Attn: ? for TKR survivors!

Silver Lake, OH(Zone 5b)


I'm having my total knee replacement March 8 and was wondering how I can best prepare for the gardening after I'm better.
If you've had this surgery, when were you up and around and what did you do to get there? How did it affect your ability to garden? Can you kneel down now? How about squat? If you can't do those things how on earth does one weed? Bending over at the waist will kill my back ...

I'd love your input.


San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Janie, I 've not had a TKR, so really can't comment on the procedure or the after effects. I'm sure the process is no picnic, but we are fortunate to live at a time when repairs like this can be made. I have problems with balance, and with arthritis, so I do much of the weeding while seated. If a knee is really bothering me, I can stretch the leg out straight to the side. I had a rolling bench with a flat seat, but someone suggested the tractor seat. It is much better - contoured and the seat swivels to help me reach. I pull weeds by hand that will come out that way, but for prying out stubborn roots I use a Ho Mi. Thats a Korean tool with a sharp point and a flat scraper side. There are handheld and longhandled types. I use the long handled one to weed standing. It's lightweight and won't do heavy chopping like a hoe, but is very useful in tight spaces.

Please keep us posted on your progress. I'll be concentrating thoughts and prayers that the procedure will go smoothly and that recovery will be speedy. Yuska

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

JJ, I'm going to put that date on my calender so I can be praying specifically for you that day. I know you have suffered a lot with your joints and back(I've caught a lot of your prayer requests on that forum). I pray this surgery will help relieve some of your discomfort.

Pembroke Pines, FL(Zone 10a)

I have the garden scooter that Yuska mentions. My knees are completely gone and I can not kneel nor bend over w/o losing my balance. I purchased the scooter from Gardeners Supply. Also purchased earthboxes to do my gardening therefore eliminating all weeding and further bending. Not to many people know about and with all this I have the best garden I ever had with no work...

Silver Lake, OH(Zone 5b)

I have the garden scoot, but it won't steer - it just goes in a straight line, it needs swivel wheels like on a gurney, LOL.

I was looking at earthboxes, perhaps that is confirmation for me, if we had our veggies in earthboxes we could move them around the yard too, if we found that the shade was harming the veggies. We have a pretty shady back yard.

I will look into getting a Ho Mi.

I will be having my DH post on DG to update you all... or my friend Bill might do it, to get that chore off DH's back.

If either posts, it will be under my name... and I think I'll just start a thread with "Janiejoy update" on it right before I go in, and link it so it's easy for DH to do.

I'll just have him identify himself... but don't expect long posts! He's pretty non-computerized. He's a doc, and that is where his genius is.

I love him to pieces... as I do our dear friend Bill who babysat me when I had the last problems so DH could go to church. He's a pal!

Thanks for your ideas and suggestions.

Lincoln City, OR(Zone 9a)

Janie, as you know I have had bilateral total knee replacements. As far as the weeding goes I now have three sizes of hoes from and I also have short handled ones and the long handled ones. I mostly used the long handled ones because of my back though and I love them. The precision weeder is perfect for popping those deep rooted weeds out after severing the roots down very low under ground and for up right next to the plant that I want to keep to get those weeds that grow close by it. Then I use the junior winged weeder for the larger small areas and the full size one for the areas I just want to keep cleared totally. I can't imagine life without those great tools. I can't get on my knees without lots of padding and it feels so strange that I really don't care to do it anyway. It took several months before I could even kneel but I have two friends who could kneel within a couple of months so each of us are different (both friends are lighter weights than I am). I am glad I had the surgery because I wouldn't be gardening anyway had I not had it so if I have to adjust my gardens or my tools it is no biggy to me.

Squat? Me? Not on your life and that was even before the surgery. lol I use a lawn chair a lot to get around the garden comfortably and my ever trusty hoes. I bought a long handled grabber to pick up things with that are at a distance and it has such a fine tip on it (the size of fingers) that I can even pull a few tender weeds with it and I can also pick up the larger weed seeds that come from my tree of heaven (poor choice of names for the millions of seeds it produces) that my DH hasn't gotten around to cutting down yet. You can take your garden scoot to a talented welder and have him weld a swivel onto the front wheels (just a thought I had).

I am having my hip replaced on April 12 so will be traveling the surgery road myself very soon. Not my idea of great fun but neither is the pain from the area now. I can hardly wait!!!!!!!!

