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TKR Muldoh’s TKR journey!

leejaa

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Slow steady progress is great. You are progressing as you note since you are comparing weeks instead of days. As we get further along in recovery you do need a longer time span to note any changes.

Your swelling is due to being up on your feet more as you get more active and have more energy. It is your knee telling you to do things in smaller time increments and rest/elevate and ice in between bouts of activities. The knee is not ready as yet and wants to do more healing. Sometimes it is hard to rest more as we get excited at not being as exhausted or in pain and want to keep going. Luckily our knees and body are smarter than our wishes.

You were smart to take the 12 weeks for recovery and maybe you can return work in a phased approach and not immediately to full time. Something to consider when the times is closer. Have a peaceful evening.
 
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Muldoh

Muldoh

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Thanks for you comment @sistersinhim. I really do appreciate your expertise and reinforcement!

And thank you too @leejaa! Patience has never been one of my strong points, lol. And with not doing formal PT, I’m anxious to keep up with these ADLs and make sure I’m moving enough. Finding the balance is definitely a challenge! As for a return to work, I probably won’t have the option for a phased approach. I work at a hospital, and although I’m not doing floor nursing, I usually am running around a lot in my job as a health educator. But due to Covid, many of my activities which require being on my feet and teaching classes all day are curtailed. So I probably will be doing screening for patients and visitors as they come to the hospital. I’m thinking that will be less strenuous than my regular job, so hoping it all works out. And I’ve been very lucky to get these 12 weeks!
 

leejaa

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I also worked in a hospital before my retirement (not nursing) and it seems no matter which position it is hard to return in a phased way but you can always ask.
 
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Muldoh

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Hard for me to believe, but I am now 10 weeks postop! And up until yesterday, I would’ve said things were definitely improving. But these last two days seem to be a step back. I guess because I’ve been feeling better, I’ve been doing more, and that has led to increased stiffness, swelling and pain. But what probably really did it was that I actually walked on sand, not once, but twice over the weekend. Before surgery, sand was always my knee’s enemy, so I stupidly decided to test the new knee hoping that it would give me reason to rejoice. Well it didn’t. In fact, it made me sore, swollen and sad :( So I’m icing and elevating more, and hoping for the best.

Also, at two months out I was hoping that my scar would’ve been a bit prettier. It is still raised and purplely and I’m wondering if I should be doing something to help it look better. Since I had a long haul until the scab completely fell off, eight weeks, I wasn’t allowed to use creams or lotions. But now that it’s gone, I’m hoping for your expertise in what is best. I’ve heard vitamin E oil is good, and others have said it’s better to use a cream as opposed to an oil. I would love to hear what my BoneSmart buddies recommend! Also, should I be messaging the scar to help reduce scar tissue?
 

Jaycey

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I’ve heard vitamin E oil is good, and others have said it’s better to use a cream as opposed to an oil. I would love to hear what my BoneSmart buddies recommend!
Just let nature do its thing. No need for an creams or oil. And no, don't massage your scar. That will only aggravate that new knee.
 
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Muldoh

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Thanks @Jaycey! I actually did try to massage it as someone told me, kneading it and moving it back and forth, and it felt so much worse the rest of the day. So I will definitely take your advice and leave it be. Does that raised purple look eventually go away on its own? Or will that just be how mine looks based on my body’s own way of healing?
 

sistersinhim

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. I guess because I’ve been feeling better, I’ve been doing more, and that has led to increased stiffness, swelling and pain.
Yep, it's a cause and effect thing. We've all done it. We start to feel better and think that means we can add to our daily activities to quickly. Then we pay for it that night and the next few days. That's when ice comes in handy. It's a great pain reliever.
 
