Thursday, November 22, 2007

Total Knee Replacement - Surgery Plus Three Weeks

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Total Knee Replacement

What a relief to get rid of the walker. As much as it helped me get around, it was awkward, noisy, got caught on rugs, door sills and made it much harder to manuvoeur around the dogs. A pain to load in the car, as well. Well, not that big a deal once I figured out how to fold it up.

I never bothered getting a "Handicapped Parking" plaque, if I even could have. So I park the car wherever. There was a smug satisfaction to be had, pushing my walker past the perfectly health people getting out of their vehicles in the HP spots. I always made a point of staring. You know, like I was trying to figure out what their handicap was.

The cane is smoother and makes transitting the house easier. Of course, I started using it early, for going up and down the stairs. Walkers are no good for stairs. It was a real pain to honk the walker up and down the stairs but unless I was just going to grab a book out of the bookcase at the landing, or have a word with Lynn when she was exercising, it was a necessary evil.

It's important to make an effort to walk erect and operate smoothly with a cane. My therapist, even in the hospital, told me I had to bend my knee when I stepped. If you let yourself get away with walking straight legged, it makes it tougher to get your flexibility back.

Continued exercise has made a big difference in the degree of bend I can achieve in my knee. Easily 100 degrees at this point, I would say. I credit the exercise, but also just having less swelling is a big help.

Almost every night I get in the tub for a nice long soak. As hot as I can stand it, and after about 10 minutes, I prop the leg up on the wall at the end of the tub and allow myself to slump down, so my foot is as high up on the wall as I can manage. I'm letting gravity do the work, while I have artificially ramped up my bloods circulation rate. I think it is helping. Hey it feels good. And I get a nice lomng read in, and a glass of wine. Who cares if it's helping, I'm living the "Life of Reilly" as they used to say.

6 comments:

J. said...

I noticed you were soaking in the tub at 3 weeks. How difficult was it to get into and, more importantly, out of the tub? I'm addicted to my hot baths and books on CD, and I'll miss my soaks.

"Mabel" - with a new blog

Paul Stevens said...

The key is the exercises you do that require you to lift your stright leg up and down.

Facing my tub, the faucet is on the left. It was my left knee that got replaced. I was able to step into the tub with my right leg, my left still outside, and start lowering myself. As I got closer to a sitting position my left leg was resting on the edge of the tub.

Once my butt was firmly planted I could ease my left into the water. My suggestion - holding your "soon to be operated on" leg very stiffly, practice getting into the tub yourself. You'll use your arms a lot more.

You don't want to give up those hot baths. Later in the evening, I found a glass of wine with my book to be quite medicinal.

Paul Stevens said...

The key is the exercises you do that require you to lift your stright leg up and down.

Facing my tub, the faucet is on the left. It was my left knee that got replaced. I was able to step into the tub with my right leg, my left still outside, and start lowering myself. As I got closer to a sitting position my left leg was resting on the edge of the tub.

Once my butt was firmly planted I could ease my left into the water. My suggestion - holding your "soon to be operated on" leg very stiffly, practice getting into the tub yourself. You'll use your arms a lot more.

You don't want to give up those hot baths. Later in the evening, I found a glass of wine with my book to be quite medicinal.

J. said...

Thanks. My "good" knee is almost as bad as my "bad" one. I just had one arm repaired from a rotator cuff injury, and the other one is torn and needs to be repaired. I think I'm going to have to get very inventive. I barely make it in and out now as it is. I'll try practicing different ways.

I started my exercises yesterday. Wow. I think I'll be glad I am doing this. It isn't easy before surgery, so I can only imagine what after will be like. Thanks again! You have been a big help.

Paul Stevens said...

Check out some of my articles on Total Knee Replacement at Ezine Articles:
http://www.ezinearticles.com/?expert=Paul_D_Stevens

I really think getting ready with multivitamins and a few supplements is important for recovery. And no, I am not selling this stuff.

J. said...

I've been taking protein supplements and vitamins for 3 years, so I should be ready. I just had my levels tested, and they are good to go.