  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Exercises for recovery from knee injury/surgery?

Discussion in 'Special Needs' started by jbmooney, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. jbmooney

    jbmooney Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: New York
    137
    0
    Greetings fitness sages!

    I have just been diagnosed with a torn anterior meniscus in my knee, an injury I've been living with for some time. It wasn't caused by diving - I've been very overweight, and my knees were not designed to carry all of me around.

    I'm losing the weight (about 55 lbs so far, with another 55 to get to my goal weight of 190 - I'm 5'11"), but the knee injury will require surgery, and that's coming in a few days. I'm told the recovery is 4-6 weeks, but that after the first few days, there is no restriction on what I may do, and swimming/diving are fine (which is a relief).

    My question is about what I should do to get prepared to dive in the end of January (MLK weekend, to be precise). Does anyone have suggestions as to effective and relatively gentle exercises that will speed my recovery in general and enhance my finning ability and conditioning? I will work with a PT after the surgery, but I don't know if that PT will have any clue about diving requirements. I look forward to hearing any thoughts you may have, and thanks.

    - John
     
  2. SelkieDVM

    SelkieDVM Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location:
    808
    40
    Are you sure you don't mean your anterior cruciate ligament? Or perhaps your medial meniscus? OK so I am a vet and am not necessarily up to speed on the human anatomy but I've had personal experience here so will offer up what I know (you MDs out there feel free to jump in). . .

    I've had knee surgery twice, once to repair the medial meniscus and another to reconstruct the ACL and remove the medial meniscus in the same knee. Both surgeries were a long time ago but as I recall the rehab after the second was much more involved. The PTs should be able to guide you in terms of general rehab - strengthening of the hamstrings (muscles on the back on the thigh) was very important, so exercises like leg curls can help.

    In terms of scuba-specific exercises I would suggest getting into a pool as soon as they let you and swimming with fins. Just take it easy, go slow, back off if it hurts. Also work on general leg and core exercises to help you handle the gear topside.

    Good luck with your surgery. After my first I was walking unaided within a few days as I recall and didn't have to go through PT at all. After the second I was on crutches for several (?) weeks, went through 3-4 months of PT and didn't feel close to normal for a year. A good physical terrorist, um, I mean therapist, can help tremendously. (No disrespect for any PTs reading this - I have one very near and dear to my heart!)

    Cheers,
    Lilla
     
    northernone likes this.
  3. jbmooney

    jbmooney Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: New York
    137
    0
    Lilla, thanks for your reply. You're absolutely right - it is either the medial or lateral meniscus, not the anterior (this is why I won't be the guy in the room who has a knife), and it has a small section that has a tear in it that needs to be taken off (the tear is in the back and can't be sewn up, apparently).

    Thanks for your good wishes too, and I'm sure your right that the physical terrorist will be able to help sort me out, and I guess it's time to get my membership at the YMCA renewed (they have the pool). Do you think I should use my diving fins, or are shorter "trainers" required?
     
  4. SelkieDVM

    SelkieDVM Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location:
    808
    40
    Good question. My guess would be a shorter fin would place less stress on the knee. Of course most of the movement in finning should come from the hip, so it seems that the with each stroke of a longer fin there is more force that the knee must resist to keep from flexing much. Maybe just start out with no fins at all initially and work up to longer fins depending on how it feels?

    Cheers,
    Lilla
     
  5. SelkieDVM

    SelkieDVM Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location:
    808
    40
    Hi jbmooney - did you have your knee surgery? Hope you are doing well and recovering nicely if so. Happy holidays and we'll see you diving again real soon!

    Cheers,
    Lilla
     
  6. jbmooney

    jbmooney Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: New York
    137
    0
    Thanks, Lilla, I did have the surgery, and it was a little more involved than expected, but nothing very serious, and I'm mending well. The doctor said I should await the PT's recommendation to begin swimming, and the PT hasn't given it yet, but as they say in the islands, "soon come". Interestingly, the PT said he thought it was likely that in my case, fins would be an asset, since they would help prevent me from overextending my leg while swimming. He wants the knee to be a little stronger, though.

