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[TKR] 13 weeks and counting

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by Sam67, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Sam67

    Sam67 new member
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    So I had my knee replacement 13 weeks ago today. Pulling my stitches out accidentally after the first week did not help, but my recovery has been pretty slow. The knee block they give you during surgery did not work much and I had to stay an extra day in the hospital because they could not get my pain under control.
    I have been in pain every day since...even with pain meds. My mobility is great but going from sitting to standing is hell. And now overnight I have build some fluid on the knee. My advise...don't check the Internet for symptoms, it will only freak you out. I called my doctor and since I have an appointment in a couple of days they said not to worry. But I still worry. Most days I wish I never had this done.
    Has anyone had an infection and if so what were your symptoms?
     
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  2. lionsm13

    lionsm13 member

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    Sorry to hear things are going as they are Sam.

    My nerve block worked so well(lolol) I could not even feel my leg for several days and in fact when it finally wore off I seriously thought that something was wrong and my recovery was reversing like 3 months later.

    It worried me and I thought that more PT would help it, but it did not do much.
    Here I am 9 years later and is my TKR ok? Yeah I would say so but I still have days when I think that something is wrong with it and it literally took @ least 3 years before it started to feel kind of okay.

    Have you conversed with your PT and OS about your status?

    Infection;https://bonesmart.org/search/?s=infection&scat=sitesearch
     
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  3. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    It sure is. You're putting force through traumatised tissue. Any dodge you can find to minimise the pain (use a higher chair, for one trivial example), take it.
    This pain is temporary and will get better, what you had before was permanent and would only get worse. Think on that.
    Please, don't buy trouble; it probably isn't.

    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. Here is a week-by-week guide for Activity progression for TKRs
    6. Access 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.
     
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  4. Sam67

    Sam67 new member
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    Thank you lionsm13. I sure hope it's not that long before it feels ok. I would be happy with ok.
    My PT staff says some people heals slowly I just happen to be one of them. And it may take a while.
    I thought I was going in the right direction and now this fluid has me worried. I'm sure they'll drain it on my appointment and find out something. I think I'm just tired of not being able to participate in life much these days.
     
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  5. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    This is a long recovery and most of us are not told that until after the surgery. What many of us think is a slow recovery is actually pretty normal. You will get to the finish line but it will take a lot of trust and patience.
     
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  6. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    @Sam67, what was the exact date of your tkr and which knee was it? We will add it to your signature for you. Knowing that info we can better advise you.
     
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  7. Sam67

    Sam67 new member
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    Sistersinhim, my surgery was May 21st, left knee
     
  8. Sam67

    Sam67 new member
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    Thank you Jockette for your post.
     
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  9. Sam67

    Sam67 new member
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    So I just read the knee recovery guidelines Roy Gardiner posted to me. It said if PT hurts, don't do it again. My PT sessions hurt every time, sometimes so bad i have involuntary tears roll down my cheeks. My PT told me that its important to work through the pain.
     
  10. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Many PTs have this opinion. That’s all it is, an opinion. You don’t have to agree.

    My common sense tells me that it is counter productive to do something that causes more trauma to an already traumatized knee/leg. And I came to that conclusion before I found Bonesmart at 4 weeks post op.

    It makes more sense to treat your knee gently so it can heal. As it gradually heals your strength will gradually return and you’ll be able to gradually get back to your activities.

    The main theme of this recovery is slow and gradual.
     
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  11. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Many of us never took formal PT or did exercises. I am one of them. I had 11 knee surgeries, 2 of them kneecap removals and 1 tkr. Even after those I never took PT. But, I didn't just sit around and do nothing. I took care of myself, my house and yard as my knee allowed me to do. As I healed, I did more. But, my knee was always in control. This was enough therapy for me and would be for any tkr patient. All the awful pain of PT is so unnecessary.

    All you have to do is use it in your daily living. Your knee knows how to rehab itself and doesn't need anyone telling it how. Just use it and it will come back like new. You have to be patient, though, it doesn't happen quickly. ADL,(activities of daily living), going to the bathroom, brushing your teeth and bathing, fixing a light meal, getting something to drink and or a snack, those kinds of things will be all the exercise your knee needs. If you just use it daily in your living, you can have a less painful recovery. We know what works, we've been there:yes:.
     
