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TKR Knee#2's Recovery Thread

Celle

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It’s been 13 weeks yesterday. It seems like forever and feels like I should be about healed since my scar looks so good..
Just because your skin incision looks healed doesn't mean that everything underneath it is healed. Complete recovery is going to take a full year, no matter how much you wish it didn't.

Thought by this week I’d feeling lots more energetic.. at this rate water walking for 45 minutes will do me in!
The energy drain lasts for a long time, because energy is still being directed towards healing your knee. You can't do anything to change that.
 

sistersinhim

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I hated the energy drain and brain fog. It takes quite a while for them to go away. There is a whole lot of healing that has to go on for many more months. That healing is exhausting. Please don't worry about it, it's normal.
 
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knee#2

knee#2

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I had responded to @bland9 while ago but somehow lost all my typing and decided to just share my experiences with that wretched leg straightening business. Both of my TKRs have been :censored: with pt. First one I remember she actually did push on my obstinate knee and the next day I noticed I was limping since she had over straightened it! The other leg was 5 degrees off and so now I had to wear lift in that shoe. :heehee: She remarked that we ( meaning she) should back off on trying to get that leg to 0 again. Thankfully they eventually leveled out and not until this recent TKR recovery had to go back to the “towel under heel, ice pack on top) routine. After transfer from the ICU hospital unit (emergency pacemaker) to just s general potters field floor the helpful nursing staff put pillow underneath my knee, I knew if my surgeon caught me I’d be in trouble since that is one of the worst things you can do to undo their work.. meaning if you lay with that bend for many hours it will be more prone to that bend early in healing stages. And. Sure enough. My OS assistant came in and promptly wrote NO PILLOW UNDER KNEE on my board. It was certainly more comfortable but I was careful not to let anyone put pillow directly underneath my new knee .. it did happen again when I was in rehab (big fancy nursing home) and again I was discovered. I really don’t know if that theory is true but for me it might’ve had something to do with that minus 25 degree rom upon straightening. I’ve had to overcome that with regular stretching and propping with rolled towel under heel. .my very unfavorite. But now that my knee is over three months post op it is so much easier and very close to pain free to do those exercises. I still need to strengthen but time is still on my side. Thankful for over 3 months post op. :wave:
 

sistersinhim

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Many of us never put a towel under our heels and had pillows under the knees. Yet, our extension came out just fine. Every person, as is every knee, is different. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa. The best thing to do is to try and find what works best for each of us.
 
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knee#2

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Am I the only one that A. Was tempted to put pillow under my knee after surgery? B. Had nursing staff inadvertently place pillow under knee whilst under heavy sedation? Or is it a local thing? Other than elevating or propping entire leg up while icing this has happened to me several times w both TKR surgeries.. I thought perhaps this was more common but did your OS warn you about not supporting your surgical knee with pillow underneath? Reason I’m asking is I haven’t heard or read too much here in BS regarding..and my OS assistant along with physical therapist in rehab emphatically cautioned against it! Thereafter I tried to obey and keep it straight but so difficult and especially at night on my side(partially)
 
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knee#2

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@Neesie yes. i have made progress pain wise and manage to sleep all night but the fatigue is overwhelming. I haven’t been back to PT but I don’t think my rom has changed too much. I have only followed BS guidelines and keep my leg elevated in evening and try to do most normal activities. My extension was the biggest thing worrying me. I did try laying prone on bed last evening and was surprised :tada: that it didn’t hurt nearly as much as few weeks ago! I didn’t attempt more than minute or so and may try doing this daily since I do realize like any other exercise or stretch you have to keep at it regularly to see good results. Slow but sure. :friends:
 

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did your OS warn you about not supporting your surgical knee with pillow underneath?
I didn't get this advice until after a few weeks. I don't think I could have managed without a pillow or two the first few weeks. I needed the elevation and the extra encouragement not to move it in sleep. I had mine so the knee was relaxed, not utterly straight but not really bent either. I never had any issues with my extension at all.
 
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knee#2

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If I didn't look like Buster Brown with that hairstyle, I'd cut mine too. I
@Neesie if I don’t play with the flat measurements iron and hair gels mine will look like “buster brown “ too Lolol. I just keep brushing and then use my little razor tools til
I like it. Sorta. Then I see long hair and wonder what I was thinking .. Oh well it’s only hair .. right? One more thing. After we got home from short 3 hour overnight trip I noticed my ankles swollen. Hadn’t happened for several years, maybe combination of letting leg hang
down in car too long? Unhealthy diet or combination probably.
 