    I expect to be able to be comfortable diving by the time I go with the family to Key Largo in the end of January, and swimming in the next few days. Thanks for you interest, and have a great holiday!
     
  7. davidjoshua00

    davidjoshua00 Guest

    # of Dives:
    Location: earth
    1
    0
    Well, that is a good and best recovery to an injured knee have an exercise every morning. However, while having an exercise you must consult to a doctor to give you a guide in doing an exercise in your knee problem. Then good luck to your therapy in your knee problem God blessed.
     
  8. seaangel

    seaangel Contributor

    847
    2
    Hi, I have had a similar knee surgery recently, actually 5 months ago. I had we thought a torn medial meniscus, howeve when the surgeon was able to see in side it turned out to be more of a bone problem. My (patella) knee cap had what I guess is most commonly know as bone spurs, my ortopedist called it "crab meat" and honestly in the pics that is what it looked like. Either that or icicles hanging down. Any way these were catching on the bones and causing me to have my tibia and fibia hit down on bone totally missing the cartilage for cushion. Yes, I was and had been in extreme pain walking at prior to surgery.

    I had to do quad strengthening pre surgery and post surgery I had to do intensive quad exercising daily. I did them on my own without having to go to a PT, surgeon said if I did them he would not send me. They taught me in his office and off I went. I have to say when did them after surgery I had tears coming, but that soon imporved. They actually make my knee feel better! It has been 5 months, I was released 2 months post op with these instructions, walking is good so walk. Avoid stairs, but if you have to use them with care. Also, absolute "No Squats or squating" This last one has been very hard, never realized how much we do squats in every day life!

    My knee still will swell at times and has periods of pain, I increase the quad exercises which I am to be doing as maintenance forever. I will ice my knee when swollen and take antiinflammatories. I find mostly Aleve or ibuprofen works fine.

    Now, I am going on my first dive trip since all of this and I did not get into a pool until last Saturday without fins. Swimming felt strange my knee felt like it was not even there, almost numb and I did not feel like that leg was doing anything to help swim. Getting out on ladder, cannot use that leg first absolutely felt like no strength in it.

    Yesterday I took my fins, Scubapro Jet Fins, at first they felt very heavy on my kicks and it was better in that I could tell my leg was being used. It was uncomfortable at first but after swimming across the pool several times and the length a couple of times it felt fine. Actually, last night my knee felt better than it has in quite a long time.

    I hope to get some more swims in with the fins before our trip, we leave on June 12th so I should be able to. Hopefully, everything will go well. We are going to Turks & Caicos, hoping the water is not rough.

    I am concerned more about the weight of the gear when doning and standing up to exit the boat and on getting back on the boat from the water.

    Cindy
     
  9. piikki

    piikki Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Northeast USA
    1,393
    1
    I don't have any experience with knee injuries (one joint I have not busted yet, cross the fingers) but one thought I had was that maybe when you start doing swims with fins and especially move onto scuba, you could have someone look at your kicks. It's not unusual to have problems with the kicking, and especially when you have had issues with legs/joints. This way when you start exercising, you would be doing it right. It's very easy to keep on going and doing it quite wrong, especially with recovering joint.

    You could get pointers for swimming from swimmers/free divers and then def for diving from someone who has their propulsion figured out. PT:s, like you say, aren't likely to be scuba experts. Many of them aren't that expert on swimming kicks either. Water therapy is such a great thing but you lose so much if you let your stronger side do most of the work.

    Good luck with your rehab!
     
  10. seaangel

    seaangel Contributor

    847
    2
    I gave some thought to maybe my scuba fins, Scuba Pro Jet Fins, black-are actually too heavy or maybe have higher resistence in the water. I checked at my dive shop and sure enough they are the higher resistence fin, but they don;t have my size fin in a lighter resistence fin. Plus all the fins they carry are on backorder until July! I need them in 4 weeks.

    Cindy:(
     

Share This Page