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TKR Gingerbread's RTKR Recovery Marathon

Jockette

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@Gingerbread I‘m glad you’re doing well with the sit to stands. I mostly posted my comment for those who don’t do well with them, as many of us can’t do them this early. I sure couldn’t, and I knew that just from getting up from a chair at home when I had to. We even had one member who broke her patella, trying to do a sit to stand exercise, in a PT office, and she was only 3 weeks post op. :yikes: She has not posted for a long time, but last we heard, she was not doing well. This makes me very leery of this as an exercise.
 
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Gingerbread

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@Jockette oh my goodness about the broken patella!!! How dreadful! I can see how that exercise could go south fast even if done properly... I will take heed and be careful! Thank you for clarifying your position, that makes perfect sense.
 

Virginia123

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I have hit my go to cocktail For sleep finally. Tylenol with hydromorphone 1 hour before bed and a tramadol at bed time. I am getting my much needed 6 hours with that until the pain meds are gone
 

TRICKKNEEMCGEE

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Anyone have their PT tell them they would have to keep going until they were functional with stairs, etc...? Mine is giving me basically a 3-6 more month timeframe!
@Gingerbread That sounds ridiculous. Remember you can discharge yourself at anytime. I was discharged from PT this week and she knows that I use the railing going up and down. I just don't feel comfortable going down yet in general let alone w/out railings. Good luck- you sound like you are doing really well now.
 

djklaugh

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@Gingerbread About PT - different clinics/practices have different protocols and procedures for different therapy needs. While I can't speak to PT for knee replacement, when I had my BTHR I went in to see PT every 2 weeks and did the exercises they gave me diligently between sessions. They did not do much manipulation or hands on things with the hips ( though they did measure ROM and strength). When my surgeon referred me to PT he said " continue for as long as they'll have you - or they think you need to come in". I continued with PT for about 8 months with the hips as the muscles and tendons were very out of shape as I'd limped for a long time before surgery. And since I went to the same clinic for PT with my shoulder replacements ( Kaiser, different set of therapists each surgery) the process was pretty much the same. With each shoulder I went to PT for about 4-5 months.

If you are pleased with the therapy you are getting you might ask how may visits your insurance covers and if it would be OK to stretch things out by going in only every other week and doing exercises between visits.
 
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Gingerbread

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I've noticed today (well yesterday) after 2 days of not doing PT exercises due to no time and exhaustion of returning to work and not sleeping, that while walking my knee is randomly buckling. I have to catch myself or fall over!
It happens on stairs, on my hardwood floor, out in the yard walking the dog...
Is this normal at this stage of recovery or possibly due to not doing exercises/exhaustion? I did do my exercises this evening and still had an episode of near buckling.
It's scary. I dread doing anything to damage this knee!
 

BBCG

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Yikes! I’m sorry to hear that your knee is buckling! That IS scary! My old left knee used to do that, but now, with the new joints, that’s a thing of the past… I wonder why? With the volume of exercise you do, that seems definitely concerning… since I myself tend to be a reason-seeker, I would probably be trying to figure out what muscles were having the trouble… but I do wonder what others’ here experience might be?
 
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Gingerbread

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Well the buckling was temporary.
I do feel the knee "catch" however daily. I think I'm just trying to walk normally too fast. My knee is still swollen and stiff but my muscles and mind want it to be 100%... :)
As usual I am awake. I really hope this doesn't last for many more weeks. It is taking a toll on my sanity at times. I can't just nap during weekdays as I work. I am exhausted but still can't sleep. Ugh.
 
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Gingerbread

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Can anyone answer when they were able to stop icing at night?
I try to take the ice machine off for even a period of 1 hour and my knee gets really warm (under the covers of course, even a bit if I remove them).
I would like to have a normal marriage and have my husband sleeping with me again sometime this century, but it can't happen if I am rocking and rolling around all night (which has been every night since July 22!) fussing with the velcro on this knee...
 

GIMPY GAL

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Well the buckling was temporary.
I do feel the knee "catch" however daily. I think I'm just trying to walk normally too fast. My knee is still swollen and stiff but my muscles and mind want it to be 100%... :)
As usual I am awake. I really hope this doesn't last for many more weeks. It is taking a toll on my sanity at times. I can't just nap during weekdays as I work. I am exhausted but still can't sleep. Ugh.
A few times... a couple weeks back, I was concerned about buckling while on my daily walk. It never happened, but I remember being worried that it could. Now I have clicking in my new knee when I walk fast. Kinda weird.
My knee is still a bit swollen, too. And if I sit too long, when I get up it takes a few steps to work out the kinks. :heehee:
 

GIMPY GAL

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I stopped icing altogether several weeks ago. I found icing was becoming uncomfortable, inconvenient and I didn't feel it did any good. But that's just MY experience. :) You should do what works for you.
 

