Booktoots

How To Safely Maneuver Stairs, Steps and Ramps..especially after a TKR

Hi everyone.  As you all know, having knee issues presents a unique set of concerns regarding everyday life. One main issue is conquering elevated surfaces.  Here are some helpful suggestions on how to safely maneuver stairs, steps and ramps ..especially after a TKR or total knee replacement.

Back by popular demand..here is a previous post:

Test the Area
First and foremost, do a safety check. Not all stairs, steps, or ramps are created equally. Check the surface material. Is it wet, dry, asphalt, cement, rubber, etc.? The material will determine your caution level and the type of footwear needed.

Before starting any attempt, make certain you are comfortable using the surfaces. The step may be thicker (steeper) than the standard version we learned to use during tkr recuperation. It may be narrower, have rounded corners, or contain uneven surfaces. All of these factors matter.

For instance, the steeper the surface level, the more physical exertion needed. Rounded corners are easier to misjudge.

FOR UPSTAIRS MANEUVERING

Use Railings
I know this is common sense, but I have seen people too proud to use these helpful devices. Forget pride. Hold onto these with a firm grip whenever possible. They were developed for a reason. Always make certain they are securely attached to the wall before using to prevent injury. It is amazing how many times they are not secured.

Walk Sideways
Instead of taking the surface head-on, turn your body sideways. Place your “good” leg on the surface, then lift your body up until you are firmly on the surface. Don’t rush it. You will feel your quadriceps working.

“One Small Step”
Instead of alternating legs like you would when climbing stairs, place your “good” leg on the surface. Lift your body up until your knee is straight and supporting your body weight.

Gently lift your tkr (or hindered) leg and place it on the surface. Stand upright. Repeat this until you reach the top of the stairs, steps, and ramps.

To visualize this method…, you will be standing (full body) on a stair, step or ramp before moving to the next one.

Use a Cane or Crutch
This may take more time, but what’s the hurry? Remember that it is always better safe than sorry. Place the walking aide in your nonaffected-side hand. Hold firmly and apply pressure to lift your body weight up onto the stair, step, or ramp. When done correctly, your arm muscles will get a good workout.

FOR DOWNSTAIRS MANEUVERING

Walk Backwards
Turn your back to the stairs, steps, or ramp. You may feel strange, but forget what others think. Hold onto the railing, if available. Very slowly start walking backwards, one foot before the other.

When done correctly, you will feel your hamstrings (back of knee) muscles working while doing this maneuver to conquer stairs, steps, and ramps.

Walk Sideways
From personal experience…Avoid this method if you wear an external shoelift unless you have strong ankles. For all other interested parties, conquer the elevated surface by pretending you are a crab. Go slow and be successful.

Well, that’s all that comes to mind now about how to safely maneuver stairs, steps, and ramps. Do you have any suggestions on how you conquer these walking surfaces? We would love to hear from you !

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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 health concerns.

This multiple award-winning site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Patient Leader.

How To Exercise Without Exercising

Hi everyone. There is sometimes a stigma associated with the word “exercise”. At least that seems to be a popular misconception regularly expressed by many. So, I thought it would be helpful to post some tips for how to exercise without exercising.

1) Hamstring stretch. Sit on a firm chair. Scoot your body near the front of the chair. Straighten your legs so your heels are only touching the floor. Gently lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of your knees. Hold stretch for a few seconds.

2) Upper body stretch. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your hands above your head. Start picking imaginary apples from the top branch. Feel the stretch.

You can also do this stretching maneuver while sitting in any kind of chair.

3) Shoulder rolls. Shoulder rolls are wonderful ways to increase circulation and energy levels. Do them throughout the day, both forwards and backwards.

4) Spinal stretch. Stand up straight or sit in a firm chair. Extend your arms to the each side. Your body will resemble a “T”. Start gently rotating your body to the right, then to the left. If you are like me, you will instantly feel better.

This is enough for now on how to exercise without exercising. Remember, any amount of exercise is better than none at all. If the word “exercise” brings up images of pain, doom, and frustration – think of it as “moving around” in everyday life. Not everyone has that priviledge, you know.