You are in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this journey and I know you will be thrilled with your new knee very soon.


Silver Lake, OH(Zone 5b)

Lani I didn't know about your hip!!! Girl, we have to keep in better touch. Thanks so much for all your good ideas and advice. I am grateful. I'll check into the winged weeder. Sounds like a wonderful tool!

Lincoln City, OR(Zone 9a)


I forgot to tell some of my friends. Sorry. I am quite braindead since I am trying to get Mom's estate cleared up, the club books in order to hand over to the new treasurer, our taxes done, the weeds hoed, the weeds sprayed, find a garden tractor for my DH to mow with, and all the other stuff that comes with life. I have been using the heck out of my winged weeders this week! We are in almost 60 degree weather daytime and freezing or near that at night. Wonderful for weeds to sprout and grow ohh so fast.


Denton, TX(Zone 7a)

I had my left knee done about two years ago, (about the same time that Lani had both of her knees done) I am unable to bend enough to comfortably kneel, so I have the tractor scoot, from Gardners Supply, it works pretty well, but you are right, no steering, so you have to go in a straight line!
I must admit, the weeds get away from me..I need to get some of the hoes that you people are talking about. I just had a bunch of my friends from the GW come and weed most of my rose beds, what a blessing that was! 13 people gave up their Saturday to help me! (I am in awe at the helpfulness of people)
I also have a plastic bench that I carry around with me, and it allows me to get down to where I can do most things...I was using a camp chair, but one day, the bottom ripped out and put me on the ground! So I don't use that anymore!
My advice to to do as much physical thereapy after your surgery that you possibly can,it really makes a will be using a walker for a time after your surgery, and it will be probably a couple of months before you even think about getting outside..don't push it! Take it slow and steady, and you will do fine.
Lani, I am sorry to hear about your needing your hip replaced, but they do wonderous things and you will be feeling relief real soon, I will be thinking of you.

Lincoln City, OR(Zone 9a)

Thanks Melva! Funny part of this hip surgery is that I have absolutely no fear since I know I am under the care of an absolutely terrific doctor.

Janie, I too agree with Melva that you need to do therapy whether it hurts or not. Just grit your teeth and DO IT! The bending of your knee is ever SO IMPORTANT with TKR as you want to be able to kneel down and have full mobility. The only reason I don't kneel is it is uncomfortable to be on the scars because I grow trememdous scar tissue. Feels weird but I could get used to that as I did the new knees.

It took me almost a year to decide that the new knees were actually a part of me and not something foreign that needed to be removed. You will soon know what I mean there as you travel this journey but you will also be happy that you are out of that part of your pain. When this knee pain is gone you will be amazed I am quite sure how much better overall you feel.

Just don't worry but remember to do your therapy! Remember the theraband trick I told you about too and do it to help you when you are laying down or sitting. My therapists were totally amazed at how quickly I was recovering my bend and I know that was a large part of being able to bend 90 degrees before I left the rehab unit. Just do it.

Hugs and my best to you,

Southern Mountains, GA(Zone 6b)

Hello to all. I sure hope your surgery goes 100% well and you have a speedy recovery. I've been reluctant to admit even to myself how slowed down I've become. I can't work out in the heat anymore without getting a severe headache and I can't do much in the way of digging either. If my tiller can't do it, it can't be done. (though I can weild a mean hoe!) Also, I had a bad fall in January and am struggling to even walk without pain. I have a tremendous limp now and until the injury totally resolves, it looks like I will be making do, which is OK. I am still very grateful for what I can do and all that I have and will keep at it.

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Roseone33, I'm so sorry to hear you have had such a rough time lately. May GOD bless and keep you. Please keep in touch thru this forum.

Southern Mountains, GA(Zone 6b)

Thanks leaflady! May God bless you and yours too.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Janiejoy, we thinking of you...are you up to giving us a status report? I was hoping maybe you could have a laptop with you..... .

Silver Lake, OH(Zone 5b)

Yuska, I've been posting in the prayer requests forum. I did not / do not have a laptop but am home... taking it day by day. Check the prayer forum for more info, I'd post more but it hurts to sit at the computer for very long right now.

Denton, TX(Zone 7a)

It will take awhile before you can sit at the computer for more than a few minutes at a time...I know! But, it will get better, and it is good to bend that as much PT as you can, I didn't do enough, and I really regret it!

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