by: Lynda Cole R.N.
Linda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions related to this education post.
I had a total knee replacement on November 15th of 2011. I have always had some essential oils around the house, and loved how they smell and lift my spirits, After taking a class with Caryn and Deonne on the healing uses of essential oils at the (OHNA) Oregon Holistic Nurses retreat, I decided to include several essential oils and blend formulas as part of my recovery. The hospital has a no fragrance policy, but when I put a small drop of Orange Wild and Nutmeg on my skin I had blended together, no one complained, but enjoyed it, as well as a blend I made with Rosewood, Orange Wild, and Bergamot, both blends that I found comforting.When I put on a drop of the blend “Meditate” I had several negative l comments, one person complaining of a headache. It was a rich, woodsy blend, and didn’t appeal to me either while in the hospital, though I enjoy it now.
Once I got home I used the e3 Muscle Soothe blend diluted with fractionated coconut oil on the leg. It has a lot of peppermint, citrus, and other oils, and I love the scent! I’ve also used e3 Joint Relief and e3 Lymph blend to massage my leg. I asked when I could put some oil on the incision after the sutures were out, and the orthopedic physician’s assistant said they are very cautious about preventing infection, and pretty much said never, don’t put anything on the incision site. I used my own judgment and waited a full week after the sutures were out, and the scabs almost gone before starting to put a diluted e3 Bruise & Scar blend on the incision. I had started to put it on the leg around the incision a couple weeks before. I noticed almost every ingredient in the formula was considered an antibacterial, so I figured it would be safe.
I went back and saw the physician at six weeks after surgery and asked if the suture site and healing seemed any different then normal. I explained what I had been doing, which also included a lot of massaging of the leg, and the scar in all different angles and directions, including cross fiber and trigger point. He said the appearance and the texture of the scar looked and felt more like how a scar normally looks at three months, not six weeks. He also said I was more active and doing better then most people at six weeks. The attached photos are taken at three weeks after surgery,which was a week after the sutures were removed, (before putting on any essential oils) two weeks after the sutures were taken out, and three weeks after the sutures were removed (six weeks after surgery).
As far as pain level and mobility, I have done pretty well in spite of my insurance only covering two physical therapy sessions. At nine weeks it still hurt to do a straight forward knee bend, more then a couple inches, though I was walking and taking stairs fairly well, not needing a cane. I drove to Eugene to have a session of bodywork called “The Berry Method”. It is a highly specialized kind of bodywork that focuses on putting muscles, tendons, and bones in better alignment. I went occasionally for three years before the surgery, which allowed me to delay the surgery for three years. If I had known about this type of bodywork six years ago, before my knee started wearing out, I would probably not have had to get the surgery at all, because they really helped straighten and put my leg in a better position. (I am a body worker myself, with 30 years experience, and this bodywork is very special!)
Back to the present, the therapist felt the surgeon had done a good job, the tissues just needed a slight adjustment. She did some gentle aligning of the leg and muscles, and I was able to immediately bend it 3-4 inches further without pain; I am going to go back next week for another session. I think that will be enough to speed me quickly to full recovery. I feel I’m at about 85% right now.