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TKR Amazingly better experience with knee #2!

djklaugh

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@BBCG It's terrific you found a way to help your leg feel better! And yes stay cool as best you can. This PNW heat bubble is a serious threat to health and mental well being! Today in Portland seems a tiny bit cooler - it's "only" 97 at 11AM. :xmas-snowball-fight-smiley-emoticon: :ice: :swim: to send cool thoughts to you :heehee:
 

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I can’t believe the heat. We’re suppose to be 109 tomorrow in north Idaho. Unbelievable! I’m just going to stay in, lol. Some of my family live in Southern California are cooler then us
 
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So glad to see there are other PNWers here... yes, it has been crazy-hot! I'm fortunate in that we moved here last year to a house with AC so we have been able to be comfortable... I've had to run the water system every night though, as the wind has also been higher than usual, which is also so drying...

It's only 64 out now, so I'm hoping to be able to get up early and get a walk in before it gets too hot. It's so nice to be able to walk mostly normally! Such a relief!
 

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I thought our heat was bad, but only 107* heat index. The humidity here is awful. You walk outside and can hardly breathe. Hopefully, you can get out and enjoy cooler weather and have a nice walk.

Great news that you found someone who could work out your leg pain. You should find it much easier to walk now!
 
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Thanks, Sistersinhim! I’m very fortunate to have really helpful folks here to work on these bodies! And I’m walking much better now… no more of the halting forward motion on my right side!
 
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Well, I realized I hadn't logged a 10 week right TKR update, so here that is! My 10 weeks were yesterday

Following the Bonesmart way has really panned out for me this time! I avoided the heavier-duty opioids because I know they are ineffective on my pain and make me a "Loopy-Lucy", and I used the Tramadol that they prescribed until, I think, week 4 (will edit later when I go back and check if I''m wrong), then was able to taper back from 6 hour doses to 5 hour, then to 4 hour, then switched from the single Tramadol-at-night dose to Tylenol... and now am only on one dose of Tylenol before bed, period. I do still use the herbal/CBD salve on my knee when it's aching, usually due to lots of ADL (Activities of Daily Living), and often I use it before going off to run a bundle of errands, or before a walk or at night.

As far as therapy, I'm mainly only doing ADL these days, except for PT once a week to iron out any kinks, and lately, my shoulders have been more trouble than my knee! (walker for a week, crutches used for a month, cane for a week, etc. and being the only driver in the household, only "schlepper of heavy stuff" means my shoulders have been working hard!)

My massage with the ortho therapist last week was very helpful, and I'm now being able to walk much more evenly, not favoring the right side as much, and walking through the entire range of motion better. I've done walks both with and without my husband (who uses a walker following his leukemia battle that left him with balance and vision issues), so when I'm by myself, I can concentrate on walking evenly, really focusing on each step, using all muscles I'm supposed to use (like my less-than-enthusiastic glutes), plus I can maintain a comfortable-for-me pace, etc. He walks much slower so when I'm walking with him, I do more of a casual saunter, slower, and that seems to trigger the lazy muscle issues, plus I need to stop and stretch out the inner thigh/hip muscle that seems to like to tighten up when I'm not walking with long enough strides to stretch it normally. Too much stretch, or too big a stride is as bad as too short a stride, it turns out, too! Tried that: nope!

I'm working more now, even though at home, so I'm sitting at a table with my computer working on our business' bookkeeping, marketing, etc. so my leg is down almost all day. By evening I'm tired, even if I didn't get a walk in that day, so the energy drain thing is still in sway, just to document that.

I've been trying once a week to not take Tylenol at night to see if I can sleep well without it, and so far, no go! I wake up tossing and turning around 2-3am and can't get back to sleep for the life of me! Will keep trying once a week, and may try taking some Tulsi tea before bed to see if that helps. Used to do that but stopped a while back...

I resumed doing my Melt sessions, a type of self-care PT-like session using a soft roller to roll on with one's bodyweight. The criteria to be able to do it again was getting down on my knee, at least one of them! So, since the right one is the new baby knee, it doesn't need to be the kneeled on one, so big sister, Lefty, gets that honor and did fine. I put down a super-cushiony yoga mat first, though, so it's nice and soft under the knee, plus it's on a squishy rug, too.

Next up will be going back to doing Pilates once a week but maybe twice a month at first... then, increasing my walking, then trying a bike again, or... my Elliptigo! My new knee has to be in tiptop shape to Elliptigo, though, as each leg moves through an entire range of motion (as in an elliptical motion to propel the Ellipgo along a path) as I Go along the wide, smooth bike-pedestrian paths near our new house. I'm now about a mile from the Willamette River where there are 13 miles of bike paths on either side, from about a half mile north of my house, to 12 miles away in Springfield. It's a wonderful place to ride and I can't wait to get back to it. Riding my Elliptigo is so much fun, too! (Wonder if anyone else on Bonesmart rides one? Hmmm...)

Need to head off to Pilates, so more later...
 

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I still pop 2 Tylenol before bed and I’m further along than you, Barbara. Why mess with success? And energy drain will continue for a while yet, I imagine.
 
