TKR Happy as a clam :)

KAPHealey

new member
Joined
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Hello All!

Well, I'm on the other side of surgery and feeling fantastic! I'm so grateful to all the amazing people who have helped me through this process! My surgery was on Thursday, Feb. 1st, so today is day four, and I'm not even using a walker. Days one and two were a breeze thanks to that incredible nerve block. There was literally no pain at all except where the tourniquet was placed. Saturday the nerve block started to fade. I awoke from surgery with drop foot (I could not lift my toes upward), which the Doctor said would likely go away as the block wore off.

The nurse came to my home on Thursday afternoon and said I was doing great. My first PT appointment was on Friday and I've been doing the exercises three times daily, as instructed. I had my second PT appointment today. The exercises were more intense, but I just took my time and made it through.

My husband has been tremendously supportive (Thanks, Sweetie). I've been taking the medication as directed and the pain has never been above a 4-5. I am so elated by this entire process that I'm scheduling the other knee for May. Thanks to you all for sharing your concerns and experiences. It was very helpful to know others were feeling the same as me!

Good luck to all ... especially my fellow February Valentines! Please don't hesitate to reach out to me. I'll be happy to share my experience in greater detail.

Warm regards,

Kim

Left TKR - February 1, 2024
 
Hi!!!

As you embark on recovery I want to stress what my entire ortho team hammered into my brain: in the first few weeks Less Is Better.

Ice, elevate, walk a little every hour, do ankle movements to reduce the risk of clots, and a few quad sets - NOT counting out long sets of them! - in order to help fully wake up the quads.

PT should not be actively manipulating your knee to "increase" your bend or your straightening. That will only aggravate a traumatized joint and worsen swelling and pain. It's too early to try to do the three sets of ten ANYTHING. They should be encouraging you to walk with good gait and showing you gentle self stretches.

I will leave you our Recovery Articles that have helped tens of thousands of other knee replacements. We are here to help you through this journey the best we can. The very best thing for your knee right now is to rest, ice, and elevate. Exercises can come later. There is no rush to achieve ROM because it will come naturally as your swelling decreases. Your OS was able to bend your knee while checking for movements during your surgery, so it will be fine. It just takes time.

Each person is different as is their recovery. Most find that the Bonesmart approach works best for them, but others find that a more aggressive therapy helps them more. It's your recovery and your choice on how you recover. As you read more on other members' recovery threads, you’ll get a better perspective of what to expect. The following are our basic guidelines and should help get you started.

KNEE RECOVERY 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

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 a 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 history before providing advice.
 
Wow...such a lovely, positive update. You're off to a great start.
Please stop back and spread that sunshine often. :SUNsmile: I will look forward to following your journey.
Best Wishes for your comfort and an easy recovery.
@KAPHealey
 
Greetings All!

Just checking in to make sure you know that it wasn't just the pain block talking in my first message - although it helped a lot! Today is post-surgery day 8 and I'm doing very well. My in-home physical therapist just told me that I must have a very high tolerance for pain because I'm not attempting to modify my exercises. I never thought of myself as having a high tolerance for pain. I am just grateful that my surgery went so well. My therapist is exceptionally understanding and encouraging, and said she would never forcefully manipulate my knee. As a matter of fact, she doesn't touch me at all. Just cheers me on from the sidelines. She said the swelling is minimal. I've been icing frequently and keeping my knee elevated.

I have been taking 5 mg/325 Percocet every 4-6 hours, but am going to try and alternate them with 650 mg Tylenol every 4-6 hours to eliminate some of the side effects (itching and constipation). I've been eating healthy meals that I prepped before the surgery. Today was the first day I walked outside, and went about 3 blocks total with a cane and my therapist. Inside my house I used a walker for the first three days and have been able to walk unassisted since then.

My post-op appointment with my surgeon is on February 14th and I'm looking forward to having the coverings and staples removed.

I appreciate all the information I've received from this site. I think I'm doing a good job of listening to the nurse and PT, while following the BoneSmart guidance. I know my experience is not the "norm" but am sharing in case anything helps one of you. Best wishes to all!

Warm regards,

Kim
 
Sounds like you’re a rock star, and have a good therapist too! You’re walking a long way for so early. Hope it keeps going like this!
 
My therapist is exceptionally understanding and encouraging, and said she would never forcefully manipulate my knee. As a matter of fact, she doesn't touch me at all.
So great to read! I wish we could bottle her and then sprinkle some of that on other PTs who think it's okay to force that baby knee.

It sounds like you are off to a great start. Slow and steady is the way to succeed in this recovery.
 
Hi Kim...Happy One Month Anniversary!
I hope the past three weeks since we've heard from you has brought a good measure of healing.
My guess is the staple removal went well and your surgeon is likely very satisfied with your progress.
You've definitely been blessed with a good recovery so far.
Happy Spring...well, soon enough! :flwrysmile:
@KAPHealey
 
Hi Kim:wave:you are about 2 weeks ahead of me! Hoping as you reach the 1 month mark that you’re doing ok. I remember with my 1st RTKR I was bewildered at 1 month that I wasn’t as great as I had hoped. I really found the support here and checking in on my fellow knee buddies helped with the last one. Or you may be well into recovery and not searching here as much. That’s the goal !! Anyway just wanted to say hi!
 
Hi, @KAPHealey! :wave:I hope all is going well and that you are continuing to have a stellar recovery!

Keep us posted on how you are doing. :flwrysmile:
 
Hi Kim:wave:you are about 2 weeks ahead of me! Hoping as you reach the 1 month mark that you’re doing ok. I remember with my 1st RTKR I was bewildered at 1 month that I wasn’t as great as I had hoped. I really found the support here and checking in on my fellow knee buddies helped with the last one. Or you may be well into recovery and not searching here as much. That’s the goal !! Anyway just wanted to say hi!
Hi andpeaches!

