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[TKR] My journey to recovery<

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by dogwalker2, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. dogwalker2

    dogwalker2 member
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    @Rather, many thanks it is always good to know success stories. Am going on to Oct stuff after I finish this tube.
    @Celle, I have just looked out some rather elderly Mycin powder and plan to do exactly as you have mentioned.
    Onward and upward, hope everyone here has a good weekend.
     
  2. Benay

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    Good luck with the toes, you have a fun weekend too!
     
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  3. dogwalker2

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    Hi all. I am currently sleeping with leg raised on just one long pillow that goes from thigh to toes. It is comfy and I sleep well. However on waking when I remove the pillow and put my leg flat on the bed, I have a real +20 at least extension.

    Am thinking that maybe I should lose the night pillow and just have my leg flat. However when I do that I get pain behind my knee, on my knee, down the outside of my foot and my ankle!! After a while my leg looks a lot straighter and the pain subsides a fair bit.

    Does this mean that I am hindering my extension by using my night pillow? Should I persevere without it and work through it?? I can lay on my operated side but I seem to always have a slight knee bend if I sleep like that. I think my flexion is ok (I would guess about 100 now) but extension always starts at +20 at least but can get to +5 with time and patience. However moving from extension to flexion and vice versa is painful.
     
  4. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    It’s only been about a month since your surgery, extension will return as the swelling goes down and as you heal. For many of us it takes months. Walking will help it (but not excess walking) and if you can, try taking a longer step when you walk, as that will help stretch things in the back of your leg. Just be careful if you take longer steps. I was never able to comfortably do that, so I just walked normally.

    I think you should sleep in any position that is comfortable and don’t worry so much about your ROM (flex and extension) It will all return in good time, when it’s ready.
     
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  5. skigirl

    skigirl FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I always slept as best I could, if the night pillow gives you a night's sleep, then that is worth something right there. I had some trouble with extension on my right knee myself and it was almost three months before I was at normal extension. It took some work on my part, but never pain. I would lie on my stomach and let my right leg dangle off the end of the bed---at first for one minute, but eventually for five minutes. I think that you will be fine and it is too early to over worry!!
     
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  6. Benay

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    @dogwalker2 It's early days yet, I'm glad you're sleeping - I think that's key to recovery.
     
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  7. lisabl

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    You're sleeping in a bed!!! I'm still sleeping in recliner with pillows under legs to raise the toes higher. I get 4hrs then 2hrs then sometimes 1hr with up to half hour between each sleep and would love to get back to proper bed.
     
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  8. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I always slept in my bed, from the first night home from the hospital, on my back with my leg on my elevating wedge. However, I do have an adjustable bed, but I only raised the head up a little bit, to take the pressure off my lower back. Recliners have never been, and still aren’t, a good angle for my particular back.
     
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  9. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I agree that you need your sleep and to get it the best way you can. Sleep aids in your healing. Your extension will come as you heal and your swelling goes down. Even if you don't see swelling outside, there's still lots of it inside your knee.
     
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  10. dogwalker2

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    Thanks ladies. That all makes good sense, I will stick with my comfy pillow as my sleep is quite good now, normally 12 midnight thro 7am. Swelling has really reduced and am able to do more each day. I have got a set of static pedals which are great to use and will hopefully help, but I am doing just one minute at a time, twice a day. I do find this Forum such a help, as I am a dreadful over-thinker and can get in a real panic without the voices of reason here at bonesmart.☺☺
     
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  11. Rockgirl4

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    I'm only mentioning what did/didn't work for me and why I wanted my extension back sooner rather than later...

    I'm slow to get my range of motion back after every knee surgery (11 now). Unfortunately, I tend to sleep better on my side with legs bent, or on my back with a pillow under the operative leg. However, I always woke up with less extension and walked weirdly for a good chunk of the day--to the point it messes my hips up for weeks. :cry:

    This time around, the hip pain is worse, the back spasms started sooner, and the walking was atrocious up until a week ago. I started spending 4 minutes every morning doing a prone hang, where I lay on my stomach and let my knees hang off the end of the bed or table, improving my extension slowly with no weights, only gravity. Many PTs have people do this with weights to get their extension back sooner, but too long of a prone hang and using weights can cause the hamstrings to spasm in distress... causing guarding and LESS extension. The way I'm doing it makes me walk MUCH better throughout the day and never stresses the hamstrings. It actually feels VERY good.

