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TKR Jake’s Got a New Knee

jakemedic

member
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
183
Age
60
Location
Iowa, USA
Country
United States United States
Gender
Male
I actually did it! After being told in my 40’s that I’d be lucky to make it to 50 before TKR, countless steroid injections (in both knees), I finally took the plunge and had a right knee replacement today at 60.5 yrs. Still in the hospital, got up and walked to the bathroom, with assistance of course, and significant pain. Tired again, listening to music and relaxing.
 
Welcome to the other side @jakemedic ! Your priority now is to work with staff to get that pain managed. Ask for ice as well.

Here are your recovery guidelines:

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
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
the BoneSmart view on exercise
BoneSmart philosophy for sensible post op therapy
5. At week 4 and after you should follow this
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.
 
I actually did it! After being told in my 40’s that I’d be lucky to make it to 50 before TKR, countless steroid injections (in both knees), I finally took the plunge and had a right knee replacement today at 60.5 yrs. Still in the hospital, got up and walked to the bathroom, with assistance of course, and significant pain. Tired again, listening to music and relaxing.
Congratulations! I also had 8-9 years of steroid injections before having surgery this month finally (docs wanted me to wait until I was 60 for the replacement). I hope all is going well and you got some rest. My surgery was outpatient so I was home the first night. I'm sure you'll be happy to get back home as well!
 
Glad you’re here! Try to take it easy and keep your ice and elevation going, and let us know your progress!
 
Congratulations on your new knee! This time next year you will be so glad that you did it! It is a slow healing process that you can't speed up by doing too much too soon. That only slows down healing. Don't be surprised if your old knee gets angry. It will have to do most all the work for months and won't like it one bit. But, as your new knee heals and can do more then your old knee should settle back down.

Because of knee birth defects, I was told in my 30s that I would have to have TKRs, but that I had to wait until I was at least 50. I waited until I was 65 for my first one and still holding on to my old knee as long as possible! A knee replacement is nothing to look forward to until it's healed, then it is a celebration time!
 
Welcome to the healing side, @jakemedic! Given your history, you are a pro at surgical recovery, but do read the articles Jaycey shared. They made a big difference for me in my first TKR recovery and I'm sure they will help you too.

Keep us posted!
 
Hi @jakemedic . You’re the guy with all the cute animals! Congratulations on the new knee! I think a lot of us held off getting a TKR as long as we could, for good reason! The first few weeks are tough but I’m finding that each day is a little better and that builds up. I had the other knee done 11 years ago and it has served me well, so I trust the outcome. Best wishes on your recovery! :yay:
 
Thank you all! They are doing my discharge orders so I can blow this pop stand. Get to come back for PT tomorrow. It will be okay. Pain in the upper thigh, but beyond that, so good! Made it 100-125 feet down the hall along with up the two steps so I can get into the house. So really ready to be comfortable at home. Will write more soon!
 
Made it home!! Pain about 5 on 1-10. Using the polar cube which feels good. The chair I raised the base is great to get in from the walker. They did give me a steroid shot in my left knee while I was in the surgery suite. It seemed to settle down my left knee pretty good. Doc has me on hydrocodone 5mg every 6 hrs and oxycodone every 8 hours for breakthrough pain every 8 hours as needed. I think I’m doing okay for now. Pain is about the same as before the surgery except it is in the thigh versus the knee. I’ll keep posting as I feel like it.
 
Yay for home! Dorothy was right…there’s no place like home! :wink:
It is good to see you here on the bright side, in healing mode. Glad you made it home safely. Ice like it’s your job, it does really help with the pain and swelling.
Will look forward to updates. A peaceful evening to you, Jake.
@jakemedic
 
Yay for home! Dorothy was right…there’s no place like home! :wink:
It is good to see you here on the bright side, in healing mode. Glad you made it home safely. Ice like it’s your job, it does really help with the pain and swelling.
Will look forward to updates. A peaceful evening to you, Jake.
@jakemedic
Thank you! Go to physical therapy tomorrow morning for the first time. Kind of scared of it but I’ll check it out. Ice machine is doing wonders thus far!!
 
