How To Find Motivation to Exercise After A TKR

Hi everyone. Usually, it is easy to back out of exercising. Many people continually make excuses about why they don’t exercise. However, I want to share some great ways on how to find motivation to exercise after a tkr. Read on…

Be diligent in doing your exercises while recuperating from your total knee replacement and you will get excited about what used to be difficult when moving your body. Why? You will reap your rewards. Here’s my take on the issue….

* You will love how thrilling it is to be able to walk without pain.

* It is great to have what is known as a ‘normal’ walking gait without walking aides.

* It is fantastic to be able to walk fast enough to get out of breath and work up a sweat. (To some this would be “speed walking”. I like to think of it as walking faster than I did prior to my tkr.)

* It is wonderful to be able to walk trails, take in the scenery, and smell the air without feeling any joint pain.

* It is a nice feeling knowing that you are getting the most out of your total knee replacement surgery.

* It is so welcoming to have clothes fit better. I know, in my case, there were times when my dryer shrunk too many clothes. 😕

All of these combine to provide motivation in staying with, or starting, an exercise program.

Hope this helps you get motivated to exercise after your tkr (or any time, for that matter).

Always remember to be grateful you can walk.

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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.







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….

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Pacing Yourself After A TKR

Hi everyone…I’ve been getting requests lately about overdoing it after a tkr and how to know the difference. Here is a reprint of an article I wrote about pacing yourself after a tkr…Enjoy!

I am writing this post after having another day of overdoing it on my part. And, hopefully, others have done the same thing. I’m not hoping others are in pain, just that we’ve had the same experiences after having a tkr.

Yesterday was a beautifully sunny and mild temperature day. It was a perfect day for a walk. When my friend called at the last minute and invited me to partake, I jumped at the opportunity. I needed to perform an experiment of sorts, anyways.

My experiment involved testing to see how long I could walk with my new shoe lift (3/4″) without any discomfort. I also wanted to notice if there was any improvement in my opposing knee and hip pain. (As I mentioned in a previous blog post – when I went to the doctor for my one-year total knee replacement   follow up, I was experiencing severe pain in my opposite side knee and hip).

The surgeon and I determined that my legs were of different lengths and that I needed an external shoe lift. So…I was to report back to him with my feedback. This was the walk that would form the determination on my part.

Back to the walk: My friend and I walked for about 1 mile, then took a break. I noticed a slight knee pain. The trail we were walking is a community trail that always has a nice variety of dogs being taken for a walk on it. So, during our break we greeted a labrador, husky, and terrier. Very nice. Everyone was out for a lovely day of walking and socializing.

After our break, we walked about another quarter mile. Then, we figured (rather my bones did) it was time to head back. I was fine all the way until the last quarter mile. All of a sudden….BAM!! my nonsurgical knee starting getting sharp pains in it.

So, I will report back to my doctor that the shoe lift seems to be working since my pain is much better than before the lift. Actually, my hip on the opposite side of my tkr (I put that abbreviation in there for the search engines) does not hurt at all. That is a vast improvement. 🙂 However, how am I to know if I just overdid it? If I was to have walked for just a mile, I wouldn’t have this concern.

Anyways, I didn’t sleep well at all (more than usual…:) ) due to the pain. Even with pain meds, ouch. Luckily, I finally decided to get up and write this. Beforehand, however, I watched the Flintstones. Fred and Barney told Wilma and Betty that camping was no place for women. Who do you think won out? It was a good one. 🙂

My dilemma: I have a hard time determining when enough is enough until the pain is unbearable. How does one do that, pace themselves properly? I am not sure if I’m wording this properly. 😕

I feel great when starting to walk and forget about having to make a return trip. I just love walking and do so until it’s too painful. 🙁 There has to be a better way. It’s the return trip that is the bear. 🙁 Hmm… I’ll figure it out.

Just thought I would share about my walking dilemmas after a tkr. 🙂 Hopefully, someone else among my tkr blogging community will have the same concerns about pacing yourself after a tkr. Please  be eager to share with others on here.   I’m not complaining, just stating as fact.

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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.

 

 

4-Year Post TKR update

Some of my readers contacted me and asked about my tkr flexibility so long after my surgery. I inadvertently didn’t mention that in my 4-year post-tkr update. So….(thanks for asking, btw…short for by the way..)

My tkr flexibility is averaging 95, which is about the same as it was before my knee replacement. I have no concerns with this issue since it’s so nice to walk without pain and, besides, I couldn’t bend my real knee that well.

There’s excessive scar tissue around my tkr area, causing the inflexibility. Again, that’s no concern to me since it’s been accumulating for over 35 years.

I have noticed that my opposite-side knee is crunching. I’ve been told I have mild osteoarthritis in the knee. Again, I’m not that concerned since my “good” knee has been accommodating my body weight because of my “poor” knee for a long time.

