7 Ways to Speed Up Your Knee Replacement Recuperation

Hi my favorite readers. Many of you have approached me recently inquiring about ways to make the tkr recuperation easier. There is no simple approach, unfortunately. Sharing one of my more popular posts regarding this topic may help you. Good luck!

Having a total knee replacement surgery is only part of the process. Always remember that. How you deal with the recuperation to actually use your new knee is another part. It, actually, is the hardest part. Only you can determine the extent of your success.

  • Here are some ways I have noticed an improvement in my total knee replacement recuperation. My knee is getting better every day because of them. They may work for you. Here goes…

    * Every hour on the hour, get up and walk around. Even if it is for only a couple of minutes. You need to stand up and get your blood flowing. Your level of recuperation (and physical therapist) will determine whether you use a walking aide or not.

  • *Do as much as you can for yourself. Lower your reliance on others when you can easily do it yourself. You will only be hurting yourself.
  • *Know that it will be painful. You cannot get around having pain after a major surgery. Bummer.

    *Take a pain med prior to your exercise. I find that ½ hour beforehand works best for me. This will help make your exercise regimen go easier. Of course, your pain meds will decrease as time goes on and your level of recuperation increases. The sooner the better, I say.

    *Set a goal for your knee flexibility. Find a ‘hash mark’ on the floor that you want to stretch your foot to. Lift your leg farther than an earlier attempt. Your physical therapist can help with this.

    *Keep icing. After every exercise bout, ice your knee area. The best is a simple ice pack. Or, frozen peas and carrots work well.:)

    *Elevate. Keep your leg elevated when not exercising. This helps the healing.

    Recuperating from a total knee replacement takes work, time and effort. Stay with it and you will only benefit. Remember to check back here often to realize that you are not alone.

    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.







    Stairs as a Knee Replacement Exercise

    Hi everyone. When working on gaining flexibility in your knee, a great exercise is to walk up and down stairs. Going up is much easier than going down.

    Part of the recuperation process after a total knee replacement involves a variety of exercises involving stairs or steps.

    The first movement in my case was to simply stand up and lift my leg onto a step. I say simply, but it was definitely not easy. It took all the energy I had. (TKR surgery involves cutting through the quadricep muscle, the largest muscle in your leg.)

    Then, lift our body weight onto your tkr leg.

    Place your “good” leg onto the step/stair.

    Hold this position for five seconds.

    Return to the original position.

    Rest for 10 seconds.

    Repeat five times. Slowly increase your time and repetitions.

    Do this maneuver with the aid of crutches, at first. Then, eventually, all that will needed is the aid of railings or parallel bars.

    It is not easy, but once it starts working out….it’s great. Hard work pays off.

    NOTE: You may want to start this exercise by placing your tkr leg onto a step, lifting your body up until your knee is straight, and then lowering yourself back to the original position.

    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.







    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.

     

    7 Ways To Speed Up Your Total Knee Replacement Recuperation

    Hi everyone. I have been receiving inquiries from many of you for ways to speed up a total knee replacement recuperation. Here is an updated article I wrote when going through the initial tkr rehab. The information still holds true today.

    Having your tkr surgery is only part of the process. How you deal with the total knee replacement recuperation that allows you to effectively utilize use your new bionic knee is another segment. It, actually, is the hardest part. Only you can determine the extent of your success.

    Below are some ways I have noticed an improvement in my own total knee replacement recuperation. My knee is getting better every day because of them. They may work for you.

    Drum roll, please….

    1. Become mobile as quick as possible. Every hour on the hour, get up and walk around. Your level of total knee replacement recuperation (and physical therapist) will determine whether you use a walking aide.

    2. Do as much as you can for yourself. Do not rely on others when you can easily (or not that easily) do it yourself. You will only be hurting yourself.

    3. Know that it will be painful. You cannot get around having pain after a major surgery. That’s common sense, but I was completely unprepared for the immense pain afterwards.

    4. Take a pain med prior to your exercise. I find that 30-minutes beforehand works best for me. Taking the med takes the edge off of the discomfort you will feel during movements. Of course, your pain meds will decrease as time goes on and your level of recuperation increases.  The sooner the better, I say.

    5. Set a goal for your knee flexibility. Increase in small increments. Find a ‘hash mark’ on the floor that you want to stretch your foot to. Lift your leg farther than an earlier attempt.  Your physical therapist can help with this.

    6. Keep icing. After every total knee replacement recuperation exercise routine, I use a variety of icing methods. The best is a simple ice pack. You can buy them prepared or make your own. Simply put some ice cubes in a sealable plastic bag. Cover your knee with a towel before applying. I have also found that frozen peas & carrots work well.

