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PKR 4 months out from PKR with pain

sistersinhim

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I stay active doing between 7500-10,500 steps per day just taking care of my life and dogs.
That's why you are still having pain and swelling. Your knee isn't even halfway healed from this major, traumatizing surgery. All these steps and activities are keeping your knee inflamed and slowing down your healing. Cut these way down for the next month or so and you should see some improvement.

Are you icing and elevating to help with the pain and swelling. You can't do that too much as long as you have a thin cloth between the ice and your knee. I did it for hours at a time when my knee got angry.
 
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Besoke

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Hello and Thank you for your response.
I live alone and these steps I talk about are just daily life. Watering the garden, walking the dogs, slowly and carefully on a bark path every couple of days, grocery shopping. I had been doing much more, PT plus daily walks at a park with the dogs and I stopped that.
So this feels pared down to me. But there is no one else to do these things.
I do ice morning and afternoon and elevate.
It‘s hard to imagine doing less.
You may be right.. We’ll see what the MRI shows, I think it won’t show anything.
 

Dizzy

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Those "zingers" are a big part of my discomfort! Feels creepy and crawly!!:badspidy:
 

sistersinhim

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I lived alone, too, during my recovery and I had 13 rescued cats to take care of. I planned everything ahead of time and did one extra thing a day. You could always order online and have things shipped that would eliminate the grocery shopping. That helped me out a lot. But, if you have no way to cut back then you need to up your icing and elevating. Does your doctor know how many steps you are doing? He needs to know that.
 
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Besoke

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Dear Sistersinhim,
Oh my, 13 cats??? I have two rescue dogs, that is plenty. But I admire you for loving all those cats.
As to my steps, yes, my Dr knows. As he has seen me post op, he always says I should lose weight too, which, while true, seems like a perfect out for a less than wonderful outcome. So while I am not “trying“ to exercise, my Apple Watch keeps track of my movement, thus I know how many steps I am taking. I had food delivered at first but by now it seems like I ought to be able to do grocery shopping. I do it as seldom as possible with covid. And everything else I have shipped.
My surgeons office is part of a study with Apple. I was in the control group. PT was strongly encouraged so I did a lot of it and walked as early as I could. I had to stop all of that because I was not improving.
So we will see what the MRI of my back shows. Doubt it will be much, maybe arthritis.
Bev
 

sistersinhim

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I'm right there with you on the weight loss thing. It was so much easier when I was younger. Not so now. I pray your MRI shows nothing serious.
 
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Besoke

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I'm right there with you on the weight loss thing. It was so much easier when I was younger. Not so now. I pray your MRI shows nothing serious.
Yes, It has gotten much harder. Thank you. Fingers are crossed. Bad knees are enough to deal with.
 
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Besoke

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Hello all,
I have questions for all you revisionists.
I am almost at the 6 month point from my PKR and I feel like I am going backwards. My surgeon’s theory is that the pain in my knee is referred from my back but an MRI was unremarkable. He sent the MRI to a pain specialist who hasn’t called me for an appt, I’m sure because he doesn’t see anything in my MRI. I think it’s all in my knee. It feels like they sewed someone else’s lower leg on by accident.

I stopped all PT a while back and just take care of my house and dogs, putting in between 7500 and 10,000 steps a day. It sounds like a lot but I know my limits. I ice and elevate at least 3 times a day.
And yet. I have no better stability in that knee, lots of pain and swelling, lots of numbness in my toes. It has never felt like it was getting better. What is the process like for deciding a revision is necessary? Do you go to another surgeon, who only does revisions? I would imagine they have to figure out what went wrong the first time before they cut again. My Xrays look “fine” but the surgeon does see the swelling and my gait. Of course, the other knee needs replacement too.

I am normally a patient person and if I believed it would resolve by 12 months I would be fine waiting. But I sincerely feel it’s getting more painful and limiting. It feels like an arthritic joint that gets worse by the day. Of course, I second guess and wonder if I would be in this situation if I had a TKR instead of a partial. How long do you suffer and what is the normal wait-and-see period? It‘s unreal to think of a year of this only to turn around and start all over, and then move on to knee #2! And during Covid.
You people are the only ones who understand and I bet you have some answers.
Thank you for any thoughts.
 

Jockette

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I have a partial and my whole first year was the slowest of slow recoveries. However, I had a lot of improvement my second year, and even some more improvement in my third year post op, so don’t give up hope.

My general outcome has not been great. I’ve had two different second opinions, one at 15 months and one at just under 2 years post op, and neither surgeon found anything to fix, and wouldn’t even order any further tests.