There are times when I notice my opposite-side hip is letting me know it needs relaxing due to my leg length discrepancy. That’s life. A little icing and relaxing never hurt anyone. 🙂

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

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Difficulties With Shoe Lifts After a TKR

HI everyone..Recently, I was asked why my shoe lift keeps changing. I don’t know why. The doctors do not know why.

Here’s the story:
For 30 years it was 1.25” due to a fractured femur I experienced after a car accident. Then, I had my tkr. As I wrote about in previous posts, I needed to retrain my hamstrings and learn to walk using a “normal” gait. It seems to have been all in vain.

I didn’t wear a shoe lift for the first year after my tkr since I didn’t think I needed it. I thought the surgery realigned my leg (I was bowlegged prior due to being bone on bone). I could walk like a regular person, finally. So, I bought and wore “normal” shoes. Then, my hips and body seemed misaligned. I went to the doctor to find out if I indeed did need a shoe lift. No measurements were taken, just blocks put underneath my tkr leg. I needed a 3/4” shoe lift.

I wore the 3/4” lift for a year and started feeling out of balance with joint pain and all that fun stuff caused by poor spinal alignment. I needed more shoe lift. Some days it seemed I needed more than other days. Strange. So, I went back to the doctor. More blocks were put underneath my tkr leg.

This time I needed 1-3/8” lift. So, it really is only 1/8” more than what it was prior to my tkr. Interesting.

Since having that shoe lift, it’s been about one month, my pain and imbalance has disappeared. Fantastic!

So, when I am asked why my shoe lift keeps changing…there is no simple answer. I still don’t know why. I’m just glad to be out of pain and walk comfortably.

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.






Formidable Stairs – 2.5 Years Post TKR

It has been 2.5 years since my tkr. Stairs still cause concerns. I thought I’d share a story in case this has happened to anyone else.

I don’t do more than 3-5 stairs at a time, usually. Then, last week I needed to climb up and down 20 stairs. I did it twice during the day. When I got home…yikes.

I was exceptionally drained. I hadn’t been that overall tired in ages. My tkr knee was very stiff. Making dinner was an effort. So, I layed on the sofa and watched television. My tkr knee was starting to hurt. It appeared swollen on the outer side portion. The nerve damage from my previous (now extinct) bone spur was acting up. I hadn’t experienced that pain in ages, either.

When I went to sleep (or tried to sleep), my entire tkr leg was hurting. I could not get comfortable. It was especially troublesome behind my knee and alongside my knee. Bizarre…

The next day, I was still tired. And, my knee area still hurt. My tkr knee was stiffer than usual. I felt like I was coming down with a bug, but wouldn’t allow myself. I just took it easy the entire day. Bah hum bug. It would pass. It could be much worse. I canceled a boat outing due to my “under the weather” condition and poor weather forecast.

The following day I woke up and everything was hunky dory – including the weather. No pain, no tiredness, no boating.

End of story. Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

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Joint Supplement Update

Hi my favorite readers! There are so many supplements on the marketplace anymore, it’s hard to know which ones work and which do not. After doing much research, it seems that glucosamine products were the way to go. Glucosamine is tied in with hyaluronic acid and helps keep the joints lubricated.

I started taking a joint supplement four months ago that contained glucosamine, MSM and chrointin (sp?). It seems that since my tkr, my “good” knee is starting to show signs of arthritis. I have written about this previously. My knee is starting to make crunching sounds, swells up a bit after extensive exercise and is painful at times. So, I figured I’d start taking these supplements.

All was fine and dandy until I ran out of the supplements last week. I didn’t give it a second thought since I didn’t think they were having any effect upon my knee joint. Now, I notice a difference. The joint supplements were mainly keeping my pain level down. My knee hurts when getting up from seating, climbing stairs or, sometimes, even when walking. It’s not incessant and continuous pain, it just wasn’t there while taking the supplements. Bums me out. 😕

I have been reading “experts” claim that these supplements do not work. Some of my friends use them and get no results. I, however, have benefited from them. So…it just goes to show that everyone is different. And…maybe the manufacturers use different quality ingredients. Hmm…

Oh well, could be much worse. Hope this helps others going through the same thing. Gotta go shop for replacement supplements.

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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.






22 Month Post-TKR Update

I’ve been getting comments from recent tkr patients who say they are sorry for undergoing the surgery. We (tkr vets) all understand the initial negativity. With all the pain and frustration, it’s easy to not see the big picture. I hope my update helps….

Wow, it’s been that long already. 🙁 There’s a saying that time goes faster the older we get. It must be true. Anyways, I thought I’d give an update on my tkr deal.

Positives:
Joint pain. I have no joint pain in my tkr whatsoever. It’s probably because I don’t have a joint. (I’m chuckling to myself here.) This brings back memories of when I had my initial follow-up doctor appointments after my tkr. “Do I still have arthritis in my knee?” I asked.
“It’s hard to have arthritis when you don’t have a joint” was the chuckled response I received. If looks could kill, he wouldn’t be here today. Now, I can chuckle about it. At the time it didn’t strike my funny bone.