Find this tkr blog post about how to exercise without exercising 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 health concerns.

This site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Patient Leader.

Insight Into Icing and a Total Knee Replacement

Here is  a reprint of one of my popular posts that I continually get requests for. Enjoy!

Hi my favorite readers! I just found out that some patients were not told about icing after having a total knee replacement done.  This is unbelievable to me.

Without icing, my knee would be so swollen and painful, it would be difficult to walk. Icing keeps the swelling in check. It also helps decrease the pain after exercising. In the hospital, I had ice on all the time.

Once getting home, I iced for about 2-3 hours per day – at least. I don’t believe those who say that it’s too much. I know it helped me out, so I don’t listen to naysayers.

Today, almost 5 months after my tkr, I still ice after exercising.  It’s usually for about 30 minutes now.  I know I need icing when I can feel my knee and it’s warm after exercising.  That means it got a workout (my PT lady told me that 🙂 )

Prior to my tkr, I used to think icing and ice packs were a waste of time.  My, how times have changed during my tkr recuperation.  🙂

NOTE: Just be sure not to ice for so long that your tkr knee skin freezes! It can happen. That is one crazy experience.

Icing rocks!

Find this tkr blog post about icing and a total knee replacement  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 health concerns.

This award-winning site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author, tkr blogger, and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Leader.

8 Ways To Speed Up Your Total Knee Replacement Recuperation

Hi everyone. I have been receiving inquiries from many of you for ways to speed up a total knee replacement recuperation. Here is an updated article I wrote when going through the initial tkr rehab. The information still holds true today.

Having your tkr surgery is only part of the process. How you deal with the total knee replacement recuperation that allows you to effectively utilize use your new bionic knee is another segment. It, actually, is the hardest part. Only you can determine the extent of your success.

Below are some ways I have noticed an improvement in my own total knee replacement recuperation. My knee is getting better every day because of them. They may work for you.

Drum roll, please….

1. Become mobile as quick as possible. Every hour on the hour, get up and walk around. Your level of total knee replacement recuperation (and physical therapist) will determine whether you use a walking aide.

2. Do as much as you can for yourself. Do not rely on others when you can easily (or not that easily) do it yourself. You will only be hurting yourself.

3. Know that it will be painful. You cannot get around having pain after a major surgery. That’s common sense, but I was completely unprepared for the immense pain afterwards.

4. Take a pain med prior to your exercise. I find that 30-minutes beforehand works best for me. Taking the med takes the edge off of the discomfort you will feel during movements. Of course, your pain meds will decrease as time goes on and your level of recuperation increases.  The sooner the better, I say.

5. Set a goal for your knee flexibility. Increase in small increments. Find a ‘hash mark’ on the floor that you want to stretch your foot to. Lift your leg farther than an earlier attempt.  Your physical therapist can help with this.

6. Keep icing. After every total knee replacement recuperation exercise routine, I use a variety of icing methods. The best is a simple ice pack. You can buy them prepared or make your own. Simply put some ice cubes in a sealable plastic bag. Cover your knee with a towel before applying. I have also found that frozen peas & carrots work well.

7. Elevate. Keep your leg elevated when not exercising. This helps the healing process.

8. Exercise! Keep exercising, even when done doing physical therapy. In addition to doing your recuperation maneuvers, add walking and/or other physical activity to your daily routine. This is essential for your overall success.

Total knee replacement recuperation takes effort, determination, and perseverance. There were many times when, if looks could kill, my physical therapist wouldn’t be there.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing. Good luck and keep at it!

Find my tkr blog post about 7 ways to speed up your total knee replacement recuperation 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.

This award-winning tkr blogger site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Patient Leader.

Proudly Announcing Being Nominated For WEGO Health Award

Hello everyone. I am honored to announce my being nominated for the upcoming WEGO Health Patient Leader awards. For the Best in Community class.

Here is a link for more information. https://www.wegohealth.com/MarieBucknerakaBooktoots/awards

This humbling nomination could not have been done without your kind support. THANK YOU!!

As more information about voting becomes available, I will share the news with you. Enjoy…

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 health concerns.

This award-winning site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author, tkr blogger, and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 45+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Patient Leader.

