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[TKR] IronGirl6’s Recovery<<

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by IronGirl6, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Don't you just love those stories! Maybe one out of 10,000 might be true. Why people want to spread these so called miracles, I just don't know. They don't help anyone heal any faster.
     
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  2. IronGirl6

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    Hey y’all, it’s been a while! I’m now about 4 1/2 months post tkr, and the amazing news is lately I’ve been feeling my old self coming back! Way more able to do what I like! I’m back in the saddle, biggest issue is dismounting - but it’s more of a coordination issue than anything else. Ive worked up to 40m on elliptical, able to walk on treadmill 2.8-3.0mph at 3-9 % incline, squatting and lunging with a TRX band for support, and climb up and down stairs with ease! I rarely need a pain pill anymore - for ANYTHING - which is a total gift. I am mostly thrilled!

    But that demon ROM... I’m so glad a few of you gave me examples of folks taking a year or more. I feel stuck at 105/110. Bike (still set for Kobe height wise) is hard some days. Putting a shoe on is still a bit of a contortion. And pushing it is no bueno.

    Overall, being out of pain and feeling I have two solid legs again is the best thing ever though! If the rest takes time, that’s ok. Anything is better than the last ten years of pain I experienced.

    Hope you’re all doing well too!
     
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  3. JDinCT

    JDinCT member

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    @IronGirl6 … great to hear your recovery continues in such a positive fashion... I'm three weeks post-op tomorrow and seem to making good strides as well.... your recovery is a positive inspiration for me … Thanks!:thumb:
     
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  4. IronGirl6

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    Well here I am, six month post op date around the corner... I’ve been doing great, able to increase my knee friendly cardio, finally getting my HR over 140 and doing interval training on elliptical, and getting better and better with the bike. I’ve been riding my horse, swimming, climbing stairs, walking up and down steep hills, walking huge strides, going out socially - all pain free. It’s still hard to stretch like I want, but I was relaxing and giving myself time. My history of injections, fluid removals, 3 scope surgeries, 16 years of injury, and the thick tight muscles that had to be rearranged for this surgery... I’ve been trying to do the right things but allowing myself time to heal on MY timeframe - with the help of folks here. :roseshwr:

    Then, I went to PT yesterday. They’ve been doing great work, mostly body work to help with scar tissue, some modalities to help me get back in the gym... but apparently that pesky 6 month goal was in their heads. :hairpulling:

    Yesterday, I got stories of people 20 years older further along than my paltry 110 degrees (if I push on a good day), and two therapists ganged up to test me. I said no and that it wasn’t a good time - but they punked me and pushed me past my pain limit. I screamed, leapt off the table (took everything I had to not hit someone), told them where they could shove their measuring tools, and drove home in tears. Now I’m afraid they’ve pushed my progress way backward... hoping this is a short temporary setback. The feeling of having a tight band around my knee is back, and it’s swollen again. :boohoo:

    Before that I’ve been living an almost normal, relatively pain free existence. Able to do go out socially and stand / walk / climb stairs without pain is such an amazing thing - I don’t think I really knew how much pain I was in before. :thud:

    But it’s taken me 6 months to agree with folks here - and I still maintain the body work - especially for me with my athletic injury history - was good. But now?

    Can I be so bold as to say “F Physical Therapy!!!!”:censored:

    (Let’s say the F represents “forget”.)

    I’m ashamed I let my idiotic athlete pride keep me from leaving before this debacle happened. I knew better. :banghead:
     
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  5. Lemondrop

    Lemondrop new member

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    Sounds like 6 months of PT is enough. Your doing all sorts of great things, climbing stairs and hills, going out socially, going to the gym, and riding your horse. Why do you need the PT anymore?

    I am 8 weeks out and am ready to say "Forget PT". I like my PT guys but I say no to certain things. They roll their eyes but I stand firm. At the beginning of PT ( after the failed arthroscopic surgery) the head therapist told me HIS goals for me. None of them had anything to with helping me be out of pain, which was my first goal then (before my TKR). Just remember, their agenda is not necessarily your agenda.

    You know what to do to help 'you'. Just keep doing that. :wave:
     
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  6. IronGirl6

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    I kept going in hopes they would help me get the rest of my rom. I have eons if lifting damage in my legs, and for the longest time I’d go and see direct improvement the next day. Now I feel like I’m back to one month out pain.

    That was my last visit, that’s for certain.
     
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  7. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I'm so sorry that happened to you. Obviously, those PTs had their own agenda in mind, not your welfare. :console2:
    Well done for removing yourself from harm.

    Now, give yourself and your poor knee some extra rest time. Elevate and ice your knee while you're resting. That brutal treatment of your knee may make it swollen and painful for a while, but it can recover from that, if you treat it gently. This will only be a temporary set back.
     