I know you said you live alone and there’s no one else to do the things you are doing, so it’s really hard to cut back your activities, so I suggest any time you are sitting, get your feet up on an ottoman, or the couch. When I’m home and sitting, my feet are always up, unless I’m sitting at the dining room table, and that only happens if I have company, which isn’t often.

I know how frustrated you feel, I felt that way, too, well into my second year. “This wasn’t supposed to go this way.” Due to misinformation before my surgery it was my belief that a partial was a quick recovery and only a fraction of the recovery of a total. I now know that a partial can take as long, or longer, depending on a lot of things, as a total.

Try to continue to be patient, which I know is very hard, but really, you still have a lot of healing to do, and it will happen. It’s really too early to be thinking revision. (And I dread that possibility also!) If I had known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have worried so much about my recovery that first whole year.
 
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Besoke

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Thank you Jockette
Yes, my surgeon sold the partial as a skip in the park with far easier and faster recovery, as if I had won the lottery to only need a partial. It’s rough to go through this and fully accept the possibility that it could take 3 years to be somewhat better but never great. Especially since every other person you meet had a knee replacement and golfed, ran, skied, pole-vaulted within two months.

I do elevate every chance I get. I never sit for long periods with my knee down, it becomes second nature. I feel like I am doing what I can for my knee but I have a real limp, I’m unstable on my feet and too much pain. It makes you feel bad at “healing.” I guess it’s a risk we all take. We put our faith in the operation and then have any and all sorts of outcomes with no guarantees.

Thank you for sharing your experience. I think my problem is not so much worrying as accepting this is what my knee is now, and there is nothing to do but keep going, hoping it will slowly improve. It’s hard to have faith in improvement because it feels like it’s not. It’s a bitter pill to accept that something you did that was this hard in an attempt to get a better quality of life, may not get you there. It’s helpful to know that even if your recovery was very slow, it improved over the years, if not perfect in the end.
 

sistersinhim

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Where you are now is not where your knee will end up. Improvements might come slowly, but they do come! This recovery sure weighs on a person's patience. I hated to hear to just be patient, but that is what I'm saying to everyone now. Time is the great recoverer. What that means is to have patience.
 
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Besoke

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Sistersinhim
It is hard, but there is no choice.
It certainly removes any illusion of control.
My knee is the boss!
Yes, this is the definition of patience.
 

kneeper

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I'm sorry your knee is troublesome and that the docs can't yet pin down what is going on. It is possible you have a few things going on. A new knee can be temperamental for many months with activity--something that's different for everyone. My first knee was sensitive to overdoing longer than my second knee was. And overdoing didn't involve much activity by non-tkr standards.
It does sound like you're doing the right things with elevating.

A bad gait can affect your back and that can refer pain into your knee. Though that wouldn't explain the swelling.


Losing weight doesn't hurt, but I can tell you that I've (unfortunately) gained weight since my tkrs and it has had zero effect on the knees from a pain standpoint. I may be putting more strain on my new parts in the long run--but that's a different issue...
:console2:
 
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Besoke

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Hello Kneeper,
I do feel like I am doing the right things since finding this site. I got on my stationery bike today and
made sure I can still do complete revolutions. I didn’t stay on it long because I had already walked the dogs and mowed my lawn and did some cooking. I iced and elevated more times than normal today. Sometimes I think being upright, standing on my feet like cooking and unloading the dishwasher is the hardest. Maybe it’s just with walking you have momentum in your favor. But everything I do is painful and I don’t take anything for pain and haven’t for months.
I am working on losing weight too but as you suggest, it’s much easier to gain with painful knees.
My surgeon doesn’t want a failure. We’ll see what he dreams up next.
Meanwhile I’ll keep at it.
Thank you for your thoughts.
 
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Besoke

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Hello all,
Just an interesting circumstance here.
I am just under 7 months post op of my PKR.
This past week I had to pack fast and head to the coast so my daughter and her family could stay in my house because they were evacuated by the wildfires here in Oregon.
My house at the coast is in the middle of remodeling so the kitchen was upended.
For an entire week now I have not iced my knee or elevated. And oddly my knee function is better, the pain is less, I found myself sleeping with my good knee resting on my operated knee!
Do you think it’s at all possible that at a certain point the ice inhibits healing? It’s the only pain relief I was using and it always felt good. I was only icing and elevating morning and late afternoon but still experiencing too much pain just walking. In fact a pain specialist was going to inject my MCL. I‘m going to postpone that and just wait and see.
Has anyone ever had this experience? Of course it could be some strange coincidence. But the knee feels more calmed down, less fluid filled, more comfortable movement in the joint.
Maybe it comes down to individual differences and a fluke.
 

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