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TKR My Journey

FourCats

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I had my RTKR on Thursday, April 22. The original plan was that I would be discharged home that day but because of severe nausea and vomiting due to the pain, I spent the night. I passed PT and OT on Friday and arrived home early afternoon. My sister :) has been with me and will be here until noon on Monday. Home health PT and nurse will be coming each day to work with me.

The first two days were terrible. This morning, however, I feel much better and stronger. I am able to get my leg up into the bed or on the ottoman without using the strap and have a much smoother gait with the walker.

I did make the tough decision to board my four kitties for a couple of weeks for safety reasons plus I don’t have to worry about them as I continue to build up my strength.

My follow up appointment with my surgeon is May 4.
 

Jaycey

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Welcome to the other side @FourCats ! Sorry you had a rocky start to this recovery. But it sounds like you are on track now. Get that icing and elevation going.

I'll post your recovery guidelines here for you:
Knee Recovery: The Guidelines
We are all different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for YOU.“ Your doctor(s), physiotherapist(s) and BoneSmart are here to help. But you have the final decision as to what approach you use.

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. At week 4 and after you should follow this Activity progression for TKRs

6. Access 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 a 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 history before providing advice.
 

Sisterpat

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Welcome, FourCats! (I have 3 so know where you’re coming from :heehee:.
sounds like you’re now doing great! I wasn’t able to lift my “log leg” for several days, so you’re ahead of the game. Blessings for a full recovery.
 

sistersinhim

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Hi ladies. I have cats, too. I was a rescuer at the time of my tkr and had 13. They sure did help me with my ADL. They were my PT and comforters.

Pets are very helpful in this recovery. Their love and care sure kept me motivated to heal. I had kitties to take care of. I had to heal so I could take care of them. I also knew I couldn't overdo or I would set myself back.
 

Sara61

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I was the opposite I had 2 dogs, initially I was terrified That they would get in the way or I would fall over them but actually they seemed to know when to keep their distance but they also knew when I needed a cuddle too, they were a great comfort to me during recovery & as Sistersinhim said, they motivate us to move and care for them.. See how you get on, but 4 weeks without your fur babies is quite long xx
Wishing you a good recovery, we are here to help motivate you at any time xx
 
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FourCats

FourCats

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Day Five: am on my own as my sister returned home yesterday. Had first visit from home health PT yesterday and she was very pleased at how well I am doing. Overall no severe pain, just occasional twinge when I forget and sit down without extending it first. Discomfort and stiffness which I alleviate with ice, rest, and acetaminophen. Faithfully doing my exercises which tire me out so I sleep pretty well through the night.
 

Sisterpat

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Wow! Sounds like you are doing great! Keep up the good work. Don’t be discouraged if some days are not as good as others! It’s usually two steps forward, one step back for a while.
 
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FourCats

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One week post-op and feeling very positive about my progress. Very little “pain”, only taking acetaminophen and icing a lot. PT visit yesterday with standing exercises added. She even worked with me to transition to using a cane (that will not be something I do alone until the leg is much less wobbly). Range of motion at 71 compared to 62 on Monday. I know the wound vac is limiting the ability to bend my knee more than I am (it will be my companion until I see the surgeon on Tuesday). The home health nurse looked at the reservoir and there has been no drainage!
 

Sisterpat

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Sounds like you are doing great! Keep up the good work, FourCats! Took me about 3 weeks to transition to the cane, so it will come.
 
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FourCats

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Continue to do well. The “great reveal” will be Tuesday morning with removal of wound vac and seeing my incision for the first time. On the way home, we’ll pick up my four girls. Cant wait to have them home! :yellowcat::yellowcat::yellowcat::yellowcat:
 

djklaugh

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@FourCats :catbutterfly::catdance: :catwindow: :kitty: Yes you need your purr-a-medics around you! They really are a great help to healing and general uplifted feelings. And I am sure they will be overjoyed to return home :)
 

Sandy11

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@FourCats,
Your recovery report is very encouraging :) . Wish you to continue recovering at the same speed. Knock wood!
Did you have a robotic surgery or conventional one?
 
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FourCats

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First post-op appointment was very positive. Staples (30) removed and incision looks very good. Continuing at home PT and next appointment with surgeon on June 1. The trip was tiring (1 hour each way) but treated ourselves to a Frappuccino as a reward! Best part is that my girls are home with me!

:catdance::catdance::catdance::catdance:
 
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FourCats

FourCats

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I’m at the two week point and am transitioning from the walker to the cane while indoors. Yesterday I worked with PT on balance and was able to do several small squats hands free! Having some muscle tension in the back of my thigh so doing some mild massaging to try and relieve the discomfort. Incision looks great and is healing well. Continue to take 1000 mg acetaminophen every eight hours which is managing the discomfort.
 

Sisterpat

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FourCats, sounds like you are doing super! Truck on!
 

FCBayern

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Yesterday I worked with PT on balance and was able to do several small squats hands free!
Be very careful to monitor yourself after doing squats @FourCats, new knees really don't like those kinds of exercise, it would have set me back for sure as early in recovery as you are.
 

kneeper

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^I agree. Even if you can do them it doesn't mean you have to do them--at least not right away.
 

Sisterpat

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Agree! I did a few mild squats after my first knee and I paid the price! Not this time around!
 

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