TKR New user -cannot get my leg to straighten

Joshkylie

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Good morning everyone, I'm so glad i found this group, I have tried to read through some threads but there are so many I just thought to throw my question into the mix.
I had knee replacement 1 month ago, no matter what i do I cannot straighten my leg. I have tried everything and still can get it to go straight.
Also had a question about the incision, obviously I'm worried that the exercise I am going is going to cause the incision to open? I have the stari-strips on it but its still concerning. any input would be greatly appreciated and will help put my over active brain to ease, I find I'm online searching this every single day ALL day along with exercising and trying to to work all the the same time, help...
Also does anyone feel guilty if they just relax for a few hours twithought moving around (not including nighttime sleep)? I feel like someone is looking over me shaking there head in discuss because I
want to take half a day off?
 

Jockette

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I had knee replacement 1 month ago, no matter what i do I cannot straighten my leg.
Hi and Welcome!

1 month is very early days in this year long, on average, recovery. Your ROM (both bend and straight) will improve as you heal, and as your swelling goes down. Try not to work too hard on it, as that can irritate those healing tissues. Straight often takes longer to regain. Relax, you have lots of time, there is no “window of opportunity!
Also had a question about the incision, obviously I'm worried that the exercise I am going is going to cause the incision to open?
I would think by now your incision has had enough healing time so that opening up will not happen, but, if your exercises are making you fear that, then they are probably too aggressive for you. Never do an exercise that causes that much pain and worry. I do remember my PT pushing my leg into more of a bend at one week post op and, like you, I thought my incision was going to explode. Several weeks later I found Bonesmart and learned that being this aggressive does more harm than good. All you need are gentle movements that give your knee mobility.
 

Jockette

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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.

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.
 
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Joshkylie

Joshkylie

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Thank you so much, you just made my day, month, year. To hear that from someone else is really relieving and helps the unwanted stress I have put myself in for the last week.
I bought 3 books, google searched everything under the sun but this response just answered everything I needed and tried to get answers to.
Being only 44 and the average age of knee replacement is over the age of 60 it starts to play with your mind, I cant tell you how many times I have heard pro-op and post-op a sentence that contained the words.... your too young........

Again thanks for you help
 

Jockette

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Also does anyone feel guilty if they just relax for a few hours twithought moving around (not including nighttime sleep)? I feel like someone is looking over me shaking there head in discuss because I
want to take half a day off?
I forgot to comment on this. Don’t look at resting as doing nothing, look at is as giving your knee the best opportunity in which to heal.

Healing is the priority, you are not in training, which is the approach too many PTs have.

Regaining our ROM is more about Time than repetitions of a list of exercises.

Time to recover.
Time for pain and swelling to settle.
Time to heal.

Our range of motion is right there all
along just waiting for that to happen so it can show itself.

In the general run of things, it doesn't need to be fought for, worked hard for or worried about. It will happen. Normal activity is the key to success.
 

hawk2go

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Also does anyone feel guilty if they just relax for a few hours without moving around (not including nighttime sleep)?
Not even a tiny bit. Even at rest, I know my body is working hard to heal the tissues and recognize these foreign objects that have been embedded in my body.

I have tried everything and still can get it to go straight.
I think straightening the leg is more of a time thing than an effort thing. I'm at 3 months and still doing extension exercises to improve my straight leg. I'm still off but can feel improvement when I walk, stand or bend over from the waist. I know with the 6yo knee, it took a lot of heel to toe walking over the course of many months to get completely straight.

Pay attention to your body and don't let anyone hurt you (not even you). It is a marathon, I'm rooting for you!
 

GiantFinnegan

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Hello @Joshkylie I just wanted you to know that you are not alone! I'm 45 and had both knees done this year. It's been a long year that feels like all I've done is recover from surgery, but I'm looking forward to a future of hiking, biking, just walking the dog without pain, etc.!

By the way, my surgeon scared me at my first post-op visit on my first knee saying I'd never get full extension. Well, I have, it just took longer than he wanted. But I've learned through both knees that they will heal on their own time, not the surgeon's, not the PT's, no one. Just do gentle stuff, go about your daily activities, but also be nice to your knee and rest, and you'll be fine.
 
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This is the people who go through the surgery can be such a support. I suffer anxiety and my mind takes over and can make what might be just something with a simple solution or answer simply massive to me and very stressful.
I have found myself in sheer panic after leaving the hospital as I just couldn't lift my operated leg up hardly.. I was crying and couldn't get a physio to speak with me for days. This is where I want to thank the support of the kind people on this site, you alleviated my panicking and I did eventually realise it was just my bodies reaction to the surgery and to rest and not worry.. I can now lie down and lift my leg up to my husband's nose when he puts on my surgical stockings!
( On me not him by the way)
My physio hurt me the other week and I never said anything at the time but having read what others have said around this subject I didn't hesitate at my last visit and told the Physio about what I went through afterwards in the hope that I wouldn't have to go through the same thing again .
Anyway thank you and take care all .
 

