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Bilateral TKR Bear2005's Recovery

Bear2005

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@Minnie77 Hi Minnie. I am about 5 weeks after you. am wondering how you are feeling now? today is actually 8 weeks post-bilateral. not sure where i'm supposed to be at. pain, swelling, rom, activity, all that has improved, but still have extreme tightness, totally have the "blues" and sleeping a little better, 4-5 hrs. a night. tough for me to tell the difference sometimes between pain and soreness. i guess i have both. i hope you are doing really well.
 

sistersinhim

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Hello @Bear2005, I have started your very own recovery thread. It is titled "Bear2005's Recovery. I you would like a different title just let us know and we'll change it for you.


Please tell us all about your surgery. What was the exact date of your bilateral? Was it a total or partial?

The following are our basic guidelines and should help get you started. As you read more on other members recovery threads, you’ll get a better perspective of what to expect and what not to do, especially regarding PT.

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. Here is a week-by-week guide for Activity progression for TKRs


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 a 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 history before providing advice.
 
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Bear2005

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Wow! thats pretty cool. not sure who i can benefit, but i will do as you ask.

I had total bi-lateral knee replacements on Nov. 27, 2019. Today is 8 weeks post-op. I had osteoarthritis and years of high school and college wrestling, 3-4 arthroscopic surgeries, knees were shot. after 2 weeks, saw my surgeon and he said i was doing so well, don't go to out patient PT, just keep doing the exercises at home. in retrospect, that was bad advice. i don't need the motivation, but i don't have the knowledge of what to do or how i'm progressing. basically, went online and just winged it. my range of motion is pretty good, i think. i'm not sleeping very well and have a lot of soreness and stiffness. really tight. i do have some pain in specific areas. i'm probably doing more than i should. really not sure where i am supposed to be at. see my doctor in two weeks.

how rude of me. thank you all for doing this. i wish i would have found you sooner. i would have found some peace of mind early on. thank you again
 

sistersinhim

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Thank you for the date. I have added it to your signature for you.

Be sure and read the guidelines that I left you. They are extremely helpful in this recovery. Unfortunately, sleeping is a common problem with this surgery. Sleep when you can and where you can. It doesn't matter as long as you sleep! You actually heal more while you're sleeping. That's a good reason to do it.

Many of us never took formal PT or did exercises. I am one of them. I had 11 knee surgeries, 2 of them kneecap removals and 1 tkr. Even after those I never took formal PT. But, I didn't just sit around and do nothing. I used my knee as it was intended to be used by walking around to take care of my daily needs. As I healed I was able to do more. Icing and elevation was a huge part of my recovery.

Listen to your knees. They will tell you if you're doing too much by increased pain and swelling. When that happens, I found that resting, icing and elevating helped. This is a slow recovery which you can not speed up. But, you can slow it down by doing too much and keeping your knees inflamed. Inflamed knees cause pain and swelling. The swelling lowers ROM. Your knees will improve better with just gentle movements. Think of them as newborn babies cause that is what they are!
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome!

Here is a list of other Bonesmart members who’ve had bilateral knee replacements.
 
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Bear2005

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hit the 8 week mark on wednesday. noticing substantial pain on the outside of my right knee. don't see my doc for another three weeks. ligament, tendon, muscle? any ideas? i feel like its a big setback. even going up and down stairs differently to avoid the discomfort.
 

Jaycey

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@Bear2005 Does icing and elevation ease this pain? Have you started any new activities are increased activity lately?
 

Jockette

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What kind of PT are you doing? Often we are given more PT than our healing knee actually needs, and it can cause us additional pain.
 
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Bear2005

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thank you for your responses. icing and elevation does help. my left knee is at 0/115. right knee is about 5/110. PT has me hang a 5 lb. weight on my right leg while its straight out. i keep it that way as long as i can, which is 4-5 minutes. and thats pushing it
 
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Bear2005

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@Jockette and @Jaycey . i keep hearing about scar tissue buildup and how difficult it can be to break it. i am afraid if i ease up things will regress. is this true?
 

Jockette

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PT has me hang a 5 lb. weight on my right leg while its straight out. i keep it that way as long as i can, which is 4-5 minutes. and thats pushing it
Please stop doing this, it is not necessary. Your leg will straighten just fine, in time, as it heals. Forcing it like this will only upset it and cause you pain.

I keep hearing about scar tissue buildup and how difficult it can be to break it. i am afraid if i ease up things will regress. is this true?
No, it’s not true! Scar tissue is not the evil villain it is made out to be. When we have a wound, the body naturally creates “scar tissue” that accomplishes the healing of that would. Without it you would have an open sore.

Your ROM (flexion and extension) is fine and will continue to improve over time as you heal.

You can relax and stop doing any exercises that are causing you pain. There is enough pain in this recovery, due to the nature of this surgery, there is really no need to add insult to injury by doing painful rehab. It truly is not necessary.
 
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Bear2005

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@Jockette Praise God! thank you, thank you, thank you. so happy to hear that. its very tough to get honest and helpful advice. although in my head i question what i am asked sometimes, i'm a good soldier and forge ahead. your advice makes sense. thank you again.
 

Jockette

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Praise God! thank you, thank you, thank you. so happy to hear that
You are very welcome! I felt set free when I found Bonesmart! :happydance:

Bonesmart’s approach to Recovery seems pretty radical to most, but really, it’s just common sense. I don’t know how so many PTs and surgeons have veered so far away from common sense.

I just mentioned on another thread that next time around I will not go to formal PT, I will rehab on my own, at home, and not experience all the set backs that my PTs caused me.

I know @sistersinhim always does her own rehab at home
 

Jaycey

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@Bear2005 Baby those knees and please don't worry about any ROM issues. You are not in training - you are recovering. Easing up on all the exercise will allow those knees to settle and heal. Plenty of time for exercise when you are fully healed.
 
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Bear2005

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@Jaycey , between you, celle, Jockette and sistersinhim, i have some serious peace of mind. doing A LOT less is something i can adjust to really easy. thank you all, again.
 
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Bear2005

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@Celle, thank you. i'm not real tech savvy. HS teacher for 27 years, i just ask the kids. and they laugh at my flip phone. :heehee:
 

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