Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Kneeling and crawling

There's been a continuing discussion over on Delphi about whether or not you can kneel on a TKR. I can't speak for anyone's experience but my own. And I can kneel.

It certainly feels a little strange. There are obviously no pressure sensors in the artificial joint, as there are in the natural joint, so the knees don't "match" in that sense. But I can kneel on the new one, and with increasing comfort.

The first time I tried it, I was on a bed. I turned onto my hands and knees, and sat up and back, keeping the TKR at about 90 degrees.

Now, as I approach knee-plus-six months, I can comfortably kneel on carpeted floors, and have begun to sit farther and farther back onto my heels. I'm not yet in a complete sit-on-heels position, and may never get there. But I can go a lot farther back than I ever expected to be able to do. When I hold a kneeling position for a few minutes, and then stand up, my knee feels very stretched out. A little loose. And I think that it rattles and clunks more after kneeling, but that may simply be my heightened sensitivity, looking for problems after doing something new.

That said, I knelt in bed the other day, and on that soft cushion-ey surface, was indeed able to sit back onto my heels. I could not hold this position for very long --- the muscles at the back of my thighs started to cramp up and twitch in response to the "new" experience, but I could indeed put my butt onto my heels. I am not at all sure that I could do this (yet) on a less cushioned surface. But it's a lot more flexibility than I am accustomed to having.

It's been more than a decade since I could comfortably kneel in my garden and work. I'm now looking at kneeling stools, and kneeling pads, and kneeling mats. I'm thinking about changing the garden mulch to something a little softer and thicker, just so I can kneel on it. I'm so excited about this being-able-to-kneel thing. It's such a small part of life, but it's not something I expected to regain post-TKR.