My Advice After Knee Surgery
by Dr. Michael Kenney
I had TKR six weeks ago, and used the X10 Knee Machine for 18 days – it’s wonderful! I returned to my office and dental practice exactly three weeks post-op.
In thinking about my recovery and those of others I wanted to share a few thoughts. So here is my smorgasbord offering regarding a few important things you may not be thinking about:
Sleep and Healing
Nutrition and Healing
To listen to a full discussion of my knee surgery recovery experience push the Play button above.
Sleep and Healing
Sleep and its role in healing was addressed in a recent article in The X10 Companion Email Series. I want to echo the thought presented there. Caffeine consumption after late morning is an issue related to sleep. Please note that tea has caffeine and inhibits quality sleep. Coffee is the usual suspect. Additionally caffeine in tea, sodas, chocolate, and energy drinks negatively affects sleep (especially after late morning).
Melatonin (3 to 6 mg) after dinner can prepare the brain for slumber later in the evening. It doesn’t work immediately. Additionally magnesium and magnesium glycinate are good natural sleep aids, along with a host of herbs including valerian root.
Sleep and Knee Surgery Recovery
Sleep that isn’t fragmented is very important in healing the body and “cleansing” the brain. Of course there is a period after surgery in which this is very challenging. As a result elevating the knee and sleeping in the supine position can make quality “unfragmented” sleep challenging. Thankfully, this is only for a relatively short period of time.
Many people have undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea. They stop breathing for a while when the airway is blocked during sleep. Insufficient oxygenation not only affects sleep, but delays healing; apnea stresses the cardiovascular system. A simple home sleep test can determine if a person has sleep apnea. The treatment for obstructive sleep apnea ranges from an oral apnea appliance to devices like an autopap/CPAP, or both. Many times it’s not just the annoying snore that is the real problem.
Note: alcohol, narcotics, and prescription sleep aids exacerbate sleep apnea and snoring.
Please check out “blue light” and the effect on sleep. Our pre-electronic age ancestors went to sleep after sunset, and awakened at sunrise. Our Creator built into us a balance with nature called circadian rhythm. People of all ages are exposing the retina to blue/stimulating light from many types of electronic devices (TVs, computers, cell phones). Consequently his negatively affect circadian rhythm.
Nutrition and Healing
One more topic related to proper healing – NUTRITION.
Anemia is common after surgery. Be mindful that a balanced diet full of antioxidants and iron supplementation is good for healing and reducing fatigue. And of utmost importance is Vitamin D3. Dr. Carl Freeman provides detailed Vitamin D3 information here. The Importance of Vitamin D for Knee Replacement.
D3 reduces musculoskeletal pain and is essential for bone density and health. It is beneficial to take a good multiple vitamin supplemented with D3, iron, and vitamin C. Remember that calcium and magnesium are also beneficial. (Vitamin D3, which acts more like a hormone, is fat soluble. Taking too much for an extended period isn’t recommended).
Soft Drinks are Harmful
Carbonated beverages, including diet formulas, rob calcium from bone and teeth. Also phosphoric, citric, and carbonic acids in soft drinks (not to mention acid produced from sugars) have a negative affect on bone and teeth. So acids have a negative effect on bone metabolism. And calcium is leached from tooth enamel by acids.
Constipation is an annoying problem for many who undergo a knee replacement surgery. So look for psyllium whole husk fiber. Psyllium helps offset the irregularity caused by pain medications, and iron supplements.
Our Green Drink
Here is the recipe for our “green drink” (2 servings – of course, can be halved for one serving):
- 1 firmly packed cup of spinach, kale, or mixed greens
- 1 stalk of celery
- 1/3 cup parsley
- Approx. 1 inch of fresh ginger root
- Approx. 3 inches of fresh turmeric root
- 1/2 Cup frozen berries (plain – no sweetener)
- 2 Cups of water
- Organic plant based protein powder – the recommended amount for 2 servings
- *other things used occasionally are: broccoli, basil, or other fresh greens
- Use a quality blender …. we use NutriBullet Rx
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 “My Advice After Knee Surgery.”
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)