Top 10 Places That Germs Lurk in Your Home

Seeing that people recuperating from a total knee replacement have a compromised immune system, I thought it was appropriate to recirculate this informative article titled ‘Top Ten Places That Germs Lurk in Your Home.’ It is also cold and flu season for everyone. This information has been on WebMD.com, Weather Channel, and other sites.

Got misophobia? You’re not alone. Fear of germs is common and can increase as busy schedules make cleaning time scarce, putting the most fastidious housekeeper on edge. To quell that fear of germs, it helps to know where the germs in your home hide — and the most important places to clean.

While researchers who track germs don’t agree 100%, here are 10 top places where germs lurk in your home- some probably surprising even to Martha Stewart. Let’s also learn how to send the bugs packing.

1. Germs Lurk in Your Home in your Kitchen Sponges
A kitchen sponge can carry more than 134,000 bacteria per square inch, according to a 2007 survey funded by Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of Lysol, and performed by the Hygiene Council. Researchers swabbed 35 U.S. homes for bacteria in 32 different sites.

What makes a sponge so buggy? Using sponges for more than one purpose is common, and people tend to keep their sponges too long, allowing bacteria to multiply, says Kelly Bright, PhD, assistant research scientist at the University of Arizona. “It’s a moist environment, and a sponge is a nice breeding ground.”

Cross-contamination of sponges is common, Bright tells WebMD. You cut raw meat, wipe it up, then prepare another dish and wipe with the same sponge. On a typical sponge you’re likely to find Salmonella (which can cause food-borne illness) and Campylobacter, which can cause diarrhea and abdominal pain, Bright says.

Remedy:
Replace your sponge once a week or so, Bright suggests. Or put it in the dishwasher regularly or soak it in bleach for about 15 minutes. “The dirtier the sponge, the longer you have to soak it to be effective.”

2. Kitchen Sink
Whether empty or full of dishes, the kitchen sink is a germ hot spot, says Bright. “People do a lot of food preparation there,” and that food can lead to contamination, with kitchen drains having more than 500,000 bacteria per square inch, according to the Hygiene Council survey.

Remedy: If you think the last bit of soap suds from washing dishes will take care of things, think again, says Philip Tierno, Jr., PhD, director of clinical microbiology and immunology at Tisch Hospital, New York University Medical Center, and associate professor of microbiology and pathology at NYU School of Medicine.

“Soap doesn’t kill bacteria,” says Tierno, the U.S. representative for the Hygiene Council. His favorite cleaning solution: bleach and water. The FDA suggests kitchen sanitizers or a homemade solution of one teaspoon chlorine bleach in a quart of water, then letting it sit on the surface you’re cleaning for 10 minutes.

3. Germs Lurk in Your Home Here: Faucet Handles
Both bathroom and kitchen faucet handles are germ-catchers. In the Hygiene Council survey, kitchen faucet handles carried more than 13,000 bacteria per square inch and bathroom faucet handles had more than 6,000 bugs per square inch.

Remedy: “Use a disinfectant cleaner spray every time you clean up,” suggests Charles Gerba, PhD, professor of soil, water and environmental science at the University of Arizona, who has researched microbes extensively. In the kitchen, that should be once a day, he says. In the bathroom, at least once a week.

4. Germs Also Lurk in Your Home Here: Home Offices
Surprise: your home office is germier than the typical work office, says Gerba. In a recent study, he compared the average number of bacteria in work and home office to find the numbers of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which can cause serious skin infections.

In his sampling of 60 home offices and 91 work offices, five sites were tested in each. MRSA was isolated in 15 home offices but no work offices. And overall, more bacteria were found in home offices than work offices. Germiest spots in the home office were the keyboard, mouse, phone, and desktop.

“Probably people eat more in the home office,” Gerba says, partially explaining the larger bug population. “You turn your desk into a bacteria cafeteria.”

Remedy: “Use disinfectant at least once a week” on home office surfaces, suggests Gerba.

5. Toilet Bowl
Not surprisingly, the top germ winner in the Hygiene Council survey was the toilet bowl (but not the seat) with 3.2 million bacteria per square inch. Still, Gerba insists, kitchens are dirtier overall. “There are about 200 times more fecal bacteria on a cutting board,” he says, “than on a toilet seat.”

Remedy: Toilet bowl germs form a biofilm, that slimy layer that develops when bacteria attach to a support such as the bowl, says Tierno. Tackle that film with your chlorine bleach and water solution.

