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[TKR] lindakay’s recovery thread

hoopsgran

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When home health care removed my staples the lower portion of my incision was “gaping” enough that she took pictures and sent them to my surgeon before applying the steri strips. His nurse said it looked ok so she put a double layer on the questionable area. I felt just like you do: what if I pull this open? Well bending didn’t hurt it a bit and the strips allowed enough air to get to the wound that it healed very quickly. I’m very pleased with how my scar looks!
 

LindaO

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Congratulation on the pain control and ROM!!
 
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sistersinhim

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I’m having an (irrational) fear that it will come apart when I’m doing my bending exercises. Is that weird?
Nope, that's not weird at all. I think many of us felt the same way. I know I did. Just remember to be gentle with your exercises and if they start to hurt...stop them right then and there!
 

luvcats

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I think we are all prone to a lot of extra anxiety around the surgery, some of it reasonable, some really not. It's normal, but unpleasant.

I insisted that my staples stay in until the maximum time had passed because my knees are fat and adipose tissue can heal slower. Which meant that I had tissue trying to close over the staples and i probably have a little more scarring than I needed to.

Just indulge yourself wherever it is reasonable for now. It wont last forever.
 
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lindakay

lindakay

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Hello, everyone! I’m five weeks out from my right TKR, and still doing very well. My PT is great, and I’ve been able to pedal the bike for 10 minutes at a time. My flexion is at 108 degrees, and I can get my knee fully extended/straight. Almost all of my discomfort is in the non-operative knee. I have had very little pain, and I KNOW that I’ve been very blessed. Here is my concern.

I’m scheduled for my left TKR in two weeks (10/16) and I’m getting really worried. It’s very unlikely that I will be so lucky again, and I’m starting to freak out.

Has anyone else had their knees done back-to-back? How did the two recoveries compare?
 

Jaycey

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It’s very unlikely that I will be so lucky again, and I’m starting to freak out.
Plenty of members have had back to back joint replacement. Please don't assume the worst. Stay positive and don't compare any recovery to the next one.

We will be here for you again!
 

LindaO

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It sounds like your first knee has done great! Congratulations on the progress!
I had my knees replaced 6 weeks apart. I was still having some pain from my first TKR but my second one was great and I had no problems with it...only the first one continued to hurt but I now know why and they will fix that next week!
Although no two are the same, you have a great history that indicates you will do fine!
 

jeffjob

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I had the same fear esp when I started reaching for more ROM. Then it was explained how the incision is closed in layers and really will not "POP" open. I did have some leakage with my right knee mostly as I had proper surgery and a scar there. MY OS just told me to limit my flex until it healed better.

At week two I was at about 100/0 for my left and 75/5 for my right. And again, even with the scar tissue on my right knee, the incision healed fine.
 

luvcats

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Has anyone else had their knees done back-to-back? How did the two recoveries compare?
I did mine back to back. You know, they tell you "every knee is different" and mentally you prepare yourself "every knee is different" and when you get home and you're in recovery and the new knee is different, it's still very weird. lol

I think many of my differences are because Newbie was just as worn out, but less deformed than July, so there was less straightening. Different muscles hurt differently between them. Some of my differences came from being properly medicated for the 2nd recovery. That helped a lot. And some were just different because they were. Newbie's incision didn't heal quite as well or as fast. I had a bad reaction to surgical glue over and around my staples.

The one big difference for me is that exhaustion seems to be cumulative and I'm just tired. But that will pass eventually.

I wrote a very long post comparing the differences in my journal. Maybe a week ago?

The thing to remember is, we tend to do the 'worse' leg first, so maybe the 2nd recovery will be easier, as mine was. You already know how it needs to go. Don't make yourself crazy.
 
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lindakay

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Well, I’m home from the hospital now from my second TKR (surgery on Wednesday, 10/16.) I could tell almost immediately that this one was going to be more painful than the first. It’s not horrible, but definitely requiring more pain medication. The surgeon thinks that the nerve block didn’t work quite as well this time, and I also have pain in my thigh from the tourniquet. Got a little bit discouraged and teary during my hospital PT yesterday, because everything was so painful.

Right now I’m icing, elevating and taking my oxycodone every four hours, but I have in-home PT tomorrow and I’m nervous. I would appreciate prayers and good thoughts
 

Jockette

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Congratulations on your newest knee!

At only a few days post op you don’t need any painful PT. You just need some gentle movements and short walks.

You’re home now and have more control over your PT session. If you’re not up to it, tell them the session is over.
 

pamsknees

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@lindakay praying all goes well with your new knee. I’m trying to decide if I want to do bilateral or back to back knee replacements so am interested in your opinion. Of course if I plan back to back & if the first is a lot of pain, I’d be likely to chicken out
 

luvcats

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Welcome back. As horrible as it is to go a bit backwards, now they are both done and the healing and real freedom from pain are definitely on the horizon.

Good luck with your PT.
 

LindaO

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Welcome to the other side! I am sorry your block didn’t work as well as you had hoped. Hopefully your knee has calmed down a bit and your meds are working. Sending calming and positive vibes to you!
 
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lindakay

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Thanks for the encouragement! This group is so helpful!

For those of you who have experienced pain in your upper thigh from the tourniquet, how long did it last? I’m on day four post-op, and I can’t do a straight leg raise at all because of this soreness...
 

LindaO

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This time around, my thigh has been sore for a long time. I really can't remember the last ones but I think this one has been worse. I am 2 weeks post-op and still have pain on trying to lift my leg. I think it was at least a week before I could lift it at all. Give yourself some time to continue to heal and before long you will be lifting it without thinking about it!
 

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I am week 5 and still having issues doing straight leg raises. @lindakay i can do 5 short arcs (from knee pulling foot up part way) if I glare at my knee and think really hard, and groan.

Turns out I haven't been walking correctly for years. What I couldn't do at all 2 weeks ago, can be done this week. I.e. the 5 short arcs. Steady as she goes, hang in there!
 

jeffjob

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@lindakay I had the same fear as I did "pop" open a small incision years ago. MY PT person assured me and explained that the TNR incision is closed in layers and will not open. I also asked my OS when I had my stitches out on day 11 and he assured me as well. So I had faith and kept bending a bit at a time. And, no issues.

If the doc says it's good to go, you are good to go!
 

Jockette

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I didn’t do any leg raises after the first one I tried hurt my lower back. I have lower back issues and I knew from the beginning, going into PT, that I wouldn’t do anything to disrupt my back that was now in a manageable state.

Within about 2 weeks I was able to get my leg up into my elevating wedge all by myself. All without “working on leg raises.”

I don’t know how many weeks later I wondered if I could do a leg raise, and I tried it, and my leg went up nice and high! I was so excited. Then I realized that every time I had gotten my leg up on my wedge, I was actually doing a leg raise. In my activities of daily living. My knee got plenty of natural movement in my daily activities.
 
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lindakay

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I’m eleven days post-op now on my second TKR. I’ve been diligent in doing my PT exercises, but my flexion measurement isn’t improving much. There is SO MUCH more pain/discomfort this time, compared to my first TKR. I’m still taking my narcotic pain meds, and having to ice and elevate almost all the time. It’s frustrating!

My two-week appointment with my surgeon is on Wednesday, and I will need to ask for another prescription for pain meds. Has anyone had difficulty getting a refill for their opioids? (I never needed a refill with the first surgery...)
 

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