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TKR “MUA No Later than 12 Weeks“

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Rain Dancer

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Week 5 Update

I have been searching for things that have improved from last week’s update, but there aren’t many. I have five more degrees of flexion, but it does not make a functional difference. I can now prop my knee on a rolled towel for almost an hour, which gives my body a break from constantly elevating the knee. The pain level is the same. As many others have pointed out, healing is a lengthy process!
 
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Rain Dancer

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Week 6 Update

Nothing like Hurricane Ida to take my mind off of my knee. The remnants have hit South Central PA, and I am surrounded by flood waters. Fortunately, I have no water in the house, but I am not going anywhere for awhile. The river doesn’t crest until tomorrow, so I could be stuck for a few more days. I have spent the entire day checking in with friends and family to ensure that everyone is okay. Some people can’t get home from work and have to stay other places. I am flooded in so no one can get to my house to stay. There is a lot of flooding damage in this area, and I feel very fortunate to have a dry interior.

As for the knee—I haven’t seen any change in flexion or extension, but I feel overall improvement. I can sleep on my side for an hour, I am moving more confidently in the shower, and my heel to toe gait is getting better. Onward and upward!
 

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I’m sorry you have flooding, and I’m so glad you are safe! I’m in Delaware and we’re getting some of the edge of this storm now. I’m so sad for those who were hit so hard!

As for the knee—I haven’t seen any change in flexion or extension, but I feel overall improvement. I can sleep on my side for an hour, I am moving more confidently in the shower, and my heel to toe gait is getting better. Onward and upward!
Flexion and extension are not the only ways to show progress, and all you mention here is indeed progress! :happydance:

Bad weather can also affect many of us, and that’s what you’re having. :blackcloud:
 
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Rain Dancer

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Something amazing happened today--after 7 1/2 weeks, I took my first pain-free steps! I have walked about 300 steps so far without any pain, and I hope that it continues through the evening. This is huge because I haven't been able to take any pain meds in about four weeks. I didn't do anything special--in fact I pulled weeds for about 15 minutes yesterday. This has really boosted my spirits.
 

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Hey Raindancer, I was just catching up some on your thread, and hooray! Sometimes it's really cool that there are notable corners that get turned on a certain date that you can look back on!

I really do hope that your corner has indeed been turned and you are on a steady upward recovery slope from here on out!

I'm now at 4.5 months and do just about whatever I want to! I tried out a pickle ball class, got a feisty, part-"shark" or "dinosaur" puppy, (think: teeth!), can walk 2.5 miles without major consequence, can sleep on any side or back, etc., don't need pain meds unless I tackle something recognizably stronger, like pickle ball, and then I only took more of the tincture and salve that contain CBD (legal where I am). I walk the puppy twice a day, can drive up to 4 hours without any issue, can go up steps normally, though going down I'm still slow...

You WILL get there!!
 
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Thanks @BBCG. I am encouraged by your results and happy for you. It is hard to be patient and trust that less activity in the early stages results in a better outcome for many of us.
 

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Pain free walking without pain meds at two months is way ahead of where I was @Rain Dancer. I must have used at least a decade of my patiance to get through this recovery, but the result has been spectacular and given me a pain free active life again. Hang in there, it does keep getting better!
 
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Feeling very out of sorts. I woke up with severe pain in the Achilles’ tendon of my right (good) leg. The Achilles has been tender before and after surgery but not like this.The pain and instability are so bad that I have to use my walker. I suspect tendinitis or bursitis. I have even resorted to taking Advil. Hopefully, it will heal before I get the nasty side effects from Advil. So, I should be walking to keep the knee from stiffening and not walking to heal the Achilles. Fortunately, ice and elevation work for both. Just put me out of my misery. :banghead: I see the surgeon Monday for my 2-month checkup. Maybe we will talk about my Achilles instead of my flexion issue!
 

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I’m so sorry your Achilles’ tendon has flared up. :console2:

By 2 months post op most of us feel like we’ve been in recovery forever, and to have another issue crop up is so not fair!

Don’t worry about not walking “enough”, your knee will be fine. The extra rest may be just the thing it needs for a while, this early in recovery, to help the ROM. My PT even told me once, “we won’t rob Peter to pay Paul”.

