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Bilateral TKR Bikinglynn's Recovery Thread

Helizabug

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Thanks for the helpful hint!

I, too, logged my meds. I did it on my phone. I only screwed up once, when I took an extra Ibuprofen dose instead of the acetaminophen dose that was scheduled. It all went fine.

Logging my meds gave me something to do that I could manage myself, which was nice, too.
 
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bikinglynn

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Bad night tonight. The swelling is very uncomfortable and the bruising is looking really bad. I rub my legs, but it is painful. My back has started hurting on the right side around my waist. The Ted stockings were cutting into my legs so much, I took them off. I have my legs up on the 3-pillow tower and took a pain pill. No ice, because my feet and hands are freezing. Any uplifting words, funny stories, or advice?
 

Helizabug

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Have you looked at the Social Room? You can get to it under the community tab.

Bad nights are when I start imagining a rowing trip in perfect weather, with perfect friends, great shade over the river, stopping for lunch and napping in hammocks, etc. Sometimes I imagine an endless ski run, just the right difficulty for me, overcast day in the high 20s (I hate sunshine). Hmm, where else would I love to spend long, easy days?

Bad nights stink because they take a long time, and, if there’s someone else in the room, youcan’t just switch on a show or something.

I’m up because I left my headphones on the bed and my husband fell asleep on them, so they need a charge. At least, I was finally able to retrieve them when I realized where they were. I looked pretty funny trying to get the little boogers without wakingup my sweetie, but the story doesn’t translate well if you weren’t present for the sight gag.

I hope things have already improved and you aren’t even reading this until the morning.
 

Roy Gardiner

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My back has started hurting on the right side around my waist.
You will get all sorts of transient aches and pains as your body adjusts to the new, working knees and copes with the (temporary) damage done by surgery.
The Ted stockings were cutting into my legs so much, I took them off
:thumb: It's painful enough without adding to it.
 
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bikinglynn

bikinglynn

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Interesting night. After taking off the Ted stockings, ditching the ice packs, elevating my legs, and snuggling under my comforter, I got warm. I got really warm. I woke up drenched in sweat. I was hungry (a first) and ate some cereal, went to the bathroom, took a pain pill, then went back to bed. I elevated my legs the same way and woke up drenched with sweat again a few minutes ago. My legs are not as swollen, my back doesn't hurt, my feet are warm. I hate to get too hopeful, but I think maybe the worst has passed! For sure, I'm going to have my first shower today. I am rank!
 
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I feel you on the horrid lack of sleep nights, along with the discomfort. My bodies most negative response to the whole surgery was INSOMNIA :bored: deluxe. It was my nemesis for days and days. I only think I rested enough to heal due to staying in the bed even while wide awake. Then sleep returned, Whew... And yes that first shower was heavenly. Enjoy... :swim: !
 
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bikinglynn

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The shower was heavenly. Our grand-nephew had his first bath recently, and the family posted a video for all to enjoy. I don't know that my bath would have inspired the same reactions. Would probably be more like not being able to look away from a train wreck. :heehee:

I was supposed to go for my initial PT evaluation today, but I called and cancelled. The lady said I have to come in ASAP for this evaluation. I asked why, and was told the surgeon wants me to walk. I told her I am walking in my house. She said they want me to do stretching exercises. I held my tongue, but I know the ankle pumps, quad clinches, and hip clinches are doing their jobs. My ROM seems to be fine, considering surgery was just Wednesday. The lady said they are supposed to look at the incision and make sure it is OK. I'm sure it is, but I'm just being stubborn about having to get out of the house.

So, I agreed to come in tomorrow for the evaluation. Things are progressing, and I will not allow them to hurt me and slow my progress. There! That's my rant.
 
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bikinglynn

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Now I am noticing quite a difference between my two knees. I am able to lie down with the right one straight in front of me. The left one feels like it is in a bind and has a sharp pain. The feeling reminds me of when I had meniscus problems, and a piece would get hung in my knee. It hurts up and down my leg. Also, when I walk, the right one can naturally swing forward for the next step, the left one does not. I have to place it. It feels like something is out of place.
 

