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[TKR] 19 Months Post Op, new pain and swelling

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by Lywn, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. Lywn

    Lywn new member
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    The advice on this site is 100% correct.

    My surgery date was October 2nd.

    My surgeon wrote a letter to my family doctor saying I needed to take even stronger pain meds(I had just weaned myself off of dihydrocodeine and had been sick as a dog). The reason for the stronger meds was to push me even farther on my exercises so my knee would bend more before the end of this month.

    I became very alarmed. My thought was, "My knee is still very swollen even 10 weeks post op because I can not take anti inflammatories and if they push me even more my knee is going to swell up like a watermelon." The tendons or ligaments, whatever is behind my knee are so tight and so painful, I don't know what would happen if someone pushed hard on my knee or forced it to bend. There would be even more damage to my knee.

    My husband has found a man who believes in a more gentle approach to getting a bend and is kindly going to help us in his spare time. I find it interesting that I was sick yesterday, didn't do my exercises and was able to bend my knee more this morning than before because my knee is not so swollen. I've been doing too many exercises every day. What an experience this has been!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  2. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hi welcome to BoneSmart. You are correct, PT isn't necessary for recovery.



    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


    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. Pumpkln

    Pumpkln FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Lywn,
    Welcome to BoneSmart, glad you joined us!

    You have found that giving your knee a rest allows it to heal, swelling, and inflammation go down. Your ROM that has been there the whole time is available.

    Please post your surgery date, a moderator will add it to your signature for you. Thanks!

    Be sure to read the articles Roy left for you, there is lots of great information.

    Keep on resting and healing.
     
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  4. funkymuse

    funkymuse senior

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    I love your little Owl photo and can't wait to hear more about your recovery as you embrace the Bone Smart way!
     
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  5. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hello @Lywn - and :welome:
    Please will you tell us the date of your knee replacement, so we can make a signature for you? Thank you.:flwrysmile:

    You are right. Your knee cannot bend well while it is swollen, and aggressive PT will make it swell more.

    Remember that it's your body and your knee and you are the only one who has the right to say what will happen to them. Others can advise, but you have the right to choose whether or not to accept the advice.

    Saying no to therapy - am I allowed to?
    CONSENT: what it means and how it can be used

    It's not exercising that gets you your ROM (Range of Motion) - 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.
     
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  6. Lywn

    Lywn new member
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    Oct 2nd was my surgery date. I've gone from being despondent to being hopeful. I couldn't have survived without my kind and loving husband. Even though he is 65 he still has to work and he has done everything from washing clothes to ironing to cooking, etc. I hope you have a special someone in your life.
     
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  7. funkymuse

    funkymuse senior

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    @Lywn - I do indeed! I have a man like you and he's had to adjust for sure!!! He said "this never ends!" Meaning the housework, cooking, cleaning, etc. I said 'now you know how i feel!" LOL
     
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  8. Tanya76

    Tanya76 member

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    Having a supportive partner is amazing. Mine has done everything as well as working full time. I’m very lucky
     
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  9. AnnieC

    AnnieC member

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    I had to smile when I watched a Youtube clip this morning where the PT said that it’s 90 degrees at 2 weeks or you can forget about it..... Today is 14 days post-op and I do do the PT by myself at home. Low repetitions. What hurts doesn’t get done and, if I’ve lost count, I declare the exercise completed rather than starting again.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  10. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    It's really funny how all these so-called experts out there have never had a knee replacement! Ask us, we are the ones that know!
     
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  11. SusieShoes

    SusieShoes FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    @Lywn, yes! I too have a husband who did everything for me for those first weeks. A treasure beyond price, as they say. Although he will point out he did get something out of it: a new, improved wife with whom to do fun things. :)
     
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  12. Lywn

    Lywn new member
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    I'm 12 weeks post op. I'm only getting 3 to 4 hours of sleep a night. I don't want to go back on strong pain meds. They made me very nauseated and I lost too much weight to go along with my anemia. I can't use anti inflammatories.

    I have a hiatus hernia which seems to get aggravated if I try anything new. My hamstring and all the other muscles in the back of my leg seem to have a lot of damage from the surgery. I've started doing gentle stretches. I feel if I can get them to stretch my leg will straighten.

    Do some people just heal slowly and have more troubles with swelling? I'm so tired. I dread night time.

    12 weeks and I can only bend my knee at 100.

    My husband and I are 65 and still work. My husband is carrying the load by himself right now. He is getting run down. I wouldn't have the courage to go through this again although I know my other knee will need it.
     