Sending lots of hugs! :console2:
 
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The good news is that my Achilles is better, which is a major relief because walking with it was more painful than after the TKR. The bad news is that my 2-month surgeon’s visit went exactly as predicted. Surgeon wants to do MUA no later than 12 weeks out. After that, he claims that the risks of injury from the MUA greatly increase. Same day PT after MUA and then 2 weeks of daily PT, and then PT wouldn’t be necessary because ROM would be in place. :censored: I feel as if I am living in the dark ages. I told him that my immediate reaction was no, but that I would “consider” it. Yeah, right. I asked him if any of his patients had ever refused an MUA and had a good outcome. He said that no one had ever refused an MUA after he recommended one, which doesn’t surprise me because doctors are treated like gods in my neck of the woods. Could a moderator please change the title of my thread to “MUA No Later than 12 Weeks?” Thanks.
 

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You most likely just need more healing time for your ROM to improve.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever posted this on your thread, I post it often so I forget where, but, my ROM continued to improve well into my second year, and I also saw more improvement in my third year.

2 months into a year long recovery is early days. The ROM number is not the only measurement of improvement. It seems you are doing well in other areas.

Surgeons can be very impatient with our recoveries and an MUA won’t help you unless you have adhesions, and they are rare this early.
 

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Same day PT after MUA and then 2 weeks of daily PT, and then PT wouldn’t be necessary because ROM would be in place. :censored:
If this was all it took to get our ROM to where “it should be” (and since we are all different, that ROM number varies for each of us) we’d all have an MUA and be done with recovery. There is so much healing that has to occur for our ROM to improve, forcing it to a certain number by a certain date just doesn’t make sense to me, you still have to heal over the course of a year.

I know this is the protocol most surgeons use after MUA, but PT everyday could likely be too much and cause you pain, swelling and set backs.

Sigh. Try to relax, we’re here for you. :console2:
 

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I go to my surgeon Wednesday for my 2 month check up. I'm "only" at 90 degrees flexion and almost 0 extension (still have good amount of swelling all around the knee and popliteal area). I think he's going to say the same thing but I am not doing it. Absolutely not. My knee wants to bend, it just can't because it's swollen... So why would it stand to reason that you would shove it past the swelling to cause months more of swelling? I can't wrap my head around it!
 
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@Gingerbread Good luck with your appointment on Wednesday. It is frustrating to be treated like a number, rather than an individual with a unique medical history. And you are right--it makes no sense to force a swollen knee.
 

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Just checking in, Gingerbread… hopefully, he shrugged and figured on waiting for YOUR knee to be ready, and not trying to fit you into someone else’s mold!
 

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@Rain Dancer and @Gingerbread, like you both, I too am a “slow healer”, which is how my PT has described me and I wholeheartedly agree. I’m almost at 15 weeks and was ecstatic when my ROM was at 105 upon arrival at my last appointment.

I also was worried about being pressured to have an MUA and I was so relieved when my ortho said that I just have more swelling than most and that I’m also delaying my recovery a bit since I returned to work two months ago (my commute is an hour each way and walk about 1.5-2 miles just from walking around the school).

I do ice and elevate as much as possible but I think that doing my ADL activities (even getting in and out of my car has greatly improve but I still can’t do a complete rotation on the bike) has helped in my recovery. I have also been using the cane all this time and only in the last two days have I gone all day without it, however, both my PT and doctor have stressed that there is no rush. No rush to move faster than others, no rush to be off the cane, and no rush in the recovery if means overdoing it and affecting other parts of our body (I was starting to get major swelling on the opposite foot and I found that compression socks really helped with this).

It has helped me tremendously to read the articles and experiences on BoneSmart and they have given me the reassurance that we will all get there at our own pace (believe me, patience is not a quality I possess) and think about this when I get frustrated or impatient. I have learned to take it easy as much as possible and not overdo it but I can’t wait to be fully pain-free someday and reap the rewards of having gone through such a grueling process. Sending positive thoughts your way!!!
 

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@EllieDimples What a wonderful post! I wish all doctors and PTs were like yours. So many of them, mine included, cause us so much stress by demanding improvements that our individual bodies just can’t do on their schedule.

I was so relieved when my ortho said that I just have more swelling than most and that I’m also delaying my recovery a bit since I returned to work two months ago
both my PT and doctor have stressed that there is no rush. No rush to move faster than others, no rush to be off the cane, and no rush in the recovery if means overdoing it and affecting other parts of our body
If all our medical teams were like this we’d have a much more relaxed recovery.
 

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