How to Get the Most Out of Physical Therapy After Knee Replacement Surgery

Hi everyone. With so much information available knowadays about getting the most out of your total knee replacement, I thought it would be worthwhile to share a guest post written by the experts at The Joint Replacement Therapists. I am certain this insight about physical therapy after knee replacement surgery is the key to your success. Enjoy…
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Physical therapy is an integral part to any individual’s knee replacement recovery. There are thousands of physical therapists and physical therapy clinics throughout the country, and the majority of physical therapists are professional, knowledgeable, and caring.

Your therapists will provide you with all the information and resources you require to have a successful knee replacement. What you get out of your rehab after surgery will be a direct reflection of what you put into it.

With that being said, we’d like to share our advice for how to get the most out of your physical therapy after your knee replacement surgery.

Start Before Surgery

Rehab begins before surgery. This is known as prehab or preoperative rehab. Numerous studies have shown the benefits of physical therapy and physical training before surgery. Individuals who train and exercise before knee replacement surgery have better range of motion, strength, and overall function after the surgery.

This leads to a quicker recovery. (See our blog post titled: What is Prehab? )

Learn About Pain

Pain is complex and many factors in your life contribute to pain including physical, social, psychological, emotional, and environmental. The more you can learn about the contributors to pain, the more you’ll be able to make positive lifestyle changes to manage the pain effectively.

Understand the Process and Have Patience

Recovery takes time. You may only notice small improvements initially, and that is okay. The average course of outpatient physical therapy can last 12-16 weeks, but you may not experience 100% recovery for up to 6 months. Keep doing all the right things and eventually it will pay off with a great recovery and outcome.

Follow Instructions

Everything your physical therapist tells you is for a reason. Any instructions we provide is based off the goal of you having a full and positive recovery with no avoidable setbacks.

Ask Questions

Your physical therapists, and all the healthcare professionals, are there to help you. Do not feel intimidated to ask any and all questions. Being well-informed and knowledgeable regarding all aspects of your recovery will only benefit you more. There are no stupid questions.

Be Consistent

You won’t notice much change in strength or range of motion after just one therapy session. However, if you remain consistent with your exercises and activities, and regularly attend therapy, little by little you will see the fruits of your labors.

Consider Your Complete Health

Many factors play a role in your recovery after knee replacement surgery. Consider all aspects of your health and determine where you can make some positive changes. Consider things like nutrition, sleep, emotional health, mental health and more.

Continue After Therapy Ends

Your recovery does not stop once you are discharged from physical therapy. It is important to continue with all the exercises you learned in physical therapy and perform them on a regular basis.

It is also important to find ways to maintain the health of your knee and whole body. Great activities to try include walking, aquatic exercises, yoga, and much more.

About the Authors

The Joint Replacement Therapists, Doctors Jordan and Luke Pedersen, are two physical therapists and the founders of the Joint Replacement Therapists website at The Joint Replacement Therapists.

Jordan and Luke are orthopedic therapists who have worked with many individuals before and after joint replacement surgery.

They realized the shortcomings with a lot of the educational material available to individuals considering joint replacement surgery. The Joint Replacement Therapists strive to provide thorough evidence-based information in an organized manner for individuals considering or planning joint replacement surgery.

Their hopes are the information gained will help decrease patient anxieties and improve confidence regarding the entire joint replacement process.
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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.

Booktoots’ Healing 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.







How To Fit Exercise Into Your New Year’s Resolution

Hi everyone. The New Year is here and many resolutions involve getting in better shape. I regularly hear how there is no time to exercise. Here are some tried-and-true tips on how to fit exercise into your New Year’s resolution:

Isometrics
These maneuvers involve simply tightening your muscles. Tighten one muscle, like your butt, and hold for a few seconds. Release tension and relax. Repeat with other muscle groups.

Isometrics are particularly helpful when recuperating from a tkr – total knee replacement. Tighten your thigh muscles (quadriceps) to rebuild strength lost by incisions made.

Planks
These dandies give you an all-body workout. Start out by doing only one minute and gradually build up your time and endurance.