Go to physical therapy tomorrow morning for the first time. Kind of scared of it but I’ll check it out.
Do not let the therapist or you overwork your newborn knee. All it needs for the first month or so is gentle movements and stretches. Nothing painful. Always stay in control of what is happening to your knee. YOU are the boss, well your KNEE is!, and the therapist is your employee. Treat your knee as it is, a newborn with lots of traumatic injuries that need to heal before anything else.
 
I went to physical therapy today. I ended up with the head of the department. What is ironic is he was the same physical therapist that helped get me home after long Covid in January of 2021. I was in the hospital for 21 days back then and it was extremely difficult just to get to the door in the hospital room. I had bilateral pulmonary embolisms secondary to long COVID. (Do I get that in my signature line too).

Anyhow onto the visit. He was VERY gentle. Gentle stretching, and minor leg lifts. Agreed that I am very swollen, and ice and rest will be my best friend for the next few days. He wants my bride to help with leg lifts as tolerated and that he was going to focus his attention on my thigh muscles and my ankle muscles for now. He also has me doing glute muscle strengthening and Instructed me to keep icing and relaxing. Overall, was very impressed with his approach. I walked out a bit better than I walked in, but am very tired. My bride changes my water bottles and got my polar cube fired up and after a little meal, thought I would document the visit. I so appreciate everyone’s support and advice. I get warm vibes (to keep me warm while icing) knowing that people here are “rooting for me” and my recovery. In turn, I am going to continue to regularly document my journey with the hope I may help someone else going through this. Something tells me this knee replacement is going to be life altering in a good way for me. God Bless!
 
It sounds like you had a very blessed day with your therapist! Now, rest and ice for the rest of the day because you are going to need it. Just taking that trip is enough to wear you out. Adding PT to it is a drainer! Have a blessed and low-pain afternoon!
 
With my second TKA the only exercise I chose to do from day one (besides the ankle moves to keep circulation going!) and a couple of weeks after was quad sets - not for strength, but to help activate the quads - assisted by lightly placing my fingers on various areas of the quads to reinforce the firing of the target areas. Never counted sets, just did a half dozen to a dozen as tolerated every couple of hours while chilling in the recliner.
After a couple of weeks I added heel slides while sitting in a chair. Never to pain, just slow and easy within my current ROM. Later on in recovery, after 6 - 8 weeks I would slowly take them as a slow stretch just to the slight discomfort level.
 
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Kudos to you for having to go out of the house so soon after surgery and to PT. I didn't have to leave the house for 2 weeks as the PT came to me. I would have been miserable just trying to get there and back. Sounds like you had a good PT session though so it made the trip worth it!
 
I was in the hospital for 21 days back then and it was extremely difficult just to get to the door in the hospital room. I had bilateral pulmonary embolisms secondary to long COVID.
Oh my goodness, how awful! Thankfully you recovered from that misfortune.
Sounds like you had a pleasant physical therapy session today and you certainly have a loving caregiver in your wife.
Good PT, Loving Wife and BoneSmart Buds = Trifecta!
Lots of comfort to you!
 
Kudos to you for having to go out of the house so soon after surgery and to PT. I didn't have to leave the house for 2 weeks as the PT came to me. I would have been miserable just trying to get there and back. Sounds like you had a good PT session though so it made the trip worth it!
Yes and i am so blessed that the hospital where I had the surgery and where PT is located is about a mile and a half away! Getting in and out of my truck is the biggest difficulty for me. But at least the weather is finally cooperative and isn’t below zero like it was a couple of weeks ago! Looking at everything including my polar cube as a blessing right now. Something tells me the new knee will be a new life for me! The old knee just wasn’t cutting it anymore.
 

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