Five Months After Knee Replacement
Nan’s “Never Say Die” Knee Recovery
Everyone else thought Nan’s recovery was done. Her bend was “good enough”, her pain was gone, she should “be happy” with the mobility with which she was left. Nan did not agree.
Nan’s knee extension (straightening) was good at 0º which means her leg was perfectly straight. It was the 107º flexion that troubled her. For a life-long athlete this was far from what she expected. And then fate stepped in. It was as if the world simply conspired to help Nan when it was most needed. Fortuitously her friend, Alison, was just finished with the X10 in her home. She had done so well and was ready to let the machine move on to help the next person. They discussed it and Nan decided to take the X10 immediately and see what she could do.
The conventional wisdom, and most clinical literature, agree that at five months after knee replacement it is unlikely to see much gain in flexion (bending the knee back). It is understood that knee replacement patients have until three months to improve their flexion, and six months to finish off their knee extension. Scar tissue, swelling, quad tightness and other factors can inhibit or simply stop the opportunity for range of motion gains.
Many Athletic Pursuits
Nan has been an athlete all her life. Gymnastics (University of Washington, four years), rugby (Boston Women’s Rugby Team), running, hiking, skiing, Tae Kwon Do and Tang Soo Do. At age 62 she was not about to let a knee surgery get in the way of her highly active lifestyle. She had arthroscopic knee surgery way back in college in 1978. At the time this was a really big deal. Over the past year it became really apparent that a knee replacement was needed. When she simply could not get back on her skis after falling she knew the time had come.
To listen to our interview with Nan click on the play button at the top of this page. The interview is part of our series of patient interviews that we present on The Bee’s Knees Podcast (knee surgery recovery). And a special thanks to Nan for such generosity with her time in sharing her story.
The X10 Meta-Blog
We call it a “Meta-Blog.” In these articles we step back and give you a broad perspective on all aspects of knee health. We explore surgery and recovery and such subjects as ‘Five Months After Knee Replacement’.
This is a one-of-a-kind blog. We gather together great thinkers, doers, and writers. And it is all related to Knee Surgery, Recovery, Preparation, Care, Success and Failure. Meet physical therapists, coaches, surgeons, and patients. And as many smart people as we can gather to create useful articles for you. You may have a surgery upcoming. Or in the rear-view mirror. Maybe you just want to take care of your knees to avoid surgery. In all cases you should find some value here. Executive Editor: PJ Ewing (firstname.lastname@example.org)