Get onto the floor with your arms and legs extended. It’s the position used when doing a push-up. Place your body weight onto your hands and feet. Straighten your elbows. Hold in your stomach (core) muscles. Breathe normally as you hold this position for one minute – or less – to start.

When done correctly you will feel your arms, stomach, shoulders, back, and leg muscles all working in sync.

Stretches
For an excellent back, neck, and leg stretch, stand and gently bend over to touch your toes. Let your head hang freely. Stretch as far as possible. Hold this position for as long as comfortable.

For an easy leg stretch, sit with your legs stretched (extended) in front of you. Keep your heels on the surface, toes pointed toward the ceiling. Gently move your upper body forward until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings (backside of your knee/leg). Hold this position for 10 seconds.

Gently and slowly return to your starting position. Repeat as needed.

Walking
Walking provides a cardiovascular and musculoskeletal workout. Do it at your own pace. Remember to wear comfortable, well-fitted shoes and socks.

Motto of story: Never let lack of time be an excuse for not exercising. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. There is always a way. Just find what works for you. The above-mentioned tips on how to fit exercise into your New Year’s resolution are still working for health-conscious individuals.

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 physical-related concerns.

This 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 Increase Awareness

Hi everyone. Many of you have contacted me asking how you can best share the news about this site with others who may need it. Here are a following suggestions for how to increase awareness. And..thanks!

* Submit this site to your social media groups.

* Mention this site in your visits to other total knee replacement online sites. If you visit other knee forums, it provides a great opportunity to share the word about how this site has been helpful to you or one of your friends.

* Mention it to your offline friends, relatives and others you know who may find the information useful for their particular situation.

* You can also place a link to my site on your blog, website or other online content.
Copy and paste this text:
https://www.booktoots.com

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HELP IN TAKING STEPS ON HOW TO INCREASE AWARENESS!

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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 physicality concerns.

This 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.







Ways To Optimize Your TKR Success

Ways To Optimize TKR Success

Hi everyone. This post is about finding ways to optimize your tkr success. Doing as much as you can, before and after your surgery, will pay dividends beyond your wildest dreams. They will put you back on the road to living a fruitful, healthy lifestyle. Here goes….

Be Frugal
More than likely (if you’re lucky), your health insurance will cover a total knee replacement (herein known as tkr). Still, you must concern yourself with getting the most for your money. There will probably be some out-of-pocket costs (expenses) involved. Get the biggest bang for your buck.

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Develop A “Can Do” Attitude
Your train of thought will help or hinder the entire tkr process. If you go into the endeavor with a “I’m dreading, hating, despising this” mode of thinking – you’re doomed from the beginning.

It is natural to have some negative thoughts at times. You are undergoing a life-changing, arduous surgery that requires immense sacrifice, fortitude, and determination. If you think you cannot do it, you will be correct. You won’t achieve success.

It’s a psychological phenomenon known as a “self-fulfilling prophecy”. There are numerous articles, books, and other media that discuss this topic, if you are interested. Just do some research. Or, as is common nowadays..”Google It”.

For a real-life case of children surviving by having this “I Know I Can Do It” attitude, click here:

“I Know I Can Do It!”

Follow Your Physician’s Orders
That seems like common sense, but there are those who refuse to do this. There is a reason your doctor tells you to do something. It is to increase your tkr success.

Do Your Physical Therapy Exercises
This is the toughest part of any tkr recuperation. You need to do guided exercises that focus on all your leg muscle groups. You need to “rebuild” your strength, endurance, and flexibility. And, it will be painful and trying. I guarantee that!

Continue Exercising
Yes, that’s correct. Once your tkr physical therapy recuperation office visits end, do those exercises at home. Keep on doing them. NEVER GIVE UP!

Well, that’s about it for now. I’ll update this article when needed.

Your tkr success is up to you!

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 concern.

This 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 Ankle Weights During Your TKR Recuperation

Hi everyone. Many of you have contacted me about how to use ankle weights during your tkr recuperation. The two go together like apple pie and ice cream. Here are a some of the most beneficial exercises that helped me during my total knee replacement recuperation period. I still do them years after my tkr, fyi.