BBCG

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I stopped icing with the machine at night at about 6 weeks post surgery, BUT I then began using two really large (11”x18”) ice packs, the gel type, for when I first went to bed, and again if it felt warm if I woke up during the night; those warm up over a period of about an hour.

But, this is a long recovery for a fairly intense surgery, so, for many of us, the main ingredient to a strong recovery is patience, which some of us need to do some “work” on… myself included!

You will indeed get back to being a newly improved normal, but patience is required for a bit longer I suspect!
 

beesknee

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I never had an ice machine so never iced at night. I normally ice for an hour with leg elevated before bed. Then sleep with no ice. When I wake up my swelling is very minimal until I stand up, then it puffs up. I also ice once during the day after my main pt stretches.

Lately, I put a bag of ice on my knee at night with my knee on an ottoman while watching tv. So on a good day, I don't need to ice and elevate in bed. I just hop in and go to sleep.

I never had any issues sleeping as long as I stayed on my back. Lately, I have been able to sleep on side on occasion if I can get pillows just right and I fall asleep before knee starts aching. I think when on side there is a sideways pull on knee which eventually causes the knee to ache. On my back, my knee never really hurt to the point I could not sleep, although early on I woke up gasping for air a few times, not sure what that was about. I thought I had sleep apnea. Fortunately, that does not happen anymore.

This afternoon will see doctor and get recommendation on possible MUA. After lots of stretching my extension is 0 and ROM is between 120 and 130 depending on the day. 5 weeks ago at appointment, they measured me at 111. Hopefully I have enough ROM to take talk of MUA off the table.
 

Susie-Q

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I'm still using the ice machine at night but there have been a few nights where I haven't. I'm doing a lot of activity lately (probably too much) so figured the icing would do me some good. I usually turn it off around 4-5am when I get up to pee so I can have some practice finding a different position other than my back. I can sleep on my side for a bit but then end up coming back to my back. With the ice machine cuff off I can bend it around much better to get a more comfy position.

Question for you, when you stopped your oxy, how many pills did you save for emergencies?
 
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Gingerbread

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Thanks everyone for your advice and personal stories.
I have been leaning heavily on the ice as an adjunct to my Tylenol/Motrin/CBD topical routine. I just don't want to have to go back to calling the doctor, as he thinks any new pain just has to be some major complication (ie infection) such as last month when I continued to have pain he suspected infection. It wasn't; it was swelling and overwork from PT! Anyway, I still have a few Oxy & Tramadol, but I cannot see myself ever grabbing those as a one time fix. If I ever get pain that bad that I cannot remedy with the steps outlined here on Bonesmart, something must be terribly wrong requiring a doctor's visit! So those will probably find their way down the drain shortly...
 

BBCG

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Good for you, Gingerbread!

BUT! Here we have been told never to put drugs down into the drain or sewer! They do not disappear and the compounds linger and can eventually make their way into reservoirs or rivers, creating hazardous conditions, after the water is purified as much as they can. I think there is a police or lab drop off for controlled substances but it will differ from place to place. I know we used to be told to do this, but I guess the new information has been discovered by some of the water purification folks..
 
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Gingerbread

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@BBCG so true about the med disposal. I used the term down the drain loosely haha! We have scheduled days locally to get rid of old pills. I need to avail myself of them, because like you said, I can't just flush them down the toilet knowing they end back up in the system somewhere!
 
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Gingerbread

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At PT this evening I measured 95 on the table. That's after my knee having a day of being exceptionally tight and swollen due to external (work) stressors. I see many on here measuring into the 110's at this point of their journey but my PTs are finally on board with my recovery, as is my surgeon. I would love to be further along but I feel progress daily.
Do I actually do my PT everyday? Nope. My knee is just too swollen some days and others (actually everyday) I am loving taking my dog for his walks. He is going to be 11 so I am not going to miss it! Last weekend I had a day with the grandkids, part of which was outside while my grandson went fishing. It was glorious. Later that day I played with my 6 week old granddaughter. Also glorious! I'll take these wins while I can get them. Life is too short!
 

BBCG

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Good fir you, Gingerbread… in my 2016 recovery, by thus far in my journey, like you, I was probably less than 90! And that knee healed beautifully and has been rock solid these last 5 years. So, then, too, I was much more swollen and the healing just took longer but I got there! Your leg has its own healing pace and we all just need to let them heal as they need I think…at their pace, not some idealized one…
 

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