Let me detail what I saw as progress during my time in the hospital from day 2. The measures of progress below are not listed in any order of importance or time.
The items that showed me that I was making progress included
• Increased ability to move around
• Being able to get in and out of bed with less effort
• Being able to use the toilet effectively
• Showering without any assistance
• Having greater energy to do exercises and to do the exercises more often and more effectively with less and less pain or awkwardness
• Using the walker more often and extending the distance I walked each time
• Learning to walk with two crutches
• Using just one crutch
• Learning to walk up and down stairs with one crutch
• Getting my knee to bend past the 90 degree mark
• Feeling my balance improving over the 6 days
• The easing of my constipation and the lessening of the nausea I felt as a result of the pain medication
• The removal of the padding around my leg plus the condition of the wound where the incision was made on my knee when it was redressed
• The removal of the pressure bandage on my left leg
• That my sleeping pattern was getting back to normal
• The lessening of pain.
Then, of course, importantly, the specialist’s opinion on the progress I was making. His professional experience will tell you where your progress is in terms of progress made by his past patients. For me personally, I was already ahead of most patients. This was because, he said, I was proactive with the amount of exercising I was doing each day. The other reason was the strength of the muscles around the knee that enabled me to do the exercise with less pain. This muscle definition around my knee came from riding a bike for 30 minutes a day once I knew the operation was a certainty.