BoneSmart® Hip / Knee Replacement Forum
Joint Replacement Patient Advocacy
and Online Community
  1. Announcing BoneSmart's NEW Joint Surgeon Locator tool

    We are pleased to now offer a tool to help you find just the right surgeon for your needs. If your surgeon is not listed, please let us know and we'll get them added.

    Read more about this in this announcement:

    Dismiss Notice

[TKR] 68, good health. Knee replacement 6 weeks ago.

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by HowardGeek, May 10, 2019.

  1. HowardGeek

    HowardGeek junior member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2019
    Age:
    69
    Messages:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    Country:
    United States United States
    I had my knee replaced 6 weeks ago April 1-2019. The surgery went fine. I had a difficult time with pain and meds afterwards but that was to be expected.

    The first two weeks were difficult. I started attending PT 3 days after surgery. By the end of 3 weeks my flexion was 130 and I was abut 10 degrees from my knee being straight. I was able to dance a few dances and even posted videos on Facebook the 3rd week so it went well.

    By week 5 I was at 140 degrees flexion. I still had a great deal of pain and could not sleep more then 4 hours a night. At week six my leg was at 140/0 but my physical therapist said that even though I had excellent motion I had very little strength. I was unable to get out of a chair unassisted.

    I am a veteran and the VA had the surgery done by a local physician who works on athletes at a major university. I saw the doctor again for the first time at week six.

    I asked him if I could dance or bike. He said "I don't care what you do". I still had 10 sessions left for PT through the VA but he cancelled those and told me that I could "Do it on my own". I was upset. Then I asked about pain meds as I was still in pain and he said take a NSAID and use aspercream. He then left the room saying he would see me in a year.

    I felt that he was very rude and had no interest in my pain issues or wanting to continue physical therapy. The VA will not let me see anyone else nor will they prescribe meds for this issue or allow me to continue with PT once he has made this determination.

    I have much gratitude for my progress but frustrated with this doctors behavior.

    I will be thankful for any feedback.

    I am including these video links of dancing 3 weeks after surgery but not recommending it is the right thing to do.



     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  2. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Age:
    67
    Messages:
    6,191
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Essex and London
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    That is absolutely superb for six weeks. You have no need to continue PT to get extra range of motion. Don't worry about strength, you can get that back over time. Your recovery is excellent, just wait and things will get better. You are in great shape.

    Here are the general points we give everyone...

    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
    6. Access 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 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. winemama

    winemama senior

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2019
    Age:
    66
    Messages:
    472
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Ohio USA
    Country:
    United States United States
    Wow, you are doing great
     
  4. Chemist

    Chemist senior

    Member Since:
    Jan 18, 2018
    Age:
    65
    Messages:
    270
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Texas
    Country:
    United States United States
    Howdy. You are doing very well! Just don't do too much. I found that NSAIDs helped before the surgery but did very little for pain after the replacement. I switched to Tylenol which helped a lot. Also ice and elevation helped with pain.

    Good luck
     
  5. Alloyssius

    Alloyssius junior member

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2019
    Age:
    64
    Messages:
    38
    Country:
    United States United States
    You’re an amazing individual and thank you for your service. My father was a lifer 24 years before retiring. (When you could retire after 20)

    I’m surprised about the meds and wonder if you visited other your regular VA general practitioner he might have a different opinion?

    In my posts I’ve spoken of amazing cramps I endured from week 3-5 before after several good bits of advice here and from others finally found a way to get more than 45-50 minutes sleep at a time.

    Like you I had amazing range of motion at 6 weeks though not quite 140. I’m 6’5” and had a bilateral TKR. I am at 0 and 133 right and -1 and 135 left.
    Now at 7 weeks and working on strength. Hang in, it does get better


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. Alloyssius

    Alloyssius junior member

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2019
    Age:
    64
    Messages:
    38
    Country:
    United States United States
    This software is strange, had to send you a private message because it said my reply contained inappropriate text

    Trying once more. A friend sent 1000mg C B D lotion and after waiting 10 days I reluctantly and in a lot of pain tried and it seemed to help (A LOT)

    Check my message


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Age:
    78
    Messages:
    84,911
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    The North
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    @HowardGeek 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?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. HowardGeek

    HowardGeek junior member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2019
    Age:
    69
    Messages:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    Country:
    United States United States
    I tried the aspercream that the doctor suggested and it did not help the pain rather irritated the skin. I tried using 2x 500 mg Tylenol every 6 hours but only slept 3 hours last night.
     
  9. Alloyssius

    Alloyssius junior member

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2019
    Age:
    64
    Messages:
    38
    Country:
    United States United States
    Absolutely
    And thank you Josephine for your work on the site


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. kneeper

    kneeper FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2010
    Age:
    55
    Messages:
    12,369
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United States United States
    Are you icing the knee? That can also help with pain relief. Also take it a bit easy. Even though you've got great ROM this surgery is tough on your tissues.
     
