TKR Feeling sorry for myself and frustrated. LTKR ten days ago.

Nanmo1228

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Hello everyone! I just had LTKR on September 13th. I thought I was prepared. I watched every YouTube video. I was blindsided by the severe exhaustion and overall sick feeling. I really thought I would have a better attitude, but I am losing patience with my husband and feeling sorry for myself. They have been sending a home physical therapist to my home. My first post op is Monday and I am afraid I will get admonished for not have 90 degree bend. I didn’t have great range of motion prior to surgery and my surgeon told me as he signed my knee that I will have to bend it even if it hurts. The pain meds made me feel awful so I am on advil and Tylenol. I forgot to say I am a 58 year old female. Other than being overweight, I am relatively healthy.
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome!

What you are feeling is all perfectly normal after this surgery.


My first post op is Monday and I am afraid I will get admonished for not have 90 degree bend. I didn’t have great range of motion prior to surgery and my surgeon told me as he signed my knee that I will have to bend it even if it hurts.
I’m sorry your surgeon believes this, not all surgeons do. It is not necessary to push your knee to a painful place, and there is no date by which you must have a certain number. Your knee and body will recover from this traumatic surgery in its own time frame (and that’s fine) not your surgeon‘s timeframe, and not your PT’s timeframe.

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.

Just keep in mind all people are different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for you.“ Your doctors, PTs and BoneSmart are available to help, but you are the final judge as to the recovery approach you choose.

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

If you want to use something to assist with healing and scar management, BoneSmart recommends hypochlorous solution. Members in the US can purchase ACTIVE Antimicrobial Hydrogel through BoneSmart at a discount. Similar products should be available in the UK and other countries.

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.
 

benne68

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Welcome @Nanmo1228! :wave:

I had much the same fears during my first few weeks post-op, but the caring folks on BoneSmart were there for me, sharing advice, personal experiences and empathy. Our members will do the same for you, so keep on posting.

I know it's a lot of reading, but do some time to read through the articles @Jockette posted above; you'll find them really helpful.

Glad you found us.
 
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Nanmo1228

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Thanks so much for the advice, I’m just taking it one day at a time. Honestly, I thought I might be transitioning from walker to cane by now. Day 11 and I’m still on a walker. At what point did you know you made the right decision in having the surgery?
 

Jaycey

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At what point did you know you made the right decision in having the surgery?
Early days my friend. This is the tough part. Recovery will get easier but it just takes time and tons of patience. Many of our members stay on a walker for weeks. There is no set time for any transition.
 

Claire56

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@Nanmo1228 As the others have said, this recovery takes a lot of patience. I also had poor range of motion before surgery on my left knee and it took a while to get back to where I was pre surgery. It is now better than pre surgery. It isn't where I would like it to be but functionally much better than it was. My surgeon told me that they expect your range of motion after recovery to be about what you had pre surgery.
 
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Nanmo1228

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You guys are absolutely amazing! I just feel like the sooner I get more mobile the sooner my husband can go on with his life. I feel like they really sugar coated this in the pre op class I took. They made it sound like I would be cooking dinner in a few days. I can barely stand long enough to blow dry my hair. Lol
 

Zanza

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Thanks so much for the advice, I’m just taking it one day at a time. Honestly, I thought I might be transitioning from walker to cane by now. Day 11 and I’m still on a walker. At what point did you know you made the right decision in having the surgery?
I'll be 3 months this Wednesday and I'm still having moments when I wonder if I made the right decision! :heehee: My knee is so stiff it's a real effort to walk and that's depressing. What I keep reminding myself is that it's been steadily getting better and if I give it time, it will be so much better than before the surgery. I had terrible pain before the surgery, and now I have no joint pain at all and only a mild ache in my leg. I can actually walk again! But I stuck with the walker for a long time, six weeks, because I was so afraid of falling. The physical therapist didn't like it but the folks here at Bonesmart were very reassuring and that helped a lot. You just have to give yourself time. :hugzz:
 

