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[TKR] I’ll TKR - another please<

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by Needhope, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. Needhope

    Needhope member
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    Hi. My tkr was Sept 22, 2017. Ive been reading many posts on this site and appreciate all the info.

    My concern is my knee hasn’t fully regained all its strength back yet and I’m expected back at work next week. I'm grateful I can walk but have put much pressure on myself to return walking “normally”. It has snowed here and ice storm recently. I overcame my fear of falling for a brief visit to daughters house for Christmas. Now my anxiety level has once again returned. Ugh!

    My last visit at doc office was last week. He told me to expect being in agony for a few weeks. I can’t sit for long because my knee stiffens. That doesn’t help my anxiety. I’m sooo scared I’ll never regain my leg strength. My other knee is bad and exercising had to be modified to account for the condition. It’s creating a challenge to get my leg strength back.

    Also, I lost muscle strength in unoperated knee because of the knee's condition. I guess I’m looking for some sort of “ray of hope” and encouragement as I venture out next week back into real life.

    Has anyone been in this type of situation? Because I’m feeling like the only one. Sorry I’m all over the place with my comments but my brain is all over the place.
     
  2. Jockette

    Jockette Senior BoneSmartie Forum Advisor

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    Welcome to Bonesmart, best place after knee replacement to find you are not alone at all. We all understand what you are going through because we have been there also.

    You will regain strength in your legs and normal function in your new knee. But it will take lots of time. Just time. As your swelling goes down and your body continues it’s healing journey.

    Not all of our healing journeys are the same. The time frame varies. In general recovery can take a year or more, but you do feel better sooner than that. I’m sure you feel better now than you did in the first month. That will continue, but it’s also a rollercoaster ride, lots of ups and downs, some steps forward, some backward.

    The only thing in this recovery that you have to exercise is patience. And that’s hard to do.

    At 3 months post op I was very afraid of falling. I still am at times but not as much as earlier on. I am now 9 months post op and still have a ways to go!

    Best wishes for your recovery. Hang out here with us, we care!
     
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  3. Spider-Man

    Spider-Man junior member

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    Dear Need Hope, I had my left knee done five years ago and my right done three weeks ago, I have had totally different results, the left knee sounds like your current situation, but it did get better everyday, but it was a very slow process. I also needed my right knee done at that time but took me this long to get ready again and forget the process of the first knee. It eventually got stronger and I lost my fears. Now that I did my Right knee it is a totally different experience, I am at a point now, three weeks (tomorrow) that it took me almost eight weeks to get to last time. I went back to work within two weeks this time, just part time and I sit at a desk so there is no extra stress but still..... I do know that everything has to heal inside and that can take 4 - 5 months and almost a year to feel real good. I wish you the best with the ongoing process and keep hope and confidence.
     
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  4. Needhope

    Needhope member
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    Oh Jockette... that’s some very encouraging words that I definitely needed to hear. My family has heard enough and although they care, they’re just sick of me talking about my knee problems. Thank you!

    Dirtball... Thanks for kind words. I am never going through this ever again. It was an awful experience that I would never wish upon anyone. Forced into it because Osteoarthritis had gotten very very bad. A lifetime of “bad knees”. The surgery almost seems sooo primitive. There’s gotta be a better way. Take care and thanks again.
     
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  5. Jockette

    Jockette Senior BoneSmartie Forum Advisor

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    I don’t ever want to do this again, either! I hope I never have to!
     
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  6. Spider-Man

    Spider-Man junior member

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    you both sounded like I did, believe! you will get better and it did take me a long time to decide to do the other, I can tell already it is well worth it. Take care of the current situation first of all. If I had the experience the first time I am having now, I would have done this knee three years ago. Yes my family got tired of me the first time around as well this is where this website helped me so much someone to listen.
    I hope I continue to progress this time and not have any setbacks, but I am going to milk my family so much for getting tired of me the last time....LOL they just don't know.
     
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  7. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    @Needhope, welcome to Bonesmart! You are only bout 1/4 of the way of a year long healing. You will most definitely get stronger as your heals. The hardest thing for you will be for you to have patience and to let the knee heal at it's own pace. I will leave you our reading articles.

    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
    elevate
    ice
    take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)
    don't overwork.
    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. Here is a week-by-week guide for Activity progression for TKRs


    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.
     
  8. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hello @Needhope - and :welome:

    I'll echo what the others have said - your leg will continue to gain strength as you use it. Since your other knee is also bad, you will find that your operated leg gradually becomes your good leg.
    Complete recovery from a knee replacement takes a full year, so you still have plenty of time for improvement.

    You're going back to work at about th right time. We usually recommend taking about 12 weeks off and then doing a Phased return to work

    If you have a desk job, be sure to get up and walk around for about five minutes every hour. That will help to prevent some of the stiffness. If you can, try to elevate you leg while sitting, even if it's only on a chair or a stool. Anything is better than having your foot down on the ground all the time.

    You'll probably feel very tired at first - the post-op energy drain lingers for months - so when you come home from work just grab a quick meal and then spend the evening resting, icing and elevating your leg.
    Your leg will probably swell more and be more painful after a day at work. That's normal and it should settle down in a few weeks.
     
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  9. Needhope

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    @sistersinhim ... great useful information. I found this website a couple months ago and have read quite a bit from other posts. Decided to join today because of my anxiety and self-discouraging situation. I need the support Badly! There’s no substitute for feeling like we’re all rowing in the same boat together.
    Thank you!

