Carrying Things Upstairs After A TKR

Sharing personal insight into carrying things upstairs after a tkr – total knee replacement.

Hi everyone. It’s always nice to hear from you. Recently, I have received many inquiries about carrying things upstairs after a tkr – total knee replacement. Throughout my tkr recuperation I looked for ways to make climbing stairs easier and more manageable. Here is my personal insight worth sharing on my tkr blog…

Upon entering the house, I place all bags onto the stair’s base level (floor). I then walk up one stair at a time. I reach down and pick up the bags with one hand, grab onto the rail with my other hand, then swing the bags (no..there’s no eggs involved) onto the stair 2-3 higher.

This tkr blogger repeats this process until I reach the entry door.

I  discovered this process after numerous times of carrying all the bags in both hands while ascending the staircase. This was difficult. The bags seemed heavy. Then when I’d get to the top of the tkr stairs (SEO phrase), I’d be sweaty and out of breath. Plus, my language would not have made my mother proud. 🙁

Where’s Popeye? He could do anything. I bet he would make carrying things upstairs after a tkr seem like a breeze.  🙂

Hope this helps anyone else going through the same thing.

Find interesting and helpful? Kindly share…

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout the pre-op, recuperation and beyond stages. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physical 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 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.







Nerve Damage & TKR Update

Hi my favorite readers! Recently, some of you have asked about nerve damage after a tkr. I thought it would be helpful to reprint an older post I wrote about this subject….

I’ve written before about how I have nerve damage on my tkr leg. The nerve damage, prior to my tkr, caused me extreme pain. Every time I’d stand up, I needed to wait for my skeletal system to get in place before moving. If I didn’t wait, the pain was too unbearable to walk.

Then, when going through the process of discussing tkr surgery, I found out the pain was caused by a bone spur. My bone spur grew due to my knee being bone-on-bone. The spur was grabbing hold of the nerve that went the length of my outer leg.

So, after my tkr, the nerve pain was still there. It was lessened, however. Then it seemed to gradually diminish. Woohoo!

Now, 18 months post tkr, I find that my nerve damage returns if I sleep for an extended time on my affected (surgical) side. Bummer…I thought I was over pain. (I’m chuckling to myself over that comment).

The past couple of days, I’ve made a discovery. I stretch prior to getting out of bed and it feels great. Slightly painful on my tkr leg due to the nerve…but MUCH better than the first few months after my tkr when I couldn’t stretch without immense pain from my nerve and tkr. It feels great to just stretch now. So, I get out of bed with the uncomfortable (but not severe) nerve pain in place. I gripe to myself, but accept it. Then, I go for my daily walk.

First I go downstairs. Gulp. Then, I get outside and stretch a bit more. It’s great being outdoors. The birds are chirping, the grasshoppers are out strolling (or hopping) and on a clear day like today…the mountains are in clear view. It’s truly a beautiful site that I am very grateful for.

As I start my walk, ouch. I feel a little out of sync. I continue, though, since I’m on a mission. Then, I notice that the pain completely stops. It’s as if my nerve has found its correct place and everything is working in alignment. Cool…

Well, thought I’d share this with anyone else going through the same thing. And for all who are in the beginning stages of your tkr recuperation…it does get better. Believe me on that.

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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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Lifting Furniture After A TKR

Hi my favorite readers!

This is a reprint of a popular article/post of mine. I’m reprinting it due to receiving numerous requests regarding the subject matter. Enjoy!

I haven’t been on here for a while since I’ve been moving. While moving I received insight into how lifting furniture affects my tkr. I thought I’d share….

During a tkr recuperation, we all know not to lift heavy items. I was curious to see how that applied to 2.5 years post tkr. After all, I’m done with the recuperation process. Well, not lifting heavy items still applies. Don’t get me wrong, there was no way I was going to attempt lifting an item that was out of my comfort zone as part of my move. Other items, such as a solid wood night stand, were doable.

First, I received pain along the inner portion of my tkr. It was unusual since I haven’t had pain in that area before. I stopped moving as soon as the pain started. It was a deep, almost throbbing, type of pain. The pain was enough for me to take an aspirin. (Aspirin, or white willow bark are my drugs of choice.)

Secondly, my entire upper knee began to hurt. It wasn’t a throbbing pain, but more like a sharp, deep pain. It was as if my body weight was being forced onto my tkr and my tkr didn’t like the impact. Strange..I knew if I continued that I may cause harm. So, I stopped.