6. Germs Lurk in Your Home Here: Bathtub
Never mind that you think the bubble bath left you and your tub squeaky clean. Lurking near the drain of the bathtub is nearly 120,000 bacteria per square inch, according to calculations made in the Hygiene Council Survey.

Remedy: Give your bathtub a buff with bath cleaner or a chlorine-water cleaning solution mixed up at home.

7. Germs in Your Home: Shower Curtain
The crud or soap scum that collects on your shower curtain probably Sphingomonas and Methylobacterium bacteria,says Norman Pace, PhD, professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology, University of Colorado, who collected biofilm from four vinyl shower curtains that had been in place more than six months in Boulder-area homes.

They found an abundance of Sphingomonas and Methylobacterium bacteria, and both could pose a problem for people who are immune-compromised, such as those who are HIV positive, or who have other diseases that make them prone to infections.

Remedy: Regular cleaning or replacement of the curtains is advised.

8. Germs in Your Home: Wet Laundry
What are germs doing in your washing machine? Probably contaminating other clothes. A load of just-washed clothes may look sparkling clean, but guess again.

Researchers at the University of Arizona found that intestinal viruses like hepatitis A are readily transferred from contaminated clothes to uncontaminated clothing during the washing.

Remedy: Bleach and drying time. The use of bleach reduced the number of infectious viruses on swatches after washing and drying by nearly 100%, the researchers found. Putting clothes through the drying cycle helped reduce viruses, too, according to Bright, and a hot water wash is good. “If you use the dryer, put it on hot,” she says, to kill remaining germs. And “separate adult clothes from kids’ clothes.”

9. Germs in Your Home: Vacuum Cleaner
It’s supposed to clean, but your vacuum cleaner is also a source of contamination, Gerba tells WebMD. “We looked at 30 vacuum brushes. € Fifty percent contained coliform fecal bacteria and 13% E. coli,” says Gerba. E. coli can cause diarrhea and other health problems. Coliform bacteria don’t typically cause illness, but are often found in the presence of other disease-causing organisms. “Vacuums become meals on wheels” for the bugs, Gerba says.

Remedy: “There’s not much you can do about the brush,” he says. “Vacuum the cleanest areas first and the dirtiest last,” he suggests. That way, you’ll be less likely to spread around as much bacteria. And if you use a bagless vacuum cleaner, wash your hands afterward, since bacteria can remain in the receptacle.

10. Finally, Germs Lurk in Your Home Here: Beds
Mattresses and pillows provide food for dust mites, Tierno tells WebMD, and bedding can also be a reservoir for molds and spores. “In the mattress core there are all sorts of human secretions and excretions,” he says. “Fecal matter as well as sweat and semen.” What’s the problem? “Bedroom debris is probably one of the biggest causes of allergic rhinitis,” Tierno says. “Allergy from dust mites is also a problem.”

Remedy: Place an “impervious” outer cover over the mattresses and pillows, Tierno says, to keep the debris contained. Then wash bedding regularly in water hot enough to kill the bugs.

Hope this information helps you learn more about protecting your health by knowing places where germs lurk in your home.

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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.






Scoliosis and a Total Knee Replacement

Hi everyone. Due to numerous requests, I am reprinting this article about living with scoliosis and a total knee replacement. My total knee replacement is due to fracturing my femur 40+ years ago in an auto accident. During recuperation, the femur was misaligned and shortened, resulting in a leg length discrepancy and scoliosis. Hopefully, this insight can help you..

After having fractured my femur (the largest bone in the body), my gait was altered. In turn, this caused my spinal column to become malformed -“S”shaped. I developed scoliosis, curvature of the spine. Mine is happening from my waist down, the lower spine.

The scoliosis curved by spine so I now need a 2” shoe lift. Luckily, my spine condition has not caused me any severe problems – as I have heard other people experiencing.

A great exercise for dealing with scoliosis, for me, is to stretch from my waist to toe. (Like touching my toes, only I touch the ground with my wrists).

Also, another great exercise involves getting in the push up position and then arching my back like a cat and then reversing ..or “curving” it while looking up.

According to yoga practitioners, this yoga maneuver is titled the cat pose. Like many of you, probably, I was doing this stretch way before yoga became “the current craze”. It’s always interesting to see how exercises take on new forms and practices. 🙂

I also like to lay on a flat surface and bring my knees to my chest. This stretches my lower back.

