TKR LTKR journey first few weeks

ChrisF

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Hello, does anyone have any advice about how I can get some sleep, 8 days post op and still no sleep because of discomfort in back, bum, quad and calf - similar to cramp ☹️ It’s making doing my rehab even more difficult. Feeling pretty despondent at the moment.
 

Jcx

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Hi ChrisF. Sleeping or lack of sleep is one of the low points of a TKR. If you can sleep on your back you might get a few hours.But if you're a side sleeper it's impossible in the first few weeks. I'm 7 months in and the first few months were the hardest. Things will get better and recovery is very slow it can not be rushed. Other members will be along shortly with advice. Take care Jcx.

 
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ChrisF

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Thank you for the reply, yes unfortunately my natural sleeping position is definitely side. I know It’s early days but worry that lack of sleep means Im not doing my rehab well enough, no way can I lift my heel up when I press my knee onto the towel and my bend isn’t good yet.
 

ski_bum

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Hello, does anyone have any advice about how I can get some sleep, 8 days post op and still no sleep because of discomfort in back, bum, quad and calf - similar to cramp ☹️ It’s making doing my rehab even more difficult. Feeling pretty despondent at the moment.
I was not a good sleeper then right leg 1 year ago did not help. Then 3 months ago, left leg so I have only slept in my bed for 4 full nights. And that is with a sleeping aid.
I love my naps to catch up.
Good luck and wishing a speedy recovery.
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome!


It’s making doing my rehab even more difficult.
The only rehab you need at one week post op is gentle bends and short walks in the house, which will give your new knee all the mobility it needs at this early stage.

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.
 

sistersinhim

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I know It’s early days but worry that lack of sleep means Im not doing my rehab well enough, no way can I lift my heel up when I press my knee onto the towel and my bend isn’t good yet.
Your rehab should be the last thing on your mind, not the first. Get sleep when and where you can is the most important. Your body is extremely traumatized and needs rest and sleep. When you are asleep you heal more. Be sure to ice and elevate most all the time. Getting up and walking to the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, and such things is all the PT you need right now. The things you do during the day will be more than enough exercise you need at this point in your recovery.
 

InkedMarie

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Sleep, or lack of it, is a common problem for most of us. I am taking 400mg of magnesium at bedtime & it’s helping. Take your sleep any way you can get it. Naps are a good thing now!

Marie
 

Bisbee

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I’m a life-long side sleeper, too. I had a left TKR. At 7 weeks I started to be able to side sleep a bit with left leg on top and a pillow long ways in between my legs. Legs not really square on top of each other…legs were scissored a bit. In the meantime, I sometimes slept in my recliner.
 

kneeper

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You are in the early days when many of us find the most discomfort--and not only in our knees! It's that "why did I do this?" period. :heehee:

I'm a side sleeper too and it was definitely difficult to sleep on my back in the early weeks. Like Bisbee I used the pillow method to at least get short amounts of time on my side.

Sleep at night is difficult for most of us in the early weeks. I slept in installments. I would get a couple of hours, then get up (or at least re-position) and read, listen to an audiobook or watch something for a bit. Then I'd be tired again and able to doze off again. I took advantage of daytime naps as well.

Hang in there--you're not alone. :console2:
 
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ChrisF

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Thank you (and I love your emojis
 
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ChrisF

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Hello, does anyone have any advice please. My calf burns and is really painful as soon as lie down. whether I have a pillow or not makes very little difference, I can stand it for 15-20 minutes at the most then have to stretch and take off the pressure. This is what is preventing me from getting sleep as I drop off to sleep but wake because of this pain, the wound itself isn’t particularly painful. Painkillers make no difference neither does ice. I understand the quad pain is due to the tourniquet but don’t understand this. The swelling and bruising have improved and I’m massaging my leg but this is really getting me down. I don’t have any problem walking and infact I’m up and down all day and night just to alleviate my calf pressure ☹️
 

Jaycey

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@ChrisF Are you icing regularly throughout the day? 45-60 minutes per session? I would stop massaging. You may be aggravating the inflamed soft tissues.

Very early days for you. All a part of this recovery I am afraid.
 
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ChrisF

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Thank you, probably not icing enough
 

Cjackso21

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Yes, rest ice and elevation are your friends. I would ask you PT what they think. I had the problem after one of my surgeries and they ordered an ultra sound to make sure it was not a blood clot. It was not but my sister had one and had a lot of pain with it…good luck!
 
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ChrisF

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Hello, I’m getting desperate now. Although everything is going well, swelling and bruising is greatly reduced and range of movement us increasing daily, I’m still not able to sleep more than 10 -15 minute dozes. The problem isn’t pain as such it’s more like Restless Leg Syndrome/cramp and I have to keep moving position constantly. The feeling runs right down from my buttock which feels constantly sort of numb and needs to be stretched, through my back thigh muscles and down to my calf muscle. My duvet is thrown off and on. I get up for a walk/stretch up to 20 times a night and have started dreading going to bed. Starting to feel really depressed with lack of sleep and wonder should I speak to the hospital tomorrow. I’ve reduced my medication (codeine phosphate/paracetamol) to 3 times/day as the pain in the actual knee is only acute when I’m trying to do the exercises. I alter my sleep position all night long using pillows to prop my leg and find I can’t elevate it for more than a few minutes at a time. is this still normal???
 

Pumpkin

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@ChrisF ,
Recommend you call your hospital and let them know about your 15 minute sleep cycles and restless legs. They may be able to give you something to help you sleep and calm down your restless legs.

You might want to look into taking a magnesium supplement, Magnesium is a star.
Ask about magnesium when you speak with them.

I had trouble at times with elevation, I found I could sleep with one pillow, less elevation, but comfortable.

Hope you find some answers.
 
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Pumpkin

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You'll notice that I have merged your newest thread with your original recovery thread. For several reasons, we prefer that you only have one recovery thread:
  • That way, we have all your information in one place. This makes it easier to go back and review your history before providing advice.
  • If you keep starting new threads, you miss the posts and advice others have left for you in the old threads, and some information may be unnecessarily repeated
  • Having only one thread will act as a journal of your progress that you can look back on.
So please post any updates, questions or concerns about your recovery here. If you prefer a different thread title, just post what you want and we'll get it changed for you.
If you need an urgent response to a question, just tag a member of staff.

Many members bookmark their thread in their computer browser, so they can find it when they log on.
How can I find my threads and posts?

Thanks,
Chris
 

Jamie

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@ChrisF .... this is something that happens to a lot of people after a TKR. Here is an article on it from our
BoneSmart Library. There are some things in the article you can try to relieve the problem. Be sure you are not overdoing your exercises during the day and that you're taking something for any actual pain you're having.
 

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