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  12. lovetocookandsew

    lovetocookandsew FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    With this recovery, no pain IS gain, and any PT who tells you otherwise is 100% wrong! It really gets to me when PTs, who are supposed to be helping their patients, tell them things like this, and cause them so much pain that they're in tears every session! You should never do anything in PT that causes pain, and that therapist needs a wake up call.

    In the meantime, I'd stop going to PT altogether as not only is she harming you physically by pushing you to do things that hurt, she is setting your recovery back. Spend a lot of time each day icing and elevating to bring some of the swelling down and to help alleviate your pain. Just remember to keep a cloth between your skin and the wrap or ice pack. Slow down as much as you can for a while to get your recovery back on track. At the end of the next three weeks or so, look back and evaluate if dropping PT and slowing down a little has helped.
     
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  13. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Thank you for the information. We will add it to your signature for you.
     
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  14. Sam67

    Sam67 new member
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    Thank you all for your advice. I had to go back to work after 7 weeks and am now back full time, so there is no time to elevate the leg. I do carry my ice pack with me though. I can do most things now, like cooking and cleaning- except go to the grocery store, But I still hurt all day, even though I'm still taking Norco daily. This is my last week of PT...thank goodness. When im sitting still or laying down I don't hurt...any other time, I do.
     
  15. Neesie

    Neesie junior member

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    I’m just a week ahead of you - May 13. I’ve also felt like I never should have done this. The advice provided by everyone has been spot on for me. I’m still in pain at times too and not sleeping well. If it’s at all possible for you to find 20 mins to elevate and ice during your work day it would help. I work only part-time and have a wonderful manager and colleagues. I sneak off and use an overturned wastebasket to elevate and ice. They’re totally ok with it. I wish us both a speedier and less painful recovery.
     
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  16. Sam67

    Sam67 new member
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    Neesie, wishing you a speedy and pain-less recovery. It seemed not as bad when I was only working part time and I could go home at noon. I put my leg up at lunch...when I can. I'm just glad to know there are others besides me that still have this much pain after so long.
     
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  17. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I suggest you try to eliminate the things that are causing you pain, as much as you can.

    PT is not essential and painful PT is bad PT. Being back at work gives your knee all the movement/exercise it needs. As I’ve seen Celle say, there’s no magic in the exercises we are told to do. You’ll be fine, and better off, without the PT you are getting.

    The fact that you are back to work, unable to rest and get your leg up, is going to maintain your pain level. If there’s no way you can go back to part time for a while, try to do as little as possible when you are home. Rest ice and elevate as much as possible. Don’t look at it as sitting around doing nothing, consider it giving your knee the best circumstance in which to heal, because it’s true.

    This is a year long recovery, on average, and 3 months is still really early. That doesn’t mean you will feel like this the whole year, though. But if you continue to push the knee to do things that are painful you will just make the recovery even longer.

    It really is important to give the knee the time it needs to heal.

    We all understand, we’ve been there. :console2:
     
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  18. Sam67

    Sam67 new member
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    Thanks Jockette, yes I try to do as little as possible at home. But you know how it is. There is always things to do.
    I'm on .5 Norco and I take 2 every 6 hours - none during the night. I also now take Gabapentin because my scar nerve endings were on fire all the time. Because like I said I'm at a 6-7 all the time. I have osteoarthritis so I hurt all the time, but this is a deep in the bone pain from surgery.I'm wondering if anyone liked one pain med over another because it worked better.
     
  19. kneeper

    kneeper FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    It sounds like you've been overworking your knee from the beginning (PT pushing to hard also) and your poor knee's swelling hasn't had a chance to come down.

    Try to rethink the "things to do" idea. Do as little as possible and ice and elevate when you get home. As someone here once said "if it's not going to die if you don't take care of it, it can wait." Dust bunnies never killed anyone. :heehee:
     
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  20. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Oh dear. Imagine 'working' to recover a broken leg or a sprained muscle; you can't, and walking on a broken leg or exercising a sprained muscle are counter-productive, obviously. It's much the same with TKR, you have damage needing healing, not unfitness needing training.

    Please, take as much rest as you can.
    Please evaluate how important these things are. Cleaning the house, for instance, ranks about zero. Can you 'delegate' any work?
     
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