    7. Elevate. Keep your leg elevated when not exercising. This helps the healing process.

    Total knee replacement recuperation takes effort, determination, and perseverance. There were many times when, if looks could kill, my physical therapist wouldn’t be there.

    Hope this helps others going through the same thing. Good luck and keep at it!

    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 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.






    Icing a new knee….OUCH!

    Hi my favorite readers! After receiving numerous requests for this information, it seems appropriate to provide this reprint of a previous post to help those new to a tkr:

    Part of my total knee replacement recuperation process involves, of course, physical therapy.  After I complete my exercises, I am offered icing.  At first it was “yeah!”.  Now, it’s…”OUCH!”.  See, instead of just lying on my back and relaxing (like I used to do while being iced), they have started a new torture device…er, technique.

    My hamstrings need to be stretched out after 30 years of not using them properly.  My leg is not straight like it needs to be. So, to help this process along:  I lay on my stomach,  place my knee on an ice bag, and another ice bag contraption is placed on the back of my knee.  Then, a 2-pound weight is put on my ankle.

    This entire process occurs after an exercise involving my knee hanging over the side of the table.

    That timer can’t move fast enough.

    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 Recuperation

    Hi my favorite readers. Here is an interesting guest post written by Richard Haynes, a physical therapy professional. It contains a wealth of information that can benefit your tkr recuperation. Enjoy!

    Once you have gone through your total knee replacement your work really has just begun. In fact, your surgeon will tell you that the surgery was the easy part, the hard part is the physical rehabilitation. What will determine your overall success after surgery will depend on the concentrated efforts both you and your physical therapist put into your treatments.

    Your physical therapist will be in charge of providing the exercise knowledge and expertise along with pain management skills in helping you get to a speedy recovery. You will be in charge in putting forth both the physical and mental effort needed to get the results you need to be both pain free in the long term and fully functional.

    In many cases most of you that have gone through this elective procedure have the self-motivation that is required to succeed and understood that before going into surgery. In other cases that I have come across, some do not fully understand what they have just gone through and, do not understand the mental discipline and toughness that needs to be acquired to have a successful rehabilitation experience.

    An idea that will help everyone tremendously is to ask your surgeon to get you registered for a pre-operative class that explains what will be involved not only during your hospital stay but, what will be expected during your rehabilitation as well. These classes not only instruct you with pain management techniques after your hospital stay but, are also attended as well by a physical therapist that will guide you as to what you can expect after surgery and, what to expect once you get home.

    Once you get home after a brief hospital stay, you will be seen by a therapist who will evaluate you and get you started on your home rehabilitation program. Your therapist should provide you with a detailed home exercise program with picture handouts that are easily followed and understood. In many cases, your hospital rehabilitation department may have issued you a home exercise program as well.
    What needs to be stressed here once you are home is that your dedication to the exercise program and your discipline to getting the necessary work done will determine your final outcome. Your physical therapist will provide the instruction and motivation as to why you must follow the program as instructed but you must apply the work and that cannot be done for you.

    I recommended to patients that they complete the home exercise program provided two times a day. In some cases therapists will stress three times a day however, in my years of following TKR patients I do not see any advantage in doing the exercise three times a day. If you do the exercise’s correctly two times you will achieve your rehabilitation goals.

    What you want to remember is more is not better here. In too many cases I find patients that feel the more exercises they do the faster they will rehabilitate themselves. What you are doing in fact is setting yourself up for a painful experience for the next few weeks that really you did not need to experience in the first place.

    Knee replacement surgery is painful enough by itself without self-sabotage by over doing the exercise program. Keep the communication lines open between your physical therapist, nursing staff and of course your surgeons’ office to help answer any questions that are bound to come up during rehabilitation.
    If you understand the fact that you and you alone are now responsible for your final outcome, you will have a better chance in having a successful outcome after surgery and begin living your life pain free once again.

    Richard Haynes PTA, CPT.
    Richard is a physical therapist assistant that specializes in total joint replacement recovery in the home health sector in southwest Florida. Richard has worked in the field of physical therapy since 1995 and graduated from Saint Petersburg College. Having had a total knee replacement himself in 1999, he understands and experienced first-hand the trials and tribulations that can go with rehabilitation.
    Richard also can be reached at mailto:richard@richardhaynes.com/contact.

    Richard can also be reached via his website at:
    http://www.richardhaynespta.com

    Find interesting? Kindly share…






    The Frog Kick & A TKR

    Hi my favorite readers! It’s always fun learning new things and a particular one has come to my attention lately that I believe is worthy of sharing. It’s about the frog kick and a tkr.

    The frog kick is the term given to how the legs move during a swimming technique known as the breaststroke. The movement is called that since it resembles what a frog looks like when swimming. You probably knew that, but I thought I’d share anyways. When done correctly, it’s a pretty site. At least, it’s supposed to be.

