After years of working with people after knee replacement surgery, developing a program to restore mobility without increasing pain, I finally wrote it all down and am on the verge of publishing, 'Granny Gets A New Knee and a whole lot more.' Though the title character is a woman, this gentle way of teaching improved body mechanics is as effective with men as with women, with both younger and older students.
Why do I need to learn the exercises before surgery?
It has never made sense to me to wait until after the surgery to teach exercises to someone who is recovering from the anesthesia and surgery, experiencing pain, and under the influence of pain medication. Practicing movement lessons prior to surgery can help decrease pain and increase confidence, and allows for an immediate start to active mobilization of the knee. CPM (Continuous Passive Motion) machines are no longer routinely used in the 48-72 hours after surgery as research found no significant long term difference in mobility. I think the impulse was sound, but that ACTIVE movement, and more specifically, movement of the knee integrated into the functioning of the whole person, is extremely valuable in the first hours, days, weeks, and months after surgery.
Next time: 'What kind of exercises can I practice before the surgery?'
'Granny Gets A New Knee and a whole lot more,' will be available April 2014.
'I limped for 10 years before I had the knee replacement. After surgery and three months of traditional therapy, I had persistent pain. Louise taught me how to walk again, how to carry myself. I don't hurt any more, even after all these years. It's magic! Thanks, Louise.
~ Sharon B. Traveler