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TKR Coming up on 5 months post TKR ~ still with pain when WB

fenway09

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Finally......the anticipation of the surgery is behind me. All went well and as surgeon put it.......it was unremarkable. I had a femoral block along with General A ......I had 125 ROM and about 14 extension post PT session yesterday as the nerve block had not worn off. Today is a totally different story. So much pain and swelling and aching. I cannot lift my leg without an assist from my good leg. Did my morning exercises to the best of my ability. Have VNA- PT coming at 2pm for an evaluation and then will start next week with visits. I have the ICEMAN cuff which is a Godsend. Also have the Colpac industrial Gel Ice packs for under my thigh. The thigh is so sore from the tourniquet they used during the operation. I didn't get much forewarning about that pain prior to surgery. I have already cried twice today. One day at a time. I look forward to sharing my experience and seeing how others are recovering. :alarm:
 

Irish471

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@fenway09 , it is a big relief to have finally gotten to the other side after surgery is over. We all do lots of crying the first couple of weeks. No one is truly prepared for the kind of pain this surgery brings. I even thought, "dear God, I think I just make the biggest mistake of my life!" I didn't. It all gets better :console2: One of the forum moderators will be sending you recovery reading and reassurances. This forum has been such a wonderful thing!
 
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fenway09

fenway09

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Thank you so much for the cheer.....those same thoughts that you spoke of crossed my mind earlier.......but I trust it will get better......more pain to get less pain eventually. :angel:
 

Celle

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Welcome to recovery, @fenway09 .
The first few days are hard, but it's important to get your pain medication regime sorted out, so that your pain is controlled.

Don't worry about doing your exercises. right now, ankle pumps are important, but your nee doesn't need a lot more exercise. For now, walking is all it needs.
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 ROM is there right from the start, just waiting for all that to happen, so it can show itself.

Here's your recovery reading:
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
elevate
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)
don't overwork.
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 a 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 history before providing advice.
 

Cynof4

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@fenway09,
So glad to hear you are on the recovery side and on the mend! I'll be watching your recovery thread closely as we have such similar knee histories. As much as I think I am preparing myself, I'm sure there will be more than a few tears shed on the journey as well. I've always told others I'd rather feel deeply than not feel at all, but orthopedic pain? That's another story!!!
Rest, ice and elevate my friend!:flwrysmile:
~Cynthia
 
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fenway09

fenway09

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So, I got through the weekend.........which has been kind of a blur. Some visitors breezing in and out and lots of ice, pain meds and sleeping, along with elevating and reading about others TKR recovery:). All I can say is that it hurts like crazy when weight bearing or doing exercises but zero pain when at rest. I have met with 2 different PT's over the weekend and continued my short 30 rep total for the day exercise regimen, given to me at discharge. It is hard to believe this leg will eventually feel normal when currently it feels tight, twisted, sore and like a block of concrete. I need to keep reminding myself that I am only 4 days out from a major surgery and a knee that has taken a beating over the past year beginning with the tibial plateau fracture. I am wondering how others pain levels were the first few weeks? Thanks all!
 

lisabl

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Great to be on other side of surgery, and be prepared to be bored. I had my op on 13th May, home on 16th May and chillin ever since. Make sure you are ahead on your meds, I am sure that is helping me with pain management. Will keep each other posted on progress as close together in op date.
 

Jockette

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. All I can say is that it hurts like crazy when weight bearing or doing exercises but zero pain when at rest. I have met with 2 different PT's over the weekend and continued my short 30 rep total for the day exercise regimen, given to me at discharge
At 4 days post op you don’t need 30 reps or any exercise that hurts.

Pain when weight bearing is par for the course this early, so you can’t really avoid that.

Rest, ice and take your pain meds as prescribed, do some ankle pumps and some short walks, but don’t do anything that hurts. Your leg is struggling to figure out what happened to it and to start healing.
 