    I’ve been working on my breaststroke. The movement looks much easier than it actually is. Other people in the pool look simply majestic doing it. It appears effortless and very calming. It’s fun to watch others.

    For myself, however, the leg movement is something else. The kick is supposed to consist of three parts – bending the knees, separating the legs and thrusting by straightening the legs. I know the workout is still pretty good, but I tell you, it takes a special effort with a total knee replacement joint in position. That’s my reasoning, anyways. First of all, the kick is not much of a kick. That’s what happens when the knee doesn’t bend more than 95 degrees. 🙂 Anyways, the outward motion can be tricky. Same goes for the inward motion. Sometimes there’s cramps anywhere in the inward portion of my thigh..even down to my foot. It’s fun when it goes well, though. So far, I can only do a few kicks and need to go back to the Marie stroke. (The Marie stroke is an underwater- modified version of the doggy paddle.) Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I’m very grateful for swimming and all it provides.

    Hopes this helps others going through the same thing. Do you have any stories to share about the frog kick? Feel free to 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 30+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

    Find interesting? Kindly share…







    7 Ways to Speed Up Your Knee Replacement Recuperation

    I have been receiving quite a few questions about how to best speed up the recuperation process after going through a total knee replacement.

    I wrote an article about this earlier, but thought it would be a good idea to reprint it here to help everyone.

    Feel free to leave any comments and experiences you may have to help others…

    Enjoy!
    **********
    Having a total knee replacement surgery is only part of the process. How you deal with the recuperation to actually use your new knee is another part. It, actually, is the hardest part. Only you can determine the extent of your success.

    Here are some ways I have noticed an improvement in my total knee replacement recuperation. My knee is getting better every day because of them. They may work for you. Here goes…

    Every hour on the hour, get up and walk around. Your level of recuperation (and physical therapist) will determine whether you use a walking aide.

    Do as much as you can for yourself. Do not rely on others when you can easily do it yourself. You will only be hurting yourself.

    Know that it will be painful. You cannot get around having pain after a major surgery. Bummer.

    Take a pain med prior to your exercise. I find that ½ hour beforehand works best for me. This will help your exercise regimen. Of course, your pain meds will decrease as time goes on and your level of recuperation increases. The sooner the better, I say.

    Set a goal for your knee flexibility. Find a ‘hash mark’ on the floor that you want to stretch your foot to. Lift your leg farther than an earlier attempt. Your physical therapist can help with this.

    Keep icing. After every exercise bout, I use a variety of icing methods. The best is a simple ice pack. Or, frozen peas & carrots work well. 🙂

    Elevate. Keep your leg elevated when not exercising. This helps the healing.

    Recuperating from a total knee replacement takes work. There were many times when, if looks could kill, my physical therapist wouldn’t be here. Lol

    Good luck!

    Find interesting? Kindly share…







    Exercise 1-1/2 Years Post TKR?

    Hi my favorite readers! I received a perplexing inquiry recently that I believe is worthy of sharing with everyone. Exercise is such an important part of my life that I just don’t give it a second thought. Anyways…the inquiry was if patients exercise 2 years after a tkr?

    It has already been 18 months since my tkr. Yes, I exercise. I wouldn’t do it any other way. I may not be doing the type of physio exercises to regain my leg muscle strength, but I do exercise. Why would I not want to? It’s such an integral part of healthy functioning. I feel unhealthy when I don’t engage in some sort of exercise.

    My exercise consists of walking and riding an upright stationery bike. I alternate days.
    There are days, however, when I go walking instead of the using the bike. It’s just more fun to get outdoors and listen to the birds. Sometimes people get in the way, but that’s ok. (that’s supposed to be funny) 🙂

    Walking consists of 2 miles with a 5 pound hand weight. Sometimes I use a 2 pound ankle weight on each leg. My exercise regime also consists of balancing myself on one leg for as long as I can. Some days it is for 30 seconds, other days it’s longer. Just depends.

    I cannot imagine not exercising now. The benefits received far outweigh anything. For years I did aerobic dancing at home. I’d park away from the store entrance in order to walk more. I’d walk when others would take a cab. I’ve always had a mindset that I have two legs, be grateful to use them.

    Then, a year prior to my tkr, I needed to carry crutches with me everywhere since my knee would “lock up” on me. The pain was unbearable and I never knew when it would happen. I couldn’t enjoy “simple” walking anymore. I couldn’t do anything physically taxing without extreme discomfort. Even sitting in a chair could be painful. It was a total bummer.

    So, yes, exercise after a tkr recuperation is “done” (is it ever really done?). You have a new knee, why not use it?

    Find this 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.