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TKR Excruciating pain in non-operated knee hindering recovery

LisaM

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Hello-- I'm new here and apologize in advance if I am not following protocol. I promise to learn and adapt as quickly as I can! I am grateful to find this forum. I was bone-on-bone in both knees before surgery--- really, completely unable to walk while waiting for the hospital to resume surgeries during Covid. My right knee was replaced using the nanoknee surgery February 24th. It went well and in- hospital and acute-care rehab went well. I was supposed to be completely up and around in a week and resuming most activities at 4. My surgeon stretched his usual 3 months between knees to 6 months but has allowed me to push it to 5 because I still cannot walk. Even six feet to a portable commode is very difficult and sometimes just not possible. My operated knee is fine. I do lots of stretching to combat the contracture in both knees. My form is awful; I cannot stand up straight, both because of actual physical limitation and because my balance is poor and I feel the need to grab at additional support . My left knee cannot support my weight (I am overweight and working on it). It just buckles from the pain without warning. I hesitate to complain to my surgeon because he nearly cancelled surgery 3 days prior (after I'd been waiting for months) because he thought I wouldn't be motivated! I am SO motivated but I am afraid he will refuse to do the second knee.

Complicating matters is that I have fibromyalgia, and I have to proceed very slowly when increasing exercising because if I overdo it, I am in severe pain all over due to the fibro. (It feels like having a bad flu: all joints and muscles ache, I freeze, I have no strength, and often, I have a bad headache. When a flare is triggered, the only thing that helps is sleep, pain meds, and sometimes gentle massage.) As with all things related to fibro, it's two steps forward, one back at best, but right now it seems like the reverse. There are more and more days I cannot walk at all because of my left knee.

I have a sympathetic PT who knows I am working hard. I don't feel like I am making any improvement. Thanks for reading this far; again, I am sorry if this dosn't comply with your forum rules but I appreciate any help you can give, especially concerning relieving the pain in my left knee.
 

Roy Gardiner

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:welome: to BoneSmart


apologize in advance if I am not following protocol
You are doing perfectly.
My surgeon stretched his usual 3 months between knees to 6 months but has allowed me to push it to 5 because I still cannot walk. Even six feet to a portable commode is very difficult and sometimes just not possible. My operated knee is fine
If it's your bad knee that's paining you, then it would seem to me that the strategy is to get it done ASAP. Does your surgeon not agree?
I have a sympathetic PT who knows I am working hard.
Pardon me, but 'working hard' is not always best in recovery. See the articles below. In any case, no amount of work (as you know) will help your bad knee.

Good luck with your new 2nd knee

Our general 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
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. At week 4 and after you should follow this

6. Access these pages on the website

The Recovery articles:

There are also some cautionary articles here


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.
 
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Sisterpat

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LisaM, Welcome to this wonderful forum! Congratulations on your new knee! Sounds like it is coming along. As Roy said, please don’t overdo! It is counterproductive!
Seems like your biggest problem is the knee awaiting surgery. I pray your surgeon will realize how badly you need it. I only waited 9 weeks between surgeries and I am so glad both knees are now done. I have Lymes disease, so I can relate in some ways to your fibromyalgia. But you will get through all this and in another year or so you will be so happy. Hang in there and check back often. Read a lot of the inspiring stories the members have shared. And listen to the moderators! They know what they are talking about!
 

Jockette

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I hesitate to complain to my surgeon because he nearly cancelled surgery 3 days prior (after I'd been waiting for months) because he thought I wouldn't be motivated!
Your surgeon sounds like he is one of the impatient ones who expects you to do a lot of rehab exercises. Please keep in mind that gentle is the way a lot of us did our rehab. Working hard at exercises is not necessary.

Regaining our ROM is more about Time than repetitions of a list of exercises.

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. Normal activity is the key to success.
 
OP
OP
L

LisaM

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This is just what I was hoping for-- a supportive, knowledgable community. Thank you so much for all the advice and reading! Right after I finish taxes today, I am going to work my way through all of those posts and articles. My husband is also relieved that he will no longer feel like he is supposed to know the answers to these issues! I look forward to being an active member of this forum, and to be able to pay it forward in the future. Thank you all again.
 

Jockette

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Hang out here with us.

Bonesmart has a wealth of advice, information and support.
We will offer helpful suggestions, :idea:

Cheer your accomplishments :happydance:

And send hugs when you are feeling down. :console2:

Best wishes!
 

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