TKR 16 months later and I need some serious advice

ihavetwins

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I need advice or examples to help manage my expectations. Left TKA on September 9th, with some hardware removal from an ACL reconstruction in 1987.

I have a high tolerance for pain so knowing when to go slow is hard for me. Anyone else out there in a similar situation? My surgery went well, stopped Percocet in the first week and now just an occasional 500mg Tylenol. I always feel like I can be doing more...
 

Celle

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Hello @ihavetwins - and :welome:

I do understand how hard it is for you to go slow, but you are only 3 weeks into a recovery that takes a full year. There's absolutely nothing you can do to speed up your recovery, no matter how hard you wish that you could, but trying to do too much, too soon, can definitely slow down this recovery.

Your job now is to give your knee the optimum conditions to recover with the fewest possible setbacks, so you really will have to slow down.

Your knee has been through very major surgery that has caused trauma not only to your bones, but also to all the soft tissues, muscles, tendons and ligaments. It will take time and gentle treatment, so everything can heal.

Here is the approach to recovery that we recommend:
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
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. Try to 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 the 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 the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
 
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Pumpkin

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@ihavetwins
You will find a list of members who have had surgery around the same time as you on page one of the September September Sapphires 2020, here .

I have moved your most recent post to your own thread, the team threads are to help members find others who have had surgery around the same time as themselves.
There are several members who had their TKR's on the same day as you, you will find their threads and updated in this forum.

Sounds like you are doing well but in a bit of a hurry to recovery. We all think we should be, listen to your knee it will let you know if you do too much with pain, swelling, and inflammation.

Where are you in recovery?? (TKR)
 
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ihavetwins

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Hi there,

I had a left TKA on September 9th and looking to connect with others in the same boat. I’m hoping I’m doing this the right way since I’m new to BoneSmart and still figuring out my way around.

Take care all...
 

Oregon mom

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Hi there,

Is anyone here at Week 3? I had my TKR on Sept 9th.
I'm about a week ahead of you. My BTKR was August 31, so I'm on the cusp with you early Sapphires!
I hope you're doing well!
Feel free to post away and share your experiences. There are so many wonderful people here. And the moderators are true angels.
:loveshwr: :loveshwr: :loveshwr:
 

Pumpkin

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@ihavetwins
You'll notice that I have merged your newest thread with your original recovery thread. For several reasons, we prefer that you only have one recovery thread:
  • That way, we have all your information in one place. This makes it easier to go back and review your history before providing advice.
  • If you keep starting new threads, you miss the posts and advice others have left for you in the old threads, and some information may be unnecessarily repeated
  • Having only one thread will act as a diary of your progress that you can look back on.
So please post any updates, questions or concerns about your recovery here. If you prefer a different thread title, just post what you want and we'll get it changed for you.
If you need an urgent response to a question, just tag a member of staff.

Many members bookmark their thread in their computer browser, so they can find it when they log on.
 

Pumpkin

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You will find a list of members in the September Sapphires thread, in post #1.
 
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ihavetwins

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Thanks for helping me out. I still haven’t quite figured out how to post in the proper place.

Having said that, with Covid it’s such a weird time trying to do “in-person” PT. With my ACL reconstruction in 1987 it seems like they wanted to see me 2 or 3 times a week and it felt like a 2nd job trying to recover.

Now, I’m scheduled for once a week and wonder if that’s enough. What is everyone else’s experience?

Thanks for your help and I hope you are all doing well.
 

Pumpkin

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@ihavetwins
For questions and concerns about your recovery, this is your recovery thread, post about your recovery here.
Here is some more information about How To Use This Forum .

Once a week is plenty, the walking you are already doing and a few gentle exercises are all you need in the early days.
 
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ihavetwins

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Hi there,

I’m going on Week 5 TKA post-op and wondering why my hamstring is soooo sore. Is anyone else experiencing this? I am actively stretching but assumed I’d be more comfortable by now.

Just curious....
 

