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TKR FitGal’s Recovery

Benay

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Thinking of you. Hope you slept well and it's calmed down some.
 

Neesie

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Hoping you continue to improve. IMHO antibiotics are a total double edged swore. I was put on 8 days of Clindamycin in April for a root canal prior to my TKR in May. It wreaked havoc on my stomach and I'm still not back to normal - 4 months later. I guess a positive to it is that I never suffered from the constipation that plagues so many of us.
 

ElanorG

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Glad to hear it was just the rash and not something worse! Hopefully you will feel better soon.
 

Celle

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I was worried that my OS and PA would freak out when they saw the knee - especially after I showed them the before and after pictures, but they were pretty calm and said I was having serious delayed contact dermatitis reaction to the tape on the knee. The OS, however, was confused as to why the ER prescribed Cephalexin instead of topical steroid. Anyways, he said since I started the antibiotic, I should probably finish, but he strongly felt I didn't need it and by the end of the appointment he seemed to waiver on whether I should continue taking the antibiotic. (I haven't taken any more doses, yet - it seems to wreak havoc on the GI tract)
Yep! What I thought. Contact dermatitis , showing as an allergic reaction to the dressing tape.

I agree with your surgeon - it's not an infection, so there was no need for the ER docs to prescribe an antibiotic. I can't tell you not to take the antibiotic, but I wouldn't. Can you call your surgeon, to clarify if he wants you to take it? Say you've only taken one dose and it gave you GI problems.
 

Ladyala

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Im so glad it's just irritation from the tape & you look good otherwise!!
I had a similar reaction, little blisters filled with fluid where my surgical dressing & the steri strips were. Just took some time for them to calm down.
 

winemama

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I had allergic reaction to the internal stitches, got a rash on 1/2 of my leg week one, went to Dermatologist ASAP. A steroid cream. It happens. Told my OS, when he did the second knee, used different thread.
 

Benay

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My incision just had steristrips to hold it together, no tape -seems a few of us had allergies to the tape. Wonder why they use it. @FitGal 's reaction photo was horrifying. Must be really, really painful. :hairpulling: hoping for an update soon saying it's calmed down and she's better.
 
OP
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FitGal

FitGal

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Hi all! Doing a little better today - all bubbles and blisters have popped and am healing. Feels like a terrible sunburn or "roadrash" right now, as the steroid cream is trying to do its job. I don't have it covered, but because of that - it has really dried out and become more painful. I took a long shower today and really cleaned the entire knee, then thoroughly pat dried the knee, then added the topical steroid. I will put more topical steroid on before I go to bed. I can tell this is a process and will just have to wait this out until my skin is healed. Still praying smooth healing on this.

I had to go clothes shopping today for my son and made it to the Gap and TJ Maxx. I was only out for two hours before I was completely wiped out.... guess I will have to plan my outings a little better :)
 

ApricotPie

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I would be very careful about ditching the walker and crutches to early. The last thing a person needs at this point is a fall that does some damage. My guess is that at four weeks, the cane will be more than adequate. My transition from walker/crutches came in a period of 2-3 days max. Suddenly, I could balance on two legs, the pain of walking and standing for short times was minimal, and even the stairs - one step at a time- were no longer a great challenge. So the cane became my friend - a safety device I use, but did not have to use.

A friend of mine sent me youtube video of what happens during a TKR. Watching the surgeon do the surgery on some fake bones was interesting. He uses big drills and cutting saws to chop away at the bones, shoves the implants into the bones, perhaps screws a few things in, drill more holes to align stuff to get a proper cut, and more! It's amazing the human body can recover from it so well. It is a brutal surgery.
 
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luvcats

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I'm glad it turned out to just be dermatitis and that it's improving. I had some delayed dermatitis rash too, but not as badly as yours and I've had it before, so I was pretty sure what it was.

2 hours? OMG, I still couldn't do 2 hours of activity! You are fierce!

@ApricotPie I have very carefully avoided watching any of those videos. I really, really do not want to have any visuals of all that until after I'm done! I know it would just amp my stress levels.
 
