Lounge Doctor

TKR My post-op recovery...

pawprint1125

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Hi folks,

So I had a terrible time getting my TKR approved by my insurance company. I posted about the first time - surgery canceled the night before the surgery. They insisted that I do PT, so I jumped through that hoop. We scheduled another surgery for November 30th and, once again, I waited and waited for approval.

This time, it was approved at 9 am for a 1 pm surgery time. Yikers!

Since I was rather crushed the first time the surgery didn't happen, I didn't allow myself to be that invested, which also had me a little less prepared for surgery this go-round.

There were no complications in surgery, but yes, I'm in a lot of pain. Last night, I had a fever of almost 101, so I called the doctor's office. I probably overdid it yesterday. I don't have to tell you though - even doing the most routine things hurt so badly. And sometimes ANTICIPATING pain is worse than the pain itself, even when you are raising your leg an inch.

I've had other surgeries but it seems like this is like no other I've ever had. Sitting in a chair, comfortable, and all of a sudden, well, it's now definitely NOT comfortable. And then the reverse might happen. Am I making sense?

I find myself constantly reminding myself that my operation was a mere 65 hours ago. This is pretty amazing surgery. And thank you for listening...
 
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pawprint1125

pawprint1125

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Yeah, I had to plan as if I was having it. We decided that we were willing to GO to the hospital and THAT would be the cutoff point. My doctor has done 6000 TKRs and he told me he had never seen this before. Lucky me! Definitely on the good side of surgery...
 

Jaycey

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@pawprint1125 Welcome to the other side of surgery! Are you taking your pain medication as prescribe, around the clock. The trick at this stage is to stay ahead of the pain.

Ice, ice and more ice. It will reduce the swelling that is causing pain.

Here are your recovery guidelines:

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.
 

hawk2go

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Welcome to this side of recovery. Stay ahead of your pain, take your meds as scheduled and be patient with yourself.

Sitting in a chair, comfortable, and all of a sudden, well, it's now definitely NOT comfortable. And then the reverse might happen. Am I making sense?
Perfect sense. The time it takes to go from comfort to OUCH is seconds sometimes. I explain that it may take a while to find a comfortable position (still happens when I lie down for the night) because the one position that worked yesterday may not work today. For that reason and the serious issues with sleeping soundly, I created a knee cave in the spare room. I plan to rejoin my spouse soon because the comfort is much easier to achieve and hold now.
 

Teachfirst

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I've had other surgeries but it seems like this is like no other I've ever had. Sitting in a chair, comfortable, and all of a sudden, well, it's now definitely NOT comfortable. And then the reverse might happen. Am I making sense?
Yes! I can get comfortable with my leg straight and all of a sudden it needs to bend and I mean that instant... or vice versa.

I'm in week 2, so just a few days ahead of you. The first week was rough! Lots of discomfort and pain. Week 2 has seen much improvement! No more walker and I plan to start weaning off daytime pain meds. I get around easily and can do a few more daily activities with little to no pain. Hang in there...it definitely gets better!
 

CyclistTampa

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Hi folks,

I've had other surgeries but it seems like this is like no other I've ever had. Sitting in a chair, comfortable, and all of a sudden, well, it's now definitely NOT comfortable. And then the reverse might happen. Am I making sense?

I find myself constantly reminding myself that my operation was a mere 65 hours ago. This is pretty amazing surgery. And thank you for listening...
Hang in there! This is a process… no matter if in great physical shape as an athlete or obese and not to great shape! Ice, ice and elevate! Take those pain pills and ask for more. Good move on calling MD on elevated temp.
 

gia2cats

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What did your doctor say about the 101 temp. I know I was to call them for anything over 100.4.
Each week you will feel better. Try not to overdo. Ice and pain meds are your friends right now.
I think your insurance company was terrible with how they handled your surgery. I know I had to use the bacterial body wash for 5 days prior to surgery and well as sleeping on fresh sheets and fresh PJ’s. Pre-op instructions were very strict. They did you a disservice by keeping you in limbo.
 
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pawprint1125

pawprint1125

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What did your doctor say about the 101 temp. I know I was to call them for anything over 100.4.
Each week you will feel better. Try not to overdo. Ice and pain meds are your friends right now.
I think your insurance company was terrible with how they handled your surgery. I know I had to use the bacterial body wash for 5 days prior to surgery and well as sleeping on fresh sheets and fresh PJ’s. Pre-op instructions were very strict. They did you a disservice by keeping you in limbo.
Yes, I did EVERYTHING as if I would be having the surgery - did that anti-bacterial thing for SIX days! So I was ready in that regard - it's just the little things: not enough time to put up a load of wash or clean the floor up, or food in the house. Luckily, I have this wonderful wife...

Oh, and the fever: I was directed and called when it was over 100.5, and feeling really crappy to boot. Feeling better today, and have spent more time just chilling.
 
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pawprint1125

pawprint1125

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Hi folks,

A few days post-op and had a couple of questions:

I noticed that there are times when "doing it" myself causes a lot of pain that I can avoid if I had my wife's help. For example, in shifting from standing to a bed, swinging my leg around to the bed can be painful. If my wife picked up my leg and helped swing it around to the bed - hardly a pain issue at all.

