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[BILATERAL TKR] Dickybird’s rehab in Sydney Australia

Roy Gardiner

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Do I have it correct that two issues in recovery are 1. Resolution of the tissue damage and swelling resulting from the operation and 2. Strengthening the muscles around the replaced joint? Because again, if I have it right, Resolution of the damage and swelling is promoted by rest and elevating the limb and strengthening the muscles is promoted by exercise. These are opposing treatments and I am interested to know how to find the right compromise between rest and exercise.
My take on this is very simple; healing trumps training, every time. If you train damaged or partially healed knees, you will compound the damage. If you wait and just do mobility stretching, sure you won't get any stronger. But eventually you will be able to train as much as you like -- well maybe not powerlifting :shocked: but walking, swimming, cycling no bother.
 

Celle

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Heal first; strengthen later.
It's wise to not start any strengthening exercises until about 3 months after this surgery.
 
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Dickybird

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Eleven weeks post op. Both knees still discomfort free while elevated on my wedge pillow so still no painkillers of any sort needed. But 30 seconds after getting on my feet my knees swell up, redden and stiffen. Not enough to stop daily activities, but two hours on my feet is as much as the knees will allow. Its OK watching television (the Australian Open Tennis has been on) if I keep my knees elevated. BUT there has been a breakthrough! They will allow me to sleep on my side at last! :wowspring: I put a pillow between my knees so no knee or ankle contact and keep the legs elevated on my wedge pillow. A sign that healing has progressed. We are setting off on a cruise from Singapore to Brisbane in 5 weeks so I sincerely hope stiffness will be much less by then. Thanks to all who have provided me encouragement. May this report encourage others.
 

Atlas_aus

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Hey mate,

Following with interest, especially the side sleeping. Trust the cruise went well.
 
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Dickybird

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Its now nearly 8 months post op so I can report on progress. I can now sleep on either side and only rarely need to sleep on my back. I use a pillow to keep my knee slightly elevated. Stiffness on getting up is much less and first thing each morning my knees feel very good. But as the day goes on with my usual activity they can feel less and less comfortable and I need to rest and preferably elevate them. Despite that I can now walk up to 2 kilometres a day. I am encouraged by the example of a friend who had both knees TKRd by the same surgeon 2 years ago and who now plays tennis. I like to hope the time will come when my knees do not bring attention to themselves and I can just take them for granted as in the distant days of my youth. Tell me it can happen!
 

Atlas_aus

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I like to hope the time will come when my knees do not bring attention to themselves and I can just take them for granted as in the distant days of my youth. Tell me it can happen!
Love it.

Those days are such a distant memory for me :)

I had been using a pillow between my legs long before my knees... It helped to relieve my back which I have had 2 surgeries....

Hope you had fun in the cruise
 

Benay

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I use the pillow too, have been able to sleep on my side since the first week. I hope the cruise was fun, I read your recovery thread with interest. Gave me reassurance.
 

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