I've got to say that I like the idea that your therapist gave you about writing down worst case scenarios. I just may have to give that a try because I always anticipate the worst. What is a problem for me is having routine tests done, like a mammogram. I will stress out terribly until I get those results. And of course it's only gotten worse since my sister developed breast cancer 2 years ago and we have absolutely no history in the family. And not only do I worry about myself but all my family. I think all those years as a nurse, dealing with the illnesses that people go through has made me so leary of what can happen. I once heard a doctor jokingly say that you can get very ill reading medical books. And never google a symptom that you have. So I do understand anxiety. Something I work on every day.
I really think as you continue to heal and get stronger, these fears will subside because you will see your improvements and those worse case scenario didn’t come true.
I personally think reading positive things is what I would choose to do. Positive things that don’t have anything to do with a knee replacement, to take my mind off my knee and to something happy to distract me from those fears.
You’re exhausted after work because your knee is still healing. You’re a quarter of the way to complete healing. Anxiety also takes a lot of energy, I’ve been there, too.
You are right, and my heart goes out to anyone who has struggled here. In my case, the struggles are mental. My fears were triggered and I have an anxiety disorder, so that's been difficult. I think had I been more prepared for the recovery part of this surgery I would have fared better. I'm not sure I'm going through with the exposure therapy in the same way my therapist wants, but I will do my own version of it. This website also has a lot of good outcome stories, and some that were initially difficult are getting better.
This is a long recovery and most of us feel more fatigued than usual for a few months after the surgery. If you need to come home and crash and not do much else for a while yet, that doesn't mean anything dire is going on with your recovery.
I went back to work but am finding much more stiffness and new aches in the knee that I havent felt before. Bursa and tendinitis, I believe, I'm thinking of retiring. I like working but my body doesnt right now.
I also went back to work and finding it difficult even with 1/2 days. I never thought I would even think about retiring until now. But at age 62 and my husband who is retired on my health plan I just couldn’t afford the health care costs. I’m hoping this is just a phase and once we fill better or even somewhat normal start enjoying our jobs again. Hang in there but do what’s best for you
Yes, Dale, going back to work does put a strain on a healing knee.
Many people experience an increase in pain and swelling, until their knee has healed a bit more. During this time, try to do as little as possible, apart from work.
I've heard of your therapist's suggestion before. It's similar in a way to the advice given to someone who has to do or say something in public and is nervous. They ask them to think what would be the worst thing that could happen and usually to visualise the audience naked. The latter part's not really going to work in your case, but I think writing down what you think might be the worst scenario and also reading positive comments might work. When we've done too much it can often make everything else seem worse so make sure you do get plenty of rest whenever it's possible.
I've had a busy week and my knee is telling me off this morning so I'm having an easy day today. Take care and be kind to yourself.
When do people start doing strengthening exercises other than walking? I have followed all the recommendations as offered by Josephine. I am 4 mos out, have returned to work, but my quad and calf feels weak and in need of strengthening. Is there a recommendation for increasing strength beyond walking? I still have a lot of stiffness yet and hear that increased movement may help with stiffness, or is it increased elevation and icing that helps with stiffness @ my point in recovery.
I'm confused after reading some posts about strengthening after 12 weeks. What exactly do you do to build strength aside from walking and stationary bike? I appreciate any suggestions.
Thanks for any advice.
For me, the pool helps enormously. I feel able to extend, bend and mobilise so much easier. In the water I feel like I’m back to being normal. Trying to do this outside, is another story.. I remain similar to you. Uncomfortable and feel like my knee is foreign.
@Elad1002 please don't get disheartened with your progress everyone is different I had an arthroscopy in Feb 2017 4 months later (where you are now) I was getting an aspiration due to excessive swelling and had flexion of about 80 at the time I then had another aspiration a month later. Then all of a sudden the swelling/tightness was gone and I had 145 degree flexion. You've had a TKR for goodness sake!
I believe you are correct. I plan to focus on the positive and forgo the recommended therapy. There are other ways to tackle anxiety. I am tired of always thinking the worst. I know there is validity in exposure therapy, but not this type for me, not right now. My new strategy is to visualize positive outcome. It feels better on my mind and body to go this route. Thanks.
I remember 4 months post op very well. We are all different, but I was not anywhere near ready to do strengthening exercises at that point. In fact, I had a very major set back at about that time. Before my set back I still swelled easily and was icing several times a day. I still couldn’t sit comfortably with my feet on the floor, like when I was in a restaurant. At home I always had my legs up on an ottoman.
Thanks. I get stiff after walking and especially standing. I find riding the stationary bike loosens it up a little. I am still.icing at least 3 hours a day. The stiffness is getting annoying to say the least, it's hard to plan activity in work . I ice before I leave for work because I know I have to sit at least 1.5 hours for morning report when I get there. I work in long term care/ rehab and there is not a regular pattern to my day. I could be on my feet for 4 interspersed hours or 2 hours. It depends on the amount of short term rehab admissions we get, ranges from.0-6. I have to do admission paperwork on all of them so I thought maybe lightly strengthening the quads at this point in my recovery might be what is needed. I've been so inactive even before the surgery because of the pain. I need to start out gentle, this I know for sure. I wonder if just walking is enough to strengthen the quads? Not sure. Thanks.
Some gentle exercises/activities you can do are:
Stairs, avoid over doing.
Terminal knee extension, lying on your back, with a towel roll under your knee, gently lift your lower leg, no weights.
The Chair Pew exercise, start with less time than mentioned, you can get sore very fast if you over do this activity,
Your challenge is to avoid over doing any of these exercises/activities, listen to your knee and if it says stop, stop!