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Does Your TKR Involve Nerve Damage?

Hi everyone…It’s been 6.75 years since my tkr and I’ve received a number of inquiries about how my knee is doing and what others can expect.

As I’ve mentioned before, everyone recuperates at their own pace. My tkr knee still looks a little “fatter” than my other knee. Depending upon the level of my physical activity, sometimes it just swells up more than usual. It’s usually not painful.

What is painful, however, is the extensive nerve damage left behind from my bone spurs. Bone spurs developed on each side of my knee to the point where they were digging into my nerves. I was told the tkr would not correct the nerve damage, but would make the knee pain go away. I was fine with that.

This pain is exacerbated by swimming, but I don’t care. I’d rather have pain than no swimming.
In addition to the swimming times, this nerve pain can happen anywhere, any time. There does not seem to be any rhyme nor reason. The pain always runs from my lower spine down the side of my tkr leg.

Some times the pain goes along with a tingling sensation that goes from my knee down to my ankle. It’s a strange feeling. The tingling shows up sporadically and unexpectedly.

The pain and tingling will go away when my leg is elevated and resting. Ice helps and so does aspirin. Gentle side bends and toe touches also help alleviate some of the pain. Dealing with this pain is no big deal to me. It’s 100-percent better than the complete knee pain I had prior to my tkr.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns. The site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 30+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.






Thank You Booktoots’ Supporters…

Hi everyone. It’s that time again to say “thank you” for visiting and playing an active role in helping this site succeed. I appreciate all you do. Whether it is reading through the posts, commenting about your current situation, or encouraging other readers, thank you for taking time out of your day to participate.
Best of luck to everyone. Kindly share this site with others you know could benefit.
Find interesting? Kindly share…






Leg Straightening Exercises After A TKR

Hi everyone. I’ve received numerous emails about leg straightening exercises and believe reposting this previous article is in order…Enjoy!

There have been a number of blog posts written about ways to straighten your leg after undergoing a total knee replacement. I have used them and they work well. The basic exercise is there, but it is always fun to see these exercises in a different perspective – how they can be individualized to suit each patient’s needs.

I recently received some interesting information from Monique, one of my favorite contributors who just underwent a tkr herself. Her helpful suggestions put a different spin on some traditional leg straightening exercises to do during the tkr recuperation process. I thought her variations would be fun to share with everyone. They are as follows, in her words:

1.Lie on the bed and extend the TKR leg and place the heel on a rolled up towel so that the leg is slanted, not touching the bed. Then take a phone book, open it in half and place it across the knee. Stay in position for about 4 minutes. (I had to work up to this because it hurt when I first began doing this.)

2)Another exercise for straightening the leg…Lie face down on bed and let your leg hang over the edge of the bed about at the knee. Add a weight on the ankle of the TKR knee. I put the strap of my purse on my ankle and let the bag hang down. Stay in position for about 4 minutes or as long as your can stand it.

I like the idea of the phone book as a weight in exercise #1. And, the idea of using a purse strap in exercise #2 is very ingenious, in my opinion. :)

Thanks, Monique. I’m sure others will enjoy these exercises as well. Well, maybe not enjoy them (due to pain, you know..), but will get great use out of them. :)

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!






3 Natural Ways To Decrease TKR Pain

Hi everyone. Anyone who regularly visits this site knows that I firmly believe in natural remedies as much as possible. After having recent bouts of extreme neuropathy pain caused by previous bone spurs, I needed to find new ways to reduce pain without prescription drugs…The neuropathy is located on the left side of my tkr. (I had to fit in tkr so the search engines love it…:) ) Here’s the scoop…..

1) Mattress rotation. It turns out one night I noticed that when laying flat on my back, my hip bones were uneven. My right one was about 1/2” higher than my left one. I also noticed that when I elevated my left hip, the neuropathy pain increased. So…an inspection was to begin.

It turns out the center portion of my mattress was caving in, or sinking. This slight alteration was causing my body to become slightly misaligned. Hence…the increased pain.

We all hear about the importance of flipping over the mattress so even depreciation takes place. It extends the mattress’ useful life, for one thing. It also plays a key role in keeping the spinal column as straight as possible..in my case, anyways.

Rotating and flipping the mattress over helped tremendously.

2) Massage. The source of the neuropathy is a nerve bundle in my lower spinal column (coccyx) area. Massaging this area helps.