1) A simple way to get some flexibility back into the knee, is to securely wrap one of your 2-5-pound ankle weights around your tkr-side ankle. Start walking. Just by walking around, it helps stretch and strengthen your hamstring. The stronger your hamstring, the more secure your bionic knee becomes.

2) Do a knee extension. Start by sitting in a chair with your feet on the floor. Place one of your ankle weights around your tkr-side ankle. Slowly and gently lift your foot from the floor and begin straightening your knee. Be sure to keep your toes pointed toward the ceiling. Hold for five seconds, if possible. Slowly return to original position.

3) If you are like me, your tkr knee will be bent after your total knee replacement. Here is a wonderful maneuver that I used to help straighten my leg: Sit in a firm chair. Lift the heel of your tkr leg onto another chair.

The back of your knee will be unsupported. Then, put one of your ankle weights on top of your bionic knee. Be sure to start out with a lighter weight for safety purposes. Stay like this for at least 5 minutes. It will hurt…

Keep working at your tkr recuperation. It is a long and arduous process, but it will come…..:)

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 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

 

How To Safely Maneuver Stairs, Steps and Ramps

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. Let’s just say..”It ain’t for sissies.” Here are some suggestions I find helpful on how to safely maneuver stairs, steps and ramps. They all minimize knee stress.

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 UPSTAIR 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.

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. 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 this topic. Do you have any suggestions on how you conquer stairs, steps, or ramps? We would love to hear from you!

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.

This 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.







Total Knee Replacement: Telltale Signs You May Need One

Hi everyone. Many of you have been contacting me wondering whether it’s time for a total knee replacement. Even though I am not a medical professional, I can provide personal insight into how I decided it was time. Hopefully, you will find some useful information from my insight. Here are some telltale signs you may need one:

Cortisone wears off quickly.
When I first approached a surgeon about having a tkr (total knee replacement), cortisone was recommended as an alternative. The recommendation was having one every three months to ease the pain and stiffness.

The results were immediate. I walked out of the doctor’s office without any pain or difficulties. I was happy as a clam in mud. That is, until two weeks later when the cortisone wore off. At that point, I was back where I started.

Pain killers lack effectiveness.
What used to provide some level of relief, suddenly does not. Since I do not take any prescription medications, I used over-the-counter remedies. They became a waste of money as my knee cartilage disappeared.

Knee locks up.
This can happen anywhere, any time. The pain is unbearable. Sometimes it took a few minutes to “get back to normal”, other times it took 10-20 minutes.

Walking aides are needed.
The above reason is why I started carrying crutches with me everywhere. You may find a cane is easier. Whatever the device, extra precaution is part of everyday life.

Excessive pain in everyday movements.
Everyday movements include walking, sitting, standing, and laying.

Difficulty crossing legs.
No longer do I take crossing legs for granted. Do you find yourself looking at people with their legs crossed, admiring the fact they can do it? It may be time to take action.

Need assistance getting in and out of chairs.
Assistance can be another person, a chair arm, or a mobility-impaired recliner. Whatever it is, using your leg the usual way will become difficult.

Favoring “good” leg.
This is a common behavior. My “good” leg is able to do everything the ”normal” way, so why not take advantage of that? I found myself putting all my weight on my undamaged leg. This leads to further damage.

Looking for stair alternatives.
Ah, stairs. Instead of viewing stairs as exercise, suddenly they turned into torture devices. I was always on the lookout for alternatives. Alternatives included elevators and/or escalators. Whenever I did use stairs, a railing was necessary. And, it was not a pretty site.

Body realignment is required.
Do you find yourself having to adjust your body before moving? You may have to realign your spine, wait for your knee to get in place, and/or do some stretching. Whatever it is, getting up and going is not an easy task.

Well, that’s all I can think of for know. Hopefully, you have found something useful to aid your decision-making process.

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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 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 35+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.







