Bilateral TKR baby steps

Scottie999

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Hi all, I had my surgery 8 days ago and I’m finding everything overwhelming. I can’t walk on my own yet and I can’t even get out of bed without assistance.... and I’m lucky if I get 2 hours sleep. I did all my research while waiting for the last 9 months and I knew it wouldn’t be easy but this is challenging. Both my knees were severely damaged so it had to be bilateral, I didn’t want to go through the surgery twice. Everybody has different pain tolerance but I never imagined how this would bring me to my knees. I thought it would be rough for a few months but it’s 24/7, all consuming! I hope to get to the part where I see the benefits but now all I feel is pain and desperation.
I have found a lot of helpful information on this site so I need to keep focused. I guess I’m just wondering if anybody else is having a rough time as well and what gets you through the days and nights.
 

gia2cats

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Sitting here in my recliner after having my second TKR on December 3rd and pretty much feeling the same frustrations. Except I can’t even imagine a bilateral. Bless you.
I last in bed for a few hours then just can’t get comfortable any longer so I get up and spend the rest of the night in a recliner. I do sleep well there and can get around on my own with a walker. Initially that will take you longer since both knees are recovering. But knowing people who have had bilateral, you will become more independent.
I do find that when sitting quietly, I have no pain. That comes with any activity but I do take my pain pills regularly and the Tylenol every 6 hours In addition does make a difference.
My course is pretty much following my last recovery but I am two years older. I started OP PT today with the therapist I really liked before.
You will get through this and will all be a memory. Really good people on the site to help you.
 

Cjackso21

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I would have done bilateral but my knees needed a TKR many years apart. I am going in for bilateral revisions 1/22 but both should be simple. I have had many surgeries and found that you need to move, even passively, every few hours, but not to push it. Discomfort but not pain. Ice and elevate after. These folks will guide you as you know. I also found getting the right pain meds took awhile but I finally found tramadol to be the best for me. But this does not work well for many folks. Good luck! It will get better.
 

Jockette

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The early days are really tough. I felt like you do, and I only had one “little partial.”

I will leave you our Recovery Guidelines. Each article is short but very informative. Following these guidelines will help you have a less painful recovery.

Knee Recovery: The Guidelines
1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary
2. Control discomfort:
rest
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​

3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you​
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​


4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these

5. At week 4 and after you should follow this

6. Access to these pages on the website

The Recovery articles:
The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
Energy drain for TKRs
Elevation is the key
Ice to control pain and swelling
Heel slides and how to do them properly
Chart representation of TKR recovery
Healing: how long does it take?

Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

There are also some cautionary articles here
Myth busting: no pain, no gain
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

While members may create as many threads as they like in the majority of BoneSmart’s forums, we ask that each member have only One Recovery Thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
 

sistersinhim

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@Scottie999, welcome to Bonesmart. How brave you are to have had a bilateral done. No wonderful you are having a rough time. This surgery normally takes at least a year to heal from and having two done at once might take yours a little longer than that. The main thing you need to remember is that you can not speed up your healing by trying to exercise your knees excessively. But, you can slow it down by doing too much. Slow and gentle movements are the best way to recover with less pain and fewer setbacks.
 

Roy Gardiner

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I guess I’m just wondering if anybody else is having a rough time as well and what gets you through the days and nights.
Oh dear, it is so hard isn't it. I was immobile pretty much at 8 days (see my recovery diary http://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/recovery-diary.12548); you will probably find it getting better slowly and steadily from about now. It gets worse in the first few days as the body's reaction builds up. But even now I bet you find that once standing the pain is less inside the knee than before. After about a month it will start to progress faster.
 
OP
OP
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Scottie999

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I had my bilateral total knee replacement surgery 2 years ago tomorrow. I have one knee that is 100% and the other one is 70%. I'm sure happy I had it done and would recommend it to anybody, BUT you have to be patient and not push yourself too much. My left knee is sad because the therapist push me too much.
My questions pertains to exercising. I joined a group and a lot of the exercises are out of my reach. Will I never be able to knee down? I even tried kneeling on a pillow and it feels weird. What about lunges, and bending and those types of exercise. I don't want to do something that will set me back. Even though it has been 2 years, I still have things that feel weird. I can w all 4 kms, no problem, but if somebody pushes me, I tend to lose my balance quickly. Any suggestions regarding exercises? Thank you so much!
 

sistersinhim

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Lunges can be pretty bad on a tkr and you have two of them! We always say that if it hurts your knee at the time or anytime within the next day or two, then it's not ready for it. There are things I can't do now, after over 6 years, but I probably wouldn't be doing them anyway! As long as your knees are better than they were before your replacements, I think you can count it as successful!
 

Layla

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Happy Two Year Anniversary! Thanks for stopping by the forum.

As far as exercises go, I'd do what's comfortable with the realization that while a prosthetic gets close, it is not a match for your healthy natural knees. Walking is a great exercise! I am not understanding though why anyone would be pushing you.

If the exercises in the group you joined are out of your comfort zone, can you do a little research to find another group in your age range to exercise with? I'd start there. If you're unable to kneel due to discomfort or pain, I wouldn't do it. As we age and especially with artificial joints we are not going to be able to do all that we could in our younger years. :tantrum2: Frustrating I know, I feel your pain.:wink: I hope you're able to find a group you're better able to keep up with so you feel fulfilled after your workouts.

Please notice that we have merged your newest thread with your original recovery thread. Having your recovery information contained in one place will make it easier for you to reflect back on. It is also helpful for those stopping by to be able to review your history before advising or commenting.
Please post any updates, questions or concerns about your recovery here.
@Scottie999
 

benne68

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Hi @Scottie999! I agree with @Layla about looking for a different class that's a better fit for your needs.

I understand your frustration. I had a similar problem after my first surgery some years ago. I love yoga, but after surgery, the class I attended demanded too many postures that I just couldn't achieve. I hunted around and eventually found a class with others who were recovering from some type of surgery or injury, and with a teacher who encouraged us to modify to our own comfort level. Although not as demanding as the original class, it's been perfect for me.

Good luck. Let us know how you make out.
 

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