Five Year Post-TKR Update

Hi everyone. Many of you have asked about my five year post-tkr update. Here is a reprint of my original article, originally published March 7, 2013.

Wow..five years have already passed since my total knee replacement surgery. As the saying goes..”where has the time gone?” Anyways, it’s time for a tkr update. Thanks for reminding me of this. I am a success story for a tkr, and grateful for it.

* Nothing much has changed since my last update, actually. I am in good health except for my bionic knee.

* My knee still swells up when I overdo it. Sometimes it hurts, other times it does not.

* I can kneel, but not with as much flexibility as my “healthy” knee. That’s no big deal since I couldn’t really do that prior to my tkr surgery.

* I can walk without pain. That’s a crucial improvement, when compared to before surgery.

* I still am not on any medications. Considering my age, and the feedback from heavily prescribed friends, I am very proud of that fact.

* Sleeping is no problem at all. How grateful am I for that?! 🙂

* Flexibility is around 93. That’s what it was prior to my tkr. Once again…no biggie. I would absolutely not have a manipulation done. Never even considered it. If someone else wants to do it, that’s their business.

* Sitting is fine as long as I take periodic breaks and stretch. That’s the same for any healthy person, though.

* Exercising daily is crucial for everything, including keeping the tkr operating well. I regularly engage in swimming, stationary bicycling, walking and stretching.

* I properly nourish my body, which plays a huge role in keeping everything operating well. I eat minimal processed foods and concentrate on getting plenty of nutritious, whole foods in my system. I’ve been doing this since a kid.

* I maintain an ideal weight that is “weight-height proportionate” to reduce any impact on my joints. That’s easily done with exercise and eating properly.

That’s about it for now. How’s your post-tkr update going?

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

NOTE: This is a republished article from 2013.







Nine Year Post-TKR Update

Hi everyone. I regularly get asked about my tkr – or total knee replacement – updates. It’s nice to know that my insight is helpful to so many of you. The time has come for another one.

It is hard to believe that nine years have already passed since I had my total knee replacement. So, here is my 9 Year Post-TKR Update:

I have stated it before throughout this blog, but need to reiterate. I am a successful recipient of a bionic knee. Luckily, I am experiencing no complications, nor have I ever. I have never had a manipulation.

Here are some of things going on that are worth mentioning….

I am proudly on ZERO medications and in my 60’s.

My tkr knee still swells when overdoing it. Sometimes it is painful.

My “good” knee occasionally crunches like paper, but has no pain.

My tkr sometimes click. It is nothing of concern. I have written about this previously.

My bionic knee flexibility is where it was prior to my total knee replacement.

Kneeling is possible, but with some support and pain.

I can get on the floor, but it surely is not a pretty picture. It would make a good YouTube video, for sure.

I regularly exercise. Many exercises are the same ones I did preparing for my tkr.

My exercises include: swimming, isometrics, walking, chair yoga, yoga, lifting weights, and balance – among others.

Walking on uneven,unsecured surfaces (like gravel) is uncomfortable. It can be done, though. I just take my time. This issue occurred prior to my tkr and still exists.

I maintain an ideal weight.

I believe the reason I am doing so well is that I have been living a healthy lifestyle, long before it became the current rage. I eat plenty of produce and always have. So much, in fact, that it can get tiring having so much to compost. 🙂

My meal plan plays a key role in living with my tkr. I severely limit my consumption of the standard American diet. “We are what we eat”, as the saying goes. Nothing pleases me more than enjoying some steamed veggies and a protein. I firmly believe that moderation is the key.

I hope this 9-year post-tkr update helps others going through the same thing. – Marie

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







One Week After A Total Knee Replacement

Hi everyone! Have you recently undergone a total knee replacement? Are you wondering what others in your similar situation are going through? I know some of you are, since you have contacted me. You have been asking for an article I wrote discussing what happens one week after a total knee replacement.

Here goes…

It’s been a week since my total knee replacement. Considering that it’s a major operation, it just amazes me how my tkr recovery has me I’m up and around. There’s a lot of swelling of my foot and knee area. It goes down a bit with ice.

