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TKR Left TKR November 13, 2019

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Seatides

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OK. Reality has set in. After working several more days since I last posted here, I am finding more and more that my knees and legs are stiffer and sorer and puffier than they've been in a long time. My left foot and ankle (the TKR side) are noticeably swollen; I have my feet up right now and am icing. I'm wondering if I shouldn't be working so much yet? I told them that I'd work 5 days this week, but now I don't know if that's such a great idea. But at worst, I'm only delaying my full recovery, is that right? I'm not harming my new knee, am I?

I think @sistersinhim said to stop doing the home PT exercises after going back to work, and I haven't been doing them; but why is my knee feeling like it's more swollen and bending less? I have a feeling that it's not because of not exercising, but from doing too much. I know I'm supposed to cut back on other ADL while adjusting to being back at work, but I don't think I'm really doing that. The same stuff still needs to get done! My legs just feel worn out and weak and achy at the end of each day (although they recover some overnight). My left TKR knee definitely doesn't hurt the way my old arthritic right knee does, though.

I'm not sure what else I should be doing to help the situation. I ice maybe once during the day at work; I put my leg up on a stool too. I get up and walk around, but sometimes forget and feel very stiff when I do get up after sitting too long. I'm not working more than 8 hours a day. I try to avoid the tons of stairs at my office when I can, but I have to walk them (up and down 2 flights) about once a day. I take a prescription NSAID for my OA knee, and Tylenol as needed for other aches and pains. At the end of the today (like tonight), my legs really don't feel great.

No doubt it's just that my leg needs a lot more time to heal. I can't expect it to be fully recovered after not quite 15 weeks, right? I'm asking too much of it too soon, so what do I expect?
 

sistersinhim

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No doubt it's just that my leg needs a lot more time to heal. I can't expect it to be fully recovered after not quite 15 weeks, right? I'm asking too much of it too soon, so what do I expect?
Unfortunately, I agree with you. At 15 weeks, you're only about 1/3 of the way healed. This extra activity is causing more swelling, stiffness, and pain. Can you cut back your hours? What about increasing your icing and elevating time while at work?
The same stuff still needs to get done! My legs just feel worn out and weak and achy at the end of each day
Can you have someone help you with these things. Better yet, just let the little things go until your knee calms down from the stress of working.
 
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Seatides

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I'm sorry I haven't been here lately! Coping with working full time is demanding most of my time, energy, and attention. I have to say that I'm not happy with how stiff and swollen my knee feels all the time. I rest, ice, and elevate as much as I can, including at work. but it doesn't seem to be enough. Part of me wants to resume extension and flexion exercises to see if that will help; but the other part of me says, "You're stiff and swollen because you're already overtaxing your knee." The other thing is, my bad old knee (non-operated right knee) hurts more now that it's back to a "real life" schedule too. I'm still happy that my new knee works and feels so much better than my old one did, but by the end of the day, neither one feels wonderful. I try to make up for it on weekends with lots of TLC, which does help some.

Maybe I'll see if I can work a couple of days a week from home for awhile. I see my surgeon on Tuesday and will discuss this with him. I just know that both my knees and legs felt much better before I went back to work almost 4 weeks ago. (This coming Friday it'll be 4 months since my left TKA.)
 
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I'm at 17 weeks post-left TKR today and I think I'm going through much of what @Roux has described on her thread (we had our surgeries at about the same time). I feel cranky that my operated leg and knee feel stiffer, sorer, and puffier than they have in a long time. Meanwhile my non-surgical knee hurts a lot, and gives out on me from time to time (it needs a TKR too). I feel that it's aggravating things for my new knee and hindering its progress. (Or maybe it's the other way around?) In general, the way my new knee and still-healing leg feel has gone downhill since I went back to work 4 weeks ago.

I saw my surgeon yesterday and discussed this with him. He measured the quad strength of my operated leg versus my non-operated leg; that showed that my left (operated) leg is much weaker than my right (non-operated) leg. He showed me a quad-strengthening exercise that he wants me to do 70 times in total throughout the day. I need an ankle weight for it, which will arrive tomorrow. I'm supposed to lie flat on my back, with my non-operated knee bent. I have to wrap the ankle weight around my left (operated) ankle. Then I'm to raise my left leg slowly -- not too high -- and then hold it for a count of 7 before lowering it slowly back down. He said that if the legs aren't approximately equal in strength, that could end up affecting my walking (I think from favoring one leg over the other?). He wants to see me in 3 weeks to check the quad strength again.

