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TKR Help with IT band......after 5 weeks TKR

Celle

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Going up the stairs was probably more than your knee was ready for and it's telling you so now. Rest, ice and elevation are the things most likely to help. did you cut back your exercises when we advised you before? Your knee is still very new and it only needs gentle movement, such as it gets from your normal activities of daily living.

Here is an article about IT band problems that might help you:
ITB (ilio-tibial band) issues and treatments

You'll notice that I have merged your two threads together as we prefer that members in recovery only have one thread.

This is for three reasons:
1. if you keep starting new threads, you miss the posts others have left you in the old threads
2. it often ends up that information is unnecessarily repeated
3. it's best if we can keep all your recovery story in one place so it's easily accessed if we need to advise you.

Please keep all your questions and updates on this thread.
If you prefer a different thread title, just post what you want and we'll get it changed for you.
If you need an urgent response to a question, just tag a member of staff.
Tagging other members and answering tags

Here are the instructions on finding your thread, How can I find my threads and posts?Many members bookmark their thread, so they can find it when they log on.
 

Julia1911

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Hi,
Hang in there.
I was 5 months on 6/27.
The first 3 weeks, my jaw ached from grinding my teeth from the pain, even during the little fitfull sleep I got. I was in week 4 before I actually had moments (minutes) when there wasn't constant or really bad pain.
It took me almost 4 months before I could (mostly) sleep thru at least 4 to 6 hours at a time. And not spend half of that in a recliner due to my knees (the surgery one and the other one that must be done in a year or so) waking me up. Still wake up between 4 and 6am several times as aching starts up, but can now get back to sleep in my own bed.
It seemed like I would have one good week (or few days) then one bad week (or several days) for the first 3 months. Days after PT (there or after closed due to covid at home) were always worse.

I made progress, but it was slow, bit by bit. But mostly steady. Had the awful horizontal band across the top of my knee and IT band problems. ROM seemed to go no where until about 3 months and then came quickly and steadily from stationary bike. The swelling must have suddenly come down and I went from barely 100 to almost full ROM of the other leg by month 4. The tight band also eased up a lot.

Month 3 1/2 to 4 1/4 were the best so far. Then, I lowered my bicycle seat yet again, and boom, 3 weeks of set-backs. The dead spot on the lower outside of the surgery knee hurt and although the "band" was gone, lots of pain on the top outside (left) muscle sitting just to the side of the knee cap. Before the end of each day, lots of pain and stiffness.

Now, this week, it seems to be slowly getting better again. Still clunks a lot when I go up or down the stairs, sometimes feels like a vise squeezing on each side of the knee cap when going up or down stairs (especially later in the day), but yes, getting better.

There is still swelling, and I still ice. Hoping by month 6 it will be much improved, but it seems like this is going to take a year to be mostly (new) normal.

The non-surgery knee is getting really bad, but still too scared of the covid to go get a shot.

Hang in there, it does get better, but it is miserable and much, much worse than my 2 hand, foot, and 2 spinal fusion surgeries and has taken much longer to get better.
 
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Starpoint54

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Sometimes I wonder if i am slow recovering because of weight....I am just so frustrated....and I am very depressed.....
 

sistersinhim

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You'll notice that I have merged your two threads together as we prefer that members in recovery only have one thread.

This is for three reasons:
1. if you keep starting new threads, you miss the posts others have left you in the old threads
2. it often ends up that information is unnecessarily repeated
3. it's best if we can keep all your recovery story in one place so it's easily accessed if we need to advise you.

Please keep all your questions and updates on this thread. If you would like a new thread title just post what you would like it to be and we'll change it for you
 

sistersinhim

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You aren't even 2 months out and pain is normal. What activities are you doing? It is obviously too much for your knee right now. Slow down and ice and elevate more. Your knee needs to heal not to exercise. Be very gentle with it with no forced bending or straightening.
 
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Starpoint54

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Now I only do my basic chores, go the bathroom, fix myself some breakfast or lunch, sit and watch tv and rest and ice and elevate..and then I repeat......so that is why I was wondering if weight had to do with my slow recovery.......I weigh 230 pounds.....with this recovery going so slow I don’t think I can go back to work.....and I am taking my pain killers diligently.....I read other people are even walking. Ore than I am....
 

Celle

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Sometimes I wonder if i am slow recovering because of weight....I am just so frustrated....and I am very depressed...
You're not slow in recovering. It's just that you went into this unprepared for a recovery that normally takes a full year for all your tissues to recovery completely.
Of course, you'll be able to do most things long before that year is up, but there will still be healing going on beneath the surface.

Joint replacements aren't like other surgeries, where you can bounce back after just a few weeks. They take time - like many good things.

When you're feeling down, try to remember that your knee isn't always going to feel like it does now. This isn't where you're going to end up.