Every hour, I get up and walk around. In addition to developing my knee muscles from the surgery, I need to retrain my muscles to be used ‘normally’. See, for the past 30 years, I’ve been wearing a shoe lift. This means that I haven’t been walking from heel to toe. Rather, my gait has been from plop to toe.

The pain upon first rising, either in the morning or after sitting, is unbearable. Once I begin to move, though, it gets better. Prescribed pain meds are ineffective for me. They usually get me nauseated. So, I don’t take any.

Muscles are meant to be used, and it’s interesting to see how they develop and/or rebuild one week after a total knee replacement. Painful, but interesting. Don’t ask me to repeat that next time I stand up, though.

Once finding out I needed a home therapist 3x/week, I didn’t think it was necessary. Now, I’m glad it’s happening. On our first meeting, she showed me new ‘tricks’. I’ve already told her that she is known to my friends as “the torturist”. Her reply to that? “PT stands for pain and torture”. That’s funny.

My PT lady just came and went. She eliminated an unbearable amount of pain simply by stretching my newly aligned muscles. Right on, PT lady. 🙂

Hope my tkr blog insight about what happens one week after a total knee replacement helps others going through the same thing. Do not give up. It does get better!

Find interesting? Kindly share my tkr blogger story…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 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

 

Seven Year Post TKR Update

Hi everyone! It has already been seven years since my tkr surgery. I thought it would be fun to share what is going on now to help others going through the same thing at this stage of post-tkr surgery. So, here goes…

* Knee swelling is still common after walking or standing for extended periods of time. I simply elevate the leg afterwards. If the swelling and pain are intense, I may apply ice. Usually I do not need to. I know many of you express concerns about swelling months or a year after a tkr, well it still happens…

* My flexibility is about 95. As I have stated before, that is where it was prior to my tkr. I am not concerned about this. I still do exercises, though, to keep my knee as flexible as possible.

* My tkr leg lies flat on the surface without any problem. What I am trying to say is…There is no space underneath, as during the initial stages of recuperation.

* Stairs are doable, but not a pretty picture when undertaken. If anyone is around, I simply ask them to conquer the steps first. If there was a race between a sloth and I, the sloth would likely win. Still..no complaints here.

* My knee still gets hot, or very warm to the touch, after overdoing it. It just takes time to cool down. I may ice it or not. It’s no biggie.

* The neuropathy left behind from my bone spur is there. Sometimes it is very painful, other times it is mild. Still other times it results in a tingling sensation that encompasses my entire leg. Elevating my leg and taking a couple AC & Cs will help. So will a gentle massage.

* My tkr will click every now and then. It’s bizarre when it happens while swimming. The clicking is no concern for me. It really does not happen that often.

* Kneeling is doable, but only with cushions underneath. It is not a common occurrence. When it does happen, I only kneel to a 95 degree angle. Anything more is too painful and uncomfortable. I don’t like pain.

* I can weave in and out of pedestrian traffic in an enviable fashion. It’s a gift and great blessing when so many people hem and haw their way around. 🙂

Well, I guess that is it for now. The tkr recuperation process is so difficult, the insomnia period so long, but the final result is so worth it..in my opinion.

As I said in the beginning, I hope this information has helped many of you going through the same situation. Thank you for taking the time to read.

If you find this information interesting, kindly share it with others. 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.






Hot TKR Update

Hi my favorite readers! I have been receiving an increasing number of comments about tkr knees getting warm or hot after activity. I have written about this previously and thought I would update information in this post.

Please note: My tkr surgery was over 5.5 years ago. To this day, my knee still gets slightly swollen and warm after overdoing it. All I need to do is ice it and elevate it for a while.

During the first three months of tkr recuperation, my knee would get hot after any activity. And..I mean hot. With the passing of months and years, the temperature would cool to the warm level.