Jockette

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Try to remember this from the Recovery 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

One of our members, Mary, observed a bilateral knee replacement and said:

“They did the left knee first and then the right, which went easier because they'd figured out the correct components on the left which means there was more tourniquet time, more putting on and taking off of components, and generally tweaking of the artificial joint on the left. So it was no surprise that the patient's right knee recovered more easily and with less swelling. Who knows how much each of our knees get tweaked and manipulated during the surgery, resulting in more tissue trauma?”
 
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bikinglynn

bikinglynn

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Just got up for bathroom, walk around the house, and take a pill routine. Each time I get up, the pain in my calves is bad. It's the pain from swelling. After I'm on my feet a few minutes, it lets up. I started icing my calves instead of my knees, and that seems to help. I do ankle pumps, I lie on my back and pull my legs up straight and rub them, I sit and try to get them ready for the stand, but nothing keeps that intense pain from happening. Should I be moving more?
 

Helizabug

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I’m a big believer in calling the doctor. See if they are concerned, see if they can remind you of the things to watch for, get the feeling that you are on their radar. It’s easy for me because I’m in a big practice with an online messaging system, and the team is responsive.

One thing to know about these pains near the knee is that your team wrestled mightily with your legs during surgery. You were not just lying there while they worked on your knees like chefs prepping a fine meal.

So, some of these muscular pains — and bruises, in some cases — may be from the athletic event you took part in during the surgery. My ankle was really sore, and it took many weeks to get better.

Still, I would reach out to your medical team and let them triage it for you.
 

loneshark64

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I have similar. When I get up, especially after having it elevated and it is almost always elevated, it hurts quite a bit for a minute or so. It feels fluid moving back down into my knee at the same time as I am putting weight on it. A bummer at night when I just want to go to the bathroom and get back in bed without waking up my wife with too much walker clanging. In the day though I find that after about a minute this pain starts to abate as I move around and I realize so am Ok. I think it is just still swollen. Is that what you are feeling?
 
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bikinglynn

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Yes, it is intense and stinging pain that does go away after a while. However, the extreme tenderness does not go away. I have significant bruising, and my father has a history of blood clots, so I am very concerned. I went to PT and told the therapist what was happening. He was disappointed in my lack of motivation to exercise, but shared my concerns. I told him I was doing more before this new pain had appeared. He suggested a stroll over to the ER to get my legs checked out, and I agreed. A few hours later, the scan showed a hematoma, but no clot. That put my mind at ease, and I know this is going to get better.

Through all of this, I found out the left leg had more done to it than the right leg, so that might explain the additional pain.
 

Celle

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Hi, @bikinglynn

I'm glad you had this checked out. That was sensible.

A haematoma is caused by blood leaking from broken blood vessels. Usually, the size of it is limited and the leaked blood is gradually reabsorbed. Sometimes, a bit of it is left and it hardens where it is, before being re-absorbed over a period of months.

It is in no way related to a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot) which takes place within a blood vessel - and you aren't in any more danger of developing a blood clot than anyone else is after this surgery. In fact, the two things are almost opposites - a haematoma is caused by bleeding, while a thrombosis is a blood clot that has blocked a vein.

You might find this article interesting - it explains a bit about post-op bleeding, of which the haematoma is a little more than most people experience:
Bruising after surgery

While the haematoma is tender you may have to ask your therapist to go easy on the PT, but this shouldn't affect your recovery. It doesn't matter if you take a little longer to achieve the ROM your PT therapist wants, because ROM can increase for a whole year after surgery. There's no need to worry or rush.
 
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bikinglynn

bikinglynn

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I was able to sleep a little more last night and I felt better this morning. I still have the stinging pain when I get up, but it seems to ease quicker. Also, I don't have the worry that the pain is coming from a blood clot.

A couple of friends came by for lunch, and allowed my DH to have an afternoon out. It was a nice day; my first nice day since the surgery. I was tired after they left, but my attitude got a huge adjustment.

This was my first day of not having almost constant discomfort and pain. I'm walking better, getting up and down better, and did not go to bed during the day. The recliner and I are making friends.

I know tomorrow may not be so good, but this was a wonderful day.
 

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