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Bilateral PKR A hiker's new knees

Helizabug

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You are as far along as you need to be. This surgery is tough on our knees and our whole bodies. Even though you planned well, you can’t out-plan your body’s natural healing process. Take pride in where you are and how well prepared you are! And take care of you and your knees.
 

Jockette

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We all think we should be further along. We all tend to underestimate how long this recovery really is and so we miss certain things as progress in our worry that we are not “where we should be” and it doesn’t help if we have surgeons and PTs who tell us that.

In this recovery, there is no “should.” Each of our recoveries are unique.
 

Rubyroo

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Hi Ready2Hike Again!
Black Mini Schnauzer's name is Reuben (hence my BoneSmart handle). Also have a black lab mix, and her name is Hazel. Pets really help get you through the tough times no matter what those are.
 
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Ready2HikeAgain

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Days 6 and 7: Made it through the first week

PT is going a bit better. I got a different therapist. She only directed me, told me to listen to my body and didn’t lay a hand on me. I am able to get around better with the walker. I am working on my gate. I had lost quite a bit of my ability to walk normally when my arthritis got bad. I have some catching up to do To learn to walk normally again.

My pain level is about a 6 after PT, but only because she helped me learn to navigate the 14 steps type my master bed and bath. So together with my husband and my daughter in law, I conquered the stairwell tonight for the most glorious and relaxing shower I think I have ever taken! I used my slightly stronger and more PT advanced right leg (I can already lift it straight out from sitting -15) to lift myself up from step to step. I used a crutch to balance my weight and the left banister to pull up. Coming down was a bit easier only because our stairs have bannisters on both sides. Overall the crutch really helped. I had my PT belt around me and my husband stood behind me prepared to assist. My daughter in law ran my walker between floors and was a second spotter.

Going up the stairs was so worth the work. It was mentally rewarding. I don’t think I will do that daily yet, but maybe every other day. That together with PT, has me sleeping with a bit more ice and elevating for several hours. The heating pad on my other achy parts is also helping. I find that most of my pain comes from three things: stiffness when I first try to get up, the movement and pressure of my body weight when I walk and sitting down on something that exacerbates my stiffness or underestimated my ROM (a chair or toilet that is shorter).

Therapist says the swelling I have is actually not bad and that by the look of the buckling in the incision tape, my swelling has definitely gone down since last Wednesday.

other bonus is that my two youngest grandkids are also here and snuggling on the regular.
 

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sistersinhim

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What a good report! You are doing amazingly for just a little over a week out. I remember how good that first shower felt! It wore me out, but felt heavenly!

Those babies are precious!
 
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Ready2HikeAgain

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Up tonight with severe spasms in my knees and lower leg pain. Also, such a weird sensation when I get a chill or nerves activate in my knees as well - it hurts but feels electrical. Does anyone get this type of pain or take a muscle relaxer or anything else to help? Regular pain meds seem to take longer when experiencing this type of pain. Icing and elevating while waiting for something to kick in.
 
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ilovefall

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@Ready2HikeAgain i experienced all that. Just seemed like another phase of recovery. I tried to ice before bed and took pain meds a little before bed so something seemed to kick in by the time I was in bed. I only had this for a few nights than on to another weird phase. Hopefully yours will only be a few days too. U got this. Prayers for a good night’s sleep soon. :sleeep:
 

sistersinhim

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Also, such a weird sensation when I get a chill or nerves activate in my knees as well - it hurts but feels electrical.
We call those pains 'zingers'. My OS said those pains are created by the nerves, cut or damaged during surgery, repairing or rerouting themselves. Mine were so severe that my leg would actually jump sometimes when they hit. I described them as lightning bolts shooting through my knee. I still have numb spots on my knees that get mild zingers.
 
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Ready2HikeAgain

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Day 12 Week 2:

Having less and less cramping and zinger pain. Incision site is fairly sensitive so I use a soft T-shirt to cover my knees when laying a pillow or such on them.

My first post op appt is tomorrow morning. I am still using the walker at 12 days, but can feel myself using it less and less for smaller jaunts around my bedroom, the bathroom and kitchen. Have been up the stairs twice with the aid of a crutch. Right leg is so strong, it’s almost like I didnt have surgery. I can lift it straight from any position standing, lying or sitting. I use it almost as I would if I had only had the left knee replaced. It still gets sore but not nearly as bad as my left.

Left leg is still very swollen and is painful when trying to lift from a sitting or lying position. Feels like my knee is coming apart, but slowly seeing improvements. I am on my own at home during the day, but feel generally very manageable.

Both ankles and feet are still fairly swollen, but not any more than when I would fly, so I would ima that will start decreasing soon. I am still so thankful for this lift recliner and the ability to rest, elevate and ice so easily from one place. It has been very comfortable to sleep in, despite being a side sleeper.