The same applies to swelling. Initially, the swelling was very noticeable. Mostly it occurred in the kneecap area. Now, the swelling occurs but at a very reduced rate. When the swelling does occur now, it just makes it look like I have a fat knee. 😕

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

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4-Year Post TKR Update

Hello my favorite readers! I’ve had some readers ask me lately how everything is going after my tkr, so I thought I’d update. Plus, it’s coming up to the 4-year post surgery date.

Everything is fine:
No revisions or adjustments have been needed
No complications
No excessive pain (woohoo!!!)
No excessive clicking
No feelings of misalignment.
I am what’s considered a success story. 🙂

I attribute it to doing my post-tkr recuperation program as directed, exercising regularly and eating a healthy meal plan.

I enjoy exercising and feeling my muscles and body move.

I enjoy eating a plain, unadulterated meal plan full of fruits, veggies, lean protein and whole grains. Moderation is the key, in my opinion.

I am not on any medications.

I maintain the proper body weight, which decreases pressure on my tkr leg and skeletal system in general.

Sleeping is not an issue, as it was during the tkr recuperation process. I’ve written before about going for a solid 8 months without sleeping more than 2 hours at a time due to excessive pain. It seems to be a common issue among total knee replacement patients.

Don’t get me wrong. There are times when my tkr area hurts due to exercising too much. (My mistake)

The damaged nerve (caused from a previous bone spur) that runs from my lower spine to ankle still hurts every now and then. I have written about the nerve damage in previous posts.

Sometimes my tkr does make a clicking sound, but that is rare.

If anyone reading this is considering a total knee replacement, I would highly recommend it if you have exhausted all other options.
Hoping this helps others going through the same thing. Does anyone else have stories to share?

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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.






One Year Post TKR Update

Hi my favorite readers! It has been one year already since my total knee replacement surgery. I had my follow-up appointment that was informative. The results were positive, mixed, and of concern.

Positive:
X-rays
. On the positive side, my x-rays looked perfect. My implant is properly placed, secure, and of no concern whatsoever. Nice. Good job by my surgeon. He rocks!

Scar. Scar looks healthy with no complications at all. Another nice. I was not expecting any problem anyways in this area. I have an attractive looking scar. And, no, I don’t try to hide it. 🙂

Movement. My implant moved fine when slightly manipulated by the doctor. All the doctor did is move my knee gently back and forth, and from side to side. The minimal clicking is “normal”. Nice.

No complications. There are no complications from the tkr. No infection nor side effects to speak of. Again, I was not expecting any concerns in this area. Overall, I have very good health and take pride in that.

Stairs. I can go up stairs in a slow and deliberate manner. This was impossible prior to surgery.

Walking. I can enjoy walking again without pain nor needing crutches.

Walking aides. I do not need any walking aides anymore. I did prior to surgery.

Mixed:
Flexibility
. My flexibility is around 95. It may never increase due to prior scar tissue from a trauma injury sustained 33 years ago. My femur fracture and subsequent surgery (original reason for knee problems) has old scar tissue that inhibits my movement. Bummer.

Knee appearance. My tkr knee is still swollen, more so after exercise or standing for a while. That will be around for some time. I was told my tkr knee will never look like my healthy knee. Oh well. That’s life.

Shoe lift. I need to wear a shoe lift due to leg length differences. Prior to my tkr, I wore a shoe lift for 30+ years. The amount has decreased by 1/2” since my total knee replacement, though. Various reasons. This aspect is being viewed as ‘mixed’ since I was hoping I didn’t have to wear a shoe lift anymore. However, since it’ll result in my body being aligned properly – I am not griping. It’s surprising to me how it took a year to reveal itself, though. Come to think of it, it was revealing itself through my
opposite side hip and knee pain.

Of concern:
Stairs. Stairs will be difficult to go down due to decreased flexibility and a shoe lift. Bummer.

Flexibility. Even though my tkr knee may eventually have more flexibility, it may not. It is much better than before my total knee replacement surgery, though. Much better.

Dressing. It is not fun getting dressed. I haven’t mentioned this before since I forgot about it. Putting on pants is a bite. Could be worse, though.