    @Celle ... I’m already feeling less anxious about the return to work because of the support I’ve gotten since I joined a few hours ago. Such a source of strength and information. Why did I wait sooo long! Thank you all!
     
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  10. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Just remember that all of us have been through exactly the same things that you are going through. We can relate to you and we what to help you through this journey. We care!
     
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  11. kneeper

    kneeper FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Glad you decided to post. I agree with what the others have said. You will be able to function at work but you won't be 100%. I tried to elevate when I could and definitely got up and walked for a minute or two about every hour or so. But gradually you will need to do that less and less.
    Your strength will come back as the knee is healed enough for you to be more active. It's still "listen to the knee" for a while yet. :)
     
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  12. Needhope

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    I need to get up after just 15 minutes of sitting because it stiffens and tightens up from short inactivity. I work in a factory and hope they don’t put me on a sitting job. I also can’t stand idle for longer than 15-20 min or walk long because of the discomfort. When I walk too long it feels like a knot is starting towards the back and it alters my gait. Feels like a no win situation.

    I’m wondering if the tightness, stiffness, discomfort will ever truly go away or I will just become accustomed to it. I’m impatient. I just want to be normal again, yesterday. I’ve kinda been out of commission since March 2017, when the bone on bone, inflammation, and bone spurs started to become intensely debilitating. I decided to go through with the surgery after my granddaughter was born in Aug so that’s why I had my surgery in September.

    I wished I was forewarned what I would have had to go through. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine how difficult this was going to be. Even now, I can’t stand up while holding my granddaughter, I need to be sitting. This entire ordeal has been full of lows. I’m waiting for the highs. In my case, ignorance is not bliss.
     
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  13. Jockette

    Jockette Senior BoneSmartie Forum Advisor

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    I never dreamed this recovery would be so hard, either. Between “normal” recovery issues and pressure from everybody (not on Bonesmart) to progress on their timetable instead of my knee’s timetable, it’s been really tough. I did not expect any of that because nobody told me what recovery was like. Shame on our health professionals who are not honest with us and giving us false expectations.

    At 9 months I still have a ways to go and I’m still sorry I had it done.

    The only thing I can do is be patient, move forward and let time do it’s thing.
     
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  14. Needhope

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    My PT’s weren’t exactly warm. I felt like they were pushing me to do things I couldn’t so I stopped going. I would leave in pain. They also suggested I get my other knee done now so I can move on with my life. Well... Hell No! I haven’t even healed from this one yet. Are they serious?

    I’m around 132 degrees bend with O whatever you call that other measurement. I’m trying my best to stay positive about this whole ordeal but some days I crumble. I was discharged the day after my surgery, had PT 2 days later for 8 days straight then to PT 2x week until a couple weeks ago when I said I’d had enough of torture.

    I was only on pain meds for 10 days after surgery because my Dr said they were only for post-op pain. So since then I’ve been taking otc Tylenol. Don’t know why, because it didn’t touch the pain.

    Now, on this day, I’ve still got pain on outer knee area , in front below the kneecap (the area where they hit you with a hammer to test your reflexes) and in the back. Will it ever end?

    Next week it’ll be somewhere new because that’s how the trend has been going.
     
  15. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Good that you quit PT. With your bend and extension, you didn't need it anyway. You are just 1/4 of the way through this year long recovery. It's so hard to be patient, but that's exactly what you need to do.
     
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  16. NightQuilter

    NightQuilter Sr Bonesmartie

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    Hi Needhope - I can really appreciate your frustration. As much as your loved ones want to support you, until they have "walked in your shoes" they cannot fully appreciate what you are dealing with - physically and emotionally. We can, do a degree, though each of us faces a different recovery. You found your way here and will also find wonderful information and support. It was invaluable to my own recovery. Your bend and extension really sound quite encouraging at this point. Focusing on strengthening now should help as you prepare to return to the real world. Some of the exercises outlined in the library here should help - carefully. And as everyone has said, be patient and pace yourself. We are all rooting for you.:friends:
     
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  17. Needhope

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    There are only 2 PT’s at this office. One incident one of them wanted me to do an exercise that put too much pressure on my unoperated knee. The previous session I was told by the other one not to do them because of it. I told her that I was told by the other not to do them, she threw her arms in the air and said “whatever, do what you want then, I don’t care”. I couldn’t believe it. I was taken aback.

    I only went a few times after and then made the decision to stop going. The facility is connected to my surgeons office, he owns it. Since I’ve stopped going, and doing exercises on my own, my knee is less swollen, less painful and I’m gaining more strength. Not fast enough for me but like I’ve heard before, it’s a marathon not a sprint. I’m trying my hardest to be patient and positive. This is a challenging situation. But if you all can do it, so can I.

    Feeling low today. Gotta remain positive. Positive. Positive. :unsure:
     
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  18. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Yes, you can do it! You have already been through the worst of it. Now, it's just the patience thing that has to take over. I really had to fight that! But, unfortunately, this recovery does take lots and lots of that patience. In the end, it pays off big time!

    The blues, too, are normal. Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
     
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  19. Jockette

    Jockette Senior BoneSmartie Forum Advisor

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    There are a lot of low days, unfortunately. I still have them.
    :console2:
     
  20. Spider-Man

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    Keep up the positive attitude, Funny, do you really leave in T town, 06790?
     

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