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Guest Post – How Yoga Helped a TKR Patient

The last couple of Guests Posts were written by Karen, a visiting nurse. As mentioned in her bio, her mother had undergone a tkr. Part of the recuperation involved yoga.

Here is a post written by the yoga instructor, Melanie Willsher. It relates to how Karen’s mom could kneel after her tkr, with the assistance of yoga. Enjoy!

In June 2009, I worked with an 85-year old woman who had knee replacement surgery in one knee, in April 2009. Her attitude was of openness and trust, and she was accompanied by her daughter, a nurse, who was full of love and encouragement…..

Our session lasted one hour. The leg was swollen, discolored and painful. She was very aware of her limits, and afraid of falling if she tried to kneel.

Before we began, I asked her: What suggestions her surgeon had made? Were there movements she’d been advised not to do? My intentions were to find ways to maintain motion of the knee replacement, to ensure she could walk safely, to discover together what degree of flexibility she could safely practice, and how to get down to and up from the floor.

My props were a sturdy chair, yoga mat and wall. First she sat slowly down onto the chair. She gently raised forward the painful knee to foot, and back down again, several times. With the offer of arm support on either side of her if she wanted it, she went from standing by placing one foot slightly behind the other. She was using the chair seat for support. She slowly went down on the good knee. She leaned forward and was sitting on the good knee-side. She was then able to sit on her buttocks, against the wall, and straighten her legs. This was no mean feat……

While bending the strong knee, she raised then lowered and bent her painful knee. She then straightened the painful knee. Her hip joints were flexible which helped to stabilize the knees. All her leg movements were small, simple and comfortable. All her leg movements were repeated several times. She rested, and when ready, began again. She slowly lowered herself down onto her back. We repeated these moves, of bending and straightening, lifting and lowering. We compared flexibility between both legs and she was encouraged by just how much mobility she had in her tkr leg. To stand, she reversed the process of kneeling, with support offered if she wanted and requested it. She then went back to sitting on the chair. She rested while reflecting on the effects she had just made and accomplished. Finally, she started walking slowly out of the studio.

She was a great teacher, with the wisdom of one who knows that the body recovers at its own pace, and needs infinite time……

Author Bio:
Melanie Willsher is am a hatha yoga teacher, in Sardinia and UK. Her practice has been influenced by her training as a music therapist, and her ongoing studies with Diane Long, a student of Vanda Scaravelli.

Visit her website at: http://www.yoga-breaks-italy.co.uk

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