3) Hot tubs with jets. Jets pointed at the nerve bundle massage the area and decrease pain for an extended period of time. Two drawbacks: a) I don’t like public hot tubs; b) the heat quickens my swimsuit depreciation, it will shorten the life span of my swimsuit. Heat expands elasticity.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing. Any similar stories? Feel free to share….

Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!






Sleeping After A TKR

I noticed there has been quite a few inquiries into this blog lately regarding sleeping after a tkr. I have written about this before, but thought I would update the information.

It took me a good, solid 10 months after my tkr before I could sleep comfortably without waking up in pain. It took 6 months just to be able to turn onto my side, and even though I could do that, it was not without pain.

I think sleeping comfortably after a tkr is a very underrated issue. So many nights I woke up yelling since I moved my leg the wrong way, unintentionally. My leg could not lay flat and my hamstring was still stretching out. That’s painful. And, painful is an understatement. Moving my tkr leg to the side was painful. I couldn’t bend my knee without pain. All in all, ouch…

Pain meds did not work on me. They usually caused me breathing problems. They certainly did not take care of any pain. The term “pain med” is a joke to me, actually. Icing provided the best relief. Plus, it’s cheaper.

I feel for anyone going through the initial phases of a tkr recuperation. Sleeping does not come easily. I remember telling a friend, 10 months after my tkr, how it was the first night I slept through the entire night. It was after eating a bowl of seafood chowder. Man, did that taste good. And, I slept.

Hope this helps anyone going through the same thing….

Find interesting? Kindly share….Thanks!






Gentle Massaging & A TKR

Hi my favorite readers! It’s so great hearing from everyone who takes the time to leave comments. It always provides valuable feedback that informs, enlightens and entertains everyone. One subject was recently brought up that sparked a new post. It’s about massaging the tkr area.

Here’s an article I wrote about massaging after a tkr that I believe is appropriate for sharing again…

After my wound bandage and staples were removed, I found massage to be invaluable for easing discomfort levels. I would very gently rub along each side of my tkr scar. During the initial stages, my knee would be elevated on a pillow while I sat on a sofa. Eventually, I would gently bend the knee and massage it with my fingertips. Circular motions over the top and bottom portions of the scar worked well, too.

Sometimes massaging the inner and outer knee edges does wonders for pain. I’ve written previously about having severe neuropathy along the outer portion of my tkr. This was caused by a bone spur. It will never go away. The pain level varies. It’s part of life and I don’t worry about it. When it does get bothersome, however, I find that a gentle massage with my fingertips works wonders. So does icing. :) When I use an exercise machine, I put extra cushioning over the area to protect the nerves.

Applying light circular pressure to my inner tkr side eases the pain. When done slowly, it feels wonderful. You may receive the same relief.

When my scar was completely healed, I started massaging the entire tkr knee area. Even to this day, just a simple up and down movement feels very relaxing. I use my entire hand for this one. Usually, my palm will begin to warm up the knee area. If there is any pain, it definitely lessens with this easy massage.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

Find interesting? Kindly share….Thanks!







Finding Inspiration During Recuperation

Hi everyone. As anyone knows, any type of recuperation process is difficult, time consuming, and sometimes overwhelming. This is especially true with a tkr. With all the exercises, lack of sleep, and hard work involved, it is too easy to get caught up in your individual situation. We need to find a light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s always informative reading through comments posted throughout this site. There seems to be an underlying theme found in most of the posts. That theme is inspiration. Most people find it some source or manner. It all varies with the individual. So…it brought some memories of how inspiration played a key role in my life while recuperating from my car accident. Here’s the story…

I was in a body cast, visiting the doctor monthly. The doctor’s appointment was the only time I got out other than to walk the block daily. One time, after much pressure, I went on a date. If you think dating is uncomfortable in everyday life, try doing it in a body cast. Ha!

Anyways, I was all wrapped up in myself and my current situation. I needed hope. I needed to know that more existed than my continual, miniscule steps toward learning how to independently walk again.

One night I turned on the television and there was Jacques Cousteau. Back then he had an hour-long show on Thursday nights. Each episode focused on introducing us to one ocean-dwelling marine species. Suddenly, my perspective changed. It gave me something to look forward to. What was I going to learn next?

Here I was one single individual (a small speck on the earth’s surface) learning about an entire species. I was also learning how that same species was under attack by human encroachment. I saw the marvel of lobsters walking single file over the ocean’s surface by using telepathic communication. At the end of the episode we heard about how the lobster industry hones in on, and disrupts, this natural process. I learned about the wonderful, peaceful manatees and how they are affectionately known as the “gentle giants”. They were a sight to behold. At the end of the episode we learned about how boat propellers were damaging/killing them.