Nerve damage. This can be a biggie, especially when trying to sleep. It is not consistent throughout the day, luckily. I have blog posted about this previously. It is not going to get any better unless I want to have surgery done on it. I will not do that. I refuse to have anymore surgery. I have found that massaging my leg along the nerve line does help, if only temporarily. Icing helps, also. Yoga movements also help some. The way I look at it…I’ve lived with pain for the past 30+ years, why stop now? 😕 Could be worse.

Overall….I have no regrets AT ALL for having my total knee replacement surgery. The recuperation is difficult and time consuming, but that’s life.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

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Ten Months After Total Knee Replacement

Hi my favorite readers! It’s been ten months since my total knee replacement (already!?) and I thought I’d take the time to update my recuperation process. So, in a sense, this is a Progress Report…:)

It’s remarkable to me how my leg is now almost fully functioning. Immediately after surgery, my leg muscles could not even lift my leg AT ALL. To remember that and see where my leg is at now…is amazing to me. It involved a lot of work…but is so worth it. 🙂

Positive:

  • Leg lifts: accomplished from all angles – up, sideways, backwards (with some pain)
  • Balance: good balance on both legs.
  • Walking: walking is not an issue anymore. Do it faithfully. My gait is “normal”.
  • Knee bends: still tricky, not very deep, but doable
    • Hamstring: now being used, still needs stretching to work properly
    • Icing: Finally appreciate the benefits of icing and use it regularly
    • Bicycling: Exercise bikes for flexibility. Good.

Working on:

  • Flexibility: Still being worked on. The best exercise for this, is using an exercise bike. My flexibility is still a major issue. The largest tkr after effect, actually.
  • Stairs. No comment other than frustrating. On the positive side, I have noticed the degree of angle between stairs. Never noticed that before. 🙂
  • Swelling. Knee is still swollen. Worse after exercising. Requires icing more.
  • Pain. Muscles can hurt during and after exercising. Oh well. Part of the process.

Less Than Positive:

  • Recently, my nonsurgical leg has started to hurt in the hip area. It’s probably due to the fact that I am still favoring my bionic leg. I just take breaks from stairs when this happens. And, I ice.
  • Nerve pain near bionic knee. Oh well, so be it.

Hope all this helps others going through the same thing. Everyone recuperates at their own pace.

Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!






Eight Months After A Total Knee Replacement

Personal insight into dealing with eight months after a total knee replacement.

  Hi everyone. It is  eight months after a total knee replacement surgery. I like to keep track of how things are going, so I figured I would update it here.  In addition to keeping a physical log, this post will be part of my emotional log. Here is some personal insight and my tkr update….

 

Yesterday I went for a wonderful walk, my usual Sunday walk. It is a 1.25-1.5 mile walk. Ranking-wise, it is easy. The walking surface is varied – gravel, wood walkways, pavement, and grass. So, it is hard to get bored with. The walk was a great exercise and I felt fantastic afterwards. Then….

 

Two hours later, as I was driving home…I got very tired. My knee started to hurt and swelled up more than usual. I took a couple aspirin. Then I ate lunch, took a shower, and laid on the couch. I iced my knee, figuring it would do some good.

 

The rest of the night, my knee hurt and stayed more swollen than usual. I iced it again for awhile. I feel like I am coming down with a cold, too. I’ll have to fight that, too. This is tiring.

 

Today, my knee still has increased swelling (even though I iced it earlier), some tingling from my damaged nerve, and has pain on and off.  I’ll ice it some more.

I’m so tired of this.I thought this would be over at eight months after a total knee replacement.

 

I’m grateful for the surgery, but this recuperation process has got the best of me today. It’s tiring and ticks me off so much – I’m depressed. I know it could be much worse and feel bad about griping about it. So why am I? I know as time goes on, things will work out. These negative emotions are just temporary.

 

I want to get things done, but live upstairs and just don’t want to do the stair thing today. Sometimes I just can’t stand the sight of stairs. Today is one of them. 🙁

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