Knee Replacement, 20 Days Later
Listen to our interview with Sandy Leman about her knee replacement and recovery by clicking on the PLAY button above.
I grew up in south Louisiana.
I danced a lot growing up because people in Louisiana dance a lot. And I was really into it. I also loved competitive sports. I moved to Texas and had several children, but I stayed active. Playing tennis and racquetball morphed into pickleball in recent years.
I’m 69 years old. Being physically active was really important to me and as long as I could do that, I was happy. But towards the end, prior to my surgery, I’d gotten to the point where I had to do something or I was going to lose the ability to be as active as I like to be.
My Love of Pickleball
The court is smaller than a tennis court. It’s pretty efficient. It’s very social. A lot of ex athletes play pickleball. And a lot of people who really aren’t athletes at all play pickleball, but those are two different levels. I was playing sort of in between, but I played a more aggressive pickleball, at a higher level. When I played I used a lot of energy and it was really good for me.
Stretches for Pickleball and Tennis
For those who are pickleball players we have a educational article and video about how to get ready for your game. Experts in their field of physical therapy, learn how to make sure you do not cause injury with your love of this growing sport. Click on the picture to learn more.
Athletics and My Knee History
My knees were a little bit bowed. That’s a genetic imperfection that might have contributed to the problem, but nonetheless, they certainly didn’t slow me down. I was very fast runner, very competitive athlete. I didn’t have any problems most of my life. Having children might have taken its toll on me. But I always stayed active play in between having babies.
Then I tore cartilage in my knees and had both of them operated on. I did that by lifting something very heavy and pulling it on a wagon. I shouldn’t have done it. But right after that I had to have a meniscus repair. I had the other one fixed after a snow skiing accident.
Knee Performance Decline
From what I understand, when you lose meniscus cartilage it makes you more susceptible to complications. I have no arthritis anywhere else in my body. No aches and pains anywhere. Hips, hands, shoulders, everything is great. But my knees started to sort of break down because I played tennis three or four times a week. I played racquetball three or four times a week and I was playing pickleball at least two or three times a week. Just generally speaking, after the surgery, especially on my right knee, I never fully recovered from that the way I would have liked. I had to compensate for a lack of strength and range of motion.
15 Good Years
I went on like that for probably 15 years. Although I was very active eventually it just played itself out and I had to get the surgery. I found myself not wanting to go places where I’d have to walk far. I was not in constant pain and I slept well. But it was enough that the pain from overexertion got to where it was causing me not to want to do things that I would normally do. And then in the very end I think I must have torn a little cartledge playing pickleball or something. I couldn’t put weight on it and torque, so therefore I couldn’t play anymore, at least the way I wanted to play.
My Knees Caught Up to Me
I knew it was time. But prior to that I tried stretching exercises, which really, really did help my range of motion and allowed me to go on for a bit longer.
A Recommendation for Surgery
The doctor recommended surgery about four years ago. However with the stretching exercises, and then also knee injections (synthetic lubricant for a year) I was able to go four years before I finally reached a point where I had to have surgery.
My daughter is a licensed physical therapist in Houston. She does home therapy. She has a family of her own. But I asked her to find someone for me because I was considering this. So she would listen to her patients. And she determined that Dr Kreuzer just had excellent results and that his patients seem to recover quicker with fewer complications. That was enough for me.
Adding in X10 to the Mix
I was looking on the Internet a lot, looking at knee surgery. Somehow the X10 came up. Right away I knew that was something that I’d like to use. The benefit to me was that the machine was going to be there in the house. I didn’t have to get in my car, ask someone to drive me somewhere, you know, go through a big hassle. It was right there going to be right there, sitting available anytime I wanted to use it. And that was a real plus for me.
And the Results
My Knee Replacement 20 Days Later: It worked out well. You can stop the machine anytime. The machine is syncing your response to the pressure. It will reduce the angle. It’ll adjust itself based on what’s happening to your knee all by itself. You don’t have to do that. It does it for you. It’s got a big red button. You can push. If you get in a panic; it’s got a couple of red buttons you can push. But I never used them. I’ve never had to use them because it was very user friendly.
I put it in the bedroom and it fit perfectly into a little corner with a TV in front of it. I would get myself set up with my remote and my glass of water and I was ready to go. You just sit on it and press the button and you’re doing it. You can reduce your angle if you kind of feel a little stiff that day: you can start off a little slower. It was great. It had everything with it. The chair that I sat in and the little stool to get in it, everything came and it was very well explained to me. Everything was great.
In Addition to X10
After I used the machine I would walk. I have a little track like in my house where I’ll walk around the dining room table and through the living and down the hall. I would do that. Also, I would also walk before I used the machine to kind of warm up my muscles.
Tricia was My X10 Coach
Tricia Lahmann was my X10 Recovery Coach. She was great. She was supportive. If I told her what my issues were she understood exactly what they were and she would tell me how to get back on track. And stay on track. She was very good. And that was nice, you know.
My Knee Replacement 20 Days Later
I have really good feelings about the X10. I would recommend it to anyone and I’m happy to share that with you because you all made it possible. You know, it’s a real benefit.
The X10 Meta-Blog
We call it a “Meta-Blog.” We step back and give you a broad perspective on all aspects of knee health as with this article on ‘Knee Replacement 20 Days Later’.
In this one-of-a-kind blog we gather together great thinkers, doers, and writers. All our work is 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. This is for you if you have a surgery upcoming, or in the rear-view mirror. Or maybe you just want to take care of your knees to avoid surgery. Executive Editor: PJ Ewing
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