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TKR LTKR on June 23

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Jo Wo

Jo Wo

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@beesknee I would be lost without my tablet to stay connected online. But even that gets boring after a while.

I was pretty homebound for a month or two before the surgery. I was so jealous watching people out for a walk when I looked out the window! At least now I can tell myself that I will get back to walking outdoors eventually.

when my mom was 90, she handled all her own accounting and banking, loved to sit at her desk but her congestive heart failure made her legs swell. It was hard to convince her to elevate, she thought feet on a little footstool was enough. Now I feel her frustration, just as you remember your dad's wishful thinking.

We will get through this. There are better days ahead!
 
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Jo Wo

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DAY 32. I rested a lot after yesterday morning's walk but was able to complete all the home exercises in the afternoon. I did 5 sit to stands without arms, and rode my recumbent several times for short periods.


I got through the day on a total of 2300 mg tylenol and 600 mg ibuprofen. Knee felt a little cranky around 7 and I didn't want to have my husband bring ice up then down so I found that a wrung out wet washcloth was enough to soothe and take away the small amount of heat the knee was putting out. I just kept waving it in the air and reapplying it while I relaxed and read. It is not icy cold so you can put it right on the bare knee. thought it might be a good emergency measure if you are out walking this summer, take a bandana or face cloth along with your water bottle.
 

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Good idea, Jo. You really have a handle on your recovery! Good for you!
 
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Jo Wo

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DAY33: Pretty much the same as yesterday. Getting a bit easier on the stairs and standing up from the chairs. Resumed my arm workout regimen, lost some strength in the shoulders but biceps and triceps held up well. Mornings go well but even if I take it easy after lunch, the knee is hot and swollen between 2 and 3 pm. I take 1000 mg of tylenol when I get up at 5 and had been taking 2 advil fir 360 mg at 9, then a tylenol 650 at 1 pm. and one more advil in the afternoon, then tylenol 650 at 9 pm. I am going to push that loading dose of advil til noon or later if I can to see if it knocks back the knee's late afternoon anger. icing/elevating intermittently throughout the day, but running out of tv to watch.
 

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@Jo Wo and the others posting here — I am here to tell you that your regular life will return to you. One day you will just realize that you walked to the bathroom or got into the car without thinking about your knee. Not to say you won’t be without twinges and days you feel you have overdone. But it is so much better than the debilitating pain of arthritis! Everyone has his or her own pace of recovery, but you will get there. :)
 

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Jo, I know you are a reader! A trip to the library?
 
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Jo Wo

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thanks @Flutter1. I think we have to cultivate our listening skills so we hear when our knees are starting to get overtaxed.

I felt so good on my bike this morning that I stayed on for 15 minutes. hope I dont regret that. then I convinced my husband to let me try to drive to cvs with him in the car. I said it's only a five minute trip and there are several spots I could have just turned in to a parking lot and let him have the wheel. But it was fine! This means I can go to pt on my own, and go for a haircut without taking his time away from the things he already has on his plate (home repairs, lawn mowing etc. ) He has never complained though.

after we made that trip in the suv, I tried and was able to get into the drivers seat of my civic which is lower. More importantly, I got out of the car by myself.

@Sisterpat, i use our online library service to check out books to my kindle, but that is also a short five minute drive, and I do have a handicapped parking placard.

I could use a leisurely stroll around a craft store for some retail therapy, though.

But after this busy morning, I am off duty for the afternoon.
 
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Jo Wo

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Coming up on five weeks tomorrow. Yesterday was my best day yet, in many ways better than the limited function of the last weeks before surgery. In addition to the 15 minutes on the bike and the five minute drive to cvs, I used the stick vac to vacuum upstairs and sat at my desk for a while. I did not have as much swelling, and the knee did not heat up so much. I did feel some fatigue around 3 pm. I did ice and go toes above nose periodically, as needed. I kept my total tylenol and advil intake well below the maximum daily dose.

I feel such a sense of gratitude for these small gains, may I never take them for granted again.
 

