TKR Earth2Lise Knee #1

earth2lise

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Hi Everyone, I am brand new here and am so relieved to have found a community that is on my same journey. I had my RTKR on September 9th, 2021. My recovery has been very bumpy with terrible reactions to medication, nausea, vomiting, rash all over my body, hot flashes and, as a result, improperly managed pain and post op depression. The other result of all this is that my ROM flexion is stuck at 90. I have been so committed the last 3 weeks to improve it, I think I just made it worse by working it too hard (so sorry for the person who just tripped in her pants!).

I have had so many surgeries and ACL reconstructions on my knees previously, and always sailed through the recoveries, I naively thought I would do the same with this TKR. It's been a very humbling and frustrating journey thus far. Thank you all for being here and sharing your experience, strength and hope!
 

sistersinhim

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@earth2lise, welcome to Bonesmart! You have come to the best place to learn all about TKR recovery. It sounds like you have been through the mill with your after-surgery woes. Don't worry about your ROM. It is normal for it to fluctuate as you do different things.

I will add the date of your surgery to your signature for you. Please tell us about your other surgeries. These experiences can affect your healing and recovery.

Each person is different as is their recovery. Most find that the Bonesmart approach works best for them, but others find that a more aggressive therapy helps them more. It's your recovery and your choice on how you recover. As you read more on other members' recovery threads, you’ll get a better perspective of what to expect. The following are our basic guidelines and should help get you started.

Knee Recovery: The Guidelines

1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax and let it. Don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now; they are almost certainly only temporary.
2. Control discomfort:
rest
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when the pain starts!)​
3. Do what you want to do BUT...
a. If it hurts, don't do it, and don't allow anyone to hurt you.
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again for a few weeks.
4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these
5. Here is a week-by-week guide for Activity progression for TKRs


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.

Try out our great new opportunity to improve your gait. It's OneStep. It's free and you will find it to be a huge help to you. Click here: OneStep
 

Susie-Q

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Welcome @earth2lise ! :flwrysmile: I am about 11 days ahead of you. I'm sorry you have had so many issues early in your recovery. My ROM is not that much greater than yours at 105.
 
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earth2lise

earth2lise

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Thanks for the welcome and for sharing that with me, Susie-Q. It helps to hear that! This site is so comforting and helpful. After reading more on here, I recognize how important it is for me to let go of the ROM numbers and just do my stretches and exercises and focus on one day at a time. My impatience always gets me into trouble. I just had PT and was happy to hear that I didn't do any damage to my knee by aggressively trying to complete rotations on the stationary bike...just caused much more inflammation. Ugh. Back to RICE!
 

hawk2go

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Hey @earth2lise! We're a couple days apart. I also had several knee surgeries before TKR and those recoveries just don't compare - like, at all!

Although you're finishing your 6th week, the great articles that have been shared are still good touchstones for this recovery. I'm goal oriented, too and have to pretty consistently remind myself to be patient (@Susie-Q can attest). You cannot push your way to recovery.

You can check out my thread for details but know that I am still managing pain, still have trouble sleeping, and get better each week though every day is a rollercoaster.
 
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earth2lise

earth2lise

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I have a question for anyone out there on medication experiences. Because I have had such adverse reactions to medication, including Tylenol, I am at a loss as to what I should be taking at this point. My surgeon is no help (practice is in shambles), my PT can't help, so am truly just hanging out here trying to figure it out myself. I am currently just taking 400 mg. of Ibuprofen every 6 hours and 1/2 oxy if absolutely necessary. I ice and elevate many times throughout the day, which helps tremendously. Am just very gun shy of meds as I am still experiencing some nausea and the blistery rash on my torso. Have tried several different types of OTC and narcotics. Thank you!
 

Sisterpat

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Welcome, earth2lise! Have you discussed this with your primary care physician, if you have one? Does the ibuprofen calm the pain? There are some herbal things purported to ease pain, so you would have to do some research there.Keep us posted.
 

Reader525

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@earth2lise Oh I sympathize greatly with you as I went through a lot of misery with medication. I would dry heave and have persistent nausea from my Oxycodone and then Hydrocodone. I took both for the first 4 weeks because the pain was so awful for me. I decided that the nausea was better than the pain and I took Promethazine for the nausea from the pain pills. I think that's what saved me, the anti-nausea meds. I was able to eat a little and feel human. After 4 weeks, I started only taking 600 mg Ibuprofen and 500 mg Tylenol alternately every 3 hours.
It's such a challenge and such misery during the first month, then it eases up a little, still pain but not as terrible as before, then every week, a little less.
I hit 15 weeks today, and I am feeling better. I still have intermittent aching pain in my tibia and soreness of the knee when I walk but I see improvement and now am happy I had this done. I saw the PA yesterday and he reiterated that it's a 6 months to 1 year recovery.
Very interesting side note...on Monday I had acupuncture done by another orthopedist in the practice. He attached electrical impulses to the needles and placed a heat lamp over my leg and I lay there for 30 minutes. I am cautiously optimistic about it because I feel better. I'm having another treatment tomorrow. My PA said itvwould speed up my recovery.
Hang in there and be happy you found BoneSmart!
 

hawk2go

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I had acupuncture done by another orthopedist in the practice. He attached electrical impulses to the needles and placed a heat lamp over my leg and I lay there for 30 minutes. I am cautiously optimistic about it because I feel better. I'm having another treatment tomorrow. My PA said it would speed up my recovery.
Very interesting. Keep us posted.

@earth2lise - everyone is so different. My surgeon's fav pain cocktail after TKR is celebrex and oxy. I'm allergic to celebrex (got that full body rash) and the oxy alone wasn't covering the pain, so we cycled through 5 other pain meds to get to the combo that worked for me. I agree that your PCP should be able to help with pain management if your surgical team is being unresponsive. In the first several weeks, controlling my pain took 80% of my focus.
 
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earth2lise

earth2lise

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Thank you all for your replies. This is very helpful. I may contact my PCP for help, although the last time I contacted her about issues with my TKR, she sent me to the ER, which was not helpful. Sorry for the negativity, but between the pandemic and the Maine health worker mask mandate, medical practices and hospitals are really struggling with lack of staff, so not an optimal time to be needing extra help. That's one of the many reasons BoneSmart is so great!

I am also going to look into what @Reader525 mentioned. As @hawk2go mentioned, very interesting!

Thank you!
 

VSing

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I am about 10 days ahead of you. Had many days those first few weeks when I had lots of ‘blue’ days and wished I had never had the surgery. My flexion was ok but I could not walk without aids until I was almost 6 weeks postop. This is not an easy recovery but after it is all over you won’t remember these difficult days. I had my other knee replaced last year and it was a completely different recovery. Not only is every or different but every knee is different!
 

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