10 Natural Ways to Prepare for Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Hi everyone! We all know the importance of keeping everything as natural as possible during the entire total knee replacement process. Here is a guest post written by a tkr patient, Tamara Lujan, a 27-year practitioner of herbal and holistic healing. Below find 10 natural ways to prepare for total knee replacement surgery.

Nine weeks ago, at age 53, I had total knee replacement surgery. Some health issues and past surgeries placed me at higher risk for infection, skin tissue breakdown & blood clots. I decided to use natural treatments, dietary changes and herbs, to help ensure an easier recovery; reduce the risks of infection and inflammation; and help prevent blood clots.

As a holistic health practitioner I want people to be proactive in their health and total knee replacement surgery is no exception. I personally started by researching doctors and hospitals, finding information on everything from a doctors success rates to hospital infection percentages. I also began working on having my body in the best possible health prior to surgery.

1. Eliminate alcohol – Alcohol increases the risks of complications and slows down the recovery process.

2. Water – Water boosts your immune system, flushes toxins and helps keep you regular. I recommended about 90 ounces a day for women and 120 ounces for men.

3. Turmeric Extract – Turmeric is a powerhouse for fighting inflammation. Turmeric extract is an easy way to get the dosage you need.

4. Nettle Leaf Infusion – Dried Nettle leaves are a wonderful source of nutrients and are high in essential minerals including iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Nettle infusion is a miracle working when it comes to inflammation. It has worked wonders on my fibromyalgia and arthritis. It is approved by the German Commission E for reducing inflammation.

5. Nettle Seed Extract – Fighting chronic pain is exhausting. Nettle seed helps build your energy in the short term. Take up to 1 week prior to surgery.

6. Shiitake Mushrooms – at least 2 x a week (great in Miso soup!). This mushroom helps prevent thrombosis. Discontinue using 2 weeks prior to surgery.

7. Seaweed – 2 x a week. I put this in my Miso, on salads or simply to snack on. Helps prevent inflammation. Discontinue using 2 weeks prior to surgery.

8. Homeopathic Arnica Montana 30x – Used to reduce bruising, swelling and joint pain. Discontinue use 1 week prior to surgery.

9. QUERCETIN with BROMELAIN – to help build immune system and for reducing inflammation. Speak with your doctor as to recommendation on use beyond 2 weeks prior to surgery.

10. Improve your muscles and body systems – Try yoga, massage and acupuncture. These can help limber you up, reduce inflammation, and keep the lymphatic and blood system flowing.

My knee surgery went great. Based on the damage to my knee and a pre-op ROM of just 68 degrees, everyone was very surprised at my recovery and that in just 7 weeks post-op, I was at a 100 degree ROM!

*Please let your doctor and pharmacist know of any herbal and supplements you are taking.

Author Bio:
Tamara Lujan is a holistic health practitioner and herbalist with over 27 years of experience. She believes in a holistic approach to healing, which includes using whole foods and herbs to help the body heal and perform at its best. Visit Tamara at Farmacology Organics.

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

Making Easy & Cheap Cold Beverages

Hi my favorite readers! What goes better on a hot day than cold beverages? Here’s a recipe that is cheap, easy & nutritious. Let’s try again…to my natural foods site…


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Quick & Healthy Eats

Standing up for an extended period of time is difficult for the tkr patient during the first couple weeks after having surgery. The first week post-tkr it is highly recommended to have someone else prepare and serve your meals. However, after that you may be on your own. What are you supposed to do to feed yourself without causing too much discomfort? If you are not lucky enough to have someone serve and prepare your meals, here are a couple quick feed ideas:

Cottage cheese. Have a serving of cottage cheese (usually about ½ cup) combined with some chopped tomato and pineapple chunks. For an attractive place setting, place the cottage cheese in the center of the plate and surround it with the tomato on one side and the pineapple on the other side.

