Balance Issues & A Total Knee Replacement

Hi everyone! I have been asked about balance issues after having a tkr. I have written about this in numerous posts, but have received requests for this particular one. So…

Something strange and perplexing has been happening lately. There will be times when I move and suddenly lose my balance. It is not extreme, only a simply side step. To someone who didn’t know any better, it might appear as if I had been drinking too much alcohol.

I don’t understand why it’s happening, either. Sometimes it is due to my shoes losing ankle support. Other times it happens when I get out of a seating position and start to walk. Other times it occurs for no reason at all. It may be due to my leg length discrepancy. Sometimes it happens when my glasses are not properly positioned (I have a prism in my lenses). It’s been 7 months, 1 week since my total knee replacement surgery.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

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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.






Seeking Professional Web Designer

Hi my favorite readers! I need your help. Can anyone refer me to a competent, trustworthy, reasonably priced, and professional web designing expert?

After working online for six years, I have reached the point where I do not trust half of what I see. This may sound skeptical, but, everyone can be an “expert” anymore. All one needs to do is set up a free blog and start putting on content. One “expert” says one thing, another says the completely opposite, and the third has a neutral viewpoint. Where does one turn when totally uninformed? I have even seen my content stolen and put on some of these sites. There was no credit given to me, either.

I continually receive emails from SEO, web design, web marketing and the like “experts”. Some offer fantastic deals, but how am I supposed to know their competency level? I’m not trusting my site to just anybody. It’s true that some of these firms may actually be high caliber. How am I supposed to know, though?

So….does anyone have FIRST-HAND experience with a firm, or individual, they trust in this area? I trust my readers. Any help is appreciated.

This site has turned into a valuable support community for many people. And, I have you to thank for that. I believe it can be even better with specialized professional help, too.

If you do not know of anyone who can help, can you kindly forward this request to your contacts?

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.






Iron Supplements & Total Knee Replacement Pre-Op

Here is a reprint of another popular post I’ve had numerous requests for.

Recently, I was asked about taking iron supplements prior to my total knee replacement surgery. I know from personal experience that the iron supplements are needed due to blood donations. During my pre-op procedure procedure, my surgeon recommended that I donate two pints of my blood. This blood would be “put back into me” during my surgery.

Some trains of thought do not agree with iron supplements for various reasons. However, I am glad that it was recommended as part of my pre-op process. See, after my surgery, the doctor told me that I lost so much blood during the surgery that I was considered borderline anemic. Had I not taken any iron supplements, I am certain it would have been much worse.

As much as I may not have agreed with other pre-op procedures, taking iron supplements is a-okay in my opinion.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

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Donating Orthopaedic Shoes? Yes You Can

Hi everyone! Now’s the time of year when we see all types of donation bins around town. One was placed at my local YWCA. It was for shoe donations. Seeing that I’ve been wearing an external 1.5” shoe lift for over 35 years, I didn’t think donating orthopaedic shoes applied. But, I inquired anyways.

It turns out that there are people with leg length discrepancies in need of shoes with lifts. This never occurred to me, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s because I very rarely see anyone wear a lift of this size. Here’s the story…

I was in the locker room last week. The lady next to me complimented me on my shoe lift (how often does that happen?? NOT MUCH!). She stated that her daughter has MS and needs a shoe lift, but cannot afford it. The mom had never seen a “real life” shoe lift. She was fascinated. She started asking me all types of questions. She seemed relieved to see a possible solution to your daughter’s dilemma. It turns out that her daughter walks around in great pain and discomfort wearing “ordinary” shoes. The lady then went on to explain that there are many adults and kids looking for orthopedic footwear they otherwise cannot afford.

That got me to thinking. I went to the front desk and inquired as to whether the involved shoe donation site would be interested in shoes with lifts on them. I have been accumulating them for years. She excitedly stated, “I’m sure they would!”

There are a number of shoe donation sites available online. Most seem to focus on sending shoes to underprivileged nations. I’m all for supporting each other as much as possible. However, why not donate shoes to your local community? There are many who can use the help. And…if you take your shoe donation to the site yourself, you’ll know your shoes are actually going to where you want them to go. (There’s something fishy about some online donation sites that just doesn’t settle well with me.)

Anyways, instead of discarding or storing your unused orthopedic shoes…consider donating them to a worthy cause. You’ll be helping someone in need, while freeing up landfills or closet space.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

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Detached Toenail & A TKR

Hi my favorite readers! Recently, something happened that I believe is worthy of sharing. It might happen to you. So..I’m hoping my insight can provide some useful information.

If you’re like me, you were told the importance of staying away from infections after your tkr. An infection can easily lead to a new joint replacement. And…who wants that?

Here’s the story…One of the after effects of my car accident (35+ years ago), was a double toe nail. It’s the middle toe on each foot. Don’t ask me why. It just happened and I live with it.

Well…upon enjoying a wonderful excursion that involved A LOT of walking on a variety of surfaces, one of these double toe nails became loose. It happened after 2.5 days of walking.

The first symptoms were pain, a slight redness, and discomfort when walking. I took a break and checked my feet. My one toe was obviously overstressed, so I put an extra bandage on it to prepare for more walking. My foot check didn’t show anything out of the ordinary. I just figured I was walking too much. I took short breaks throughout the day. I elevated my leg at night.

The second day, the pain was becoming more intense. Walking was not fun, especially downhill. It was very trying. I needed more breaks. It didn’t help that the person I was with yelled at me to “MAN UP!!”, while storming away. ( I have forgiven that behavior, but am not tolerating it. We’re no longer friends..BTW..) When I did a foot check at day’s end, the toenail was still in place. I did the bandage, cleaning, and elevating routine again.

