MUA My new left knee-has Athrofibrosis, what now?

I had my ltkr on January 3, 2023. I found this forum a couple weeks prior and have been reading, but not posting until today. I thought I had done enough research to have the knowledge to get through my recovery with little to no problem. Boy, was I fooling myself. at 4 weeks, 2 days I still find that spending even small amounts of time on my feet cause my knee to swell up. I am spending most of my days icing and elevating still. My surgeon is a 2-3 hr car ride away and my 2 week follow up was a miserable affair that took 3-4 days to recover from. I have my next appointment in 2 weeks and was wondering if anyone had advice for minimizing the agony of the car ride? I rode in the back seat last time with ice pack and leg elevated best I could. I was so stiff and sore I could barely move at my dr visit. Hoping maybe just being further along will be helpful. Any other super-swellers out there? How many more weeks of constant battle over swelling can I expect? BTW I am still using a walker, trying to switch to a cane the last couple of days, but don’t trust that new knee to hold me up yet.
I had a simultaneous bilateral TKR and came home 26 pounds heavier than I went into the hospital. I’m finally down to the last of the major swelling, but boy was I up at night every hour on the hour when it started to go down. It was about a week and a half after surgery but it is different for everyone. I had a wedge pillow and was sleeping in a recliner and still putting another pillow on top of the pillow to make sure that my knees were way higher than heart level not a comfortable way to sleep, but it was fairly effective for getting the ball rolling on the swelling reduction Hang in there!
 
I am walking 2500-3000 steps a day and exhausted by end of the day.
That fatigue is absolutely normal! Your body is still using much of its energy stores to heal from the surgery. I was still taking midday naps at your stage.

I found this article helpful in understanding why. You need to scroll down to the second post in this link:

 
Yes, break up with him. Or at least postpone any more pt. He's wrong.
Just do your walking and ADLs for awhile. Keep icing and elevating. Your ROM will get better for sure. If PTs didn't use the threats they wouldn't be in business. I really think they're taught that in PT school. Its funny...when I went to PT for my shoulder replacement I dont remember any of the scar tissue threats. Or any threats. Maybe it's a knee thing:shrug:
I've had 2 PT appts. My post op check up is 2/21. I'm going to stop PT after the check up.
 
when I went to PT for my shoulder replacement I dont remember any of the scar tissue threats. Or any threats.
I had rotator cuff repair in 2013 and was immobilized for 6 weeks to heal before any PT. I do remember that rehab to be painful and grueling, but that shoulder and become stiff from non use so it made sense that rehab would be miserable. I remember hating my therapist at the time. He was ok with it too.:heehee: But I had no swelling holding me back either.
I am liking the new setting of getting out, doing some exercising, and seeing others in various stages of recovery. I’m just not sure we are going to see eye to eye on why I’m not getting a good bend. I only spend about 5 minutes with him at the end of the session. The exercises are reasonable for now. Going to see how I feel over the weekend. As long as I’m not going backwards I’m going to see what the (new) PA says at my clinic visit next week. I only have 3 more sessions approved right now anyway and it took like 2-3 weeks to get the last approval, so if I switch there will be a break in PT anyway.
Hoping to take a short drive this weekend and go to target for a short shopping trip with my daughter. Fingers crossed, it will feel good to get some independence back. Hubs goes back to work on Monday.
 
Rotator cuff surgery is a longer, more painful recovery than shoulder replacement. I went to PT at maybe 3 weeks post op. Have to go back and read my recovery thread, but I'm pretty sure it was around then.
My shoulder recovery was nothing compared to the knee. Not much pain. That PT was much needed to get the ROM if I wanted to lift my arm over my head.
I was lucky. I had an "impressive" bone spur. Doc ordered MRI to make sure it hadn't shredded anything. No shredding!
My hubs also goes back to work Monday after having surgery 10 days ago. Just 2days/week.
 
I am walking 2500-3000 steps a day and exhausted by end of the day. Am I being a wimp?
This is the best kind of PT!
it took like 2-3 weeks to get the last approval, so if I switch there will be a break in PT anyway.
I bet you'll find you improve more without adding PT to your already daily home ADL! (activities of daily living)
 
Girl, break up with him!
You’re out there healing more and more each day and you don’t need that negativity. Surround yourself with people who cheer you on and support you, not the ones who blame and shame you. You should be proud of how great you’re doing!!
 
