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[MUA] 10 weeks post PKR both knees and 2 weeks post MUA

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by jenm1970, May 13, 2019.

  1. jenm1970

    jenm1970 junior member
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    I am so glad to find this forum! I am a 48yo Mom. On 3/5/19 I had both of my knees partially replaced. Yes I did them at the same time I didn’t want to recover twice and I didn’t want surgery twice. Obviously I had arthritis so severe that I needed to have bilateral PKR.

    As of today I am 10 weeks post surgery and 2 1/2 weeks post MUA.

    My surgery was on a Tuesday, I came home with nerve blocks in both legs. Was told to remove the nerve blocks and the bandages Saturday which was 3/9/19. I did so that morning and buy the evening had burning pain from hip to toes on both legs. It felt like I had a sunburn from the inside of my skin. When I removed the bandages I noticed blisters on my right knee. At first I thought I was having an allergic reaction. I did so that morning and by the evening had burning pain from hip to toes on both legs. It felt like I had a sunburn from the inside of my skin. When I removed the bandages I noticed blisters on my right knee. At first I thought I was having an allergic reaction. When I went to see the PA in my surgeons office on Monday March 11, I was told they did not know why I was having a burning sensation in both of my legs and said that the blisters were called fracture blisters.

    I did PT twice a week up until last week. I had the manipulation done on April 26 because my knees would not bend past 90°. My swelling has not been controlled at all since day one. Thankfully the burning has mostly stopped and is only In the area of both knees. After my manipulation which was on a Friday I went to PT on Monday and we were able to bend my right knee to 120° in my left knee to 108°. I think I forgot to mention that my left knee is healing much slower than my right knee. After my manipulation which was on a Friday I went to PT on Monday and we were able to bend my right knee to 120° in my left knee to 108°. I think I forgot to mention that my left knee is healing much lower than my right knee. I am still using a cane to walk because for some reason my legs do not want to straighten all the way or bend how they should when I walk.

    I have been on Pain medication since day one. With it being changed up a little bit after the burning sensation started. I am on oxycotin, hydrocodone and gabapentin. Because of chronic pain I have been on a dose of hydrocodone for a little over two years.

    My knees are so swollen that walking is very uncomfortable! And because of the swelling bending is extremely painful. The degrees mentioned above that I achieved at PT were with the PT pushing and me crying.

    So that’s my story. I am happy to have found this forum and seeing that my story is not uncommon. I definitely have been in a depression and have anxiety thinking I will feel like this forever!

    Thanks for reading!
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  2. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hello @jenm1970 - and :welome:

    There's no way your knees are going to bend more until some of the swelling has gone.
    So your number one concern should be to reduce that swelling, with as much rest, ice and elevation as you can possibly manage.
    I suspect you've been subjected to aggressive physical therapy, with the warning that you only have a certain time in which to achieve Range of Motion (ROM). That isn't true and aggressive PT does more harm than good.
    There's no need to rush to get ROM (Range of Motion) because it can continue to improve for a year, or even much longer, after a knee replacement. There isn't any deadline you have to meet:
    Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR

    For now, I suggest you stop going to PT, stop doing exercises, rest, ice and elevate as much as you can, and just walk around the house every couple of hours, to give your knees a little, gentle exercise.

    In case you think you have to do what you're told, remember that these are your inees and you are teh onloy one with the right to say what will happen to them.
    Saying no to therapy - am I allowed to?

    Here is the post-op reading we give to everyone. It includes articles about how to elevate and ice your knees:
    Knee Recovery: The Guidelines
    1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary
    2. Control discomfort:
    rest
    elevate
    ice
    take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)
    don't overwork.
    3. Do what you want to do BUT
    a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you
    b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​
    4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these
    5. At week 4 and after you should follow this
    6. Access to these pages on the website

    The Recovery articles:
    The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
    Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?

    Energy drain for TKRs

    Elevation is the key

    Ice to control pain and swelling

    Heel slides and how to do them properly

    Chart representation of TKR recovery

    Healing: how long does it take?

    Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
    Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

    There are also some cautionary articles here
    Myth busting: no pain, no gain
    Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
    Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds

    We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

    While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
     
  3. jenm1970

    jenm1970 junior member
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    Thank you, I have some reading to do. I’m looking forward to all the info and learn I’m not alone in my situation. I have been beating myself up until today when I found this forum. Oh, the amount of tears I’ve cried. The amount of mean things I’ve said to myself . But today is a new day!

