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Rick951

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@DiannesNewKnee You are just a few days ahead of me. It takes time.. There are some days I am full of energy, and need to go do something. There are other days I am very tired. This is my 2nd PKR. I learned a LOT from my first. I am still learning. Last Friday at PT, I could feel my Quadricep Tendon becoming aggravated. I told the PT, and we backed off. It took all weekend to recover. Monday's session was less aggressive. I am back on track today. You will have your ups and downs. It takes time, but in the end, 6 months from now, you will be glad you got it done.
Rick
 

Jockette

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Yes, those post op blues do flare up, I still had them here and there months down the road! And that energy drain is very true.
 

WhenImOld

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I'm still getting the occasional bouts, but they are fewer and further apart.
 
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DiannesNewKnee

DiannesNewKnee

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@Jaycey Thank you! I really needed that. I keep bursting into tears in front of my kids. Today I told them it’s normal and that I’ll be better soon.

Last night I realized that even though I’m in bed at night my quality of sleep is really bad. Lots of tossing, turning, and trying to get the knee comfortable. I’m going to schedule an afternoon rest and hopefully I’ll end up sleeping.

Thanks again!
 
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DiannesNewKnee

DiannesNewKnee

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Thanks @Jockette and @WhenImOld I was starting to feel like there was something really wrong with me. I slept in today and haven’t cried this morning so that’s progress!

I’m on my stationary bike stretching out the knee a bit. Getting close to making a full turn, so there’s a bit of progress.
 
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DiannesNewKnee

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I had a bad visit with the physicians assistant this morning. It’s my 6 week appointment and I’ve felt like I’ve been making slow but steady progress.

I use the recumbent bike to stretch my knee and I can do a full rotation now. When I go up the stairs I can put one foot in front of the other. Last week I could bend to 98 degrees and flatten to 3. I’ve been going into PT twice a week and there is always some progress with the ROM. If I concentrate I can walk without a limp and way farther. Also the pain is way more manageable.

The physicians assistant acted like I’m making horrible progress. She said I should be at 120 degrees by now and my leg should be flat when I stretch it out. She made an appointment for me in two weeks with the surgeon.

I do forget to take Tylenol which probably makes a difference in my recovery. She gave me Tramadol for pain management. I took one earlier and my knee does feel way better. I didn’t realize it was hurting so much.

I don’t know what to feel right now. Am I really that behind schedule? I don’t feel like I’m a knee replacement failure but she seemed to think I am. Any advice is welcome. Thank you!
 

Jockette

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You are not behind schedule, and you are definitely not a failure. It just astounds me how some medical professionals can have a date by which we should be at their ROM number.

Your knee doesn’t care about your medical team’s schedule. It has its own true schedule and is healing just fine and here is your proof:
I use the recumbent bike to stretch my knee and I can do a full rotation now. When I go up the stairs I can put one foot in front of the other. Last week I could bend to 98 degrees and flatten to 3. I’ve been going into PT twice a week and there is always some progress with the ROM. If I concentrate I can walk without a limp and way farther. Also the pain is way more manageable.
6 weeks is still early days in this 52 week, on average, recovery. There is no window of opportunity for ROM to improve. Mine continued to improve after my one year anniversary, and, after my second year.
 

Wolvesfan

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@DiannesNewKnee ... I’ve got a couple of comments. First, the post op blues are a real thing. For me, the emotional recovery was almost as challenging as the physical recovery. I expected to make rapid improvement, and when that didn’t happen, I was sure that either I wasn’t trying enough or there was something wrong with my new knee. I had a mini meltdown every day! One afternoon, my husband brought me a sandwich, and I burst into tears because he hadn’t cut it in half. It was crazy! But as my knee slowly improved, the blues disappeared, too. Next, I had my PKR on 3/9, and within days after my surgery, everything was locked down. I was able to see my OS for removal of the staples, and asked him if I should be worried about ROM because all PT was suspended. He told me to take it easy for a few more weeks, gradually increase my activity level, take strolls around the house, etc and not to worry; that ROM would return as my knee healed. I was able to start PT 8 weeks post op, and after 6 gentle sessions (nothing that caused any pain) my ROM was 0-127. I’m almost 5 months post op now, and while my knee will still occasionally tighten up or feel achey, overall it’s doing really well. And I really think it’s because I had time to heal and then no one who forced me to reach certain measurements. Maybe that sounds over simplified and I know everyone’s recovery is different, but I’m pretty sure you will be just fine! Hang in there, and best wishes on your recovery!
 
