Susan-Veteran of Two Knee Replacement Surgeries
I’d like to introduce you to Susan and tell you her success story! When we first made contact she was a bit frustrated that my bonus page had become disconnected from the bonus download. In particular she was looking for the instructions to build the FLEX bar. Her first FLEX bar, one built by her husband out of PVC pipe for the first surgery had been misplaced in a move. Her second surgery was coming up fast and wanting similar success; she was determined to have her husband build another one.
We connected, she got the blueprint [Free with book purchase] and I did not hear from her for about eleven weeks. When she did catch up with me again, she was happy to report another outstanding outcome. She sheepishly reported that her carpenter husband had made the second homemade FLEX bar out of scrape wood instead of PVC pipe and while she thought it looked a “bit primitive” it had nonetheless worked like a charm in accelerating her recovery and allowing her to be in control over pain without sacrificing progress.
Susan graciously agreed to send me the pictures of her “Homemade” FLEX bar and to answer a few questions that might be helpful to others considering surgery.
Questions Regarding “Homemade” Exercise Equipment
What made you seek other “outside” advice prior to getting your first knee done?
Actually a very good friend of mine took the initiative to seek out a book for me on Amazon when she heard I was getting a knee replacement. She chose the book because it had the most recent pub date so she figured it would have the most current information. Turned out it had the BEST information.
What convinced you that the FLEX bar would actually work properly as knee replacement exercise equipment?
I knew the degree of flex after surgery was important. My doctor told me he wants all his patients to be at 120° by six weeks after surgery. I had read the book cover to cover and it seemed like, based on your charts and information, the FLEX bar would help me accomplish that goal.
What was the thing you liked best about it?
The fact that you are in charge of your pain when using it and not at the mercy of a physical therapist. Over the course of a day it’s easy to sit down numerous times with it and work the knee. It still hurts. The FLEX bar doesn’t take the pain away but it makes it to easier to tolerate through the action of flexing with the bar. It’s great when you start to see results. At six weeks I was at 125° and both knees have made it to 140°.
How did your physical therapist and surgeon respond to it?
With the first knee, since the FLEX bar was new to me, I didn’t share it with either one. The first physical therapist was getting close to retirement and only gave me basic exercises on badly copied sheets. I was pretty much on my own. But by the second knee I knew the FLEX BAR worked and worked well. After the second knee surgery, during one of my early sessions with another PT he worked my knee to get the flex and the pain was terrible. I told him I had my own method and that he didn’t need to do that any more. Next session I brought the bar in to show him and he was amazed. He had a few other clients there at the same time and they gave it a try. I know he was convinced.
For the doctor, I took a copy of the book in to him and brought the bar for a Show and Tell. By then my flex was at 135°. He was very impressed and said he was going to pass the book and bar information on to future patients.
Did people in your family think it was a crazy idea?
My husband was enthusiastic about it when I explained the concept. He built both of the bars for me and, seeing the results, has also become a real advocate for it.
Were you ever worried you would hurt yourself with the FLEX bar?
No, but I did stay conscious of the pain and each time would work slowly with the bar, moving it as the comfort levels changed.
Any tips and tricks that you would like to pass on?
Yes. Be consistent. Use it as much during a day as you can tolerate. Start using it early on after the surgery. Don’t wait for the swelling to go down or the pain to go away. It works.
While there are pockets of excellent post surgical therapy, there is unfortunately a growing segment of marginal therapy that disadvantages the patient from timely and efficient recovery. Arm yourself with knowledge ahead of time and you’ll be in a much better position to ensure your own success while controlling your own pain levels.
Your Success Story Here
Make your own FLEX bar. Use your noggin, use your hands and get started making your very own knee replacement exercise equipment out of an old walker, wood, PVC, or even steel pipe. You won’t regret it and if you have a unique and interesting version. Please send me a picture and maybe I’ll feature your story on the next blog post. Go here to get started I’m looking for Hero Story #2… Will you be next?
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