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Bilateral PKR A hiker's new knees

aperture

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Hello—-
It is nice to be home. I am a bit over three weeks and remember the first weeks as kind of a blur. I do think it’s important to stay on top of the pain meds as I tried to stretch the oxy out too much and should have taken what was prescribed. I think sleep was difficult the first weeks but does get better as your knee doesn’t revolt as much when moved a bit at night. It is so variable day to day, so don’t get discouraged by setbacks.
 

sistersinhim

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I am worried about pain Management and also about getting to the bathroom on time.
I also had a prolapse repair and worried about making it to the bathroom in time so I bought Depends to use the first week or so. I didn't really need them, but had them on just in case. It sure did ease my mind, especially at night when waking up from a deep sleep to go.
 
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Ready2HikeAgain

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Day 03: Going home today from the hospital. Excited and scared all at the same time. At the hospital struggled with the PT rep. He was very aggressive about getting me up, which I really didn’t have an issue with doing the PT, but don’t just show during my lunch and expect me to go. Then he came at the end of the day when I was working through constipation. I can’t do anything about nature, buddy. lol. Once I was finished he quickly took me down the hall to try some steps. Nope. Didn’t happen. Severe pain, but I had already been up walking and working for 2-3 hours by then and was in a lot of pain. I was very stiff from laying in the bed throughout the night. Even though I got some better sleep, I paid the price in my knees not moving.

Doc came to see me around noon and removed the Ace bandage and let me know both knees were identical in arthritic damage. I am now able to fully ice both knees. It’s a new sensation, so taking it slow and working up to using my cold therapy machine.

Went home around 5:30 pm. I was relieved. And found some things were just easier at home. I am even able to traverse the two shallow steps inside my craft room/ recovery room. There is a 1/2 bath conveniently situated right next door. Overall, I am now glad to be home and even find that my pain isn’t as bad as it was in the hospital. It was nice to eat my own food.

Side note on getting in the car to go home: I found this cool little tool on Amazon. It is essentially a handle that sits in the door frame of the car and acts as an extra place to push up from to get out of the seat. It was amazing and so helpful. It’s called an Auto Life Cane (Able Life Auto Cane, Portable Vehicle Support Handle, Standing Mobility Aid, Car Assist Cane Grab Bar, Red )

My appetite is in full force, so ate quite a bit on this day and didn’t have any issues with nausea.

I did, however, have bowel issues all day, which makes it hard in getting to a commode quickly. But I am working through diet and meds to get it solved. There is no going anywhere quick, so just want to get it under control.
 

marieltha

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Congratulations on returning home!

Thanks for the info on the icing machine.

And the car assist info is interesting,too. My own cars have been easy (I practiced with mine, of course), but over time, one ends up perhaps in other people’s vehicles, so this would be useful.
PS I’m going to tag @Izabel as she has extensive experience with canes. She has knee and hip recovery theeads,btw, which are useful as well as interesting.
 

DJL1967

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Congrats on escaping the hospital and getting back home for the next phase of recovery. How was the car ride home? I will be having my surgeries out of town and this will require two flights and a full day of travel to get home. This is something I am dreading already.
 
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Ready2HikeAgain

Ready2HikeAgain

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How was the car ride home? I will be having my surgeries out of town and this will require two flights and a full day of travel to get home. This is something I am dreading already.
@DJL1967 Car ride, itself, was not bad. Getting into the house even with just two steps was a challenge and painful. Two flights? How long is each flight? They will be able to wheel you into the plane if it is a larger aircraft, but I can’t see you being able to use the restroom and such if it is a longer flight. Even in the airport will be a challenge. How long will you be able to stay in the hospital prior to flying home? I am sure you can do it, but wondering what things you can do to prep and make it easy. My legs get very stiff if they are in one position too long, so you may want to think about what you will do on the plane to decrease this stiffness. I.e. Leg slides, etc.
 

