TKR Kiwicurls TKR 27 Feb 2024

kiwicurls

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Home after surgery on 27th. This time around has been rougher than the other knee but I hope to recover better at home now. Feeling very muddled in the head. Trying to sort out a medication schedule but I can’t do it.
I had to fight with surgeon not to go to a rehab hospital . No way! Hospital physio pleased with me and flexion, extension all good so I am going to do the rest myself.
Can’t write any more just now. Exhausted.
 
Welcome back to the Healing Side, @kiwicurls! Glad you are home where you can be comfortable.

Don't worry about that muddled feeling; it will pass. Just rest and recover.

Although this isn't your first TKR recovery, I will leave you our Recovery Guidelines as a reminder of how to have a less painful recovery.

Just remember that every knee is different -- even two knees in the same person. Also, keep in mind we are all different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for you.“ Your doctors, PTs and BoneSmart are available to help, but you are the final judge as to the recovery approach you choose.

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

And remember that good nutrition is very important during recovery. Check out this helpful information:

 
Thank you for the recovery guideline. I needed to read it again as it’s reassuring. Feeling all those emotions today: teary, cross and fed up but I know it will pass. Daughter sent me an enormous bunch of flowers and I got cross because they won’t fit in any vase. Feel ashamed as I am lucky to get such a nice gift.

The hospital physio told me it was weird that the people who follow their instructions to the letter sometimes have the hardest recovery and people who do their own thing recover quickly. I had to bite my tongue to stop laughing because they cannot see the obvious, can they? Are they so silly that they can’t figure it out? Physio is unnecessary! But I agreed with her, it sure was a puzzle!
 
Feeling all those emotions today
Yes, those Post Op Blues are very real!

That’s so nice nice your daughter sent flowers. :flwrysmile:
I had to bite my tongue to stop laughing because they cannot see the obvious, can they? Are they so silly that they can’t figure it out? Physio is unnecessary! But I agreed with her, it sure was a puzzle!
It‘s amazing they admitted to you that those who follow their instructions have a harder time.

Best wishes for a great recovery. With your knowledge and experience, you’ll know what you should do.
 
Thanks. I don’t think she was actually admitting anything, just sort of musing aloud.
 
The hospital physio told me it was weird that the people who follow their instructions to the letter sometimes have the hardest recovery and people who do their own thing recover quickly. I had to bite my tongue to stop laughing because they cannot see the obvious, can they?
Hahaha...imagine that! Taking control of what you'll do, or politely refuse to do, offers that measure of control that helps many avoid unnecessary pain, stalling their recovery.

I am certain your daughter realizes you appreciate her sweet gesture, but you're just not feeling like yourself right now. After all, she knows you best. Feeling stressed, irritable or like you have a short fuse is not uncommon post op, in addition to the unclear mind which can be a reaction to the anesthesia. Recovery suddenly becomes a reality and our next big hurdle once we are post op. The anticipation of surgery is behind us, but we're in pain and realize we have to work at / wait to feel the way we envision ourselves once we're beyond the early stages of healing. As you know through your other recoveries, you will soon be getting back to all that you love and missed out on as your joint deteriorated. It's going to be good soon, kiwicurls, and we'll be here to cheer you on.
Thanks for sharing your journey with us and lots of comfort to you! :friends:
 
Thank you for the support, it really helps. I am sleeping for about 2 hrs at a time during the night then I wake. Not having an ice machine means waking my husband to fetch more ice packs. I might try doing without them overnight because I feel like such a nuisance. He doesn’t mind but being dependent on him upsets me a bit. I know others have felt the same and I’d do it for him in a heartbeat but it’s frustrating.
Still all muddled from the meds but I need them.
I am showering, have done so since day 1 but it’s an ordeal when hair needs to be washed too!
I don’t know if anybody remembers my letting a student nurse take my staples out last time? She took hours and this time I’ve asked the nurse unit manager if she’d do it herself next week. No more practicing on me!
 
