With more than 780,000 total knee replacements done each year in the U.S., the need is greater than ever for a guide that will help patients prepare for and recover from the surgery. Healthy Knees Total Knee Replacement, the latest in a series of books on knee health by Bellingham resident Robin Robertson, is that guide.
A groundbreaking, step-by-step examination of how to emerge from the surgery healthier and more active than ever, the book is written in easy-to-understand language and based on science and experience for maximum results.
“Total knee replacement (TKR) is a traumatic event, to the body and the spirit,” explains Robertson, who has also written Healthy Knees Cycling and Healthy Knees Strength. “The book looks at how to start stronger — muscular strength and through nutrition — so that you come out of the surgery in a better place than those who do little or nothing to prepare.”
The nutritional information, she said, is the book’s greatest revelation. It comes from Dr. Stephen Black, a sports medicine specialist, who’s worked with Olympic athletes and has more than 40 years’ experience.
“The nutrition element is the surprise,” Robertson notes. “I’ve had 12 knee surgeries, and no doctor has ever talked to me about what to eat and what supplements to take to prepare for surgery and how to eat specifically for recovery.
“You don’t have to be thinking about knee replacement to benefit from the information in this book.”
Among the tips and insights Healthy Knees Total Replacement offers:
- Smart questions to ask your doctor pre-surgery
- How to train for your surgery like it is an athletic event
- Exercises to increase flexibility and reduce muscle tension will help with everyday range of motion
- How to use a bike and set it up to protect your knees and sample cycling workouts to follow
- The little-discussed option of a “custom” knee which designed through a CT scan of your leg and created to perfectly fit your conditions
During the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, the book contains the information and inspiration to help encourage readers most likely to need a TKR to new levels of vigor and fitness, with exercises they can do at home to improve knee health.
“Knee strength is not just about the knee,” Robertson says. “Your feet, ankles, hips, and core need to be included.”
The results of heeding and applying the wisdom in the book can be life-changing.
“The 60-, 70- and 80-year-olds of today want a healthy, active life,” Robertson says. “Knee-joint pain can not only keep you from doing the sports activities you love, but can keep you from doing basic movement in life like simply walking or climbing stairs.
Robertson also walks (or rather, “rides”) the talk – even through all of the 12 knee surgeries, starting at age 13 and ending with knee replacements, she leads by example. She and her husband are riding their bikes on a self-supported route across the county. Each summer they take on the next segment with about a 1,000 mile leg over 3-weeks.
“I want to show people what is possible with the right training,” she explains. “I’m here to give hope that you can have a healthy, active life, especially with new knees.”
Robin Robertson and her husband, Doug, own and manager the Bellingham Training & Tennis Club. Robin calls this her “test kitchen” for the Healthy Knees programs which she’s run since 2015. “We’ve helped hundreds of people reduce or eliminate their knee pain and that means they aren’t worrying about going up and down stairs and they can get back to being more active.” Robertson has received so many requests from across the nation for her program that she is preparing an online version for anyone to do at home, called Healthy Knees Formula. To get on the wait list for the program, visit www.healthykneesformula.com.