Balancing things out post knee replacement

I have said it more than once, the corrections we make BEFORE the knee replacement in order to be able to keep functioning and managing the pain take far longer to re-correct that you might think.

One of these is the left leg bias that I have developed. It is how I managed to keep performing lunges, squats and thus how I kept working right up until the day I went in for surgery.

This very thing is taking me a long time to fix.

So I started with simple squats. Well, I thought it was simple! Nope! So now I take my phone and a tripod to the gym and video everything that I do. This has uncovered lots of things I did not even realise.

Last week I noticed that instead of squatting, I was bending forward far more than I should. Not only that, but I was twisting my weight differently on one leg, and leaning a lot more to the left.

So, I have been working on trying to fix all this, which will take a while. Here is today’s video version of a squat. I still only have 25kg weight in total on the bar, however I do think there are improvements. Surprised how hard it is proving to be!


Published by Melanie Magowan

I am a personal trainer, massage therapist and small business owner.

16 thoughts on “Balancing things out post knee replacement

  1. Only 4 more sleeps until my next TKR, can’t wait. I booked in with my PT today for post surgery sessions, great to be a client and see the other side. I hope I progress as well as you, I will be in constant contact to check my technique.
    Thanks so much for this


      1. Omg so so good so far! Apparently most orthopods use spinal anaesthetic combined with a drip of fentanyl, medazalam etc and Spotify music of my choice in noise canceling headphones. I saw them lift my leg straight up, Pilates moves first, then cut the patellar and femoral tendon. Then I thought I needed a nap and woke in recovery. Great so far:Physio walked me down the hall on high frame, lifted one metre off bed leg extensions, 45° ROM straight away, better than last time. Low dose endone taken tonight but when spinal wears off tomorrow, will reassess.
        Everything is high tech in this hospital ( compared to previous op 5 yrs ago) with anaesthetist app a week before admission, printout arm and ankle bands done bedside, health history from last op online to orthopod.
        So far so good. I will ask the Physio about how to structure time frame for ur wonderful exercises.
        Thanks so much Mel. I hope u r progressing well too.
        Judy xx


      2. Wowzer!! Well done! I wanted to be awake for mine but I had a blazing row with the medical team just before hand (then later ended up losing a formal complaint!) so I was too stressed and they knocked me out instead.

        All the meds made me violently sick which slowed down my recovery because I opted to go drug free from day 3 onwards because I had been bed bound with drugs based sickness till then.

        Took me 6 weeks to be able to lift my leg on its own! You’re doing awesome!!


      3. I am very very pleased with my progress today. I walked with frame when I came back to the ward then today ditched the frame and started on crutches, did my stairs lessons with the Physio and lots of sets of ankle point and flex, quads contractions, heel slides and now am totally stuffed and resting as I didn’t get any sleep last night. My drip accidentally pulled out of my hand when I turned over and was bleeding everywhere so had to call the doc to redo, leg pumps were noisy all night, had top up of antibiotics into the wound canular, BP etc checks every 4 hours so will sleep well tonight I hope.
        I showed the Physio your exercises and he was most impressed but said to wait and see if I have enough ROM for the bike first and not to be disappointed if it takes a while as everything else is great.
        I am looking forward to going home on Monday if doc clears me. Not sure how much endone to take will wait and see. I have a strange pain at the back of my knee and I think it was stretching the plantaris during ROM tests in surgery? Or where semis insert?
        Anyway very pleased today. Thanks Mel for checking in.


      4. Well done! You’re doing an ace job!!

        I had trouble behind my knee for a while, hamstring tendon is what mine was, it used to click a lot! But I do know that it’s quite common to get a bakers cyst (luckily I didn’t!)

        Took me 6-8 weeks to get enough RoM to pedal, so be patient with yourself, but at the same time, you’re rocking this, and the faster you get moving the better it is for muscle strength! 😁


      5. I just remembered that the 24 hr numbing tube in the wound has been removed and pain is increasing so have increased the endone to 10mg and hope to get on top of it. Last time I tried to be brave on 5 mg but was in serious pain at home. This time I will increase the meds to ensure that I can do all exercises.
        Please keep responding Mel as u r my only lifeline as a former knee patient. My family r gr8 but never been thru this like u.
        I hope ur exercises r still going well I love seeing ur videos.


      6. Oh it’s really interesting how different it is around the world. I didn’t have anything IN the wound. And I didn’t take any pain meds after day 3. If you’re struggling with pain have you tried ice…. like lots and lots of it? I had 3 bags of frozen peas on rotation almost all the time for the first 6-8 weeks.

        Also look back at my video blogs I did them daily from day 2 onwards then switched to 2 and 4 weekly after about 2 months. A lot of people have said they help too.. from a reassurance point of view.

        If you can tolerate the pain medication, keep taking it. It will make your recovery and rehab a lot easier than mine was!


      7. Thanks Mel yes I am using constant ice and Physio said I was doing too much exercise so to cut back to one set of ten standing then a few hrs later one set of ten seated then later one set of ten on stairs and parallel bars so I will try that. I haven’t had real sleep just dozing off each time staff come in to take my BP etc and lots of my clients, class participants have been to visit today, very tired. Will keep u updated xx


      8. Just reread your blog week 1- you poor thing not being able to tolerate endone (hillbilly heroin), must have been horrendous! I am now on 10mg endone 2 or 3 times a day and it’s effective thankfully. Also my wound is glued rather than stapled and my ortho rules out squats completely so the nurses say. I will find out tomorrow what he thinks about the timeframe for squats and lunges. Also I can easily shower at this stage which is a lovely treat relaxing in warm soothing water. I really feel for you, very brave girl. So grateful that you made the blog. I can only read short sections at a time as endone weary brain is easily confused. I will report back tomorrow xx


      9. I am home now and didn’t need any endone today just Panadol. Am doing my exercises 5 times a day and then ice. So far so good.


      10. Slight setback- it takes so long to cut up fruit, make coffee etc that I become too tired to do exercises when I get back from the kitchen. I will have to work out how to do lots of snacks at once


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