Recovering From A Proximal Hamstring Injury – Surgery Was The Easy Part
Promixal Hamstring Surgery – 1 Week Prior
In August I scheduled my surgery to repair my hamstring injury. I chose a date toward the end of September because 1) Mark had a pre-arranged golf trip in early September and 2) I wanted to enjoy as much time as I could outside before I was sequestered to my “recovery room”.
Being the Type A (and also wanting to be active in my recovery as much as I could be), I did a lot of internet searching on what to expect before, during and after hamstring surgery. I found a lot of good (but generic) information from the medical community (hospitals/orthopedics/surgical centers), I had a hard time finding any personal experiences on anyone who had recovered from proximal hamstring surgery.
I was lucky two have found two blogs which were a huge resource for me as the date of my surgery drew closer. Fueled and Focused, as well as this guide really helped me not only wrap my head around not only what to expect but also gave rough idea of how long it would be until I might be able to do X, Y or Z. I re-read blogs quite a lot and I have to say, up until this point, my recovery has been pretty similar.
Had my surgery not been scheduled during a Pandemic I would have spent my last week/weekend with friends and family BUT that was not the case. Instead, I had my brace fitting AND a COVID test. Then it was back home to self quarantine. Thankfully the test was negative or I would have been pissed.
I spent the weekend before deep cleaning the house, baking these, and making sure I had everything in my Recovery Room ready to go. I also purchased several items to make my post op life easier. Some of them were awesome (crutch pads for the win) and some were just a good idea in theory (tear away pants anyone??). I will write a separate post on these items soon.
I was fortunate that I was Dr. Kuhn’s first surgery for the day BUT was not pleased that it would take place at 11:30am. SIGH! So that morning I did some puttering around the house until it was time to go.
In pre-COVID times, Mark would have been able to come into the surgery center and wait for me. Unfortunately, that was not the case. He dropped me off and was told that once I was “ready to go” (aka surgery was complete) he could swing back and collect me.
Pre-Op was pretty straight forward and what I remembered from my labrum repair 3 years ago. The only difference was more masks and hand washing. After I scrubbed my surgical area and they started an IV, things happened pretty fast.
Funny side story – when Mark dropped me off he asked of the brace box needed to come with me. I told him – no – what remained were “extra pieces”. Apparently I was wrong. The actual brace was actually in the box and Mark ended up taking it back home with him. After a mini melt down, I got a hold of Mark who rushed it back to the surgery center. In the meantime I walked down to the surgery room, where the last thing I remember is talking to the “team” about running.
Unlike my prior surgery, I did not have nerve block because of where the surgery was located (hello nerves) but they numbed it up good. The anesthesiologist also placed an anti-nausea patch behind my ear. The medication in it lasted 3 days and worked wonders. After my last surgery I had an adverse reaction, but luckily that was not the case this go around.
I woke up less then an hour later with the brace firmly attached and a slight cough/sore throat because I was intubated. Something about not eating for 14 hours made those post-op graham crackers and ginger ale delicious. Pretty soon, Mark picked me up, grabbed my prescriptions and a well-deserved Poke bowl and headed home.
I’m not sure how I did it but I made it upstairs where I have pretty much stayed thus far.
Hamstring Post Op – The 1st Two Weeks
For these first 2 weeks I have used my vacation time to take some time off. The first week I was in no condition to do anything, but last week I did do some work. I am glad I did – it will definitely keep my stress level in check. Mid day power naps have been glorious, especially as my sleep pattern has been inconsistent.
By the end of the first weekend, I weaned myself off the Oxycontin and now only take Tylenol as needed. I have had mostly soreness and discomfort at the incision area. I am not moving a lot (the brace definitely helps with that) and am very conscious of keeping my knee bent AT ALL TIMES. The one time that I did contract my hamstring (by accident) it hurt like hell.
The brace is defiantly doing it’s job of immobilizing me and needless to say it is cumbersome and uncomfortable. I cannot sit up straight in bed and sleeping has been a challenge as my knee has to remain bent. I am a huge stomach sleeper so its been a challenge to sleep on my back. The only times that I have felt comfortable taking it off is when I use my ice machine. My knee however is still in a bent position.
As for going to the bathroom – this might be a little TMI but the first week was a struggle. I was (and still am) numb in that area and could not (and honestly still cannot) sit on the toilet. I did try a raised toilet seat (FAIL) but at the end of the day just had to hover. It was only recently that I have been able to sit (with my right side being dead weight) somewhat. It’s also a pain because every time I go to the bathroom I have to take off the brace and then put it back on. Needless to say I am almost a pro at the one-legged Karate Kid crane.
The memory foam pads (linked above) for my crutches have been life savers as I think that I am going to be using them for the next 6 weeks.
As I mentioned I have pretty much stayed in the Recovery Room since my hamstring surgery. I kind of feel like Rapunzel. Luckily I can get in/out of the bed, maneuver to the bathroom when I want/need to, and should “make it work” working remotely. I cannot sit up (or in a chair for that matter) so it will be trial and error to get my Recovery Room turned into a comfortable work space.
Lastly – being pretty much immobile also means that I am highly (like 99.9% reliant) on Mark. He has been awesome, bringing me my meals as well as taking care of the house, working, and making sure Harley does not starve. It’s a big ask of him to do all this and he has (so far) had no complaints. I will keep you posted 😉
Tuesday – First Post Op Appointment
I’m pretty excited for Tuesday for two reasons. 1) I get to leave the house and go outside for the first time in 2 weeks! and 2) I have my first post op appointment!!!
To be honest I am not sure what to expect. I know that there might not be much that will change BUT I am hoping to maybe be able to start Physical Therapy (for stretching) and maybe he will change the position of my brace to give me a bit more “wiggle room” for sitting.
I will keep you posted!