He also told me that it's normal not to feel normal yet! I know that, but it was reassuring to hear it. And I told him that the new knee is so much better than my old one was! I remind myself of this whenever I'm feeling cranky (the old knee was terrible).

How does this quad-strengthening exercise sound to you BoneSmarties? I'm sure there are great exercises for quad strengthening right here on this site and I'm going to look for them now. Thanks again for being here for all of us.
 

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How does this quad-strengthening exercise sound to you BoneSmarties?
Since you asked, I think it sounds excessive. How do you even keep track of 70 times throughout the day? And you are back to work.

In general, the way my new knee and still-healing leg feel has gone downhill since I went back to work 4 weeks ago.
This often happens when you go back to work. It means you are doing a bit more than your knee is happy with. Your leg will adjust in time.

What you need is Time, not 70 leg raises, with weights, throughout the day, in addition to a schedule that is already making your knee less happy.I think you might feel worse if you do these.

You’ve heard (read) me say this many times: this recovery takes an average of 52 weeks. You are 17 weeks, barely one third the way through. Where you are now is not where you will end up.

Instead of adding more stress your body, try to relax and let your body heal in its timeframe. I didn’t have fabulous quad strength at 17 weeks, and my quads are fine now.
 

sistersinhim

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How does this quad-strengthening exercise sound to you BoneSmarties?
I think it will aggravate your new knee and your doctor is being unreasonable. Your new knee will naturally strengthen up on its own as you use it every day. These new exercises will more than likely cause swelling and more pain. That is a set back in your recovery.

If want to try the new exercises, do it, but nowhere near the repetitions your doctor wants you to do. See how your knee reacts to a few of them that night and the next day.
 
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Working from Home and Stiffening Up

Hi everyone! I've been working full-time from home for the past two weeks (required by my employer because of COVID-19). I think all the sitting at the computer with not much need to move around to get to things (e.g., meetings) is causing my knees (new and old) to stiffen up. How do others maintain mobility during this time of forced immobility?

I just saw a commercial for Cubii (that exercycle-type device that you can use while sitting). Has anyone used something like that to keep your new knee flexible? I feel like I could do that while still getting my work done. Of course I can get up and walk around when I want, but I thought I'd do more elevating and icing while working from home and I'm not. It's also too easy to snack while working from home. I think (and am embarrassed to admit this) that I've gained about 10 pounds since my TKR in November. No doubt adding to the load that a new knee must carry isn't helpful, right? (Guilt.)
 

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I think if you can remember to get up and walk a little bit every hour or so, you should be OK. Our new knees like to gently move, not stay in one place for long, especially sitting with them bent.
 
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Seatides

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Tripped and Fell on Both Knees Today

This afternoon I was preparing to go outside to catch up with my neighbor (we pull up lawn chairs and talk over the fence between our yards, 6-plus feet apart). I wanted to fill my bird feeders while I was outside, so I went to my desk to get scissors to cut open the seed bag. Walking away from the desk, I somehow tangled in either a long phone charger cord or the cord from my power-lift recliner; I tripped and fell hard on both knees. Of course that hurt! But I got myself up, took some Tylenol, wrapped ice wraps around both knees, and went out to chat with my neighbor.

I've been icing and elevating since then. Both knees feel sore, but my non-operated arthritic knee looks much puffier than my TKR knee; in fact, the new knee looks pretty good compared to my old one.

I have a feeling they'll be more sore tomorrow, but they seem OK otherwise. My TKR was 5 months ago; it's unlikely that I've damaged my new knee, isn't it? I'm still walking around OK, just achy and stiffer than usual, but these things typically feel worse the next day.

Mostly I'm just mad at myself for leaving loosy goosy cords lying around to trip over!
 

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Ouch, that must have been so painful and scary, poor you :sorry: no doubt you will be a tad sore for a couple of days, keep icing regularly and just keep an eye on any swelling but I'm sure the knees are fairly tough, but just keep an eye on them.
Wishing you a Happy Easter xx
 

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My TKR was 5 months ago; it's unlikely that I've damaged my new knee, isn't it?
These implants are extremely tough. In all my years on Bonesmart, I've not read of one being damaged in a fall. I also fell right on mine when it was about 6 months old and again at 11 months old. The soft tissues raised cain, but the joint itself did fine.

