The Unbendable Knee. Stuck for More than Two Years. Now Free to Move.
a.k.a. “Frankly, my dear, I DO want to bend!”
by Tricia Lahmann, Health Coach, Knee Recovery Coach
One Man’s Comeback Story – New Hope in the World for the Unbendable Knee
Where to even BEGIN with this one. To keep it short and sweet, we were recently introduced to a man from our community in Florida who had been struggling with a very limited range of motion in his left leg. To put it in his own words, “I had a terrible experience with rehab after this knee was done!” Nice guy, but on this particular subject… NOT a happy camper. Not a good story (yet).
Meet Frank — athletic, avid golfer, disciplined fitness buff and gym-goer… a muscular 71 year-old young man enjoying life in north central Florida.
In early 2016, Frank underwent total knee replacement on his left leg, which went well. The next phase however proved to go NOT so well, and for one reason or another, Frank ended up living with a 102 – 103 degrees of flexion for the next 2+ years. “Normal” flexion for most of us is somewhere between 135 – 140 degrees, with nothing hindering us.
Frank was stuck! And it sure wasn’t for being unmotivated or lazy. Quite the opposite.
Fast forward to the first week of May, 2018. A neighbor friend who knows we serve on the Halley Orthopedics X10 Team here in Florida contacts us and tells us about his gym buddy, struggling with his sticky knee. We set up an appointment to have him use the X10 … and knowing the situation, I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t have very high hopes for much progress, considering how long ago his surgery was.
We often see patients who are only a few DAYS post-op, and we help them achieve rapid recovery and regain healthy range of motion within two to three weeks — but this is if we start them on the X10 right away. Once again, here’s Frank, stuck at 102 degrees of flexion for two YEARS and a few months. Hmm… yes indeed. We held back any excitement, we kept our words few, and certainly didn’t make any promises! Say a prayer, hope for the best, right? Let’s at least.. try.
In his first 30-minute X10 session, Frank started at 98 degrees to warm up for about 10 minutes.Then when he decided he was ready, he was able to bump that number to 99, then 100.. then pretty soon it was 102, which he said was actually a bit challenging, his knee feeling a little tight there. Minutes go by, we’re all chatting as his leg is slowly swinging along at a nice slow, passive-motion pace. He feels the stretching, and it’s coming along nicely, still moving forward and back.The session ends. Frank made it to 105 degrees. Small victory. Smiles all around, progress made, after one session. So maybe there’s more.. possibly.
Nine days pass, 27 or so X10 sessions under his belt, and Frank sends me the most glorious text. My eyes nearly pop out as I read it… “I just reached 130 this morning.” Um, mic drop! As they say.
A Solution to the Unbendable Knee
Amazed, stunned, and speechless, hope rising up in my heart, as a whole new sense of what’s possible for people struggling with those “sticky knees“… for YEARS. How many more are out there? How many more might be able to walk normally again, play sports again, ride a bike again, heck – sit down and stand up easily again? How many people have given up and maybe there’s a gentle solution that can restore THEIR hope, their walk, their legs, their lives?
Well, Frank and that knee of his. New story, much better now! Man, machine, miracles, prayers answered.
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.
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. Executive Editor: PJ Ewing (firstname.lastname@example.org)