Saturday, August 8, 2009

Total Knee Replacement (TKR) and Total Hip Replacement (THR) Update

It has been 17 months since my right total hip replacement in March 2009 and 13 months since my left total knee replacement in July 2008. Would I do it again? In a minute! My only regret is that I waited so long.

After not being able to do much exercising for so long, like 3 years due to the hip pain, I relish the idea of doing an sort of exercise. I would think that anyone who has had a replacement has gone through physical therapy. The exercises received there can be included in life time maintenance of the replacement. It was recommended by my orthopedic specialist that I cross train, so that means alternating between walking, biking and going to a gym. Most towns now have physical therapy places that offer low cost physical fitness centers. Many health insurance companies will cover the cost of going to a center up to a certain cost each month. The key is to look at what is low impact on the knee. I like an elliptical machine when I go to the gym. It is low impact and gives one an excellent cardiovascular workout. It also works the gluts and then strengthens my hip muscles. I also find that if I don’t exercise, my knee gets stiff so it is telling me – do some exercise with me. The rest of my body needs the exercise too.

A knee replacement should last at least 10 -12 years. My mother had a total hip r
replacement and she did not have to have it replaced the rest of her life, she was 73 when she had it and 89 when she passed away.

What has been the greatest challenge? Range of motion in my knee. I do find even know that I have the ability to increase my range of motion doing various exercises. Moving the seat of my stationary bike down by increments is one of the ways I do it. Also using the steps. I stand backwards to the step with the toe of my foot on the stair and push myself down so the knee gets bent more. That is the most effective exercise.

So if you are in need of hip or knee replacement, don't wait. Listen to your OS and then your physical therapist, you won't regret it!

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