7 Ways to Speed Up Your Knee Replacement Recuperation

Hi my favorite readers. Many of you have approached me recently inquiring about ways to make the tkr recuperation easier. There is no simple approach, unfortunately. Sharing one of my more popular posts regarding this topic may help you. Good luck!

Having a total knee replacement surgery is only part of the process. Always remember that. How you deal with the recuperation to actually use your new knee is another part. It, actually, is the hardest part. Only you can determine the extent of your success.

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

    * Every hour on the hour, get up and walk around. Even if it is for only a couple of minutes. You need to stand up and get your blood flowing. Your level of recuperation (and physical therapist) will determine whether you use a walking aide or not.

  • *Do as much as you can for yourself. Lower your reliance on others when you can easily do it yourself. You will only be hurting yourself.
  • *Know that it will be painful. You cannot get around having pain after a major surgery. Bummer.

    *Take a pain med prior to your exercise. I find that ½ hour beforehand works best for me. This will help make your exercise regimen go easier. Of course, your pain meds will decrease as time goes on and your level of recuperation increases. The sooner the better, I say.

    *Set a goal for your knee flexibility. 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.

    *Keep icing. After every exercise bout, ice your knee area. The best is a simple ice pack. Or, frozen peas and carrots work well.:)

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

    Recuperating from a total knee replacement takes work, time and effort. Stay with it and you will only benefit. Remember to check back here often to realize that you are not alone.

    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.







    Icing a new knee….OUCH!

    Hi my favorite readers! After receiving numerous requests for this information, it seems appropriate to provide this reprint of a previous post to help those new to a tkr:

    Part of my total knee replacement recuperation process involves, of course, physical therapy.  After I complete my exercises, I am offered icing.  At first it was “yeah!”.  Now, it’s…”OUCH!”.  See, instead of just lying on my back and relaxing (like I used to do while being iced), they have started a new torture device…er, technique.

    My hamstrings need to be stretched out after 30 years of not using them properly.  My leg is not straight like it needs to be. So, to help this process along:  I lay on my stomach,  place my knee on an ice bag, and another ice bag contraption is placed on the back of my knee.  Then, a 2-pound weight is put on my ankle.

    This entire process occurs after an exercise involving my knee hanging over the side of the table.

    That timer can’t move fast enough.

    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.






    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.  🙂

    Icing rocks!

    Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!






    The Importance of Icing After A TKR

    Hi my favorite readers! Icing is so important during a tkr recuperation, it cannot be emphasized enough. I have always found icing to be the best pain killer. Plus, it’s cheap. It’s time consuming, though.

    Icing is recommended immediately after exercise for 10 minute increments. 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.

    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 it’s permanently swollen differs from how it swelled up after exercise during my early tkr recuperation, though. Immediately 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.

    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 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.






    Knee Swelling & A TKR

    Well, just a short note here on something that’s interesting to me.  My tkr knee still swells up big time after I am done exercising.  It does not hurt, though.  It just is not a pretty sight.

    It has been over a year since my total knee replacement surgery.  My walking capabilities have improved 100%, but I still need to come home and ice afterwards.  When I don’t ice, the swelling takes a very long time to decrease even a little bit.

    Oh well.  Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

    Swelling 15 Months After A TKR

    Hi my favorite readers! One of the most common concerns I hear about from readers who have had a total knee replacement is that of swelling. It seems that throughout the recuperation process, this is an area of interest. I know in my case, I was expecting my tkr knee swelling to go down after just a few months.

    Think again. It is common for my tkr knee to swell after exercise, but my surgery was almost 16 months ago. And, it still swells up and requires icing. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact.

    The last couple of weeks there has been increased swelling due to the fact that I am kicking some butt with my new ortho shoes. 🙂 For the first time in 30 plus years, I can walk without pain – like an “ordinary” person. And, my recuperation is at a point that I can have a “normal” gait. Woohoo!!! So…I am taking advantage of it.

