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TKR Bikeknit's Recovery Thread

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Bikeknit

Bikeknit

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Congrats on your brand spanking New knee- I had Both of mine done around 3 and a half months apart and I am glad I did- They have their good days and their bad days. It is a rollercoaster, but I have never once regretted doing them close together. The pain that I ever have now is only healing pain, which if I was not on this site and did not know any better that it takes a year to heal up, I would be extremely worried that they still felt stiff and swollen some days, but after my right TKR in january, I really stressed out lefty , by making it my anchor knee, it started going south a few weeks after surgery number #1 and I really didn’t have a choice anymore. Best wishes on a great recovery!
Similar issue. Thanks for sharing your experience.
 
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Bikeknit

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This knee hurts quite a bit more than the other one when I change positions - such as lifting it onto the bed or going from a lying position to sitting. Just laying still or sitting still is fine but lifting my leg onto the bed can be excruciating. It also hurts more when I put weight on it. Though as I walk (just short treks to the bathroom etc. It gets better. I'll call into my doctor's office when they open. Anyone else have this kind of issue? Almost no pain when still but agony when changing positions?
 

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Almost no pain when still but agony when changing positions?
This is fairly normal, you just had a lot of trauma done to your leg. My husband was nice enough to lift my leg for me for a couple of weeks until I could do it myself, (I couldn’t at all for a couple of weeks) and he still helped until I could do it with minimal pain.
 
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Thanks @Jockette. It is reassuring to know what is normal and what isn't and to find some techniques to help - a husband, or as my PT just taught me how to use one leg to lift the other.
 

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Yes, the one leg to lift the other technique is a good one.
You might also try to tighten the muscles around the knee before you try to lift. My Pt called that a quad set.
 
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@kneeper. Thanks. My pt has now taught me to tighten the quad before lifting as well. It sounds counterproductive but works! With time and simple exercises this issue is diminishing. Yeah!
 
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One week and a day post-op on knee number 2. Things are going generally well. Knowing the expected trajectory of recovery is helping. It was a little difficult to face the second surgery so soon after the first (3 months) but I'm glad I went ahead with it. Now I can see better days ahead. I'm starting to research fun places to hike when I'm more recovered. It's no longer theoretical!

My new pt does some cheerleading - telling me how good I'm doing. "Look at that, you lifted your leg an inch!" It really makes a difference. I need both explanatory and encouraging communication to motivate me.
 

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Time to dream and plan exciting new experiences without knee pain. It was my favorite thing to do to keep myself up beat throughout recovery (most of the time). Enjoy the planning. Have a peaceful evening. :flwrysmile:
 

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I *love* that you are thinking about hiking. Part of my impetus to get my hip done was an attempted walk on a beautiful rail trail near where I live. I only made it a mile before the pain forced me to turn around. I am using that rail trail like a carrot, to keep moving forward! I know knees are really tough and look at you, 2 so soon together. So, let’s keep thinking forward toward those hikes.
 
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Thinking that I should check in at 2 and a half weeks post surgery on knee number 2.

I have to say this knee is going much more smoothly. It has been somewhat less swollen from the beginning and after the first week I have just felt better than the first knee (now 3 months, 2 and a half weeks). My husband is also improving as my helper . My range of motion is 118 flexion and -1 (or should that be +1?) Extension. I'm ably to ride my bike on the trainer and have gone for some modest outdoor autumn walks. I had some different pains that first week and am extremely grateful to everyone for reassuring me that they are to be expected and how to deal. I also recognize that I am extremely lucky to have my recovery going so well and recognize there may be setbacks.

I've thought a little about what I learned between the 2 knees and what I did differently.

1. I switched physical therapists to someone who teaches me how to do my exercises and pulls back when she notices I am not ready for something. She does no excessively aggressived manipulation of my knee and so I never leave all swollen. We communicate well.

2. I actually gained some Rom on knee #2 while waiting for my surgery by doing my rom exercises on both knees. Not sure if that helped with the quicker Rom recovery or not as other things were also changed.

3. I was not as frightened as I knew that I came out of the 1st surgery okay and could immediately see the advantage of a stable new knee. No more second guessing if I really needed it. I did.

4. I learned that I can't tolerate some of the stronger pain meds but that tramadol was adequate for me. That made my 1st week easier to get through this time.

5. I learned that laying on the sofa with ice - or my knee elevated is not laziness but part of my recovery.

Still more to go but I see improvement most days. Thanks to all for your encouragement and help. When we can travel again, I'll be ready!
 

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-1 (or should that be +1?) Extension.
If you sit on the floor with your legs stretched out and if your knee is completely flat, that's a 0 extension. If there's a slight bend then your extension in on the + side. If sitting with your knee flat and your heel comes up off of the floor, then your extension is on the - side.
Measuring ROM
 
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-1 (or should that be +1?) Extension.
If you sit on the floor with your legs stretched out if your knee is completely flat, that's a 0 extension. If there's a slight bend then your extension in on the + side. If sitting with your knee flat and your heel comes up off of the floor, then your extension is on the - side.
Measuring ROM
So +1.
 

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That's is fantastic for just a few weeks out. My extension was months coming in. My bend was so much easier to achieve.
 

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thank you for sharing your story, especially re TKR #2. I tried some ROM (flexion) exercises for my next knee and they really did not seem to do anything. Perhaps your experience & situation are different.
 
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thank you for sharing your story, especially re TKR #2. I tried some ROM (flexion) exercises for my next knee and they really did not seem to do anything. Perhaps your experience & situation are different.
Yes, Everyone's situation and experience are different. I did laying down heel slides almost daily on knee #2 while rehabbing knee #1. I maybe gained 5 or 10°. But there are so many variables that I have no idea which made a difference. Quite possibly knee #2 just didn't get quite as banged up in the surgery. Good luck with your second knee. I'm just glad to be on the recovery side of both knees! We'll both be hiking before we know it.
 
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I knew I shouldn't have reported that one good night. I'm having fairly interrupted sleep since then. Not horrible, just back to waking up uncomfortable and struggling out to the recliner. Oh well, This shall pass.

Good news is that my pt dismissed me today. I've got 120 Rom on flexion, 0 on extension, both knees. She said to gradually extend my walking, add my bicycling when there isn't snow on the ground (October snow in Kansas City - not usual), just do my everyday stuff, continue a few stretches to keep what I've gained. When she said just doing my everyday activities should do it, I wondered if she'd been reading this forum.

Good thing I'm doing well as the grandkids might be visiting in a week. I'll be so glad to see them but also know I have to practice bowing out when things get too crazy.

I want to thank everyone on this forum. You helped me to see that things that seemed frightening were to be expected - the numb spot, inability to lift my leg, an irregular recovery, etc. I found great suggestions of how to work on my rom (especially on the knee that wasn't cooperating) with descriptions of heel slides, Roy's bicycle and other techniques etc. You gave me the confidence to change physical therapists. I've read of great recoveries and people who've struggled but made it.

I know I'm not done with my recovery but I feel like I've gotten through the worst with all your encouragement.
 

Jaycey

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@Bikeknit Thanks for your feedback on BoneSmart! So glad we could help.

You will continue to improve for a very long time. And those sleep issues will also ease. It all just takes time.

Easy does it with those grandkids!
 

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