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!

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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.

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

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.

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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. 🙂

A Memorable Journey: Buses, Stairs, and Walking After A TKR

Today is the second day in which I have become a homebound couch potato whose main source of companionship is an ice bag. There is a reason for this situation:

An important meeting was scheduled for Friday in which I needed to use a multitude of commuting options. I had hesitation about the buses due to their steep steps, but this form of transportation was both cheap and convenient (so I thought). Stairs are a part of the total knee replacement recuperation exercises us patients are given. I view them as an exercise each time I see them. …onward and upward.

The day started out well, with no aches or pains whatsoever. In fact, I was looking forward to getting a good day’s exercise in. “Stairs and walking are good for my knee,” I convinced myself upon departing for my day’s journey.

When the bus driver mistakenly told me I was on the wrong bus, in a foreign part of town, that’s when the day took a turn for the curious.

My four descents and ascents into buses turned into eight – just to get to where I needed. The journey wasn’t over, though. It, actually, was just beginning.

Upon finally arriving at my destination, only 40 minutes late, I was greeted with a 30-step (I counted them) staircase that I needed to climb. Once, again, “Oh, I need the exercise. No problem,” I said to my meeting partner.

All was fine and dandy until my return trip. Descending the stairs suddenly became more difficult and painful. Getting off the bus was uncomfortable. My “natural” leg started to hurt in both the knee and hip area. There was a pinched nerve in my total knee replacement (tkr) aka “bionic” leg that was a source of pain. Still…I trucked on. I had no choice. 😕

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for my day’s commute to end. By the time I had arrived at my car, I was ready to take the weight off of my feet.

When I got home, I knew I needed to ice both of my knees. My bionic knee area is normally swollen, still, but was twice the size. (It’s been 11 months since my tkr). Good thing my water and electricity are on. 🙂 Too bad the ice melts so fast. 🙁

Eight Months After A Total Knee Replacement

Personal insight into dealing with eight months after a total knee replacement.

  Hi everyone. It is  eight months after a total knee replacement surgery. I like to keep track of how things are going, so I figured I would update it here.  In addition to keeping a physical log, this post will be part of my emotional log. Here is some personal insight and my tkr update….


Yesterday I went for a wonderful walk, my usual Sunday walk. It is a 1.25-1.5 mile walk. Ranking-wise, it is easy. The walking surface is varied – gravel, wood walkways, pavement, and grass. So, it is hard to get bored with. The walk was a great exercise and I felt fantastic afterwards. Then….


Two hours later, as I was driving home…I got very tired. My knee started to hurt and swelled up more than usual. I took a couple aspirin. Then I ate lunch, took a shower, and laid on the couch. I iced my knee, figuring it would do some good.


The rest of the night, my knee hurt and stayed more swollen than usual. I iced it again for awhile. I feel like I am coming down with a cold, too. I’ll have to fight that, too. This is tiring.


Today, my knee still has increased swelling (even though I iced it earlier), some tingling from my damaged nerve, and has pain on and off.  I’ll ice it some more.

I’m so tired of this.I thought this would be over at eight months after a total knee replacement.


I’m grateful for the surgery, but this recuperation process has got the best of me today. It’s tiring and ticks me off so much – I’m depressed. I know it could be much worse and feel bad about griping about it. So why am I? I know as time goes on, things will work out. These negative emotions are just temporary.


I want to get things done, but live upstairs and just don’t want to do the stair thing today. Sometimes I just can’t stand the sight of stairs. Today is one of them. 🙁

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Effects of Not Icing after Exercising – TKR

The other day after I got done with my walking and working out on my exercise bike, I thought I’d experiment. Usually, I ice immediately after any exercise. This time – I didn’t. I was curious to see what the effects of not icing would be on my total knee replacement recuperation.

First of all, after exercising:

My bionic knee was not swollen nor painful.

The flexibility was very good after exercising.

I felt like I had a good workout.

I was very proud of myself.

Fast forward a couple of hours, after not icing:

My knee was more swollen than usual.

My knee was stiffer than usual.

There were more lingering pains than I had experienced before.

I experienced pain in the middle of the night.

I could not sleep properly, due to this pain. (I usually don’t have pain during my sleep time)

I was not a happy camper.

Moral of story: Icing is necessary after a workout on a tkr knee – even seven months after surgery.

7 Months After a Total Knee Replacement

Hi my favorite readers! After taking my walk around the motorcycle course for the 5th time, and 3 times up and down the hill – there are results.  While propping my leg up on a pillow and icing it, I noticed I can feel my knee cap along with the entire knee. What a nice thing to have happen…finally!  Every small step (figuratively and realistically) matters.

Woohoo!!  (I’m kind of wondering if I should let the cat out of the bag since it’ll probably swell back up tomorrow. 🙂 )

Hope this helps others going through the same thing. Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!