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TKR DBN's Recovery Thread

DBN

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Am 9 weeks today.. face to Face PT sidelined around 3 weeks ago...have been doing virtual PT to keep moving forward...while ROM and straightening doing ok... walking is NOT...feel like rubber band below my knee...and all of my muscles/tendons/ligaments are just not rebounding as I had hoped...getting frustrated... mornings are better than evenings when swelling increases...try to rest and elevate, etc... but no difference.. not sure if this is normal... know everyone different...
 
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DBN

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Forgot to mention... this is right total knee replacement on Feb 13...
 

Celle

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Hello @DBN - and :welome:



You will see that I have moved your posts and started a recovery thread just for you.

By putting the above posts in someone else's thread, you were disrupting her thread, which should be about her own recovery.
Forum etiquette: being polite when posting

So this is now your recovery thread, where we can talk about your recovery.
Please post any updates or questions about your recovery in this thread from now on. We will see them there, as someone checks all the new posts every day.

If you need an urgent response to a question, just tag a member of staff.
How to tag another member; how to answer when someone tags you

If you prefer a different thread title, just post what you want and we'll get it changed for you.

Just in case you couldn't find your thread, here are the instructions on finding your thread,
How can I find my threads and posts? . Many members bookmark their thread, so they can find it when they log on.
 

Celle

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At 9 weeks, you're still very early in a recovery that takes a full year, so there's plenty of time for everything to improve. That tight band will be with you for several months yet, but it will gradually decrease. You'll be able to do most things long before the year is up.

The big thing about this recovery is that it's a long haul. It's not like many surgeries, where you're basically back to normal in a couple of months. This recovery is more like a marathon than a sprint, so you have to pace yourself and try not to expect too much, too soon. Patience will be your best friend.

Go easy on the exercises. They're not essential, because your knee will get all the exercise it needs as you use it during your activities of daily living. Keep using your walking aids until you can walk more easily.

It's normal for your knee to be more swollen by the evening, especially if you're up and about most of the time.

Here are the BoneSmart recovery guidelines, with advice and articles that should help you:
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. Try to 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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DBN

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Good morning, I posted at 9 weeks about my walking challenges...It is now going to be 14 weeks... TRK on Feb 13. Went back to surgeon for 3 month check up this week. Looks like knee itself is recovering fine, however the continued swelling in the right side/ quad/ plus the rubber band tightness under the knee causing weakness for walking... Dr feels it will come in time, however concerned that I am now in pain in IT band /shin and everywhere else in leg leading up to hip now from TRYING to walk everyday... plus the swelling daily is painful...

Not sure if I should be resting this or working through the pain...

Up til now pt has been 3 days a week... With lots of deep tissue massage...stretching and stationary bike And walking at home.. ROM and extension is not the issue— all ok there. It hid the walking...

Any thoughts on what to do for the next month til my next appt. don’t want to lose ground with my progress...
 

sistersinhim

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Swelling and pain is a sign that you are doing too much. Your knee isn't even 1/3 of the way healed yet and what you are doing is too much for it. You don't need to walk any extra every day. Just doing your normal activities will be enough for your knee.

Rest, ice, and elevate more until the swelling and pain go down. Your knee is rebelling against what you are doing to it.
 

Jockette

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Up til now pt has been 3 days a week... With lots of deep tissue massage...stretching and stationary bike And walking at home
Lots of deep tissue massage would not work for me as my body is very sensitive. My personal opinion is that for some of us, our knee/leg does not like this much handling, while still so early in this year long recovery.

You also might be doing too much activity in your PT sessions, and at home.
 
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DBN

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Thanks for the input... I was starting feel I was handling my leg too much... I had stepped back on ice at this point... but will reintroduce it again to work on swelling...

With walking...I just don’t feel my knee is stable yet and I am using a cane... but feel am over compensating and now right hip is hurting where I never had pain before... Starting to avoid walking which I don’t want to do
 

Jockette

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I think if you cut back your activity a bit and maybe stop those deep tissue massages, your leg will settle down. It could feel unstable because it’s being worked more than it’s ready for. Try just some short walks each day and just do your normal daily activities as you are able. Give it some time and then gradually increase your activity as you want and as you are able.

