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TKR Cocopug Recovery Journey

Cocopug

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3 weeks post knee replacement and still in quite a bit of discomfort. I wake up in the night a few times with pain. I am taking paracetamol and sometimes ibuprofen, still using icepack during the day. I have been doing PT exercises at home and have had one session at the PT gym.
I developed a slight infection in the wound, this is being treated with antibiotics. I feel like I should be in less pain than I am in.
 

Jockette

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@Cocopug

Pain at 3 weeks is quite normal, the surgery caused a lot of trauma to your whole leg. What exercises are you doing and what did you do in the PT gym? Overdoing can cause additional pain. Check out the Activity progression in the articles below.

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.

Just keep in mind all people are different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for you.“ Your doctors, PTs and BoneSmart are available to help, but you are the final judge as to the recovery approach you choose.

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.
 
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Cocopug

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Sorry for posting in the wrong place. Thank you for moving it.
I have been using a sort of bike pedal thing that I use sitting on a dining chair. I pedal for less then a minute and rest a minute then do 3 turns in total. I also do leg lifts and bends. I walk around the house and go and down stairs. At the PT I went on a thing where I had to push 60kg with my leg. I only did a few and told the PT that I didn’t think this was a good idea. I was 2 weeks post op when this happened.
I Also went on a treadmill for a minute or two. I had dreadful pain that night and the following day. I haven’t been back yet because I am worried, they told me’ what’s wrong with feeling some pain!’
My left knee also needs replacing and it is now irritating me and is becoming sore. I need to get back to work as soon as possible and I am concerned that my recovery is taking too long.
 

Jockette

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The bike pedaling is fine as long as you are comfortable. And just a minute or so, or just a few turns is excellent at this stage.

Leg lifts are not essential at this point, as an exercise. The only leg lifts I did was to get my leg up on my elevating wedge!

Be sure to keep your knee bends gentle, don’t bend to a painful point, and don’t use anything to help you bend more. Your ROM will return as your swelling goes down and you heal.
At the PT I went on a thing where I had to push 60kg with my leg.
I am surprised and outraged that they told you to do this at 2 weeks post op! You were wise to stop and take time off from going to their facility. It is far too early for this type of activity.

they told me’ what’s wrong with feeling some pain!’
This is the wrong attitude and I suggest you look for another facility, if possible. This office is giving you inappropriate PT.
I need to get back to work as soon as possible and I am concerned that my recovery is taking too long.
Your recovery has just begun, so it’s not taking too long, this can take an average of a year, for complete recovery, though you’ll feel better long before that. Many of us are not told that before surgery. What kind of work do you do?
 
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Cocopug

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I am a teaching assistant working with 10-11 year old students.
I am still keeping my leg straight when I walk because I think I can feel and hear my knee sort of grind when I try to use a normal walking motion.
This is my eighth surgery on both legs and by far the most painful. Thank you so much for your advice it is very appreciated.
 

ValleyGirl

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Wow!! I think you are doing way too much in PT. I am hurting just reading your story. Definitely read up on what is expected each week for PT and don't let anyone hurt you. Maybe find another PT? Listen to the moderators on this site and be cautious with PT.

Also read up on return to work time expected...I think it is like 6 weeks minimum. It can take longer and of course some people are faster.. Please don't push if you are not ready to go back to work.

Good luck to you!
 

Jockette

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You do want to bend your knee a bit as you walk, it will help improve your ROM and give your new joint mobility. That sort of grinding sound and feeling is very common and often clears up as you heal.


This is my eighth surgery on both legs and by far the most painful.
Wow, that’s a lot of surgeries. I’m sorry you’ve had such a time of it! :console2:Many of our members report that TKR is a tougher recovery than after any other surgery they’ve had.

Would you please tell us what surgeries you’ve had, on which knee and the dates? (at least the month and year, or a close estimate, if you can’t remember exact dates.) It would really help us advise you if we had the dates and procedures of those surgeries in your signature.
 
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Cocopug

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2008 two keyhole surgeries to tidy meniscus

Quite a few cortisone injections in both knees I have lost count over the years.

Osteotomy surgery on both legs due to knock knees in 2010 left leg in May and right leg in August. There were 4 screws and a titanium plate in each knee.

2019 hardware removed from left knee and keyhole meniscus tidy. More injections in knee

June 24 2021 hardware removed from right knee and another keyhole meniscus tidy. 7 October 2021 total knee replacement.

That is all I can remember and actually it would appear I’ve had more procedures than I first thought.
 

Jockette

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Thank you so much, and again, I’m sorry you’ve had to have so many. We’ll get these into your signature.
 

Booger

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Well I wish you much luck. This is only my 3rd surgery.1st major one where i was knocked out. Ganglionic cyst on my left top foot. And vasectomy. This one is the worst by far. I had mine on 9-29-21. So not very much longer. Just the last 3 or so days my swelling has went down some. I can actually move a little skin and muscle around my knee with my fingers. Before that it was just tight like a swollen grape.
Good luck and keep us posted.

Booger
 

kneeper

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At the PT I went on a thing where I had to push 60kg with my leg. I only did a few and told the PT that I didn’t think this was a good idea.
I agree! Way too early for something like that.
 
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Cocopug

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thank you, I hope you also feel better soon.
 
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Cocopug

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I went for my first (real) walk with crutches today.
I walked about 400m in total. My knee felt a little stiff when I got home, but not as bad as I thought it would. I iced it straight away and touch wood my leg wasn’t too sore. I must say that my balance wasn’t 100% and this knocked my confidence a little. I do have nerve damage in my - good foot which doesn’t help! I intend to go out tomorrow and do a few metres more if I can. I have to learn to walk properly and not keep my leg stiff like I am doing to avoid the sensation my new knee gives me, if that makes sense
 
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Cocopug

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Very unsettled nights sleep. Couldn’t find a bearable position to sleep because the left side of my knee was more painful than normal ( which is bad enough). The pain I had before the op was concentrated mostly where I have pain now. Am I being paranoid in thinking that perhaps this TKR hasn’t worked? I feel quite worried to be honest.
 

Ghostpipe

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Cocopug, please don’t worry, bless you. What you are experiencing is completely normal. TKRs hurt, and you are so early on. Most of us cannot sleep properly for weeks or months, I first slept through at about 10 weeks, and not consistently for weeks thereafter.
You will find that your knee will have pains and aches in and around it for quite some time yet as everything heals and settles down.
You are doing well with your walking. It does seem strange at first, but eventually it will begin to feel like your knee is part of you. Just take things 10 times slower than you can, want, or think you ought to. It’s so easy to overdo exercise, and it always hurts hours later, when it’s too late to wind back the clock.
Take care, and take it easy.
 

Jockette

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I agree with everything Ghostpipe said. The surgery causes a lot of disruption inside our leg, so don’t even think it hasn’t worked. You are in what we call “ the angry tissue stage” Things will improve as you heal, and healing is very slow in this recovery.
 

Booger

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Thank you for your encouragement, it is most appreciated. I need to become a more patient patient
Hang in there I cant sleep right now either. I guess its part of it. Dull pain all around my knee as we speak. just took 2 percocet.

Booger
 
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Cocopug

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Thank you for your encouragement, it is most appreciated. I need to become a more patient patient
Hang in there I cant sleep right now either. I guess its part of it. Dull pain all around my knee as we speak. just took 2 percocet.

Booger
You have my sympathy I just want a decent sleep
 

Booger

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I hope the sandman visits you tonight.

Booger
 

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