TKR Muldoh’s TKR journey!

Muldoh

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Hello to the TKR community! I am so glad I found you as I need some confirmation and reinforcement for this Recovery process. I had my Right knee total replacement 10 days ago, and seem to be having some struggles. The first is that I haven’t done well with pain meds. The nausea and craziness were really bringing me down and at this point I’m on a combination of Advil and Tylenol rotating through the day. Needless to say, the pain is still very much a factor. I’m also feeling really wiped out, and sometimes feverish and overall yucky although when I take my temp my fever is actually normal. My range of motion is not bad, probably 90° at this point, so I’m not concerned about that. But I almost feel worse today than I did the last two days. Is it normal to be up and down like this? I worry about infection, even tho the scar looks ok. I guess I just need to hear that I’m where I should be at this point, and any tips you have for getting through as the days and nights seem very very long!
 

Celle

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Hello @Muldoh - and :welome:
I'm glad you found us.

I can reassure you that the feeling of going up and down is very normal. This recovery is like a roller coaster, with lots of ups and downs,. Sometimes it seems like 2 steps forward and one step back. It's along recovery, so you'll need lots of patience.

Don't worry about Range of Motion (ROM) yet - both flexion and extension can continue to improve for at least a year and, no matter what anyone tells you, there are no deadlines you have to meet.
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR

What's important right now is to treat your knee gently, with lots of rest, ice and elevation, so it can start to heal. As it heals and your swelling goes down, your ROM will gradually increase.

Please will you tell us the full date of your knee replacement and which knee it is, so we can make a signature for you? Knowing the exact date will help us to advise you appropriately in the future.
Thank you
.:flwrysmile:

Here are our guidelines, to help you recover:
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!)​

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. Try to 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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Muldoh

Muldoh

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Hi, thank you so much for the advice and articles. I will start reading. Since you asked, my surgery was 6/30/20 and it was a total replacement of my right knee.
 

Rick951

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@Muldoh I am 1 day ahead of you with my 2nd PKR. I am slightly surprised that you don't have anything stronger for pain.. I am just using Tylenol and Tramadol but no narcotics. I am however using a lot of ice!!! As for the worn out feeling, that is normal. your body is using all of your energy to heal.
It get better, just seems like it takes forever....
Rick
 

Celle

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PS: @Muldoh - I intended to tell you about pain medication as as well. If nausea is your main problem with the prescribed narcotics, do let your surgeon know, because it's possible to have something prescribed to prevent the nausea. If your surgeon is unhelpful (most are helpful, but a few are not), contact your own doctor for help.

Thank you for your surgery date. I've done your signature.
 
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Muldoh

Muldoh

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Thank you Rick, it helps so much to hear from those who have gone through this. They did prescribe Tramadol for me as well, but I did not have a great reaction the first time I took it.. nauseous, dizzy, and very weak, so I’m kind of afraid to try again. I also have Tylenol with codeine but that didn’t seem to help much so they gave me the go ahead for Advil which helps a bit. But after a day like today, I may go back and try again. Wishing you well with this second recovery!
 
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Muldoh

Muldoh

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Thank you Celle, I do have Zofram but just hated the thought of adding another med since I was having so much trouble with the Side effects of the Tramadol and Tylenol with codeine
 

Rick951

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@Muldoh As you will come to find out. Ice is one of the best pain management weapons you have in your arsenal. The only bad side effect is possible frostbite... If you keep a cloth between your skin and the cold source, You should be fine. For this recovery, I have a Game Ready Ice/compression device. I have gone through over 300 lbs. of ice so far. My cooler is on the back porch, and it is rather hot in NC this time of the year. I suspect I have had 150 lbs. melt and never get used.
I have had the cold wrap on my knee for about 20 hours a day. The device cools for 30 on, and is off for 30 and so on. It is a big help with pain and swelling.
Rick
 

sistersinhim

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I agree with Rick. I had two ice machines, though not the Game Ready. I set up one in my bedroom and one at my recliner. I would leave the one in the room I wasn't in cut off and the ice would not melt much. Since I was back and forth between both rooms for at least a month, I had an ice machine ready and waiting for me. I iced the whole time I was sitting or laying down, always with a cloth between the baffle and my knee. This ice kept the pain and swelling down and required fewer pain meds.
 