    I was told by my doctor, at my year follow-up, that my knee may be swollen for the rest of my life. It was nothing to be concerned about. Hmm. Can’t wait for bathing suit season. NOT!! (That was my attempt at a joke).

    Hope this helps others who are going through the same thing. Think of the alternatives and be grateful. 🙂

    If you have enjoyed this article, I’d appreciate it if you would share it with others. Thanks!






    MediaNet:

    Natural Remedies for TKR

    We all know how trying the recuperation process is after having a total knee replacement surgery. And, I have written prior blog posts about different ways to ease the process – especially pain and swelling.

    Here are some easy methods I use that have, and still do, work well.

    Bananas. The potassium in bananas has helped me, tremendously, with my recuperation process. I find that they are a quick pick-me-up. They also provide a sense of relaxation by calming my nerves. And, if there are any muscle spasms (which I have sometimes)…they ease that. All in all, I have become addicted to bananas during my tkr recuperation. No complaints. Wait…there is one complaint. They ripen too fast.

    Icing. First thing my surgeon said upon visiting after my surgery was “the best pain med you can take is ice”. I thought that was pretty cool. Instead of promoting drugs (and sometimes they sure do come in handy!), he was promoting a natural alternative. Ice is not only a natural pain reliever, it is CHEAP!! Woohoo!! There have been times after exercising that I will put ice onto my tkr knee. It hurts because my knee is so warm and the ice is so cold. Oh well. And, I will ice for 20 minutes without giving it a second thought. Some may think that is too long, but it works for me.

    Elevation. Placing my bionic leg onto a pillow helps ease the pain. I have to be certain that my entire foot is on the pillow. Otherwise, there is an unnatural bend in my knee that does not do me any good.

    Massage. Massaging my total knee replacement leg helps ease pain. I find using the palm of my hand works best and causes the least amount of distress.

    Shoes. I have known the importance of good walking shoes for years. However, after my recent encounter involving testing a shoe lift out..this area is imperative. Even though my shoes are great for the office, they are not for walking trails more than….I don’t know the distance yet. 😕 And, yes, these are “standard” walking shoes. High heels and fancy shoes are not my friends. Anyways, after my recent walk, I noticed bruising and reddened skin on my tkr foot. What kind of “walking shoes” are those?

    Hockey. I find that watching hockey helps me put things into perspective. To watch what the players go through just amazes me. And here I am complaining about a bruised toe. Something’s not right here. 😕 Plus, there is something fun about …I really do not like violence…yelling at the tv when a fight breaks out…”Smash the bum!”

    Humor. Life can be difficult. Finding ways to tickle your funny bone is essential.

    Gratitude. I find it helps to stop and think, no matter how much pain I am in, what I was like prior to my tkr. I couldn’t walk a city block, stand up without excruciating pain, do stairs, and carried crutches everywhere. Recuperating from my total knee replacement surgery has been trying, difficult, and very time consuming – but I am so grateful I had it done.

    Music. Music soothes the soul. It is the universal language that all understand. Lose yourself in it. You will forget about the difficulties involved during your tkr.
    I’m confused. I’m listening to ‘Love Songs’ and the tune is about breaking up. What kind of love song is that?

    Good luck!

    Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

    Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!






    MediaNet:

    One Year Post TKR Update

    Hi my favorite readers! It has been one year already since my total knee replacement surgery. I had my follow-up appointment that was informative. The results were positive, mixed, and of concern.

    Positive:
    X-rays
    . On the positive side, my x-rays looked perfect. My implant is properly placed, secure, and of no concern whatsoever. Nice. Good job by my surgeon. He rocks!

    Scar. Scar looks healthy with no complications at all. Another nice. I was not expecting any problem anyways in this area. I have an attractive looking scar. And, no, I don’t try to hide it. 🙂

    Movement. My implant moved fine when slightly manipulated by the doctor. All the doctor did is move my knee gently back and forth, and from side to side. The minimal clicking is “normal”. Nice.

    No complications. There are no complications from the tkr. No infection nor side effects to speak of. Again, I was not expecting any concerns in this area. Overall, I have very good health and take pride in that.

