My Mother’s Knee Replacement


True story. I visited my parents a few months ago only to discover my 81 year-old mother limping.  She said her doctor told her she needed knee-replacement surgery, which is covered under Medicare.  She did not want her knee replaced even though it was slowing her down.  My father, who likes to get-about fast, had been slightly annoyed by her reluctance.  So, there was some peer pressure here.

X-rays showed bone-on-bone.  As a former massage therapist, I asked my mother if anybody had touched her knee during her medical exams.  “No, why should they?” she replied.

I asked her if I might massage around her knee.  I am not particularly trained in knee-massage, but I myself experienced knee pain after running a half-marathon.  Massaging on myself, I noticed that the muscles below and above my knee were particularly tight and I found relief by rubbing the area along my outer thigh called the IT band.  It tends to melt when placed under pressure and warmth.

I spent less than 30 minutes rubbing my mother’s IT band, and below her knee at the front-of her calf.  She was quite sore along both sides of her knee, and just below it.

The next day my mother phoned me.  “Guess where I am?” she asked me.


“I have no idea.”

“I’m playing golf with Dad.  Thank-you because you cured me.”

“Oh,” I replied, “A non-medical person does not cure.  Only doctors are allowed to cure.  They have legally trademarked the term, Mom, and if you tell your doctor that your son cured you, I could get into trouble.”

I saw her again at Thanksgiving.  Her knee still gave her no trouble.  But I massage her again.  This time just for the fun of it.  S.




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