DJL1967

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First flight is just a puddle jumper and only 30 minutes and the second flight is 2 hours but on a much larger plane. My plan is to utilize first class for the longer flight and on the shorter flight I will book the first row for more leg room. Currently my knees get very stiff when I sit or stand too long so I can just imagine how I will feel post op. The plan so far will be 4 nights in hospital and I plan to stay an extra night in hotel before I fly home just in case there are complications.
 
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Ready2HikeAgain

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@DJL1967 I am sure it will be a journey, but have no doubt it will be fine. So much of this is mind over matter. I wish you the best and will follow your recovery when the time comes. :)
 
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Ready2HikeAgain

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Day 04: First full day at home. Overnight I was really was able to sleep 4-5 hours at a time in the lift recliner. Felt great to get that much sleep. I wasn’t prepared for how stiff my legs would be from sleeping that long and no movement. I should have been, but it really hurt the first trip to the bathroom after waking up. I plan to be sure to stretch throughout the night when I wake up intermittently like I always do. Hopefully that will help. I didn’t nap too much today, but ended up going to bed at 9 pm.

Pain is fairly minimal when just resting (about a 3 or 4). It could be very tempting to put off meds. It’s just crazy to have both my legs opened up, bones sawed on three days ago and be in such little pain. Pleasantly surprised. I am trying to do many of the exercises they showed me in the hospital as well as some stretches of my upper body. I am icing my knees on a regular basis since I have the cold therapy machine.

We have two 18 month old schnoodles who are my babies. I was glad to be able to let them into my recovery room today to have them sleep on my chest. My husband blocked off the bottom portion of my recliner so they wouldn’t jump up from where my knees rest and with a pillow over my knees, I was able to love on them. The only thing better for my healing will be to see my grandkids on Wednesday this upcoming week when my daughter in law comes to help out for a few days. :)

So...physical therapy rep came to the house today In the late afternoon for an initial visit. He was nice and asked a lot of great questions, but again, all he wanted to do was be very aggressive with my ROM (Range of Motion) exercises. I understand the worry of early scarring but starting about an after he left, I could barely get myself to the bathroom that is only 20 steps from my recliner. My pain level shot up to a 6 or 7 even with pain meds after the PT. Is this the norm? Someone different is coming on Wednesday and I plan to have a talk with them. I am not going to go through 10 hours of throbbing pain and more swelling, only to have it actually set me back. I have to be able to start to get around on the first floor on my own. I won’t be able to if PT gets me to the point where I am incapacitated for several hours after they leave. Going back to my pain meds comment above, PT is one reason that I feel it’s important to stay on the rest, elevate, ice and meds so that it will help some with the outcome of PT.

My husband has been great getting new ice bottles for my Breg Cold Therapy machine, making meals, and watching over me when I get up at anytime. I would probably be ok getting up to go to the bathroom or to get small meals in the kitchen, but there is always a chance with the pain, meds or just general instability, that I could my balance and fall. I am so thankful for how helpful he has been. He has to go back to work on Wednesday, so my daughter in law and two grand babies are coming to stay for three nights.
 
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Ready2HikeAgain

Ready2HikeAgain

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In this game, that's a load of codswallop. Unfortunately there are still some physiotherapists who believe that unless you get your maximum knee bend (ROM) in 6 weeks, then your knee will set like concrete and never move again. So they think its great fun to force your knees to a point of agony. Then your knee swells up again, the pain returns, because its damaged again.

You will read again and again on here that gentle exercise, getting on with the normal activities of life (as you are able) and patience are the way to success.
@Tykey - Oh boy did your words ring true for me today. See my day 4 post above. That PT rep was so convincing that it was like he was trying to sell me flood insurance for a desert home. I let myself fall for it, but you know the old adage “fool me once?” - this will not be happening at my in home appointment on Wednesday. Why are they like this? Do they get a kickback if I take longer to recover?!? Lol!
 

Roy Gardiner

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I understand the worry of early scarring...
The chance of which is worsened by aggressive PT
Why are they like this?
We don't know. It stands neither to reason nor to the light of experience. Don't let him do it to you again.