    Stairs. I can go up stairs in a slow and deliberate manner. This was impossible prior to surgery.

    Walking. I can enjoy walking again without pain nor needing crutches.

    Walking aides. I do not need any walking aides anymore. I did prior to surgery.

    Mixed:
    Flexibility
    . My flexibility is around 95. It may never increase due to prior scar tissue from a trauma injury sustained 33 years ago. My femur fracture and subsequent surgery (original reason for knee problems) has old scar tissue that inhibits my movement. Bummer.

    Knee appearance. My tkr knee is still swollen, more so after exercise or standing for a while. That will be around for some time. I was told my tkr knee will never look like my healthy knee. Oh well. That’s life.

    Shoe lift. I need to wear a shoe lift due to leg length differences. Prior to my tkr, I wore a shoe lift for 30+ years. The amount has decreased by 1/2” since my total knee replacement, though. Various reasons. This aspect is being viewed as ‘mixed’ since I was hoping I didn’t have to wear a shoe lift anymore. However, since it’ll result in my body being aligned properly – I am not griping. It’s surprising to me how it took a year to reveal itself, though. Come to think of it, it was revealing itself through my
    opposite side hip and knee pain.

    Of concern:
    Stairs. Stairs will be difficult to go down due to decreased flexibility and a shoe lift. Bummer.

    Flexibility. Even though my tkr knee may eventually have more flexibility, it may not. It is much better than before my total knee replacement surgery, though. Much better.

    Dressing. It is not fun getting dressed. I haven’t mentioned this before since I forgot about it. Putting on pants is a bite. Could be worse, though.

    Nerve damage. This can be a biggie, especially when trying to sleep. It is not consistent throughout the day, luckily. I have blog posted about this previously. It is not going to get any better unless I want to have surgery done on it. I will not do that. I refuse to have anymore surgery. I have found that massaging my leg along the nerve line does help, if only temporarily. Icing helps, also. Yoga movements also help some. The way I look at it…I’ve lived with pain for the past 30+ years, why stop now? 😕 Could be worse.

    Overall….I have no regrets AT ALL for having my total knee replacement surgery. The recuperation is difficult and time consuming, but that’s life.

    Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

    Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!






    Still Icing After One Year post-TKR

    Knowing the importance of icing my new bionic knee (total knee replacement) while going through physical therapy, I still ice every day and I am one year post TKR. Every time I am done exercising, I put an ice bag on my knee afterwards. Sometimes my knee has swollen up, other times it hasn’t. Either way, I ice it afterwards. I figure that it is better safe than sorry. Plus, I remember the time I didn’t ice after exercising….my tkr knee was painful, very swollen, and stiff. I vowed to not let that happen again. The icing gets tiring…but needs to be done.

    I am writing about this since I have received questions from readers who are expressing concern regarding this matter. No one told me (or, the majority of us it seems) that I’d be icing my tkr knee one year after my surgery date. Now we know. It’s not that I’m complaining….just stating a fact.

    Hope this helps all who need it. 🙂

    Still Another TKR Flexibility Exercise

    Hello…There are a variety of exercises one can do to increase their bionic knee’s flexibility, here is another one that was passed along to me by one of my readers. Here the PT person had her doing this as part of the exercise regime.

    Don’t be discouraged if you either have a difficult time doing it, or simply are unable to do it. I have an extremely difficult time doing it and I am 5 days short of my one year post tkr date. 🙁

    Here it is (good luck!):

    Kneel on the floor
    Get up holding onto something

    As you progress from that:

    Knee on the floor
    Get up from the floor using only your legs and hands (that’s right…ah huh….:?)

    Be sure to ice afterwards.

    NOTE: Please remember that I am only passing along exercises and advice that have worked for me or my readers during our/my tkr recuperation process. I am not a medical professional and will assume no responsibility for the performance or outcome of any of the exercises or advice I post on my blog. Every total knee replacement patient is different.

    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.