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TKR Flutter1’s BoneSmart Success

Flutter1

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I went in for my 7 a.m LTKR surgery this morning. I was home by 1:30 this afternoon. Still enjoying the benefits of the pain meds they injected during the procedure. I will definitely follow the meds schedule. My surgeon and staff also believe in staying ahead of the pain.
This time was quite different than when I had my right partial 5 years ago. This time I had an epidural into my back as well as another med into my thigh right before surgery. The anesthesiologist took a lot of time explaining the process ahead of time so I would know what to expect. They did not use traditional general anesthetic; but I was asleep as before. No tube down my throat -- only oxygen. So no sore throat this time. I felt so much more human when I came to. I used the walker up and down the stairs once with no wobbly feeling. I am elevating in my nifty adjustable bed and icing with my Cold Rush machine.
I have no idea how intense the pain will be when my 18-24 hours grace period with the injected meds wears off. But I am hopeful; my surgeon told my husband that he anticipates a good recovery for me.

* I hope I have done this right by creating a new post op thread here. If not, please perform whatever digital magic needs to be done. Thanks.
 

Pumpkin

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@Flutter1
Welcome to the Other Side!! :welome:
You did great posting your recovery thread here, keep posting about your recovery in this thread. You will have a diary of your recovery, and we will be able to answer and address any questions you have with your story all in one place, thanks!

Glad to hear you had a good experience and are at home in your own bed and familiar surroundings, best yet, no middle of the night blood pressure checks.

Keep track of any discomfort that develops and your pain meds wear off, and take your pain meds as prescribed on schedule.

Here is your copy of the Knee Recovery Guidelines, the articles are short and will not take long to read.

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:
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.
 

Sisterpat

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Welcome, Flutter! Congratulations on your new knee! Sounds like smooth sailing so far. Let’s pray it remains that way. Keep us updated as you can.
 
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Flutter1

Flutter1

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Day 2: the anesthetic is still working its wonders. I am staying on top of my Tramadol + Tylenol schedule. Yes, waiting for the other shoe to drop! Lots of phone calls from friends as well as my son and girlfriend who live about 2 hours away. And messages from my niece in Hawaii. That was nice!
Yesterday evening, I took a little stroll around of top floor hallway with my walker. I am so lucky that we have a large second-level sunroom addition right next to the bedroom. It is a bit like being in a treehouse! I have a recliner in there, which I will get to in a few days. The PT at the surgery center was so wonderful at instructing me how to use a walker, that I feel fairly confident.
I have been going the few steps to our bathroom, but my husband sits outside the door just in case. A bit embarrassing, but, well, ok.
I slept almost 6 hours last night, but I woke up at 4:45 am (I think I am hungry), but waiting for my husband to wake up before asking for a little fruit, yogurt, and my half-caff. He is sleeping the guest room with our bassett-spaniel mix, Roscoe. Roscoe is too short to jump up on anything; so he sat on the floor next to me for quite a while yesterday and let out a few pathetic little cries. PT arrives at 9:15. I think I will get washed up and put on one of the summer dresses I purchased. Maybe a little makeup again? :flwrysmile:
 

Roy Gardiner

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I hope I have done this right by creating a new post op thread here. If not, please perform whatever digital magic needs to be done
If someone starts multiple recovery threads for the same surgery, we merge them to keep all the information together. Where surgeries are widely separate, like yours, we don't; it wouldn't help anyone. So, yes you have done the right thing.
 
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Flutter1

Flutter1

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Today is Day 3. I am still waiting for the benefits of the nerve block to completely wear off. I might be screaming by tomorrow. My physical therapist came yesterday for my evaluation. She is gentle and doesn't push the 4 exercises she has given me -- foot pumps, tightening my thighs (seems easy so far, but perhaps it is due to the strength training I did prior to the surgery). Also did a few heel slides from a chair. Only to the point of mild discomfort, not pain. She also had me try lifting my leg with her support. That did not seem difficult. She also helped with functional activities.
As for meds, I continue on my Tramadol and Tylenol schedule. I have not taken any of the stronger pain med yet. My only issue seems to be my heart rate was only 47 BPM. I am wondering if the Tramadol combined with my low-dose calcium channel blocker makes it dip so. I am going to call my cardiologist in just a few minutes. Does anyone know if Tramadol lowers heart rate and BP?
Thanks!
 
