Watch 2020 JRAD Videos

TKR Knee replacement post op issues

Rockgirl4

Forum Advisor
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
610
Age
47
Location
Missouri
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Hello, and sorry I'm just seeing your thread. I posted my 1 yr update today, and I think you might benefit from reading my Recovery thread if you want to see how brutal those first 3-4 weeks can be---and it is NORMAL. :) We also have a lot in common, so it might give you an idea how normal you truly are. Look for "Rockgirl4's Recovery----already full of surprises" or look in my signature below where I bookmarked my recovery thread.

Your recovery just sounds very similar to mine, and I also had many major and minor surgeries to my knee before the TKR. My surgeon told me this puts us in a category all our own, and there are no "normal" timelines for what to expect. I was lucky though. My surgeon believed the Bonesmart way and said the first 3-4 weeks should be gentle and no forcing the knee to bend or straighten. The swelling and inflammation can be much higher in some people like us, and a swollen knee CANNOT/WILL NOT bend. It sounds as if you have one of those surgeons who think everyone is just alike and has to suffer to get better. PLEASE don't buy into this. YOU are the patient, he works for YOU, and the PTs work for you. It does sound like you have a current, rational PT though, as aggressive PT can create adhesions ----I've lived it, which is why I found a new surgeon for my TKR who had a different, more modern and research-based philosophy.

I wish I could summarize more tonight but need to get to bed. That's why I wanted to point out my recovery thread above. I was a gym-rat, who was in great shape going in to my TKR. I had great strenght, flexibility, and motivation. Your surgeon would have probably called me lazy in recovery.....but my surgeon knew the truth---a swollen knee will not bend, and some of us need more time than others to gain range of motion. Time truly is your best friend. :)

---Lisa
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Pnwgal

Pnwgal

junior member
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
47
Age
47
Location
Washington state Seattle area
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Hello, and sorry I'm just seeing your thread. I posted my 1 yr update today, and I think you might benefit from reading my Recovery thread if you want to see how brutal those first 3-4 weeks can be---and it is NORMAL. :) We also have a lot in common, so it might give you an idea how normal you truly are. Look for "Rockgirl4's Recovery----already full of surprises" or look in my signature below where I bookmarked my recovery thread.

Your recovery just sounds very similar to mine, and I also had many major and minor surgeries to my knee before the TKR. My surgeon told me this puts us in a category all our own, and there are no "normal" timelines for what to expect. I was lucky though. My surgeon believed the Bonesmart way and said the first 3-4 weeks should be gentle and no forcing the knee to bend or straighten. The swelling and inflammation can be much higher in some people like us, and a swollen knee CANNOT/WILL NOT bend. It sounds as if you have one of those surgeons who think everyone is just alike and has to suffer to get better. PLEASE don't buy into this. YOU are the patient, he works for YOU, and the PTs work for you. It does sound like you have a current, rational PT though, as aggressive PT can create adhesions ----I've lived it, which is why I found a new surgeon for my TKR who had a different, more modern and research-based philosophy.

I wish I could summarize more tonight but need to get to bed. That's why I wanted to point out my recovery thread above. I was a gym-rat, who was in great shape going in to my TKR. I had great strenght, flexibility, and motivation. Your surgeon would have probably called me lazy in recovery.....but my surgeon knew the truth---a swollen knee will not bend, and some of us need more time than others to gain range of motion. Time truly is your best friend. :)

---Lisa
Hi Lisa! Wow, thanks for your response. That’s some good info; I appreciate your response. I’ll go read the thread. Congratulations on your one year!
 

eaglemom

senior
Joined
May 26, 2013
Messages
460
Age
62
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
I'm just going to toss in something that my surgeon did. I'd had home health come post surgery, per insurance requirement. The first day I told her I wasn't planning on doing much and she should never touch my knee. She questioned me and I told her I'd had enough PT for a lifetime & wasn't doing it. She'd come, I'd do several heal slides and we'd walk around the house - that was it.