I needed to elevate and ice my leg after just a few hours of maneuvering furniture from one flight of stairs to another, going downstairs. That reminds me…

Here’s a great tip to help those having to move from an upper level to ground level – use the stairs as a slide. It was quite doable to maneuver the furniture in a manner that allowed it to slide. I just held on to the end closest to me to prevent any wall damage. It took awhile sometimes, but I didn’t mind. I found this sliding maneuver to work well as opposed to lifting items and carrying them downstairs.

If I had to move from a ground level to upper level, no way in blazes I would carry furniture up the stairs. My knees would go on strike for better pay. And, the sliding maneuver …well, it probably would work. I’m just too lazy to find out.

Go slow and be safe. Move in the morning hours before temps heat up. Drink plenty of cold water. At the end of the venture, a cold brewski may help. 🙂 (Only if you’re not taking any meds…please!)

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

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It’s Two Years Since My TKR

I just re-read my 20-month post tkr post. Nothing much has changed, actually. There is one change, however. Now that I have reached the two year point, I do not have to take antibiotics whenever I go to the dentist. That’s great, in my opinion.

I attribute my success to the fact that I have diligently exercised every day. Starting out it was the rehab-type exercises. We all know the tremendous amount of work involved in doing that. I enjoyed it, however. I’ve always enjoyed exercising. I feel frustrated and “fat” when I don’t do some sort of exercise for at least 30 minutes daily. I also eat a healthy diet.

I have been very fortunate that I have not had any infections or other ill health along the way. My scar has healed wonderfully. In fact, it’s a trophy of sorts. 🙂

My prosthesis is obviously the correct size. After reading comments from other tkr patients, I feel very fortunate with this.

My knee clicked for only a couple of weeks. I wrote a blog post about that. I haven’t had any problem with that since.

Stairs are still a big bite. Going downstairs is more painful. Going upstairs is more of a strain on my “good” knee. I’m not overweight, either.

If I sit in a traditional office-style chair, it is not fun getting out of it. After sitting in the chair for about 15 minutes, it usually takes a few minutes for my tkr leg to adjust and “straighten out” upon standing up. It can be very painful. I believe this is related to my extensive nerve damage. (I’ve written another post about that. Nerve damage was caused by bone spurs).

When using a public restroom, the height of the toilet seat is a concern. Most times I need to use the hand rails. If there are not any, I look around for something else to hold onto. If there is nothing to hold onto, I wish I was a male… (they can stand and take care of their #1 business…my attempt at a joke).

If I bend my tkr beyond a certain point, it is extremely painful. I just don’t bend it beyond that point. (Remember that joke..”Hey, doc..it hurts when I do this,” says the patient. “Don’t do it” replies the doctor.)

It is painful when I first start to ride my stationary bike. My tkr does start to “warm up” after about two minutes.

My tkr swells up a bit when exercising more than about 30 minutes. The swelling is no where near what it was during my recuperation exercise process. Sometimes I put ice on it, other times I don’t. It’s not that big of a deal.

I can walk without the pain associated with pre-tkr functioning. I can function on a daily basis without that level of pain. The thrill of that cannot be described in words.

My tkr has about 115 flexibility. That’s better than it was prior to my tkr. I’m not worried about it.

I can kneel, but it is very slow and deliberate. And, it’s uncomfortable. I only do it when necessary. And, it’s done on a cushioned surface.

I don’t participate in any impact sports or perform any sudden movements of my tkr. There’s a snow tubing expedition coming up that I wouldn’t feel comfortable with. Snow shoeing is doable, though. 🙂

My “good” knee makes crunching sounds regularly. This occurs when I go up stairs or just walk. That’s not what I want to hear.

My “good” knee also swells up and is a bit tender after exercising or doing stairs. That’s not what I want to see.

I can lay flat and my tkr leg will settle into position without much pain. Somedays it takes longer than other days. No big deal.

I can sleep through the entire night. That’s right. It does happen, just takes a LONG time.
I can even sleep on my tkr side without pain. Usually, though, it is painful to stand up after laying on that side.

Well, that’s all I can think of now. Overall…all the PAIN, sleepless nights and frustration of having a tkr is worth it to me. Not once during the original recuperation did I regret having the surgery. Not once since have I regretted it.

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.

This 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.






Stairs & A TKR…19 Months Post-Op

The past few days I have needed to climb up and down stairs that have a wider than 6” depth. (6” is the depth of a typical step or stair).What an experience.

