TKR LTKR on Sept 26. Trying not to be impatient!

Live4fun

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61 y/o fit female. At 4 weeks I’m tempted to get on a friend’s ebike for a simple ride. Before surgery, osteoarthritis reduced my sports to cycling and swimming, and I did quite a bit. I wonder if it’s really unwise to be on the road so soon.

Recovery is going quite well, but plenty of stiffness and pain. I’m not sure where flexion is, but about 125.

I’ve been on a spin bike with mild tension for 30 minutes for 5 days.

I know I’m doing great, but might have a tendency to overdo it.

I’m happy I found this forum. I’ve learned a few things!
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome!

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!)​
If you want to use something to help heal the incision,
BoneSmart recommends hypochlorous solution. Members in the US can purchase ACTIVE Antimicrobial Hydrogel through BoneSmart at a discount. Similar products should be available in the UK and other countries.​

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.
 

ski_bum

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@Live4fun What you may not have learnt here is, Take it easy!
I have a new ebike with very few KM's on it because when I program the lowest assist and want to stop, any little movement of the pedal it moves forward when I'm trying to unmount.
Good luck with recovery and take it easy, you are still young.
 

Jockette

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You are doing great, but that can change quickly if you do more than your knee is healed enough to do.

Earlier today a member posted about the setbacks (plural) he had to deal with because he did too much, too early.

Take the time you need to heal. Wise words from @hawk2go ”do less now, so you can do more later.” Recovery is temporary, so try to be patient. :flwrysmile:
 

kneeper

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There is definitely a temptation to overdo once you start feeling better. Take it day by day and start slow.
 
OP
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Live4fun

Live4fun

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Thanks all for such a warm welcome and great advice!

‘Take it easy’ doesn’t come naturally… my husband swears there is a special category for German women.

Anyways, the debates in my head about how aggressive to be are pretty ridiculous. Thanks for possibly swaying me to use a bit more common sense.

Fortunately, my PT seems to be aligned to your mindset.

I don’t mind pushing a little and being sore for a day, but absolutely don’t want a setback!!!

Thanks again for the great info!
 

Doupie

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@Live4fun I’ve been a member of the ODIC and it‘s no fun. Everyone is right that recovery is temporary and patience is the key. I just did a short vacay and acted like my knee was fine, I’m paying for that now. It’s not really bad and I did ice/elevate while I was on vacation in our condo, but my baby knee is in control for sure…:yes:

I‘m about 13 weeks post and I can do a lot, but the stiffness and swelling still come especially when I overdo….

Try to resist the urge to overdo and enjoy the healing process. It’s really nice some time to do nothing and I really am learning the beauty of resting, the body deserves peace…:ok:
 

Jockette

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sleeping with my leg flat/straight is torture. I can only handle 10 minutes or so.
I saw you mention the above on another thread and I decided to answer you here on your thread.

There is no need to keep your leg totally straight. A gentle bend is fine and will be more comfortable.

I was a side sleeper before surgery, and couldn't do that after surgery, so laying on my back was uncomfortable. Elevating my legs helped that a lot. The foam wedge I used allowed my knee to have a slight bend.
 

Flashlight

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There are lots of thoughts on how-to sleep-in bed after a knee replacement including YouTube videos. Everyone is different. I found placing 2-king size pillows side by side helpful to me. The pillow was at my thigh, and I put a pillow across the very end of the bed which helped keep the covers off my toes and I was able to rest some of my ft on it. My left leg was more comfortable straight with my right bent. Still, I was lucky to get 4-hours. My sister-in-law is a back sleeper and never had any trouble sleeping. At 10 weeks I can bend my knee and don't need the pillows. Still sleep is hard although I'm getting 5-6 hours. My PA said it would get better. I know this is a side effect of the surgery, but I wish ortho would look into this more after narcotics are no longer in the picture. Good luck!
 
OP
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Live4fun

Live4fun

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It’s two months now and I’m doing pretty well. I’ve guided other people to this terrific forum.

There’s a slight complication… I’ve noticed that I’m pigeon toed on my TKR leg. It used to point straight ahead. I have a history of knee dislocations, and have had about 15 ‘almosts’ since the knee replacement. At first, I attributed that to swelling, but there’s little swelling anymore.

I’ll talk with my PT seriously about it now, and will call my Ortho, as well. Bummed as I have to push my knee out a bit to keep my foot straight.

Well, one step at a time!
 

Jockette

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I’m sorry about your complication. Definitely check with your surgeon about it.
 

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