My recovery journey
Part II
Hey dears,
I am thrilled to update you on my recovery journey!

In this post I share the significant milestones, setbacks, and lessons I've encountered in my pursuit of healing my knee and regaining strength. As a dedicated dancer and teacher, this injury has definitely tested my resilience and determination. It's been almost a year since the injury occurred in July 2022, and I am eager to share the ups and downs, hoping that my experiences may serve as valuable insights for anyone facing a similar challenge.
Progress Since the Last Update

In my first post, I briefly touched on some improvements in my knee's range of motion and the reduction of pain in the back of my knee. As of today, I'm thrilled to share that my progress has exceeded my expectations. I can now fully stretch my knee without experiencing any discomfort. Being a hyperextended leg dancer, it's crucial for me to maintain proper alignment while stretching, so my goal isn't to stretch my knees into hyper-extension, but to aim for a straight line instead of a curve.
However, it's nice to feel my legs equally able to tense the quad muscle and achieve full range of motion without discomfort or pain. I credit this progress to consistent strength training with weights.

Moreover, my relationship with my thigh muscle has evolved significantly. For a considerable time, I hesitated to use it due to discomfort and sensations of pulling within my knee. However, incorporating a consistent routine of strength training with weights has helped me reconnect with and feel my thigh muscle more intensely. This breakthrough has been pivotal in my rehabilitation process.

Another significant milestone is that I no longer experience any knee pain in the back of my knee. My manual therapist identified the cause of this discomfort as a result of tension in the tibia muscle caused by unintentionally flexing my foot while walking and performing daily activities, as a means to stabilize my knee. Addressing this issue helped alleviate the pain, allowing me to bend my knee fully with ease. Now I can sit on my heels completely relaxing my body weight!

Relapse in February

After making progress I got sick during the winter time and couldn't continue training properly. Then came January and I was doing a lot of organisation and management work for a production of mine, so I didn't have the time and capacity to dedicate a lot of time to training, as other problems seemed more urgent.

All of these events led me to experience a setback in February, which was quite disheartening. It happened during a Dance & Basketball class in the midst of an enthusiastic game. I got very determined and involved in the game, which lead me to take more aggressive steps while running away and this caused my knee gave way... again. Staying calm on the outside, I immediately stopped the activity and applied ice to reduce swelling. However inside I was devastated and full of uncertainty and fear. Did I tear other ligaments? Did I injure my meniscus?

An MRI later revealed that no additional ligaments were torn, which was a relief. However, this setback affected my wish to track my ACL's healing progress so far. My initial idea was to make an MRI after 6-7 months to see if it healed or not but this relapse made it impossible for me to ever know the state of my knee up until that point.

Seeking Professional Rehabilitation

After this setback, I realized the importance of comprehensive rehabilitation. I began researching and asking for professional rehab centers and decided to give Proreha Frankfurt a try. The facility had a reputation for working with professional athletes, including dancers, which gave me hope for a tailored training plan to fit my needs as a dancer.

At the rehab center, the trainer analyzed my knee and developed a personalized training program, based on the Melbourne ACL Recovery Guide. He set a specific goal for me: to be able to leg press one and a half times my body weight with my injured leg to prevent further injuries and stabilize my leg. This target gave me a sense of direction and motivation to work diligently towards increasing strength and stability.
May 2023, excercises on the Bosu ball
Embracing Strength Training and the Gym

Incorporating strength training has been a pivotal aspect of my rehabilitation journey. My newfound enthusiasm for the gym, where I've been focusing on various exercises with weight, has been instrumental in strengthening my muscles and improving overall knee stability. While my gym visits may vary due to life's demands, I remain steadfast in my commitment to this crucial element of my recovery.

Enhancing Balance and Stability with the Bosu Ball

The Bosu ball has become an invaluable tool in my rehabilitation journey. By incorporating exercises that challenge my balance and target my inner muscles, I have noticed significant improvements in my overall stability and control. My feet may burn from the intensity, but the benefits are undeniable!

Continued Ups and Downs

As life itself, my journey continues to be characterized by fluctuations. Recently, I experienced some clicking in the back of my kneecap, which raised concerns. My rehab coach suggested some exercises with elastic bands to address the issue and create space in the joint by pulling the knee out. This, along with a foot exercise did the trick immediately and relieved the clicking!

It's incredible what balance between the different muscles around the knee is needed, in order to keep it healthy. I continue to monitor my knee and adjust depending on my needs.
Final Thoughts
Throughout these past months, I've come to realize the importance of strength training and how it contributes to my knee stability, as well as my overall well-being.

Through the highs and lows, I remain committed to achieving my ultimate goal of a healthy, fully functional knee. My journey may be ongoing, but I have discovered the power of fortitude, professional guidance (physical and psychological), supplements and the right rehabilitation plan in the pursuit of healing.

Thank you for joining me on this road to recovery. I hope my detailed account and experiences serve as a source of inspiration and insight for those facing similar challenges. Remember, every individual's recovery journey is unique, and I encourage you to listen to your body, seek professional advice, and maintain unwavering determination on the path to healing.
Stay positive, stay strong, and let us continue this journey together!
I also made a Youtube video, talking about this recovery period, feel free to check it out: