TKR My long, long recovery??

Galemm

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After following this website for several months I finally decided to write about my plight.
I’ve had knee pain for about 10 years. Last summer whilst walking in the woods I developed an intense pain behind my knee, on the outside. I went to see an orthopedist who told me I had bone on bone in both knees. He thought the pain behind my left knee was due to the bad shape of the knee and recommended tkr. He gave me a cortisone shot which took away the pain for about 6 weeks. The pain returned, it affected my life. I couldn’t ride my bike, play tennis or Pickleball or walk more than 1/2 mile without severe pain and I lost most of my ability to bend my knee.

I had a total knee replacement on November 17, 2021. I went to pt for 3 months, 3x a week. I did all the exercises given to me 3xs a day for months, I did squats, bike riding, leg lifts, ankle slides, bends, stairs, etc. although my leg has most of its strength back, my knee is a mess. I still have severe tightness, sporadic swelling, irritation, and limited ROM. My knee often feels warm on the inside as well as outside and I sometimes have a sensation of liquid running down my leg. My surgeon suggested metal sensitivity at 3 months but I didn’t think it possible. Now at 7 months, I’ve had a blood test for metal sensitivity, and apparently, I have that.

That’s where I am at today, awaiting a call back from a different surgeon who specializes in knee revisions. I’m feeling depressed and discouraged at this point. Looking for any advice, especially from someone who has experienced similar symptoms.
 

sistersinhim

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I am sorry to read about your metal sensitivity. You need to find a surgeon who specializes in revisions. There are implants that have no metal in them that can be used.

Your knee is a little less than 7 months old so it's only 1/2 of the way through this yearlong recovery. It's possible, that with less activity and more rest, your pain and swelling will diminish some. Why not give it a try for a few months?
 

Jockette

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I had a total knee replacement on November 17, 2021. I went to pt for 3 months, 3x a week. I did all the exercises given to me 3xs a day for months, I did squats, bike riding, leg lifts, ankle slides, bends, stairs, etc. although my leg has most of its strength back, my knee is a mess. I still have severe tightness, sporadic swelling, irritation, and limited ROM.
Hi and Welcome!

It sounds to me like you had a PT that gave you way more things to do before your knee was healed enough to do. That works ok for some of us, but not for most of us. I agree with sistersinhim, if you are still doing any of those I would suggest stopping for a while and just do your daily activities, rest more, ice and elevate and allow your knee to heal.

This recovery does take an average of a full year, so you still have more healing to do. Having a metal allergy can complicate the recovery, while you still have the implant that you are sensitive to, so until that is taken care of, go easy and be kind to your knee.

I know it’s been a while but I will leave you our Recovery Guidelines. Each article is short but very informative. Following these guidelines will help you have a less painful recovery. Especially read the articles about PT. If/when you have a revision, I hope you will seriously consider these guidelines.

Just keep in mind all people are different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for you.“ Your doctors, PTs and BoneSmart are available to help, but you are the final judge as to the recovery approach you choose.

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. At week 4 and after you should 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.
 

Ascotgirl

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I am a year post op on July 1st 2022. I had manipulation at 7 months post op. I to had the water sensation on my leg. Maybe you have a bakers cyst?? I was in despair at the length of my recovery and the very slow progress. If you can try and hang in there. I feel that I have made progress in the last 8 weeks. I’m waiting to have my right knee replaced but don’t feel my operated knee is good enough at the moment. However I’m ruling out revision as I think my knee is probably good enough!! Good luck with your ongoing recovery
 

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