Rather

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@fenway09 I'll be 2 weeks out from surgery tomorrow and I too know first-hand how brutal these first few days/weeks can be. I made a vow to do as little as possible other than rest, elevate and ice and I have kept to that. That approach helped me quite a bit although I have cried more over the past 3 weeks than I have in the past 3 years. Others on this forum have mentioned how helpful it is looking back to see how far they have come because the recovery will take so long and it is so easy to be discouraged. So every day I write down something, no matter how trivial, that was better than before - putting on my socks, managing not to cry for a whole day, wanting to eat an apple, etc. When I look back at my list, it helps me see that things are improving, even if in the larger sense it seems as if the pain and discomfort may never subside. Sending good healing karma in your direction...
 

winemama

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This is my second TKR , first was 2/19. I’m having so much trouble with this one. Just when I think I can cut back up on pain meds, my knee screams NOPE. I cry more then ever, I’m depressed, I read all the good thoughts and info on the site. I know it will get better day by day My body is beaten down by all the surgeries in the last 4 months. Day by day. My motto
 
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fenway09

fenway09

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winemama I hear you. This am when I woke up with the pain, I thought this is worse then pre--surgery. I am trying to go with I have more pain right now to end up with less pain. I never thought I could cry as much as I have over the last year. It seems to be unpredictable too.......but feelings are fluid and they will change. We will persevere and get through to the other side, one step at a time. :yahoo:
 

Celle

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This is my second TKR , first was 2/19. I’m having so much trouble with this one. Just when I think I can cut back up on pain meds, my knee screams NOPE. I cry more then ever, I’m depressed,
It is going to get better. Try not to compare this second knee with your first knee, because no two knees are ever the same.

You're not even a month from having this major surgery, so it's too soon to cut back on pain medications. You need them right now, but as your knee heals you will need them less and less.
 

Cynof4

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@fenway09,
Just checking in to send you healing wishes. I hope each day is getting a little better. Hang in there!
~Cynthia :flwrysmile:
 
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fenway09

fenway09

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Hi Cynthia! I thought this would be a breeze compared to the TPF.......oh NO...........it hurts, up to an 8 even with the pain meds. Doing my best to stay on schedule with my exercises........not to do too much or too little. Walking is the worst. I am only in week one, so trying to give myself a break. Thanks for checking in with me.:sleep:
 

Jockette

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Doing my best to stay on schedule with my exercises.....
At one week post op you don’t need a lot of exercises, just a little bit of walking.

It’s not exercising that gets our range of motion back, it’s Time:

Time to recover.
Time for pain and swelling to settle.
Time to heal.

Our range of motion is right there all
along just waiting for that to happen so it can show itself.

In the general run of things, it doesn't need to be fought for, worked hard for or worried about. It will happen. Exercise as in strength training is counter-productive and in the early weeks does more harm than good. Normal activity is the key to success.
 

lisabl

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Hi @fenway09 I am off to hydrotherapy today and just hoping PT is not going to cause more swelling. I have spent the last week resting and icing and pottering around the house. Exercises for me consisted of heal slides and leg lifts (to get on and off the sofa - don't use leg lifter much now), and nothing else, and I can walk around house with one stick on a fairly good gait with leg straight. I know I am only a couple of days ahead of you surgery wise but I have literally done nothing except sit and read this forum or watch tv and sleep....lots of sleep...day and night. I am sure things will start improving bit by bit for you. Hugs
 
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fenway09

fenway09

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Hi @lisabl Thank you for your update and words of encouragement. I have had 4 in home PT visits since I got home from one overnight stay in hospital last week. I get up out of bed at least once every 2 hours and do my PT exercises 3 times a day ( 6 exercises of 10 reps each). That is awesome that you can walk around the house with a cane and straight leg? without too much pain? I am using a walker to maneuver to the bathroom and back and it is quite painful with every step. My bandage was removed yesterday and the scar looks really good which I am grateful for. I am icing most of the day and sticking to pain med schedule very closely. Best of luck in Hydrotherapy today.:yawn:
 

sistersinhim

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I get up out of bed at least once every 2 hours and do my PT exercises 3 times a day ( 6 exercises of 10 reps each).
You are doing way too much for a newborn baby knee that's only 1 week old. All I did was a few heel slides and ankle pumps. I also got up at least every hour or so and walked to the bathroom or kitchen or both. My recovery went very well with limited swelling and controlled pain. All those exercises just keep your knee angered and swollen. As long as you have swelling you'll have pain and less ROM. Read your recovery articles and follow them as best as you can and you'll find yourself feeling and healing better.

You and your body's first order of business is to heal. During this critical period of several months it is important to never do anything that causes you pain or pushes your knee to excess. This disrupts the healing process.
https://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/activity-progression-for-tkrs.14334/#post-323819
 

Jockette

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do my PT exercises 3 times a day ( 6 exercises of 10 reps each).
I agree with sistersinhim, this is way too much and totally unnecessary. It will only maintain/increase your pain level and won’t help with healing or ROM.

This is an outdated approach to recovery, not that it was ever appropriate to start with.
 

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