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TKR Greda's recovery story<<

InkedMarie

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Hi @Greda ! I had my first TKR on Monday. I elevate using the Lounge Doctor wedge during the day in my recliner and in bed at night. I’ve been shocked at how comfortable I’ve been sleeping on my back (I’m a right side, curled up fetal sleeper). I also bought the Lounge Doctor pillow which raises my head a bit and put a soft pillow over and it’s working.
 

SusieShoes

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Hope you’re feeling better today, @Greda. I too had to convince my husband that I would do well without aggressive PT. Once he saw how well I was doing with only the most minimal of PT (I mostly used walking to rehab my knees), he became a convert. The proof is in the pudding: the best approach is the one that works.

Ice is good for post-op knee pain. It’s not in the same league as opioid painkillers, but it really can help a lot. :console2:
 
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Greda

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Thank you for Spex10 it reinforces my resolve to stop pt.
Celle thanks for info about Tylenol. I can take considerably more than I have been. I think that will help with pain control.
My husband is home today so it should be an easier day. I am so happy about him being here.
Hopefully things go ok with the pain clinic today.
 
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Greda

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InkedMarie I am a side sleeper too. I will look for a lounge doctor because it is so hard to lay on my back.
Susieshoes — I hope the pain clinic comes through or at least contacts my OS. I am a little annoyed with the PA at my OS office as she as she learned I go to a pain clinic she was out. The OS said he would be there to work with me but he is impossible to get ahold of. I see him I hope Tues but other times I have had appts with him I get the PA. When I had questions she would leave the room to go ask him and come back. If he was available why didn’t he come in. I made the appt specifically with him.
Anyway my pain clinic appt is at 1...hoping for the best.
 
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SusieShoes

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You can insist on seeing the surgeon. His staff may attempt to deflect you, but if you know he's there you can say you really need to see him and that he said he would be there for you. Well, you're in need and the staff is not giving you the help you expected. They don't want you to walk out unhappy. The staff's job is to free up the doctor, but he's still the person in charge of your case.

PAs can be very good. I like my surgeon's PA. At my two week check up she answered my questions and we discussed pain control. She gave me another prescription for oxy. But she was meeting my needs. It sounds like your surgeon's PA isn't. So get the surgeon on board.

I hope the pain clinic comes through for you!
 
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Greda

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My appt at pain clinic was great. He put me on Percocet 7.5/325 and gave a month supply. Told me to call with any issues. Exhausted going to ice and hopefully sleep. Just glad the dr office was only a 5 minute drive,
 

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1.My pain levels today vary from 5-9.
Wow! That's pretty bad.
2. Percocet 5/325 1-2 every 8 hrs (only 1 week’s worth)
Norflex 100mg 1 twice daily
Ambien 10 mg ½ at bedtime
Norflex is a muscle relaxant, not a pain med
Ambien is a sleep aid.

So what are you going to do hen you run out of Percocet? Has your surgeon specifically said he won't give you any more? Because you will need it. It's the only pain med you are taking presently.
3. swelling: between moderate and huge
Oh my!
4. Not sure. I was in so much pain with PT I don’t know what he said. Could not straighten leg before surgery
Perhaps you could find out for me next time it is measured.
5. Almost all the time with polar care by Breg. Can’t function without it
I remember it well!
6. I elevate when I sleep. It is really uncomfortable but have been trying. The ambien makes the elevating at night tolerable. Using 3 pillows like you have in article.
okay. First 3-4 weeks is tough
7. My husband went back to work so during the day I have to get ice for polar care (upstairs. Going up and down 2 sets of 8 stairs about 4-5 times a day. Put clothes in washer. Fix my breakfast and lunch. Take care of cats
Okay. But do remember to read the Activity progression for TKRs

