BoneSmart® Hip / Knee Replacement Forum
Joint Replacement Patient Advocacy
and Online Community
  1. RATE YOUR SURGEON ON OUR NEW JOINT SURGEON LOCATOR

    Your opinion matters so please click on this announcement to find out how to rate the surgeons you have worked with

    You could also go to the Surgeon Locator via the blue nav bar at the top - find the tab "Surgeon Locator"

    Dismiss Notice

[TKR] 8 months post TKR...looking back

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by LarryB, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. LarryB

    LarryB new member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2018
    Age:
    63
    Messages:
    12
    Gender:
    Male
    Country:
    United States United States
    Hello. I am almost 8 months post TKR, and while I found this site shortly after my surgery, I never started my own recovery thread because I didn't feel like my experience was all that noteworthy. But I feel like now I can add a few brief comments that might be helpful to others.

    First, let me say that at almost 8 months post-surgery, I'm feeling pretty darn good. We recently returned from a trip to France to watch some of the World Cup, and many of my days involved walking 5-6 miles and the knee did not slow me down whatsoever. I did have some swelling and slight soreness on those days, but really not much.

    But the road from 8 months ago to here was just as difficult as what many of you are going through now, and probably more difficult than some. My leg was severely deformed from the arthritis, and prior to the surgery, my surgeon did not think he could get it completely straight. But, in fact, he did get it straight, but told me afterwards it was a complex and difficult surgery. I suspect the difficulty of the repair caused my recovery to be a bit slower than many. And during those first few months, it seemed like it was taking FOREVER. But little by little, things got better.

    The main thing I wanted to convey is that I have come to believe the Bonesmart people's ideas about recovery are right on the money. I've been active my entire life, and everything I heard and read prior to surgery was how your recovery is dependent on how much effort you put into PT. At first, I was doing everything I could to try to improve ROM, including walking laps around my house with a walker the day of surgery, enduring the pain of pedaling an exercise bicycle within a couple of days of surgery, following all the prescribed PT exercises, etc. I had found this forum by then, but had yet to fully internalize the advice.

    But that changed at a PT session within a few weeks after surgery when the therapist forced by knee to bend causing severe pain. From that day forward I told the PT people not to do that, and a few weeks later simply stopped going when I realized that I would need a day or two to recover from the damage caused at PT. At one of my follow-up visits, my doctor, who had heard that I wasn't getting along with the PT people, told me he had recently read a new study that found that people who didn't have PT have just as good of outcomes one year following surgery as those who do have PT.

    Don't get me wrong. It's not as though I did not exercise at all. That's never been my nature. But I felt I knew better what was good for my knee that some pre-canned PT routine. And if anything, I've been guilty of pushing it too hard myself, although I never pushed myself into as much pain as they did at PT.

    I have not had my ROM measured in months, but I can tell just by looking that my bend is more than 125 degrees, maybe even 135, but I still don't quite have full extension. And it seems like the improvements in ROM come when I haven't been pushing exercise, and my knee if feeling good. So now at 8 months I can walk 6 miles in a day with only small discomfort later, I use my rowing machine almost every day, and can ride a bicycle for miles. I may even try snow skiing again this winter, something I haven't done in years due to the arthritis. My knee doesn't quite feel 100% back to normal yet, but it is getting close. So hang in there. Progress is slow, but it will come.
     
    • Like Like x 10
    • Friendly Friendly x 5
  2. Benay

    Benay graduate

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2019
    Messages:
    538
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    SoCal
    Country:
    United States United States
    Super to read, makes me feel very happy and optimistic.
     
  3. Indygo

    Indygo junior member

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2019
    Age:
    68
    Messages:
    50
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United States United States
    I loved reading about your progress. Thank you so much for posting!! Very kind of you.
     
  4. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Aug 29, 2017
    Messages:
    12,021
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Delaware
    Country:
    United States United States
    Welcome to Bonesmart, officially! We’re glad we helped you through your recovery.

    Please tell us the date of your surgery and we’ll add a signature for you.

    Also,even though you are 8 months post op, everyone gets a copy of our Recovery Guidelines:

    Each article is short but very informative. Following these guidelines will help you have a less painful 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. At week 4 and after you should 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.
     
  5. Donbmt

    Donbmt new member

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2019
    Age:
    57
    Messages:
    12
    Gender:
    Male
    Country:
    United States United States
    Thank you for the encouragement, I'm 4 months since a bi-lateral total knee replacement and needed to hear that yes, this will all be worth it soon.
     
  6. eaglemom

    eaglemom senior

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2013
    Age:
    62
    Messages:
    299
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United States United States
    Sweet, thanks for sharing. Sometimes we get caught up on how poorly our TKR is going and forget there are good outcomes. Nice. As for the World Cup - that had to be special.
     
  7. lovetocookandsew

    lovetocookandsew FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Age:
    63
    Messages:
    2,892
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Northern California
    Country:
    United States United States
    Welcome to BoneSmart. I love reading a great report like yours. It's helpful for others to read it also so they know the light at the end of the knee tunnel is worth the trip. Thanks for posting!
     
  8. Chemist

    Chemist member

    Member Since:
    Jan 18, 2018
    Messages:
    219
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Texas
    Country:
    United States United States
    Hello @LarryB: Great Post. Our recoveries sound very similar, I am just a bit further along. We just got back from a safari in Africa. Knees were not an issue, even with 30 hours of travel. Life can definitely be good post knee replacement.