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BBCG

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Yup! It’s clearly not time to ditch the Tylenol! I had my granddaughter here for a while today: she just got new roller skates, helmet, wrist, elbow and knee pads and so we took her to the wide path where we often walk…after she practiced a bit in the driveway. Her folks’ house is on a huge hill with a scary-steep driveway! Her method of stopping right now, is to land on her knee pads! Clearly, she needs some watching of other people to build skills… so I found some on YouTube that I’ll send her. But, the best part of the trip there was watching her improve over the hour we were there! No more falling on knees, but she learned to bend her knees more to let her legs be the cushion if she needed to stop by going over onto the grassy edge. Dan and I got our walk, too, and I went back and forth between them, and could help stabilize Mia when she needed it, and could encourage her, let her hold on to my hand or arm if she needed a bit of oomph!

This is why I needed new knees! My knee was strong enough and good enough to be able to allow me to help support her, plus, I was able to catch up to her, too! Whoo-hoo!
 
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Freestyle

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So nice to hear how well you are doing--being able to serve as a stabilizer for your granddaughter is a wonderful mark of success. Thanks for posting the detail on your meds--that is very useful for those of us who are a number of weeks behind you. When did you start driving again (you and I are both on our second TKR, this time the right knee)? What was it like to drive with a TKR on your right knee?
 
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Hi Freestyle, I had been a tad worried about driving with a new right knee but by the time I tried, at about week 4, it really was a non-issue! The most challenging part is just making sure my seat is back where it should be and that the door can open wide enough for me to get my leg in and where it needs to be comfortably. Perhaps the first couple of times I went only short distances, to the grocery store or to the pharmacy to pick up my husband’s meds, as I wanted to be sure I could rotate my foot quickly to brake if I had to. But, I think enough muscle memory was left to make it a complete non-issue! A few times when my knee was more swollen the getting in and out might have been dicier, but really, it has been quite easy. So, my initial concern was wise perhaps but unneeded!
 
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BBCG

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Week 13: August 2, 2021
So, am trying to document my journey to be able to look back and also document so others can see one story of good luck!

I’m now walking almost daily for between 1 - 1.5 miles, using Nordic walking poles (correctly! Not like trekking poles…) to engage my core and upper body. My stride has lengthened now, to 142cm, and my “asymmetry” is 0, meaning I’m using both legs equally, finally. That has taken concentration as I’m walking, focus on engaging various muscles that had been in “vacation” for the past few years! (I joined the OneStep system that has been mentioned here which includes the very useful app that tells me some of those numbers I mentioned…)

I still take 1 Tylenol at night before bed, along with an herbal/CBD tincture (which is legal here), to help me sleep even if I turn over oddly. I use the incline that my bed frame has that allows me to raise the foot and/or head to a level I choose, so I sleep with my knee above my heart still. I wake up with no swelling! I also apply the herbal/CBD salve to my knee before I walk, or before I know I’ll be on my feet for a while, or running a bunch of errands. That use means I keep the low pain level at any given time way below conscious level.

I’m able to sit at my work desk for a couple of hours to work, and although my knee is stiff and usually somewhat swollen when I get up after a long work period, the pain is very slight at most. I can stand up for a couple of hours if I need to make a meal or create a more complex dish, too!

I was able to resume driving very quickly, I think about 4 weeks after, which also felt good to be able to regain my independence that quickly…. I admit I was motivated partially because I’m the sole driver in the family, so getting my wheels back was high on my list!

I’m getting back out into my very now-overgrown yard to begin summer cleanup, have hired some helpers since hauling the weeds we remove will surpass the lawn debris bin we have access to…. I can finally actually pull weeds now without fear of going kerplunk! I trimmed back my wildly climbing rose!
 

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you have done so well! Can you recommend a video or web instruction for nordic walking? I will need to use poles to get out for my walks as the hills are steep as soon as I get on my driveway.
 

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Never mind, I found some videos, and I don't see that type of walking as what I can do on woodland trails here. Too many roots to trip over. It does look like a fantastic workout though.
 
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BBCG

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Hi Jo Wo, I was trained by Leki Nordic Walking folks as a teacher about 12 years ago and did a 10k at the Portland Marathon back then, so I initially learned on flat sidewalks but I can use them on trails, too. Once you get the swing-weight of the poles ingrained in your brain, that allows you the basic rhythm, so adapting to the greater inconsistencies of trails takes a bit of trial and error but I’ve done it! I hiked down in the Santa Monica mountains with the poles a few years after our training.. I used to teach it here, still have 8 sets of poles!
 

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It looks intriguing, maybe a year 2 goal for me, although my recumbent indoor bike is my cardio workout. I am glad you are getting back to it after two surgeries though!
 
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A recumbent indoor bike sounds good too!
 

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I enjoyed reading your recovery thread, Barbara! I'm looking at my second TKR (left this time) at the end of August so am interested in others who are having seconds done. You have done so well!

The medication changes this time were interesting. I went the Oxy route the last time and didn't seem to have any problems but it's nice to know that Tramadol is a good substitute in case I have issues this time. (fingers crossed!)
 