At PT on Mon
Sitting on table raise leg (could not do so he “helped”) x10 - never ever let anyone 'help' you to do these things
Heel slides x10 - not a good way to do these. Read this Heel slides and how to do them properly.
Quad sets x10 - unnecessary, specially this early. Stop doing them!
Straight leg raise (again with “help”) x10 - 10 is far too many. Try to do a couple on your bed first thing. If you can't, don't worry. It will come in time
Put a bolster under knee then suppose to raise leg to height of other bent knee. So painful and could not do it and he “helped” but told me to fire quad each time - this is a half leg raise and you should stop them too.
Since PT Mon only a few heel slides - never mind, now is not the time to do them anyway!
I get up and walk about every hour or two, when I first get up I can’t use anything but my tiptoes on that leg the gradually can walk
That's the way to do it!

I strongly suggest you don't do any exercising or PT. It's like to make things worse for you and it's not necessary anyway. Read other's posts here - many of us never did any of that stuff and we got pretty good results anyway.

If you are concerned about refusing to do therapy, you need to read this Saying no to therapy - am I allowed to?
 
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Greda

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Got a nap and still feel exhausted. The pain clinic doctor listened to me and I think will support me. It is a relief to have Percocet for a month. My next appt is 4 weeks away and he said we will see how it is going and make adjustments as needed.

I see the surgeon Tues. I will speak with him about PT. I will also be complaining about the therapist I saw Mon. I only have one more week on eliquis and hope to resume ibuprofen. The pain clinic said that was the surgeon’s call.

I have added more Tylenol. I just need to get ahead of the pain and things will be easier. I keep crying at a drop of a hat commercials, news stories etc. I think sleep will help.

Wish me luck tomorrow my husband will be back at work. Thank goodness it will be Friday!
 

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We all cry very easily after this surgery, try not to worry about it. Like everything else, it will pass.

It will be interesting to see what your surgeon’s reaction is to that PT experience you had on Monday.

If it was me, I would not ask permission to stop going to PT. I tried that at my 6 week check up and my surgeon told me “we haven’t finished fixing you yet”

I had only just found Bonesmart and my husband felt PT was important and I couldn’t “fight them all” so I hung in there with PT but cancelled some appointments and ended up with only one more appointment where they discharged me.

Now I know I don’t need my surgeon ‘s permission to stop PT. I can decide for myself.
 

sistersinhim

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I couldn’t believe he said that plus he has a doctorate in PT.
Well, it certainly wasn't in how to rehab a tkr patient! 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 PT. But, I didn't just sit around and do nothing. I took care of myself, my house and yard as my knee allowed me to do. As I healed, I did more. But, my knee was always in control! This was enough therapy for me and would be for any tkr patient. All the awful pain of PT is so unnecessary.

All you have to do is use it in your daily living! Your knee knows how to rehab itself and doesn't need anyone telling it how. Just use it and it will come back like new! You have to be patient, though, it doesn't happen quickly! ADL,(activities of daily living), going to the bathroom, brushing your teeth and bathing, fixing a light meal, getting something to drink and or a snack, those kinds of things will be all the exercise your knee needs. If you just use it daily in your living, you can have a less painful recovery. We know what works, we've been there!
 
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Greda

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Thank everyone for all your support! Before coming here I was feeling so alone and depressed.

As the day has gone on I remember more of my appointment. When
I did mention to the pain clinic pa discontinuing pt. His only comment was talk with the surgeon. Plus he said my surgeon was conservative not sure what that comment meant. He also recommended a different pt place.

When I took off my ted hose I saw my ankle is black and blue and swollen Could be why it is hard to put my foot down? Going to ice the ankle too. I have not noticed pain in my ankle but it is ugly.

On a different note the signature with my list of surgeries has changed and is not correct. I have not had a TKR on my right knee. Just a PKR in 3/2011 and then a revision after it was loose in 7/2011. I have had 5 other knee surgeries before and after that.
 

Celle

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On a different note the signature with my list of surgeries has changed and is not correct. I have not had a TKR on my right knee. Just a PKR in 3/2011 and then a revision after it was loose in 7/2011. I have had 5 other knee surgeries before and after that.
@Greda - I have removed the TKR from your signature, but I think we need some more help with the rest of the information.