As long as I have had scoliosis, it is not something that has ever caused me extreme discomfort. I have been blessed in that matter. Perhaps it’s because I eat healthy, wear my shoe lift, exercise regularly, am medication-free, and take care of my health. Whatever the reason, I am truly grateful.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing. Of course, these exercises may not work for you. Always be safe and consult with your medical care provider before starting any new exercise.

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 similar situations.

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Are You Familiar With A TKR Rejection?

Hi everyone. One of my faithful readers, Renee, has posted an interesting dilemma. She is seeking our help. Her body is dealing with tkr rejection. I have never heard of this before and find it quite interesting. Here is her story:

*********
“I got more info re my knee rejections. It appears my body does not like foreign objects. No allergies, infection or rheumatic disease. All bloodwork was normal.

I have been given one last option, to try a non approved drug to see if it will stop the loosening of my implants. If it works then I can have the surgery. If not, nothing can be done. No surgery.

I am telling you this as you have a lot of people who have had knee issues on your post.

I am seeking any information from anyone who may be going through this re my situation. I am also looking for doctors who have come across this.

Thanks for any help. Renee”
*******

Since I, Marie B (aka Booktoots) have never dealt with a tkr rejection situation, I am hoping some of you have and will take the time to post a comment. She trusts your feedback.

Let’s show her why this site is rated one of the best tkr blogs online by Healthline.com. Best TKR Blogs of 2017

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.

The site, Booktoots’ Healing, 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 Naturally Improve Your Posture

Hello everyone. Slouching and other poor posture positions are becoming increasingly popular – especially when sitting in a chair all day, staring at a computer. I thought it would be worthy to share some insight about the importance posture plays in your overall health. You can use the below-mentioned techniques to naturally improve your posture. You do not have to spend a penny. Enjoy…

For some background – Poor posture places increased stress on joints, internal organs, and plays havoc on the spinal column. It can also negatively affect your balance. If you don’t believe me, tilt your upper body forward and start walking around.

In addition to increasing joint stress, poor posture results in improper spinal alignment which causes a number of health concerns. Health concerns include increased pain caused by pinched nerves, limited mobility and a number of other ailments that are not a lot of fun.

Hold in your stomach muscles. While going for walks, tighten your abdominal muscles so your navel goes toward your spinal column. Continue breathing normally and don’t stress out over it. It’s a natural process.

Your muscles like to be worked. Feel your spinal column straighten immediately. In fact, it’s hard…if not impossible…to slouch when your stomach (abdominal) muscles are tightened.

Try this maneuver next time you go walking, sitting for any length of time or even standing in line. Consciously make a point of doing it throughout the day- no matter what you are doing.

Pull your shoulders back. Instead of letting your shoulders slump, make a point of pulling them up and back so your chest is open. You will immediately find breathing easier, when done correctly.

Be proactive: Instead of letting your health decline to the point of needing a doctor’s visit, be proactive and check out your posture. This is especially true when you FIRST experience a tingling sensation in any extremity.

Poor posture may be the root of your concern. Do some stretches, take breaks, tighten your abs, sit up straight. It costs nothing, only an increased body awareness that helps develop healthy habits.

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.

Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!






TKR Leg Straightening Exercises That Make a Difference

Hi everyone. I’ve been receiving numerous emails about tkr leg straightening exercises. It seems that an update to a previously popular article is in order. I am leaving the original comments intact so you can gain further insight.

Leg straightening was of particular interest to me during my initial tkr recuperation stages. I had to spend extra time working on this area to make my leg (knee) lie flat on any surface. You are probably the same way.

Hope the following information is useful to you..

Search online and you will notice that there have been a number of blog posts written about ways to straighten your leg after undergoing a total knee replacement. I have used them and they work well. Even though the basic exercise maneuver and format is there, it is always interesting to see these exercises from a different perspective. All variations can be individualized to suit individual needs.

I love sharing insight from my readers. In this instance, it is from Monique, one of my favorite contributors who just underwent a tkr herself. Her helpful suggestions put a different spin on some traditional leg straightening exercises to do during the tkr recuperation process. I thought her variations would be helpful to share with everyone. I have tested each maneuver and can attest to its legitimacy. They are as follows, in her words:

1) Lie on the bed and extend the TKR leg and place the heel on a rolled up towel so that the leg is slanted, not touching the bed. Then take a phone book, open it in half and place it across the knee. Stay in position for about 4 minutes. (I had to work up to this because it hurt when I first began doing this.)

