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I had a stoke in September, diagnosed in October and started PT in December. Since the start of PT my balance has improved and fatigue has lessened significantly.  My affected side has grown a little stronger overall. All this is great. However, I have a weakness in and around  my knee area that has not improved or perhaps even gotten worse. Even when I am sitting sometimes it feels very fatigued.  My PT is nor more a fitness routine. Am I missing something I should be doing or considering which could help with this?

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Hi Mark

 

My stroke was a while back (about 3 years), but I still remember quite clearly how long it took before thing settled.  Expect to see improvement in many areas over time.  My resilience to fatigue overall has improved over the entire time.  However, there are times when I feel some or other function affected more than others (legs, an arm, cognition, vision ...).  This comes and goes depending on what I have been doing, how tired I am, what parts of my brain have been working hard.

 

My left leg felt really weak when I was in rehab.  Measured by the OT, it was marginally stronger than my right.  Now, whenever my left leg start to feel week, I know that its time to take a break and preferably a nap.

 

Bottom line, expect on-going improvement, and learn to recognize the signals that your brain is giving you -- they are likely to be confused.

 

Good luck, and welcome

 

      paul

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Mark, Know too that different parts of your body will heal at different rates, and may not heal sequentially. It's like the healing is random, and not in any particular order. For instance, my hand and shoulder both loosened up long before my elbow area, so I was unable to raise my arm over my head for several weeks until my elbow healed more. Logically, you would expect the healing process to be sequential, or hand, elbow, shoulder, or shoulder, elbow, hand, but it doesn't always do what's "logical".

Secondly, you are new to the recovery journey, and some things just come back with very little encouragement, others take longer. As you move down the recovery road, you will probably find that fewer and fewer things come back so easily or quickly.

Third, knee problems are very common among survivors. Many of us have to wear AFO'S partially because our ankles are not getting the support that they need from the knees. I have to wear a full-leg brace for this reason and also my knee tends to hyper-extend.

None of this is meant to say that your knee won't get better. There are several reasons that it is not better now, that's all.  If your knee continues to give you problems- and it might, as there are no guarantees- there are products that can help you such as AFO 'S, FULL LEG BRACES, WALKERS,CANES ETC.Your PT will suggest what she/he thinks would work best for you or if you even need one.

You're doing great! Just continue working with your therapists as long as you can.    Good luck, Becky

 

 

 

 

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Thanks to both of you for your replies. I am thankful progress is being made and it is good to hear that after this length of time more progress is possible. 

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Hi Mark, You are just starting out. Stroke recovery is measured in years not months.  So long as you keep working on it things will improve, not fast or necessarily sequentially. Do not give up on anything you want to do. Just remember "I can't today" doesn't mean "I won't ever".

 

Talk to your therapy team about exercises to strengthen/improve your knee, but also realise that knee strength and control comes from the full muscle chain so the actual problem could be a weak ankle or hip or it can just be that the muscles are not yet working together properly.  Braces and AFOs can support a joint and help prevent damage but they also usually don't allow you to strengthen the muscle pattern you need. So if you go for a brace try to only use it in high risk situations and leave it off for PT and specific exercising.  Otherwise you become completely dependent on it and that becomes a drag long term.

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