I am sleeping every 2 to 3 hours a night and still dosing off for an hour here and there during the day. I can feel when my body just needs to shut down and I listen.

Incisions still look good. Surgical tape is fraying at the ends and is starting to peel back. I am anxious to have it off, as it is inching on the regular now.

I start outpatient PT this week. I feel pretty good about it, but really wanting my bends to increase. All other ROM is pretty good, especially straightening my legs.

I am still hoping to go back to work in 4 weeks.
 

Rosy

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Up tonight with severe spasms in my knees and lower leg pain. Also, such a weird sensation when I get a chill or nerves activate in my knees as well - it hurts but feels electrical.
I start getting these at 4 1/2 weeks after surgery. At the tiniest pinch I start massaging the originating spot before it spreads. I'm seeing my PT tomorrow.
 
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Ready2HikeAgain

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Hey there everyone following my thred - at what point does this surgical tape come completely off? It is fraying at the ends and I have begun to trim it. It seems that it probably will not stick much longer. Is it healed enough under there for this to be happening? I don’t have staples or anything, just internal stitches, glue and the tape.
 

caredFL

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I had internal stitches and glue only and my surgeon said after 3 weeks okay to remove it. It peeled off and looked great underneath at that point.
 

Jewlz1

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Good luck on your post op visit. The bandage my OS used was starting to peel back before my first post op as well. I did use 3m Tegaderm Transparent Film Dressing to prevent it from peeling back anymore. I also used the Tegaderm as a barrier between my incision and whatever would brush up against it. This helped me with nerve sensitivity.
 
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Ready2HikeAgain

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Day 13: Post Op Visit

Went for my post op visit this morning. It went well. PA took surgical tape off. That felt great. No pain at all and feels good to have it off. Skin feels very warm now around the incision. Seems the skin and nerves are acclimating to getting more air.

Generally I think they were astounded at my progress at 2 weeks. Right leg is doing very well. Still have pain, but it is minimal. Left knee is where most are at for this stage: areas of soreness, swelling, pain, but nothing unusual. Both incisions are healing nicely. Swelling is still enough in feet, ankles and calves that I really need to concentrate on elevation and ice More.

I will start outpatient PT later this week. PA said I may be able to drive within 2 weeks.

just the drive, getting in and out of the car, walking into the office and the visit overall made me so tired and sore. My first taste of understanding that I will need to pace myself.

I hope to be able to be walking with just a cane by March 12. I hope to be going up and down the stairs on my own By March 15.
 
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sistersinhim

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I hope to be able to be walking with just a cane by March 12. I hope to be going up and down the stairs on my own By March 15.
Please don't put a time limit on your knees. If it doesn't happen you'll be disappointed. Just enjoy your little improvements as they come. Some weeks you'll see some improvements, the next you might not. That is normal. The knees have their own time frame that they will heal, not yours.
 

Jockette

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I’m glad you had a really good appointment!! It’s always an encouragement when these go well.

I agree with sistersinhim, setting goals with dates is not a good idea. The 15th is less than 2 weeks away and doing stairs, especially down, can take quite a while. Unrealistic goals set us up for disappointment and frustration. This recovery is difficult enough without adding that.
 

Qdogpa

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I can attest to walking “down steps” , I am 6 weeks post op today, and the foot over foot down steps has yet To happen...I try on a 4” platform during PT, and find a pain I don’t like,so I stop that exercise....time is our friend, and will lead us to the down steps when our time has come. :)
 
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Ready2HikeAgain

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I’m glad you had a really good appointment!! It’s always an encouragement when these go well.

I agree with sistersinhim, setting goals with dates is not a good idea. The 15th is less than 2 weeks away and doing stairs, especially down, can take quite a while. Unrealistic goals set us up for disappointment and frustration. This recovery is difficult enough without adding that.
I appreciate your concern. However, I have already done the stairs three times and down was the easiest. just to clarify my earlier post, I would like to be able to do the stairs without my husband spotting. It’s important for me to set goals for myself based on how I am already progressing. I may not meet those and sometimes I might. Having had 5 major surgeries in the past, I know my body well enough to know when to push it and when to slow down. Goals are actually quite motivating for me. That being said, my recovery may not be representative of anyone else’s recovery, so it’s important to note that others reading this may experience something completely different. This thred is just my story. :)
 

Sara61

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Each of us are very different some of us feel the need to be in control of our bodies and movements thus setting goals for ourselves but in reality our body will actually tell us what it needs if we do too much /push to hard swelling /pain etc will occur - I learnt to be patient the knees need to heal it's not just the outer incision there are many layers underneath that are invisible to us where slow healing is going on.
Wishing you continued success xx
 

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