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TKR 6 weeks since left tkr

Schnautzer

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Had 2nd knee done aug 26. Had tough recovery from first tkt (may 2019). This time doing much less in terms of bending etc.
Due to covid there are no pt classes . A physio visits only 6 times. I am basically on my own BUT have the experience from last time.
Still I fret re doing too much vs too little.One site says hold bend stretches for minutes while Bonesmart says do heel slides 5 times only and hold 15 secs. Do more often during day. This I do and dont hurt myself.
After 6 weeks am still very stiff and rom I think is about 90 degrees. Still very painful sitting but I ice and elevate A LOT.
I still feel I need encouragement.
I am not good navigating this site. I love to hear others experiences. At least I know from last time that there is an end But am still struggling with discouragement. Thank heavens I have ONLY two knees!!!!!!!
 

Celle

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Hello @Schnautzer - and :welome:

Here are our recovery guidelines, to help you:
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.
 

kayak59

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@Schnautzer

Follow the guidelines but listen to your body. Don't do what hurts, but in my opinion, to keep moving -- even if its ever so slightly -- makes a big difference. There were some days when I only did isometric like muscle flexing.

This is a wonderful site and you will find many people going through the same thing you are.
 
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Schnautzer

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Ihad left tkr aug 26 2020. Had right knee done may 2019.It is not perfect but manageable
Pain issues totally different but bending still tough. Am not stressing as much re exercises but feel guility that I am not doing enough. I walk dog with cane 30 mins every morning and 2 other shorter walks. I follow recommended bending from Bonesmart. I cannot do full circle on my stationary bike(backwards) Am so afraid to actually do it but rock. When will I be able to attempt this. Others seem to do this after a few weeks.Because of covid all physio classes are cancelled. I have had a physio come to house to me 5 times. Pretty useless.
My pain is on inside of knee Last time it was all behind the knee.Go figure.. Sharp stabbing pains but not all the time.Am very stiff so do ice and elevate a lot. Maybe too much cause it feels good. Even after having gone thru this before am stressed and down. Any advice??
 

Pumpkln

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Schnautzer,
@Roy Gardiner has an excellent progression for using a stationery bicycle to slowly address ROM.

Others seem to do this after a few weeks.
Every recovery is different, even the other knee on the same person can progress very differently.
Don't compare yourself to anyone, not even to your other knee.

Am very stiff so do ice and elevate a lot.
You can ice and elevate all you want, just be sure you have a cloth between your knee and the ice.
 

Celle

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@Schnautzer - you will see that I have moved your post from Living Bones;'s thread to your own thread.

By putting the above post in his 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.
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?
 

Roy Gardiner

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Schnautzer,
@Roy Gardiner has an excellent progression for using a stationery bicycle to slowly address ROM.
Indeed.

Using a bike to gain ROM is pretty simple:
  • Set the bike to zero resistance
  • Set the saddle low enough so that a single rotation is a challenge; difficult but not painful. When a rotation becomes easy right from the start, lower the saddle a max of 1cm.
  • Gently turn the pedals, through discomfort but without pain.
  • Continue until the knee is 'warmed up' and the rotation is now easy, or for 2 minutes, whichever is the shorter time.
  • Repeat several/many times a day, but don't go mad. Diminishing returns will apply; my guess is that half a dozen reps would be enough
  • Do not pedal fast or for more than 2 minutes, this is a stretching exercise, not training.
  • And if you get any pain or swelling in the 24 hours after doing this, cut it down until you don't
Here is a bit more chat and some pix and how 'healing' and 'training' are different
 
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Schnautzer

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Many thanks. I cannot do a rotation either backwards or forwards. I guess I should just do the rocking till I have the nerve to try going around. Terrifying. But Thank you thank you.
 

Roy Gardiner

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I guess I should just do the rocking till I have the nerve to try going around. Terrifying
Yup. Take it steady. Some find rocking backwards better.

