Joint Replacement Patient Forum
Hi @LBAK I also have #rheumatoidarthritis and have had two tkrs. I'm not on biologics but we've had other RAers on Bonesmart who were on them (but off them for the surgery like you) and they did well.
I took no longer than average to heal. But as you'll see as you explore the forum, tkr is very much an "individual sport"
I think paying attention to your nutrition is important. One thing I found interesting and helpful with my first knee was a visit by a home health nurse.( I think this wound up being mostly for my reassurance as this was my first ever surgery) She checked the incision (everything was fine) and gave me some handouts on wound healing nutrition. Not some crazy diet or special supplements but just stuff like making sure of getting foods with protein, iron, vitamin C and so on (and giving a nice list of which foods were high in what vitamin).
Your RA may kick up a bit being off the biologics--some do some don't--but it sounds like you are working with your rheumy on this.
Fatigue (we call it "energy drain") is real in tkr recovery for everyone and you may or may not notice more of that than others report. Many of us with RA are used to pacing ourselves, so "listening to the knee" in recovery won't be foreign to you.
Congrats and best wishes for your soon to be "upgraded" knee.
I had a very unstable knee too before the surgery--I think due to a meniscus tear. I was so impressed on day 1 out of the surgery with how stable the new knee was.
Your #rheumatoidarthritis could be a factor in your recovery, but it is a long recovery for everyone.
I felt like my recovery with knee #2 wasn't so much shorter as a bit easier than my first knee, which had more issues, though both were damaged from the RA.
I've seen other examples of people with a rheumatologic condition, such as #rheumatoidarthritis having to stop their biologic before surgery. I'd agree that you should ask your rheumy and/or dermatologist--do you need to be off it that long, and if so are there things you can do to cope if you get a bit of a flare up. I wasn't on a biologic so that wasn't an issue with my RA and surgery.
Fellow JRAer here. I had my tkrs a few years later than you--my first in my mid 40s--though in retrospect it should have been done a year or two sooner. Mine were a couple of years apart though, not btkr.
3 week recoveries are the stuff of myth.
Sounds like you're doing pretty well. Focus on rest, ice and elevation. Your bend will increase as the swelling comes down. It took me close to 6 weeks to get to 90 and then within the next week or two after that, I gained about 10 more degrees.
It sounds like the right amount of activity if by getting food you mean very basic stuff. Don't hesitate to let your family cook for you for a while yet when they can.
With all the years of JRA you know how to listen to your body and pace yourself when you need to. Similar principles apply here. #rheumatoidarthritis
For my first knee I was in the hospital for 4 nights. That was because the femoral nerve block failed and they spent a day or so trying to get the pain under control. But then I went home. My sister stayed with me for about 3 days , mostly to be my ice pack Sherpa and to be there in case I needed her. She fixed meals and so on. She also came back on the weekends to help around the house.
For knee #2 I had 3 nights in the hospital and went home mid day on the 4th (by the time they did the paperwork). 3 days was my doc's protocol.
Walking will be difficult--probably she won't be able to go too far--both because it's normal for it to be a bit painful and it can be very tiring at first. Are they having her use a walker? I think you call it a zimmer frame there? I remember she has arm issues which could make using walking aids a challenge.
Knees are tougher than hips everyone says.
Are they keeping her because they haven't found the right pain control? Because it actually sounds like she's doing well otherwise. Particularly if you'll be there with her.
My nurse said the pain meds should knock it back to around a 4. Mine did (oxycodone)--morphine made me nauseated--but I was sure ready for the next dose at 3-4 hours.
I see you have #rheumatoidarthritis. Do you know if you will need to go off any of your medications? I'm on DMARDs so I didn't, but people on biologics on this forum have had to. That can be an added wrinkle you should check out if you haven't already.
The first I've heard of these was on the forum, but some people have used adult coloring books to keep themselves occupied while they're recovering. Sounds relaxing.
I hope your stomach is better today.
Sorry to hear you are having a flare up with going off your RA meds for the surgery. You must be on a biologic? I'm assuming you'll be in close touch with your rheumy about when you can go back it on after surgery.
Bummer about your hands as that will not make walker/cane any fun.
Is it the Pred or the pain that's causing a lack of sleep for you, do you think?
Definitely take the tylenol throughout the day. I sure did.
Post op, the good news is you should be dosed with some pretty good painkillers which should help some of your other pain as a bonus.
The main thing I found in recovery with RA is that I might have been a bit more fatigued than others--and "energy drain" is a real thing for all people recovering from this surgery. Listen to your body.
At various times there are a few of us with #rheumatoidarthritis on the site. You might check out this thread: https://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/bonesmarties-with-ra.12620/