You are doing the right thing by icing and elevating. It'll take a week or so, I imagine, to get back to where you were before the fall. I'm glad you're still able to get around OK. Now, tape down those cords!

Happy Easter! :prayer: :flwrysmile:
 
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Seatides

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It's been two weeks since I tripped and fell on my knees (one TKR, one not) and they've both been stiff, swollen and painful since then. Can you get prepatellar bursitis in a TKR knee? It seems to have a bump or lump on it, but it's getting smaller. The other knee has a raised puffy area on it too. I ice both knees a lot, more than I have in a long time. @sistersinhim, you were right that it's been a setback for my TKR knee. Going up and down stairs in my split-level house has been more uncomfortable than it's been in months. Now I'm torn between, should I be exercising my knees more, so maybe they'll feel less stiff, or are they stiff because they're swollen because I fell on them, so my recumbent bike or TreadClimber won't help. Also, what's better for this, NSAID-type drugs or acetaminophen?

I haven't called my ortho surgeon because he's not seeing anyone until May (probably mid-May -- virus shutdown). They did say to call if I have any problems, though, so I may do that this week.

Thanks.
 

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I would suggest you rest those knees as 2 weeks is still early, if they are swollen they will also be stiff continue the icing and elevating, may be a few gentle home movements walking and heel slides, but forget the bike and tread steps as this will aggravate the knees further. One of the senior moderators will advice you on the painkillers.
Hang in there, once swelling gone you'll be back on your feet. :flwrysmile:
 

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Now I'm torn between, should I be exercising my knees more, so maybe they'll feel less stiff, or are they stiff because they're swollen because I fell on them, so my recumbent bike or TreadClimber won't help. Also, what's better for this, NSAID-type drugs or acetaminophen?
Your knees are stiff and also swollen because you fell on them. Doing more exercising won
t help that at all. In fact, it may make thing worse. Your knees need gentle treatment, with lots of rest, ice and elevation - and time to heal. Think of them as being badly bruised. EXercising won't make a bruise go away.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a much better pain killer than NSAIDs.

The most effective way to take Tylenol is 2 x 500 mg tablets 6-hourly, to a total of 4,000 mg (4 doses) in 24 hours. You need to take it regularly, to keep up the levels in your bloodstream. If you just take the odd dose now and then, it's far less effective.

Check all other medications you're taking, to make sure there is no Tylenol/Acetaminophen/Paracetamol in them. If there is, scale back one or two of your regular doses, so you stay within that safe 24 hour limit of 4,000 mg.
 

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what's better for this, NSAID-type drugs or acetaminophen?
NSAIDs have some pretty nasty side effects. Tylenol is a much better pain killer. Are you taking anything for the pain now?
 
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Seatides

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Thank you, Sara61, Celle, and Jaycey! Actually I've been taking a prescription NSAID (meloxicam) for awhile -- before the trip and fall -- to reduce the inflammation in my bad (non-operated, arthritic) right knee. I've taken NSAIDs off and on for a few years (different ones) for my arthritis and have never had any problems with them (hope I haven't jinxed myself now!). I know Tylenol is for pain and the NSAIDs are for inflammation, but in general, my knees feel better with NSAIDs than with Tylenol. If it's bursitis, my meloxicam should help more to reduce inflammation, shouldn't it?

I was debating between NSAIDs and acetaminophen because my meloxicam had run out and I was waiting to receive my refill in the mail; so I was thinking about what to use in the meantime.

The predominant problems with them both right now are stiffness and swelling. So I'll stay away from the bike and treadclimber, keep up the frequent icing, resting, and elevating, and do a little gentle walking and heel slides. I can take the meloxicam and also some Tylenol as needed, correct? Thanks again for all your wonderful experience and advice!
 

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Be careful with taking the Meloxicam. An NSAID gave me several ulcers.
 

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I can take the meloxicam and also some Tylenol as needed, correct?
Yes, but just be careful and don't exceed the recommended daily dose.

I used NSAIDs for years due to spinal problems. They were the only thing I took post both THRs. I don't take them now due to cardiac issues but I do know that they work for some. Just be very careful and if you develop notice any side effects see your family doctor.
 

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