How To Naturally Heal TKR Scars With Food

Hi everyone. Scars seem to be a common subject among you, my favorite readers. I just got done reading an interesting article on how to best heal scars the natural way. Knowing what a doozy I have (it’s about 10 inches..I haven’t measured it), I thought it would be fun to write a post about how foods can be used to naturally heal a tkr scar.

Personally, I like my tkr scar. It’s healed just fine. Nine years after my total knee replacement surgery, it has blended in well. In part, I believe, is the fact I eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. Food is my healing agent.

Below is some information that provides insight into my reasoning. My data comes from personal experience as well as backup content from the American Dietetic Association. Here goes….

Vitamins that can benefit scar healing are high in antioxidants. The antioxidants are essential for healing of wounds/scars. These include Vitamins C, E and A. I’ll talk about Vitamin C now, for no particular reason other than it’s fresh on my mind. Here goes…

Vitamin C is found in more vegetables than you probably imagine. It is found in dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, mustard greens, collard greens and various dark-colored lettuces (like red leaf). The vitamin is also found in winter squash, green peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts (or mini-cabbages as some know them) and cabbage varieties.

If you have a sweet tooth (which fruit can satisfy), you’re in luck. Vitamin C is found in berries such as raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, marionberries, blueberries and huckleberries. Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes are also rich in the vitamin.

Mango, watermelon and pineapples are other sources that contain ample amounts to help in skin healing. Snacking on a mango..oohlala! Mixing some fresh fruit into plain yogurt is another option…:)

So you know, I’m talking about the fresh varieties of fruits and vegetables. Personally, I’m not a fan of canned foods, but they do come in handy. One occasion is using them as my minestrone soup base when ripe fresh ones are unavailable.

It’s also nice to have some canned food on hand for emergency power outages or the like. For everyday/consistent eating, though…no. Nothing beats a freshly steamed pot of veggies and serving of protein.

Well, hope this helps others going through the same thing. Take action to start naturally healing any total knee replacement scars. Remember… You are what you eat.

Find interesting? I surely hope so. Kindly share whenever possible…

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.







Are You Experiencing Any TKR Swelling?

Are you experiencing any tkr swelling? I commonly get asked that question. If you’re like me, you thought the swelling would go down (or away) shortly after your tkr. Well, to answer the question…Mine sure swells up, even nine years after my tkr.

I promised Renee from Croatia (“Hi Renee!”) I’d write an updated post about this topic, so here it is. Thanks for the request, Renee. 🙂

NOTE: I originally wrote about tkr swelling eight years ago. Where has the time gone? 😕 You can search for this post/article by utilizing the search box found in the upper right hand corner of my home page. Simply type in ‘tkr swelling’ to bring up a series of posts related to this topic. You may find my personal insight particularly helpful.

My tkr swelling is nowhere near what it was during the first couple years after my tkr. Currently, my tkr area swells up when I overdo it. I may not realize I’m overdoing it until I get home and take a look at my leg.

Other times, I can feel the swelling occurring because my knee area loses its flexibility. Or, my jeans tighten around my tkr. That’s a strange feeling. 😕 Go figure…

Swelling occurs more frequently when I walk on uneven surfaces like gravel, unpaved trails, broken sidewalks, or other similar areas. This is because my ankle shifts from side-to-side.

When I speak of tkr swelling, I am also talking about the calf area. This is very common in my situation. There are times when my knee area will not significantly swell, but the front of my tibia sure does. The area known as the shin looks like the mumps, if you can picture that. There is no pain, though.

I hope my experience helps others going through the same thing. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

No matter what your level of tkr swelling, always remember that icing and rest will bring the situation back into check. Hang in there!

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.







Health Blog Voting Plea: Vote For Me!

Hi everyone. As noted earlier, Booktoots’ Healing has been nominated as one of the best health blogs by Healthline. The voting period has started!

Consider this my health blog voting plea: Vote for me!

If you could find it in your heart to visit the below link and enter Booktoots Healing into the search field, it would be greatly appreciated. So many of you have mentioned how my site has helped you…so please take a short moment and place your vote.

Your support is priceless and truly appreciated! Thank you!

Kindly click below:
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Find interesting? Kindly share with your social media and real-life contacts.

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.