Celle

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@ihavetwins - you will see that I have moved your post from the September Sapphires thread to your own thread.

Please remember that the September Sapphires team thread is primarily to allow you to see who has had surgery the same month as you. Discussion of issues, comments, and questions regarding recovery must be kept in your individual recovery thread.

Please post any updates or questions about your recovery in this, your own thread. We will see them there, as someone checks all the new posts every day.
If you need an urgent response to a question, just tag a member of staff.
Tagging other members and answering tags

If you prefer a different thread title, just post what you want and we'll get it changed for you.

Just in case you couldn't find your thread, here are the instructions on finding your thread,
How can I find my threads and posts . Many members bookmark their thread, so they can find it when they log on. Please will you do that?
 
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Celle

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I’m going on Week 5 TKA post-op and wondering why my hamstring is soooo sore. Is anyone else experiencing this? I am actively stretching but assumed I’d be more comfortable by now.
You're only 5 weeks into a recovery that takes a full year. At this stage, it's normal to get aches and pains in many places, as your body adjusts to you knee replacement and your new gait.
Have you tried icing your sore hamstring? If icing doesn't help, try a warm pack.

The other thing is, how much stretching are you doing? It takes a long time to achieve full extension as there are large muscles and tendons at the back of your leg and they have to be stretched slowly and gently.
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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ihavetwins

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Thanks for the info. There's so much myth out there!!!
 
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Miggie

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Hello @ihavetwins, welcome! I had my tkr on Sept.15. My biggest issue from the beginning has been sleeping, and that has been slowly improving. I'm doing home PT, and my ROM is at 115. I get very tired and have a very unhappy knee when I have been on my feet too long. I know we have a long recovery road ahead of us, but hopefully we'll both be happy with the results. I hope you have a good night!
 

Dep

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Hi ihavetwins I had BTKR on Sept 24th so I’m just beginning week 4. I went for my second physio session last night and enjoyed 10 mins on a static bicycle. I also practiced stepping up and down and got some massage on the knees. There’s no doubt it’s been a rough ride - nights particularly bad with very little unbroken sleep. I’m taking Nurofen four times a day and some anti - inflammatory and blood thinners still. I got that hamstring twinge as well and even felt a very tight tendon behind my right calf while walking one day. Hang in there you will definitely feel a lot better soon.
 

leonberg

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Hi ihavetwins,
I am wondering how you are now with the activity. In your previous posts I can relate to you, I am constantly wondering if I am too much or too little, how much discomfort I should feel and the hamstring issue? yes me too! Night time challenge but I find side sleeping is ok and has not harmed me . I have used little heat on my lower back and the side of my leg today which helped alittle.
There are times during the day that I can flex and times I cannot. You sound active so I hope your progress continues. I am behind you because my LTKR was on Sept 29.
 
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ihavetwins

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Hi @leonberg

I went to my 2nd in-person PT session and mentioned that, although my knee didn’t look that swollen, it sure felt like it inside. I was doing my home-PT 2x/day and he suggested I just do it once a day for the next week. He said I can keep working on my stretches but to limit the strength exercises to only one time per day.

My hamstring still feels tight but I think maybe, just maybe, backing off the strength exercises has helped. I’ll keep you posted if interested.

Take care.
 

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Hi @ihavetwins
I am 18 days post op, and I feel like you. Doesn’t look too swollen, but feels like it during PT. You are a few weeks beyond me, but I also worry about doing to much, and make a concerted effort to follow my docs orders which are to stay on the couch with the leg up for the first 4 weeks. Do PT at least 3 times a day, and walk 5-7 minutes per hour. The first time I am allowed in a car is the drive to my OS for my 4 week check up. At least I am able to walk outside now since I have moved to a cane. My doc does not use outpatient pt. Says they overwork the joint and cause inflammation, which inhibits healing. I have 1 more week of inpatient pt, then the pt my OS employs, will see me and send me home with a whole new set of exercises to do at home.
 
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