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Time seems to fly by as we age. I can’t believe it’s been two years after knee replacement.
One notable exception was the slow pace of recovery and rehab immediately after my knee surgery.
Now time seems to be zipping by. I remain busy with physical activity and I continue to do my physical therapy exercises for my knee.
After two years, my knee feels strong and I’ve had few setbacks during the two years. Don’t get me wrong, the first year wasn’t easy.
I’ve been vigilant stretching and strengthening my knee and each day I pay close attention to my overall health and fitness.
I have had to adjust my fitness routine during the uncertain times of the Corona Virus, but I’ve been able to work out at home without issues.
Staying In Shape Two Years After Knee Surgery
Frequent walks, hikes, and exercise on my local 9-hole golf course are a part of my weekly routine. I’m playing pickleball twice a week.
I find that if I take at least 20 minutes to stretch (concentrating on my legs) I perform better and have fewer aches and pains after activity (exercises after knee replacement).
I make a point to stretch every day. I am not very flexible but I have seen some improvement.
My daily stretching and strengthening include calf raises, wall squats, and leg rolls with an exercise ball.
Bike rides every other day, on mostly flat roads, strengthen my legs and help me maintain and improve my range of motion. Along with swimming (read about my recovery swim routine), cycling is a low-impact exercise that I can’t recommend enough.
I have tried Yoga and I know it would be beneficial, but I am uncomfortable on my knees and am not able to do a lot of the positions.
Do I Experience Pain In My Knee?
The majority of pain I experienced came in the first 6-9 months after surgery, so I have not experienced much knee pain during the last year and a half.
I noticed that much of the pain early on, was due to swelling of the joint, which affected my range of motion and caused stiffness (the more I stay moving the less stiff I am).
I do experience knee fatigue. If I overdo an activity I find my knee talking to me and it says “enough”.
I used to play for as long as possible, but now I try and use good sense and stop before I overdo it and risk injury.
When I am doing an activity on concrete such as pickleball or taking an extra-long hike, I take a couple of Ibuprofen prior to the activity (read about the medicine I use after knee replacement). It helps with swelling and minor aches.
My knee can still get stiff after prolonged sitting and I’ve heard many of my readers saying the same thing! Although it may seem like a wise decision to rest when the knee feels stiff, I believe it’s time to move more and stretch – and this has helped my knee stay loose and strong.
When the situation allows, I try to get up after 30 minutes of sitting to stretch and bend my knee.
My knee no longer swells and I have not iced it for months. I still hand massage the knee and I think it helps!
My Scar and My Knee’s Appearance
You can see the appearance of my knee in the photos. On the right, the lighting makes my scar appear more prominent, however, when I’m standing outside (left), the scar is not very visible.
My incision was closed with staples and the incision healed well. I have not had problems with the scar, even when exercising or when I bump my knee against furniture.
Improvements Still on the Horizon?
I really do not expect more improvements in my range of motion and the strength of my knee. I am on a maintenance routine and have a range of motion and the strength that allows me to participate in the activities I enjoy.
Just like the rehabilitation process immediately after surgery, I have to maintain the discipline to exercise and stretch daily.
It is easy to be satisfied with my knee function but I know that stretching and exercise will not only keep my knee fit, but it is also good for my overall health.
I pay close attention to my diet and my weight, as I know that any weight gain will put more stress on my knee.
Time is flying by and I am trying to enjoy life with my new knee.
I practice caution to stretch before exercise and to stay in good shape.
It is important to establish an exercise and fitness routine and to stick to it. Don’t become complacent and think you no longer need to give your knee extra attention.
The rehab process for me will be an ongoing part of my life. I’ve established a good maintenance program for my knee and I hope the health of my knee lasts for decades.
Chose your activities wisely and do not put your knee in jeopardy. Use good sense when exercising and don’t overdo it. We must listen to our bodies!