    I forgot to mention above all my surgeries/procedures
    Barthlion cyst removal-4/2014
    R knee Meniscus repair-1/2015
    Hysterectomy-7/2015
    R ankle ganglion cyst removal (dr thought it was a dislocated peroneal tendon)-10/2015
    L knee meniscus repair-5/2016
    L5/S1 discectomy/laminectomy (and removal of lots of calcified tissue)-3/2018
    Left & right PKR-3/2019
    MUA-4/2019
     
  4. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Please don't beat yourself up any more.

    None of this is your fault.
    You were inappropriately advised.
    What they advised hasn't worked, so you have nothing to lose by trying something different.
     
  5. jenm1970

    jenm1970 junior member
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    This morning I saw my pain doctor, He took over my pain management after my surgery. He asked to see my knees bend and then proceeded to push them to the point of me crying. I told him to stop on the one side and then he did the other side and I told him that’s it, that’s as far as it can go. He said I need to keep pushing and I’m not gonna get anywhere and I’m going to be like this forever, he said I need push hard if I want to my ROM. Now my knees hurt they’re burning and I’m in more pain. Unfortunately where I live there’s no other Pain Clinic for me to go to and my primary care doctor refuses to deal with pain management in anyway. Because I suffer from chronic back pain I don’t really have a choice. Heading home to elevate and ice I have to go back in a month because we are weaning me off of the oxycotin and I need to be monitored.
     
  6. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    What horrible treatment of your traumatized knees. This doctor is in the wrong business. We all know that there's no time limit on improving ROM. When the swelling goes down, the ROM is improved. His pushing on you has just increased your pain and swelling and hurt your ROM. Take the next week or so to do as little as you can. Ice and elevate as much as possible. This will help that burning pain you have.
     
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  7. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    He's your specialist for pain care, not for assessing your knees. That's not the field in which he's an expert, so disregard all he said about knees. And don't let him touch your knees again. They're your knees and you have the absolute right to say what happens to them. Saying no to therapy - am I allowed to?

    In any case, the pain specialist is wrong.
    Pushing through the pain is wrong. All it does is upset your knees and increase the swelling that is preventing them from bending. Myth busting: no pain, no gain

    It's not exercising that gets you your ROM - it's time. Time to recover, time for swelling and pain to settle, and time to heal. Your ROM is there right from the start, just waiting for all that to happen, so it can show itself.
    Your knees will bend more once their swelling goes down.
    Don't have any more MUAs, as they will only traumatize your knees more.

    Contrary to what you've no doubt been told, there's no need to rush to get ROM (Range of Motion) because it can continue to improve for a year, or even much longer, after a knee replacement. There isn't any deadline you have to meet:
    Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
     
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  8. jenm1970

    jenm1970 junior member
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    members pic.jpg Thank you @Celle & @sistersinhim
    for your replies. I am home now, icing and elevating. Thankfully, I had the where with all to tell him to stop but then he moved to the other knee, pushed hard and I said “that’s it, stop”. He then proceeded to ask about extension and pushed both knees again, but this time down. I told him it felt like they were going to pop out of place and that it hurt very much. Between now and my next appt I will practice saying “NO!” It was torture. I will continue to rest, ice and elevate. My poor knees were already painful and swollen and are now more so. Thank you for your support. With so many here in this forum following the sage advice as noted in the articles I know I’ll will be great soon and this will all be a fading memory.
     
  9. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    My surgeon always pushed my knee to a painful place, also. Finally at my 7 month check up I refused to get up on the exam table and stayed sitting in the regular chair in the room. He didn’t have easy access to my leg while in the chair so thankfully he didn’t touch me that appointment.

    My next appointment was my one year check up and he was a bit annoyed that I wouldn’t get on the exam table, but I didn’t care, he’d hurt me enough in the past.

    And I agree that a pain management Dr has no right to do that to you.
     
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  10. jenm1970

    jenm1970 junior member
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    So today was my 2nd week back to work. I work anywhere from 1-3 days a week, from 1-1/2hrs to 2-1/2 hours for now depending on the day. I clean houses . I am on light duty as I have a cleaning partner thankfully. After yesterday’s visit to the pain dr and him really hurting my knees, today was brutal. Thankfully, this is the week I only work one day. Tomorrow I will go to the pool to walk only for an hour, the pool is 98° and very soothing. But for today, I’m home resting, icing and elevating.
     
