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TKR Extreme fatigue 4 weeks post-op

samsonite

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Hi everyone. 4 weeks ago, my grandmother had her second TKR. Unlike her first one, which she recovered from very quickly, she is having significant problems this time around. I wasn’t sure where to turn or who to talk to about this.

She is now 4 weeks post op and is experiencing extreme fatigue. She has no pain and can bend the knee just fine, but she has little to no strength at all in her body. She can hardly walk, even with crutches, and she’s even fallen a few times. It’s so unlike the recovery from the first TKR that I’m a little scared. Her bloodwork has also showed that she is slightly anemic, and she seems to be getting weaker every day.

Is this type of weakness common even a month after surgery? Is there anything I can do to help her more?
 

Sara61

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I would definitely contact her doctor your grandma might just need some vitamins or Iron but the doctor would know best.
4 weeks is early days and it was a major surgery- hope she feels better soon x
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome!

Please give us the exact date of both your grandmother’s surgeries and we’ll put them in a signature for you. Always being able to see that information in a post helps us advise better.

Many of our members report totally different experiences with different knee replacements on the same body.

If her surgeries were close together then she is feeling even more of an energy drain that healing causes.


I will leave you our Recovery Guidelines. Each article is short but very informative. Following these guidelines will help you have a less painful recovery.

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 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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samsonite

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Thank you guys for your fast responses. Her first TKR was September 23rd, 2019, and her second one was November 6th, 2019. They were very close together.

I’m sure the close proximity of the procedures is a major factor in her fatigue, it’s just very unusual to see her so weak and seemingly getting weaker after the incredible success of her first recovery.
 

Jockette

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Thanks for those dates, I’ll ask a moderator to add them to a signature.

She may also be overdoing the PT.


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.
 

Jockette

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She can hardly walk, even with crutches, and she’s even fallen a few times.
I think under these circumstances she might do better with a walker, rather than crutches.

Also, I forgot to ask, which knee was done which date? Thanks!
 

judgar

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That’s a lot on your body. 2 surgeries in 2 months that is hard to do.Heck I had my done august and I still get tired. She needs to rest. Let us know how she is doing. She has to get her strength built up. I feel for her.
 

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