TKR LTKR 5/26

BionicMom

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Hey everyone,
my name is Melissa, 42, have had severe osteoarthritis of both knees for as long as I can remember. My right was always worse than my left because it's my dominant side. I have femurs that turn out-femoral retroversion- that was completely ignored my entire life. I can't count the twisted ankles &torn tendons I've had in my life. My entire joint systems have been impacted by this & celiac disease. My left good knee finally quit on me last October and completely kicked out my entire medial meniscus 5cm outside the joint space. Combined with the insane osteophytes and lack of cartilage I had I lived with basically a giant tree trunk of a leg I couldn't straighten for 7 months or it would lock&it only took falling on my face in a grocery store to make me start freaking out on people that it shouldn't take 6 months to get this fixed!

After finally getting MRIs & surgery scheduled.... I'm now almost 5 weeks in & I reached the 'mental break down status' this weekend when my surgeon cut my pain meds off cold turkey despite telling my primary physician they'd cover them until July 11th.
Surgery went great-I have taken the same dose of pain meds for almost ten years for all the damage in my joints and disks in missing in my back&I've never filled early, never ran out. I have what my original anesthesiologist referred to as the rarest and hardest to see pain profile, the long-suffering type? So going into surgery he knew I would have a modified threshold for pain&was supposedly prepared. By a week after surgery I had 90° flexion- only 15°extension but , id also been walking on it at 15-20 degrees for 7 months&had some pretty severe swelling as I had a major effusion in this knee as well- it is like twice the size of my right leg! He was shocked at my movement on week one&2, then PT pulled my hamstrings & I spent like 3-4 days in crying level pain. I also have a 6 year old, am a single mom and my daughter was home and had a horrible cold the third week of my recovery. I only had help 4 days after coming home so by last week-I was so sleep deprived I definitely hit my mental breakdown point. I finally decided after skipping a week of PT and gaining more range of motion and the ability to sleep without it... why...I worked for a surgical center, I ran a physical therapy office for years.... yes I know fascia is a real thing, but to be honest... right now? I care less about a tiny bit of fascia if it means I'm not exposing my daughter to me in so much pain and able to function.

I can drive now, get around the house safely and confidently without my 4 legged cane-i still take it outside the house for stairs&uneven ground. I'm only able to really be up on it for about an hour or two at very most without it trying to turn into a melon again! This is the hardest limitation for me & my right knee is hanging in there but man is it about done pulling all the weight! lol

Ive read through all these forums the last few weeks and can I just say they are a lifesaver. Its like most doctors or PTs actually understand any of this! I will return to PT when I lose the ability to increase my own ROM on my own-I need being a mom to be what makes me sore-Not some over zealous PT trying to pull my hamstring out along with half my rectal cavity! I was literally purple across the top upper back of my thigh!
Anyone else felt like pausing was helpful?

when will my Knee stop swelling on the front of it? I have awesome range of motion...but the fluid makes it about as slow as molasses in a Minnesota winter! If Ive been up on it,itll take 20 mins to get back to 100°

I also can finally sleep on my stomach&the sleep Im getting is like gold!

my pool gets here next week and since it's the only truly fun summer activity I can do for hours on end with my little girl- I foresee a very wet summer!

also... I have short triangle thighs... best knee wrap. i know kinesiology taping but even the lymphatic drainage isn't really helpful cause it's trauma based healing....I might just have to order some neoprene & make one!

Thanks
bionic mom
 

Jockette

Staff member since March 2018
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Hi, Melissa, and Welcome!

Anyone else felt like pausing was helpful?
Yes! There is no need for painful PT to have a good outcome from this surgery.

I‘m glad you are in a better place now after such a rough start, however, your story is a common one, unfortunately.

I will leave you our Recovery Guidelines. Each article is short but very informative. Following these guidelines will help you have a less painful recovery.

Just keep in mind all people are different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for you.“ Your doctors, PTs and BoneSmart are available to help, but you are the final judge as to the recovery approach you choose.

Knee Recovery: The Guidelines
1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary
2. Control discomfort:
rest
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​

3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you​
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​


4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these

5. At week 4 and after you should follow this

6. Access to these pages on the website

The Recovery articles:
The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
Energy drain for TKRs
Elevation is the key
Ice to control pain and swelling
Heel slides and how to do them properly
Chart representation of TKR recovery
Healing: how long does it take?

Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

There are also some cautionary articles here
Myth busting: no pain, no gain
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

While members may create as many threads as they like in the majority of BoneSmart’s forums, we ask that each member have only One Recovery Thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
 
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BionicMom

new member
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Jun 4, 2022
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42
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@Jockette -Thank you! Honestly, I have found that reading through all of the above&the recovery journeys above were something I wish I had done 7 months aho when I knew I had milked my knees for all the life they had & it was time. I feel like what I find here is a vast wealth of supportive, informative, reassuring knowledge that is as valuable to this whole process is as a good bra is to my wardrobe. I also feel like its the exact opposite from what were told from all the medical professionals that do this!
I dont advocate for myself well-I learned as a kid to just power through it. When I had to cancel our trip to the beach for my daughters spring break(same week I fell on my face cause my knee locked)I saw how much my silence was stealing from her and teaching her to do the same. I officially cancelled all my future PT appointments today & will see my primary Thursday. The support here gives me just the boost of reassurance I feel silly for even needing at 42,but Im a single mom w/very little family & I have to listen to what I know will work & what won't. It's not shocking to me that accupressure,arnica gel,a lot of returning to my herbalist roots are what work better for me.
I am so grateful I found this forum, it should be a resource given at every single orthopedic consult nationwide! Just having it now I know I'll be prepared for all the other ups&downs. Itll make my RTKR soo much easier!
gratefully,
BionicMom
 

Samsrf

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-I need being a mom to be what makes me sore-Not some over zealous PT trying to pull my hamstring out along with half my rectal cavity! I

Hi there! I feel ya!!! Waited until I couldn’t walk to have surgery (8 years knowing I needed it) and then once I was immobile waited 5 months for surgery & Just crossed the 44 threshold last week- as a mom with school age kids I feel you!!! Hang in there lady, it does get physically easier and you find an activity/ ice rhythm that works for you and her! I had a few cranky frustrated posts when it all felt so overwhelming! I quit PT in dramatic walk out fashion at 7.5 weeks because it was destroying me for a day or two after and I literally couldn’t drive (Rtkr) which is all- as a mom- I feel I do sometimes. The bonesmart way gave me my life back AND ,with the support of all the members, permission to stand up for myself and say no. I am much stronger for it! All of our journeys are different- but we are all here to support one another. It is a slow and crazy recovery- some days good some days challenging, but the upside of not being in chronic pain far outweighs the challenge of recovery! Best wishes to you mama!!!
 

InkedMarie

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Hi Melissa,
You have sure been through the ringer! Enjoy your pool with your daughter!

Marie
 

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