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  8. NavyGunns

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    @IronGirl6, by no means am I an expert here, but I’m going to guess that no lasting damage was done, at least to your knee hardware. Soft tissue wise, yeah, a big backwards step but you know what to do to facilitate healing. Glad to hear you told them off, maybe you ought to consider a letter to both your OS and the PT center management giving them a piece of your mind! If nothing else, it may help you feel better as well as maybe give them something to consider in terms of establishing new protocols.

    Because of their man handling, your knee has suffered the equivalent of a bad sprain. Time will heal it. If really concerned, see your OS for reassurance.
     
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  9. IronGirl6

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    Thanks so much you guys. I took the day off and am doing the RICE protocol, working up nerve to try a bit of light swimming just to move around and make sure I’m really ok. Also to get some sun, and try to forget this stupidity and subsequent pain took place.

    Earlier I had a very creepy feeling of my new knee and bones “shifting”, when I raise my leg etc. it’s very sudden, sharp, and unsettling - but happened once before - several months ago. I’m wondering if this is “normal” once in a while? It feels rather ‘seismic’, like plates shifting - and makes me super queasy when it happens. @sistersinbim @celie

    Some letter writing sounds like a good idea. That and perhaps skipping my 6 month follow up. My surgeon is amazing - but he also had this six months or else idea, and uttered the letters “MUA” at my 3
    month - which I politely and incredulously declined. I’d rather it took another year and a half to feel “normal” again than have any more pain, procedures, drugs, or shame.

    This is how people become antisocial hermits, I think? Because it’s a “git off my lawn” type of day over here. :old:
     
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  10. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Since you are only 6 months out I think it's normal to have all kinds of different aches and pains.
    I am going to tag @Josephine, our forum director and nurse to address your questions. She'll probably give you a chart to pinpoint your exact area of discomfort.
     
  11. Jamie

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    I think you have just the right approach. No one knows your knee better than you. And it sounds like that knee has quite a history. All that has to be factored in when considering what your recovery should look like. I'm always saddened by therapists out there who think there is only one set of recovery goals for everyone. As I'm sure you've heard here many times, we have members who gain ROM for 2 or more years after surgery. And you don't always need an MUA to get it. Anyway....that's basically what you've had at the hands of the therapists! So you certainly don't need another on that knee.

    You are wise to take things easy for a bit. You'll be back on your recovery path soon. Hang in there!
     
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  12. Softtail

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    Hey kid , can call you thatcause I am much your senior lol. 71 just the other day. Wow all that good progress thrown back by an overzealous PT tech. Here’s hoping it’s just a temporary set back. For me I am about to start with week two of my right leg. So far it came out of the gate better than my left leg flexion already at 105 extension pretty close to zero. Very lucky. The other thing is I can stand and sit with very little pain which I couldn’t do for at least three weeks with the left leg.
    As athletic as you are it doesn’t make sense that your flexion isn’t better than it is at this point. Have you been back to your surgeon and asked if it could be scar tissue that’s holding you up? You read here that everyone heals at their own rate but it sucks that’s six months out you don’t have more flexion at this point.
     
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  13. KarriB

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    Yep, take things easy for a few days and baby that knee. Five years ago I made goals for my recovery, some were met and others weren’t. But what I did learn is that my knee and my body have a mind of their own and will heal on their own time. Eighteen months after my TKR I was still gaining ROM. So take it easy, let your knee rest for a bit then let it set the pace.
     
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  14. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I'm sure that more will come. You still have plenty of time. I'd be inclined to cut out the lunges and the squats if you're still doing them. Both of those are tough on a new knee and they may be irritating your knee and actually preventing it from bending more.

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you said this:
    All of that has to count, in terms of slowing down your recovery.

    You might find this article interesting:
    TKR recovery and an analogy to athletic training

    There's really no reason why an athlete would achieve better ROM than anyone else.

    Flexion of 105-110 at 6 months is OK and there's still plenty of time for it to improve. You can do most things with that degree of flexion, even if a few thing are still difficult. From now on, slow and steady progress is possible.

    Even if there are a few adhesions, at this stage an MUA isn't likely to be much help and most surgeons won't do one if flexion is higher than 90 degrees.

    I think IronGirl6's plan is a good one.
     
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  15. IronGirl6

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    Thanks so much - especially @Celle !

    Pain and creepy feeling have reduced quite a bit. My ROM has decreased from this fiasco, but I can loosen it up with swimming - which I’m about to go do. :swim:

    I’m going to give myself a week before crying to my OS, I’m reluctant to see him if I’ve lost some motion as he will want to crank on me too. He’d wanted me to kneel in a chair and force the bend early on, which hurt too damned much - both the kneeling and the squishing. He also wanted me to take a corticosteroid pack, which I didn’t want. (Maybe I should try it now?) I do get scared about where I’m at, but again the lack of pain I’ve experienced makes up for slight inconvenience.

