2020 Post-MUA Recovery
An interview with Carol Paukner.
- Leg injuries 9-11-2001, Tower Two, World Trade Center
- Left Knee Replacement 8-26-2019
- Left Knee Manipulation Under Anesthesia 12-2-2019
- X10 Recovery Begins 12-21-2019
- Near Full Recovery/Time of This Interview: 1-18-2020 (2020 Post-MUA Recovery)
World Trade Center, Tower Two, 9-11-2001
Both of my knees were injured on 9/11. I was crushed in Tower Two when it collapsed. I had immediate surgeries, right after 9/11. And then with all the other surgeries and injuries, I was in a process of recovery for a very long time. In fact, I’m still in the process of physical recovery from 9/11. I have neck injuries, back injuries, knees, shoulder, and foot. This knee is a 9/11 injury that I’ve just been dealing with over the years.
For my knees, I took gel shots, chicken shots, any shots that I could to try to put off major surgery. I had a plasma replacement therapy (PRP), which worked awesomely. All these things just bought me time until one day I just said I can’t take this pain anymore and I’m going to have my left knee replaced first because that’s the more injured knee.
Total Knee Replacement 8-21-2019
On August 21, 2019, I had my left knee replaced. It was robotic surgery. Everything went well with the surgery and the replacement, but the recovery was a different story. I just could not gain full range-of-motion had severe pain, swelling, all these things that I thought would eventually go away. They did not go away. They just lingered and I could not recover and get my mobility back; my extension, my flexion or my strength. There were so many nights that I was up walking the house crying with the pain, trying to figure out what I was going to do. And Googling what other people did, to see what my next step was going to be on how to get better. I went to my doctor and he said to me that I needed a manipulation of the knee so that I could get my mobility back.
Manipulation Under Anesthesia 12-2-2019
On December 2, 2019, I had that procedure done. This was supposed to be the answer to the knee recovery challenge that I was experiencing.
But my knee was locked even after that procedure. I could not gain good flexion or extension. So I went back to the doctor and he said to me, “Work as hard as you can. And in the new year, we’re going to take another look at this. Hopefully, you will have your range of motion back.” But, that never happened.
So I had a meltdown. In December I developed a severe drop foot, and I could not walk. I was only able to get around by using a walker. I didn’t know what to do. I went to my primary care physician who put me on some steroids and an anti-inflammatory. During this time I contacted X10 Therapy and ordered an X10 machine for a few weeks.
X10 Therapy Start 12-21-2019
On December 21, 2019, the X10 was delivered. With this device, I knew that I still had some hope to get my extension, flexion, strength and my function back. I was ready for a successful 2020 post-MUA recovery.
This Interview 1-18-2020
And here we are. I have my extension back. I’m working very hard on my flexion. My muscles in my leg are now much more developed from working on this machine. I am off the walker and cane at home, but still use a cane out of the home for safety reasons, as directed by my doctor. I have 112º flexion (from 85º when I started on the X10) and now have perfect extension, zeroº (a huge change from -28º before X10).
When you add it up that’s a gain of 27º flexion, and 28º extension: a total of 55º gain in my range-of-motion.
My surgeon was very surprised, very happy with my recovery. I told him that I was using the X10 and that I was on it three hours a day. And that I found it on the internet. He was just really amazed!!
I’m just thankful that this was the solution.
In the middle of December, I couldn’t even sit at a 90º angle without severe pain. Now I sit comfortably at a 90º angle even in a car. I had such severe drop-foot that I never thought I would walk again without a walker, let alone be able to walk with a cane. And now I walk around my house unassisted.
To listen to the full interview with Carol (2020 Post-MUA Recovery), click on the Play button at the top of this page.
The X10 Meta-Blog
We call it a “Meta-Blog” because we step back and give you a broad perspective on all aspects of knee health, surgery and recovery such as 2020 Post-MUA Recovery.
In this one-of-a-kind blog we gather together great thinkers, doers, writers related to Knee Surgery, Recovery, Preparation, Care, Success and Failure. Meet physical therapists, coaches, surgeons, patients, and as many smart people as we can gather to create useful articles for you. Whether you have a surgery upcoming, in the rear-view mirror, or just want to take care of your knees to avoid surgery, you should find some value here. For more on MUA click here.
Two resources for you below. Both are email series that we created to help those who need some additional thinking for pre-surgery and post-surgery.