TKR exercises with lumbar degeneration

Posted by jewlz1 @jewlz1, Jul 18, 2021

Not sure if this has been a topic of discussion. I am 6 weeks post-op for a RTKR. I am doing well and pleased with my progress. I have experienced lower back & hip pain while exercising. I shared this with my OS, he ordered x-rays and low and behold impressions were mild osteoarthritis in both hips, AND spinal degeneration in the lumbar spine. That explains the pain while exercising, but I would like to know if there is something I can do to prevent the pain. I do have some stretching exercises my PT taught me which helps. However, I need to start my knee exercises almost immediately afterward. Random leg lifts while watching Netflix are out of the question because of pain. 😟. Any suggestions on how to avoid hip and lower back pain while exercising post RTKR? Thank you!

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I had 2 back surgeries (bulging discs and arthritis) prior to my TKR. I would definitely do what PT says. Stretching has been key for me. I do cycle a lot. Somethings aggravate my back more than others. I also alternate with Tylenol and Advil. Good luck.

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@jewlz1 : I halve also had back issues for 10 years prior to RTKR in Sept. 2018. Best general advice is to be consistent with stretching exercises for general pain reduction/relief in back and hips. It took several months until I was relatively pain free. Kept up the stretches on a daily basis for over 10 years now. Specifically how to handle leg lifts with back problems: I found to do them on the (carpeted) floor – firm, solid surface, and support my back by placing my hands palms down under the “hollow” of my back, down low. It helped change the angle of the back involvement and made the leg lifts much less painful. Perhaps that might help you as well.

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I appreciate your response and advise. It makes sense to use a hard surface for more stability when attempting leg lifts. I've found placing my hands in the hollow of my back does help. I need to be more consistent with my stretching as that is key. Do you stretch before and after or what is your stretching protocol. Unfortunately I can't use NSAIDs due to GI issues. Thanks again for your input!

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@njpahl

I had 2 back surgeries (bulging discs and arthritis) prior to my TKR. I would definitely do what PT says. Stretching has been key for me. I do cycle a lot. Somethings aggravate my back more than others. I also alternate with Tylenol and Advil. Good luck.

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Thanks for responding. I agree to follow PT instructions. How did you do with your back surgeries?

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@ellerbracke

@jewlz1 : I halve also had back issues for 10 years prior to RTKR in Sept. 2018. Best general advice is to be consistent with stretching exercises for general pain reduction/relief in back and hips. It took several months until I was relatively pain free. Kept up the stretches on a daily basis for over 10 years now. Specifically how to handle leg lifts with back problems: I found to do them on the (carpeted) floor – firm, solid surface, and support my back by placing my hands palms down under the “hollow” of my back, down low. It helped change the angle of the back involvement and made the leg lifts much less painful. Perhaps that might help you as well.

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Great advice. I use an old flannel sheet, rolled to support my lower back when I do leg exercises. The beauty of that, or an old towel, is that it can be rolled and rerolled for use under a variety of body parts, and just for you (compared to the off-the-shelf leg, back & neck supports)
Sue

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@jewlz1

Thanks for responding. I agree to follow PT instructions. How did you do with your back surgeries?

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First one was good but it bulged again. Pretty sure they would fuse it the second time. When they went in, scar tissue came off from my injections and was leaking spinal fluid. He patched it but couldn’t do the fusion. Actually have been pretty good for the last 3 years.

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@jewlz1

I appreciate your response and advise. It makes sense to use a hard surface for more stability when attempting leg lifts. I've found placing my hands in the hollow of my back does help. I need to be more consistent with my stretching as that is key. Do you stretch before and after or what is your stretching protocol. Unfortunately I can't use NSAIDs due to GI issues. Thanks again for your input!

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@jewlz1: My back exercises are geared to deal with bone-on-bone vertebrae in my lumbar region, resulting in back pain and sciatica. Very simple set (10 to 15 reps each): sit up straight on chair or bed with feet flat on floor. Slowly bend upper body forward and down as far as possible, back to sitting straight. Next: Lay on floor, knees bent. Put heel of one leg sideways on opposite knee. Gently pull the bent leg toward your opposite shoulder (sort of cross-wise motion). Do each side. Next: gently pull both bent knees toward your body – help with hands to pull close to chest, then relax a little. Last, on your back, with both knees bent, with hand support behind knee, straighten the leg to have foot point at ceiling, then let go back to bent position. One at a time. Again, each side. Takes 5 to 8 minutes, loosens up your whole lower back. Finally, stand with your back against a solid surface (sink, countertop), support your back with hands, and slowly bend your upper body backwards as far as you can. I’ve gotten to the point where I can see my face upside-down in the bathroom mirror when doing this (months, not days of practice). That’s it. Immediately after TKR I had to make some adjustments, did as much as possible. But even then, did them daily. I usually end with “bonus” 20 bridges, and 30 squats, but that is my own “thing”.

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