    Regards,
    Chemist
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2011
    Age:
    77
    Messages:
    33,062
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Country:
    New Zealand New Zealand
    Thank you for your very encouraging post, @LarryB .
    It's always good to hear about people who have a normal recovery. They balance out the stories about problem recoveries. Most people do have a normal recovery, but they don't come here to post, so it's easy for people to get the inaccurate impression that most recoveries are problematic.

    I do like the way you dealt with physical therapy during your recovery. You took charge, listened to the messages your knee was giving you, and did what you felt was right for your knee.

    Whether you decide to do formal PT, to do your own PT at home, or to let your normal activities of daily living be your exercise, the most important thing is to take control of your exercise and do what keeps your knee happy.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. CME

    CME new member

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2019
    Age:
    55
    Messages:
    17
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    Ireland Ireland
    It’s very uplifting to hear the positive outcomes. I’m now 11 weeks post TKR and feel so much better in the last two weeks. I’m looking forward now to full recovery. I just go to aqua physiotherapy once a week now which I’m really enjoying. I gave up other PT as struggled with it. The water seems to make a difference for me - just posting this as it may be an option for others.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2015
    Messages:
    17,535
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Virginia
    Country:
    United States United States
    Yay, it's a great report from you! What an uplifter!
     
  12. LarryB

    LarryB new member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2018
    Age:
    63
    Messages:
    12
    Gender:
    Male
    Country:
    United States United States
    Hi Jockette, my surgery date was November 15, 2018.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. LarryB

    LarryB new member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2018
    Age:
    63
    Messages:
    12
    Gender:
    Male
    Country:
    United States United States
    Celle, looking back I guess you could call my recovery normal but when I was more in the thick of it, I worried a lot that it wasn't normal. I would see other people with similar surgery dates progressing faster than me. Besides the normal surgery pain, I had a lot of pain in other joints (especially my hip on the same leg as the TKR) that I always suspected was due to the realignment of my leg, but worried that hip replacement might be next. That pain is gone now. So while I'm sure there are many people who had (or are having) much more difficult recoveries than mine, there are many others who are having a more "normal" recovery (like mine) that still involves a lot of doubts and worrying. I'm hoping my experience is encouraging to them.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Creative Creative x 1
  14. Didot

    Didot junior member

    Member Since:
    Dec 19, 2018
    Age:
    61
    Messages:
    90
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    Australia Australia
    Completely relate to your story. I’m now 6 months into it and after so much angst about what to do, what not to do and the challenge of trying to deal with a foreign intruder in my leg, I’ve finally seen light. My biggest issue remains such weakness and a feeling that everything will collapse. If I try to work on things to strengthen, it sets me back with swelling, heat and stiffness.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  15. luvcats

    luvcats senior

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2019
    Age:
    50
    Messages:
    273
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Virginia
    Country:
    United States United States
    Thank you so much for sharing your positive experiences. I'm still in early days and it's great to see what life can be like down the road. I envy your trip to France. There is so much travel on my to do list once I have knees that are up for the challenge!
     
  16. Denny39

    Denny39 senior

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2018
    Age:
    79
    Messages:
    257
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Country:
    United States United States
    Great post @LarryB. I am both amazed and puzzled at what a jungle “professional” PT can be. I found Bonesmart after 2 weeks, and I’m very glad did. I was dreading my PT sessions, and they were only getting worse. The final straw for me was an extension exercise that required me to rest my heel on the foot board, and let gravity “do its thing”. It’s thing was to elevate my pain level (you know, the 1 -10 range) to 12. It set me back a full week from what I had been able to do the day before. I had just discovered Bonesmart. That exercise was totally banned, and others were scaled back. Then, I began to make progress. I am 7 months from my first one, and 3 weeks on my second one. My first one is fine, I have full extension, it “locks” into place nicely, and at least 135 flexion. The second one is progressing more slowly than the first one, but it is progressing well, and I am not concerned about it.

    I have the same home PT team I had the first time. But this time, they’re guiding me within my boundaries, giving me exercises that really help, and checking my progress which they say is amazing. They wanted to set a goal of having my extension to 0 within two weeks. To that, I simply said, “we’ll see”. I think it was at somewhere between 3 and 4 months before #1 got below 2 degrees.

    Anyway, you’re 1 month ahead of me, and it’s great to hear of your continued progress. I’m not sure how much my first knee would be capable of because the other one was also bad. Guess I’ll know more about that in 7 months.
    Thanks for posting your story. It will be very encouraging for many people.
     
  17. marieltha

    marieltha member

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2019
    Age:
    67
    Messages:
    144
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Florida
    Country:
    United States United States
    Very encouraging! Thanks for sharing.
     
  18. Pecanpie

    Pecanpie junior member

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2019
    Age:
    52
    Messages:
    22
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Your story is really encouraging, and helps to give confidence that when someone is pushing us into serious pain it cant possibly be right, but you get sucked into the professional..do what you're told world!

    I'm at 11 days...and amazed pretty much every day at the improvements I see, but also know I have a long way to go! Definitely reset my priorities since the operation...before...I was worrying about could I do some work from home at 3 weeks
    Now I understand how ridiculous that was......
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. kneeper

    kneeper FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2010
    Age:
    55
    Messages:
    12,054
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United States United States
    Thanks for sharing your great story and congratulations!
     
  20. susie2f

    susie2f junior member

    Member Since:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Age:
    58
    Messages:
    21
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United States United States
    Thanks for sharing your 8 month journey so far. I’m always over here reading to prepare myself as best as I can mentally. I know that I have no plans for travel for a long time. I’ll see how it all goes. Both knees this year will be a long recovery.

    Thanks again for posting your update, Susie
     

Share This Page