I am walking 2500-3000 steps a day and exhausted by end of the day. Am I being a wimp?
Absolutely not. I've not done over 2500 steps yet in a single day yet (five weeks out) with ADLs and PT twice a week! I like my PT and push myself as needed, but it's about recovery and healing - not prep for the Olympics.
 
Went to Target for an outing today with my daughter. I decided not to drive, to keep from too much on my first trip. I grabbed a cart in the parking lot and made the loop thru the pharmacy section at the front of the store. My daughter worried I’d wipe out before we finished so I switched to a mobility scooter. I was able to shop for about an hour, get some valentines for the grandkids and it felt good just to get out and do something “normal“. I was pretty wiped out when we finished so I came home to I&E. The adventure was good for me mentally, but clear to me I’m not ready to grocery shop or go out by myself just yet. I may try driving tomorrow, going to see how I feel about it then. Hope everyone is having a good day today!
 
I am so ready to shop! In my mind.
The knee tells me differently. Mostly I want to do my own grocery shopping.
I hope your knee feels ok today. Driving short distances is awesome! You're doing really well!
 
Yay! Good for you! Those first outings, even though tiring feel awesome. beachy mentioned grocery shopping above and I recall that at my one month post op point of recovery that I gained a new appreciation for that very task that I normally had an aversion to. Having the ability to leisurely stroll through the store as opposed to hurriedly grabbing only what I needed as I leaned heavily on the cart made such a difference! Good luck with hitting the road again and enjoy the feeling of independence it brings. :driver:
@Cinders2023
 
I feel pretty good today considering my outing yesterday. I went for a 15-20 minute drive to test it out. I drove to go get something to eat, changed places with hubs and rode passenger on the way home. I just wanted to know I can do it. I think I’m going to hold off on the grocery store until next weekend. Going to make that first grocery run a shorter trip than my last shopping outing so I don’t overdo it. Finally in the last couple of days I’m starting to see and feel improvement. A glimmer of hope that I’m not going to be swelling up forever. I didn’t need to ice today until after lunch! :happydance:
 
Yes, driving!!! I'm so jealous LOL
Its going to be awhile before I'm ready. Rightie is a whole different game than leftie.
 
I am 6 weeks yesterday! Having my 6 week check tomorrow. I am still composing my list of questions for the PA. I have given up my walker during the day and only use it getting up in the morning and taking it to bed at night so it’s there when I get up. Walking with a cane is exhausting. I am pretty pooped by the end of the day still averaging only 2500 steps, and I have developed a callus on my right hand from the cane.:unsure:
I still have a pretty big limp, although I don’t think it’s the same limp I had pre surgery. I have pain in my left hip and right foot. Pretty sure the foot pain is from keeping my weight shifted to my right side. I am really trying to think about each step I take to be mindful of how I am stepping and where I am stepping. I am still concerned about falling. Here’s to hoping the next 6 weeks go faster than the last 6 have! :thumb:
 
I am pretty pooped by the end of the day still averaging only 2500 steps
Fatigue like you describe is completely normal at just six weeks post-op. Your body is still using a lot of its daily stores of energy for healing. Take a look at this post (scroll down to the second one), for an explanation:
I still have a pretty big limp, although I don’t think it’s the same limp I had pre surgery. I have pain in my left hip and right foot.
This is also normal. As our knees get bad over time, we tend to favoring the painful area, causing our bodies to twist out of alignment. Now that the knee is repaired, all those muscles and soft tissues need to adjust to the body's new alignment. It takes time, but it does get better!
 
@benne68 that’s a great visual explanation. Come on 3 month mark!
@beachy thanks! Your 6 week is coming right behind me! a week from today, right? I have started setting weekly goals now that I can finally see improvements. Man those first 4 weeks were straight up brutal. At least now I have crummy moments or a crummy day, but not a crummy existence.:good-bad:
 
Crummy! Excellent description! So is brutal.
You're correct. Yesterday was 5 weeks post op.
I think I saw the biggest improvement around the 3-4 month mark last time. But, it gradually gets better if we stay out of ODIC.
 
I have developed a callus on my right hand from the cane.
So did I. I got a friend to buy one of those pipe insulators that you slip around the pipe to help keep it from freezing. I cut it off to size and put it around the handle of the cane. It helped tremendously. You can give it a try. I think it'll be worth it.
 

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