My 3 Secrets to Fast Recovery to Knee Surgeries #9 & #10

The last thing that I ever wanted to be known for, was how many darned surgeries I’ve had on my knees.

Last week I just had double knee surgeries, which add up to #9 and #10.

Vacuum on my right (arthroscopy) to clean up some torn cartilage and kibbles; Grind on my left (arthrotomy= open knee) to shave down arthritic bone spurs that were getting in the way of the joint mechanics (aka, a tendon was snapping over the spur every upstroke on a bike or walking up stairs).

That’s a lot, but I still have my own bones, I can ride a bike hard for miles and miles, and the pain is generally tolerable.  My doctor tells me the next stop is knee replacements.  I’m hoping my surgeries bought me 5 more years…and by then, who knows?  I’m hoping that the stem cell applications are proving to do amazing things by then.  If not, or some other cool new technological advancement, then knee replacements it shall be.

I’m a week post-op, feeling good without crutches, and making sure that I don’t do too much too soon.  I feel like my recovery is coming along fast.

 

What’s my Secret?

It’s not so much what I am doing now, it’s what I did pre-op, and you can do this too.

#1  Interval Training on a Bike

That’s right, get on your bike and ride!  Don’t just read a magazine and make your feet go around in circles…get your heart rate up, do some interval training.  If you are new to this, having a guide helps.  Try my 6 video set “Power to Pedal” – they are 1 hour long training sessions that you can split into 30 minute sessions if an hour is too much at the start.  Ride a minimum of 2X per week.  Make this your standard.

#2  Strength Training for Legs and More

Cycling is great for leg strength on a bike, but you need more than just cycling.  Definitely add in exercises that work your Gluteus minimus and medius, which are 2 of your 3 butt muscles and help control where your leg is in space.  Make sure to include core exercises and upper body strength too.  Strength Train a minimum of 2X per week.  Make this your standard.

#3  Get to be a Healthy Body Weight

Staying light helps your joints.  When walking, in every step you take the stress of your body weight is multiplied 2-3X in your knee joint.   If you are carrying an extra 20 lbs, that means when you are walking, you’ll have an added force of 40-60 lbs in your knee!  OUCH!  When running its 6-7X and jumping is 9-10X!  Imagine an extra 20 lbs could add 200 lbs more force in your knee when you jump.  No wonder being overweight is so hard on your joints.  So, if you know you have some pounds to lose, get to work on it right now and you’ll do your joints the biggest favor that you can.  I have to work at maintaining my body weight as well – and the combination of cycling and strength training is part of my program.

If you are heading into knee surgery, do all that you can before hand to get strong and light.  Your recovery will be much faster!  If you want to avoid knee pain, do all 3 things and you’ll be on a path to keep your knees happy for years.

Wishing you all the best!

Coach Robin

 

 

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