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Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by pilot1, Feb 1, 2011.

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  1. pilot1

    pilot1 Graduate

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    Hey Group,
    Just checking in. Have been back to normal life again. Knee was done 4-26-2010 and is doing fine. Hip done Jan 7 2010 and I never even give it a thought..
    I want to go downhill skiiing and know I could but have fear of the hip not the knee.
    I now have as much muscle in my repaired knee as I do in the good knee which I never thought could happen. I am 51 and lost muscle in it when I was 19 after a second surgery. I love doing partial leg extensions all the time.. feels so good. I dont do full range even though I can. I heard it can stress the knee cap so why push the wear issue over time..
    Good luck with all your recoveries, be positive and try to enjoy the process.
    Its fun to see progress even at first even though it can be very painful.
    I look back and really want to key on a couple of points below.
    1. get a doc that does a lot of surgeries and is respected. That is my #1 recommendation
    2. Go ahead and research knee systems, you must feel good about your choice and you are the patient and have a right to question if one knee system is better than others. Dr.s dont know it all and some just use what they are used to and stuck in the past.
    3. After surgery, drink more water than you have ever had in your life. I did and feel it helped. Keep your system clean and eat right.
    4. Rehab does not end the journey. Get a workout routine and stick with it for life. Get that joint in the best possible condition you can with Dr. blessing and keep positive. It can take more than a year to get completely pain free.
    5. Get off the pain meds as soon as you can. Some pain is ok as long as its just during rehab but done live on the pain meds.. not good for you. Although I know they are completely necessary for a while..

    I do have some pain, soreness I suppose you can call it. If I am on my feet for hours I can get a little swelling which affects the way the joint feels..That is normal and will get better with time.
    Due to a prior old surgery my ligaments on the inside did not do well during surgery and doc had to staple down to tighten joint. When doing hams I have pain from the ligament pulling on the staples. That will get better over time but may always be an issue.. Only hurts when lifting weights so no biggy.
    Take care and enjoy every day. Life is great.
    Pilot1
     
  2. leenie60

    leenie60 Graduate

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    Nice post - I'm nearly 8 weeks out of LTKR and know I have months to go but I'm returning to work on Monday and really looking forward to a pain free fun summer.
     
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  3. kneeworn

    kneeworn Graduate

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    Hi Pilot good to see your post and that you are doing well. I finally had my knee done 12-6-2010 and am making progress. I'm up to 117 on flexion and am beginning to work on more stamina and some strength. I've had some issues with swelling as I figured but doing well. Keep posting and thanks for all your help and support you gave me preop.

    Donna
     
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  4. janlyn48

    janlyn48 Sr Bonesmartie

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    Pilot1, thanks for the encouraging post. I'm glad things are going so well for you.:smile:
     
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  5. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    Hi Pilot1 - nice to hear from you again. So glad you are doing well.

    Thanks for posting your lessons learned. Very helpful for those who are still considering the op or in recovery.

    Have to add though that I don't agree with #5. You need to get off the pain meds when the pain is under control and when pain is no longer hindering your progress toward mobility. We stress the need to stay ahead of the pain. For some this is a short period. For others it can be months.

    But in the end, we all hope to get back to normal. Thanks for sharing your success!
     
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  6. referee54

    referee54 Moderator

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    Excellent post---while I do not quite agree with #5, I really do agree with #4. We have to remember that we had made the decision to have a TKR to regain an active lifestyle; we should see to it that we keep that promise to ourselves. What that level of activity is, however, depends on ones physical condition and age.

    Tim C.
     
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  7. pilot1

    pilot1 Graduate

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    Hey Group,
    Thanks for the replies.
    As far as item 4 I do agree to keep up with the drugs for awhile but if you only need for rehab take only during rehab times.
    Start weaning off slowly till you are just taking one a day.
    Problem I had and I know others have is when your system is used to the drug and you dont take it you hurt not because of pain but because it makes you feel like ****.
    Kind of like having the flu when everything hurts let alone a new joint.
    I had to finally say enough is enough and over a period of a month or so weaned off them..
    I was so happy the day I went without any pills.
    I weaned off so slowly that i was taking a half a pill for a week before I finally quit.
    Suddenly I found a vail lifted off me and I could think more clearly,.
    Keep in mind that I never took a day off work either for my hip or knee. I worked in the hospital day of both surgeries thanks to those drugs...
    Pilot
     
  8. Josephine

    Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR, BONESMART Administrator

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    Hi there pilot! Good to know you are doing so well. But remember, that deal with the pain meds was good for you because you had a great recovery. Not everyone is so lucky and they are the ones that need to keep with the meds longer. I would like people to please take that on board when you read pilot's post.
     