  • Set the bike to zero resistance
  • Set the saddle as high as possible and rock the pedals back and forth as far as you can with discomfort but no pain
  • Repeat several/many times a day, but don't go mad. Diminishing returns will apply; my guess is that half a dozen reps would be enough
  • And if you get any pain or swelling in the 24 hours after doing this, cut it down until you don't
 
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Schnautzer

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I finally did go around backwards BUT it really was painful. I did it twice and then got off. I seem to be suffering no effects an hour later(did ice) I dread getting on bike again.Am so discouraged but must realize I am just nearly only at 8 weeks. Hope I am progressing ok but how does one know.Wish I knew how others are doing but dont know how to reach out
 

Celle

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@Schnautzer - there's really no need to worry about how your knee's recovery compares to anyone else's. It's on its own recovery journey and it knows what it's doing.
Complete recovery takes a full year, so there's no need to rush to do anything. Just listen to your knee and do what feels right for it.

You managed to do a full circuit backwards on the bike, but it hurt. That tells you two things - 1) your knee has the potential to bend far enough, 2) but it isn't quite healed enough to do it without pain. So, be patient. Keep rocking and one day you'll notice that your knee feels as though it could go further. It's going to get there on its own recovery schedule.

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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Schnautzer

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Thanks. I keep thinking I will never get there.So frustrating. Your encouragement is so helpful.
 

Celle

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Recovery seems so long and so slow - I know how difficult that can be. It does take a lot of patience.

But try to look at it another way. This is a year-long recovery, even though you'll be able to do most things long before the year is up. It was truly a major surgery and tissues are still healing beneath the surface for all that time.

The good thing about that is that you have all the time in the world for everything to improve. There are no milestones you have to achieve.
Where you are now is not where you're going to end up. Your knee is still a work in progress, not the finished article.
 
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Schnautzer

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I have suddenly gone from walking(pretty slow) with only stiffness with some discomfort(30 mins) to having pain in my kneecap when walking . Also am unable to do step ups due to kneecap pain.This has been for past 2 days and for no reason I can think of.Am taking today of bending exercises .
Is this a normal thing. I expected things to improve slowly but not go backwards. I dont seem to have much swelling
 
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Schnautzer

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Also my other knee(replaced) and hip(replaced) are very sore as well as my back. Is this due to slight limp and added stress put on them? As an active person in good shape (before all this) and far from overweight am VERY miserable. Am only comfortable lying down right now or standing and not moving. What a life!!!!!!! Thank heavens for that glass of wine at dinner time
 

sistersinhim

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It is obvious you have done something to aggravate your new knee. It's not even two months old and any little thing can set it off. Stop doing any exercises and ice and elevate until it calms down. We have found if you follow the Activity progression for TKRs you'll have less pain and swelling,
Also my other knee(replaced) and hip(replaced) are very sore as well as my back. Is this due to slight limp and added stress put on them?
Yes, I'm sure the rest of your body is suffering because of your knee pain.
 
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Schnautzer

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Thank you for confirming what I thought. However cannot figure out what I did to aggrevate my new knee. But did NOTHING today but walk a bit, ice and elevate. Rest that knee
Hope tomorrow is better. Is it wise to do no bending for a few days???
With no physio available due to covid you guys are gods. I have not even seen my surgeon and wont till I am 3 months post and even that appointment is iffy.Very frustrating and scary. Thank you soooo much.
 

Jockette

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Is this a normal thing. I expected things to improve slowly but not go backwards. I dont seem to have much swelling
It may seem backwards but it really isn’t. It’s ”just” the normal fluctuation of this recovery that we call a rollercoaster. I called my knee the drama queen!
 

Ktbadknee

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I am 5 days postop total knee right and it is heavily on my mind that if a certain degree of flexion or extension is not achieved in a certain amount of time that a procedure is done to release scar tissue. I think all of us want to avoid this. I see replies that say “don’t worry, take your time.” I know this is true but this isn’t how it works with my surgeon. They want to see improvement of the knee flexion and extension.
please ask your surgeon. This is the ultimate answer to how you will be allowed to progress in PT.
 

kneeper

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Sometimes the knee seems to have a mind of it's own and you just have a bad day.
But generally, I found that just trying to take the knee to where it was willing to go and trying for just a bit more was a good plan. Then evaluate--did that activity, number of reps or whatever make me sore for the rest of the day or into the next day? If yes, back off for a day or two. If no, keep on that pattern of activity.
 

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