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TKR 2nd time around recovery

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LaxMom

LaxMom

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Hello everyone! I have not posted for a while, mainly because I feel great and have been somewhat active. That is a good thing!

I went to outpatient PT on Wednesday, and it was the first time I solo drove my car since surgery. I drove to dinner with my husband on Sunday night. He wanted to make sure I was ok. I have been off the oxycodone for a while and all was well with the driving!

Outpatient PT was great! She had me walking for 6 minutes to observe my gait and I did the entire time without the crutches. I had been not using them around the house but was actually shocked that I really did not need them for walking. She tells me to carry one crutch with me when I walk in case I get tired, but I rarely use it now. I also got some exercises that include strengthening with elastic resistance bands - walking, leg lifts and lying down thigh lifts. They do not hurt my knee but I am getting quite the thigh work out! One other great thing that happened at PT - I was able to bend my knee to 110 without even trying at all. I could not believe it! It also is pretty straight when I do a quad set as well, so all is well in the movement department.

I started Aleve twice a day over the weekend once I was safely done with the blood thinners. Wow, what a difference that made for me! Overall swelling and pain is way down with the Aleve. And no oxycodone needed. Yippee!

I have an interesting wrinkle coming up next week. I actually have to get a colonoscopy and I cannot put it off as a recent test came back positive. This is pretty scary for me and I am trying not to think about it too much. However, starting next Thursday, I need to go off of the Aleve for 6 days until the colonoscopy is over because NSAIDS are blood thinners. I can honestly say I am not looking forward to 6 days of just Tylenol, especially since I have been feeling so great. Added to that, I have 4 days of a low residue diet and 1 day of clear liquids, not to mention nasty prep itself. Not looking forward to the food restriction as I have been trying very hard to keep well nourished through all this, which I think has really helped with my healing. I have all my protein shakes ready to go, but what a pain that will be!

Anyway, I will deal with all that next week. In the meantime, I am feeling great and am cherishing that!
 
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LaxMom

LaxMom

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Today I began using weights at outpatient physical therapy. I was so happy to be able to do that. I have not used the crutches since last Wednesday. Feeling thankful.
 
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LaxMom

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Hi Everyone! Sorry I have not been posting much lately, but it is because I just feel so great. Tomorrow is the beginning of week 10 for me. Yesterday was my followup with my surgeon. He was amazed at how well I am doing and commented that my knee looked much better than it should at 2 months. We talked about my day surgery and Visionaire implant and how he swears the spinal anesthesia and nerve block along with avoiding a hospital stay allows patients to avoid a lot of early pain and just thrive. I would have to say that is true. Knee replacements are never easy, but I do know this was way easier than my last knee that was a more traditional path.

Updates as of today:
  • Flexion is around 125, very close to my good knee that is 130
  • Extension is still a bit of a struggle this time and a few degrees short of straight
  • Very little swelling
  • No medications at all! I gave up Tylenol and Aleve last week and do not miss it.
  • Besides PT, which is weights, bands and balance at this point, I go to the gym daily for 10 minutes elliptical, 20 minutes recumbent bike and 10 minutes rowing machine. The rowing machine has really helped my flexion and does not bother me. If anything, I feel looser after doing it. I also walk daily - anywhere from a half to full mile.
  • Energy is back and I find myself able to to all kinds of things and stay busy all day long.
  • I do not use my Ossur ice machine anymore, although I will use an ice pack occasionally.
  • Return to work with the surgeon all clear is Monday
And of course, what would my update be if I did not include my binge watch update! I finished all seasons of Stranger Things and liked it way more than I ever expected I would. The acting is so great and the 1980s references are fun. I am now on to Anne with an E for any of you Anne of Green Gables fans, I highly recommend it.

Finally, thank you to all of you who supported me through this, especially @Benay , @luvcats and @RAD as well as the amazing forum advisors. It is so nice to know there are others out there going through similar things. Hugs to you all and hopes for great healing.