Recovery isn't a straightforward progression. It's more like a roller-coaster ride, with ups and downs, 2 steps forward and one step back - like this drawing:
Recovery chart drawn.jpg


Hang in there, because things are going to get better. :friends:
 

kneeper

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Now I only do my basic chores, go the bathroom, fix myself some breakfast or lunch, sit and watch tv and rest and ice and elevate..and then I repeat......so that is why I was wondering if weight had to do with my slow recovery.......I weigh 230 pounds.....with this recovery going so slow I don’t think I can go back to work.....and I am taking my pain killers diligently.....I read other people are even walking. Ore than I am....
I didn't go back to work for the full 12 weeks. The knee will take how long it takes to heal.
You may be more fatigued if you are out of shape but I don't think it's affecting the knee healing. I was in better physical shape with my 2nd knee because I had been able to be more active for a year or two in between surgeries and so in one sense the recovery felt easier with knee #2--but as far as the knee itself it took the same time.
 
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Starpoint54

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I should have done more research, but dr. Was like saying that people were ready at two weeks. So I assumed, well maybe with my age and weight it will probably take me four to five weeks.....He could not believe that I was not able to bend my knee and that I was just being uncooperative and that my attitude had to be more positive....I really thought something was wrong with my recuperation
 

sistersinhim

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It's a shame so many doctors lead us to believe we'll be back to normal in a few weeks or months. That is far from the truth. Read many recovery threads here and you'll get a better reality of what the true recovery time is.
 

kneeper

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My approach was to do some heel slides, do a little walking (depending on where I was in the recovery process it might be 5 minutes or 15) but the bulk of the time it was ice and elevate. And I did nap every afternoon for the first month and most afternoons even into the second month. When I hit my afternoon "wall" I'd lie down on top of the bed with my leg elevated. I found that even better than being in a recliner where it was harder to get the leg properly elevated, even with an extra pillow.

Taking it slow and steady, trying a bit more and seeing how that went--and then backing off for a few days if the knee protested too much--seemed to work for me.

Hang in there!
 
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Starpoint54

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Tomorrow I am hitting the four month post op after TKR.....I keep reading all your posts Hoping To ease my mind. I am still in terrible pain and just can not figure out why....I am worse that before surgery.....i can only be active for at least two hours and then I am back in bed or resting at my couch.....It is just frustrating and overwhelming to see how disabled I am. I have a new grand baby and I can not even help my daughter......very depressed at this point. I thought I was going to enjoy life, but it seems that it will never happen.....
 

eaglemom

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Let's look at this closer. You are ONLY four months post op after having a very major surgery. That's a fact we know. What we also know is that your doctor did not properly advise you on recovery. Neither one of those things can change.

Are you doing any type of out patient PT? If your answer is yes, please stop. I've learned the hard way and the less hard (not easy by a far shot) about recovery. Lower your expiations to the first month you were home. Focus on your ADL's and possibly a walk to the end of your driveway - and back. Nothing more. Then properly elevate and ice. Boring yes, but your knee is healing and not happy. If I ventured to guess your doing more than you think you are.

You have to go with what your body / knee is telling you. And its telling you your doing too much. I know its not what you want to hear, but its the truth. Some of us - me - are slow healers. Some of us whom have had multiple surgeries on the knee - again me - take a long time to recover. That's ok. There isn't a magic month you come to and your pain free and walking perfectly. Deep breath and it will slowly get better. Your job is to listen to your knee.
 

Fran55

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@Starpoint54

I had a bilateral TKR on May 12 so not long before you. I am almost 41/2 months post op.

I was fortunate that my surgeon doesn’t believe in aggressive therapy.He allowed the Physios to lead me through stretching exercises while in rehab and I had a sheet of these to do when I came home. I was not allowed to attend any sessions after discharge. He believes in allowing the knee to heal as do the moderators and admin on here. It is wise advice I assure you. I am 65 and not overly fit :heehee:I only do a couple of stretching exercises these days usually on getting up. I go for walks and just go about my daily life. I am happy with my progress considering I am only just over one third the way through this recovery. That’s the thing we all have to come to terms with I think. My surgeon gave the same advice that is given on here - it is a 12 month recovery.

The 4 month mark was a big turning point for me. I have really noticed how much better my knees are. I still have some pain ( standing up from sitting and trying to move in bed) . It is also sometimes a problem if I have had a big day or have done a lot of driving. I still have some problems with sleeping but am currently trying a magnesium supplement that seems to be helping. If it doesn’t now I am off the strong pain meds I may ask my GP for some sleeping pills.

My advice? Follow the advice on here. If you are still doing PT , as others have said, perhaps stop. Pushing your knee into more pain doesn’t help. Go about your daily activities (without overdoing it), do some walking (start small and build up) .
Be kind to yourself.
 

babycatcher

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@Starpoint54 I’m so sorry you were not told by your surgeon the likely course of your recovery but if you had known would it have changed your decision - I assume not because by the time we get to the point we need a replacement knee there are no more options left. It does sound like you have an unusual amount of pain though. What has your surgeon said? I’m not an expert, just 6 weeks after a LTKR and it sounds like I have a lot less pain than you. I’d do what others have said and cut right back and discuss with your surgeon if no improvement. Hope it gets better soon. Oh and I’m overweight too BMI just below 40 (which was the cut off for having surgery!)
 

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