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mikb314159

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Hello, after 8 months of pain I had my left TKR on June 24, 2019 at 2:30pm. Had a spinal block and all went well. Came home the next day. At first it was good. Walked plenty and used the CPM twice for 2 hours at 70 degrees. But every day since then I have had more and more pain and cramps. I can barely bend my left knee now more than about 30°. At 30° with the CPM it causes that intense pain.

I also have a very hard time getting up and I am getting bad cramps in my left thigh muscles in my shin. I am taking hydrocodone with Tylenol. Walking around with a walker is still not too difficult with the exception of not being able to bend my left knee much.

Sleeping is rough since I get cramps in my left thigh and knee and shin in the middle of the night. The pain level even with the hydrocodone is about a 9-10. And I have a very high tolerance to pain.

I would appreciate any thoughts from anyone.
Thanks, Michael
 

Lucy1

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I know you shouldn't compare but I had my RTKR on June 26, 2019 at 8 am. I came home the 27th and had burning pain and could hardly put any weight on it yesterday. So I did nothing except rest, ice, and medication. I seem to be so much better today after resting yesterday. Maybe two hours CPM is too much. My leg and feet are quite swollen so I don't think I will attempt too much exercise until I go to physio next Thursday. Just basic stuff like trips to bathroom and kitchen. L
 
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mikb314159

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Thank you. It is fine to compare. I think that's part of what this is all about. I think you are right, the 2 hours CPM was too much.

Do you have much pain laying in bed?
 
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Jockette

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Hi and Welcome to Bonesmart!

I’m sorry your pain level is so high. I am going to tag @Josephine,
our forum administrator and nurse director, to come and advise you.

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

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
elevate
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)
don't overwork.
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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mikb314159

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One odd thing for me and I'm on day number five is that even earlier in the week I can walk on it fairly well and don't have a lot of pain just putting weight on it. My MAJOR PAIN is bending my knee or getting up from sitting down for a while and putting weight on it to stand up. I get major pain up my thigh the side of my knee and down my shin.
And as I mentioned before even with hydra go down the pain level when it hits the tires are definitely 9 to 10. Thank you all for your help
 

Poctdb

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@mikb314159
I am 6 hours ahead of you for a LTKR on the 24th. Surgery buddies.....
My surgeon tells me Medicare doesn’t pay for CPMs anymore.

I agree with everything said by @Lucy1.....
I am in ice 12 hours a day.....
 
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Josephine

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I know you shouldn't compare
It is fine to compare.
No, you shouldn't ever compare recoveries. One person's experience is vastly different to anothers.


@mikb314159 I'd really like to offer you some structured advice but in order to do that, I also need to ask you some questions. Are you willing for me to do that?
 

Spex10

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I don't know anyone around here who uses CPM either. I think their efficacy has been discredited. @Josephine will know more.
 

Josephine

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To the best of my knowledge and from discussion with knee surgeons whose opinions I trust, the overall effect of CPM's is very much over-rated. But then, those who know me, also know I think all PT after a TKR is over-rated as one can get a good outcome without any of it. And from your description, I would discern that your problems are arising from far too much exercising.
 

Denny39

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I felt pretty good on the second day because I could do heel slides laying down, as well as leg lifts. The next day, I couldn’t do either, and for the next several days, I could not bend that knee, even a little bit without a #10 lightning bolt going right through the middle of the knee. It’s usually sometime during the third or fourth day when all of those anesthetics fully wear off. I should have known better, having been through this once already. I probably irritated things by doing too much too soon. I’m at 13 days now, and I can do small knee bends and leg lifts, but I’m being very conservative, and walking a lot.

I discovered Bonesmart 2 weeks after my LTKR December 10, 2019. That’s the first time that I heard that this is in fact, a 52 week recovery, not a 6 week recovery. It took me awhile to settle into that mindset, but it did make things a little less scary, and explained why things were taking MUCH longer than I had budgeted my time for. So, this time I went into surgery knowing full well what I was in for, and guess what??? It’s still miserable! But less worrisome and scary.

For me, it was after about 4½ months that I began to see really significant improvements from one week to the next. Somewhere in the 5th month the improvements were often noticeable from one day to the next, and at the 6 month mark, I had times that seemed like nothing had ever happened. Then, at 6 months and 1 week I went back to the hospital, signed on the dotted line, and laid down on the table again.

So far, it hasn’t been much fun this time either, but . . .
 
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Lucy1

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After almost three years, I had forgotten the pain. Yes, mikb314 it does seem worse especially at night. I tried to manage last night without the morphine but had to get up a few times and just took it to get to sleep. I know there will be good days followed by not so good days ahead. Great to find other people to share with. But I do love my ice machine. L
 

Josephine

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that this is in fact, a 52 week recovery, not a 6 week recovery.
It depends what you're looking at. There are a lot of stages in recovery and they vary from person to person.
 

Josephine

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Maybe exercise would help?
In my experience, exercise never helps anything!
One day at a time, right?
Quite right!


I'd really like to offer you some structured advice but in order to do that, I also need to ask you some questions. Are you willing for me to do that?
 

Denny39

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@Josephine - It appears I created wrong impression with that statement. There are many stages and variations, and some people feel pretty much fully recovered much sooner than others. My statement was actually meant to contrast my original ridiculous expectation of 6 weeks or so, to the full reality, with all of its stages and variations. Sorry if it was misleading.
 
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mikb314159

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1st off I quit using CPM. Based on others replies and feeling it was not helping.
Question about pain. My worse pain in in my shin below my knee when i try to get up to walk. This pain feels like getting hit hard in my shin. Very SHARP pain. Curious if anyone else has this and if so, how they handle it or treat it.
Thank you everyone.
 

snow11

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Hi
I have that shin pain as well. I do foot pumps, lot of them. It seems to help with the pain.
 

Rockgirl4

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I had the pain upon standing for the first 2-3 wks. It was sharp, burning, and felt like a lightning strike jolting through my entire leg. I felt it in my ankle/shin/knee/thigh and hated every single time I had to stand. It didn't let up until the 3rd week and even then it would occur if I hadn't stood up in a while (1-2 hrs). Sometimes ankle pumps helped, but I think that was more of a momentary distraction.

My PT and surgeon told me it had to do with swelling and how the leg's blood flow was being impeded/messed up by the swelling. I had severe swelling, so that made sense to me.
 
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Celle

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That’s the first time that I heard that this is in fact, a 52 week recovery, not a 6 week recovery.
It depends what you're looking at. There are a lot of stages in recovery and they vary from person to person.
It appears I created wrong impression with that statement. There are many stages and variations, and some people feel pretty much fully recovered much sooner than others. My statement was actually meant to contrast my original ridiculous expectation of 6 weeks or so, to the full reality, with all of its stages and variations. Sorry if it was misleading.
While there are obviously stages in recovery, it does take a full year for complete recovery of all your tissues. Recovery from a joint replacement is a marathon, not a sprint.
 

Denny39

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For the first time today, I walked a short distance with neither cane or walker. Short cautious steps in a small area, and I did it without really thinking about it first. But I tried to do that yesterday, and couldn’t. So there is some minor progress. But this one at this stage is much weaker and stiffer than the first one. Gonna take some gettin’ used to, but it’s still moving in the right direction.
 

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