Knees & Toes: A surgical review

   Actually, this is about knees and feet, not just toes. Each year many people undergo surgery or incur an injury to their knee or foot--the knee is the most commonly injured joint in the body.  Most people don't realize what a lifestyle change such an injury can be.  Recently a colleague, whom I will call Jeanne for this article, took a bad fall which required knee surgery.  She quickly discovered that her two-story home with steps up to the entrances was less than ideal, especially in Michigan winter. Her workplace was not a lot better, in spite of elevators.  Many people in diverse environments comment on the heavy weight of doors to restrooms and other essential spaces.  Imagine the chagrin of a late-working employee discovering a building is completely locked down, except the revolving door--and until you've negotiated a revolving door with two crutches and a tender leg, you haven't lived. The following books may help you anticipate and alleviate some of the bother from crutches, knee recovery, and other practical matters.
    In the really up-to-date category, find Knee surgery: the essential guide to total knee recovery by Daniel Fulham O'Neill. This book covers all the essentials and a few extras besides.  Clear and detailed, he includes tips such as how to set up your bed, the kitchen, even the hobbies. Exercises are variable, well-illustrated with photos, and include suggestions on how to increase the pace and type of exercise.  Medical aspects are also covered, but only briefly.
    Knee pain: the self-help guide: techniques & home remedies to relieve pain & strengthen the knee by John Garrett & Bob Reznik is a book that contains a substantial section on herbal remedies. It is also strong on medical information concerning the anatomy and repair of knees as well as prevention of knee injuries. Best of all, there is a chapter covering Internet websites for information and for finding a knee doctor. This book may be older, but it is recommended due to the large amount of unique coverage.
    Another resource is the Mayo Clinic website (  Going into the disease & conditions tab, search in the A's for ACL injury or knee pain. There is a great deal of information as well as links to many aspects of knee problems, such as ACL injury, osteoarthritis and more.  Be sure to click on the tabs for in-depth info and multimedia.  There are video clips about arthroscopic surgery, therapy, and pain after surgery.