TKR Journey of a slow healer

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Tentcamper

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Oh thank you! This info helps a lot and I may have to find a different way to get to my vacation spot. I was planning to do the driving. I'm sure there will be more questions to come and every bit of info you have given me keeps me from stressing and calling my surgeon.
 

benne68

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I was planning to do the driving
You might want to check with your medical team about their protocol for this.

Although, even if you are released to drive in time, you will find it quite uncomfortable to have to keep your leg in one position for so long.

That said, we are all different and we all recovery at different rates.

(I was still sitting in the back seat of the car with my leg elevated on the seat for long drives at two months post-op.:loll:).
 

sistersinhim

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have a vacation planned six weeks after surgery and I'd like to hear opinions on whether it is doable to drive two hours and climb two sets of stairs
I really don't think you'll enjoy a vacation at 6 weeks out. You will be in the angry soft tissue stage and will probably be much better off at home.


y. It looks like one side is sort of a deflated balloon and the other is the normal rounded swelling. Is that ok
Swelling will move around as you are healing.
I took the safe route and canceled my vacation.
I think you'll be glad you did!
 
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Tentcamper

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Wait..wait. My soft tissues are already angry and letting me know it!
 

Jaycey

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:ice: Ice is your friend! Hope this settles soon!
 

sistersinhim

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I hope those angry tissues settle down soon!
 
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Tentcamper

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It's just so frustrating to see no real change in the swelling since I came home from the hospital. My ice machine and I regularly commune four times a day and I elevate as much as possible. I have almost no bend (flexion?) at all...maybe 5 degrees. Add to that, my knee collapsing this morning and I'm headed down the depression trail for the day. I'm not worried about the collapse. I was told I have to get the muscles holding my knee back up to strength, but there are times it feels like nothing is healing. The good news is that I'm not in any pain and I did get five hours of solid sleep last night. I just had higher expectations of healing by now. Boy is this hard sometimes.
 

benne68

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I just had higher expectations of healing by now.

Oh my gosh, @Tentcamper, you are less than two weeks post-op! You need to reset your expectations.

Most of us have swelling for many weeks -- if not for months -- after surgery. And, as long as there is any swelling, you won't be able to bend that knee very far. Once the swelling goes down, your flexion will come back.

Regrettably, our surgeons don't do a very good job of explaining that this is a year-long recovery and so we set unrealistic goals for ourselves. You might find this chart really helpful in understanding how long recovery really takes:

1652123217285.png


You are very fortunate that -- unlike a lot of us -- you are able to sleep and are not in a lot of pain.

I'd encourage you to go back and read some of the articles that Layla shared with you in post #4 above. They will help give you a more realistic picture of what to expect in this recovery.
 
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Tentcamper

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Thank you, I'll do that. I had such hopes on progress given that some people are back to work or driving by now. It's a big reset for me to know I'm not one of those youngsters. As my step mom said 'Gail! You are older now! You won't heal as fast.' I hate having a body that is nearing 70.
 

JusticeRider

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@Tentcamper if it makes you feel any better, I’m 45 and I was an absolute mess at 2 weeks post op. Heck, I was an absolute mess for 4-5 months and I’m still not done healing now at 10 months, though things are going well. It’s a long process healing from having your leg busted up and put back together, whatever your age. There’s no getting around it! Try to take the long view and settle in for a while. At 2 weeks, the ink has barely dried on your discharge papers! Best of luck from a fellow camper :ok:

PS. I don’t know who these people are that are back to work at 2 weeks, but I admire their super powers!
 
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Tentcamper

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@JusticeRider That does make me feel better! I now see I set unrealistic goals based on a small sample of super humans. I'm competitive anyway and, well, I just have to give myself a lot more grace. And I have it better than many when it comes to pain and sleep So I'll reset my goals and count my blessings.
 

JusticeRider

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I’m glad you’re sleeping well and your pain is well managed :) Do count your blessings! You’re doing great! I know it’s hard not to compare yourself to others but your body will heal on its own timeline if you let it. And after all is said and done, your patience will pay off and you’ll be back in your tent again, listening to the woods wake up around you ❤️ In the meantime I wish you many frequent visits by the Patience Fairy. You will need all you can get!
 

sistersinhim

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@Tentcamper, I iced and elevated the whole time I was sitting or lying down. I iced for hours at a time. As long as you have a thin cloth between you and the ice source you can't over-ice. At 2 weeks your knee is a newborn baby and should be treated as such. Remember, it takes at least a year for total healing and you are just starting this journey and are hardly out of the starting gate!

Slow and easy wins this recovery!
 
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Tentcamper

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Oh! I didn't realize I could ice that much! I did a course reset yesterday and am not setting lofty goals for my future. I booked a short vacation in the mountains in 3 months. No hiking, just a bit of walking. I am trying to notice little improvements like this morning I can step on the lid opener to the garbage just by flexing my foot. I'll get there.
 

Layla

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HI there,
I was an icing fanatic also. I even fell asleep with an ice pack and switched it out for a fresh one during my overnight bathroom break.
Following surgery ice is frequently used as a means to minimize pain and swelling resulting from the surgical trauma. Following injury, patients are commonly advised to ice no longer than 20-25 minutes several times a day. But with a surgical incision, it is perfectly fine to ice your wound as often as is comfortable for you, providing you protect your skin from the ice source.

A vacation in the mountains sounds lovely! Certainly something to look forward to.
@Tentcamper
 

sistersinhim

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I booked a short vacation in the mountains in 3 months.
I went to the mountains when I was about 3.5 months out. I found that I couldn't do any trails because of the small loose rocks and unlevel ground. Walking on the paved areas was fine. It felt so good to finally get back out in the mountains! As long as you're careful and do not overdo it
 

kleo

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Are you still happy with your surgeon? What is his name and where does he practice? Thanks
 
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Tentcamper

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I love my surgeon. His name is Dr. Praveen Kanneganti and he does surgery at St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way.
 
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Tentcamper

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I had my first PT appointment yesterday and did a bit of 'Let’s make a deal' with my therapist. My knee has been collapsing almost daily and fixing that is my primary goal. ROM is secondary. I'm still very swollen and my flexion is 9. My extension is good though. I'm continuing to ice and am considering acupuncture to see if that helps. I've joined the zombie club when it comes to sleep so take Zquil every couple of nights to get some rest. My knee muscles spasm at night though without having any pain. It just wakes me up. My achievement of the day was being able to slide into the back seat of the car without having anyone help. Big win! I'm hoping the rest of the symptoms will go away with time. The patience fairy has been making lots of visits :) :-) (:
 

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