It is hard to believe it has been one year since my partial knee replacement. The year went by fast, but the days were long; those first few weeks felt like months, but daily life became easier and easier as I went further along in my knee replacement journey. I look back on it all now with a sense of gratefulness, and I’m so glad I went through with the knee replacement surgery.
Since the last time I updated you all (6 month mark), I have been entirely able to do many things without pain or discomfort. However, there are still a few activities that give me a bit of trouble. So, let’s break everything down from hard to easy one year later.
The One Hard Activity left
Yeap stairs are still an issue
It pains me to type this out. Stairs have been my enemy since the beginning of my bad knee story. Stairs are still an issue one year later. Now, I can still go up and down the stairs one foot after the other like healthy knee people, but I am slow. Very slow.
Going Down the stairs is worse than going up, surprisingly. But, the railing is still my best friend when going either way on the stairs. Carrying items on the stairs is the biggest challenge of all. That extra weight is just too much for it, and it feels like it will buckle.
Let’s describe the feeling in my knee when I go up and down the stairs. While ascending the stairs, my muscle in front of my upper leg (the quadriceps) pulls, feels tight, and then there is a dull pain that begins right where the knee replacement piece is. This lasts until I’m done on the stairs, and I have zero pain when I stop.
Going down the stairs, the issue is more of stability. My knee doesn’t feel 100% safe to put all my weight on without a railing to hold on to. There is no pain, though, when descending the stairs.
Knee activities that are improving slowly
Kneeling- I’m one of the lucky 30% of knee replacement warriors that can kneel on my knee without pain. I don’t do it often, and I almost always have something under my knee when kneeling to protect it from the floor. Pillows, a rolled-up yoga mat, sometimes even a sweatshirt!
Getting up off the floor-This activity doesn’t look pretty when I do it, but I can do it without pain. Pushing myself up with my nonsurgical leg is ALOT more manageable than if I try pushing up with my knee replacement leg. Also, I must go slow with this activity. There is no jumping up briskly off the floor for me!
Criss Cross Applesauce- I can officially sit like this without pain, but I can feel the pulling over my knee in that quad muscle. I don’t find myself in this position often, but when I do, I make sure to get into it and out of it slowly.
Overall what life is like one year later
Ok, we talked about the challenging and so-so activities for my knee replacement one year later, but how about life in general. Two words… worth it. All the pain, sleepless nights, and hard work are 100% worth it. I can do so many activities now that I couldn’t even imagine doing before my knee replacement surgery.
What are a few of my favorite activities, you ask? Letting my kids and nephew sit on my lap. Taking long walks and even sometimes runs with my dog. I can go shopping with friends without having to sit every few minutes. Going to the gym and being able to do whatever machine or class I want to.
Most people take the little things for granted, like getting up and down from a chair without pain. However, I often remind myself how amazing it feels to do even that without pain. Standing to cook or do dishes is another tremendously simple task I can do now pain-free.
Outside of the activities I listed above, the sky is truly the limit for things I can do now one year later after knee replacement. I would recommend this surgery to anyone who has been pondering the idea. My partial knee replacement surgery changed my life in many ways, and I will forever be grateful I found a surgeon to perform it on my “young” self.
Are there activities that still give you trouble one year later? What activities are you most grateful to be pain-free for? Leave them in the comments; I would love to know!
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician.
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Until next time, happy healing!
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