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  1. PLEASE NOTE THAT ONE RECOVERY THREAD ONLY IS PREFERRED. PLEASE DON'T START ADDITIONAL THREADS ABOUT YOUR RECOVERY.

How much physical therapy is too much?

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by Mark Worsnop, Mar 5, 2011.

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  1. Mark Worsnop

    Mark Worsnop New Member

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    12 days ago I have my left total knee done. Everything is good. But it seems like every time I go to PT I have tons of pain for at least 36 hours afterwards.

    Before going to PT yesterday I was doing a pretty good job walking without crutches but since then I cant stand the pain and am using them again for the fear of stumbling,

    In my most comfortable position the pain is a level 4, the Percocet doesnt seem to help more than a level 4.

    I know you need PT but it seems as though this should worked into at a slower pace. I am scheduled for every other day. there seem to be lots of others at PT that are in pain, sure, but are able to walk easily.

    Maybe it would be a better solution to go 2 times a week and do my own exercises at my pace for the rest of the week.

    Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated!!

    Mark
     
  2. lionsm13

    lionsm13 Member

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    Sounds very logical and rational to me Mark. You should also stay on top of your PT's of what your insurance will cover w/them too. I found out that the hard way. My ins. co.only gives me a 1 time benefit of $2500 per year, and the PT's were charging my ins. $150+ every time I went. The PT's want and will exhaust your benefit.
    2 times is a week as you said for as early as you are is about right.
     
  3. Tykey

    Tykey Forum Advisor

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    Now that's not totally true!

    You need to do exercises, that's all.

    We've had many, many, many people on here all suffering from PT. Some PT's are fine, because all they do is monitor your GENTLE exercises and provide encouragement. Unbelievably, some insist on forcing your leg to bend. If yours does that, then you have my permission to thump him in the eye.:hairpulling:

    It's worth noting that we in the UK do virtually no PT, all we do is gentle movement exercises, normally whilst sitting in front of the telly having a nice cup of tea. The reason is that PT often does more damage than good, and we tend to recover faster, with less pain. After 6 or 8 weeks, when healing is well advanced then we start upping the exercise, by walking further or gently starting the gym.

    SO YOU DON'T NEED PT!!!! Use it if it provides support and encouragement. You are the proof of the pudding:biggrin:, too much PT causes pain, suffering and slower recovery.

    So I wouldn't do any PT whilst your knee is in such a state.
     
  4. referee54

    referee54 Moderator

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    Welcome to the forum! This is a tremendous site where you can get a great many questions answered and vent or rant if you need to. Josephine, Jamie, and Jaycey are tremendous sources of wisdom, and the other members will give you great advice, too. You may also want to browse in the library too, as there are some excellent articles there.

    At 12 days, you are under two weeks removed from having a TKR; you body is still healing. After the surgical trauma, you body is reacting the way most bodies do---it says, "STOP!"

    PT can be a good thing, but you have to find you "comfort zone." Too much PT and you slow your recovery. Do you heel slides and such, and please remember to ice and to elevate as often as you can.

    As you progress, you can begin to add more vigorous exercises and weight-training, but now, you are pushing things too far, too fast.

    I would also talk to either your ortho or your GP about the pain. It is important to stay on top of the pain so that you will be comfortable. You do not have to suffer with pain after this surgery.

    Your mantra should be at this time:
    ICE AND ELEVATE!!! ICE AND ELEVATE!!!

    Please keep us up-to-date as to how you are doing
     
  5. aretha

    aretha Sr Bonesmartie

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    Hi Mark,
    I'm in the UK and 6 months into recovery from RTKR.

    Please listen to Tykey, he makes good sense. On reading these threads I found it amazing just how much PT you US guys have, and was horrified at some of the stories of the pain you were all suffering as a consequence!! Here in the UK you actually get about an hour of gentle PT before they release you from hospital after 5 days, and when you can walk on crutches and go up about 4 steps. Then I did not see another physio for around 6 weeks which gave me time to work on my own stretching and doing the exercises that I had come home from the hospital with.

    I saw the PT for all of 2 sessions, 30mins a session, and she said that I was doing extremely well and did not need to see me any more - so there I was discharged!! I had 90 degs flexion and almost to 0 on the extension which seems to be what they mostly worry about.

    As soon as my scar had completely healed, which seemed to be forever, but took about 3/4 months (I am a bad healer) I then went to the local gym and started to do the recumbent bike, peddling gently at first backwards and forwards until I could get right round, and into the swimming pool to walk, sidestep, and do most of my exercises in the chest deep water, which to my mind was the best exercise and seemed to give me instant results. Flex is not much better 100+ deg at best, but I am able to do everything I want to do, and its PAINFREE!!! Still get "hot" knees and then I know I have been overdoing things, and have a couple of days when I back off exercising, ice and elevate and things right themselves.

    I can't encourage you enough to please take it easy, you can do so much damage by pushing yourself to hard, and I am learning from our great mentors on here, and Tykey also helped me personally, that we all heal differently - and it appears those that push and those that don't all end up at the same stage sometime down the line!! Its much easier to do it gently and without all the pain and stress that "PT's who push" will give you. I bet they haven't had their knees replaced!!

    Ice and elevation are so important, so take my word and please take it easy and just push yourself to uncomfortable limits with NO PAIN.

    I wish you a speedy recovery and a positive experience to boot!!:yes 4:
     
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  6. janlyn48

    janlyn48 Sr Bonesmartie

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    Welcome to the forums Mark. You'll get some good tips here. I sure have!:yes 4:
     
  7. Bees Knees

    Bees Knees Senior

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    I found the P.T exercises helpful to do at home in the initial two weeks. I had a sheet including very gentle rotating your feet,pumping feet up and down, and stretches. It was plenty to do for the first three weeks. I then went to outpatient P.T. two days a week. It was more than enough. Just getting out in and out of the car and into P.T. built endurance. I think less is more. I did walk around the house and do my daily activities. Lots of rest,elevating, icing and sleeping.:sleep: The people on here really know their stuff and they are nice too!:THUMB: Best of luck and keep us posted.
     
  8. davrunner

    davrunner Senior

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    I was one of the lucky ones that got three weeks of in home PT and three weeks of outpatient. Both therapists were good at not aggrevating the knee to the point of too much pain. I took two percocet 5s before each session followed by ice and elevation afterwards. I was released from outpatient therapy and joined a wellness program at the clinic for 35 a month where I can come in a exercise anytime they are open and all the therapist are avail for adivice. my extension/flex yesterday was 0/140. My back and neck is another story but happy with my knee.
     
  9. ruppbike

    ruppbike Sr Bonesmartie

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    Mark - YOU are in charge of your recovery and not the PT's. Armed with the good information you will get here you can take over the direction with confidence. If it causes pain and swelling it is not good - at this or any stage. If you do induce inflamation work hard to get it under contol with ice or heat and elevation, etc. You are very early in this process and your body is working very hard to heal, so don't aggrevate it. There is no hurry - you have time to get your legs working the way you want them to work. Best of luck and keep us informed of your progress.

    Kurt
     
  10. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

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  11. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

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    Hi, Mark....welcome! I see you have already met a whole bunch of BoneSmarties and received some great advice.

    Please don't let yourself be pushed and pulled by a therapist to the point that you hurt. Scale it way, way back! I agree that twice a week (if you really WANT therapy at this early stage) is enough. Even at that, the movements should be gentle stretches, maybe some massage....

    What you're experiencing now is going to keep your knee irritated and angry....not good.
     
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