I remember an episode about killer whales. We learned about these beautiful wonders, their intelligence, communication skills, and other magnificent insight only he was capable of presenting so compellingly. Then, he started discussing these mammals being kept in captivity. Cousteau emphasized how it was only a matter of time before these majestic creatures rebelled. Have you seen the movie “Black Fish”? Case closed.

Every episode featured the Calypso, his research vessel. The Calypso was a converted WWII mine sweeper. After my recuperation process ended, I became a proud member of the “Friends of Calypso”, a group of supporters who kept the Calypso operating. I hung my Calypso flag proudly on my wall alongside my welcome letter, progress updates, current journey news, research projects, and other paraphernalia. It was a continual source of inspiration.

Anyways, be sure to find something that takes you outside of yourself. Be inspired. It will improve your motivation, outlook on life, and enhance your body’s healing capabilities.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

For those wanting more information about the Cousteau Society, here is a link to their website:
Cousteau Society

Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns. The site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 30+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.








Kneeling Exercises For a TKR

Hi everyone. One of my readers, Sharon, recently asked me if there was any specific exercise I did so I was able to kneel. Since I have had more than one other person ask me the same question, I thought devoting an entire post to the topic is in order.

First of all, let me say that kneeling is not recommended by some surgeons. Not all patients can do it. Just because I can do it, does not necessarily mean you have the capabilities of doing it. With that waiver being out of the way….

The only exercises I did involved the traditional total knee replacement exercises that improve the knee’s flexibility. There are so many of them scattered throughout literature and my site. Some that come to mind include…

Gently rocking in a chair, sitting in a chair and gently sliding the upper body forward until a stretch is felt in the tkr knee, knee bends, gentle squats, and water aerobics.

Take a look around this site and find complete articles on the topic. You can also put the words “knee flexibility exercises” in the search box found in the upper right hand corner of my site.

Be aware that to this day, 6.75 years post-tkr, kneeling only occurs at a 95 degree angle. And…it’s not a pretty sight. It’s doable, but uncomfortable.

Anyways…hope this helps others going through the same thing.

If you want to learn more about the Cousteau Society…here is their website:

Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns. The site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 30+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.








Robin Williams Dies At Age 63

Hi everyone. I just received news that Robin Williams has died. I don’t know about you, but I am completely shocked and dismayed. We have lost a very talented, creative, and gifted individual who has provided us with years of pure entertainment. R.I.P. Robin Williams

Find interesting? Kindly share…








Baking Soda To The Rescue

Hi everyone. We all know the importance of using natural products for solutions to a number of concerns. Well, baking soda has been around for longer than most of us have been alive. Here are some all-natural ways to handle situations that traditionally use harmful chemicals:

Bug bites.
Warm weather brings with it a slew of insects. Insect bites can happen before you even realize it. Did you know that baking soda is an ideal product to reduce swelling, itchiness, and redness? It is extremely low cost, odorless, and easy to use. Here’s what you do…
Get a small container
Put in about a teaspoon of baking soda.
Add a small amount of water.
Mix thoroughly until you get a thick paste consistency.
Spread on the insect bite.
Be sure to thoroughly cover the bite.
Let dry for a few minutes.
Put a bandaid on if you are planning on wearing clothing.

Store any leftover paste in an airtight container for future use.

I find this solution particularly beneficial since getting bit by a mosquito on my tkr leg. The itching was unbearable. This remedy was remarkably quick and convenient.

Coffee Pot or Carafe Cleaning
Handle those hard-to-clean carafes by sprinkling 1-2 teaspoons baking soda into them.
Add some water
I like adding enough water to fill the entire carafe
Let sit for whatever time amount you prefer
Pour out cleaning solution
Rinse container thoroughly with water
Dry

All Types of Odors
Baking soda is a wonderful odor killer.
Lightly sprinkle some over your garbage bag.

An open baking soda container put in the corner of your refrigerator will also cut down on
odors.

Sprinkle some baking soda into your shoes to help remove moisture and odor

These are just some suggestions I have used and found very helpful. They save tons of money at the store. Plus, they do not harm the atmosphere or your health.

Good luck!

Find interesting? Kindly share…

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns. The site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 30+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.