After Surgery: 6 Week Update
Yesterday we took Lucy over to Blue Pearl again for her 6 week checkup. This is a standard visit with X-rays of the leg to make sure everything is still intact.
If you remember, during Lucy's surgery, the doctors deepened the groove in her knee so her kneecap would have an easier time staying in place, and they put some pins in her kneecap as well to make sure everything is really in place. You can take a look here as to how the pins were in place.
These pins can come out of place, and if they do, you would notice a bulge in the kneecap and feel a pocket of fluid. You should call up your vet or surgeon, and they would make an appointment to make a small incision and pull the pins out. This isn't a big deal if they do come out. But in theory, they would just stay in the knee forever.
Lucy's, as you can see from the x-rays, are still intact. The surgeon said she was making really good progress overall, which is exactly what we like to hear!
We were pretty worried about this appointment because Lucy has had a roller coaster of a recovery. One day she'd be perfect and happy and putting weight on the leg, and the next day she'd be still perfect, but limping more and avoiding use of her leg.
We chatted with the surgeon, and these types of highs and lows are normal for patellar luxation recovery. They are to be expected for about 6 more weeks, so 12 weeks total from the date of surgery. I'm not sure exactly why there are highs and lows, but hearing that from the surgeon brought a lot of peace of mind about Lucy's day to day recovery. Apparently, it's just the way the leg heals.
Until this point, we'd been doing three to four 7 minute walks with Lucy throughout the day. The surgeon advised that we start doing about 15 minutes at a time--we want to push her a little to rebuild any lost muscle mass. (Lucy has lost 5 lbs btw since she had surgery)
If we wanted to, we can start physical therapy again for her. Since we'd already done a ton of PT classes with her before we knew what her injury was, we're going to start putting those exercises we learned to good use.
So that's the plan for the next six weeks. Up the monitored exercise little by little, and make Lucy's legs stronger than they were before :)
TLDR: Lucy is doing well, and we're going to work on making her leg stronger now