Cocopug

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This is the people who go through the surgery can be such a support. I suffer anxiety and my mind takes over and can make what might be just something with a simple solution or answer simply massive to me and very stressful.
I have found myself in sheer panic after leaving the hospital as I just couldn't lift my operated leg up hardly.. I was crying and couldn't get a physio to speak with me for days. This is where I want to thank the support of the kind people on this site, you alleviated my panicking and I did eventually realise it was just my bodies reaction to the surgery and to rest and not worry.. I can now lie down and lift my leg up to my husband's nose when he puts on my surgical stockings!
( On me not him by the way)
My physio hurt me the other week and I never said anything at the time but having read what others have said around this subject I didn't hesitate at my last visit and told the Physio about what I went through afterwards in the hope that I wouldn't have to go through the same thing again .
Anyway thank you and take care all .
As the people have said 4 weeks is early days.
I am 9 weeks post op tomorrow and finally seeing that my leg is much straighter than it has been. I allowed the PT to push me to start with. I stopped that because it was hurting me. Really listen to your body. The inside of your knee and leg have gone through trauma and need the time. My PT told me yesterday that she could see an improvement, I’ve just been doing my daily things and very light exercise. I’m 59 and overweight and not the fittest person on the planet and istill my recovery going really well. Patience is needed. I know because I’m not patient, it has to be learned. Good luck. The members on here know what they are talking about
 

Booger

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I never thought mine would get to 0 joshkylie. But then about 3 or so weeks ago at pt I got to 2 on my own. Pt gently got me to 0. The next week I got me to 0. So just hang in there. It will happen. Bonesmart does not advocate aggressive pt. I dont like it either. I but to keep from searching for another pt and starting all over my pt and I agreed that when I say stop. If they dont stop im gonna cuss. Not at them but in pain and there are other folks in the room. Sorry :censored: :tantrum2::heehee::heehee: .
Now sometimes it would sneak up on me because i was thinking its not bad only tightness then oh :censored:. But everytime I sad stop she did. But I truely think it would of happened on its own as the swelling went down just as they say here on the board.
But I can't retire yet and work in an industrial setting. Lots of steps and barrel latters. So i am scared and push myself.
But these folks here are TOP SHELF quality people. Listen to them they have lived it and are super knowledgeable.

Booger
 
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Joshkylie

Joshkylie

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Thank you everyone, you just activated the smile button. It’s so relieving to hear everyone. You malotivate me so much. I’m going to read this thread every morning just because I can. Haha

I have one more question for today… does anyone wear any type of knee supports during the day or at night?
I was told no but I feel I should just to get the extra support so I can actually start working on building the muscle.
 

DEL2022Jan-23

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I have never worn knee supports after surgery, I had surgery on the 28th of September 2021 in Ireland. I was told that they actually weaken your knee- if you need to wear them to do something then that activity is too much for your knee to do. Don’t push yourself to do more than you are able, it could cause a setback in your recovery. If you are doing your exercises regularly and carefully, slowly increasing your walking and resting and icing when needed you will improve at a steady pace. Read up on the Bonesmart perspective on PT, it will help I promise!
Just remember you will have good days and bad days but it will get better! :good-bad:
 
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Joshkylie

Joshkylie

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Ok well as we all all still In the no sleep category I thought that a knee sleeve, tensor Bandage would help alleviate some of the night time problems, god knows it did pre-op
 

hawk2go

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I agree about the use of a brace. To be sure, I am not a healthcare professional. It seems to me that wearing a brace, like taking heavy pain meds before PT, would just hide the pain and confuse what's actually going on with the knee recovery. With that said, a few BoneSmarties were prescribed a brace for specific conditions. Sleep like a parent of infant - whenever and wherever you can get it.

The best thing you can do for yourself and your whole leg is be patient. It's a long recovery and you can't expedite it. I learned from experience, the knee gonna do what the knee gonna do.
 

GiantFinnegan

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I agree that you should not wear a brace solely to be able to do more activity. Letting your leg heal until you can do those activities without the brace is probably best.

For sleeping, the first couple of nights I wrapped my leg back up in the wide Ace bandage that my leg was sent home in because it gave it a bit more stability while I was in bed trying to be comfortable. After the first few nights, I just used a whole bunch of pillows to prop my leg up and then on the sides to keep it from rolling around in my sleep. That was easier than wrapping and unwrapping the Ace bandage.
 

Booger

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United Ortho 61024 3-Panel Knee Immobilizer, 24" Black

I got this to use while I slept. I sleep on my side and bend my leg. My pt thought it might help my extension. But I don't know if it was the immobilizer or probably as they say here time and for the swelling to go down.

Booger
 
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Joshkylie

Joshkylie

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United Ortho 61024 3-Panel Knee Immobilizer, 24" Black

I got this to use while I slept. I sleep on my side and bend my leg. My pt thought it might help my extension. But I don't know if it was the immobilizer or probably as they say here time and for the swelling to go down.

Booger
Thanks that was actually my concern, I am a side sleeper as well and I have tried to sleep in that position but it’s difficult not to bend the leg. I will talk to my therapist tomorrow.
 

Jockette

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but it’s difficult not to bend the leg.
It is fine to bend your leg a little. Keeping it totally straight is very painful and not necessary.

I was never the least interested in wearing any support after surgery because my leg felt so bad and was so swollen, I couldn’t imagine putting something remotely snug on it!
 

Jockette

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Please give us your surgery date and which knee it is and we’ll make a signature for you. :flwrysmile:
 

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