The second day I was totally pooped. I was so tired, in fact, that I fell asleep during some of the Detroit Red Wings’ game against the St. Louis Blues in Sweden. That’s a first. It was kind of funny, actually, because when I started to snooze the Wings were up by two. No worries. When I woke up, they were losing. Bummer.

Anyways, back to my knee. It has been swollen for the past two days. My ankles are swollen, also. The first day sleeping was tough due to my tkr leg hurting so much. It was similar to how it was back when I was still stretching out my hamstrings. My tkr leg was having difficulty stretching out. Ouch..

The nerve on the outside of my tkr leg has been reminding me that it’s there, also. It usually is painful to just stand up. I have to wait a few seconds to get everything in place prior to moving. (I just re-read that sentence and ….that would make a good YouTube video).

I’m staying in an older house now, while watching a cute labrador, and my mind views it as interesting to see how these older houses are built as compared to the newer ones. My body doesn’t think it’s too interesting, though.

It could be much worse. So, for now, I’ll just sound like life is tough when it really isn’t. Just an update about the thrills of stairs and a tkr….19 months post op.

Swelling 18 Months Post TKR

Hi everyone. Let’s start our talk about swelling 18 months post tkr by setting the venue and scene. The other day I was treated to an outdoor event that had me walking and climbing stairs. It was a bull riding event at the local fair. That’s right…bull riding! Yeehaw!!

It’s especially cool when the bull tosses off the bull rider, snorts, stares at the audience and then struts himself around the arena. That’s entertainment, in my books. 🙂 And…we cannot forget those taut cowboys. Oh myyyy… I’ll stop and get back to the purpose of this article. Swelling 18 months post tkr.

Anyways, the day started with me squeezing into the back seat of a low riding sedan. It was not a pretty site, but all was fine and dandy. No problems. Walking around the fair was fun. Checking out the animals was cool. And…there were exotic animals like zebras. Hadn’t seen that in a fair before. Cool..

Then, time came to go to the bull riding event. Tickets were in the grandstands. I didn’t give it much thought until I saw the steps. Yikes. I couldn’t climb over the rows like your average bear. So, I needed to go to the main step thoroughway and walk my way over.

And, as someone stood up for me to pass, they didn’t pick their wive’s bag up. So, I needed to lift that ten pound purse on my own. It was so large, I couldn’t step around it. (I figured her back must be crying on a regular basis).

As the event ended, I walked to the main thoroughway in the bleachers again. Then, I looked down at the step. Yikes again. Gulp. It was steeper than any step exercise (or curb) I had maneuvered. And, there were no railings. I regaled a story about confronting a similar size step. It was fascinating to me but I’m not certain whether my audience thought so.

My friend offered to help me, but no…I’ll do it myself. I’m no weakling. (I have this inability of thinking I can’t do things myself). I ended up going down those stairs sideways. My tkr leg just couldn’t bend enough to handle it the regular way. Bummer..18 months post tkr.

Getting back into the car was another interesting fiasco. Even with the front seat up for driver comfort, my leg was crying since it was pressing against the back of the front seat. Yikes again. It could have been worse, though.

As I got home, getting out of the car would have made a great YouTube video. It was butt first after many attempts for a “normal” departure.

When I got into my home place and prepared for a night of relaxing, I noticed that my tkr leg was swollen around my tibia area. This has happened during tkr rehab, but not much since. The swelling was noticeable from my tkr (I keep using that for search engine happiness.) knee to mid-region. The swelling stopped about half way between my ankle and knee.

It did not hurt, however. Interesting. I forgot to ice it. Note: If figured I had walked about 6 hours that day.

I got up the next day (yesterday) and the swelling was gone.

Thought I’d share this in case anyone else is going through the same thing. Thanks for listening.

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

 

Another Benefit of Upright Bicycles & A TKR

I have written before about how using an upright bicycles helps increase flexibility while recuperating from a tkr. The other day I noticed another benefit after riding…

It makes it easier to go downstairs. After riding my upright exercise bike for about five minutes (I wanted to increase flexibility before going for my daily walk), I had to walk downstairs. I couldn’t believe how much it helped.

Usually when I walk downstairs, there is pain alongside the outer portion of my tkr (due to nerve damage). It didn’t happen this time.

Plus, my flexibility was increased. Nice.

I hope it stays this way.

Now, I’m afraid that since this post is going to published….Murphy’s Law will follow and have me back tracking. ? I’ll take my chances..:)

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