I also like mixing some tuna in with the cottage cheese and sprinkling it with garlic powder. Combined with the tomatoes…yumm. Of course, the pineapple is eaten separately. 🙂

A friend of mine enjoys just placing some cottage cheese onto toast and sprinkling it with cinnamon. She likes that for either breakfast, a snack, or a quick pick-me-up after exercising.

Hope this helps.

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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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Kill Those Germs with All-Natural Cleaning Agents

OK..after posting my last blog entry about germs in the home, I thought it would be appropriate to write a post about all-natural home cleaning solutions. I remember my great grandmother talking about these back in the 1920’s (no, I wasn’t living then…she regaled her stories to me when I was growing up). So, even though they are not new…they do work and fit into what is now popularly known as “green living”. Plus, they are a lot cheaper than the store bought variety. Remember back in the late 60’s and 70’s when only “hippies” were talking about “natural living”? Here we are 30 years later and it’s the “in” thing. Go figure….

Removing stains:

Baking soda: Place some baking soda onto a damp cloth. Simply scrub the stained area until the stain is removed.

Lemon: Dip slices of fresh cut lemon into some salt. Then, rub the lemon directly on the stains.

Bleach: Place a drop of bleach into your coffee mugs, add water, and scrub until stain is removed.

After using any of the above methods, rinse item with warm water to remove cleanser.

Sanitizing shower curtains, counter tops, floors, etc.:

BLEACH!!! (Bleach is my all time favorite cleanser/deodorizer/sanitizer since it’s so effective and cheap). Add a few tablespoons of bleach to water in a sprayer bottle. Spray on affected area. Let set for about 5 minutes. Take dry cloth and scrub as needed until liquid is absorbed into cloth.

Glass and/or chrome cleaner:
Make your own “Windex” (window cleaner) by simply mixing some ammonia with water in a spray bottle. Spray onto affected area and wipe clean.

Or….1/4 cup white vinegar mixed with 1 quart water in a spray bottle.

Drain cleaner:
Mix vinegar and baking soda to clean/scrub drains and disposals. It removes soap scum and
leaves drains smelling clean.

The above are all-natural cleaners that work well for me. I’m sure there are many more that I am not mentioning. If you have more suggestions, feel free to add them here! Thanks! Hope this helps.

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Healthy Eating Speeds the TKR Recuperation Process

It’s common knowledge that eating healthy can help everyone. However, this is doubly important during the recuperation process. Having a total knee replacement surgery is hard enough and we need as much help as we can get to make the process easier. Good nutrition is vital for a proper recuperation.

So…here are some suggestions for quick, healthy eating that can be prepared at home:

Mix some fresh herbs with freshly squeezed juice for a low calorie dressing.

Spread some natural peanut butter on an apple.

A sandwich of tuna and mustard on wholegrain bread. Add lettuce & tomato, if desired.

Fresh fruit mixed with plain yogurt.

Spread some hummus on either pita bread, fresh veggies, or an English muffin.

For creamed soup, substitute pureed tofu for heavy cream.

All of these have worked well for me, and I am confident they’d work well for others. Enjoy!

A Natural Sleep Aide After a TKR

Sleeping comfortably after having a tkr (total knee replacement) surgery done is, to say the least, troublesome. As I mentioned previously in blog posts, it took me about three months to be able to sleep on my side. Even then, though, it was painful.

It’s almost 11 months after my tkr and I have found a sleeping aide that works well. By “works well” I mean it eases the pain. It works for me, so I’m hoping it can work for others in the same situation.

That sleep aide is a body pillow. While using a regular or large pillow before, I found that there was still too much pressure on either my ankles or knees. This would cause increased pain. With a body pillow, this doesn’t seem to happen. My having that extra cushioning along the length of my leg really makes a difference. Let’s hope it lasts.

The only drawback to using a body pillow it can be rather cumbersome if you want to turn over onto your other side. Life can be rough, I say. 🙂

NOTE: I’m kind of afraid to say anything, though, since it’ll probably start hurting tonight. (Murphy’s Law follows me around, you know).

Thought this may help those of us trying to get a good night’s sleep while recuperating from a total knee replacement surgery.

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