On the third day, something told me I needed to do an extra foot check before starting my walking activities. My toenail was partially detached from the toe bed. It was the strangest thing I’ve seen. The nail was held in place on each side by a thin piece of skin. I could press on the end of my nail and see my nail bed. Whoa…I put on extra bandages until I could apply more first aid.

My first reaction…”I CAN’T GO SWIMMING!!!” I thought I was destined to two years of purgatory land-based exercises. Yikes…I then heard that all I needed to do was keep it wrapped up. Still…to be truthful…I’m extremely diligent about AVOIDING infections at all cost. I was scared.

So…I got home, bought some Neosporin, a ton of bandages and did home-based first aid. When swimming, I applied waterproof bandages that were ok. After every swim, I would gently dry the toe, apply some new antiseptic, and change the bandage. I did this every morning and night, also.

As of today’s writing, I would like everyone to know..I am the proud owner of a new toe nail. 🙂 So far, it is a single toe nail. Woohoo!! It took about two months to grow. I am very blessed to have a healthy immune system and good common sense.

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

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Water-Based TKR Clicking..WHAT??!!

Hi my favorite readers! I’ve written previously about tkr clicking occurring during periods after my surgery. The experiences all occurred on land. Some of you have shared your own experiences. Mine, fortunately, is no concern. It happened for a short time. When it does happen, it is very sporadic and not painful. Something recently happened that I thought was worthy of sharing….

It happened while I was swimming. Water is known for its buoyancy factor, meaning it supports most of the body weight. It takes pressure off your joints. That’s why it makes such a fantastic exercise medium. Anyways…

I was swimming and suddenly my knee felt like it was clicking. It was the strangest feeling. It only last for a few kicks. What a bizarre feeling, though.

Since then, it has happened occasionally. There is no pain associated with it. Talk about strange…

Well, that’s the end of my experience with water-based tkr clicking. Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

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More Nerve Damage, Bone Spur & TKR Insight

Hi my favorite readers! Recently, I have received a number of comments regarding nerve damage after a tkr. I have written about this previously, as in the post below, but wanted to provide yet another update. The update involves my personal experience. My nerve damage was caused prior to my tkr. Remember, your experience may be different..and probably is. Anyways…here goes:

The nerve damage pain caused from a former bone spur is unpredictable. Sometimes it flares up after swimming and sometimes it does not. I have noticed that when I extensively use my legs during the paddling process, the pain exacerbates quickly. Sometimes the pain is so intense that I need to bite my tongue to walk into the locker room. Sometimes the pain is simply an annoyance.

When the pain does flare up, I notice that doing some upper torso turns provides a natural way to reduce pain levels. The exercise involves keeping my upper body facing straight ahead while my lower body turns from right to left. Or rather, I turn my body in those directions. 🙂

What I find interesting is over the years, I have noticed that the nerves alongside my knee seem to be attached to the lower portion of my spinal column. Knee-to-chest exercises also work well to reduce pain levels. Rarely does the nerve pain extend to my ankle.

Well, thought I’d share the information to help others going through the same thing.

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Using My Toes To Dress Myself

Hi everyone! Here is an excerpt from my upcoming book about living in a body cast for two years. I had a full body cast (spica) that covered my entire left side from chest to ankle. Enjoy!

When I needed to get dressed, I would pick my clothing up with my toes. In addition to helping out with my toe muscles, this made for a great experience. I did not have to rely on anyone or anything else. It took time, but so what. Life isn’t too rushed while living in a body cast.

For socks, I would pick up my sock by grabbing a hold of it with my toes. I would slide the upper portion (opening) of the sock between my big toe and next toe. At that point, I would slide the sock over my other foot’s toes. I slowly would pull it down over my heel. Then, I would raise my heel and slide it on the bed. That way, my sock would slide over my heel and foot. After having my sock cover my heel and sole, I would pull it up with my good foot. There really wasn’t much room to pull it up over my leg since my cast started at my ankle.

I never thought about using my toes as a dressing aid before being in a body cast. (Remember…this was back in the late 1970’s. Now, you can probably watch YouTube videos on this topic. Or, approach an Occupational Therapist for insight.) It’s amazing what the mind comes up with when needed. This task sure gave me a greater appreciation for my toes and feet. They’re marvelous little tools!

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.






For My Cold Weather TKR Friends

Hi everyone! Here’s the scoop for my cold weather tkr friends…While recuperating from a tkr, I learned about how convenient flannel-lined satin pajamas were. Even when my recuperation first started, and I couldn’t switch positions, I found that the sliding ability of satin worked well. So…I wrote a post about it.

After having searched everywhere for new pajamas, I was running out of luck and patience. No manufacturer seems to make that variety anymore. Then, as luck would have it, I ran into a former lingerie Sales Manager at my local department store. Here’s the scoop….

The pajamas are technically known as “brush back satin”. I finally had a name for them! It is satin that is lined (“backed”) with flannel. It turns out that the pajamas are not manufactured on a regular basis but on a sporadic basis (if at all, any more). “Those pajamas were so popular”, she said. “We only received so many throughout the cold weather season, though. Then, we wouldn’t receive anymore for a long time. People were always asking about them,” the former sales manager told me.

Since I’m tired of being frustrated while searching department stores, I called my fabric store to check out the possibility of buying the same type of fabric. (I used to sew all my clothes in my younger days. 🙂 )Yes, the fabric is made. The material is called “flannel-backed satin”. It averages $10 a yard. So…that breaks down to about $30-40 for a comfy pair of pj’s. Hmm.. That’s just the material, too. I’ll check out the fabric store tomorrow and get the total scoop.

The comfort from being able to slide easily in bed without experiencing excess pain and/or discomfort is well worth the extra cost, in my opinion.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

Find interesting? Kindly share….Thanks!