  13. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    @Lywn - you will see that I have moved your post from labdog's thread to your own thread.

    By putting the above post in her recovery thread, you were disrupting his thread, which should be about his own recovery.
    Forum etiquette: being polite when posting

    Please post any updates or questions about your recovery in 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.
    How to tag another member; how to answer when someone tags you

    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.
     
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  14. Rayna

    Rayna junior member

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    I'm so sorry you're having a rough time. Are you back at work? Can you catch any naps during the day?
     
  15. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Many of us find that our sleep pattern is disrupted for a long time after a knee replacement. This does improve gradually, but until it does the way to deal with it is to take daytime naps. Sleep where you can, when you can and how you can. Those little naps add up to the amount of sleep that you need.

    Recovery from a knee replacement does take a long time - as long as a full year for complete recovery, but you will be able to do most things long before that.
    The thing to do is to aim for slow and steady progress. Treat it like a marathon not a sprint.

    The only exercises you need to do are these - the second article suggest ways to help your leg to straighten better.
    Heel slides and how to do them properly
    Extension: how to estimate it and ways to improve it
     
  16. SusieShoes

    SusieShoes FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Medical folks don’t warn their TKR patients enough about how much the surgery will disturb their sleep. Everyone seems to experience some degree of sleep deprivation. It took months before I could enjoy a full night’s sleep again. You will return to your normal sleeping pattern, really! :sleeep: In the meantime, catch naps during the day. Those will tide you over.

    Your leg will straighten and the pain behind the leg will go away as you stretch your hamstring tendons and maybe muscle back to normal. Years of having a bad knee often lead to shortened hamstrings. These big, tough tendons can take some time to stretch and become longer again. Don’t try to force them! The last thing a TKR patient needs is to injure the tendons. Just be gentle with them. A few knee presses, if those don’t hurt you (I would have my legs up on an ottoman and press the knee —using only my muscles— down onto the ottoman). Also, walking is a wonderful exercise for gently stretching the hammies.

    My surgeon told me walking would resolve my extension (straightening) issue, and he was right. I took, and still take, daily walks. After a few months, I realized one day that my leg was completely straight. No pain on straighening it at all, no pain on knee pressing, and everything was as it should be. Kind of just happened. So go about your daily walking (short or long), and daily activities, and you will find your knee responding.

    We all heal slowly, even those of us who heal “quickly.” I had a quick recovery by most standards and still it took months. This surgery should come with a “Patience Required” sticker. :bored:
     
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  17. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    I'd really like to offer you some structured advice but in order to do that, I also need to ask you some questions. Are you willing for me to do that?
     
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  18. Fractured

    Fractured senior

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    I'm just the opposite, All I want to do is sleep and I'm 4.5 MONTHS post op with a THR. I too had a lot of pain in the back of my thigh. Still do.
     
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  19. Lywn

    Lywn new member
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    @Josephine, Please ask the questions. I like this forum so much but I can't figure out how to use it properly. I'm sorry I previously posted in the wrong thread.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  20. Lywn

    Lywn new member
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    I am 14 weeks post op for LTKR and need advice. All the muscles on the back of my leg hurt most of the time as does my knee. I have a 95 bend and a +10 straight. I have been doing gentle exercises to stretch the muscles. I stopped doing strengthening exercises because it seemed like the only thing that was happening was that my knee was swelling and hurting.

    I can not take anti inflammatories. I have IBS and most pain meds make me sick. I lost an awful lot of weight after surgery and am anemic.

    Everyday I set the timer and walk around the house for 15 minutes. I have vasomotor rhinitis and migraines so I stay out of the cold as much as I can.

    Somehow my ankle and foot were damaged during surgery so I am also having to deal with that. The exercises I was given for that made the pain worse so I stopped.

    I pump my feet several times every day. I do the exercise where you try to push your knee into the mattress. I do heel slides. I lay on my tummy and slowly drop my leg down. I slide my foot back and forth on a smooth surface. I put my calf on a stool and try to stretch the hamstring by leaning forward till it feels tight. I sit on a chair and put my leg out and point my toes to the ceiling and do a gentle stretch.

    I could use some advice on all this. I've mostly given up on going to PT. All I get is a knee the size of a grapefruit.

    Is there any hope my leg could still go straight? I don't want anyone but me to touch it.

    Thank you for listening. You've got a great site here.

    Lywn
     

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