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A Possible Stairs Maneuver for TKR Folk

Actually, this maneuver may work for anyone with knee concerns.

Walking downstairs is a tricky endeavor for someone with knee problems, as we all know. I recently received a comment from one of my readers that I wanted to share. This never crossed my mind, but she has been using the maneuver for years and swears by it. It will not work for me, but may work for you. What is it?

Instead of walking downstairs like the average person, walk backwards. Of course, be certain to have a railing to hold on to. And, be doubly certain you can see where you are walking. Take your time. Be cautious. There is not as much stress on your knees when you use the stairs in this manner. She states the pain is less.

I’m mentioning this as a possible alternative for other tkr folk. We all know how difficult stairs can be. We need all the help we can get.

NOTE: This might work as well for you as it has for her. Or, it might not work as well. I am not recommending it nor endorsing it. So, if something unfortunately happens when you do it….don’t hold me responsible. You perform this maneuver at your own risk.

(I’m suddenly getting visions of my tkr readers falling downstairs and yelling…”Booktoots said it’s ok!! She lied!!” Don’t do that.)

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5 Responses

  1. Yikes! Maybe others don’t have problems with balance like I do, but this would definitely be a disaster for me! I’m glad it works for your other reader, though. You’re right…steps are a PIA. The only good thing about not being able to maneuver them is I no longer do the laundry.

  2. Why can some do the steps normally with a tkr and others can’t, but should be able to? I am more interested in finding out the answer to that question! Personally, I am getting tired of having to find another way to do certain things since I got this tkr. That was not what I signed up for and don’t want to do for the second half of my life. Sorry for the rant but I had a negative reaction to this blog when I read it, instead of a positive one.

  3. I think it just takes more time for some people to recover and gain their range of motion than others. I also think, we push ourselves too hard sometimes and not enough at others. Relax, give yourself time, rock in the rocking chair and sliding your foot back and forth as far as possible. Ride your stationary bike. Stand facing away from the bottom step and put the foot of your tkr on the second step up and bend the other knee down like you are sitting, hang onto the railing if you need to.
    When you get about 12-15 months out start carrying a cup of water in one hand and try not to spill it as you go up and down the stairs. After a few weeks, try it with something in both arms, going up for a couple of weeks and then going up and down. Work at getting away from using the handrail. This will improve your balance. Try to run down the stairs holding onto the railings or with one hand on the railing and one on a wall. You will amazed at what you will eventually be able to do. You have the ability to improve, it just takes time and dedication and exercise. I know, after 18 months, I can now run up and down the stairs, maybe not like I did in my twenties, but it is wonderful!
    Do not let discouragement control you, keep track of the all of the successes.Write them down and go back and look at them every once in awhile.

  4. Hi, just got the news that I need knee replacement, Doc said no reason to but Synvsic in because my knee is bone on bone, wants to do replace in two weeks. I’m 54 years old and work a Wastewater treatment plant. I read that when you have any dental work done you need to take antibiobics, I worry about infections working at a treatment plant. Also the big thing that a worry about is I have to go up and down 4 flights of stairs about 10 times a day carring things. My Doc wants to put the Rotating Platform Knee in, said NO PROBLEM YOU WILL BE BACK @ WORK IN 4 MONTHS Everything that I read on the forums and people a I talk to really don’t back that up. Anyone out there that has went back to work in under 6 months and doing stairs ???

  5. I’ve mentioned this on my blog as well. It’s going to be awhile before I actually can go downstairs normally.

    I was at mom’s place back in the summer and my sister commented that I flew down the steps backwards. But of course, going downstairs backwards isn’t for everyone. Sidestepping down can work, but it can be slow.

    Only negative about going downstairs backwards is when you miss a step and land on the next step below. Either nothing’s going to happen, it’s going to be painful, or you can fall.

    If you tend to put your hands on the wall like I do for a little extra steadying at times while the other uses the railing, keep some cleaning solution handy as you’re going to have some handmarks on the wall.

    What do others do for steps without rails? Sit-climb, use the wall corners with someone with you, what?

    I’ve had a TKR done on both knees. I still have muscle contractures on the left knee where it was the worst. It was bone on bone and quite painful. Moving around helps, post-surgery.

    I’ve been using heating pads, positioned so the knee joint gets some benefit as well as the thigh muscles. A hot tub works well. After maybe 30 minutes, do stretches and other related exercises. Before using the hot tub, do some laps for maybe 30 minutes in the swimming pool. My physical therapist has mentioned that this is a good way to get things straightened out if you have trouble with getting some extra extension and flexion back in the knee.

    Come to think of it… That’s a blog post I need to do…

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