After my total knee replacement, I had two weeks of in-home therapy; then I was sent to a therapy center, where I was truly challenged for awhile. On my second visit there, I asked my therapist, Micah, if I should continue doing the exercises I had been doing at home.
"Only if they challenge you," he replied.
Well, compared to what he was making me do, those old exercises were pretty darned easy, so I took that as permission to stop them.
I had my last session with Micah on Monday. He had me choose a "graduation gift"; I selected a T-shirt with plenty of advertisement for them, and was on my way. At no time did he instruct me in exercises to continue at home.
I saw Dr. Strong today. My X-rays looked great, she said. She noticed that my knee was swollen and I told her it had been that way for three days, probably because I'd been going on forty-minute walks with Cliff. She suggested taking Ibuprofin and said maybe I should skip the walk for a couple of days, and then start out with a twenty-minute walk and work up slowly.
I could see she was about done with me, so I asked her two questions.
First, is it OK if I kneel on the new knee? Most people say you are not supposed to get down on your knees after this surgery.
Surprise, surprise. She said as long as I let myself down easily and didn't fall down on the kneecap, it was fine. Hard surfaces might not be so great without a cushion, but outside, for instance on grass or soil, would be fine. If you fall down hard on the kneecap, it could break, she told me.
Question number two: Are there any exercises I should continue to do at home?
"Didn't the therapist show you what you are supposed to do at home?"
She actually seemed a little angry, so rather than say, "No," I said, "Oh, well I can do all that stuff they had me doing there".
I liked my therapist and didn't want to get him in trouble.
"OK, then continue with those," she said.
So here's where people fall through the cracks. If I had not asked, nobody had told me to continue doing exercises and I would have assumed I was through. Dr. Strong figured the therapist had taken care of the situation, and I guess Micah thought the doctor would instruct me.
So I got home and found a website with several post-TKR exercises, some of which are supposed to be continued for six months.
And they wonder why people don't follow through on these things!
I have to thank a Blogger and Facebook friend for mentioning to me yesterday that I would still have to do therapy at home; thanks, Deb! If not for you, I wouldn't have quizzed the doctor about it and would have paid the price on down the road.