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DiannesNewKnee

DiannesNewKnee

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6 weeks is still early days in this 52 week, on average, recovery. There is no window of opportunity for ROM to improve. Mine continued to improve after my one year anniversary, and, after my second year.
She’s making me feel like I need to get all my ROM done in the first 3 months or my leg will be stiff for the rest of my life. It’s kind of scary. I’m glad to hear that there isn’t such an urgent time limit. Enough people on this forum say that they improved after 3 months that it’s reassuring. I still have some anxiety though.

Thank you for your input!
 
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DiannesNewKnee

DiannesNewKnee

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One afternoon, my husband brought me a sandwich, and I burst into tears because he hadn’t cut it in half. It was crazy!
Awww. I get that. You made me laugh though. Both my parents have cancer and my mom is currently in hospice at home. This is just too much. I had the surgery right before the doctors stopped the cancer treatment. Recovering from the knee and coping with all this isn’t fun. I’m almost glad to do all the hard stuff at once though.

I’m really glad to hear that your ROM is so good despite starting PT at 8 weeks. That gives me hope! Thank you!
 

Jaycey

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@DiannesNewKnee do you really need that appointment in 2 weeks? If all that PA or your surgeon are going to do make silly comments about your ROM, you might want to give it a miss. Sounds like you have enough on your plate to cope with at the moment!
 

Jockette

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I agree with Jaycey. If you are not having any problems there’s no need to go back again so soon.

In my recovery I was very afraid to cancel/postpone an appointment. However, I’ve learned a lot since then, and most of my check ups were a waste of time and caused me a lot of stress. I won’t be so compliant with checks ups if I do this again.
 

sistersinhim

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The physician's assistant acted like I’m making horrible progress. She said I should be at 120 degrees by now and my leg should be flat when I stretch it out. She made an appointment for me in two weeks with the surgeon.
Oh poo on her. The majority of OSs look for 90 degrees at 6 weeks and you are ahead of that. Expecting 120 is ridiculous. Don't let her get you down. You are doing great! Also, you should cancel that appointment for 2 weeks from now. There is no reason for it. Your knee is doing just fine and why go just to be put down. I sure wouldn't go.
She’s making me feel like I need to get all my ROM done in the first 3 months or my leg will be stiff for the rest of my life. It’s kind of scary.
Nope, don't let her scare you. That statement of hers just is not so.

One of our members, Bertschb, kept a record of his ROM process. He agreed for us to post it for those of you that are afraid you're stuck. The key is to have patience! Bertschb says:

I'm 12 months out from my surgery and have some advice based on my experience:
Don't worry about your ROM Be patient - VERY patient!!!

Here is my ROM history (more or less):
1 month - 60 degrees
2 months - 80 degrees
3 months - 85 degrees
4 months - 90 degrees
5 months - 90 degrees
6 months - 110 degrees
7 months - 120 degrees
8 months - 125 degrees
9 months - 130 degrees
10 months - 135 degrees
11 months - 140 degrees
12 months - 140 degrees

I spent waaaaay too much time worrying about ROM. I thought I'd be riding my bike a couple months after surgery but it took SIX months! Looking back on my surgery, if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have worried about ROM.

This is what another one of our members wrote about the slow development of her ROM. (Thank you, @Campervan ) As you can see, her flexion continued to improve for a long time.

