I was a tomboy who liked to run and play sports and games as a kid. In high school my favorite sport was track, and in college I enjoyed playing basketball. After I was married and had a family, I enjoyed walking for exercise, and I soon realized that my knees and feet were taking a beating. I sought the advice of a podiatrist, who made some inserts for my shoes, which made them feel better and helped to straighten up my ankles and legs a bit.
But over the years the misalignment of my knees wore away most of the cartilage between my femur (the thigh bone) and tibia (the lower leg bone). So when I walked, my bones were rubbing against each other, with virtually no cushion between them. It became painful to climb stairs, my knees would “pop” every time I bent them.
A few months ago I decided to try walking with my husband (Tom, the Walking Guy) to get some exercise. He was a serious walker, generally going five miles a day. I knew I couldn’t go that far, but we started with a short walk to the corner of our block, about a tenth of a mile. But I could not make it to the corner without having to turn back, due to knee pain. I was pretty discouraged.
So I went to my orthopedic surgeon and asked if I was a good candidate for knee-replacement surgery. My mother had had her knees replaced when she was in her 80’s, some 20-odd years ago, due to her own flat feet, so I thought maybe it was a good solution for me as well. The surgeon took some x-rays and they showed virtually NO cartilage left in my knees!
Surgery was scheduled at Maine Medical Center in Portland, and I had the first knee replacement on September 5. The second one was replaced a week later on September 12. I came home on the 15th. It was a pretty painful experience! But Tom took over the meals and other house hold tasks, put ice on my knees, brought me my pills, made sure I did my exercises, and in general gave me outstanding care. I had physical therapy at home twice a week, and the therapist pushed me to do a little more each time. Friends brought us meals and stayed to visit.
I walked with a walker for a day or two, and then I tried using a cane. I wasn’t comfortable climbing stairs yet, so we had a rollaway bed put in the living room for me.
Eight days after I came home I celebrated my birthday. Tom gave me a pair of Keenfit Walking Poles, and he wanted me to try them out right away! “Just to the end of the driveway and back,” he said. I balked at that, thinking that I would never make it that far. But I decided to be a good sport and try it. I actually walked to the end of the driveway, which is about 75 feet, turned around, and walked back! The Poles seemed to make it easier, much to my surprise! I felt like the Poles balanced the effort between my arms and my legs, so that my poor aching legs didn’t have to do all the work! Eleven days after having both knees replaced I was walking outdoors comfortably!
Today marks seven weeks after the surgery on my first knee and six weeks after the second. I have walked up to a mile and a half with my Keenfit Poles, and my knees are getting better every day! I have no pain, no disability of any kind, and my life is totally normal. My physical therapist says I have passed the benchmarks set for me, and she calls me her “poster girl.” I had a checkup with my orthopedic surgeon yesterday, and he said I could skip the twelve-week checkup and comeback in six months!
I credit my Keenfit Walking Pole regimen with a lot of my progress. It has been comfortable and enjoyable walking with the Poles, so it is easy to do it on a daily basis.
I lost sixteen pounds in the first weeks following my surgeries, and I know that my walking will help me to keep those pounds off and possibly lose a few more.
Thank you, Keenfit!
Judy Scarborough, Maine – US