Thanks so much for checking in. I hope you are doing great :) This has been an interesting process. I'm doing great but you are correct ... I thought by week 4 I would be pain-free. What hurt the most through this entire procedure was having the surgical covering over the staples removed. It was stuck on with this really heavy-duty glue and the nurse who removed it actually tore my skin. I was on the brink of passing out twice. The skin is still so sensitive I can hardly touch it and any material brushing against it is unbearable. When I went for my second PT session at the rehab center, the therapist started cupping around my knee. I was trying to get her to stop as I explained the situation and she completely ignored me, saying, "I'm not going to go over the scar." The scar wasn't the problem.

The exercises she put me through were so intense that I canceled all my appointments. I was in bed the entire day following that session. I'm still doing all my exercises - as a matter of fact, I was on the stationary bike for 20 minutes today. My ROM is good - 1 degree and 119 degrees. The PT was so drastically different from what was recommended here that I was concerned with what they were doing to me. My other knee (right) is scheduled to be replaced on May 7th and I hope to have lefty in fine shape by then :)

Thanks again for checking in. How are you doing? I hope your recovery is going well. Thanks for letting me vent hahaha I feel better already :)

Warm regards,

Kim
 
Hi, @KAPHealey! :wave:I hope all is going well and that you are continuing to have a stellar recovery!

Keep us posted on how you are doing. :flwrysmile:
Hi Suzie-Q,

Thanks so much for checking in on me :) All-in-all, I'm doing well. I posted a long message with all the details.

Warm regards,

Kim
 
Hi Kim...Happy One Month Anniversary!
I hope the past three weeks since we've heard from you has brought a good measure of healing.
My guess is the staple removal went well and your surgeon is likely very satisfied with your progress.
You've definitely been blessed with a good recovery so far.
Happy Spring...well, soon enough! :flwrysmile:
@KAPHealey
Hi Layla!

I'm doing well, thank you. I dropped the PT last week after an unpleasant experience but I'm still focusing on my exercises and walking. I posted a longer message with a recap.

Thanks a bunch.

Kind regards,

Kim
 
I'm so sorry you had a PT who was so aggressive! I really don't understand where they get this "one size fits all", "no pain, no gain" approach! You were wise to cancel your appointment.

Here's an article talking about the dangers of doing too much too soon:

My other knee (right) is scheduled to be replaced on May 7th and I hope to have lefty in fine shape by then :)
Lefty will be better but remember, this is a full year recovery for most so don't feel discouraged if Lefty still needs some babying.
 
What hurt the most through this entire procedure was having the surgical covering over the staples removed. It was stuck on with this really heavy-duty glue and the nurse who removed it actually tore my skin. I was on the brink of passing out twice
Oh my goodness...How awful, I am so sorry.
When I went for my second PT session at the rehab center, the therapist started cupping around my knee. I was trying to get her to stop as I explained the situation and she completely ignored me, saying, "I'm not going to go over the scar."
I Yi Yi :gaah:...a run of bad luck with a couple of medical professionals. Thankfully these incidents are behind you and you're doing well.

Thanks for the update and best wishes as you continue the journey!
 
There are some PTs out there who really need to be doing something else.
 
When I went for my second PT session at the rehab center, the therapist started cupping around my knee. I was trying to get her to stop as I explained the situation and she completely ignored me, saying, "I'm not going to go over the scar." The scar wasn't the problem.
Just remember, if you tell someone to stop what they are doing to your knee during your recovery, and they don't, then they can be arrested for assault, and they can be! Tell them so and I bet they will stop then! This is true for every one of us. If we say "Stop.", and they don't, that is assault. We are the boss!
 
Wow Kim!!! I can’t even imagine how painful both of these events were. Bandage ripping off scabs and skin and PT cupping??? On your fragile traumatized knee?? You did the right thing!!! Also your flexion & extension are amazing!!! You’re rehabbing your knee so well just by yourself. Your L knee will be 4 months old by the 2nd surgery. I do remember my last knee (done 5 yrs ago) was so much better at 4 months as compared to 1 month. So I truly hope that is true for you. I can promise you that in 1 year you’ll be glad they are both replaced and by 2 years you won’t even think about them anymore! I constantly forget when I’m going through the airport TSA scanner that my 1st implant will set off alarms!! I just smile knowing time truly healed it. Happy knees here we come :happydance:
 
Thanks so much for all the encouraging replies! I will be 6 weeks post-surgery on Thursday. It's amazing how the healing process morphs the aches and pains to different areas. Now I'm having some intense aching in my left hip area with some weakness in my left leg. It has been happening for about 5 days. I was worried that my hip was fractured (oh, how the mind wanders!). So, I searched the forum for hip pain after TKR and found that it is relatively common at this point in the healing process. Irritated gluteus maximus/sciatica/realignment - it all makes sense. Hopefully, this will pass quickly. I was silly enough to sign up for a class towards my Masters degree, which started 4 days after my surgery. I've been fine with it until this hip issue.
I hope all my fellow Valentines are doing well and being kind to yourselves! :flwrysmile:
Warm regards,

Kim
 
Hang in there... yep it changes, yet it also improves!
 
I'm sorry your hip is now bothering you! I had some hip issues after my last TKR that seemed to be mostly IT band problems but aches and pains moving around seem to be par for the course. You're still healing and will be for quite awhile yet but it sounds like things are improving for the most part.

To quote @mendogal, hang in there! :flwrysmile:
 

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