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TKR Carole’s recovery thread

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Carole4815

Carole4815

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Today we went out to lunch again. Tomorrow I'll be starting PT at the PT facility, instead of at home, for the first time. So we drove by there to check out where to park, where the elevator is, and so on. As soon as we got home I fell asleep. Then I woke up, started icing, and fell asleep again while icing. My sleep is so messed up! I nap a whole lot. But at least I can sleep, which is sure better than it was the first week.

My knee seems to be healing nicely. Here's a photo of it that I just took a minute or two ago. This is at 27 days and I think it looks a lot better than the one on the Knee Scar thread, that I took at 14 days.

Knee_27days.jpg
 

Ladyala

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That looks great! Mine has all these lovely additions from the sutures issue I had.
 

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Nice looking scar, Carole. Mine still has some scabby areas and peeling where the blistering was. Good luck in PT. Remember, it's your knee. Don't let them hurt you.
 
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Carole4815

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I was very lucky with the home PT people, because they were careful not to hurt me, let me warm up just doing the easy stuff first, and were very encouraging. However, I guess I have graduated and I don't know if these new PT people will be as good. I hope so.
 

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Carole4815

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@Jockette , and there is no reason why I even have to go to PT at all. I am the customer after all. What are they going to do, incarcerate me in "PT resistance jail"? :snork: My point is, I think, that I have not had the first problem with home PT and I am hoping that this PT is as good, so that I can continue to attend.

Last night I slept for 8 hours but awakened briefly quite frequently, for no perceptible reason. I was dreaming of fun, non-knee things, and then never got back to the same dreams so this was sort of like having someone flip the channels of a TV. Oh well. My sleep during this recovery has been pretty weird all along.

I am seriously thinking of taking my rollator walker to PT, despite the misgivings of my home PT people last week. My rollator is not as stable as the plain jane metal hospital walker, but it has a seat and moves faster and is more maneuverable. I'll see what my sweetie thinks since I haven't mentioned this particular nefarious plan to him yet.
 

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My point is, I think, that I have not had the first problem with home PT and I am hoping that this PT is as good, so that I can continue to attend.
I do agree it’s nice to have someone we are comfortable with and is on the same page as we are. I’ve been part of Bonesmart for over 2 years and unfortunately too many members don’t have that.

I had some bad PT experiences because I didn’t know any better at the time, so I tend to be a bit overprotective in that area now whenever I see a red flag.

Keep those young whippersnappers in line with the pleasant way you have about you and all will be well. :yahoo:
 

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I had some bad PT experiences because I didn’t know any better at the time, so I tend to be a bit overprotective in that area now whenever I see a red flag.
My bad knee pt experience was back in 1983. Not a bit of formal PT after that and I had 10 more knee surgeries!
 
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Carole4815

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Jockette, I am so genuinely sorry that you went through that! :console2: How awful that must have been. And sistersinhim, you too! :console2: Deep in the bottom of my heart I feel for both of you. Those PT people should never have done that to you.

OK, here's how PT went:

When we first got there I was SO intimidated! All these young, fit, PT's, and none of the patients had walkers or canes or anything. It was like a parade of "the beautiful people" or something. :blackcloud:They were working out on treadmills, stationary bikes, knee press machines, and other terrifying looking equipment. As we sat there waiting (we were early), I muttered to my sweetie, "This looks awful. They are NOT going to do ONE THING to me that I object to. Not one thing!! If they do then I'm marching out of here and never coming back!!!!!"
(see? I do take what you all say very seriously).

Then a young, fit girl came to get me started and we went back into her office. I told her politely, kindly, but firmly and in no uncertain terms how bad my knee had been, how I had been sitting in a chair for years, about the torn meniscus and hopping with that leg on its tiptoes and no more than 5 pounds on it since May and so on. I firmly told her that I needed encouragement and compassion, not pushing, and that she must realize that I am starting at a very low level as probably the least capable new patient they ever had.

Now here's the surprise: she listened and took me seriously! She had me doing easy things that were reasonable for me. Also on almost all of the exercises she let ME decide how much to bend my knee and so on, not her. We did heel stretches, but I was the one holding the strap. I was on a stationary bike using my good leg to stretch my knee (which of course can't go all the way around) and she let ME decide how hard to push it. When she measured my ROM, she let ME decide how far to bend my knee, not her. I thought that was pretty cool.

I feel like I was pretty good at figuring out how much to bend or straighten my knee since it's my knee. I think I did both of these things just the right amount and no more. I do want to stretch those muscles and soft tissues a little to encourage them to lengthen, so that I eventually can straighten that leg. Right now I have 85 degrees of flexion, and 17 degrees of extension. My knee was extremely swollen today due to not icing this morning, and she (not me!) commented on that and pointed out that as the swelling dies down, I'll get better ROM values. Was that cool or what! I thought so anyway.
 