I've looked back at your recovery thread from 2011, but it's 38 pages long. It appears you had a right PKR on March 1, 2011, which loosened, and then you had a Revision right PKR on June 21, 2011 (not July).

I can't work out when or why you had a lateral release, or if you had a PKR in 2006. Please can you help us with that?
If you can help us sort out the dates and procedures, we'll be able to correct the rest of your signature.
Thank you. :flwrysmile:
 
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Greda

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Celle
On my right knee I don’t remember months or days
2000 scope/lateral release
2006 open incision lateral release
3/1/2011 PKR
6/21/2011 Revision of PKR because loose
8/2012 Scope for another opinion after moving

On my left knee I don’t remember months or days
2003 scope/lateral release
5/2013 scope/lateral release
8/22/2018 TKR

Not enough energy to look for exact dates...have moved several times and have had 5 different surgeons
 

Josephine

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Is that better? I prefer to have surgeries listed chronologically!
 
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Greda

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Maybe easier to put

Left TKR August 22, 2018
Right PKR March 21, 2011 (revised June 21, 2011 due to loose)
5 other lateral releases or scopes from 2000-2013

Since I don’t have complete dates
 

Celle

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Thank you for all the additional information, @Greda . :flwrysmile:
I have put the information for your left knee at the top of the list, since its TKR is your most recent surgery.

With all the surgeries your poor knees have had, do be very careful not to overdo the PT exercises in any way. Your knee will need lots of rest, ice and elevation, so it can heal calmly - and only a little exercise, just enough to keep it moving gently.

It's not exercising that gets you your ROM (Range of Motion) - 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, just waiting for all that to happen, so it can show itself.
There's no need to rush to get ROM 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
 
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Greda

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I have been having trouble getting comfortable. It seems like no position feels good. My leg is aching and feeling tight and the staples are bothering me too. There is sharp pain episodes as well.

I am taking meds on schedule and icing and trying to elevate. The elevating is hard because it is so uncomfortable. I keep getting up and moving to the recliner then back to the couch then walking. It is just a bad day. I assumed yesterday was like that due to Dr appt on Thurs. I had hoped today would be better.

I am walking better, only needed support when I first get up. I know time is the answer but hard to remember.

I am a bit worried that my husband was told yesterday he has two business trips to go on. One 9/17-9/21 and then the following week as well. Dates for the second trip are not confirmed yet. I am just disappointed because I told him a needed him home the month of Sept. The trips are mandatory so I will just have to adjust. I think because of how I am feeling right it is hard to picture being good on my own in a few weeks.

Thanks for listening.
 

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This may not be true for everyone but by the end of three weeks after each of my tkrs, I felt more like myself. Obviously didn't feel normal, but I was able to manage on my own. Nothing was getting done around here but I was comfortable moving around in the house, getting a quick meal, etc. If you have a dog or dogs, you might need to figure out how to care for them while he's gone. Chances are you're not going to feel like walking them 3 or 4 times a day.

It was very hard to get this through my head but this recovery isn't linear and it can really fool you. One day will feel a little better, the next day will feel even better and the third day will be miserable. There are lots of hills and valleys in this process and it's best to take each day as it comes. Today has nothing to do with yesterday or tomorrow because your knee is in charge. Good luck...
 

sistersinhim

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You'll be fine alone. Many of us went through this recovery alone, me included. It just takes some planning. Have him get enough meds, food, etc. before he leaves. At almost a month out, you'll be able to do the things you need to do to take care of yourself.
 

Jockette

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Ask a friend or family member to come for a little while each day, or to spend the night.

When I was in my first month of recovery, shell shocked by what I didn’t know to expect, I couldn’t imagine anyone doing both knees at once or being alone. My husband is retired so I am rarely alone.

Now, I’ve seen here how others can and do manage, and I think I could do it at a month post op.

There is an article about this, I go find it.
 

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