At about 3.5 months post op you still have a lot of healing to do. I was still using my cane at 3.5 months, also. I just felt so uncertain walking when I was not home and it took a long time before my balance was restored. I was a bit embarrassed about it, as I felt the TKR veterans in my 55+ community were watching me and grading me pass/fail. However, if I ever do this again, I’m going to get a jazzy looking cane and enjoy the confidence it gives me. I can always say it’s too pretty to put away!:heehee:
 
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DBN

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Thank you... will surrender to the cane for a bit more and cut back my activity and give my poor body a rest! So... after getting through your first year ... glad you had it done?
 

Jockette

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! So... after getting through your first year ... glad you had it done?
I had a partial, and all the promotions about partials did not come true for me, so I’m sorry to say that no, I’m not glad I had it done. I went into this blindly trusting the first surgeon I saw. I’ve learned a lot in the 3 years since, thanks to Bonesmart, so next time will go much differently.

I also had some aggressive PT early on, and my surgeon was a fan of pushing my knee to a painful place when he measured my ROM at all appointments until I finally refused to let him do that (at my 7 month check up). So, a lot of things will be going differently next time, not that I’m in any hurry for it!

Even though in general I have not had a good outcome, I can testify that my ROM continued to improve well after the 2 year post op mark, as my whole leg continued to heal and relax. I’m not better than I was before surgery but I’m a lot better than I was right after surgery!
 
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DBN

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Thanks for sharing your story ..
 
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DBN

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So... now 19 weeks post TKR on right...still continued very tight knee, plus IT band pain. I CAN walk, but with a limp due to inflammation-now getting a steroid treatment to try to reduce inflammation... not noticing much change. Saw surgeon earlier this week, The knee is doing fine structurally, as far as their work— no problems...was referred to physical medicine/rehab physician to look at pain management... I keep reading the posts of others and waiting for the day tightness goes away... then limp and pain will improve...Inflammation is internal more than visible—-never goes away... In the mean time, I am going to go baby my knee... hold off on PT which I have done 2 times a week... Was having deep tissue massage there... dr feels I may have aggravated things more than helped...Start aqua therapy next week when pool at pt practice opens... for now I am giving everything a rest..But am always uncomfortable...any other suggestions...
 

sistersinhim

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All my tightness went away at about 9 months. Remember that you still have a lot of healing going on inside that knee of yours. Swelling is part of the problem we have when we do more than that knee is ready to do. That swelling is caused by inflammation and results in that tight feeling.
 
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DBN

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Thanks for reminding me... now ‘anything’ seems like ‘too much’.... pain and stiffness impeding daily living...just disheartening...But tomorrow is another hopeful day!
 

Jazzhands

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I am going through the same things as you. My right TKR was February 17. I still cannot take a walk or ride a bike or do anything without causing a lot of pain, stiffness, and inflammation. It is very depressing. I have now stopped all physical therapy, as it only seems to aggravate it and makes life unbearable. The only thing I have not tried is walking in a pool. Some pools are opening here so I am going to try it and see how it feels. I am an active person, and sitting in a chair so much is driving me absolutely crazy.
 

doodlebug60

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jazzhands;
sorry to hear that you are having such a bad time. I am just ahead of you. I had ltkr on 13 February. I can honestly say that my recovery has been one of the better ones. I can do pretty much anything that I want to. Bonesmart has been a major contributor in my recovery. it could also be that I haven't taken any formal PT. I just did light stretching and ADL's. I did use a cpm machine lightly for the 1st 2 weeks that helped with heel slides. other than that all I did was rest, ice, and elevation every chance I got. I even slept at night in the cpm machine with ice on and it running. I didn't even use pain meds to much because the ice kept my pain levels at a minimum. I am doing aqua therapy now on my own. walking in the pool at the YMCA, and doing stretching in the hot tub. I Love the jacuzzi!!! the hot water loosens the knee wonderfully. maybe you could try that and see if it helps you also. prayers for a great recovery.
 

doodlebug60

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sorry dbm I replied to jazzhands on your thread. my bad. hope you have a good day
 

Jazzhands

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Doodlebug60: I'm glad to hear your recovery is going well. I am jealous! I am eliminating PT and adding the pool tomorrow so I am hoping better days are ahead. Boy, this is rough.
 

Jockette

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4-5 months post op is still less than halfway healed, and I experienced the same struggles at that point that you are.

I live in a 55+ community, and at this point in my recovery our pool was open. Even this far into recovery I overdid the bending in the pool and had to take a break from going. So, just be careful as some of you are starting to go to the pool.

Some of us progress in this recovery faster/slower than others, and we have to accept that. I was so worried about what I thought was my slow recovery but I’ve since learned that others had a similar recovery to mine.

Where you are now is not where you will end up.
 

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