    I believe this will pass... and again I’m feeling far more patient now to let this healing come. I’m also going to try two peptides recommended by another doctor of mine that may reduce my inflammation greatly. If it works I’ll report back with details! (Can’t recall their names off top of head).

    The creepy feeling was like the pieces of my knee were shifting. Top center of knee. Therapist did a LOT of patellar mobilization the other day too, I’m guessing it’s due to that because it’s patella and associated tendon were producing the feeling. I had a tiny bit of creepy feeling today when I raised my leg w heavy ice pack on, but it passed.

    Lots of rest, lots of ice, and some breathing time before I write any letters... :elevate:

    So I know we are a large group here - has anyone tried to gang together and try to change the protocols worldwide that make docs and therapists think this medieval stuff is appropriate? (If so please share links if we may join in the crusade.)

    I wonder because I was part of a class action suit that made ADR spine surgery covered by insurance. When I had my lumbar done, I had to be in a clinical trial, even though there was an FDA approved device and we supposedly had the best insurance money could buy. I participated in the suit so others wouldn’t have to go thru misery and have options other than awful fusion - which wound up benefiting me later when I needed cervical ADR. Good karma! So if there is a way I could do anything to help this cause, I’d be all in.

    No one should be tortured in pain with modalities that don’t work and sometimes hurt the patient. And most folks don’t find groups like this, or research their own health and challenge the words and opinions of their physicians.
    :capn:

    Very grateful for all of you and for this group. Have a blessed weekend, y’all.
     
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  16. IronGirl6

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    Well it’s been a week now, still dealing with pain and FUMING mad at this physical therapist. :hairpulling:

    Question: can a lot of patella mobilization type massage cause a tracking problem? I ask because every so often this last week, when I raise my leg (especially if I have my heavy pro ice pack on it) the patella feels like it jumps - I think that’s what I’m feeling anyhow. It’s a sudden JOLT then nothing. When I rub my knee the patellar tendon seems super sensitive too. Currently resting with it elevated, feel a moderate burning sensation right through the center of my knee. :swoon:

    Guessing I need to call my OS. I fear this totally. :bolt:

    Another question: anyone else do a prednisone super dose pack for scar tissue / rom with any success? Before I ask to try this?

    Just about ready to write one very scathing letter to this physical therapist & subsequent therapy company. :hissy:
     
  17. Rockgirl4

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    @IronGirl6 Hey girl! Yes, I did a prednisone dose taper for 3 wks following my MUA and quadriceps "freakout" in March 2016. It was paired with 5 days of oral Toradol. The cocktail worked wonders within a week, gaining me 15 degrees of ROM even with the brutal, torturous PT every day for hours. Knowing what I do now, it HAD to be the drugs that got the swelling down, as the PTs were beating me up daily, along with 4 hrs a day in the CPM machine at home.

    By the end of the 3 wk period, I had gained 20 degrees and kept it, even with continuing to do the brutal PT where he forced it to bend further at least once a week. Granted, I'll never subject myself to that again, but all things considered, I don't think I would have gained anything without the steroids and toradol---not sure which was most helpful though, as the first 15 degrees came by the end of that first week.
     
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  18. NavyGunns

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    @IronGirl6, if I was you, I’d write that letter and address it to the facility director and copy my OS. First I’d chew out their (well you know what) while listing all the loss of functionality since the day they manhandled the knee as well as the pain you’ve been suffering. I might even hint that I might even be considering legal counsel with regards to pain and suffering and the fact that the techs continued to force your knee after you clearly told them NO. I’d express concern about their patient protocols and the safety of other patients. If nothing else, you might at least feel better after venting.

    My only caution would be if this PT Center happened to also be affiliated with your OS practice. I know in some locations they are. I purposefully chose a facility independent from my OS and only after I interviewed them and the particular PT assigned to me. Once I was assured we were all on the same page about my expectations, we set up a visit plan.

    I think you will rebound, it will just take time.
     
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  19. IronGirl6

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    Relieved to hear this. I just picked up a 6 day methylprednisone pack - I don’t know Toradol I’ll look that up - I plan on starting this tomorrow. How long after your TKR did this take place?


     
  20. IronGirl6

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    Thanks so much - about to put fingers to laptop to write this now. They are not affiliated with my OS. I let my OS know and they Rx’ed the corticosteroid pack... praying this works.

    I was mad enough to look up legal recourse - problem is they say you must prove that the protocol used isn’t part of recommended therapy. Sadly, forcing knees IS the protocol that this site is trying to save folks from... but I imagine it would be found they were within the law. The patient shaming part is another story, but that is probably dealt with at Corp level not lawsuit.

    I have the voodoo doll out and am wishing her a BTKL in her future. It’s really easy to push and condescend - until you go through this yourself. :censored:


     
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