TKR MSuki’s Fabulous Recovery Journey

Woke up this morning with lower back (operated leg side) pain at about an 8. Spent the last 2 hours trying everything I could think of - stretches, heat, ice, even got on the floor and tried to use a foam roller. Not sure I know the best way to do that. Now it’s down to a 6-7. Husband is sleeping in and needs it so I don’t want to wake him up. This is the exhausting thing about this recovery. There is so much going on after TKR that as soon as one body part feels ok the next one starts screaming.
Try to relax, your body has been through the mill. I had pains here, there and everywhere, in those early weeks, and there isn‘t always a fix except for time. :console2:
Ouch. I have no specific advice... normally I use distraction as a pain coping tool, but at 6-7 that's not generally very effective; at that point I'd be grabbing a pain med. So just sending a (hug).
Later in the morning my husband used a massager on my back and it improved to about a three. We have this heavy duty massager that is sort of like a belt sander but with a massage pad. It’s very heavy and we hadn’t used it in years. It is hard to use for long because of the vibrating to the users hands. But it really did the trick.

So then we were able to meet daughter and family for her birthday lunch and enjoy it!
I am glad with your hubby's help you were able to lower that pain. These unexpected pains can really be aggravating as if having a TKR to heal from isn't enough! Somehow you must have twisted your back wrong during the night. I hope tonight will be a much better one.
Thanks! I see the same experience in a lot of the posts where people move from one issue to the next. I think we start out with a lot of adjusting to do, and then as things improve we do more or do it differently, leading to yet another rudely awakened or irritated part.

Tonight I now have the sore spot on my heel, I remember having this last time also. Switched to some softer socks and will see if that helps. still can’t sleep on my side. Or I should say, I can sleep on my side, but then I wake up in about 2 to 3 hours with my knee really hurting. so I can’t sleep on my side all night.

Ok, advice question for the day. My physical therapist is wanting me to switch from my walker to a cane. With my last knee, I used my walker for about five weeks, and then went to nothing at all. Every time I used the cane, it would make my back hurt. But, last time my right knee went out about a month before the surgery on my left knee. So I think the problem was that I would lean on the cane because my other knee hurt too. A lot of the time when I’m walking around the house I’m not using anything currently. I try to use my walker if I wake up in the night or if I really feel tired or if I go out. Do you guys think I should give the cane another try? or stick with the walker until I’m ready to do without? I took my cane to physical therapy last Friday, and she said I was walking with it just fine. I plan to take it tomorrow and humor her but have not decided whether to start using it elsewhere or not.
I am only using my cane between house and car. In the house, I am sometimes walking with no aid but I have to really concentrate on my gait. I use the walker when I go anywhere I have a distance to walk. I have walking poles for when I am ready to venture without the walker. Do what works for you.
Do you guys think I should give the cane another try? or stick with the walker until I’m ready to do without?
Only you know when you are secure enough to walk without the walker, not your PT. There is no rush to get off of it, all it is is a walking aid until your knee is strong enough not to buckle with you. I used mine for 6+ weeks when I was out in the public. There is always the chance someone or even a child will bump into you when you are not prepared. That's why I kept using mine. I think until you are sure you won't fall you should use it when out of the house.

You can always practice with your cane in the house and yard for a few days or weeks to see if you think it is enough to hold you up if you lose your balance.
I agree with @sistersinhim re transitioning to the cane (on non surgical side!) within the house to ensure you're comfortable with it, not leaning into it to bear more weight on it than needed, and not limping or buckling.
We tend to walk differently in the house than we do outside taking a walk!
When practicing in the house, pay attention via touch, not looking down, at how your feet feel in contact with the floor, and aim your heart and eyes at the (imaginary) horizon to get the structure for "taking a walk."
Tomorrow is 4 weeks from surgery and I’m scheduled for aquatic therapy.
  • I have a spot at the top of my incision that had a tiny lump and has been itching like crazy. I think it’s an internal stitch that is supposed to dissolve but instead is working itself out. I had one with the last surgery. I plan to ask the PT to cover it just in case. I don’t think there is any broken skin but don’t want to take chances.
  • Today was the first time I have done at least 1 set of all my home exercises. (supposed to do 3 of some but that would have been too much.)
  • Did my recumbent bike for 10 minutes, slow but sure.
  • Took my first solo outdoor walk to end of block - 3 houses. Used the walker.
  • Calf was then aching all afternoon but has stopped now so that worked out.
  • I have some pain in top of foot after walking but not like it was earlier.
Yesterday I had major back pain in right shoulder after sleeping. I used heat, ice, massage gun, tens unit, and finally a neck traction gadget and got a small amount of relief by last night. I changed pillows which helped my upper back but my neck is very very sore. I’m in bed with ice on my knee and the heating pad on my upper back.
Thanks all for the food for thought re the cane. The advantage if I learn to use it correctly would be that I can more easily carry it when I start driving myself places. Although I think the walker gives more stability. My husband is reminding me at my request when he sees me limping or leaning to the right which apparently I have developed a bad habit of doing. I can’t really tell I’m doing it but if I know someone is watching I walk with better posture, whether it’s my husband or my PT. I will practice before I use it outside. And won’t worry if I need the walker a few more weeks.
Be careful with water PT, you can easily do more than your knee is ready for! My one and only pool PT was 50 minutes long with the PT giving me countless bending exercises to do, and the to add insult to injury (literally) she had me do the steps out of the pool foot over foot. It was the first time I’d attempted that, and I was only 4 weeks post op. It took me 3 days to recover.
@Jockette I know you are 100% correct and I will do my best to keep it in mind. My first water PT on first knee she only let me stay in the water for half the session, I thought I had done pretty well nothing, and I still suffered that afternoon. And maybe a little the next day. The thing that will doom me (hopefully not tomorrow but at some point) is that I just really love being in the water. I will try to resist overdoing and will let you know how it goes.
I don‘t enjoy a pool so I was not happy about my surgeon sending me to pool PT. (And getting into a bathing suit with a swollen and unbendable knee was another trial!) It was a big pool and had a lot more people in it than I was expecting, so the water had a lot of movement, which made me very nervous, as I wasn’t always steady on my feet on land. Then, just being in the locker room, brought back bad memories of required showers in Jr. High school after gym class. Then once in the pool I thought she’d never let me out! Then to have so much pain and swelling as a result just pushed me over an emotional edge.

It’s sad that I had such a bad PT experience overall. I went into it willing to try do everything they asked me, but by the end of 4 weeks I lost that desire. I hung in there another month until I was discharged, but I wasn’t as compliant.
Sorry your experience was so bad. If you are uncomfortable in the water it is not as likely to benefit you. I am surprised they sent you to the pool if you don’t like it, I have always had to request it. Where I go the maximum number in the pool at a time is 3 and often it’s 1 or 2. The water is warm, and my favorite part is at the end she always has me go hang with a noodle doing nothing which decompresses my back. Also since I’m overweight it makes me lighter. I did a lot of PT in the pool presurgery which also may have helped me feel more comfortable with it. Or it could just be that something in my brain left over from childhood associates a pool with fun even when I’m there to work.
Or it could just be that something in my brain left over from childhood associates a pool with fun even when I’m there to work
Could be!
Love this. :wink:
Well I went to my aquatic PT today, maybe overdid by a hair but not too much. I was pretty sore for a few hours this afternoon but already feeling OK this evening. So I think it went well. Also I really did enjoy the warm water and got a little massage at the end from the PT.

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