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[REVISION TKR] Motherbone's Recovery Thread

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Motherbone

Motherbone

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I've been skimming my whole recovery thread in a dark celebration of the anniversary of my patella fracture (October 10, 2018). I'm much ahead of where I was one year ago at this time, though I have to admit that I lost ground with the broken ankle. I've been getting up from the wheelchair more and taking a few steps, with support, in the kitchen. I still have terrible swelling in the left foot/ankle, though. If it does not improve by month's end I suppose I will need to make an appointment with my doctor to see what needs to be evaluated. I'm waiting for some double-wide shoes I ordered on the internet, to see if I can get my foot into one. Right now all I can wear is a supportive slipper. I don't know what I would have done without the support of everyone on this forum over the past year. Everyone, you are true gems.:) :-) (:
 
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Motherbone

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I saw my asthma doctor last week with an exacerbation and he upped my meds; I'm less symptomatic but still occasionally wheezy. Today I saw my rheumatologist for regular follow up and she was concerned about the combination of increased asthma symptoms and continued swelling of my ankles, so she ordered an echocardiogram and did some blood work. She did tell me she thinks I need to have the left knee operated on in order to try to straighten my leg and improve my gait and she seemed optimistic about my prospects for improved functioning afterward. She did say it would likely be a long recovery. She gave me the name of the orthopedic surgeon who did her shoulder replacements, saying he does shoulders and knees. I'll look him up but I'm still inclined to go with the surgeon to whom my PCP made the referral this summer. His profile indicates that he specializes in complicated cases and revisions. Interestingly, my rheumatologist said that thinning of the bones occurs in different places for people with RA. With garden-variety osteoporosis, she said, it occurs in the center of the shaft, but with RA, due to the surrounding joint inflammation and deterioration, it occurs towards the ends of the bones near the joints. So having stress fractures at the distal ends of my fibula and tibia made perfect sense to her and certainly explains it to me better. I just hope I don't end up having any cardiac issues.
 

Jamie

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Motherbone, it sounds as though you are staying on top of things. Your rheumatologist sounds like a "keeper"!! If you'd like a little more information on the link between rheumatoid arthritis and bone thinning, here is an excellent article:

 
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Motherbone

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Another milestone: I am walking with a walker. It is tedious and tiring and I need to sit after about 35 feet (my distance today in PT) but I am 100% ahead of where I was one month ago when I couldn't even take a step. Now I have to work on strengthening my lower back so I stand upright when I walk. Labs so far have been normal. If cardiac stuff is OK I will proceed with making the appointment with a new orthopedic surgeon. Gulp!
 

sistersinhim

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Now I have to work on strengthening my lower back so I stand upright when I walk.
Have you seen the ads for the new walkers that allow you to walk upright? Why didn't they come up with this years ago?! I think these would be such a benefit in our total recovery. I, too, found walking with the walker hurt my back even though I had the handles all the way up. I'm 5'6", and that's not that tall. For someone taller it'd be that much more uncomfortable. BTW, I looked up the advertised one and they're over $1000. Ridiculous!

I'm praying all your tests come back good!
 
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Motherbone

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Another week gone and my birthday done, no less! It was a much better one than last year, lots of good wishes, more ability to get around, and we will go out with friends this coming weekend.

I continue in twice weekly PT. Each week I make a little more progress. I'm now using the walker to cruise up and down the hallway in my house with a goal of eventually being able to use it for the distance equivalent to that between my car and the door of a store. I haven't made an appointment to have my left knee evaluated yet, I know, I'm procrastinating......

The weather is colder here and my knees are complaining a little with increased stiffness. My right knee remains a little unstable, like it wants to buckle, and I have to think carefully when I walk on it, I can't just walk unconsciously. I will ask that it be re-evaluated as well, just on the off chance that something more can be done for it.

Still have swelling in the ankles, left (the broken one) worse than right, but today in PT we noticed that it seems to be a little less. Hope that's a good sign that moving more will mobilize the edema.

Happy All Hallow's Eve to all of us! and Day of the Dead / All Saints' Day as well!
:yikes::spider:
 

Jockette

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I’m glad you found a PT that you like and trust, and that you are making progress with them.

We are all cheering you on. That’s great that you are using your walker to go up and down your hallway! :happydance:

You are an inspiration to me and I always look forward to your updates.:console2:
 

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I look forward to your inspirational updates, too. So glad to hear you are progressing nicely with the walker.
 
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Motherbone

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Today I had my re-evaluation at PT. I have made progress with range of motion in all directions at the ankle and have good basic strength with flexion, extension, and inward rotation. I have weakness when trying to evert the ankle, which PT thinks is due to the knee joint distortion, creating a valgus curve that makes it hard to use those eversion muscles. I still have swelling, mostly now on the top of my foot in an odd pattern - my heel is totally normal but the top of my foot is puffy. I can walk short distances but need the walker for support and balance; however, I can stand a little more and better. I have three more PT sessions scheduled between now and the end of the month, and I'm scheduled to see my ankle MD this coming Monday and my PCP about one month from now. My physical therapist indicated that we are coming to the end of what can be done with the ankle as long as the knee is so crippled. I think I will try to move up the PCP appointment so we can have a discussion of what is needed to work up the swelling and get medical clearance for another surgery. I haven't yet scheduled the echo because I want to talk to her about it first and understand the implications of an abnormal result. I once had a test that came back "abnormal," which led to a cascade of other interventions that had no impact -- and I'm still here, hale and hearty. So I've learned to keep in mind that sometimes there are unintended consequences... I'll post an update after I see the ankle MD. Hope everyone's staying warm -- we've had near-record lows in the past few days. Maybe Thanksgiving will be seasonally cold - or at least cool!
 

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