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TKR Odd sensations

Celle

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Today marks three months since my RTKR. The holidays were tough. So busy, so much running around, standing, etc. I am really feeling it. My knee has pain in all different areas, very stiff. I also find that when I do a lot, the entire leg hurts. I guess using so many muscle groups. I know, as discussed, this is a long recovery, but I am wondering when some of you farther out really started to have less pain.
Your leg is telling you that you did too much over Christmas. 3 months is only a quarter of this year-long recovery and your knee isn't healed enough yet to do as much as usual over Christmas.

Listen to those pain messages your leg is sending you, and try to baby it a bit more.

There is no dramatic progression in this recovery. It's not a straight linear progression. It's more like a roller coaster ride, with lots of ups and downs, or two steps forward and one step back.

This drawing illustrates recovery very well:
Recovery chart drawn.jpg
 

kneeper

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The weather effect may diminish as you heal. At least as far as the uptick in aches on humid days. It did for me.
You may not be up for much traveling in March. I'd give it a couple of months more--and go more by how the knee is handling things than by the calendar. :)
 
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WomanOfGrace

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@kneeper I was looking to plan a short trip down south to visit a relative in March. Nothing to strenuous but I do have to fly. I haven't booked anything yet because I want to see how I feel in another 4 weeks. I have my 3 month post op appointment with the OS this Wednesday. I am curious to hear his take on all I've been experiencing and how to move forward.
 

Macknit

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I am at 4 months and traveling more than an hour, does upset my knee...not a lot, but achy and some swelling. It is a 'wait and watch' decision, that will be made closer to your travel time. Each of our knees are so particular and some fussier than others!!

At least with flying you can wear good walking shoes and move around periodically during the flight!

Happy travels and good luck with your decision!
 

marieltha

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I was told to expect to be very sensitive to drops in barometric pressure after any surgery involving bones and that it (discomfort? Pain?) does lessen over time, but it takes at least 2 years.
This is how I found BoneSmart. I was doing okay and a big storm was coming and I was suddenly not okay. Searched and found discussions here. When I next saw my OS, he explained why.
I added a barometer app on my phone, so I can plan ahead when I see the pressure changing.
 
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WomanOfGrace

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Had my 3 month follow up yesterday. X-rays were great. Doc had me demonstrate a few things. Happy with the extension and was shocked to see how far I can bend the new knee. His words, "awww, come on". Meant in a good way. He has confirmed all I am experiencing is normal and that it will take time to develop strength in the leg. I was also told by one of his staff, that they have seen the average time for a good normal is 9 months. Yep, everyone here is right. Long recovery and I have a ways to go. Patience is the key.
 
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WomanOfGrace

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So, for some reason, last two days I have been in pain. Very stiff and sore. Whole leg hurts. This really is an up and down recovery.
 

kneeper

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It sure is. Sometimes you know why you have a "down" day and other times it seems random.
:console2:
 
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WomanOfGrace

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I'm assuming it is ok to vent a bit. Despite all the glowing reports, I am so very frustrated. Just when I think I've made progress, it happens. Pain, swelling and stiffness galore. It is very mentally exhausting. I'm trying to get back to a normal life but it is taking forever. I need to hear from some of you. This stiffness IS going to go away, yes? The soreness and pain with doing my normal life? Yes, the arthritic pain is gone, but the healing pain is so debilitating sometimes. I want to scream.
 

Macknit

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@WomanOfGrace oh yes, venting is not only allowed, it is important! I believe what they tell us here! I'm a month ahead of you and when I drive 35 minutes I get tense in the leg, which causes the soreness and pain in the recovering knee. I'd forgotten how painful the arthritis was until my human knee started acting up in the last 2 months...I don't have arthritic pain in the RTKR, but every day around 3PM I can feel the swelling increase and the IT band, ham strings and calf are still acting up. Add to this the past 6 days of snow and ice, my drive is now about 60 minutes one way and I really tense up often (I had a mishap of sliding, no collision, in early December and I think I'm still touchy about the ice!)

My OS thought around Valentine's day the discomfort would be better, I'm not sure about that, it's just a month out and recovery is so slow for me! I'm waiting for about 9-12 months, just so my expectations don't kick in too much!

Normal life will return, just keep reading and following the BoneSmart advice and our patience will increase as well as our healing!
 

Steelergal

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@WomanOfGrace I feel your frustration! I'm just past 6 months and am still struggling with stiffness and some tenderness. My incision and knee cap area are sore a lot of the time and I'm very slowly getting feeling back on the side of my knee. And I don't have the great ROM you do (still hovering around 100/5), so I'm still in PT once a week, trying to work on my tight muscles. I thought for sure I'd be in a much better place by now, but I'm not. I just keep waiting and hoping I'll feel normal again.

I had a flight to Europe at 9 weeks and it went ok. I had a lot of swelling, but tried to manage it with ice and movement. Take ziplocks on the flight to fill with ice. Get a wheelchair at the airport (it makes such a difference). Wear compression socks and walk around on the flight if you can. And elevate as soon as you get to your destination. I did a lot of walking and while it made me tired and sore, that arthritic knee pain was gone. It was amazing!!!

Keep going and celebrate your wins, that's helping me deal with the things I still need to accomplish (like walking down stairs normally). :)
 

Helizabug

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It’s important to celebrate the good as it comes and visualize a better future in the distance. But it’s also important to vent. This is long and slow while we’re going through it.
 
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WomanOfGrace

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So, I'm seeing some progress day by day, but a few more questions for those that have been through this. 1). How long did you do PT exercises at home after formal PT ended? I've been doing them daily, but wondering if that's necessary and if so, for how long? 2). For those that are much farther out than I am (4 months) I'm wondering how many of you at 9, 12 months and beyond can say that you no longer have pain, stiffness and tightness. I know it takes time, but sometimes I fear it will never go away. Curious as to who can say it really has.
 

Jockette

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I was discharged from PT at 8 weeks post op. I basically did no “exercises” after that, just my ADLs (activities of daily living) Once in a while I would do one token rep of an exercise because my surgeon almost always asked what I was doing, exercise-wise. :heehee:

Basically, as long as you are active, moving around, doing things, you don’t need to do specific formal “exercises.” For most of us, the things we do in our normal life, as you put it, is sufficient.
 

Helizabug

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I like exercise routines, so I’ll always do something, but they won’t, likely, be those leg lifts or step ups.

I’m no help on pain because I’m behind you, but I’ll be interested to hear responses to that question.
 

loneshark64

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For those that are much farther out than I am (4 months) I'm wondering how many of you at 9, 12 months and beyond can say that you no longer have pain, stiffness and tightness
Very interested to hear this too...
 
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WomanOfGrace

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I know this is totally unrelated, but I need to ask someone. Does anyone know of a site like this one for women going through menopause? I can really use some help.
 

Helizabug

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I wish I had known of one, for sure, but I don’t. Surely there are some that aren’t designed to drive you toward a particular product.
 

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