Is it better to do it one way or another? Avoid pain or absorbing some pain for the "greater good?" Sometimes when I hurt myself, it takes several minutes to get over it, and I'm sure it adds to the swelling...

Question number 2: Before surgery, I purchased, because of comments in this group, a Lounge Doctor. In the hospital, it seems antithetical to what I was taught there, since the Lounge Doctor gives a slight angle at the knee. Opinions on it, or suggestions on how to properly elevate? I've definitely had an issue with swelling...

Thanks, as always.
 
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ski_bum

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Hi folks,

A few days post-op and had a couple of questions:

I noticed that there are times when "doing it" myself causes a lot of pain that I can avoid if I had my wife's help. For example, in shifting from standing to a bed, swinging my leg around to the bed can be painful. If my wife picked up my leg and helped swing it around to the bed - hardly a pain issue at all.

Is it better to do it one way or another? Avoid pain or absorbing some pain for the "greater good?" Sometimes when I hurt myself, it takes several minutes to get over it, and I'm sure it adds to the swelling...

Question number 2: Before surgery, I purchased, because of comments in this group, a Lounge Doctor. In the hospital, it seems antithetical to what I was taught there, since the Lounge Doctor gives a slight angle at the knee. Opinions on it, or suggestions on how to properly elevate? I've definitely had an issue with swelling...

Thanks, as always.
Pawprint1125 Use your good leg under surgery leg to lift and move. Works good.
I put a large pillow at the end of my bed to make like a Tunnel to keep the sheets of my leg. Good luck.
 

Eire1

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There is a leg lifter you can get , it looks like a flexible loop with a handle, my PT called it a dog lead- you use it to help yourself lift your leg into/out of bed and you can also use it as a helping hand doing your exercises. You use it as needed, in other words more at the beginning of your journey and less as you progress. I was the “no pain no gain” type of person and suffered for it, learn from everyone here and take it easy!
 

Jaycey

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Opinions on it, or suggestions on how to properly elevate?
A slight bend is fine. You might want to read this article again Elevation: Doing It the Right Way

You will notice that I merged your newest post with your original recovery thread. For several reasons, we prefer that you only have one recovery thread:
  • That way, we have all your information in one place. This makes it easier to go back and review your history before providing advice.
  • If you keep starting new threads, you miss the posts and advice others have left for you in the old threads, and some information may be unnecessarily repeated
  • Having only one thread will act as a diary of your progress that you can look back on.
Please post any updates, questions or concerns about your recovery here. If you prefer a different thread title, just post what you want and we will get it changed for you.

If you need an urgent response to a question, just tag a member of staff.

Many members bookmark their thread in their computer browser, so they can find it when they log on.
 

Jockette

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A slight bend to your knee is fine and will be more comfortable. The lounge doctor provides this slight bend for that reason.

 
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pawprint1125

pawprint1125

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You will notice that I merged your newest post with your original recovery thread. For several reasons, we prefer that you only have one recovery thread:
  • That way, we have all your information in one place. This makes it easier to go back and review your history before providing advice.
  • If you keep starting new threads, you miss the posts and advice others have left for you in the old threads, and some information may be unnecessarily repeated
  • Having only one thread will act as a diary of your progress that you can look back on.
Please post any updates, questions or concerns about your recovery here. If you prefer a different thread title, just post what you want and we will get it changed for you.

If you need an urgent response to a question, just tag a member of staff.

Many members bookmark their thread in their computer browser, so they can find it when they log on.

Duh! Thanks Jaycey. Yes, I knew that about merging - at least before my first Oxy! Thanks - that's a good idea...Stuart
 
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pawprint1125

pawprint1125

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Hi folks,

Just a brief update, 8 days after surgery:

Although it's been an ordeal, there has been a definite upward trend here. Had a lot of pain in my calf, so had to get an ultrasound to check for blood clots. Luckily, it was negative.

Saw the doctor yesterday, and good news. I no longer have to wear the hard cuff on the leg indoors which gives me more of a sense of normalcy. Awesome.

I had this weird side effect from SOMETHING: uncontrollable hiccups/reflux that was pretty miserable. I remembered that several years ago I had something similar while taking prednisone. My doctor prescribed gabapentin. Miracle medicine for that, and now this. Strike one thing off the list.

PT-wise, definitely making progress - I can see that. The biggest issue I am having I know is normal, but looking to alleviate it. When I am reclining - icing, sleeping, whatever - when I stand I can literally feel the blood rushing to the calf/leg area, and my entire calf is engulfed in pain that lasts for several minutes after putting pressure on the leg by standing, walking, whatever. It doesn't matter if I have been elevated for 10 minutes or several hours. It's killer pain. It hurts more than anything on my knee. Any "fixes" to recommend?

Thanks, as always, for listening.

Stuart
 

Jockette

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when I stand I can literally feel the blood rushing to the calf/leg area, and my entire calf is engulfed in pain that lasts for several minutes after putting pressure on the leg by standing, walking, whatever.
Oh yes, I remember this! It felt like liquid fire running down my leg. As with so many issues in this recovery, Time is what fixed it.
 

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