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I’m glad you “laid down the law” right away. :heehee:

I was so unprepared for this recovery, I’m not confrontational, and I was under the belief that PT was essential after a knee replacement. At the time I also knew I had to work really hard in PT.

I am the least athletic person on the planet but I was cooperative and did everything they asked of me and more! I tried really hard and forced that first bike rotation, trying to be a good patient.

Even though I was holding the sheet to pull my knee towards me myself, I forced it as far as it could go, because that’s what they said to do.

So even when we have control, it’s easy to overdo.

Forgive me for one final bit of advice, just be careful, keep your guard up, as my PT was sneaky more than once and caused me a lot of pain, even though he was pleasant and soft spoken and sounded so caring, as he slowly continued to push my knee into an excruciating pain level. That was one week post op and I was dumb enough to think it had to be done and it didn’t occur to me to tell him to stop.

The rest of my bad experiences are on my thread.

Thankfully I found Bonesmart at 4 weeks post op and learned about an alternative, gentle approach to this recovery that I adopted right away. And I started saying no to things at PT and they were fine with that. I canceled a bunch of sessions and managed to get an honorable discharge a few weeks later. :happydance:
 

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The exercise that I am doing now that is hard is the wall slide. You lay on the table with your feet up on the wall and slide them down as far as you can. Then put your foot of your unoperated leg on the other one to try to get it to go further and hold for 2 minutes.
 
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Carole4815

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I didn't have that one, @sewhat ! Sounds hard. I hope it wasn't too painful for you. :groan:

I am resting and icing, icing, icing tonight. I am so glad that I have an icing machine. For me, it really helps so much. I did enjoy moving around some today, but need to ice to keep the swelling down.
 
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The exercise that I am doing now that is hard is the wall slide. You lay on the table with your feet up on the wall and slide them down as far as you can. Then put your foot of your unoperated leg on the other one to try to get it to go further and hold for 2 minutes.
THat's not really necessary, so you don't have to do it.

It's not exercising that gets you your ROM - it's time. Time to recover, time for swelling and pain to settle, and time to heal. Your knee is capable of achieving good ROM right from the start, and ROM will gradually increase as your knee heals and its internal and external swelling decrease.

@Carole4815 - I'm so glad your first PT session went so well. It sounds as if you've got a good therapist who will listen to you and tailor your sessions according to what your knee needs. That's great!
Well done for stating your expectations from the very beginning.
 
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Carole4815

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After all of yesterday's icing and a good night's sleep, I feel like a million bux. Well at least $1.95. :rotfl: Anyway, all jokes aside I have that great feeling that one has the day after a sensible workout. Just a little more spring in my step, a little stronger too.

My surgical knee took one amazing step forward that either could be due to PT or to time passing (I don't care!). Although it could not even bear 5 pounds from May 13th when I tore the meniscus, until surgery, it has been getting stronger and this morning it is almost able to bear my entire weight, which is nothing trivial. I think I am only 2-3 pounds short of bearing it all and being able to briefly stand like a flamingo on my surgical leg only (safely, with my walker right there an inch from each hand). As far as I'm concerned, that's utterly miraculous.

This is going to be a tremendous help to me in correcting my gait, so that I am not limping as much. Correcting my gait will mean more stability, too, which will eventually mean that I can transition back to my good ol' rollator instead of this much more stable plain jane metal hospital walker. To me that would be a huge step towards normal life.

Also it will mean that I can get into and out of the stand alone shower safely, once again, just using the grab bars like normal people while I step over the 3" ledge at the entry. So far I have had to actually put my metal walker into the shower and lean hard on it while stepping over that ledge.

So far, Week 4 has been very encouraging! Today I think we will go out to lunch again. Tomorrow is my second "real PT" session and I feel recovered from the first one and ready for it.
 

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Iam glad it went well in pt. I thought about you yesterday. I think iam one week behind you. Hopefully week four for me will be just as good.maybe I need to get out of house and go somewhere.i have been home for three weeks. Sounds like you are on your way
 

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I am so excited that you had such a positive PT experience! I took a similar tactic with my PT person and I thought the whole of my outpatient experience was very positive. I hope you get to work with the same therapist the whole time.

You'll remember how excited I was when I was first able to use the new knee and stand flamingo! It proves that all this pain and excitement is worth the trouble and genuine mobility is just around the corner.
 

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I love reading your thread! You are so positive, funny, and very caring! You are doing wonderful!
Are you still off the pain meds?
 

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