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TKR Newbie

Mellyg

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Please add me to the November group I had my TKR on November 29th.
 

Celle

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Hello @Mellyg - and :welome: to recovery.

Yes, I will add you to the November Nimbles group, but please tell us about your recovery in this thread.

Which knee did you have replaced?

Here are the Recovery Guidelines and some useful articles that we give to everyone with a new knee:
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 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.
 
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Mellyg

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Thanks for adding me. I am day 9 of my recovery. This has hit me like a train. I have had years of worsening pain and immobility and was glad to get the TKR done. What I underestimated was how hard this would be. And it's not the pain, although in the middle of the night sometimes I feel like just chopping my leg off!! It's the emotional toll this is taking on me that has hit me for six. Never would I ever of believed I could feel so down. I have not seen anyone apart from my husband for days and he had been at work for 10 hours a day. I also have no idea if I am doing what I should be at this stage in terms of ROM. Not due to see the PT until Dec 18th which will be 3 weeks after my op.
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome!

Yes, this recovery takes a big emotional toll on us. There’s an article in the guidelines about post op blues, be sure to read it.

It’s actually just as well that you won’t have PT until the 18th. You don’t need formal PT this early in recovery, you just need to give your knee some very gentle mobility movements.


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.
 

Celle

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@Mellyg - I have moved your post from the November Nimbles team list and put it here, in your own recovery thread, where it belongs.

Please remember that the team list is primarily to allow you to see who has had surgery the same month as you. Discussion of issues, comments, and questions regarding recovery must be kept in your own individual recovery threads. The team thread is not for updates or questions.

What I underestimated was how hard this would be. And it's not the pain, although in the middle of the night sometimes I feel like just chopping my leg off!! It's the emotional toll this is taking on me that has hit me for six. Never would I ever of believed I could feel so down. I have not seen anyone apart from my husband for days and he had been at work for 10 hours a day. I also have no idea if I am doing what I should be at this stage in terms of ROM. Not due to see the PT until Dec 18th which will be 3 weeks after my op.
The first few weeks are hard, but it's going to get better from now on. The most important things you can do now are to rest, ice and elevate you leg, and take your pain medications on a fixed schedule.
The articles I left you have lots of information about all that.

Don't worry about ROM. It's far too soon for that. In spite of what you may have been told,
there's no need to rush to get ROM because it can continue to improve for a year, or even much longer, after a knee replacement. There isn't any deadline you have to meet:
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR

The three-week gap between your surgery and seeing a PT is probably a good thing, because it gives your knee time to start healing. My own surgeon specifies four weeks post-op before starting any formal PT. Your knee will be getting all the exercise it needs at this stage, as you walk around your house, to the bathroom and kitchen.

I'm sorry you've got the blues, but depression is a common occurrence during recovery - I've left you an article about that. too. Do you have anything you can do, to occupy your mind while you're resting?
 

Roy Gardiner

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Never would I ever of believed I could feel so down
Pre-op pain is bad, crippling, horrible, demoralising, and only gets worse.

Post-op is exactly the same, maybe worse, except for the last bit. At the moment your body is still shocked -- some lunatic charged into the room and attacked you with saws, hammers and other assorted weaponry, cut bits of you off and hammered foreign material in. It's no wonder it's a bit discommoded!!

Except for the last bit? That is, pain only gets BETTER.

Your despair is IMO partly due to poor briefing. It should have been made clear that one's condition post-op is often worse than pre-op for a few days or up to a MONTH later. One has to learn to roll with the punch, to relax, take medication, let the body do its thing and heal. It will do this all on its own. PT is helpful (some say not really needed...) with this process, but the key element is time.

But it will happen. Millions of TKRs are done every year; wouldn't be so if it didn't work.

You will, soon, be far better than before surgery.
 

Sara61

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Like you I too had serious doubts immediately after surgery- sadly nobody actually told me how painful it was after, so the 1st week was just awful but Thankfully I discovered BoneSmart and with the encouragement of others have survived 2 months already it's been rocky but knowing that in the future our lives will return to normal.
I live in the country with no neighbours and only my dogs and husband for company, like you he had to work, so prior to him leaving I just got everything I needed within a short distance and basically spent the day watching series on tv and resting my knee following people on BS.
The pain will get better just remember to always take your meds forget your Rom for the time being it will get where it should be in time - no amount of forcing it will get there faster, insist on gentle PT at the stage rest is most important.
Talk /vent and laught with fellow Bonesmarties there is always someone online somewhere in the world x
Sending virtual hugs to you xx
 
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Mellyg

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Oh thank you so much I feel better already. I thought I had to do all the exercises they gave me from the get go. Now I know I don't I can stop punishing myself. Luckily my husband will be off until January after Thursday this week and so I will have him to keep me company and drive me about.!
 

Cstucky

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Hang in there. The pain is tough at first. I used Bone Smart for support and just read the posts on sleepless nights when pain kept me up. It helps to know others have walked through this difficult recovery. All best!
 

Helizabug

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Yup. It will almost certainly get better and better. I’m a couple of days ahead of you in this. I just posted a long account of my progress on someone else’s thread, but I think I’ll move I to mine so others can see it.

Just don’t let the pain get ahead of you. If it doesn’t pass or ease up, treat it. Chronic pain creates a fertile soil for depression.

I hope you find some relief and wholeness more and more as the time passes.
 
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Mellyg

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Just a short update on my recovery. I have been feeling a lot better mentally, except for during the night when the pain is sometimes overwhelming despite taking all my meds as prescribed. I had my staples out yesterday there were a lot more than I expected and each Inc stung like mad. Nurse was very pleased with my incision and the healing and said it looks really good and I thought it would look more gruesome than it does. Mt grandson has arrived from South Africa for Xmas and this has cheered me up no end. One new thing I have noticed today is intense itching not my scar but all around the knee.
Here is a pic of my scar.
 

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sistersinhim

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That looks really good for a two week old knee! Even your swelling doesn't look that bad. You must be doing something right!
 

Sara61

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Wow your knee looks great for 2 weeks - itching comes with healing - I used to put a light cream (E45 itch relief) either side of the incision and this helped or a ice pack on the knee this will sooth the itch ( make sure you have a cloth in between.)
A year ago I suffered 3rd degree burns to both legs and once the skin started healing the doctor suggested I use ice packs - so I used wine coolers which helped me enormously :rofsign:hang in there - the itching will soon pass x
 

Jockette

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Pain at night often indicates too much activity during the day, and that includes exercises.


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.


 

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