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TKR Feel so alone

Flash1955

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Hi
I had my op on 2nd March 2020 and had a five day stay in hospital. Came home last weekend with all the expectations of coping myself and not having to ask for help from my family. WRONG!
Firstly I never realised the awful pain and continual taking of pain meds would carry on after I left hospital (how stupid is that) and also the problem of constipation due to taking the meds.
My operated leg is still a dead weight even after sticking to the physio daily exercises. I therefore need help getting in and out of bed, washing, dressing and this includes the embarrassment of asking for help to put my leg into my knickers. How long will it be before my leg decides to send the correct messages to my brain?
My staples are due out on Thursday, once done will my knee be easier to bend?
I have a massive black bruise on the inside/back of my operated knee that appeared day 6 of my surgery. It is very painful and is spreading from the top of my leg past the knee. Is this normal and should it be painful?
I have my first face to face physio session on Thursday and dreading it. At the moment I am just working of a printed exercise sheet that was given to me at the hospital. Any tips ?
Today has been my worst day since my op, my leg was extremely painful last night, felt like every bone in my leg was rebelling and this morning I felt as though my leg movements had gone back 3/4 days. Why has this happened?
I do hope tomorrow will be a better day.
 

eliza61nyc

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Hi Flash,
How are you? One of the wonderful moderators will come along with some great great information.
So let me start with, you are only 7 days out from major, major surgery. It's going to be a while before things return to normal.

I had my surgery on 2/24. for the first week my oldest son moved back in with me. Did you really think you were going to just pop back up and be able to do every thing like pre surgery? After the first week, my girlfriends came to stay with me.

Help is going to be a godsend.
 

bikinglynn

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You will get good information soon.

Yes, everything you listed sounds normal, and we've all been there. Keep posting.
 

partialfixFeb

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I CANNOT possibly imagine coping by myself at that stage. You poor thing. If you have others willing and able to help, please take full advantage for as long as you can. I did. Never in my life have I been waited on so much and relied on others but I am not going to jeopardize this recovery.

Also, my Dad had 2 TKRs in his 70's...3 months apart. For each surgery, one of my sisters lived with my folks the first week to help my mom. I visited from morning until after dinner for the next 2 weeks to help my mom - I was juggling young kids at night. Another sister got him to and from PT sessions until he could drive safely. So he had help for WEEKS. For what it is worth, my Dad is now 80 years old and still playing half court basketball with the seniors.
 
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Flash1955

Flash1955

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You will get good information soon.

Yes, everything you listed sounds normal, and we've all been there. Keep posting.
I CANNOT imagine coping by myself at that stage. You poor thing. If you have others willing to help, please take full advantage. I did. And, I still do have help as needed.
Thank you, just stupid pride on my side I guess
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome!

Yes, all you’re going though is what we all went through.:console2:and it really does get better, but it will take a while. I, too, needed help in all the areas you listed.


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.

Read through all of it, it will answer many of your questions and put your mind at ease. As the others have said, keep posting, we are here for you!

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.
 

sistersinhim

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Today has been my worst day since my op, my leg was extremely painful last night, felt like every bone in my leg was rebelling and this morning I felt as though my leg movements had gone back 3/4 days. Why has this happened?
Have you been more active lately? These recovering knees will have different aches and pains anytime at all for no reason sometimes. A lot times it happens because of doing something your newborn knee isn't ready for and reacts by being more painful. Ice and elevatie as much as you can. Ice is a wonderful pain reducer.
 
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sistersinhim

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Which knee did you have replaced?
I have my first face to face physio session on Thursday and dreading it. At the moment I am just working of a printed exercise sheet that was given to me at the hospital. Any tips ?
The #1 thing is to not let them hurt you. No pushing or pulling on your leg. Nothing painful. Many of us never took formal PT or did exercises. I am one of them. I had 11 knee surgeries, 2 of them kneecap removals and 1 tkr. Even after those I never took formal PT. But, I didn't just sit around and do nothing. I used my knee as it was intended to be used by walking around to take care of my daily needs. As I healed I was able to do more. Icing and elevation was a huge part of my recovery.

Listen to your knee. It will tell you if you're doing too much by increased pain and swelling. When that happened to me, I found that resting, icing and elevating helped. Your knee knows how to rehab itself without being told what to do.

I also recovered alone. All the things I had to do for myself, my cats and my house was PT. It is for you, too. There is absolutely no need to do a lot of exercises, your daily activities are enough to rehab your knee.
 

Rubyroo

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Hi Flash1955,
Everything you described sounds normal. Please stick that pride in a drawer somewhere and don't feel bad asking for help from family and friends. This recovery journey is ROUGH with the help from others let alone trying to do it alone. Make sure your taking your medicine on schedule to help with pain management. Also- I assume you've started taking some stool softener daily to help with constipation. Ice and elevate all day. Sleep anytime you are able. I cried a river the first several weeks due to the pain, feelings of being overwhelmed, anxious, and tired. We all understand because we've all been there. Hang in there and keep posting and let us know how you are. Sending hugs.
 

Josie1054

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Hi there Flash, first off, you are NOT alone here. This is a tough surgery to get over, lots of hard work, determination and many tears. It’ll be worth it down the road, that’s why we have all gone through this. You already know your priorities at this point: rest, elevation, ice, pain control. It sounds like you have many in your life who care and want to help, let them! Yes, the pain meds contribute to constipation. Try to drink more water, nutritious foods, protein and stool softener as mentioned above. Glad you found this blog, please let us know how you’re doing. Hugs and encouragement!
 

Jewlz1

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Hi Flash! I had surgery on 12/18 and my son and his wife stayed through Christmas Day. I had a couple of friends come and sit with me for a couple of days after that and my daughter would come after work and on one of the weekend days for a couple of weeks. Then I was on my own which is completely do-able. There is an adjustment period once arriving at home. Allow yourself time to get used to that and be patient with yourself.
 

Flpickleballer

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2 TKRs and playing half court basketball at 80 years old. Your dad is now my hero and inspiration..... We need more success stories.....
 

Sara61

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The beginning is really hard and unless one has gone through knee replacement surgery, it is hard for friends/family members to undersrand the discomfort /embarrassment that comes with a tkr - Discovering BoneSmart was the best thing that happened to me I soon learnt your not alone- there is always someone online somewhere around the world at any hour of the day/night and you'll soon have a virtual network of friends going thru exactly the same as you and others whomhave "been there " there is a great support of moderators and advisors and nurses too.
Don't feel bad asking family members for help - situation reversed you would help too, but in the coming weeks you will soon be able to manage much more, I was so happy when I achieved lifting my leg on and off the bed with the help of my good leg lol and quickly learnt to manage other skills too. Try to keep positive and infuse RIME into your daily routine (rest,ice, medicate & elevate) and allow your self Time - time to heal - this recovery can take up to 1 or 2 years.
I promise you in a few months time you will be surprised how quickly it has passed xxx
 

valgriff2

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I totally understand. 4 weeks and today i stood at the sink and do a few dishes. Ive cried, questioned why, gotten angry and been pathetic. Im not near what PT "wants", but im going my own speed. Its long, hard and painful. But it get a tiny...tiny...bit better each day. Prepare for setbacks, but also prepare for small accomplishments like washin a cup. Hang in.
 
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Flash1955

Flash1955

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Thank you Valgriff2. Good luck with your recovery.
 

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