Memorial Day

Even though remembering our military personnel throughout the year needs to be done, today is Memorial Day in the United States. This day is set aside to specifically pay tribute to our fallen heroes who sacrificed their life for our country and freedoms we many times take for granted.


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 health concerns.

This multiple award-winning site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author, tkr blogger, and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Patient Leader.

Proudly Announcing Newly Updated TKR Water Exercises Ebook

Hi everyone! We all know the importance of exercising regularly after having a total knee replacement, or for simply living a healthier lifestyle. So…I am pleased to announce the release of my newly updated 38-page tkr water exercise ebook titled “Water Exercising After A TKR”….

As soon as possible after my tkr, I began using water as my exercise medium. Water’s buoyancy supports body weight, making it less stressful on joints. YAY! It also is easier to move in water.

I developed many of the water exercises, while others are time-tested by exercise professionals. All prove very useful for my tkr recuperation and lifestyle. So..I am sharing my insight to hopefully help you! Water makes exercising fun!! Yes, you read that correctly. Fun!

In addition to the knee exercises, you will gain insight on exercises for warming up, hands/wrists, upper arms, abdominals, and lower body. In other words, a complete workout.

There are also chapters on safety, nutrition, and benefits. Do you know what treading is? Well, turn to Chapter V. (Yes, I use Roman numerals. I happen to like them!)

You do not have to be a swimmer to utilize these my water exercises for tkr patients. There are exercises for shallow to deep water depths. All the exercises can be done by almost anyone, even those not having a total knee replacement. The majority of people can benefit from water exercises.

Thanks for taking the time to read this tkr blog post about my updated ebook titled ‘Water Exercises For TKR Patients’. Here’s hoping you find it useful and take action!

To purchase the ebook, click on the Buy Now button below. You will be taken to a PayPal page to complete the transaction. YOU DO NOT NEED PAYPAL TO BUY THE BOOK!

Once I receive confirmation of your purchase, I will transmit the PDF-formatted ebook via email.

Find this total knee replacement blog post about my water exercises for tkr ebook interesting? Kindly share….Thank you!

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 health concerns.

This award-winning tkr blogging site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author, and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Patient Leader.

Gratitude For Shoe Lifts

Hi everyone! Some may think that wearing an orthopedic shoe lift is a hindrance. After wearing an external 1.75″ version for over 45 years, it is easy to become frustrated. Part of my post-tkr includes adjusting my shoe lifts. It is difficult. So..that is why I have sat down and developed reasons on why I have gratitude for shoe lifts…orthotics.

Decreased back pain. Properly sized shoe lifts straighten your spine. When this happens, spinal alignment improves and everything starts to function at an improved level. The risks of developing pinched nerves, internal organ stress, strained muscles, and other conditions diminish.

Lessens leg length discrepancy. People with even length legs likely take this for granted. Us with leg length discrepancies know better. When one leg is shorter than the other, all kinds of health concerns result. A properly-sized shoe lift will improve the situation.

Better balance. An imbalanced body lays the foundation for a number of mental and physical ailments. Shoe lifts even out your body.

Better mental functioning. Something as insignificant as a shoe lift can improve your mental outlook. Nothing is more pleasurable than being able to walk without pain and/or discomfort.

Less strain. Failing to wear a shoe lift when needed results in placing extra strain on your opposite side. Your “good side” will be taking the brunt of pressure. This can result in muscle swelling/inflammation, painful hip and/or knee joint, and lower back pain.

Puddles. Depending upon the thickness of one’s shoe lift, puddles can easily be walked through. Your shoe will not get wet, unlike your “regular” shoe. This statement applies to shallow streams, also.

Self defense. If someone starts to give the wearer a hard time, the shoe lift can be used to place a heavy kick to the groin. (That is if you can lift your leg that much. :)) The extra weight will make for an extra punch.

Toe stomping. Shoe lifts are perfect for this. If needed, it could be part of self defense. This is especially true for an external lift.

Bug killing. The extra weight of a noticeably-sized shoe lift can provide for an easy kill of bugs that are otherwise hard to eradicate (such as a Palmetto bug..aka heavy duty cockroach.)

