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Bilateral PKR A hiker's new knees

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Ready2HikeAgain

Ready2HikeAgain

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So... does this pain get better at some point? I am still experiencing pain when I walk (sometimes a very sharp pain when I seem to step wrong) and terrible leg “zingers” and cramps almost every evening. I am trying my best to wean myself off of pain meds, but I am finding it hard, especially at night. I just want to feel like I am walking like a normal person and the pain, I feel, is holding me back.
 
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It does. Some pains that went away faster than others. Then some's been stubborn!

I had urination problems like a geyser the first few days but finally that subsided. I would still say you're early on (almost a month) so still time to see improvement. I had one of those 'zingers' today after having not had one for a week or so.

I think the re-occurrent cramps are from your tendons and knees themselves adapting to the surgery and hardware and your use thru the day. I had that, then noticed it became less and less, only a problem if I over did it, and now less even still.
 
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bikinglynn

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I'll be at 9 weeks tomorrow and still get very stiff and sore by evening. I had my first zinger, ever, two nights ago. I thought something had stung me! I did try to skip my bedtime Tylenol the other night...not ready. I try to do whatever I can to help with sleep. It is so elusive.

But, I am seeing improvement and am more upbeat about my situation than I was a couple of weeks ago.
 
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Yep. That's Zingers alright! Mine would shoot fast across my knee fast. Like a jolt!

They can hit at any time, even when you're resting - doing nothing whatsoever with your new knee.

Once I had a series had to double my Tylenol as they were coming with cramps a bit. It's normal... like your TKR 'growing' pains :hugzz: !
 

Jewlz1

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Sorry for the delay in responding back. I'll have to check out Costco. But I've heard that place has been nuts because of the Corona virus.
 
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Ready2HikeAgain

Ready2HikeAgain

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Week Four - day 30. I really turned a corner this week. PT went really well. I am managing the swelling well and my flex and extension has really helped me be able to move easier. My Physical Therapist continues to massage and manipulate my knee caps. It really helps to free up movement. I also continue daily self-massage and it really helps with stiffness and get blood flow to my knees and legs. I started taking some potassium to hopefully help with the cramps.

I am walking around the house without a cane and my gait is really starting to work itself out. I am able to lift my legs unto the bed, PT table without assistance. Getting up and down the stairs on my own without my hubby. Able to shower standing up now too. I am going to try sleeping in a bed Saturday night. Going to try the guest room as I am still battling insomnia. I don’t want to keep my hubby up.

I am able to stand long enough to do some laundry and also to cook small meals now. I made a delicious ham/broccoli/cheese quiche last night. I had planned to return work on March 31, but not sure if I will. I may take a few more weeks as my sleep is not great and, with PT, I am still managing pain. I am backing off if script pain meds and have not refilled another script. Only on Tylenol and ibuprophen during the day and saving oxy keft for the evening. I don’t want to return too soon and not be 100%.
 

bikinglynn

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You are doing great! I think you are right to be cautious about returning to work. You don't want to exhaust yourself. It's still a long road you're on.
 

pamsknees

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Sounds like you’re doing great! With the corona virus it may be better to take extra time off
 
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Almost to six weeks. Yay!! :yahoo: Started driving myself to PT. Still having some sleeping issues, but doc prescribed muscle relaxer for the spasms and cramping. I am also taking magnesium and potassium as supplement. Tried sleeping in a bed instead of my recliner about 10 days ago. Didn’t go so well. But with the strength and less pain, I am going to try again this weekend.

Swelling is better in my feet and calves. I still have lots of swelling in my ankles and my knees, so I continue to ice and elevate during the day and all night in my recliner.

Doing my own laundry and some light housework. Starting to forget my cane more and more. Off the prescription pain meds now and only taking Tylenol and ibuprofen for pain.

Like @bikinglynn, I am impressed to see the bow in my legs almost gone. I am starting to feel my gait and stride feel so normal at 6 weeks. It’s an amazing feeling, since it had been so long before the surgery that I had so much pain and trouble walking.

Even just at 6 weeks in I am so glad I had both knees done. My extension (straightening) is at -1 on both legs and my flex on my left leg is at 93 and right is 98. My right quad is firing very well and very strong. Still struggling with my left quad so going to try electrical stimulation to wake it up a bit on Wednesday. Started some wall slides and baby squats today at PT. I am so fortunate to have a wonderful caring therapist. They are out there and insist on one or switch if you get someone who forces you. She has been careful and considerate all along the way.
 