For anyone reading this and wondering if you should get your knee done - do it!!! It is the best gift you can give yourself. The pain goes away and you are left with a brand new you that works much better. :)
 

RAD

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@LaxMom I'm so happy for you, you sound fabulous! I'm doing quite well too, don't need ice at work anymore, still going to PT but now only once or twice a week. I'm not going back to the gym until I return from my trip to Eurpoe in mid September, but I've been walking a lot (going up and down stairs plenty as well). On the weekends I've been walking 3+ miles each day which I'm happy about, trying to build up for walking around on my trip. Still taking Tylenol, mostly at night.

I also loved Stranger Things! You've been an excellent recovery buddy too!
 
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LaxMom

LaxMom

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@RAD - 3+ miles is amazing! I always love to see what you are up to because I can look forward to that next. Although no trip to Europe for me, lol! I do look forward to breaking the mile mark for walking. In September, I might do a personal trainer at the gym for a while to add some weights and teach me how to push myself a bit more. Looking forward to being fully active and healthy.
 

RAD

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@LaxMom thanks. I'm going to go back to working with my personal trainer in October and doing bike and elliptical as well as walking. But right now I just want to get through the next few weeks (3 month checkup with OS on the 15th) and hopefully be able to do a lot of stuff on my trip. All the best to you!
 

Benay

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What a fabulous update, I still like to ice. Gives me an excuse to flop out on the couch. I'm glad my surgery buds are doing great! You have 2 new knees. Stay in touch!
 

luvcats

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What an exciting update!! I am so pleased for you that everything is going so well.
Now to be careful you don't over do as you go back to work. That will probably be a bigger bump in activity than you realize.
I'll have to remember what you've said about the rower when I get to that point. I can see how it would be really good for loosening things up.

We love stranger things. It can be pretty intense, but it is exactly like being right back in the 80s. They manage to pack every single episode with all the right cultural references, as well as a super creepy plot line. We're about half way into the new season.
 
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LaxMom

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Dropping in for a 6 month update.

Background:
My left knee replacement surgery was on June 6, 2019. It was a Smith and Nephew Visionaire replacement done in an outpatient surgical center. I arrived at 5:45 am and was home for lunch, even with a 45 minute drive home! This was my 3rd joint replacement, having done my left hip and right knee in the fall of 2014.

Update:
This surgery was amazing! I don't know all the factors that contributed to the success, but maybe it was, more stable other joints, not being admitted to a hospital, being physically fit and at a good weight prior to surgery, and maybe this knee was not as damaged as my right knee. Anyway, the surgery and recovery was a breeze as compared to what a I remember of 2014, and what I read when going back to my Bonesmart recovery journal. Last time around, I was more dependent on medications for a longer time, and I think I cried - A LOT! This time I seemed to take it in stride. Sure, it was painful, but never more than I could take and it all seemed to go by so fast. And maybe one other factor was just knowing what it would be like this time!

Anyway, I came off the meds quickly and felt fairly good even at the 6 week mark. At 6 months, things are terrific! My knee has full flexion and extension. I have a tiny bit of soreness in the morning but once things are loose, I feel great. I am able to exercise and walk for as long as I want with no issues. And, I can squat!!! I have not been able to do that since I was 12 years old. It is a truly amazing thing.

It is actually hard for me to believe that I had surgery this year, that is how great I feel. I say to anyone who needs a replacement and is on the fence or afraid, just do it! You will be so happy you did!

I did have a bit of a set back in October when I had a rare flare up of my rheumatoid arthritis. It took me a while to even realize I had a flare because nothing in my lower body was affected. I had pain in my elbow, shoulder, neck and wrists and I kept thinking I slept wrong until I put the pieces together and saw my rheumatologist who did tests and confirmed it. I am disappointed that with all my bionic parts, the rheumatoid arthritis decided to attack areas that had been dormant for years. Just goes to show rheumatoid arthritis is truly a systemic illness! But, I am getting treatment, and I expect this will go away soon and I will be back to full and good health!

Wishing everyone out there on the forum Happy Holidays along with good health and recovery!
 

luvcats

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Thank you so much for coming by with an update! I'm glad things are wonderful and I really appreciate hearing that at 6 months I might finally feel like I'm on the other side! Encouragement is a wonderful thing so thank you for sharing.

Happy Holidays!
 

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