When I went for a checkup with the surgeon he ask how PT was going - I said I'd not really participated! He grinned at me. He said "I'm going to write you a prescription for out patient PT - encase you want it. Insurance wants me to give it to you." As he was talking he was shaking his head no!!!

I haven't gotten to see him since Covid, I have another appointment in July. I would like to see him, its a security thing for me. I've done no formal PT, and the surgeon was just fine with that decision.
 
OP
OP
Pnwgal

Pnwgal

junior member
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
47
Age
47
Location
Washington state Seattle area
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
I'm just going to toss in something that my surgeon did. I'd had home health come post surgery, per insurance requirement. The first day I told her I wasn't planning on doing much and she should never touch my knee. She questioned me and I told her I'd had enough PT for a lifetime & wasn't doing it. She'd come, I'd do several heal slides and we'd walk around the house - that was it.

When I went for a checkup with the surgeon he ask how PT was going - I said I'd not really participated! He grinned at me. He said "I'm going to write you a prescription for out patient PT - encase you want it. Insurance wants me to give it to you." As he was talking he was shaking his head no!!!

I haven't gotten to see him since Covid, I have another appointment in July. I would like to see him, its a security thing for me. I've done no formal PT, and the surgeon was just fine with that decision.
That’s great! I decided not to go anymore and I’m just doing the light stretches and exercises they gave me at home.
 
OP
OP
Pnwgal

Pnwgal

junior member
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
47
Age
47
Location
Washington state Seattle area
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
So I’ve made it upstairs 3 times. Once to try and sleep in my bed, but that was too painful so I had to come back downstairs, and the other two times to finally take a shower. Today’s shower was tough; I literally just about passed out. :sad: Not sure why but if I’m standing for too long that happens. So two questions-how long before any of you could sleep in your bed without pain? I tried a pillow between my legs lying on my side with the operative leg on top, tried lying on my back, but those were both no go’s. And second question-any reason I would be feeling lightheaded and nauseous after standing too long? It’s not so fun!

On a good note-my leg is stronger and the quads are waking up! I can stand without a walker and there’s not much pain while sitting with it elevated anymore. :)
 

Rockgirl4

Forum Advisor
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
610
Age
47
Location
Missouri
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
As for sleep-----I couldn't sleep in my own bed for almost 6-8 weeks. My husband was great about not bumping me, and trust me---after 7 other surgeries on that knee, he can "avoid me" literally in his sleep!!! :heehee: The problem after my TKR is I was constantly shifting to find a comfortable position, and I needed to vary my elevation/icing all night long.

Thus, our couch was my best friend. I could watch TV when I wanted, shift as much as I wanted, use my ice machine off and on as I needed, get up to go to the bathroom without waking anyone up as much as I needed, and it was just LESS painful, as my Lounge Dr and pillows could be wherever I needed them. I didn't sleep well or much at all for the first 6-8 weeks, and being in my own bed made it worse because there was just NO comfy position, plus I was too nervous about screwing up my husband's well-needed sleep.

Lastly, I couldn't tolerate sleeping on my side until week 8-9, and this included using a pillow between the two legs. It just hurt too much, plus I had massive bruising that lasted into Week 6. I think by Week 8-9, I could sleep on my side AND sleep in the bed, as the "don't touch me" type of soreness was finally gone....but I still woke up a lot and had a lot of night-time, "bone aching" pain that was deep inside the knee. I know I was still taking a pain pill to sleep into week 13-14....and I was SOOOO stiff and sore when I woke up--even in weeks 10-12. It was just a VERY gradual process of getting back to normal.

As for the passing out in the shower, there's no way I could have stood to shower at 2-3 weeks post-op. Are you taking any narcotics, because that could be part of it. The pain alone would have made me pass out at 2-3 weeks, as I was still very miserable at that point. I didn't stand on my own in the shower until week 6-ish, and even then I kept the shower seat in there just to be safe, so I could sit if I needed to for a minute.