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Muldoh

Muldoh

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Thank you both for the tips! I have been icing, but not probably as much as I should. I will step it up, and hopefully this will help with the pain as well. A friend had lent me her Aircast cryo-cuff and that seems to be working OK. Are there other ice options that you think may be better? I know you mentioned one Rick, and as I looked it up it seems very expensive to purchase. Do you know if there are rental options for these machines?
 

Rick951

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@Muldoh I am renting the one I have. I think they are 2K or more to purchase. Very expensive door stop when you are done with it.... Breg makes several different ones. your OS may need to write a prescription for one.
Rick
 
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Muldoh

Muldoh

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Thanks! I see him on Wed so I will check. Hope you are doing well
 

pdlinda

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@Muldoh
I had my right knee replaced on oct. 9, 2019 and had an unremarkable recovery except, like you, the nausea from the oxycodone almost defeated me. They gave me zofran and it made things worse!
Finally, they gave me a combo of tramadol and Tylenol and that was better.
i lost about a week of recovery time, maybe more, because of the debilitating nausea.
After that resolved my recovery was very smooth and my new knee is doing beautifully as I pass the 9 month mark.
 
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Muldoh

Muldoh

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@pdlinda
Thank you for the encouragement! I was given Tramadol as well, but my body didn’t like that one either. But I’m hanging in there with the ibuprofen and acetaminophen rotation. And as others encouraged, the ice on a regular basis really is helping distract from the pain. So good to hear at nine months out that you are doing so well. I appreciate you sending that along :)
 

pdlinda

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I also took the advice from the experts on here not to drive myself too hard with the PT i received after surgery.

I left the out-patient facility assigned to me as they were handling that new knee too harshly and I left a session with more pain than I had going in.

I still do the stretching/strength building exercises at my own pace and have been rewarded with a “no-pain” experience. I also iced and elevated for months.

Once the awful nausea resolved it was really smooth sailing!
 
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Muldoh

Muldoh

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Hi everyone! So today I am two weeks postop and I guess I’m doing a bit better, although I cross my fingers as I say that because I know from reading other blogs that it is going to be up and down. At least I’m not as weepy as I was before, so I guess that’s a good thing. Pain is still a large part of my day, and still using ibuprofen and Tylenol for control. But thanks to all the expert advice I’ve gotten here, I’ve been icing lots more and elevating, and that seems to help! But the nights seem to be the worst, as I just can’t get comfortable in any position. I have always been a side sleeper, so now I am sleeping on the good leg with the replacement on top and a pillow between my legs. But I wake up so sore and stiff every hour and just have to sit up for a while to get rid of pain. I don’t do well on my back, especially since they told me I can’t have pillows under my knees. Any advice on the best sleeping positions and how you brave warriors have handled those long nights??
 

Jockette

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I don’t do well on my back, especially since they told me I can’t have pillows under my knees.
In the first weeks it’s just really hard to comfortable because your leg is so upset, but it does get better.

There are good and bad ways to put pillows under your knees, but they don’t tell you that. I was also a side sleeper but I did get comfortable on my back, but only when my legs were elevated on my elevating wedge.

Check out the photos in this article:

 
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Muldoh

Muldoh

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@Jockette
Thank you so much! This article was very beneficial and made me think that at times I have not been elevating properly. Is the cushion shown available for purchase somewhere, and if so, do you recommend purchasing it?
 

Jockette

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It’s called the Lounge Doctor and you can buy it on Amazon. Click on the article below, then scroll down to find it. If you click on the picture, it will take you to Amazon. By buying it through this link, Bonesmart will get a small automatic donation from Amazon.
 

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