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Me, too, Jo! The pre-op limitations and pain are always in my memory and I am so grateful for the relief and freedom my new knees have given me!
 
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Jo Wo

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Drove my car to where my street somewhat levels out, and walked for 15 minutes n the pavement with my trekking poles. It is funny because I actually parked just about across the street from my property line, but to get there it's down a 100 foot steep hill, turn right walk another 50 feet down a less steep hill, turn right and walk up a gently sloped stretch of road. I will save that for September maybe.
 
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Jo Wo

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5 Week update: This fifth week has been one of major improvement in function. I think it's because I came off the aspirin and was able to add some ibuprofen to the tylenol. weeks 3 and 4 after I was off the celebrex were somewhat of a plateau.

I am trying to stretch the dosage interval out but if it goes too long on the tylenol, I feel a deep hammering pain in the tibia.
 
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Jo Wo

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First full outpatient pt session today. He didn't push range or measure it, but said he feel no hard scar tissue limitation, it's the swelling that limits my flex. Added light weights for my short arc quads, light resistance band on supine clamshells, and 60 lbs on the horizontal leg press sled. Did a lot of very slow controlled step up with op leg and back down with non op leg. None of this was painful.

Told me I will be off the cane soon. I also told him that I want to be able to walk down my rather steep driveway eventually, so he has some things planned to add to the regimen. I am glad they listen to me and take into consideration my leg strength before the operation.

Off duty for the rest of the day, popped half an oxy when I got home because I know it might catch up with me in an hour or so.
 

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Wow, I could never have handled that kind of weights 5 weeks out. Seems like a lot to me.
 

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Oh my goodness, I hope you'll be able to sleep tonight and walk tomorrow. You've been doing way too much at PT for a baby knee that is only less than 5 weeks old. Weights should not be used for at least 3 months. Our members have found that doing them early like you are kept the inflammation, pain and swelling levels up. All you need to be working on is letting that knee heal. Exercises won't do that. Using your knee in your normal, gentle daily activities is enough to rehab it.

Treat your knee like an infant because that is what it is! You are barely 1/12 of the way healed. Listen to your knee. If it has more pain and swelling then what you are doing is causing a setback. You want to get that pain and swelling down, not increasing it!
 

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That is the key—knowing our bodies. I hope that you respond well to the PT.
 
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Jo Wo

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Oh my goodness, I hope you'll be able to sleep tonight and walk tomorrow. You've been doing way too much at PT for a baby knee that is only less than 5 weeks old. Weights should not be used for at least 3 months. Our members have found that doing them early like you are kept the inflammation, pain and swelling levels up. All you need to be working on is letting that knee heal. Exercises won't do that. Using your knee in your normal, gentle daily activities is enough to rehab it.

Treat your knee like an infant because that is what it is! You are barely 1/12 of the way healed. Listen to your knee. If it has more pain and swelling then what you are doing is causing a setback. You want to get that pain and swelling down, not increasing it!
I began using weights with my home pt, I think they were either 1 or 2 pound weights.

I am listening to my knee. It is not throwing as much inflammation as it was a week ago. Oddly enough, the exercise I did this morning eliminated the pain I had in my medial hamstring tendon, and my gait feels better.

If I wait three months to use weights I will likely lose significant muscle mass and strength. My normal daily activities included a lot of exercise for the past year. I think we have to proceed at a pace that works for our own bodies.

Also, many of us are benefiting from the newer, less invasive versions of this surgery, is it possible that there is less trauma to the knee now?
 

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I'm glad you're finding something that works for you. As we have said, everyone's recovery is different.
 

kneeper

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Good to hear you did well after the PT. Most people will need to go a bit slower but some can handle more exercise earlier. Some depends on the status of your joint before the surgery, the skill of the surgeon and some may be unknown. But a lot is just the fact that tissues take a while to heal regardless.
We recommend really paying attention to those healing tissues because it can be very easy to accidentally exercise your way into tendonitis, for example. Keep listening to your body as you increase activity--and as I think @Roy Gardiner says, remember that you're healing, not in training.
 

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