  11. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Age:
    78
    Messages:
    84,911
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    The North
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Tylenol won't help you sleep. It's only opiates that do that.

    @Alloyssius my question about advice was not addressed to you. It was for @HowardGeek
    This is not your thread. Your posts are white. If this was your thread your posts would be blue/grey.
     
  12. HowardGeek

    HowardGeek junior member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2019
    Age:
    69
    Messages:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    Country:
    United States United States
    I do ice several times a day. Last night I actually slept all night after taking tylanol for pain. Since the doctor stopped my Physical therapy I joined a Gym and will go today to ride a stationary bike and use a couple of machines. I had 12 sessions approved from the VA but needed his approval to continual therapy but he would not approve them. As soon as it stops raining here which seems every day lately I will try riding my actual bike. Was doing 20 miles a day when I road before the surgery but certainly won't be trying that soon.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  13. pvtcliff

    pvtcliff new member

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2018
    Age:
    68
    Messages:
    14
    Gender:
    Male
    Country:
    United States United States
    Hello Howard,
    Your story sounds much like mine. I too am 68 and in good health. I had right TKR Jan. 15 2018. Here are some of the things that have helped me:
    Icing at least 3 times a day 45min-1hr
    Tylenol 1000 MG 3-4 times a day
    Saran wrap and Blue Emu helps with sleeping (there is a video on this site) unfortunately a good nights sleep didn't return until about 9 months out but the wrap helps a lot with morning stiffness.
    Exercise as much as you can. I walk a lot.
    Cussing a lot helps.
    Recovery comes very slowly. Everyone's is different At 14 months out I still have some pain and discomfort but I am noticing gradual improvement.
    Good luck!
    Cliff
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Jamie

    Jamie ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Age:
    71
    Messages:
    55,599
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Kansas
    Country:
    United States United States
    Howard, you've learned the good news about Tylenol. While it is technically not a sleep aid, it can help you sleep better by removing the pain that may be preventing good sleep. In the early days of my shoulder replacement recovery, my shoulder would get achy during the night from being in one position for too long. I'd take a couple of Tylenol and in 30-60 minutes I was back asleep again.

    I need to caution you to be very careful at the gym. There are some things there that can do you in if you're not careful. Since you are only six weeks out from surgery, I suggest you start with just the bicycle and some walking. No resistance on the bike and no more than 10 minutes to start. Walking should also start out slow....15 minutes or less around the track. Then go home that first day and ice/elevate. If you find you have no pain or swelling the next day or two, you can slowly increase your times on both walking and the bicycle. I wouldn't advise any machines until you are at least the 3 month mark in recovery and then with no weight or resistance to start with. Everything needs to be built up slowly. Gym machines are really for strength training and actually are best used starting a 6 months for most people. But you can experiment and see what works for you and your body. Everyone is different.
     
  15. HowardGeek

    HowardGeek junior member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2019
    Age:
    69
    Messages:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    Country:
    United States United States
    Thanks for the suggestions. I was using a machine that you lift with at PT to strengthen my legs but very little weight. I also used a reclining squat machine that I really liked but I doubt the Gym will have that.
     
  16. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2015
    Age:
    68
    Messages:
    18,122
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Virginia
    Country:
    United States United States
    Wow, how in the world were you able to bike that much with a knee that needed replacing? It had gotten to the point I could even ride a half a mile before my surgery. You are blessed!
     
  17. HowardGeek

    HowardGeek junior member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2019
    Age:
    69
    Messages:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    Country:
    United States United States
    I was biking last summer but by late fall my knee had gotten worse. I could have waited longer for surgery but the VA wasn't offering other options. I was starting to have a difficult time dancing. Since dancing is second for me only to breathing I needed to do something. The pain level I have now is much higher then before the surgery at 8 weeks. I hope that will improve soon. I find it difficult to walk any distance.
     
  18. HowardGeek

    HowardGeek junior member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2019
    Age:
    69
    Messages:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    Country:
    United States United States
    I am frustrated week 9 and I have more pain then the previous 2 weeks. I hope this is normal.
     
  19. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Aug 29, 2017
    Messages:
    13,168
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Delaware
    Country:
    United States United States
    It’s very common. We call this recovery a rollercoaster. You probably did a little more activity those other weeks when you felt better and the knee has rebelled.
     
  20. HowardGeek

    HowardGeek junior member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2019
    Age:
    69
    Messages:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    Country:
    United States United States
    So I am at 10 weeks. I do have full range of motion and 0 percent for straightening so I am grateful for that. What is frustrating is the pain I still have and even more at night. Also that after 30 minutes on my feet my knee swells up. In addition I get cramping in my calf and my thigh and knots in both. I am sure someone will tell me this is all normal but I was not expecting it to be where it is at this far along.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1

Share This Page