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Revision TKR Elaine’s slow-as-a-snail revision recovery

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eelainea65

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@jboles {Hugs} always back at you!
@sistersinhim It wasn’t too bad. Worst part is getting into a low car.
@Lindylee Thanks! ☺
@Jamie But it’s so tempting to compare!
@Irish471 Do you recall if your inflammation was ridiculous? My skin was so taught I felt like a balloon just waiting to pop! Pain has not been agreeable. O_o I was an “8” upon reaching my appt. I, too, was told, “No aspirin until further notice!”

Bleeding ceased overnight. Incision was examined. No fresh blood, so he put on fresh gauze and a lightweight compression wrap. Was told that if it started bleeding again and didn’t dry up within two days, they might bring me back, put me under, and sew me up again. He was also contemplating putting me on antibiotics lest “bugs” get in there. Said my flexion was surprisingly good given I hadn’t had any PT. And then proceeded to tell me to begin right away. >_>

Today’s blessings (trying to stay positive, you know?):
1) My daughter’s old boyfriend saw my post on FB and came to take me to/from appt.
2) Volunteers at OHSU whisked me by wheelchair to/from 12th floor orthopedic wing.
3) I didn’t get admitted to hospital.
4) Post-appt treat of Elephant’s Deli chocolate mousse. (If you’re familiar w/ Portland, OR, you’ll understand.)
5) Another dear friend stopped by to check on me and promptly changed my bed sheets which were crime scene worthy.
6) New Nectar mattress was unscathed. *whew*
 

Lindylee

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How lovely that he saw your post and chauffeured you. What a nice guy and a good friend checking up on you. At times like this you find out who your friends are. So glad it turned out ok. Fingers crossed that you have a trouble free recovery from now on,
 

sistersinhim

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How blessed your truly are! Great that your bleeding has stopped and that your doctor likes your bend. If you're doing so well without PT, why does he want you to go?? Doesn't make sense. It was very uplifting the way you printed out your positives about yesterday. We all need to do that, starting with me.
 

Irish471

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@eelainea65 , I am so glad everything worked out okay! Yes, the pain was horrible with the hematoma, a 10 every day in between doses of painmeds. It was extremely swollen and it honestly felt like someone hit my knee with a sledgehammer. When I went in and they removed the dressing, the coloration was all mottled, a mixture of yellow and red. The OS wanted to see if he could draw some of the blood out to relieve the pressure. OhmyGod! :bawl: That hurt so bad! I just laid there with my hands covering my face sobbing. He couldn't get anything because it has clotted. I was so upset about the whole thing. I made my husband take me to Dairy Queen for ice cream :heehee: Because chocolate cures everything, right?!? It works for me!

My doc, too, said start outpatient physical therapy right away so I went home and made an appointment for Monday (was at OS on a Friday). I think he was really worried about scar tissue forming from the hematoma. And you know, physical therapy has been the best thing. I had a long history already with my therapist and I trust him 100%. He has his Masters degree and has been doing this for a long time. I hope you have someone just as good that you trust. If not, ask the doc to refer you to the best.

It's awesome your flexion is already good. Mine was 74 when I started and over the course of a month, I got to 95. I worked hard at it, every day 2-3 times a day. Others might disagree, but this was the right path for me. I was never in terrible pain before, during, or after physical therapy. There was discomfort, sure, but nothing Tylenol and an occasional oxycodone can't handle. The best thing for the inflammation was the electrical stimulation machine at physical therapy. I have that applied with ice at the end of every session. Some people call them a TENS machine.
You have good people looking out for you! :loveshwr: Keep icing and elevating. I elevated whenever I was sitting or laying down. And I kept an ace bandage on for a couple of weeks to help compress things. Not too tight, though. I hope you're feeling better today!
 

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@eelainea65 .... your latest post provides very good news. I'm so glad things are a bit brighter today.
 
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eelainea65

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So that bleeding suture episode I told you about? There was a repeat performance last Thursday morning, 5/23. Same song and dance. Went to clinic. It had stopped, so he patched me up and put me on a precautionary antibiotic (Keflex). Then last night, Monday 5/27, AGAIN. I was taking a nap and woke up to a bloody mess. O_o How long will this go on?! Good thing I hadn’t resumed taking the aspirin! It’ll be one month tomorrow since the revision.
5:12 AM: Still haven’t slept. I’m uncomfortable and feel like my recovery has stalled. =‘(
Will call the clinic at 8 AM to see if I need to go in yet again.
Signed,
A sad, tired Elaine
P.S. And, just for funsies, I’m also now experiencing that not-so-delightful involuntary thigh muscle clenching phenomena that occurs primarily at night. *hrmph*
 
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Celle

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Will call the clinic at 8 AM to see if I need to go in yet again.
You should go in again - and ask your surgeon what he/she proposes to do about this continued bleeding. It's pretty obvious that one of your smaller blood vessels was not sealed off properly during the surgery and it's continuing to leak.

That may cure itself, with time and rest, or something further may need to be done. It's not acceptable that, at almost a month post-op, this is still happening.
 

Lindylee

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That sounds awful. I hope you get some answers and a solution that stops it happening again. Let us know how you get on. :console2:
 
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eelainea65

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Forgive my lengthy absence. Been really dejected the past few weeks. =‘(
To pick up where I left off, I had a few more bleeding episodes which sent me back to OHSU. They put me on a second antibiotic, doxycycline, which came with all kinds of lovely side effects. O_o

June 11: my knee gushed serous fluid and there was no room for me in the inn [my ortho clinic]. So I called Uber and spent ~10 hrs at OHSU’s ER. Knee was warm to the touch, but blood work didn’t point to infection. My c-reactive protein (10.4) had also gone down substantially since revision. However, as I was discharged, the on-call orthopedic surgeon’s final words to me were ominous: “You aren’t out of the woods yet.” =|

June 13: I visited my own surgeon two days later (one day before I was *supposed* to have my 6 wk follow-up where I would normally have x-rays, demonstrate a full extension and a 90° flexion, and be cleared for discussion of my other knee’s revision). I feared the possibility of his wanting to go in and “clean everything out and stitch you up again” or the dreaded two-stage revision.