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FitGal

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Well, yesterday I had my first physical therapy appointment. It went ok with ROM 92/+3

I was quite nervous on going, but she was gentle. I have to go back tomorrow for my next appt, though I remain apprehensive just because I don’t like the swelling that comes with it.

As for my skin reaction, I returned to the PA right after PT yesterday because it looks like I have a reptile on my leg with the old scabby skin. Even the therapist was freaked out. We are hoping that it doesn’t scar. The PA said I can go see dermatologist if I am that concerned, but it is healing. However, based on that reaction, my skin across my whole body has become a little sensitive/itchy. I continue to take Zyrtec and at night a Benadryl, but I most benefit from that Zyrtec.

@ApricotPie @luvcats @Ladyala - I can’t stomach knowing what they did behind the scenes, so I prob won’t look at the surgery video anytime soon
 

Poctdb

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@FitGal
That is almost exactly what my numbers were at first PT....we can start a group...oh wait we are already IN a group....

Why PT two days in a row? That would be a worry for me.
Do the OS orders say 3 x a week?
My orders say 2X per week which means Tuesday/Fridays. (Monday/Thursday)
I have found the swelling is a bit more controllable with less visits.

The home PT was 3x a week but the visits were shorter.
 
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FitGal

FitGal

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@Poctdb - Hi! Glad I have a ROM buddy! I will keep you posted on progress. PT is twice a week for me as well, but when I originally made the appt for this week, they gave me Thurs and Sat...due to when I was originally going back to OS follow-up. Anyway, I thought about cancelling tomorrow, but maybe I will just ask her to go easier on me. I didn’t have any home PT visits - so maybe I will be paying for it now...
 

Celle

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I didn’t have any home PT visits - so maybe I will be paying for it now...
No, you shouldn't. PT really isn't necessary in the first month post-op.

My surgeon doesn't allow any formal PT at all for the first month after a knee replacement. He says your knee needs that time, to start on its journey of healing. For that month, we rest, ice and elevate our leg, and walk around the house. The walking is our exercise and we increase it a little each week.

After that month, we just go to PT once every 2 weeks, where we are shown a few new exercises to do at home each day.

His patients all do well and achieve good ROM, as I did, and he hasn't had to do a manipulation to help with ROM for the past 4 years. I think that speaks for itself.

You see, it's not exercising that gets you your ROM - it's time. Time to recover, time for swelling and pain to settle, and time to heal. Your ROM is there right from the start, and it will gradually increase as your knee heals.

There's no need to rush to get ROM (Range of Motion) because it can continue to improve for a year, or even much longer, after a knee replacement. There isn't any deadline you have to meet:
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
 

Poctdb

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@FitGal
Nope you are not paying for lack of home PT...

You have had it rough in some ways. As the hard charging fit gal that you are(camo cane thing might have tipped me off) ....this recovery is one of the situations that having patience and using time really are valuable.

This is the hardest thing for Type A person (control the situation, do more exercises and that makes it heal faster, I can handle this, I don’t need drugs etc.) to learn.

Oh wait....that Type A person sounds like me. I (luckily) learned early that swelling was the enemy and I did everything I had to do to avoid it. No strenuous ADL...tons of ice etc.

Me.... I would cancel tomorrow. The PT visits are still ordered.....they are still yours. Your call......
 
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FitGal

FitGal

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@Celle - thanks for the info and urging patience. Patience is one of my weaknesses (LOL!)

@Poctdb - Yes, I canceled PT for tomorrow. Next PT is now Tuesday morning :) Thank you for the messages! You and I seem very alike!
 

Poctdb

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@FitGal
I also think that we sound alike. I am glad you appreciated the message.

When I posted it I was afraid it sounded kind of “preachy/bossy”. I almost did not post it.
But I can do what I think might help someone, and if it offends/doesn’t help, I can apologize profusely later.

Look at @Neesie thread where I posted about the Patience Bus...there is a seat waiting for you.....
 

marieltha

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2B619B15-2514-4787-90D1-36706FA75ED3.jpeg I added this in my thread today, but thought it appropriate here as well. From the ConsciousCat blog by author Ingrid King.

When I look into this cat’s eyes, it is as if the cat is communicating, “Get a grip.”
 

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