In every way, the new knee is better than the pre-op knee.
It’s even beginning to look like a normal knee with a visible knee cap and everything!
My last post about my total knee replacement was at about 3 months post-op. Here we are in the 5th month post-op. Time has flown!
According to the surgeon and the physios the joint will continue to feel hot to the touch, there will be inflammation for up to 2 years. I am out of the period of recovery with amazing gains in a short time. Now it’s the long haul to make the new knee the best it can be and build support so the rest of me can be well also.
I graduated from the hospital physio to joint class at the local recreation center. Twice a week the Recovery Fitness room at one of the North Vancouver Recreation Facilities is available only for those with prosthetic joints. I am easily 20 years younger than most of the other participants but they are working hard if a little bit slower. The place is packed! I feel very lucky to have this program available. I was so worried that once I had graduated from the hospital Physio that I would be on my own and that I would make mistakes. The joint class is overseen by two (!) exercise professionals. These Kinesiologists designed a program for me and what is great is that I can check in with them to ask questions and have them tweak my program. The folks that I see there each week are the example of why this program is so vital and so successful. Helping people stay active and make the most of a joint replacement is awesome for the community.
Maintaining activity is vital for health especially after a Total Knee Replacement.
Right now I am working on healing and function. I still don’t have a lot of strength in my quads and hammies so strength gains will come later. I’m pushing bigger weights with my upper body which is just weird. Building strength in the gluteal muscles, especially on the left side is a priority at the moment. Right side adjustment post surgery recovered quickly – probably because I am right side dominant. No strength problems with upper body work. Kneeling on the right knee is weird. It’s the only time I notice the prosthetic at all and it is the only time when I feel there is anything artificial there. The sensation is nearly impossible to describe but makes me very cautious when kneeling. I have to stretch quads, hamstrings, and calf muscles every day. I also massage the knee every night before bed. I use a few drops of Zija International Améo muscle rub mixed with an oil.
(the link will take you to my Zija website http://gilliankent.myzija.com. As a Zija Independent Distributor, I am happy to answer any questions you might have about this awesome product!)
Massage helps recovery and flexibility
Fractionated coconut or almond are very nice. At first, I was trying to facilitate drainage, now I work deeply into the muscles and sore areas. The Améo Muscle rub is quite pungent but not unpleasant. It has Wintergreen, Eucalyptus Globulus, Peppermint and Helichrysum oil in an alcohol base. I don’t care to go around all day smelling of it but at night it’s relaxing. Maybe it’s reminiscent of post soccer game rubdowns.
Post-surgical issues reared their ugly header the end of month 3 post-op. I stopped the “pill” prior to surgery to reduce the risk of clotting. I decided not to resume the “pill” unless there was an indication that it was necessary – “PMS” in middle of my cycle, heavy bleeding were signs I was expecting. 3 months with no menses and no problems. I was happy!
Heading into 4th month I started menstruating – bled heavily for 10!! Days. Figured that was an anomaly. 2 weeks later I developed a blinding migraine. I treated it and it came right back. This raised alarm bells as the last time this happened was the beginning of 18 months of migraine hell 19 years ago. The day after the returned migraine I started menstrual bleeding, heavily. This was only 3 weeks after the last bout of bleeding began. I was surprised by this as I felt like all the surgical issues were behind me. I decided that 6 days after this bleeding started I would start back on the pills and hopefully force some hormonal normalcy. So far so good!
Vitamin D3 Supplements – why I take them!
As Vancouver is in a northern latitude I have learned from experience that supplementing with Vitamin D3 is vital for mental health. I also found that maintaining a vitamin D3 regimen helped with my fibromyalgia. This year, as I have bone healing to do, there are more reasons to make sure I have optimal amounts in my system. There is the question of whether the Recommended Daily Allowance is optimal. The RDA is the amount necessary to prevent vitamin deficiency – not necessarily the optimal amount. The human body can make up to 10,000IU of Vitamin D in a single exposure to sunlight. This is many times the RDA. After a total knee replacement there is a lot of bone healing the needs to happen and Viatmin D is vital for that.
”The new 2010 recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 600 IU for those 1-70 years of age and pregnant or breastfeeding women, and 800 IU for those over 71 years of age. An adequate blood level of vitamin D is 20 nanograms per millilitre, which can be achieved through daily skin exposure to sunlight. Levels over 50 nanograms per millilitre may cause side effects.”
This page from the Mayo clinic covers several dosages for treating various ailments. My personal experience is that 2000IU daily is an effective dose that helped with Seasonal Affective Disorder and with my fibromyalgia. I have, since, found a better solution for fibromyalgia – Moringa oleifera in my Zija Supermix.
Given all the roles Vitamin D plays in the body I see no reason to reduce my dose, particularly as it is on the low side compared with the doses quoted in the Mayo article.
I am very pleased with my current progress. I am always impatient to improve and must be patient and vigilant about pushing too hard. My Amazon can be her worst enemy as often there is little pain during whatever workout I choose. The pain and stiffness hits later…then its penguin walking. Tiny steps “Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!” Do that massage thing Gillie!