I gussied myself up or as Mammy said of Scarlett, “a mule in horse harness.” Wore a dress, makeup, and did my hair (that is, not a hoodie and a ponytail)! I was determined to look the picture of health despite my cantankerous, oozing knee.

Fortunately, knee behaved and he thought it benign. Still made me take a third round of that brutal doxycycline. >_>
No recommendation for surgery! *whew*
He said to follow up in six weeks.

June 26: Fast forward to today. Hole seems to have FINALLY closed. No sign of wetness. At eight weeks, I’m still -3° extension and only 94° flexion. =( Stairs are very difficult. Could probably walk 1/2 mile, but would be reaching for a Tramadol! Pain is noticeable when standing/walking, but bearable. PT is a whole ‘nother story.

TMI: The man I love ghosted me last month. The resulting heartache hasn’t exactly helped my physical healing or pain perception. Speaking with a counselor and even considering an antidepressant to help get me thru this difficult period of my life.

And there you have it. The good, the bad, and the pretty ugly. Thanks for the prayers and words of encouragement. At this point, though it’s uncomfortable, I don’t want to move forward with the other knee’s revision. I simply haven’t the fortitude (or money) to go through this again.

Elaine
 
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Jockette

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I’m so sorry for all you’re going through. It’s a lot to deal with all the way around. I had an emotional event at 5 months post op, and it made my very slowly healing knee feel much worse.

I don’t remember if you’ve given any details about PT, but I get the impression it’s causing you pain. Don’t let it. Painful PT is absolutely not necessary.

A bend of 94 at 8 weeks after all you’ve been through is fine. It will improve as your leg settles down and heals. Don’t believe them if they tell you that you have limited time to regain ROM. Mine is still improving and it’s been more than 2 years since my surgery.

Big hugs! :console2::console2:
 

sistersinhim

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Elaine, you are a trooper! I'd be batty if I had gone through what you have. And that boyfriend of yours...you're better off without him. If all he wants are the good times, then to the curb he needs to go! I pray for the healing of your leg and your emotions. :prayer:
 

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Oh, I'm sorry to hear of all your problems. What a rotten bloke to hit you when you're down. In the long run you are probably better off without him, but it's a tough order when you're already struggling. There's nothing much I can say to make you feel better, so will send a virtual hug from across the pond and the hope that things improve with the coming of a new month. :console2:
 
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eelainea65

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@Jockette, @sistersinhim, and @Lindylee: Thank you all for the prayers, hugs, and encouragement.

9 1/2 weeks: Wish I could say I’m in the home stretch, but both knees are swollen and incredibly painful. My heart’s still ouchy, too. </3 I think I almost made it to an 8 today. =| (Considered taking a Tramadol, but it hardly helped the last time I was hurting.)

At least my incision is finally dry!!! And last measurements were extension at 0° and flexion at 103°.

Was lured by a friend to join her at the coffee shop a block away. I thought better of it, especially considering all those blasted stairs. (What was I thinking when I chose a 3rd-floor apartment ~10 years ago?!) But I ended up walking over as I hate being cooped up at home!

Home now w/ my feet up. It was, as Jack Sparrow would say, “A fool’s errand.“ My knees are throbbing and I’m having those “Why did I have these surgeries?!” regrets.
By this stage, many are already making plans to return to work. I can’t even imagine being ready by 12 weeks. >_<

I keep wondering if there is something I should be taking (a supplement?)/doing (more exercise or less?)/eating (more protein?) that would speed healing.

Does it take longer to heal from a revision than a first TKR? Is the recovery more painful?!

Elaine

P.S. Have lost 11 lbs now. Aiming for 2 lbs per week. I figure the more I lose, the less my knees have to bear!

P.P.S. Would be especially helpful to hear from anyone who had their knee revision between mid-April and mid-May.
 
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Lindylee

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I really feel for you. I'm no medic, but maybe all the problems you had with the incision have made the whole healing process slower? I believe that some surgeons recommend a high protein diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, but I think if you eat a varied diet anyway you should be fine.

After a big operation 10 years ago I was advised to take sustained release Vitamin C with zinc by the Sister in hospital to aid healing and boost my immune system, which I did then and have done again after my TKR, but whether it helped or not it's difficult to say other than people say I'm doing very well (although have had some set backs along the way like most) and have managed to stay well otherwise.

As for the exercise I think we have to listen to our bodies. If we try something and it causes a problem, ease back. I have an issue with stairs still if I do too many of them so living on a third floor apartment would not help, but there's not much you can do about that. I'm sure one of the moderators with more experience than me will be along with some advice for you.

Well done on losing the weight, providing you needed to..... and I hope things improve soon. sending more hugs over the airwaves :console2:

Might you have a look at Bottomshollow's April and May Recovery Clubs to see who has had revisions and check out some of their posts?
 

sistersinhim

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Oh my goodness, I couldn't imagine having to deal with 3 flights of stairs at a little over two months! This really angers your knee, I'm sure, but you were able to do it. That's what counts!

I've read that protein aids in healing. After my foot/ankle breaks I ordered something from Amazon that aids in tissue healing. I can't remember the name of it. You might want to try that.
 

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