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Bilateral TKR Recovery Diary

Campervan

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I think we need a competition - count (guess) the number of bike wheels in Roy's cellar. Now, what could the prize be? Ah yes, Santa up in the corner there!!!

Now seriously, I'm finding my exercycle wonderful for increasing and/or maintaining ROM.
 
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Roy Gardiner

Roy Gardiner

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April 22nd 2013. Bike riding in Majorca, 9 days so far averaging 54 miles/day. No days off yet.

No knee trouble whatsoever, bar a little soreness that I'd expect anyway. No swelling.

Amazing to go from not riding the bike at all since January to being able to ride every day. Just taking it easy and pedalling nice and gently seems to be the key -- in previous years I've done too much and become hopelessly tired mid-holiday.
 

trailspud

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Roy, sounds like a great time. I hope the weather is perfect for touring. Any tough climbs?
 
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Roy Gardiner

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So my 'racing' career is restarted.

Tuesday 7th circuit race, 1st in a weekly series. Started with the age 60+ group for about 40 minutes, then as the main field lapped us the 2nd time I jumped in with them, lasted 3 or 4 laps before simply not being able to hold the wheels (they were averaging 26mph I was told later).

Wednesday 8th Club evening '10' mile time trial, recorded lifetime worst time only just faster than 20mph

Tuesday 14th raining so didn't ride the circuit race. Brad and me, homies, useless in the wet :)

Thursday circuit race, again in 60+ group but this race considerably faster so stayed in that group for 50mins + 3 laps, perhaps 21 or 22 miles (didn't have my computer on the bike). Well chuffed to stay with it, first race finished for at least 2 years -- since before my BTKR definitely.

No trouble from the knees whatsoever (plenty from the legs, what are useless).
 

trailspud

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....beginning of a great season, Roy...wish you much speed and more joy
 

MissJ

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Roy, you're an inspiration in so many ways...but especially with your racing! Good on you for getting started again with this. I dream of getting back on my real bike (not just the stationary one!) - 21 miles sounds heavenly!

I think I've figured out from the UK posts here that feeling "chuffed" is a good thing.
j
 

Grammy59

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Hi Roy, got a minute to answer a question? I'm doing really well with recovery from BTKR, ROM in right is 120 and in left 126 after 4 weeks. I'm having a problem with soreness in the bends of each leg. In the left, the pain is on the inside, almost feeling like a knot and the right is about in the center. When I try to stretch the right out, I can get to a certain place and pain makes me have to stop. I've tried massaging the bends, but doesn't help much. Any suggestions on how I can work these problem areas out? I do my exercises every day, and some of them really hurt like laying on my side and doing leg lifts. Thanks for your input. Sounds like you are enjoying being able to race again. That's wonderful! Take care-I love reading your posts.
 
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Roy Gardiner

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62 miles completed today in sunshine and maybe 24 degrees. This is what it's about.

Not really fit for racing; already completed a lifetime worst 10-mile time trial earlier this year, 29 minutes something, and get dropped within a lap at the circuit racing locally. Still, more training may fix that.

Deb, 4 weeks is nothing, don't panic. 120 flexion is brilliant at this stage. Leg straightening is probably tough because the bone spurs that were stopping you before are now gone, but the tendons are short. Walking with long stride will give a fine stretch in the back of the knee. The extension stretch shown in my exercises thread (from my sig below) will also help.

I'd not bother with training exercises yet, like leg lifts, until healing is much further progressed.

I wouldn't start worrying about it for at least another 6 weeks of stretching and recovery.
 

Grammy59

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Hey Roy, I do apologize for asking a question about my recovery on your thread. I just read a post that said I shouldn't do that and I didn't think anything about it. Thank you for being so helpful and encouraging!! Have a good evening or is it morning there? :)
 

MissJ

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Roy
I opened your thread today for inspiration. As I drove to work on a beautiful July morning, I passed many people out for an early morning bike ride. By the time I got to my destination I was fairly green with jealousy. In fact I almost asked the hubby to get my bike out (it's currently hanging in the garage gathering dust w/the tires going flat) so that I could TRY to get on it...good sense got the better of me.

