We all want to find a therapist who understands our problem – whether we have a particular sports injury and we’d like a Physiotherapist who also plays the same sport, or we find that a particular Physiotherapist has had a similar problem themselves – it is always comforting to know we are in understanding hands.
So, as I write this whilst at home recuperating from knee surgery myself, I am reflecting on how surgical techniques and rehabilitation has progressed over the past 20 years. I think I can confidently say, I’m ‘’good with knees’’!
I had my first anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction over 20 years ago, when the post-operative routine was to be non-weight bearing crutches for 3 months and an apparent total recovery time of 9-12 months. Fast forward to 6 years ago when I had the same operation on the other knee, I was back at work in 3 weeks walking pretty well. Similarly, with cartilage tears – which are a common footballing injury – the chances of going on to develop osteoarthritis in later life are massively increased. Surgeon’s now prefer to either repair the tear in the cartilage, or if that’s not possible, simply remove the torn portion and try to leave the rest intact. This is why I can confidently sit at home and write this, fully expecting to be able to still play golf in 10 years’ time!
I am also confident that my patients will be receiving good care in my absence, because, whilst my associates at Physiofusion might not all be golfers – and most will not have had knee operations – I know that their level of physiotherapy training and in-depth knowledge of the knee as a joint means that they too are ‘’good with knees’’.
Of course, I know the exercises I should be doing to get my knee back to full strength, but we can all potentially look these up on the internet (and many patients do). What’s equally, if not more important, is to know what to do later on in the rehab process in order to be able to return to my chosen sport or activity safely. It’s this area of expertise that Physiotherapists excel at. For example, after any knee issue where movement range has been limited, it’s not just the muscles around the knee which are weakened, but also around the hip. The gluteal muscles which make up the buttock also get weak, and therefore, less able to support the leg sufficiently in running, jumping or landing. Balance is also compromised and needs retraining in order for the knee to function well. Try standing on one leg while doing a slight knee bend to see how hard your buttock muscle (and ankle and foot) work in order to keep your balance.
We know that keeping active as we age is the best way to stay healthy – living longer, living well – so to help you do that, see a good Physiotherapist!