"I had a slow recovery. Here are my flex measurements at various points:
92 - 8 weeks post op
105 - 10 weeks
107 - 5 months
110 - 6 months
112 - 7 months
116 - 9 months
119 - 11 months
118 - 1 yr
120 - 1yr 2 months
125 - 1 yr 8 months
128 – 6 years "
 

Wolvesfan

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@DiannesNewKnee ... I’m so sorry about your parents. Be gentle with yourself and let those overwhelming emotions out at times. A good cry can be cathartic. I’ll be thinking about you and sending virtual support!
 
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DiannesNewKnee

DiannesNewKnee

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do you really need that appointment in 2 weeks?
I might cancel it. This is the doctor instead of the assistant though. I’m kind of nervous to cancel this one. You’re right though,

I went to PT today and gained 5 degrees more ROM, and mostly I’ve just been getting stuff done around my parent’s house. My PT doesn’t seem worried so I’m going to try not to also.

In my recovery I was very afraid to cancel/postpone an appointment. However, I’ve learned a lot since then, and most of my check ups were a waste of time and caused me a lot of stress.
This makes me feel better. The appointments sure do cause a ton of stress.

I'm 12 months out from my surgery and have some advice based on my experience:
Don't worry about your ROM Be patient - VERY patient!!!
Seeing the ROM progress of other people really really really helps. Thank you!

A good cry can be cathartic. I’ll be thinking about you and sending virtual support!
Thank you so much. This is so difficult and the knee doesn’t help.
 

Jockette

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Seeing the ROM progress of other people really really really helps. Thank you!
Here’s another great example:


This is what @TortiTabby experienced. (Just so you know, ADL means Activities of Daily Living, which means just go about the normal things you do in the course of your day, and not doing a “list of exercises.”)
Just an update for those who are apprehensive about gaining ROM:
It has now been 26 weeks and all I do is ADL and this is what my ROM has done:
3.5 wks: 75
6 wks: 85
7 wks: 90
10.5 wks: 95
14 wks: 100
17 wks: 105
20 weeks: 110
26 weeks (where I am today): 120!!!
I did it! My goal of 120! No "pushing through pain", no PT after the first 3 visits, and most importantly to me: No MUA! My surgeon who said I would never get beyond 85 ROM without pushing through pain was wrong, wrong, wrong. I'm excited to see if it gets even better. :happydance:
 

LynetteCly

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]

One of our members, Bertschb, kept a record of his ROM process. He agreed for us to post it for those of you that are afraid you're stuck. The key is to have patience! Bertschb says:

I'm 12 months out from my surgery and have some advice based on my experience:
Don't worry about your ROM Be patient - VERY patient!!!

Here is my ROM history (more or less):
1 month - 60 degrees
2 months - 80 degrees
3 months - 85 degrees
4 months - 90 degrees
5 months - 90 degrees
6 months - 110 degrees
7 months - 120 degrees
8 months - 125 degrees
9 months - 130 degrees
10 months - 135 degrees
11 months - 140 degrees
Wow, is that helpful. Thank you so much sistersinhim.

I just cancelled PT for the day because I woke up with more pain than I’ve had in a while. Just did two hours of CPM at 88 degrees and was feeling like a failure until I read this.

And DianesNewKnee, I was feeling very weepy a week ago and something whispered in my ear, “remember that pain meds make you depressed.”
I was grateful for the reminder, because it’s true for me. It’s helped a lot to recognize that there can be other reasons for the sadness and it’s not going to be permanent.
 
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DiannesNewKnee

DiannesNewKnee

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I just wanted to give an update about my appointment with the doctor. I thought about rescheduling the appointment for later but I was too nervous not to go, because his assistant acted like my knee was a mess.

The surgeon looked everything over and checked my mobility. I’m at 2 extension and I can bend it to 110 degrees. I do go to physical therapy still and I’m making slow but steady progress.

After the doctor looked everything over he said, “Get out of here. You’re doing fine!”

I’m feeling very relieved! I do feel like I’m doing fine but having the doctor say that reassured me a bit.

And I’m slowly increasing my activity level. I miss the gym but I’m starting to believe that after my knee heals, I will be able to do more activity than before.

To those of you that have recently had knee surgery, it will get better! I honestly didn’t believe that at first but I think I tuned the corner.
 

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