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Those zingers are something else aren't they?
Yes they are! @Rubyroo! for me it’s been worse than the regular knee pain at times. And I struggle with the doc and pain meds. They are all so frightened of addiction and I think they worry about getting in trouble for prescribing. It’s ridiculous how some of them make patients feel as though we are addicts.
 

bikinglynn

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Like @bikinglynn, I am impressed to see the bow in my legs almost gone.
I took a picture of my knees pre-op. I happened to come across it yesterday, and couldn't believe how bowed my knees were. It does make a big difference in how I walk now.
 

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Ready2HikeAgain bikinglynn
I am almost nine weeks out, but wondering if you also are frustrated by the slooooow recovery. I feel ok, then go for a long walk and everything seems fine, but then have pain and more stiffness the next day. I have found that straight-ahead walking on a hard or dirt surface is ok, but when I try a trail that has an elevation or descent (and I am talking inches, not much!) I get zappy pain and it can linger the rest of the walk and haunt me the next day. I am glad that the straight -forward walking foot in front of foot seems ok on the knee, but nothing else. It's hard to tell just how much you can handle because you don't know you are overdoing at the time. Do you have this problem also? It's so nice out today but I am reluctant to take my hot little knee out for some much needed outdoor time.
 

bikinglynn

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@aperture , Sorry to respond on Ready2HikeAgain's thread, but I don't know how to find you and respond on your thread. YES! The slow recovery is very frustrating.

This is not like training to get in shape. I go along, getting more flexible or stronger, then do a little bit more. It's not sore muscles as a result, it's a backset. Recently, I tried to sleep on my side, and I think I did something to my left knee in my sleep. That knee felt like it did right after surgery. It took 5 days for it to finally settle down. I'm walking, but much less than before. I'm carefully sleeping on my back with a pillow under my legs.

So, I don't know what to say, other than you have to baby that knee. It is the boss.
 
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Ready2HikeAgain

Ready2HikeAgain

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@aperture - I can totally relate to your experience. Just when I think I am doing so great, I will completely overdo it and I feel as though I set myself back a week. I am not a very patient person anyway, but I just want so bad to be normal again. I still feel exhausted at times from lugging my body around. My swelling especially has been hard to keep under control. Not necessarily my knees, but my calves, ankles and feet swell if I am on them more than an hour. I went grocery shopping last Thursday (worried we are going to have a nation wide forced quarantine) and I was in so much pain and had so much swelling that I was nearly in tears, mainly from frustration. Lynn is correct. Baby knees who are extremely bossy. And I HATE to be bossed. Lol !
 
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Hello All - week 8!! I can’t believe it. I started back to work last week, did my own grocery shopping, cooked Easter dinner for my husband and myself, was able to vacuum and even went on a short one-mile hike with my husband one of those days. Still elevating and icing as much as I can. I am fortunate to be working from home during this crazy pandemic. This really is helping even more with my recovery.

Only going to PT twice a week now, but have decided to continue that for 6 more weeks. I really feel it is helping. My ROM is increasing more each week. Both knees are at 108 flex and 0 extension. Swelling has gone down considerably, even in my feet and ankles. I can now where my regular shoes. :happydance:

Still have pain, but I am starting to get to the stage where I am so thankful that I did both knees at once. In fact, on my hike with my husband, I just started crying. He looked over and was concerned. I told him that it was a “happy” cry - that this was the first walk in 2 years that I wasn't in excruciating pain. My gate even is so much more normal than it was for the last two years. I am still not able to sleep comfortably in bed, but was able to stay with it till 3 in the morning last weekend. I will try again this upcoming weekend.

My biggest issue now is my left knee cap is slightly dragging to the outside when I bend and straighten. It feels as though it gets stuck and I have to take care to jiggle it loose. It can be quite painful at times. Doc and therapist say that as my quad strengthens even more, the knee cap will be pulled more to the inside and track better with the femur. Has anyone else had this issue? My therapist is doing a McConnell taping technique to help for now, but worried a bit about it.

attached are pics from my hike on the Katy Trail.
 

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