2) Another exercise for straightening the leg…Lie face down on bed and let your leg hang over the edge of the bed about at the knee. Add a weight on the ankle of the TKR knee. I put the strap of my purse on my ankle and let the bag hang down. Stay in position for about 4 minutes or as long as your can stand it.

I like the idea of the phone book as a weight in exercise #1. And, the idea of using a purse strap in exercise #2 is very ingenious, in my opinion. 🙂

Thanks, Monique. I’m sure others will enjoy these exercises as well. Well, maybe not enjoy them (due to pain, you know..), but will get great use out of them. 🙂

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.






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.

Was this article helpful? 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.

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.







A Rocking Chair For Total Knee Replacement

We all know the importance of improving our flexibility after a tkr (total knee replacement). A great way to do this is by turning your rocking chair into an exercise tool. When done correctly, you will feel a wonderful stretch along the front portion of your tkr.

All you need to do is position yourself in your favorite rocking chair. Sit upright, being sure to use good posture. Make certain your feet are firmly planted on the floor’s surface. Gently start rocking back and forth at a slow pace.

* Just keep rocking forward until you feel a pull. Slowly return to the original position. For myself, this works well for 5-10 minutes. It’s a wonderful warm-up exercise maneuver. It also works well on those days when you are feeling a little stiff.

Don’t have a rocking chair? Don’t worry..you can use an exercise bike. Put your feet on the pedals. For your right knee, bring the right pedal to the uppermost position.

* Gently start rocking/moving the pedal back and forth until you feel a gentle stretch. Use your left leg as an anchor to add resistance. Hold this position for five seconds, if desired. Do the opposite with your left leg.

Yes, it likely will be painful. No one ever said that recuperating from a total knee replacement is easy. As you progress in your post-tkr period, the pain will diminish.

Hopefully this will work for you, too. Good luck!

Of course, be sure to check with your medical care provider before starting any new total knee replacement exercise maneuver.

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Post-TKR Exercise: Always Important

Hi everyone! It has been awhile since my tkr and I have been asked numerous times if any post-tkr exercise is still needed. The answer is…”YES!!” Unless you want to go through life with a stiff tkr knee, exercise is imperative. Everyone needs to exercise, irregardless of their physical condition.

I’ve had readers tell me that they can’t wait to finish physical therapy so they don’t have to exercise. Many never do the exercises they were given and believe all will be well. There will be a rude awakening, I guarantee it. Once the rehab exercises stop, we need to condition our minds that daily exercise is needed. It is not something to dread. We need to be grateful that we can move efficiently enough to exercise. Exercise needs to be viewed as fun, not a task.

Exercise does not have to be strenuous, either. Of course, the best cardiovascular benefits will be obtained by partaking at a moderately brisk pace for at least 30 minutes, 5 times weekly. It can be walking, swimming and/or water aerobics, riding a bike (stationary or “real”) or even gardening. Cleaning around the house counts (vacuuming, cleaning cupboards, etc).

walking-man

Granted, these activities come with time after a tkr. I, personally, had a very difficult time vacuuming for a couple of months after my tkr. Even walking took time. I’m sure we all know about the difficulties involved on a more personal scale. As the saying goes, “everything worthwhile takes time”.

Please do not think that once you are finished with your rigorous rehab routine, that the exercise stops. That’s setting yourself up for disaster. You need to keep your body moving. If you’re complaining about that, think of the alternative.

Lack of exercise can lead to a variety of negative health ailments, which may ultimately result in a permanently horizontal position (death). Lying in a wooden box isn’t too appealing to me. I hope it isn’t to you, either.

I would like to believe that anyone who has gone through a tkr wants to make the most of it. You received your new artificial knee so you can move without pain, right? So…get up and do that post-tkr exercise! Your overall health will thank you.

Sound 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.






Gratitude Works Wonders

Hello everyone. Any one who has been through a total knee replacement knows that it takes a lot of recuperation and hard work. (That’s an understatement!) Sometimes it just doesn’t seem like it’s going to get any better. This is where gratitude comes in handy.