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  9. RestAssured

    RestAssured Forum Advisor

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    Hi Pilot!

    It is nice to hear you are doing well!:snk: I would say I have to disagree with #5 though. Jo is right; your body will let you know when it is time to stop pain meds. I found myself taking less naturally as time went on with my left leg until I quit. I didn't even think about it.

    The same thing happened with the right leg, until the infection set in and then I had to increase the meds again. Everyone is different, but their body will let them know when it is time to slow it down, and when you quit you really don't even think about it!:wink: It is not a conscious effort.

    Trying to tell people to get off of pain meds as soon as possible, might make some people paranoid and make them feel guilty for staying out of pain! Being free of pain makes it possible to heal and get on "with the business of living!":wink:

    I hope that things continue to go well for you Pilot. You went through a lot during the early part of your recovery!

     
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  10. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

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    Hey, Pilot!!! It sounds like you are really back to normal these days. That's so good to hear. I hope you continue to let us know how you're doing......I miss you on the forum! You always kept things lively and fun!
     
  11. janlyn48

    janlyn48 Sr Bonesmartie

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    I have a question about this statement: "I love doing partial leg extensions all the time.. feels so good. I dont do full range even though I can. I heard it can stress the knee cap so why push the wear issue over time.."

    Is that true for everyone who's had a knee replacement? Like pilot, I think leg extensions feel very good, except I straighten my leg all the way. It feels like a good stretch. Should I not be doing that so much?
     
  12. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

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    Janlyn.....I think Pilot meant that he doesn't fully extend his leg when exercising - like with a leg press. Is that right, Pilot?

    It is definitely a good idea to do leg extensions fully in recovery so you can regain a full range of motion. Please don't stop what you're doing.
     
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  13. Josephine

    Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR, BONESMART Administrator

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    Correct!
     
  14. backbay38

    backbay38 Graduate

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    When you use a leg press (pushing a weight) as against a machine where you actually lift weight with your quads you should never fully extend (lock) the knee. When you push the leg press "plate" out -- stop with your knee (real or replaced) slightly bent. That's protocol for everyone in a good gym. But when you do leg extensions - either on the floor or on a machine -- I've never heard anything about not fully extending your leg. I certainly do and it was one of those "smile" moments when I could actually do the leg extension fully with enough weight to feel it in my quads. Rule of thumb according to my knee surgeon just recently : you shouldn't lift more weight than you can lift 20 times. Well I had to smile a bit but I am careful with the heavier weights now...
     
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  15. skigirl

    skigirl Moderator

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    Yes, Backbay is absolutely right about the leg exercises.

    for myself, I never worry about my leg wearing out--the evidence is not there that being cautious works. Jo has a post where the evidence states that those who do sports have about the same amount of wear as those who do not. In fact, the people who played active sports with the new knees tended to be in better shape and to have better rom.

    I am skiing almost every day this winter and will bike a ton this summer. My doc assures me that my knee will last for 30 years!! I also have lots of muscles in my quads right now--I had lost muscle when my knees hurt. Now, I feel like I am the same old person I used to be before knee pain began to rule my life.

    I work out in the gym, ski, bike and walk for miles at a time. I do not do anything too crazy!! But, I do not feel like I am holding back from anything!! I have been amazed at how joyful my life has become-- a new beginning--one without pain. I celebrate my knees every day and enjoy having them around. Kelly
     
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  16. pilot1

    pilot1 Graduate

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    Clarification on Exercises

    Hello Group,
    Sorry for just now responding.
    Regarding leg extensions which are different than leg presses.
    True that with leg presses not good to lock the knee. Keep a little bit bent when pushing all the way forward.
    As far as leg extensions which is done seated, I only go about 60 degrees down to avoid stress on the knee cap.
    More clarification:
    I am now using heavy weights and have build my new knee up as big as my good knee.. very strange.
    With heavy weight you dont want to go past 60 degrees.
    I have heard even with good knees leg extensions can be hard on the back of the knee cap.
    I agree Jo, at first I did use full motion for ROM but after I healed I slowly increased the weight.
    I do let the weight go all the way down but never come up from the more than 90 degree position with heavy weight.. even though I can.

    Funny thing today while lifting weights is that my good knee makes crunchy sound and my new knee is quiet as can be...

    Hope that clears up any questions.. and Jo if I am misinformed on the leg extensions let me know.. I would like to do them full ROM but worry about it.
    Pilot
     
  17. pilot1

    pilot1 Graduate

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    On leg extensions its ok to take to full extension and is a good way to work the muscle...take it to full extension and hold there then ease down.. it does feel good and really good for the muscles.
    Pilot
     
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