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TKR Odd sensations

Layla

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Hello @WomanOfGrace
It looks like you've just passed a milestone. A belated Happy Four Month Anniversary to you!

Menopause can be challenging on its own, but to traverse joint replacement recovery in unison with menopause can feel overwhelming.
I'd suggest you do an online search for Menopause support groups. I would imagine there must be numerous resources available as this passage is a real challenge for many. Wishing you comfort and all the best as you continue healing!
 

pamsknees

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I was on a site when I had prolapse surgery - it’s for hysterectomy patients but there is a lot of info on menopause. It’s called hystersisters
 
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WomanOfGrace

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Another question for those of you that are further along than me. I am definitely seeing some improvement in the way I am walking and some of the stiffness seems to be loosening, but not all just yet. I still have quite a bit of swelling at 4 1/2 months. I know it can take a while, but is there anything I can do to help the process? I admit I really do not ice it anymore. I am praying it is going to go down eventually.
 

Jockette

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With quite a bit of swelling you should still be icing and elevating several times a day. At this point it doesn’t have to be “toes above the nose” elevating, but definitely get your leg up on the couch or ottoman regularly.

I used my elevating wedge all night long.
 
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WomanOfGrace

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@Jockette, I noticed you said "used". Can you share your recovery timeline? What exactly did you have done and how long before, for you, the stiffness and swelling and pain were really gone?
 

Jockette

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To be honest, I still sleep with both my legs on my elevating wedge every night. I was never able to get back to sleeping on my side, and I have back issues, so using the wedge while I sleep on my back works for me.

I’ll be 3 years post op next month, so I don’t remember my exact timeline.

I had a Patellofemoral partial which has not gone well. I’ve had a lot of unique problems.

Here’s my recovery thread if you’d like to skim through it. (It’s very long, I’m chatty!)
 
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WomanOfGrace

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@Jockette As I read what others have and are going through, I realize I'm doing well. I left formal PT on 12/19 with an unassisted ROM of 126, 129 with a little push. When I demonstrated my bend for my OS he was beyond pleased. I am walking well, finally able to use both legs to go up the stairs, slowly. I have been able to sleep on my side for some time without issue. I'm sharing all this not to show off, but to say I guess I'm better than I've realized. I just find the stiffness I still have, frustrating. And if I overdo it, like a full day of housework, the leg itself hurts, not even so much the knee. I would love to find a good way to decrease what's left of my swelling and stiffness. Someone told me that one day it "will all just be gone". I'm hopeful for that day. In the meantime, I am going for shots for the left knee for now. It also needs to be done, but there is no way I am ready to go through this again. Much harder than I ever thought.
 

Jockette

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Yes indeed, this was much harder that I ever thought, also. What I read about partials before surgery made them sound like a piece of cake. Unfortunately I didn’t find Bonesmart until afterwards, and I was in the no return zone!

The stiffness is going to last a while, most likely. I read this that one of our other advisors wrote:

“Many members think PT is needed to alleviate tightness. Tightness is a normal occurrence after this kind of major surgery. Your surgeon did major carpentry work and disturbed every millimeter of soft tissue in this area. You aren't tight because your muscle is underused and needs to be stretched and rehabbed. You're tight because your tissue is healing...and full healing takes a full year or more.”
 

Jockette

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Here is what Sara61 posted on her thread today. Her surgery was October 10, 2019. I hope it helps you not feel so alone about where you are n recovery.
Lol:heehee: talk about talking too soon ... such is this rollercoaster ride - not sure if weather related but Mrs. Knee is giving me grief, nagging ache on top of the knee and the occasional intense shooting pain just below - hoping this is normal for 4 months can't see any redness although knee is a bit swollen.
 

Rockgirl4

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I'm almost 9 months post-op and still have lots of swelling and tightness. We've been packing our current home the last 2 weeks and move this weekend. I haven't been able to ride my exercise bike easily for the last 2 weeks because of the extra swelling. I've stopped forcing it and am waiting to get moved in when I can elevate and rest the knee more. Luckily I have no pain though. The OTHER knee needs replaced and is a mess after this last month. I keep joking this move might force my LEFT TKR sooner than I had planned. :(
 

sistersinhim

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All this extra work you have been doing is treating your knee really badly. You know what to do. Of course, moving is one of the hardest thing to do, add to that, healing from a tkr and it's agony.
 

kneeper

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@Jockette As I read what others have and are going through, I realize I'm doing well. I left formal PT on 12/19 with an unassisted ROM of 126, 129 with a little push. When I demonstrated my bend for my OS he was beyond pleased. I am walking well, finally able to use both legs to go up the stairs, slowly. I have been able to sleep on my side for some time without issue. I'm sharing all this not to show off, but to say I guess I'm better than I've realized. I just find the stiffness I still have, frustrating. And if I overdo it, like a full day of housework, the leg itself hurts, not even so much the knee. I would love to find a good way to decrease what's left of my swelling and stiffness. Someone told me that one day it "will all just be gone". I'm hopeful for that day. In the meantime, I am going for shots for the left knee for now. It also needs to be done, but there is no way I am ready to go through this again. Much harder than I ever thought.
This is the part most doctors don't tell us about. My doc said a year to feel totally normal and he was right. But each month was a bit better. For now try to pace yourself, as frustrating as it is. Maybe split the housework over 2 days. Or if you have a big outing don't try to also do something else that day.
 

loneshark64

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@Jockette I just find the stiffness I still have, frustrating. And if I overdo it, like a full day of housework, the leg itself hurts, not even so much the knee. I would love to find a good way to decrease what's left of my swelling and stiffness. Someone told me that one day it "will all just be gone". I'm hopeful for that day. In the meantime, I am going for shots for the left knee for now. It also needs to be done, but there is no way I am ready to go through this again. Much harder than I ever thought.
Yes that is exactly where I am at. Day to day right now it is hard with the stiffness and swelling. Being patient for a year is hard. But that is what we have todo.
 

Jockette

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Being patient for a year is hard. But that is what we have todo
While it does take a year or so to heal, you won’t feel as bad as you do now, for that whole year. And we’re all different, in how the variations of that year go.
 
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WomanOfGrace

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I am now 5 months post op. I have great bend and I am walking fairly well. I can go up the stairs using that leg slowly and using a railing. While it's feeling better all the time, a few questions. When I do get pain, it is not actually the knee joint. The pain I get is more on the side of the knee and down into my calf. It feels like a aching, cramping pain. The knee Is still tight and stiff and I am wondering if that restriction me to the point of the pain in other parts of the leg. I've read many post here about being patient, and I truly am trying. The stiffness and tightness is so very annoying. If the tight band feeling would dissipate I think I would feel so much better.
 

Rockgirl4

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I am the same way still at 9 months post-op. Since the 4th month, almost all of my pain has been on the inner side of the knee, in the same place the worst of my arthritis was (the medial femoral condyle). I rarely have the whole knee hurt even now after doing too much standing or too many flights of stairs. It's always that upper inside part of the knee.
 

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