I regularly hear from readers who express frustration about the tkr recuperation process. Know that you are not alone. If you’re not frustrated, something is amiss – in my opinion. It is important to always remember gratitude. Here is a story that needs sharing…

While going through physical therapy, I was put on the stationary exercise bike. This was very difficult and extremely painful. I downright dreaded it and every moment involved. You will likely feel the same. The experience was two-fold, though.

I dreaded it since I knew what a hard time I had with it. I could not make a total revolution without experiencing immense pain and discomfort. My knee was too stiff. On the other hand, I wanted to do it since I knew how helpful it was for my recuperation process.

One day, as I was bicycling, I was griping up a storm. Life was miserable, I was in pain, and I hated that damn machine. Gripe, gripe, gripe. Then, I turned and looked at the lady laying next to me on the workout mat… She had no legs. Both of her legs were amputated at the knee.

To say I felt awful and self-absorbed, is an understatement. How could I possibly complain about my one knee when someone else has no legs? Wow… Reality hit hard that day. It’s strange how the universe works. Suddenly, things were put into perspective.

This isn’t to say that I don’t complain (who? Me?) about the tkr recuperation process still being difficult and painful, I just think more often about how much worse it could be.

So, be grateful for what you have every day. Yes, I know, sometimes it is easier said than done. However – Gratitude works wonders. This is especially true when we look around. 🙂

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.






TKR Exercise Is Critical

Hi everyone! One of my readers sent me this article about the importance of exercising after a total knee replacement. I thought it was interesting and wanted to share it again. The powerful data never grows old…

Exercise after knee replacement critical..
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-02/uod-eak020209.php

It may be uncomfortable at first, but doing exercises to strengthen your quadriceps after you’ve had knee replacement surgery due to osteoarthritis is critical to your recovery. In fact, it can boost the function of your new knee to nearly that of a healthy adult your age.

That’s the finding of a University of Delaware study published in the February issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

The authors include Lynn Snyder-Mackler, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Physical Therapy at the University of Delaware, Stephanie Petterson, clinical faculty at Columbia University, Ryan Mizner, an assistant professor at Eastern Washington University, Jennifer Stevens, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado at Denver, and Drs. Leo Raisis, Alex Bodenstab, and William Newcomb of First State Orthopaedics in Newark, Delaware.

“It sounds logical that exercises to strengthen your knee should be a component of your post-operative physical therapy after a total knee replacement, but it’s not the convention at all,” says Snyder-Mackler.

“There are all of these old wives’ tales that strength training is a detriment to the patient and that the new knee should be treated delicately,” Snyder-Mackler notes. “Our study demonstrates that intensive strength exercise as outpatient therapy is critical to begin three to four weeks after surgery.”

Nearly 500,000 knee replacements, also known as total knee arthroplasties, are performed every year in the United States to treat severe knee osteoarthritis, the loss of the cushiony cartilage padding the knee. The joint disease leaves its sufferers with persistent pain and limited function, resulting in an overall diminished quality of life.

While knee replacement alleviates the pain of osteoarthritis and improves function, patients exhibit impaired quadriceps strength and function for such activities as walking and climbing stairs, and the levels remain below those of healthy people of the same age.

In a randomized controlled trial at the University of Delaware’s Physical Therapy Clinic conducted between 2000 and 2005, 200 patients who had undergone knee replacements were given six weeks of progressive strength training two or three times a week starting four weeks after surgery. Half of the group also received neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES).

Their function was compared to that of 41 patients who received conventional rehabilitation and home physical therapy. Quadriceps strength, knee range of motion, and gait were measured in such tests as timed up and go, stair climbing and a six-minute walk.

The group in the progressive strength-training program showed significant improvement in quadriceps strength and functional performance. They also demonstrated substantially greater quadriceps strength and functional performance after 12 months than the group that underwent conventional rehabilitation.

“This study clearly demonstrates the importance of surgeons encouraging their patients to be compliant with progressive quadriceps strengthening during their rehabilitation to enhance their clinical improvement and function post-total knee replacement,” notes Dr. Leo Raisis, a total joint surgeon and adjunct associate professor at the University of Delaware.

“Why undergo a $25,000 elective surgery and then not do as much as you can to get the most out of it and improve your quality of life?” Snyder-Mackler says. “Older people are incredibly motivated—they hurt after the surgery and they want to be better. They need to do this.”

Hope this helps others going through the same thing. Remember, you are not alone. Check back here often for further insight to help your tkr recuperation process.

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.