I hope something here makes you feel more normal. This really is such a slow process for many to find ANY normalcy at all. :console2:
 

JennyLynne

post-grad
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
1,451
Age
46
Location
Michigan
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Yay for conquering the stairs! Just in the last day, the stairs have gotten easier for me. I’m slow as can be, but more steady.

Like I shared already, I hibernate upstairs so I have always slept in my bed. I don’t have a recliner, so this is the most comfortable spot.
I am very spoiled with a sleep number bed, where each side has head and feet that go up and down independently. Previous to this, I used a billion pillows to try to get comfortable. And, side sleeping takes me a couple months, minimum. The knee is too tender.

I think showers are strangely draining, and standing is so hard. I have a bench in my shower and before that, used a shower stool. It took too much out of me to shower standing, especially if washing my hair and all, until several weeks post op.

We are both coming up on 3 weeks... I swear, it’s a magic milestone for TKR!
 

Wolvesfan

junior member
Joined
Apr 21, 2020
Messages
83
Age
68
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
@Pnwgal and @Rockgirl4...I can relate so much to your experiences! I’m almost 11 weeks post op, and just last week, I started sleeping under the covers. Before that, I slept on our bed (ha ha...more like tried to sleep), on top of the covers, with a quilt over everything except my surgical leg, as I found that was the easiest way to keep my legs elevated. Plus, I couldn’t stand having anything touch my incision, and honestly, it’s still a bit tender...but now tolerable. The first time I took a shower, I made my husband stand right next to the shower door, and I literally sobbed the whole time because I felt so woozy and anxious. It’s crazy! I was so I unprepared for how weak and shaky I felt and even had to take breaks and sit down while I was drying my hair. But it definitely did get easier, and I took it as a major win when I took my first shower while I was home alone. Hang in there!
 
OP
OP
Pnwgal

Pnwgal

junior member
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
47
Age
47
Location
Washington state Seattle area
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
As for sleep-----I couldn't sleep in my own bed for almost 6-8 weeks. My husband was great about not bumping me, and trust me---after 7 other surgeries on that knee, he can "avoid me" literally in his sleep!!! :heehee: The problem after my TKR is I was constantly shifting to find a comfortable position, and I needed to vary my elevation/icing all night long.

Thus, our couch was my best friend. I could watch TV when I wanted, shift as much as I wanted, use my ice machine off and on as I needed, get up to go to the bathroom without waking anyone up as much as I needed, and it was just LESS painful, as my Lounge Dr and pillows could be wherever I needed them. I didn't sleep well or much at all for the first 6-8 weeks, and being in my own bed made it worse because there was just NO comfy position, plus I was too nervous about screwing up my husband's well-needed sleep.

Lastly, I couldn't tolerate sleeping on my side until week 8-9, and this included using a pillow between the two legs. It just hurt too much, plus I had massive bruising that lasted into Week 6. I think by Week 8-9, I could sleep on my side AND sleep in the bed, as the "don't touch me" type of soreness was finally gone....but I still woke up a lot and had a lot of night-time, "bone aching" pain that was deep inside the knee. I know I was still taking a pain pill to sleep into week 13-14....and I was SOOOO stiff and sore when I woke up--even in weeks 10-12. It was just a VERY gradual process of getting back to normal.

As for the passing out in the shower, there's no way I could have stood to shower at 2-3 weeks post-op. Are you taking any narcotics, because that could be part of it. The pain alone would have made me pass out at 2-3 weeks, as I was still very miserable at that point. I didn't stand on my own in the shower until week 6-ish, and even then I kept the shower seat in there just to be safe, so I could sit if I needed to for a minute.

I hope something here makes you feel more normal. This really is such a slow process for many to find ANY normalcy at all. :console2:
Yeah, guess I’m going to have to bite the bullet and get a shower chair. Scared to shower again without one! And that’s such a bummer to know I won’t be sleeping in my bed for quite awhile, but one day at a time, right? Trying not to get too overwhelmed! Thanks!
 
