A week of new's 10 weeks post-op bilateral knee replacements''


Last week was my last outpatient rehab session. I was pretty sad to finish, I've loved going along to the classes. Not only do you get to exercise your knees or other joints which feels good, you also get to socialise with people who have had similar experiences. I had 6 weeks which was excellent, but thats all finished up now.

On my last day, I took a walking test (which I had improved on heaps from the original test), and they measured my bend. I'm now on 120 degrees for my leg, 105 for my right and for straightening, I'm 0 degrees on my left and -5 degrees on my right. What an improvement! Pretty happy with this but want to work on improving the right leg. Its interesting to note that while my left leg is better with bend and straightening, its nowhere near as strong when it comes to balance and general strength, so they both need some work to get back to a 'normal' level.

So for my first week without the support of the rehab team, I decided to keep up the fitness schedule while I'm still motivated and have the time and energy (and luxury of being able to take a nana nap after) before I go back to work.

First step, I went to a private physio for a review. My gut feel after this appointment is that I know what to do, I just have to get on with doing it. I know the exercises, so its just the discipline to get on with them.
This is (part of) my home gym. Now to just make sure I use it regularly...
Then I looked for suitable exercise class options in the local area. There is a YMCA that holds fitness and water aerobics class, so I headed off to check this out. So far I've been to 3 aqua classes and have loved them. I'm so tired after - its much more energetic than physio but I love it. And even better, there are a couple of night time classes so I can continue when I go back to work. Plus an added bonus (which we always love) - the lovely older ladies have a morning tea after the Tuesday class, and a $2 lunch after the Wednesday class! Next up, I'll try one of the other fitness sessions, will let you know more once I've been.
The local YMCA - loving it but still going to see what else is around.
I walked with the kids to the bus stop. It  was  a chilly 10 degrees and a 1.6km return trip at 7.30 in the morning but I made myself get up out of bed and go, and it felt good! I've lived here for 6 years, and its the first time I've ever walked down my own street. How cool is that?!

The very cold path out the front door, but I done it.

Also over the last week, I've met up with someone I didn't know for lunch, went to a new coffee shop on my own to try it out, drove somewhere new (and got lost - went to the wrong place!).  It feels good and even though these are small things, its invigorating to keep doing something new.
My new friend Elizabeth, a future knee warrior!

I've had 3 days so far when I've done more than 10,000 steps (how cool is this) - even the Fitbit celebrates with me! and someone told me today that I look so normal when I walk! I've dropped lots of dress sizes, and I'm feeling good. But still tired when I overdo things...

Great buzz (literally) to hit 10,000 steps!

There are so many positives, and they all revolve around feeling fitter than I have in years, and starting to get back to being normal, and having a normal life. But everything still revolves around the knees - they are the master of this castle for sure. I'm still struggling with getting to sleep (with or without a daytime nap, doesn't make a difference), my right knee and leg has been so painful over the last week, and is even more so if I don't have my magnesium tablets. My prescription medication has been reduced in dosage so thats probably playing a part too. It feels good to do the exercise class but it absolutely kills me after, and the focus on my knees is so absorbing that I'm starting to feel a little bit sick of it. Bu there is no getting away from them, and its going to be that way for the next year while everything finishes healing. All in all, these feel like minor disturbances in the bigger picture.

and this is the result of all the hard work - how good do the scars look? 10 weeks post-op.
The next big challenge will be returning to work. I've got to admit, I'm a bit nervous. Both of the physical pressure this will have on my knees plus the fact that life will become busy, and I won't be giving my knees the love and devotion they have received up until now. Has anyone else done this? Would love to hear how you managed it. Let me know how you went. See you, Laurel


  1. Well done Laurel. It's nice to read a positive experience.


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