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Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by rah2435, Mar 29, 2018.
Here's a tip for you, rah
Right. The doc can write a prescription for PT but can't force you to go. Think of it more as the doc making it available to you.
That is a good way to look at it! I never thought of it quite that way.
guys - I have suffering lately from a few things maybe someone can advise me on:
1) I'm three weeks out - still have a substantial amount of pain so I'm still taking pain meds - Percocet. That seems like a long time on an opioid and I'm starting to 1) feel concerned about that 2) running low on the meds lol!
2) Hardly able to get around the house - in a good part due to my other leg which still suffers from nerve damage and isn't exactly pain free either. I'm almost like a BTKR.
3) I have a wedding (my nephew) this TOMORROW that I need to attend. How can I get through this w/o looking and feeling like an old crip. ugh!
4) Spirits are starting to get kind of low. :-/
Rich "king of pain"
I think you are going to be very uncomfortable at the wedding tomorrow. I hope it’s not too far from where you live. I suggest you take something with you to put your leg up on. If you can’t elevate your leg you will not last long at all and you really don’t want to spend days recovering from attending, and I’m sure your relatives would not want you to either.
In my early days I took a footstool with me, the same one I used all the time at home, if I was going to someone’s house.
Elevating in a church can be tricky. Maybe you could sit on a folding chair in the back with your foot elevated. A wheelchair with an upper leg rest would be really good. I wished I’d had one of those!
It should be easier to elevate at the reception as you’ll have more options.
When I was 5 months post op my son got married and I had a hard time even at that stage of recovery. There was more standing than was in my best interest and I didn’t elevate other than putting my foot up onto my cane during dinner and by the end of the night I desperately needed that cane to walk out to the car to go home.
I know you want to be there, weddings are a time to see friends and family that we don’t often see, but this is very bad timing for you. Arrive late and leave early.
Knowing what I know now, if it was me, I would stay home.
1. Pain meds. Three weeks is still painful for most of us and many take strong pain-killers for several weeks. However, if you can manage with Tylenol (2 x 500mg four times a day = 4000 mg., the maximum daily dose), you can wean off the Percocet. With Tylenol be careful to count ALL the acetaminophen (active ingredient in Tylenol) in all the meds you take. Percocet itself, as well as many cold remedies, contain acetaminophen.
At four weeks post-surgery, I found Tylenol surprisingly effective!
2. Getting around the house. Almost like a BTKR, you say... well I am one and at three to four weeks I was... barely getting around the house. The knees hurt! They were stiff. They were difficult. I was still using a walker and had only begun to try walking outside on my driveway for a very short distance. I’m sorry to hear your 2013 TKR is still giving you problems this significant, but your 2018 TKR is doing pretty much as expected in this department. Three weeks is very early in recovery. Your knee is inflamed and angry and has lots of healing still to do.
3. Wedding tomorrow. This is a challenge (as you already know). If you can stay home, might be best. But if you go, prepare. Like Jockette said: Arrive late and leave early.
Minimize walking. Don’t be brave and walk across any parking lots. Be dropped off at the door. Bring your walker (not just a cane) to have the most stable walking aid available. If you don’t want a walker, absolutely minimize standing. Bring your cane also. You will need it for steps.
Keep in mind that bathrooms might be a challenge.
Sit at every possible opportunity, meaning all the time if possible, and arrange some way to elevate your leg(s). To this end put a couple of firm pillows in your car trunk and use them if needed. Put pretty covers on them if concerned about appearances. Elevating your leg(s) is a must. A large ice chest makes an excellent ottoman (see next).
Ice as much as possible. An ice chest in the trunk of your car and a supply of ice packs (or bags of frozen veggies) would be good. If there’s a freezer at the reception, you might arrange to stash your packs on site. An army of minions (or a spouse or helpful young family members) to fetch them can be arranged. You will be very happy you brought ice.
If you have a pretty throw, bring it. Icing can make you feel cold and you will be happy to have it.
If you have a long drive (not good at this point either), support your knee and ice it during travel.
Don’t worry about what anyone thinks. You are setting a good example for others.
I forgot about ice packs, definitely take those, and everything Susie said!
thanks so much @Jockette and @SusieShoes I appreciate your help!
a what? I'm a guy you know lol!
So you are! I'm so used to associating weddings with women, I overlooked that major difference! How about a sporty blanket or excellent team jacket? And a nice neutral pillow case would work fine with the pillows.
So how did it go?
Inquiring minds want to know!
sooooo... it went ok. I did as was suggested, went late and left early. Brought ice. Actually wasn't too bad.
guys - I'm concerned about getting my let to 0% ROM. I can get 120 so I'm not too concerned about bending but ... still have trouble getting it straight. I haven't been doing much other than trying to stretch it w/o going into pain. Should I be concerned?
No, Rah, you shouldn't be concerned about your knee extension.
It's not even a month since you had this surgery and ROM, both flexion and extension, can continue to improve for a year, or even longer.
It's unusual to get as much flexion as you have, so early in recovery. Most surgeons only expect 90 degrees by 6 weeks post-op.
What's more, extension often takes longer to achieve than flexion. That's because you have large muscles and tendons at the back of your leg that have to be stretched slowly and gently.
The first month after a TKR should be a time for healing to begin,not a time for doing lots of exercises and worrying about ROM. Remember that complete healing of all your soft tissues is going to take a full year. There's no need to rush.
Doing some gentle stretches won't do any harm and may even help a little. The best exercise for extension is walking. With every stride your leg muscles gently stretch the hamstring muscle and tendons. As your knee heals and you become more active -- longer walks (a longer stride means more stretch), more stairs, daily activities -- your extension will naturally improve.
Glad the wedding was problem-free!