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Muldoh

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So today I’m posting at 10 1/2 weeks postop, basically because I’m in tears. Family and friends probably don’t understand at this point, and probably are getting tired of hearing me say I feel like ****. So of course I’ll turn to the forum where most understand the struggle! Just went to the grocery store and after an hour trip, I am swollen, stiff and sore. Also limping like I did before the surgery. I guess I thought by this time I would be feeling better, and in fact I think I was doing better last week then I am this week. With each week that goes on I am getting more discouraged since I am farther away from surgery. I’m just starting to panic and wonder if I’m going to be one of those knees that didn’t take :( So of course I’m lying here icing, elevating, and trying not to cry. Please let me know if you remember feeling this way 2 1/2 months out, or if you’re feeling this way now. I get so discouraged when I read the posts of those that are at the gym and walking miles at this stage of recovery. While I’m happy that people are doing well, it kind of just makes me feel worse than I’m not. I also haven’t had any PT as per my docs recommendations, so it’s really difficult to know if I’m where I should be. I see the OS this week for a follow up, so I guess I’ll have a better feel after that. But it’s not like I’m lying in bed all day. I’m driving, doing errands, working around the house, and cooking meals, all the ADLs, but also taking time to ice and elevate in between because with each activity I feel the knee start to swell and stiffen up. I’m also panicking because I’ll be going back to work into 2 weeks. The thought of showering, getting dressed, driving 40 minutes and working all day is really freaking me out! Although I only work three days a week, I can’t imagine getting through those days without my knee exploding. Just having a bad day I guess...
 
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Starsfan22

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Sounds just like my first knee. It was several months before I could stand to make a meal without getting extremely stiff and painful. A trip to the grocery store was miserable for literally months. By about 6 mos. I was a little better and by 8 mo. saw some real progress. It was a full yr. Before I believed I might not regret my tkr Now I'm 3 weeks into my second replacement and hoping for quicker progress, I can dream.... my advice to you is to accept that your knee may take longer than most. I too was/am jealous of those that are riding bikes or hiking by 6 wks or earlier.
Today I'm dealing with my friend constipation, with this knee nothing I do really helps. Going off the norco will so I'm working on that!
 
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Muldoh

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@Starsfan22 thanks for shaing your personal experience and advice. It’s so hard to keep the faith sometimes, and to accept the reality. But I wish you well with this second one. Comstipation was a real issue until I got off the narcotics, which I did early on, about 5 days in. Still had to resort to the heavy duty laxatives to get things back on course. Good luck!
 

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@Oh yes, I felt that way! Long story, but at almost 11 weeks post op, I delivered boxes of groceries to a food drive. I spent about three hours in my car that day, and after sitting in the same position for too long, my knee was so swollen, stiff, and sore. My sister said “is it normal to have that kind of discomfort so many weeks after surgery?” and that wasn’t what I needed to hear! But I iced, elevated, and took Tylenol and it was better the next day. I just thought that by 11 weeks...11 WEEKS...I’d be mostly healed, but nope! At six months now, I’d say I’m 80% healed, because I can do most activities without thinking about my knee (except going downstairs...ha ha). You’ll get to that point, too!
 

Jockette

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Everything you described is par for the course for many of us. Try not to get discouraged, we all thought we’d be further ahead at your stage.
 

Peaches0000

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Muldoon, it’s totally normal to literally take 2 steps forward and 4 steps backwards-I am 14 weeks out on my 2nd knee and my knees are killing me Right now and then I realized that I went to a lot of stores today and walked about 3 hours, walked up a lot of stairs just getting to my daughters front door and now we are babysitting 3 of our grandchildren for 5 hours and I wonder why it is: stiff, swollen and painful??????
I think ADL is a lot harder and more work on our knees than we realize .
 

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@Muldoh ...I hear you!!! I am 12 weeks post-op and still trying every trick in the book to relieve the pain! In fact, my husband just asked me" where are you going with that plastic wrap? ". When I told him it may be a skin sensitivity reliever that I was trying he just shook his head, but at this point, I'm trying anything!!! :hairpulling: This surgery really tests you physically, emotionally, mentally, etc. Definitely a roller coaster of emotions.....but we're in it together, folks!!! Don't ever forget that..:friends::cheers:
 
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Muldoh

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Well you have all renewed my spirit! Thank you so much for taking the time to respond as it was just what I needed to get through the day :)

@Wolvesfan I am so glad to hear that at 6 months you can do many activities without thinking of your knee! That is so encouraging and I am hoping that I will feel the same, because at this time it dominates way too many of my thoughts!

@Peaches0000 no wonder your knee is killing you!! You had quite the active day, and then running after little ones to boot! I think you are right in that we sometimes forget how much we are actually doing just with daily living. And the two steps forward, 4 steps back definitely could sum at what I am feeling today!

@Jockette you are always a voice of reason for me, and your words consistently restore my hope! For that I am thankful :)
 

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