Just properly position your shoe over the critter and press down firmly. It saves the little critter from experiencing a lingering death. Be sure to apologize to them before the killing process, though. They usually don’t mean any harm.

Gait. I can’t think of anything funny about this, though. 🙁 Just a plain and simple, hard, cold fact. It has helped out tremendously since my total knee replacement.

Why am I writing this blog post? I have been wearing a shoe lift for so long, I forget that others are confused about wearing this walking aid. Numerous people have approached me asking for insight. Hope this helps others going through the same thing…

Thanks for visiting and taking the time to read my tkr blogger post! Hope it helps you and others going through a similar situation.

Find this tkr blog post about having gratitude for shoe lifts 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.

This award-winning site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

How To Use Recliners for TKR Hamstring Exercise

Hi everyone. Strengthening the hamstrings (muscles along knee backside) is important for everyone, especially us tkr (total knee replacement) recipients. I found another way to exercise this muscle recently and thought I would share. Please remember, I started doing this maneuver three years post-tkr, so don’t try this if you are new to the tkr recuperation stage. How to use recliners for tkr hamstring exercise.

Use a recliner that requires manually pushing the foot portion down while returning to the upright position is needed. No knobs allowed. Only muscle power.

Instead of using your good knee/leg to push the section down, use your tkr leg. Push on the extended segment with your ankle and calf. You are bound to feel your hamstring muscle working. In my beginning stagec, I could not completely return the chair to its upright original position.  I could, however,  apply enough pressure to work my muscle. Your situation may differ.

Try this and see if it works. You may be surprised how weak your hamstring still is (as in my case). I could barely even make a dent on my original attempt. Yikes..With time and practice, however, my hamstring was strong enough to reach this goal.  The goal being to return the chair to its upright position using only my tkr leg.

Take it easy while doing this maneuver and don’t blame me if anything goes wrong. (disclaimer here..)

Good luck! Hope this total knee replacement blog post about how to use recliners for tkr hamstring exercise helps others going through the same thing.

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 health concerns.

This award-winning site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author, tkr blogger, and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through similar experiences.

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TKR Leg Straightening Exercises That Make a Difference

Hi everyone. I’ve been receiving numerous emails about tkr leg straightening exercises. It seems that an update to a previously popular article is in order. I am leaving the original comments intact so you can gain further insight.

Leg straightening was of particular interest to me during my initial tkr recuperation stages. I had to spend extra time working on this area to make my leg (knee) lie flat on any surface. You are probably the same way.

Hope the following information is useful to you..

Search online and you will notice that 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. Even though the basic exercise maneuver and format is there, it is always interesting to see these exercises from a different perspective. All variations can be individualized to suit individual needs.

I love sharing insight from my readers. In this instance, it is 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 helpful to share with everyone. I have tested each maneuver and can attest to its legitimacy. 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. 🙂 Since I have tried both and received positive results…I am sharing with you!

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 this total knee replacement blog post about tkr leg straightening exercises 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 health concerns.

The site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Patient Leader.

The Importance of Icing After A TKR

Hi everyone. The importance of icing after a tkr cannot be overemphasized, especially during recuperation. I have always found icing to be the best pain killer. Plus, it’s cheap and easy. It’s time consuming, though.

Icing in 10-minute increments is recommended immediately after exercise. I actually went for longer time periods. It can be tiresome having to ice every single day, sometimes multiple times during the day. It beats pain meds, though and is definitely worth the time.

I am 18 months post tkr and I still ice if I feel I need it. My knee just doesn’t hurt anymore. It’s still swollen, however. I was told by my surgeon that it probably always will be. That’s fine with me.

The manner in which my tkr knee area is supposedly permanently swollen differs from how it swelled up after exercise during my very early total knee replacement recuperation phase, though.

During the first weeks post-tkr- after exercise it was tender and pink. Now it’s not. It just looks like a fat knee with a large scar going down the center of it.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing. Ice, ice, ice. It’s important after a tkr.

Find this tkr blog post about the importance of icing after a tkr interesting? Kindly share with…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 health concerns.

This multiple award-winning site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Patient Leader.