Walking aides. I don’t have to carry crutches around with me. I am not concerned about my knee locking up on me.

Walking. I can walk without pain. Period. That alone is worth the tkr and all the recuperation it takes. I absolutely love walking. (I was going to say “simply walking” but had to change the wordage since it’s not simple when you cannot do it. We have to build ourselves up to do it).

Drugs. I am not taking any medication. The only thing I do take occasionally is some aspirin.

Weight loss. I have lost 20 pounds that accumulated while I was unable to do continuous aerobic exercises.

Flexibility. My tkr leg can be fully straightened, which is no small feat. It feels great to be able to sit and stretch my hamstrings.

Flexion: I estimate my flexion as being 110-115 degrees. That’s better than before my tkr.

Stretches. I can do a variety of stretches and yoga poses which benefit my entire body. That was not possible until months after my tkr.

I can touch my toes (and floor) and have the stretch feel wonderful, not painful.

Body stretch. I can usually do a full body stretch (like a cat) prior to getting out of bed on most days. This was impossible until just a couple of months ago. It feels wonderful.

Pain. There is no sharp or dull pain surrounding my tkr from exercising.

Sleep. My sleep is much more sound than during the initial eight to twelve months post tkr.

Not negatives, just concerns:
Even though I am grateful for all I have, and do not want to come across as griping, there needs to be some items that are not totally positive. So…

Stairs. Stairs are not my favorite thing. When I’m going both up and down, a slug would win the race. Going upstairs seems to be more difficult due to my “good” leg taking more of the brunt (my body weight). Going downstairs is slow, but doable.

Nerve pain. There is still the nerve pain from a previous bone spur. That is always going to exist, so it’s not that big of a deal to me. Sometimes sleeping on my tkr side makes the pain worse, so I just shift positions. Remember that joke, “Doc, it hurts when I do this?” “Don’t do it” replies the doctor? (Changing sleep positions was NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE due to the pain level during the first year post-tkr.) The pain seems to get worse after my walking exercises. Strange how that occurs. It does not happen after riding my stationary bike.

Tightness. There is still some tightness in the front of my tkr. It usually takes me a couple of minutes to loosen up on my exercise bike until I can pedal 360 degrees.

Dressing. Dressing can be a drag or bummer. Putting on pants and/or socks, especially, is a pain in the patoot (slang for butt). My tkr does not bend enough to make the process easy. Same with pantyhose. Still, it’s not painful like before my tkr.

Shopping. Clothes shopping is a bite. Even though I’ve never really enjoyed clothes shopping (I used to make all my clothes in my school days), it is dreaded now. Trying pants on is not fun at all. Oh oh….I am griping.

Swelling. After exercising for longer than 45 minutes, my tkr swells up. The swelling is much less intense than previously, however. And, the pain is not there like during initial phases of tkr recuperation.

Well…I can’t think of anything else now. Hope this helps others going through the same thing.
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Pain Threshold Level & TKR

I was recently reminded of something that has me perplexed. I was asked to rate my pain on a “pain threshold level” after my eye surgery. It brought back memories…

One thing that took me off-guard during my initial phases of tkr recuperation was the phase, “how would you rate your pain?” WHAT!!?? Rate it? It hurts. “On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being excruciating…where is your pain level?” When I was first asked that question, I was totally dumbfounded. What was I comparing it to? What’s mild? A minor annoyance? Why talk about it? What’s excruciating? How can pain be excruciating if you’re able to calmly talk about it in the doctor’s office?

That doesn’t make sense to me. It’s so subjective, how can it possibly be used as a diagnostic tool? Us TKR people know that any beginning exercise can be extremely painful. It doesn’t last long, though. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong. Plus, it’s part of the rehab process. If the pain level has diminished (but definitely will return), if we rate it at 4 (for example), it makes the pain sound bearable. This is after a minute earlier, the pain was at the point of “OUCH!! I’M GONNA SMACK SOMEONE!!” We need to work through our pain, so how can we rate it?

If you are used to living with pain, it is difficult to rate it. It’s a part of life. That’s my opinion, anyways. If the pain is sporadic one minute, intense the next, alternating between throbbing and sharp the next … how do you rate that?

I don’t understand that diagnostic tool at all. If anyone can provide some insight, that would be great.

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Laptop Heat & A TKR

Recently, I have been putting my laptop onto a towel and then placing it onto my lap. I remember a bit ago when one of my readers asked us if anyone else had experienced pain from their laptop. Apparently, she had been using her laptop while sitting on her sofa or bed. She noticed that there was immense pain after a while. At the time, I had not experienced that.

Well, within the last two weeks, it has happened to me. (I am 19 months post-tkr, for the records).

After about 20 minutes, I notice a pain in my tkr area. Sometimes the pain is not that intense, other times it is. My knee is very hot at times. Other times it is warm.

Either way….I’m going to find another way to use my laptop that is ergonomically correct. I wonder if those Portabooks really work?

Oh, by the way. I had written previously about my fantastic invention of a homemade laptop holder. It broke.

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