Can you avoid a knee manipulation?
The incredible story of Julie White of Sarasota, Florida.
Julie was given five days on The X10 Knee Machine before she was going in 10 weeks after her knee replacement surgery for a knee Manipulation Under Anesthesia. In her own words, and in a series of short video clips, watch her amazing story below. Her goals was simply to avoid a knee manipulation.
My name is Julie, I’m in Sarasota, Florida. I had total knee replacement of my right knee on March 5th of this year. Did the physical therapy thing for a couple months, it helped some but kind of stopped helping down along the way. My orthopedic surgeon suggested I have an MUA done.
Everything I had heard of that scared me, also I was not able to take anymore time off of work. I was searching online for exercises and things to do, and the X10 kept popping up on my searches. Not knowing what it was, finally after about the third time of it popping up I said, “All right, I have to check this out.”
It Started with Patient Testimonials
I started watching the testimonials on it, that’s when I thought, “Hmm, maybe I could do this instead.” I still had my MUA scheduled, and this was sent to me about four days before my MUA was supposed to be done. I started working on it and then probably by the third day I decided I’m just going to try this without the MUA.
Here’s where we are. I think I was at 95 flexion (bending) and I think my extension (straightening) was a 5º or 6º, I can’t remember exactly. Extension-wise I got to 0º. With my flexion I got to 121º. I went from 95º to 102º and I was like, “Oh.” I went to 105º and I started to cry. Then every day I just got a little bit farther.
Like I said, my surgery was March 5th. I think my follow up, I’m really taxing my brain here, I don’t know it was a month, month and a half, two months after the surgery. I was going to physical therapy three days a week and I found it to be painful going to physical therapy, so that wasn’t even very exciting for me to do.
When I did my follow up visit with my surgeon, he saw that I wasn’t getting to whatever the standard is they want you to be at and said, “MUA and we’ll see you next week for it.” They were telling me I was 102º or 103º bend with assistance, but for myself I think it was 95º.
Ending Physical Therapy
My final day of physical therapy, which made me start looking for something else, was when I told them I was having an MUA next week. My physical therapist, I don’t know if maybe he could do it for me, and grabbed my foot and my thigh and kind of pushed it together. I couldn’t even go to physical therapy for a couple days after that.
I thought it shouldn’t be this painful or else there’s something wrong with me because I don’t know, everyone says physical therapy is supposed to be uncomfortable but not painful. Mine was painful.
X10: I don’t want to say painful, I want to say uncomfortable. The higher I go it gets a little more uncomfortable, but then it levels out. I like that it didn’t hurt. Even when I pushed it a couple more degrees, it still didn’t hurt. It took me a while to get the gist of I can go farther without it. The longer I let it stretch, the less it hurts. I guess that was the key to it, was to just let it hang out there longer or bend longer.
If I had to work after physical therapy, it was like an eight Advil night. I work a 12 hour shift, so I would be like four Advil at the beginning, four Advil towards the end. I’d get really stiff because I sit for a long time. Once I started doing this on a more consistent basis, it made sitting easier.
Working on Extension / The Failure of the Dynasplint
Literally before I started this, I would bring my little TENS machine to work and hook up my electrodes and sit there with that. Then I’d get my ice pack out of the freezer and sit there with my ice pack, on top of all the Advil I was taking and whatever. Now I bring my TENS machine, but I never use it. I bring my ice pack, and if I remember to use it, I use it because I know that’s more important. Getting up and moving around has been a lot easier at work then before I had this, that’s for sure.
When I was going to physical therapy they told me my extension was the most important thing, so that’s what we worked on a lot of the time. Then when I talked to my orthopedic surgeon he’s like, “Well, your bend is important too”, and then we started that. I couldn’t get my extension to zero no matter what.
Then they put me on a Dynasplint, I don’t know if you know what that is. It’s some kind of splint that stretches your whatever. That didn’t work and that was torture at home. I would have torture at physical therapy and torture at home, and it was just awful. It didn’t get my extension past five.
I went there the day that I was supposed to have my manipulation and told them I wasn’t coming for the next week because I was trying this. They measured me there and he said I was almost at 112. My extension was still not quite zero, but he said it was almost there.
A Meeting with My Surgeon
Then I had an appointment a few weeks later with my orthopedic surgeon and they came in the room and they didn’t even measure me. She just looked at me and said, “Wow.” I took screenshots of all the sessions when I was done and I showed her all of those.
I said, “I don’t need the MUA, right?” She said, “No, not at all.” I was so happy with that. With the X10 I was, after all, able to avoid a knee manipulation!
My number one goal is to get back to hiking. The goal this year for October is we were going to North Carolina, because that’s where we first started hiking was in North Carolina, we would hike all the water falls. We have time off in October from work because we work together, and we’re going to North Carolina to hike the waterfalls during the changing of the leaf season. That’s what I’m shooting for, is to actually be able to hike while we’re there.
I don’t know who this goes out to, but I’m just going to say right now I literally, when he showed me that, what I was going to look forward to and then when I heard I would have to do that; I literally prayed, “I need a miracle.” Dramatic or not, this was my miracle.
I’m normally tough, but this has knocked me down a few pegs, that’s for sure. As my mom said, it’s very humbling and it was. But I got there… I avoided the knee Manipulation Under Anesthesia and got back to my hiking, my dogs, my life!
The X10 Meta-Blog
We call it a “Meta-Blog” because we step back and give you a broad perspective on all aspects of knee health, surgery and recovery and such subjects as how to avoid a knee Manipulation Under Anesthesia. Voted Top 10 Knee Blog of 2018.
In this one-of-a-kind blog we gather together great thinkers, doers, writers related to Knee Surgery, Recovery, Preparation, Care, Success and Failure. Meet physical therapists, coaches, surgeons, patients, and as many smart people as we can gather to create useful articles for you. Whether you have a surgery upcoming, in the rear-view mirror, or just want to take care of your knees to avoid surgery, you should find some value here. Executive Editor: PJ Ewing (firstname.lastname@example.org)