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I've been asked what I use to elevate my leg when I'm working, so I posted this on someone else's post, but thought II'd also include it here. Not included is the recliner, but I think I'm describing it fairly well here. If anyone wants photos of it, let me know! It was purchased many years ago before TKR #1 from the Relax the Back store, but they no longer carry this brand it looks like...

My recliner isn't a lift chair, either, but the bottom section is raised by buttons on the left of the seat portion, and the back reclines or returns upright by use of the buttons on the right side of the seat.

I use a concave/side sleeper pillow (link below) to put under the new knee leg when I'm seated. I also use this pillow under my new knee leg at night in bed, although I do also have a bed platform that raises and lowers the lower portion of the mattress/bed.

When I want to work on my computer, I found (after ordering something else that had dinky wheels that didn't work on my carpet!) a rolling over-seat table that works great. I roll it off to the side to get in and out of the chair but it works great for that. It was a few dollars more than I really wanted to spend, but I can also use it in the family room later when I want a table to work on as I do other business tasks from home. I'll put a link to that below, too.

Both are available through Amazon.

The pillow:
1629583268984.png



The rolling table:

1629583380636.png
 
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ladyjane5

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Well, I realized I hadn't logged a 10 week right TKR update, so here that is! My 10 weeks were yesterday

Following the Bonesmart way has really panned out for me this time! I avoided the heavier-duty opioids because I know they are ineffective on my pain and make me a "Loopy-Lucy", and I used the Tramadol that they prescribed until, I think, week 4 (will edit later when I go back and check if I''m wrong), then was able to taper back from 6 hour doses to 5 hour, then to 4 hour, then switched from the single Tramadol-at-night dose to Tylenol... and now am only on one dose of Tylenol before bed, period. I do still use the herbal/CBD salve on my knee when it's aching, usually due to lots of ADL (Activities of Daily Living), and often I use it before going off to run a bundle of errands, or before a walk or at night.

As far as therapy, I'm mainly only doing ADL these days, except for PT once a week to iron out any kinks, and lately, my shoulders have been more trouble than my knee! (walker for a week, crutches used for a month, cane for a week, etc. and being the only driver in the household, only "schlepper of heavy stuff" means my shoulders have been working hard!)

My massage with the ortho therapist last week was very helpful, and I'm now being able to walk much more evenly, not favoring the right side as much, and walking through the entire range of motion better. I've done walks both with and without my husband (who uses a walker following his leukemia battle that left him with balance and vision issues), so when I'm by myself, I can concentrate on walking evenly, really focusing on each step, using all muscles I'm supposed to use (like my less-than-enthusiastic glutes), plus I can maintain a comfortable-for-me pace, etc. He walks much slower so when I'm walking with him, I do more of a casual saunter, slower, and that seems to trigger the lazy muscle issues, plus I need to stop and stretch out the inner thigh/hip muscle that seems to like to tighten up when I'm not walking with long enough strides to stretch it normally. Too much stretch, or too big a stride is as bad as too short a stride, it turns out, too! Tried that: nope!

I'm working more now, even though at home, so I'm sitting at a table with my computer working on our business' bookkeeping, marketing, etc. so my leg is down almost all day. By evening I'm tired, even if I didn't get a walk in that day, so the energy drain thing is still in sway, just to document that.

I've been trying once a week to not take Tylenol at night to see if I can sleep well without it, and so far, no go! I wake up tossing and turning around 2-3am and can't get back to sleep for the life of me! Will keep trying once a week, and may try taking some Tulsi tea before bed to see if that helps. Used to do that but stopped a while back...

I resumed doing my Melt sessions, a type of self-care PT-like session using a soft roller to roll on with one's bodyweight. The criteria to be able to do it again was getting down on my knee, at least one of them! So, since the right one is the new baby knee, it doesn't need to be the kneeled on one, so big sister, Lefty, gets that honor and did fine. I put down a super-cushiony yoga mat first, though, so it's nice and soft under the knee, plus it's on a squishy rug, too.

Next up will be going back to doing Pilates once a week but maybe twice a month at first... then, increasing my walking, then trying a bike again, or... my Elliptigo! My new knee has to be in tiptop shape to Elliptigo, though, as each leg moves through an entire range of motion (as in an elliptical motion to propel the Ellipgo along a path) as I Go along the wide, smooth bike-pedestrian paths near our new house. I'm now about a mile from the Willamette River where there are 13 miles of bike paths on either side, from about a half mile north of my house, to 12 miles away in Springfield. It's a wonderful place to ride and I can't wait to get back to it. Riding my Elliptigo is so much fun, too! (Wonder if anyone else on Bonesmart rides one? Hmmm...)

Need to head off to Pilates, so more later...
Are you still doing Pilates? Do you do Pilates on a reformer or an on the floor class?
I am considering calling our local studio to see if the owner thinks Pilates would strengthen my leg and baby knee
I am 3 months post TKR
Currently I do Chair Yoga, Silver Sneakers total body workout and a Silver and Fit program which is mainly weights and some easy boxing
Since I still have numbness in my knee; I am reluctant to kneel
Thank You
 

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