I note that you really didn't ride until fairly far out after your surgery and are riding every day. Hope restored!
thanks for your updates.
j
 
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Roy Gardiner

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Yup. Ride to my table tennis club. Almost 30 degrees today, a major heatwave for the UK. My knees now place no limits at all on cycling. For table tennis I don't really know -- they don't hurt, and I'm now playing better than ever in my life.

I need to ride the bike more, but I'm so deconditioned that even in this wonderful weather I don't want to do the big miles I should be doing. Ah, never mind.
 
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Roy Gardiner

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Two year review


Then

There wasn't a day or an hour or a minute go by where I didn't think about my knees; I couldn't walk without pain; stairs were slow and painful up, slower and more painful down, hanging on for grim death to the bannister; everywhere I went I would be looking for somewhere to sit; all trips and outings had to be organised to minimise walking and standing.

At any time the knee could 'give way', or lock. I'd then need to visit my osteopath, who restored some mobility any number of times.

I could ride my bike, but only if I rode extremely low gears (100+ rpm) because I couldn't push hard; I had continuous saddle sores because of sitting awkwardly on the bike (I didn't know at the time what the cause was). I had shims fitted on the underside of my bike shoes to help straighten up; didn't work so well. I couldn't stand up on the pedals, I just had to pedal faster not harder.

I had to sell a fine Audi S8 motor car because the driver's footwell was slightly too narrow (caused by the diff for the AWD system) and my left knee hurt badly after about 45 minutes driving. Driving was always problematic, and I'd often have to stop to 'stretch my legs' because the hurt so much. I hated manual/stick shift cars.

Finally, my daughter said "On my wedding day I want to dance with my Dad; how's that going to work?"


Now

I go up stairs two at a time. Come down carrying things in both hands. Walk as far as I like - I'll often go to the bookshop, for instance, on foot, about a mile from my house. My knees are not a consideration in organising trips/holidays/whatever.

They never, ever give way.

My bike riding is limited only by my willingness to ride. My knees never hurt, I can ride such gears as I choose. I can stand on the pedals if I like. I don't get saddle sore any more because I now sit straight on the bike, where previously my knees forced me crooked. My legs are now the same length.

I can play table tennis properly, if not very well. 'Properly' means it ain't ping-pong, there's lots of movement and physicality to it.

Today I rode my bike 32 miles in 5 degrees C, strong winds. Knees no bother, rest of me... no comment. Yesterday played table tennis two hours.

I use a Ford Fiesta 1275cc for short journeys, where previously I would've always taken my Lexus 4-litre V8 just because it's auto. The wee Ford is tiny and great fun and uses about 1/4 of the petrol in urban driving -- driving never was fun before.

My range of movement is extension at -1 or a bit more, which is perfect (IMO anyway) and flexion around 135 or a bit more. I could get more I'm sure if I wanted to, but I keep forgetting.

That's key; my knees no longer dominate my life. Just how cool is that?

Added 6th Dec: I am 61, retired almost 3 years. I am now actively considering taking a long refresher course (actually an entry-level course, the business moves that fast) in progamming using modern methods, then taking on maybe a job, maybe a project, maybe freelance work. The course is 3 months from January 2014 and will involve walking 0.6 miles to the station, 40 minute tube ride maybe standing, and back obv. This would have been unthinkable and impossible prior to BTKR.
 
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amazing 3.jpg
Roy Gardiner, you were such an inspiration to me when I was recovering, and you kept me laughing with your dry British humor. We've both come a long, long way since those months so long ago. And life is wonderful with knees we don't have to think about.


Thanks for sharing your success so that others can see what lies ahead for them.
 

Jacky48

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Great 2 year report Roy! I too was inspired by you and your recovery! You helped me make the decision to get my BTKR, and I'm darn glad I did! Thanks for your wit and wisdom! :thumb:
 

skigirl

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Roy, congratulations! You have helped a lot of other people with your story and your sense of humor.
 

Bumpa

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Roy, very well done you are a star.
Just one comment. When walking upstairs about 9 times your bodyweight goes through your knee - take it just a little bit easy please - we want to learn of the longivity of your protheses. One step at a time is a good thing to remember.
And best wishes
Bob
 

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