Bilateral TKR 15 Months Out and Not Happy

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Ghostpipe

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Had a look at the OneStep plan, thank you, Jacey. I would love to participate, but it’s getting on for 40 degrees here, and won’t drop below mid 30 for another couple of months. Doing my best walking for half an hour is not an option, and we have no large areas with ac in this tiny country.
 

Arrangrl

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Thanks , Jan. I keep posting, as I hope that it will help somebody else at some stage recognise that things do get better, and what to expect at various stages.
Take care and heal well, and try to stay positive!
Thanks

yes it’s very helpful :)
 
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It will be 5 months next week. My knees are still more of a pain than my old ones, but they getting better. My old ones weren’t. It’s been in the mid to top 30s here for a few weeks, with no foreseeable let up, so activity is strictly limited. Despite this, I have made significant progress over the last month.

My legs are getting stronger by the day, even with hardly any exercise, because the discomfort is diminishing and I am mentally no longer discouraged from using the muscles.

I still swell if I am on my feet for extended periods, and the discomfort, stiffness and loss of ROM that this causes now comes as a bit of a surprise! How things have changed.

Still getting random pains, aches and a few zingers around my knees, but the difference is that they are less violent and I recover much quicker, mostly overnight or with an icing session.

Stairs - sometimes I can go up and down pain free, sometimes back to crab mode, depending upon what else I have subjected my knees to beforehand.

Can get up and down from “the throne” without pushing off with my hands. Working on the schuss position to enable stress free use of public toilets.

Kneeling- washed my hair kneeling at the bathtub. Horrid burning to start with, had a lot of my weight propped up on my ribs on the edge of the bath. Then they went numb and I relaxed a bit. After the final rinse, straightened up and did an appraisal. Verdict - ouch! But doable. Will try again in a month’s time.

Swimming - breast stroke leg kick not so taxing on the knees. Attempts to kick really strongly can cause strains around them, so taking it easy and saving that for later. Freestyle kicking, fine in moderation. The buoyancy of my legs is still compromised, the greater the swelling at the time, the more they sink with the weight of the fluid. Still haven’t felt the urge to put on my fins or try a dive, plenty of time for that to come. My knees are not consistent enough to book a dive yet.

Overall, can see the light, but the tunnel is a long one. Still missing my old knees.
 
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Ps. ROM magnificent some days, within an inch of my backside on the bed in my best one, and four inches with the other. I have done absolutely nothing to achieve this since finding Bonesmart at nine weeks. Other days it is not so good. Apart from overdoing it an d causing swelling, there seems to be no rhyme nor reason as to how it will be on any given day. But who cares?
 
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Another ps. I am not impressed by the look of my knees. The skin is all baggy from being puffed up like footballs for such a long time, and I am well aware that it won’t bounce back at my age. I so need a thigh lift. Torn between just being grateful that my ops are seeming to be a success at this stage, or saving up for two more! But seriously, I tell myself, nobody has been in the slightest bit interested in the look of my legs for at least 25 years, so why should they start now?
 

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This is a great update! Thanks for taking the time to write it all out. You’re almost halfway through recovery (on average) so lots more improvement will continue to come!
 
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Thank you, Jockette. Other people’s posts have been invaluable to me, particularly the bilateral ones, so I will try to keep it up for a while so others know what to expect and when.
 

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:yes!:. Great progress, Ghostpipe! I don’t have many mornings like that yet. But I am confident they are on the way. Keep up the good work!
 

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@Ghostpipe - Thanks! This gives me something to look forward to. I just got out of bed and hobbled to the bathroom with my 4-wheeler after I stretched those hamstrings until I could flat foot it. As the day progresses, I walk around on my own with greater ease and gait. But it is boring and such a slog. Tomorrow is my first shopping trip and haircut- sigh, it’s the little things At this point.
But leaping out of bed- thanks for the Light at the End of the Tunnel!
 

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@Ghostpipe
In the middle of the night I still shuffle to the bathroom. I stretch before getting up in the morning and then walking is much more normal. This week suddenly getting some more bend, but my bum is still far far away!
 
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Went for my first dive today. I’ve been practising kicking in my fins against the wall in our pool, and had got up to 300 breast stroke kicks plus 300 freestyle, without major repercussions afterwards, so figured that a dive would be worthwhile.
It went well, although the whole dive, as with most other things these days, centred around my knees. Kicking was a bit sore. In the pool it is easy to kick consistently in a fashion that doesn’t hurt, not so on a dive. I thought that I would be really slow, but I wasn’t. Also thought that I may have to use my arms a bit, but didn’t feel the need.
What was the biggest surprise to me was being able to get back on the ladderless RIB in blue water without assistance. My legs are nowhere near as weak as I keep thinking they are! So all in all, I was pleased with my performance, did much better than I expected.
 

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Great report!!!
 

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You got out of the water with all your gear on? That is fantastic! Looks like you’re getting back to normal. And at less than 6 months…
 
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Not with all my gear on! No way. Just onto the RIB, which has no ladder. If there were a ladder, I think it would hurt too much to climb it with full gear. Probably hurt without it too!
 

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My first post TKR dive focused on my knees a lot as well, but it was also amazing to get a chance to dive again. Hopefully you thoroughly enjoyed it! :swim:
 
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Thank you, FC. A couple of months back, I honestly thought that my hardcore diving days were over. I am much encouraged now. Just got to get shot of the tenderness in the knee areas, and it should be all systems go by the time the world reopens.
 
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Ghostpipe

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Major problem this evening just when everything was going amazingly well. Been fine all day, but stood up a few hours ago and there was a screaming pain on the upper part of my knee just at the side of my kneecap,on the medial side, and I couldn’t put any weight on it. Felt the squidgy patch at the bottom edge of the kneecap, and there was a crackly sensation inside.
I now can’t straighten my leg enough to walk, and any attempt to do so is extremely painful. The crackly sensation has stopped.
Of course it had to be on a Friday evening.
Has anybody any idea what this could be? I am rather worried, and won’t be able to see my surgeon until Monday. Haven’t used the Zimmer since day 6, now can’t walk without it.
 
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I can put weight on the leg provided it is bent to about 45 degrees and the foot is dead straight.
 

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