  11. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    This is way too much walking for your stage, and especially after being hurt yesterday. You are also back to work. Take some time off exercising and let your knees recover this latest onslaught.
     
  12. jenm1970

    jenm1970 junior member
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    Thank you. I needed to hear that. This whole mindset of push is still in my head. I’m making the turn to taking it slow and gentle. I have also canceled my PT appts I had 3 left, no more that insurance would pay for. So today since my earlier post I have sat with my knees iced for an hour and my legs elevated. Thank you again.
     
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  13. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Don’t feel guilty taking things slower. Consider it giving your knees the best circumstance in which to heal.

    It’s not exercising that gets our range of motion back, it’s Time:

    Time to recover.
    Time for pain and swelling to settle.
    Time to heal.

    Our range of motion is right there all
    along just waiting for that to happen so it can show itself.

    In the general run of things, it doesn't need to be fought for, worked hard for or worried about. It will happen. Exercise as in strength training is counter-productive and in the early weeks does more harm than good. Normal activity is the key to success.
     
  14. jenm1970

    jenm1970 junior member
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    What do you say to those friends who ask you “geez, why aren’t you able to do xyz?” “Why can’t you do more by now? I read it only take 4-6 weeks to get back to life”. To this I want to scream and cry.

    My husband and children have been very supportive, but I have a friend and a family member who are judging me by their recent recovery, one from
    an abdominal hysterectomy and the other a foraminotomy. They just don’t understand
     
  15. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I know, I went through the same thing. A knee replacement surgery causes much more trauma to the body than other surgeries. It takes a full year, on average, to fully heal from it.

    Even many people who have had a knee replacement don’t always understand, if they had a different recovery than we did, and if it’s been a while, some people forget all they went through. (Unbelievable as that sounds! I will never forget mine!)

    I live in a 55+ community and I’m one of the youngest ones here, so there have been a bunch of knee replacements before me, or, they know of someone who....(fill in the blank with how well they supposedly did!)

    I felt so judged by what they implied was a slow recovery and it was so stressful. I ended up staying home for a long time so they wouldn’t see how poor I was doing.

    It took a lot of reading on Bonesmart to convince me that I my recovery was more normal than I thought.

    Hang out here with us. We know what you’re going through and we know recoveries vary greatly and we understand how hard it us to ignore the comments of others. :console2:
     
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  16. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    You have also had both knees done very close together, too much PT, and MUAs done on both knees. Your knees are very upset, that’s a huge amount of trauma. I’m sure if your friends went through all that, they be where you are, too.

    If possible, take more time off work. You really need to give your knees time to settle down.
     
  17. jenm1970

    jenm1970 junior member
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    I can’t love this more. I’ve been so down lately, which is not me, all I hear and feel is negative. I know that isn’t helping me at all. Being here has helped me these last few days ✨
     
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  18. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Going through knee replacement surgery has been such an eye opener for me. I had no clue it was so hard, or that the patient would be so blamed because they didn’t heal on a certain schedule.

    So many aspects of this recovery have been a shock to me. And it’s so sad. This is a time we need to be comforted and helped, not verbally and/or physically abused which seems to be way too common.

    I don’t know what to suggest you tell peope, I haven’t really figured that out myself. Often when I talk about the Bonesmart approach to people in person they don’t agree. I don’t have the patience to debate with people. I just know that this is the best approach for me.
     
  19. possum65

    possum65 junior member

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    @jenm1970 So glad you are finding Bonesmart helpful to you. I had my bilateral tkjr the same time as you (4th March) Fortunately I have recovered very well, with both my surgeon and PT taking a gentle, relaxed approach - and I now know that is essential to a good recovery. Even so, I pored over posts here, taking advice on how much to ice, elevate and rest. I don't think I would have done so well without the wealth of knowledge to learn from here. There was always an encouraging response to my posts, and it really helped. So grateful.
     
  20. jenm1970

    jenm1970 junior member
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    @Jockette if you can believe it,
    I actually had both my knee partially replaced at the same time and both manipulated at the same time.

    This has been perhaps the hardest and most painful thing I’ve ever decided to do.

    I will see what I can do about work, my work partner took over for 8 weeks and I’m sure would be ok with a few more weeks while I lay low. This trauma has been more than physical and I didn’t prepare for that part of it. I read about people getting up and walking around day one and playing tennis week 3.

    Granted, I had partial done and not total, I did both at once, which has made it harder in so many ways.
     

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