TKR Almost 9 months post TKR - Feel like I'm Falling Apart

Adventuress

new member
Joined
Apr 8, 2022
Messages
17
Age
58
Gender
Female
Country
Canada Canada
My initial left TKR recovery seemed to go well, with the exception of tingling and numbness in my foot and glove-like feeling from instep to heel. Flexion progressed well, while extension was a little more challenging. Mobility was progressing steadily.

Then 4 months into recovery I tore my right meniscus. As you can imagine this slowed me down, as I had to wait for this knee to heal. This knee has moderate OA degeneration and will likely need replacing. My Dr. and surgeon reassured me that the tingling and numbness in my left foot would resolve in time and I would once again be able to regain much of my active lifestyle.

At the 6 month mark, end of August, I was still needing 1 - 2 walking aids and my mental health was suffering and going back to teaching physical education seemed unimaginable. Thankfully, I was able to get help with mental health and able to switch up some of my teaching dues to handcrafts.

Then another set back. My right foot between the big toe and neighboring toe suddenly started tingling. An x ray of my lumbar spine showed a crushed disc at L4-L5 (Narrowing the space between the 2 vertebra) and considerable osteoarthritis in other Lumber vertebra. A recent CT scan shows mild to severe spinal stenosis at multiple levels along with 4 diffuse discs (so disc degenerative disease) with clear neural impingement from the stenosis on the right side. Needless to say, I stopped wondering when the tingling and numbness in my left foot would be gone and started assimilating this into my new me.

Also, it became clear that the cramping in my left knee, thigh, butt and calf and numbness from thigh to foot was not just part of a normal TKR, it was part of a neural impingement. While uncomfortable, I realized I would have to get used to it. I did not respond well to Gabapentin and decided that the potential side effects were worse than the numbness, tingling and cramping.

Short term use of a muscle relaxant has been helpful (maybe). While my left knee (the replaced joint part of it) is doing well and is now better and stronger than my right knee, the pain in my right knee slows me down and wakes me most every night. The thought of possibly moving forward with a replacement of the right knee is on the one hand somewhat daunting, yet so does the steady decline in mobility due to pain and reducing strength in the right knee.

Over the counter NASID's and prescription Voltaren do not seem to be easing the pain, so I am at a decision point. A discussion I will have with my surgeon this week. My side table is piled with various books on understanding and self - managing Spinal stenosis through specific exercises and diet, as this will be part of whatever I decide for my right knee along with thinking about the underlaying causes of inflammation causing osteoarthritis.

Thankfully, my mental health has stabilized (without drugs) through education and getting back to work but it has been a long and bumpy journey to this point.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jaycey

ADMINISTRATOR Staff member since February 2011
Administrator
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
39,513
Location
Yorkshire
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
@Adventuress So sorry you are dealing with multiple issues that impact your mobility. As a person who has been through the spinal issues you describe I can confirm you can learn to live with it. Core stability exercises and a drive to keep moving will definitely help.

Sounds like that right knee is ready to go. The decision is tough I know. But as you know the situation will not improve. And it could get worse very quickly.

Will you work with the same surgeon who replaced lefty?
 
OP
OP
A

Adventuress

new member
Joined
Apr 8, 2022
Messages
17
Age
58
Gender
Female
Country
Canada Canada
Will you work with the same surgeon who replaced lefty?
Thank you for the encouragement and reiterations on:
Core stability exercises and a drive to keep moving will definitely help.

Yes, He is an excellent surgeon and very personable. The scar on my lefty is beautifully straight and mostly faded into barely perceptible. Never any horror stories of forcing flexion or other, such as I have read in accounts from others on this forum.
While both he and I were hoping that it would not come to a TKR for the right knee, I can not see another option, if I am too improve my mobility further. Not an easy decision, as you state.
 
OP
OP
A

Adventuress

new member
Joined
Apr 8, 2022
Messages
17
Age
58
Gender
Female
Country
Canada Canada
The decision is made and I will be having my right knee replaced end of February - beginning of March. So I guest it is time to also join the pre surgery forum.
 

Jaycey

ADMINISTRATOR Staff member since February 2011
Administrator
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
39,513
Location
Yorkshire
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Well done on deciding to get this done and dusted! Please let us know when you have a surgery date. We will get you added to the right surgery group.
 
OP
OP
A

Adventuress

new member
Joined
Apr 8, 2022
Messages
17
Age
58
Gender
Female
Country
Canada Canada
Surgery date for right knee set for March 2nd. Just over 5 weeks from now. Yikes!
 

Layla

Staff member since November 20, 2017
BoneSmart Staff
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
32,563
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Even though it's your second, I will leave some pre-op reading for you, if you're interested, take a look.

KNEE PRE-OP ARTICLES

If you are at the stage where you have joint pain but don't know for sure if you are ready to have surgery, these links may help:

If you are at the stage where you are planning to have surgery but are looking for information so you can be better prepared for what is to come, take a look at these links:

Regardless of where you are in the process, the website and app My Knee Guide can help you stay organized and informed. The free service keeps all the information pertaining to your surgery and recovery in one place on your smartphone. It is intended to be a personal support tool for the entire process.

And if you want to picture what your life might be like with a replaced knee, take a look at some stories of amazing knee recoveries
 

Jockette

Staff member since March 18, 2018
BoneSmart Staff
Joined
Aug 29, 2017
Messages
32,470
Age
67
Location
Delaware
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
An x ray of my lumbar spine showed a crushed disc at L4-L5 (Narrowing the space between the 2 vertebra) and considerable osteoarthritis in other Lumber vertebra. A recent CT scan shows mild to severe spinal stenosis at multiple levels along with 4 diffuse discs (so disc degenerative disease) with clear neural impingement from the stenosis on the right side. Needless to say, I stopped wondering when the tingling and numbness in my left foot would be gone and started assimilating this into my new me.
I have a similar foot issue, since 2013, long before I had my PKR. Multiple doctors, including a neurologist who told me I was overthinking it, and multiple treatments have failed to help. I do have a lumbar MRI scheduled the end of February, so maybe that will show something.
 

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
61,724
Messages
1,537,796
BoneSmarties
37,574
Latest member
Cal1100.
Recent bookmarks
0
Top Bottom