OP
OP
Pnwgal

Pnwgal

junior member
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
47
Age
47
Location
Washington state Seattle area
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Yay for conquering the stairs! Just in the last day, the stairs have gotten easier for me. I’m slow as can be, but more steady.

Like I shared already, I hibernate upstairs so I have always slept in my bed. I don’t have a recliner, so this is the most comfortable spot.
I am very spoiled with a sleep number bed, where each side has head and feet that go up and down independently. Previous to this, I used a billion pillows to try to get comfortable. And, side sleeping takes me a couple months, minimum. The knee is too tender.

I think showers are strangely draining, and standing is so hard. I have a bench in my shower and before that, used a shower stool. It took too much out of me to shower standing, especially if washing my hair and all, until several weeks post op.

We are both coming up on 3 weeks... I swear, it’s a magic milestone for TKR!
Yes!! Almost 3 weeks and I’ve heard the same thing for magic milestone! Man, I wish I had an adjustable bed right now!! Thanks!
 
OP
OP
Pnwgal

Pnwgal

junior member
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
47
Age
47
Location
Washington state Seattle area
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
@Pnwgal and @Rockgirl4...I can relate so much to your experiences! I’m almost 11 weeks post op, and just last week, I started sleeping under the covers. Before that, I slept on our bed (ha ha...more like tried to sleep), on top of the covers, with a quilt over everything except my surgical leg, as I found that was the easiest way to keep my legs elevated. Plus, I couldn’t stand having anything touch my incision, and honestly, it’s still a bit tender...but now tolerable. The first time I took a shower, I made my husband stand right next to the shower door, and I literally sobbed the whole time because I felt so woozy and anxious. It’s crazy! I was so I unprepared for how weak and shaky I felt and even had to take breaks and sit down while I was drying my hair. But it definitely did get easier, and I took it as a major win when I took my first shower while I was home alone. Hang in there!
Thanks! Yep, I just have to keep on keeping on I guess!
 

eaglemom

senior
Joined
May 26, 2013
Messages
460
Age
62
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Good for you, that has to make you feel better. And worn out!!! Celebrate the little victories - like shaved legs!! One day at a time.
 
OP
OP
Pnwgal

Pnwgal

junior member
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
47
Age
47
Location
Washington state Seattle area
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Update....4 weeks and 3 days post TKR. Overdid it this week. Our daughter graduated from high school so we went to a community parade on Wednesday, dinner out that night, graduation party yesterday (it was for about 12 graduates and we didn’t host) then dinner out to celebrate last night. Can you say swollen knee?! :flabber: I’m mostly done with the cane but still use it periodically. I had my post-op appointment on Wednesday and it went well. He told me to “push through the pain” and sleep in my bed, despite the fact that it hurts my knee. *insert eye roll here* Um, no thanks. Although I’ve had a pinched nerve in my neck for almost a week due to sleeping in my recliner. Ouch!:sad: Anyway, for the most part I’m doing great! I can straighten my leg fully, but still can’t bend it too much. Working on that!
 

JennyLynne

post-grad
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
1,451
Age
46
Location
Michigan
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
That’s a full schedule!!! Even though you pay for it after, it’s nice to be able to participate in all of those events! And, you certainly earned the right to sleep wherever you want!

Congrats to the graduate!!!
 
OP
OP
Pnwgal

Pnwgal

junior member
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
47
Age
47
Location
Washington state Seattle area
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
That’s a full schedule!!! Even though you pay for it after, it’s nice to be able to participate in all of those events! And, you certainly earned the right to sleep wherever you want!

Congrats to the graduate!!!
Thanks!! It sure was nice to be a part of everything! How are you doing @JennyLynne ?
 

JennyLynne

post-grad
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
1,451
Age
46
Location
Michigan
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
I’m doing pretty good, but not nearly as social as you, lol! My big issue is that my knee doesn’t want to bend and it’s making me crazy!
 

New

Active Antibacterial

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Forum statistics

Threads
51,582
Messages
1,383,983
BoneSmarties
32,285
Latest member
Oregon mom
Recent bookmarks
1

Top Bottom