Friday, February 21, 2014

This just in!

It is now 5 years since my bilateral knee replacements and I continue to love them. No pain, no issues.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Another year? How about two?

Well, it's now been 4 years since I got these titanium babies and they continue to not disappoint me. They now feel like me, like real knees. The only thing I'm unable to do is kneel on them. I **can** kneel, but it's not recommended because it can weaken the bond. So I don't. I am now of the opinion that I was an idiot for waiting as long as I did. FYI, this year I'm going to conquer the full 100-mile bike ride. Over the past few years I've done several "metric centuries," that is, 62 miles. I walk up and down steps with ease and can walk for exercise 4-6 miles without problems. Onward and upward.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Whoa! Another Year Goes By!

And it's been an awesome one. The knees continue to perform better than expected. If I overdo things, I will get achy but it disappears within a day. I continue to bike long distances and work out in the gym. I can do yoga except not on my knees.

I would do this again in a heartbeat.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

And a year has past . . .

It's so very hard to believe that on January 27 my knees will celebrate their 1 year anniversary. They continue to be one of the greatest gifts I've ever received.

Let me start by saying that somewhere around month 6, I stopped noticing limitations. I still had some, and still do today, but the limitations were so minimal that I stopped thinking about them. For example, I returned to aerobics classes and found that a few side moves were hard to do, but not enough to make me think about dropping the class. And I still can't, and won't, kneel on on the replacements--it just feels wrong. Plus it isn't good for them.

I have learned to adapt my yoga routine so that table position (on knees and hands) is not required to complete certain other positions, like Cat and Cow. I do these seated now, they work fine. My biking capacity has returned to normal (my training has NOT, but that's not because of the knees, it's because I got lazy. I'm working on returning to training). I am now walking up and down multiple flights of steps, doing some easy jogging with the dogs, and once again can play in the snow. I don't stop before trying new things because it will be fine.

My back issues continue to plague me and I'm quite certain that I'll be having that fusion sometime in the next year--probably after my center grant is submitted. But this chapter on the knee replacement is coming to a close. Starting today, I have turned on comment moderation so that I know if someone asks for information--and I am still happy to talk to you if you are contemplating arthroplasty in the future. I will come back and post updates if anything changes, but otherwise . . . so long! And thanks for taking this trip with me.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Seven months post op

I celebrated my 7 month post op anniversary on vacation in the Rockies-- this photo was taken during a hike in the Grand Tetons. So, as an update to how things are going, I guess you could say I am nearly returned to normal at this point. I was able to easily spend all day, every day for 18 days, hiking, climbing, chasing the dogs, and sightseeing.

Those of you contemplating surgery or who are on the mend should note that I'm still taking pain meds for my back, which continues to cause me problems. The back issues are also caused by arthritis, but are in no way related to my knees. I mention this because I may be having some knee pain, but it is blocked because of these meds. If you are still experiencing some knee pain, I believe this is normal and should respond well to ibuprofen--if not, I would have a talk with your surgeon if you are beyond the 6 month point.

Other things that remain and probably will always remain--I do not kneel, I do not wish to kneel, and if I forget and kneel, it hurts. The joints are very vulnerable when they are flexed into the kneeling position, so people with artificial knees should avoid kneeling anyway. I took an aerobic dance class this past summer, and some of the side-to-side motions were clunky. I am doing more side-to-side activity in my workout routine now, and that seems to help strengthen those lateral muscles.

I have days on end when I forget that these are not "real" knees. I remain thankful for the replacements and would repeat the surgery in a heartbeat.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Six months and holding

At six months post-op, I am doing the following:
  • walking 3-5 miles without pain
  • biking 2-3 hours without problems
  • attending spinning classes twice a week
  • attending aerobic dance class twice a week
  • keeping up with yoga
  • this past weekend, I bounded up and down the sand dunes with Stella--no pain, no after effects
Things I can't do:
  • kneel
  • move my legs sideways quickly or easily (affects my ability to do some dance steps)
  • sleep with my knees together (that's where the little memory foam pillow comes in)
That's about it. It has become my new "normal."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Four months post-op

I'm gradually returning to normal activity. This past weekend was spent doing yard work--the intensive, bend-plant-pull-chop-dragstuffupthehill activity. And this went on for three days. Sure, I was sore by the end of the weekend, but the knees are doing fine. It was that feel-good-because-you-worked-too-hard hurt.

I have signed up for a cardio dance/pilates class that will start in June, meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I have signed up for my Wednesday yoga class (which starts today at noon). I am walking more than 10,000 steps a day on most days, and walking for up to an hour when the mood suits me. I am working on a plan to return to spinning class at least 2 days a week, maybe by next week.

The only thing I can't do is bend the way I did before. I was one of those hyper-flexible people, so my bending looks an awful lot like Millard's bending, and he's never had his knees replaced.

All in all, I'm learning to manage the back pain so my focus has now completely shifted back to weight loss and fitness. It's been a very good journey.

I am still happy to discuss my process, or yours, if you are contemplating this surgery. Just send me an email.

--Violet