My Mom's Knee Surgery Kicked Me Into a Fitness Routine

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kneesNothing inspires me to take care of my health like watching my female relatives age. I have their genes, after all, so they're a pretty good indication of what's ahead for me. It's been a rough few years for my mother. She suffers from arthritis. Her knees ache so badly she's had to cut back on her great passion, gardening. Even standing in her front yard raking up the mimosa blossoms has become too much for her. She finally found a holistic practitioner who helped her cope with the pain, but it was just a band-aid. Just last week my mother finally faced the inevitable: She had the first of two knee replacement surgeries.

Those of you who have known knee surgery have seen that it doesn't magically transform your knees. There's months of physical therapy, a recovery that can take forever, and then you still have to do the other knee! My poor mom, I hate that she has to go through this! But -- I'd also hate to go through it myself. Can I prevent the same thing happening to my knees?

I wonder this because my knees are already starting to get a bit squeaky. I've noticed in the past couple of years that my alignment is a little funky, which might be why my knees are wearing out faster. So that -- plus my mother's own knee issues -- have lit the proverbial fire under my ass to get with the strength-training program.

After years of just "doing yoga" in a totally random, sporadic way I've finally joined a gym and am working with a trainer. I explained to him that one of my goals is to strengthen my legs in ways that will support joint health -- and at the very least, avoid exercises that will damage my joints. I've already learned a lot. I've been doing lunges the wrong way for years! And I suspect I have more to learn.

I've also worked with a chiropractor and would like to maybe see a physical therapist. All this adds up financially, and that worries me a little. But then I think about what I could be saving on the other end -- surgery, not to mention work days lost in recovery plus after-care. It's worth it! Can I beat arthritis? You'll have to ask me that in another 10 years or so. But I'll keep working out in the hopes that it'll work.

Have you or any other women in your family had knee replacement surgery?

 

Image via phoneymanflickr/Flickr

aging, exercise, personal trainer, preventative medicine

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ashja ashja

I worry about this too. I run and am lean, but, at 37, my knees have been squeaking and squishing for years. I think my alignment may be off too, because my shoes wear funny. I love cardio, but HATE weight training, but this makes me want to get with a trainer as well!

nonmember avatar Caitlin

It sounds like you're definitely taking all the right steps to prevent any future issues with your knees! Fitness is the most important thing and that's something you should continue for life. Seeing a chiropractor and physical therapist is good too (chiropractor worked miracles for me!) but those are things that after awhile, you can just do a few times a month or once a month for an adjustment. The working out and therapy work together to eventually keep you from needing the medical care part of it.

mille... millerbunch

no, not here..


i do have squeaky knees..i need to keep an eye on them

allie... alliesmom112

No-one in my family has had knee replacement but sounds like you are taking great preventive steps

godde... goddess99

Nope but my knees are already bad and I believe my grandpa had some type of knee surgery.

Melis... Melissa042807

I'm not worried about my knees, but I AM worried about my teeth. The women in my family have horrible dental histories, even with professional care. 

mjima... mjimaging

I don't have anyone in my family that has knee replacement sergery but I have been a hockey goalie for over twenty years and my knees are bad. They are doing good right now and haven't had a flare up in eleven years but when they do it is really bad. I have learned to strengthen all the muscles around the knees. And the more active I stay the better they are. Good luck with your knees.

ceciliam ceciliam

Not in my family but my husbands mother, is going through this.

suziejax suziejax

no one in my family has not had it ,, that i know of... and I have not thankfully 

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