TKR [email protected]’s recovery

[email protected]

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Bilateral TKR December 19, 2022. Pain and inmovility mostly in left knee lead me to reach out to doctor last week. Wondering why left is so much worse than right. He prescribed steroids. Steroids helping a lot but why am I still so much in pain. Feels much like muscle cramps all through both legs after ahard work out. can't straigten left leg but can straighten right. Feeling exhausted and frustrated. Am I expecting too much just at 5 weeks? COnstipation leads to nausea although I work hard at eating right and taking suppliments to ease constipation. I underestimated the overall trauma of major surgery. I was focused on overcoming pain but the emotional/psychological efffec is huge. Has anyone else experienced the emotional impact as well?
thanks
 

Layla

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Here are the BoneSmart Recovery Guidelines. I will type more in a post below the Guidelines.

KNEE RECOVERY GUIDELINES

As you begin healing, please keep in mind that each recovery is unique. While the BoneSmart philosophy successfully works for many, there will be exceptions. Between the recommendations found here, your surgeon's recovery protocol and any physical therapy you may engage in, the key is to find what works best for you.

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
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​

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

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.
 

Layla

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Hi :hi:
Please notice that we have started a Recovery thread for you. Having your recovery information contained in one place will make it easier for you to reflect back on.
Please post updates, questions or concerns about your recovery here, but feel free to move around the forum in support of others.

Welcome to Recovery! I am sorry you’re struggling with pain. While uncomfortable, pain is really not unusual at this point as you’re still in the early weeks of the healing process.

Constipation is common too. Make sure you stay adequately hydrated and hopefully it eases soon. Here is an article - Constipation

You‘re not alone in dealing with the emotional / psychological aspect of recovery. Please read Post Op Blues in the Recovery Guidelines above and remember it’s only temporary.

Time will ease all, but it takes patience which is difficult to muster up at times while healing. Recovery can take a full year and even longer for some. You’ve only just begun, but your future looks bright, so hang in there! We’re here for support when you need us so stop back often. Wishing you lots of comfort. :console2:
@[email protected]
 

EalingGran

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emotional/psychological efffec is huge. Has anyone else experienced the emotional impact as well?
Definitely true for me as well.
I am normally a pretty positive person but this has been an emotional roller coaster with some real depressive dips. It is the combination of pain/ poor sleep and the uncertainty of full recovery that is so toxic. Not helped in my case by several horrible viral infections post op which really sap the morale. It is hard to stay positive when you are unsure about prognosis. This is where I find BoneSmart helpful as it is good to hear other people's stories and get their encouragement. Hang in there! It will get better!
 

thneed

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5 weeks is still so early, especially for bilateral. The emotional/mental aspect is definitely real for a lot of people. For me it was worse in the 4-8 week period, for some reason. I guess I figured by then I should be able to do more but I couldn't yet. But just hang it there, it most definitely will get better.

As for the pain, you said "hard work out". We all have a different opinion on what it means to work it too hard, but what helped for me was to occasionally give the knee a break for 2-3 days, just ice and elevate and walk a bit. It really seemed to help. Then when I went back to the exercises, I did much better. I can't go too long without doing the formal exercises (like I said, 2-3 days max) or my knees stiffen up too much, but a small break occasionally really does the trick for me.
 

Jockette

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Pain and inmovility mostly in left knee lead me to reach out to doctor last week. Wondering why left is so much worse than right.
Here is a possible explanation,

One of our members wrote the following:

“I watched a bilateral knee replacement when I was a nursing student. The patient happened to be a neighbor. It was quite a comfort to him that I was there. I was not that physically close to the surgical area because that's a super-sterile area. They wear space suits so they're not even breathing near the wound. I was by the patient's head. They did the left knee first and then the right, which went easier because they'd figured out the correct components on the left which means there was more tourniquet time, more putting on and taking off of components, and generally tweaking of the artificial joint on the left. So it was no surprise that the patient's right knee recovered more easily and with less swelling. Who knows how much each of our knees get tweaked and manipulated during the surgery, resulting in more tissue trauma?”
 

Arjay

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Jockette - Yes! I wouldnt go so far as to call it pain, but some of my major discomfort in the early weeks had nothing to do with the knee, but it was sore/tender tissue and muscles that I figured had been 'manhandled' during the surgery. Along with just general skin tenderness. And it took quite some time to resolve.
And to OP Turkey, oh my - at 5 weeks with BI-lateral…? I. Can't. Even. I def had some emotional dips…my own theory is that the very best thing you can do is…..give into it. Forget that 'scolding/chiding yourself to snap-out-of-it thing' that most of us tend to do. Just give in. Whine. And wallow. You might be surprised how much better it can make you feel. You WILL heal and you WILL feel better!
 

Axx72

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It’s a pretty…well…violent surgery considering what surgeons have to do. I had one TKR done….maybe bilateral is like having twins?? Get ‘em both done and out of the way? Haha:)

Post surgery is rough filled with little sleep, pain management, exercise and knee manipulation not to mention many sources of advice and information from many knowledgeable people. It is mentally draining, playing with your tenacity, focus and determination.

Break it in to small achievement goals because the entire end-game is too big to look at all at once. Push yourself but don’t hurt yourself. Believe you can and you will:)
 

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