I posted this on a knee problem forum , but figure some of you may be in a better position to offer advice regarding my lifting-related questions.
Any advice or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
4 weeks ago I had surgery to investigate why I was (still!) getting knee pain. As a result, a medial meniscus tear was removed (~30%) and also a screw from an ACL reconstruction was removed. To give a little background I've had the following surgeries prior to this, all in the same knee:
June 2005 - Shaving of ACL screw - was touching kneecap (ow)
June 2004 - Removal of scar tissue that was in region of Saphenous Nerve and causing lots of pain
June 2004 - Repair (not removal) of torn meniscus - saphenous nerve was aggrevated - caused tremendous amounts of pain!
Jan 2003 - ACL Reconstruction, hamstring graft
Dec 2002 - Arthroscopsy to figure out what was wrong with my knee.
My questions relate to rehab of my knee as it currently stands. I've been given a green light by the hospital physio to 'do anything as long as it doesn't hurt'. However, I want to be more cautious! A little about myself - I'm 24, pretty active, and enjoy weightlifting. I don't do any contact sports.
Currently, as things stand, walking can be quite painful - often when my leg straightens, I get pain just beneath/to the side of my knee (when I say side, I mean inside leg - not sure of technical term for it?). I've been told by my surgeon this is probably due to a muscle imbalance, or my VMO not firing. I'm trying to concentrate on gait and getting the muscles 'active' in my knee, my rehab sessions (daily) include:
- Stationary Cycling (not going crazy, but anywhere from 10-30 minutes, feels comfortable)
- Mini squats - one-legged squats to about 20-30 degrees, emphasis on control
- Not sure how to describe this one - I wrap a thermoband around my knee, and tie the band to the wall. Facing the wall to which the band is tied, I let my knee be pulled in the direction of the band, then straighten it slowly - I'm told this works the VMO
- Single leg raises off the floor
- One-legged leg press - to about 45 degrees at present
- Single leg hamstring curl - very light weight
- Wall squats - squatting against a wall at about 45 degrees, for sets of 45-60 seconds
- Plenty of stretching (hamstring, calf - quad stretching in the affected knee is not comfortable).
*** note some of these I can only do if i make it to the gym, which is 3-4 times a week - some I can do at home every day).
Does this sound like a sensible plan? Also, in the longer term, I want to return to weightlifting. I don't compete (other than with myself), but do take it relatively seriously, and so would like to be able to Squat and Deadlift again (and of course other variants of these exercises). Is this advisable given the state of my meniscus?
I would really appreciate any advice that people can offer.