    So even though I knew extension would come in time, my poor hip/back couldn't wait on nature to take its course. :) Do what you need to do for you, based on where you're at in recovery.
     
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  12. dogwalker2

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    I will have a go at that exercise. It's not on my PT list but sounds interesting. I have been doing the one where you sit on a chair, put you feet up on another chair and let gravity do its thing. Can only manage 2 mins before it gets painful though, but it does feel a bit freer afterwards. It's the transitions I find painful - straight to bent or bent to straight, throughout the day in general. I hope that will lessen in time.
     
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  13. Rockgirl4

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    I was thinking about that same exercise you described, as I've done it after past surgeries, but I wasn't sure how good I'd be at explaining it from scratch. :) I actually prefer laying on my stomach as it's much less painful to me. I also hated the transitions from walking to bending and reverse until I started my anti-inflammatory at 4 wks. That helped me breeze through a week where the transition became almost unnoticeable. It was still a huge issue at 4 wks though, so maybe, just maybe, you're about to turn a corner.
     
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  14. dogwalker2

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    Hello all, I have been off my anti inflammatories for a 2 days now, and have definitely got more pain, in fact I did not sleep well last because of that. I am currently just taking 4×1000mg paracetamol a day. Would this be considered normal for 5+ weeks?
    @Rockgirl4, are you just taking anti inflammatories or are you on other pain meds too?
     
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  15. newpartial

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    I am 5 weeks on paracetamol as well but keeping up with the naproxin plus a couple of tramadol at night. Did try not taking the tramadol but did not sleep so will keep with that a a couple of weeks yet .
     
  16. Rockgirl4

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    @dogwalker2 Keep in mind I'm already past the 7 wk mark-----I'm just taking the Arthrotec (anti-inflammatory), but maybe every 2-3 nights I need an oxycodone or hydrocodone for sleeping. I have to take it until the end of week 8 and am calling tomorrow to see if I should refill,as I don't see him until the end of week 9 post-op.

    This Artotec is powerful stuff though. It allowed me to cut my narcotic pain meds in half after 2 days of taking it, and I weaned off within 2 wks---which is saying a lot considring how much I was taking. I saw a massive improvement in pain/stiffness over night with just 2 doses. :wow: It specifically says in the medical sheet that it's for joint stiffness though, and my surgeon doesn't just prescribe it to anyone---only "sluggish" patients like me who are still super inflamed/swollen at 4 weeks and having trouble with range of motion.

    Strangely enough, I had a stomach bug over the weekend and everything went straight through me for 2 days. My pain increased and sleep was more troublesome, and I'm sure it's because I barely absorbed those 4 doses over the 2 days. Once my stomach went back to normal, the pain lessened again and sleep improved. I'm almost afraid to STOP taking it, if you know what I mean---I'm afraid I'll stiffen up again. :umm:

    Back at week 5 though, I was STILL taking oxycodone at least 3 times a day and ALWAYS before bed. I was down to 1 oxycodone 5 every 6-7 hrs if remembering correctly. I was then down to only 1 pill at night-time at the 6 wk mark so I could drive short distances.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  17. dogwalker2

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    Hi all. I have gone back to having 3×200mg ibuprofen (9am, 2pm, 9pm) as well as my 4×1000mg paracetamol. Knee has settled down again. Moral of the story, don't try too hard to lose the pain meds.
     
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  18. dogwalker2

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    Good news as well though, going up and downstairs has got really easy now, feels almost normal
     
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  19. Benay

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    That's fabulous, I still have to be very mindful how I go about it.
     
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  20. dogwalker2

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    Got my first formal PT session tomorrow and I really want to get my ROM numbers. I think my knee is bending quite well tho it is really stiff and painful sometimes. Extension is a bit hit and miss, usually starts at more than +10 but gets to about +5 if i sit there for a while. Hoping to sleep better tonight as I only managed 2 hrs last night as my hypersensitive area to the medial side of my patella was driving me mad along with a nasty ache/pain in my ankle and top of foot, don't know why they should be hurting!!
    Also, my skin is flaking off over the whole numb area on the lateral side of my knee and on the medial side where it is hyper sensitive. I moisturise loads but it still keeps doing it, any ideas why???
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019

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