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Jaycey

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Does anyone know if Tramadol lowers heart rate and BP?
Yes, this can be a side effect. I would talk to your cardiologist as soon as possible.

If you decide to stop using this drug wean off it - don't suddenly stop. Mention this to your doctor as well.
 
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Flutter1

Flutter1

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Yes, I have left a message. I was able to lower my BP prior to the surgery with lifestyle changes. I am hoping she will put me on an even lower dose of the Diltiazem. Thank you for your response.
 

Sisterpat

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Good advice from Jaycey!
sounds like you are doing great and have a very good therapist! A rare gem who doesn’t want to push you into excruciating pain:banghead:.
If you’re screaming tomorrow, c’mon over to BoneSmart and scream here!
 

BBCG

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Welcome Flutter... your home layout sounds great for recovering from a TKR, especially the sunroom! I’m just 22 days out from my TKR, too. You may be fortunate and not ever feel a sudden loss of medicated pain relief when the surgery meds wear off, too, as I did not.

Glad you found Bonesmart!
 
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Flutter1

Flutter1

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My cardiologist called back just a while ago -- she has changed my BP medicine to a smaller dose of a different med. She said it was more important to stay on the Tramadol schedule so that I could walk around with the walker. I was very pleased because I wasn't crazy about how my BP and heart rate would dip on the old med. Yay!
Still very little pain or throbbing -- just tightness. Icing and elevating and taking little walks to bathroom and through the hallway seem to help.
Thank you for the advice.
 

MerlinWizard

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Hi Flutter1!

I wouldn't call the pain from the surgery "unbearable". A lot depends on your surgeon and how many nerves got hit. When I got out of surgery I was given choices for pain relief. Tylenol was a must and I was on that for 21 days I think. I chose Tramadol and I should have gone with Oxy for the first couple of days. Mind you, I had both knees done at once so I didn't have a literal leg to stand on =). I wanted to get up and do more but my legs say "uh uh" thus they gave me a shot of hydromorphone that second day and it's been fairly smooth sailing since.

3 days out I was in a normal med routine and I stopped taking Oxy at 5 days out and Tramadol at 7 days. I still have an occasional Tramadol before bed at 13 weeks out, specifically if I over did it. And I tend to do that =).

I find that 800mg of Ibuprofen at this stage does wonders for the swelling and pain.

Over all, outside of the second day, and even then, the pain was bearable. You are going to have a lot of different pains as you well know and it's important to know which ones are "good" and which ones aren't right.

I still have shooting nerve pain occasionally but when your nerves reconnect, that happens.

If my knees never got any better than where they are right now, I still would have done the surgery. This pain is a cakewalk compared to the pain before surgery.

Merlin
 

Jaycey

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@Flutter1 so glad your cardiologist got back to you. I was a bit concerned but sounds like you will get back on track very quickly with the new medication. Great that you are controlling post op pain very well.
 
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Flutter1

Flutter1

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This is is a rather embarrassing question. Is it normal to have a little bit of urinary leakage 3 days after having the nerve block? I have never had this problem before -- and it does appear to be improving. Does it ever cause a permanent condition?
Thank you.
 

Jaycey

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@Flutter1 Totally normal and this will ease. Your body has been quite traumatised by the procedure. Everything slows down a bit. I don't think I have every seen a member here who had this permanently. Just give it time.
 

Sisterpat

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This very dramatic surgery sure affects lots of things in our bodies, doesn’t it? Glad your problem has been resolved. On to a new day, each one that much closer to total healing!
 

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