Watch 2019 JRAD Videos

TKR NimbleKnee's Recovery TKR 06Feb2020

NimbleKnee

new member
Joined
Mar 19, 2020
Messages
9
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Today is my 6th week post left tkr. Surgery date was 06 Feb 2020. I am slowly progressing with flexion and extension. When I overdo, I develop swelling and stiffness, so I try to take it easy. I have a recumbent bike which I use once or twice a day depending on amount of swelling or pain. I am using crutches (one inside and both when walking outside). I go to PT once a week, mostly massage of tight quads and gentle exercises. I ice and elevate frequently and take Celebrex, which prevents swelling and for pain an occasional Acetaminophen/Paracetamol and rarely Tramadol if pain gets really bad (maybe once a week). Like most this early out from surgery, not sleeping too well. Am still off of work for another couple of weeks, then will work from home for a couple of weeks after that. Slow but steady progress and trying not to get discouraged. Of course, like everyone, the Covid-19 pandemic is on my mind and is adding a bit to the post-surgery blues, but for the most part am doing ok. Husband takes care of most housework and meals with some help from me as I feel up to it.
 

Sara61

Forum Advisor
Joined
Oct 1, 2019
Messages
854
Gender
Female
Country
Portugal Portugal
Sounds like you are doing great just continue with that attitude and you will have a smooth recovery @Jockette or one of the moderator will post your guidelines for you.
Sleepless nights are the norm early in recovery try and cat nap during the day. It does get better - read my posts now at 5 months I've noticed so much difference by having not pushed myself and following the guidelines and advice of the fantastic people on this forum.
Regarding the virus try not too worry everyone globally are in the same position just concentrate on getting yourself healed for the time being xx
 

Jaycey

FORUM ADMINISTRATOR
Administrator
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
31,476
Location
Yorkshire
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
@NimbleKnee Welcome to BoneSmart and the other side of surgery. Sounds like you are doing well. Please don't push the PT and recumbent cycling. That knee needs to heal.

Here are your recovery guidelines:
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 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.
 

Roy Gardiner

MODERATOR
Moderator
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
6,967
Age
68
Location
Essex and London
Gender
Male
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I have a recumbent bike which I use once or twice a day depending on amount of swelling or pain
:thumb:

Using a bike to gain ROM is pretty simple:
  • Set the bike to zero resistance
  • Set the saddle low enough so that a single rotation is a challenge; difficult but not painful. When a rotation becomes easy right from the start, lower the saddle a max of 1cm.
  • Gently turn the pedals, through discomfort but without pain.
  • Continue until the knee is 'warmed up' and the rotation is now easy, or for 2 minutes, whichever is the shorter time.
  • Repeat several/many times a day, but don't go mad. Diminishing returns will apply; my guess is that half a dozen reps would be enough
  • Do not pedal fast or for more than 2 minutes, this is a stretching exercise, not training.
  • And if you get any pain or swelling in the 24 hours after doing this, cut it down until you don't
Here is a bit more chat and some pix and how 'healing' and 'training' are different
 
OP
OP
NimbleKnee

NimbleKnee

new member
Joined
Mar 19, 2020
Messages
9
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Thank you for the links and guidance. After reading the guidance here, I am icing and elevating even more and cutting back on the walking and exercising to hopefully mitigate swelling as much as possible.

I have a recumbent bike, and at this point, cannot do a full rotation, so just do a back and forth rocking to limit of bending in each direction for a couple minutes, then alternate holding at bend and at straight for 1-3 minutes. Just once or twice a day since I am still having lots of swelling. Not pushing it.

From what I've read here, there will be time to work the knee more when it can handle it. I think the most valuable nugget I've found here has been that there is no "critical period" to regain ROM so no need to push it right now. It will come when it's ready. And the ROM of my arthritic knee wasn't great, so those muscles and tendons will definitely need time.
 
OP
OP
NimbleKnee

NimbleKnee

new member
Joined
Mar 19, 2020
Messages
9
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Had a bit of an emotional meltdown this morning. I know it's to be expected, but not pleasant for me or others. A mixture of pent up frustration that progress is slower than I'd like, some pain and fatigue thrown in, overall sensitivity since recovering from major surgery, as well as the general anxiety we all have now about the current world situation.

I was very grateful to read some posts here and see how common this reaction is, so I was able to shed some tears, then calm down, have some nice herbal tea and take it very easy today with ice, elevation, and a book. I know there is a long road ahead...
 

Jaycey

FORUM ADMINISTRATOR
Administrator
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
31,476
Location
Yorkshire
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Had a bit of an emotional meltdown this morning.
Oh I remember this part well! So sorry - hope it's short lived. All part of recovery I am afraid. And it is doubly tough with all the chaos going on around you.

Sounds like you have some good plans for the day. Hang in there!
 
OP
OP
NimbleKnee

NimbleKnee

new member
Joined
Mar 19, 2020
Messages
9
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
A question for those farther down the path: At 8 weeks post-op, I'm still having a lot of swelling and whilst experiencing very little pain, still need to take celecoxib to reduce swelling. I regularly ice and elevate, which help, but I'm wondering at what point this situation may resolve. I'd like to get off the medication. This NSAID doesn't bother my stomach, but I've read there can be other unpleasant effects if taken long term. I'm taking 200 mg twice daily. Will begin working (from home) this week, so may not be able to ice as often. Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom!
 

Sara61

Forum Advisor
Joined
Oct 1, 2019
Messages
854
Gender
Female
Country
Portugal Portugal
Swelling is still normal at your stage in recovery I will tag @Jaycey to give you advice on the ways to reduce your medication for you, try to keep on icing even working from home taking short breaks to elevate your knee will really appreciate it.
Stay safe xxx
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
NimbleKnee

NimbleKnee

new member
Joined
Mar 19, 2020
Messages
9
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Thank you @Sara61. Working from home is going ok so far. I'm definitely following your advice to elevate and continue icing. My knee stiffens up if I sit too long, so I've set alarms on my phone to remind me to take "stand up and stretch" breaks.
 

Jaycey

FORUM ADMINISTRATOR
Administrator
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
31,476
Location
Yorkshire
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I regularly ice and elevate, which help, but I'm wondering at what point this situation may resolve.
It can take awhile for swelling to ease. At only 8 weeks out it is still very early days for you. Yes NSAIDs should not be taken long term but you aren't there yet. You will know when it is time to reduce your medication when you start forgetting doses.

If you want to try and taper off your meds either lengthen the time between doses or try taking half a dose. It's important to do this gradually and to listen to that knee. It will quickly tell you if you are moving too quickly.
 

Tykey

big-cheese
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
4,418
Age
72
Location
Sheffield, uk
Swelling isn't something which is never here today, gone tomorrow.
7 months out for me, and I'm sat looking at my knees (not a pretty sight!)
My new tkr knee is still bigger than my old old (now a 10 year vintage one).

It is still stiff first thing in the morning for about 10 minutes

Relax and be patient, be kind to your knee, the more you try to improve it, normally finishes up delaying the recovery.
 
OP
OP
NimbleKnee

NimbleKnee

new member
Joined
Mar 19, 2020
Messages
9
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Thank you both. I just need to remember "easy does it". So glad kind folks like you are here to remind me when I get impatient!

I'm so grateful that I'm sleeping pretty well now and am less reliant on walking supports. You've reminded me to focus on how far I've come rather than trying to run forward on the road ahead.
 

New

Active Antibacterial

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Forum statistics

Threads
51,063
Messages
1,375,974
BoneSmarties
32,009
Latest member
Frstgrl
Recent bookmarks
0

Top Bottom