Ask if he can give a reason why forcing damaged tissue past the point of pain is good. Scarring and adhesions are not diminished by this, rather the opposite.
 

pamsknees

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So happy to see how well you are doing! I greatly appreciate your posts since mine is coming up so soon- it helps knowing what to expect & having hope that I will do well too. I’m getting everything ready- not sure if I’m more excited or more terrified
 
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Ready2HikeAgain

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Day 05: Mainly relaxed today and snuggled my pups.

For PT, I did some heel slides, quad set knee presses, knee extension. Not pushing it but I am seeing some ability in regaining my control to lift or move my legs/knees on my own.

Figured out that my walker was set too high. Once my hubby lowered it a notch, it made a huge difference in my walking while using it. It bothers me a bit that the PT rep yesterday didn’t check to see if my walker was at the correct height. He had me walk around my kitchen for a bit and you’d think this would be something he would need to check.

I am still taking the oxycodone every four hours. Pain for the most part is around a four and is achy. Stiffness makes it worse. Keeping moving in some regard is the key. Tonight I have some deeper pain in my lower leg and some shooting up my left thigh to my hip. This pain is more of a 5 or 6. Occasionally a few sharp or burning pain in my knee. This sharp pain is brief but more like an 8. I liken the other leg pain to the terrible leg cramps/pains I got at night when I was growing up. Back on the stool softeners, but had already counted on this being an ongoing issue for me.

I am able to dress myself just fine, including shoes and socks. Able to stand to brush my teeth at the bathroom mirror, etc. It’s a relief that five days out I am to be this independent.

Incisions and skin around them both look good. Swelling is still in both knees, calves and ankles. Some swelling in my feet. I am icing every hour for about 30 minutes. Also elevating every hour for part of the hour.

Mobility wise, I hope to try a couple of stairs or to even possibly make it up and down all 14 steps. Our full bath is on the second floor and I would love another shower.

Sleep comes in waves of three to four hours at a time at night. During the day my body will just give up. If I am laying down, my eyes sometimes will just not stay open. I can tell my body is just still working so hard to heal.

wish me luck on the stairs tomorrow. I am nervous. :)
 
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Ready2HikeAgain

Ready2HikeAgain

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So happy to see how well you are doing! I greatly appreciate your posts since mine is coming up so soon- it helps knowing what to expect & having hope that I will do well too. I’m getting everything ready- not sure if I’m more excited or more terrified
@pamsknees You will do well. I do think it is one of the hardest things I have ever decided to do, but I am surprised at my progress. The prep work and my thought into all of it really did help, so it sounds like you are the same way. I will be anxious to follow your recovery three, but feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
 
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Ready2HikeAgain

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Ask if he can give a reason why forcing damaged tissue past the point of pain is good. Scarring and adhesions are not diminished by this, rather the opposite.
@Roy Gardiner - Thanks, Roy. I appreciate your words. And really enjoyed your recovery diary. It gave me insight and few giggles along the way. BTW, I spent quite a bit of time in London for work for eight years from 2007 to 2014. I miss it terribly. Such a great city with wonderful people too. Hope you and the city are doing well. :)
 
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Ready2HikeAgain

Ready2HikeAgain

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Ugh. Up in the middle of the night. Very nauseous. Just want to sleep.
 

Rubyroo

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Wow Ready2HikeAgain- you sound like you are doing amazingly well for just having had surgery on 2-19-20! I was like a helpless baby for a couple of weeks at least. You are a tough cookie! Don't over do it though. I have a black mini schnauzer :)
 

Lovetobike

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@Ready2HikeAgain I drank ginger tea and added fresh ginger to a smoothie every day to help my stomach which worked well. If you don’t have blood pressure issues you might give it a try. Also, showering is great and my guess is that you won’t have trouble getting yourself up the flight of stairs, its down that has been tricky for me. I only have 3 steps out my front door and its the most difficult thing I do. With bilateral surgery there is no “good” leg so its been daunting. I feel like conquering those steps will be a significant personal victory when the time comes!
 

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