I forgot to say I have 100 degrees flexion and full extension, have had from day 1. Same as last time.
I wonder why some of us are like this and others are not? I realise I may take a step backwards in this area and please believe me, I am not smug about it. It’s obviously not what we do post op because all I have done is walk, ankle rotation and quads. My husband said I am actually doing straight leg raises every time he puts the leg pillows into position. But I was in pain when the physio made me do ten in a row in hospital. I refused to do them on day 2 and she said that’s fine, not really necessary. Can’t figure them out at all.
 
I might try doing without them overnight because I feel like such a nuisance. He doesn’t mind but being dependent on him upsets me a bit
I believe you would do it for your husband and also believe that he doesn't mind doing it for you, but if you really dislike bothering him, consider a "small" cooler with some ice in it, bedside, where you can store a couple of ice packs to exchange when you wake. Some members have done this. It's sad to think of you going without the ice if it's helpful, it's such early days for you right now.

I don’t know if anybody remembers my letting a student nurse take my staples out last time? She took hours and this time I’ve asked the nurse unit manager if she’d do it herself next week. No more practicing on me
Hours?! :holysheep:I guess not! That must have been frustrating. I don't blame you, I would not want to endure that again either. You'll feel better knowing you're rid of those staples. :happydance:
 
Hi!!!
I also had ROM at six week expectation from the start. In my case, it is related to having slightly lax joints.
However... while it certainly meant one less worry, it sure didn't speed up healing one iota!

Be kind to yourself. Be patient with all the moods you feel.

And yes, I second keeping a cooler within reach for ice packs at night. You need all the cold you can get!
 
Hi @Layla and @mendogal
My ice packs are gel filled and wouldn’t stay cold enough in a cooler. My husband reminded me I
didn’t ice during the night last time and did fine so I will try tonight without. However…he said just wake him if I need the ice or anything else.
@mendogal I agree, having good ROM from day one doesn’t mean an easy recovery but it gets the physio off your back, haha.
I am just waiting for others who had this surgery same week as me to surface on the forum…
 
Any hints for sleeping position welcome. Last time I slept on the operated side but I find my top leg just wants to lie directly over the operated one. I don’t want to do this even with a pillow between legs as it’s still pressure on the operated side.
Maybe I should just stay on my back for a week then try again.
 
I recall that I wasn't supposed to sleep on the operated side initially so alternated between my back and sleeping on my good side with the operated side supported on pillows.
 
@mendogal , I was told I can sleep however I like. I did try to get onto my good side during the night but was uncomfortable. At present, on my back is best. Due to severe reflux I have to sleep propped up anyway.
Slept for 3 hrs straight but had trouble getting up after so long in one position. I don’t mind getting up frequently during the night just now because it keeps me moving.
I take palexia slow release for pain; I think it’s called nucynta in the US? I find it doesn’t constipate like other narcotics.
 
Oh I sympathize! My reflux ALWAYS roars to life post op. So after my last knee I would sleep with my legs on the Lounge Doctor and my upper body on the tapered foam wedge. It certainly did keep me from moving around!
 
@mendogal , It’s almost as if we were in a v shape when the upper body is on the wedge and the legs on the lounge dr. Looks quite uncomfortable but not really.
My ankle is very swollen this time but I’m not going to fuss about it. After the previous TKR I’ve learned to just expect strange pains, weird sensations in the leg and swelling.
 
It’s extremely hot here in Australia just now so probably contributing to the swelling in general.
I like to change things around every hour during the day so I go from quite high elevation with lounge dr and a pillow, to just keeping the leg straight out in front of me on one pillow. I also get up and walk every hour.
How are you feeling now, @mendogal ? Reflux under control again?
 
Yes, thank you. It took a three months to sleep without the wedge and another couple of months of extremely strict avoidance of food triggers before I could relax and say, for now, it's done. There's always those idiosyncratic triggers to avoid though, aren't there?!
 
Wow, that’s awful. I agree re idiosyncratic triggers. One of mine is soup, believe it or not.
 
Soup! All soups?!? Wow! I'm sorry.
Mine are the more typical ones - too large a serving of alcohol, coffee, very dark chocolate. I tolerate most chiles fine but absolutely can't handle the way some people finish a dish with black pepper or a salad with balsamic vinegar.
 

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