Celle

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Pillows under your knee that support your whole leg and elevate it are OK:

It's all right to have your knee slightly bent.

Just putting one or two pillows under your knee, like this, is not recommended.
upload_2019-9-10_20-30-41.jpeg
It restricts blood flow and can increase the danger of getting a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis).
Keeping your leg completely straight after surgery can be painful and having a slight bend won't damage your chances of achieving good extension as time progresses.
 
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knee#2

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Well I just saw my primary dr couple days ago and he thinks my arm is bothering me because of rotator cuff injury.. perhaps when I fell that night. Have to get permission from my cardiologist, can’t bear thoughts of shoulder surgery so soon after my TKR
 

luvcats

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Oh no! How stressful. I can't imagine going into another issue so quickly.
@marieltha had her shoulder become an issue right after other surgery.
I hope it's just a strain or something that can be managed with meds and rest.
 

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I extend my sympathy @knee x2
I had to do my second PKR sooner because I tore my rotator cuff in between the 2 knees. The shoulder recovery takes much longer and walking is part of the recovery.

I have a RCR repair in the Other threads.

Long recovery, but it feels very good to have a mostly pain free shoulder that works (I’m at 4+ months). And a painful shoulder affects the gait/balance, in my opinion. And as my OS shared, little tears become big tears easily.

Best wishes.
 
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knee#2

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Sigh. I dont know. Depending on if I’m approved for MRI. I believe both shoulders are involved, my right one has the zingers too. Particularly in evenings. Back to tramadol, hot packs once in while.. maybe it’s just strain or whatever but bothers constantly. I do not remember asking any of the supreme beings above for extra patience.. I do however remember that ER concerned about my falling face down and X-rays taken of everything else, I’ve heard shoulder surgery not any fun. Whatsoever. Appreciate thoughts/prayers.
Zann
 

Jockette

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:console2: Hugs and prayers as you figure things out. Just about this time last year I was having shoulder problems, but I’m much better now, thankfully. I downsized to a much smaller and lighter purse and was careful with my movements and so far so good!

You can check out our forum for shoulder surgery recovery, if you want to see what their recoveries were like:
 
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knee#2

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Thanks for your reply [USER=26819]@Jockette /USER], I will check that forum out soon.. my knee is doing just fine but this arm/shoulder pain is really holding me back. Trying not to be discouraged but so many setbacks this year.. my primary dr had this surgery done a year ago and advised me to take enough pain meds before the MRI since you have to keep arm in position for most time ..more on that once I get approved.
 
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@luvcats i cannot believe this is happening, I thought the left arm was bothering me because of pacemaker and it would fade but is getting worse.. and right arm began to get occasional zingers as well making me believe it was nerve pain from neck and or arthritis but I’m thinking it’s same thing. The opioids disguised the real problem and now it’s a real issue..I know I fell hard and face forward to the hard floor that fateful night, only 12 hours after my TKR, they X-ray’d everything else but my arms. Probably wouldn’t have mattered. I refuse to feel sorry for myself but lord knows I have so much to finish this year and hubby having spinal laminectomy in few days, thankfully my daughter lives not far and will help out. My son plans to come home for Christmas and of course I wanted everything just right but .. the folks have had a tough year! :holysheep:
 

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I'm so sorry you're in this space. Just when you thought you'd be getting your life back on track this comes up. And on top of your husbands needs too. Life is so terribly unfair some times.

I hope the MRI approval comes quickly so they can figure out what is really going on.
And also that you can get some sleep tonight.

Maybe this year your kids can just be there for you in a comfortable family way instead of you making yourself crazy over having things 'just right'.
 

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I had to be extra careful between the time the MRI confirmed my full tear and the knee surgery, which ended up being about 7 weeks approximately before the shoulder surgery.
Keeping the forearms at waist height or lower helped me, as did avoiding all overhead and behind the body movements, and lifting anything heavier than a pound (cup of coffee). The tennis serve motion, up and then back and forward, was a big no-no.
Hope you have just sprained things, or the tears are partial and minor enough to endure until you can schedule a repair at a better time.
 

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