Shelby111

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This is of great help! I was starting feel like maybe I made the wrong decision but had so many fractures from this knee locking and giving out I felt I had no choice. I’ve read a lot of the articles now and realize going back to Work 12 hour shifts and being on my feet most of the time probably won’t happen in 10 weeks. After all the reply’s I think my best move will be to put down the stopwatch and angle measurement tool and just do what I can without worrying about the next page of add on exercises for tomarrow PT session on day 12. I love the home healthcare PT person but I need to speak up about the constant swelling pain and lack of sleep. Thank you everyone for listening and giving me my positive attitude back ...I can and will recovery...maybe just not day 15
 

kneeper

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Thanks so much for the advice, I’m just taking it one day at a time. Honestly, I thought I might be transitioning from walker to cane by now. Day 11 and I’m still on a walker. At what point did you know you made the right decision in having the surgery?
If you're even considering blow drying your hair you're doing pretty well. :heehee:
 
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Nanmo1228

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Thanks again you guys. Had my post op and everything looks good . Surgeon wasn’t thrilled that I’m not at 90 degrees. Feeling a little less like I’ve been run over by a bus. Going to continue with in home PT and then begin outpatient.
 

benne68

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Surgeon wasn’t thrilled that I’m not at 90 degrees.
It's really rare for someone to be able to bend to 90 degrees this early in recovery (I certainly couldn't!)

At only two weeks out, you still have a LOT of swelling in there and you can't bend a swollen joint. As one of our members often says, it's like trying to bend a hose full of water. You have to empty to hose of the water before it will bend.

I know @Jockette shared these with you earlier, but -- as a reminder -- here are two good articles on the topic.
Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR

Keep icing and elevating. Your ROM is in there and it will improve as the inflammation goes down. :flwrysmile:
 
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Nanmo1228

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Yesterday was the two week mark since my LTKR. Home PT had me start using a cane rather than walker. Slowly transitioning from walker to cane. The knee is still extremely stiff and not even close to 90 degree bend. Just taking it one day at a time.
 

Jaycey

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@Nanmo1228 Don't be in a rush to transition off the walker. Still very early days and there is no set timeframe for any of these milestones. Let that knee tell you when it is time.
 
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Nanmo1228

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I definitely feel like I’m being pushed to get back to “ normal”. I am pretty sure my husband is burned out already. I have always taken care of all household responsibilities and I don’t think he realized what that entailed. I feel like the sooner I am more independent he can get on with his usual activities. Honestly, I was reluctant to have the surgery because I wasn’t sure he could handle it. He has done better than I expected. My son and daughter have helped as much as they can. My son is married to a nurse and she even told him that I should be off the walker be now.
 

Jaycey

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My son is married to a nurse and she even told him that I should be off the walker be now.
Has your son or his wife ever had TKR? I am thinking probably not. Pushing will only result in frustrating setbacks. I would make it clear to everyone that you will be doing this at your own pace.
I am pretty sure my husband is burned out already.
Well - he has a very long way to go. You will get more independent. But on your own time.

Perhaps share these articles with your family:
Activity Progression for TKRs
Chart representation of TKR recovery
Healing: how long does it take?
 

Roy Gardiner

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I definitely feel like I’m being pushed to get back to “ normal”
I am sure you are, but your knee is in charge and it has no ears so doesn't listen
I am pretty sure my husband is burned out already. I have always taken care of all household responsibilities and I don’t think he realized what that entailed
I suspect this hasn't been sold to him correctly. The cliché is that women are good at tea and sympathy, men are task oriented and good at Fixing Things. Your man's job, for at least a month, is looking after you; you are the General issuing the orders, he is 'Yes, Ma'am'. You have looked after him for oooooh loads of years, now it's his turn. Up to the plate, buddy.
My son is married to a nurse and she even told him that I should be off the walker be now
Shame on her - but I bet she doesn't work in orthopaedics.

You need rest and gentle mobility stretches, as outlined in the Guidelines. And lots of watching telly, not much of walking about the place. Supervision is done from a chair.
 
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Nanmo1228

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You are absolutely right. He needs to step up for sure. He and my adult daughter were angry with each other the first week because they each thought the other wasn’t doing enough. I for sure have not cooked any meals yet and he’s done all the laundry . I could tell by his tone this morning that he is losing his patience. My daughter in law has worked on a med surge unit and has taken care of ortho patients. She is currently a NICU nurse.
 

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