TKR One day at a time!

WhenImOld

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Hi! I'm Christi. On June 16th, 2020, I had a TKA on the right knee.
Some background - I have pretty bad arthritis in both knees. The left was actually worse than the right, however the right was more painful. I'm a very active person. I ride horses, I hike, backpack, chase my 16 grandkids around and work in an Amazon Fulfillment Center, so 10+ miles of walking per day is not unusual.
I really wish I'd have found this forum pre-op. I'm a pretty tough bird, but man! Rough. I can say tho, that it absolutely helps to see improvement, any improvement. It helps motivate me to keep moving forward, even on those days where I'd prefer to lay on the floor sobbing.

Thank you immensely for the reassurance and support your already provided.

Christi
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome!

We’re so glad you’ve found our information to be helpful! Seriously, a gentle rehab, especially early on, can yield excellent results.

The best way to get back to the active lifestyle that you love is to take it slow in the beginning. Give your knee time to heal well and you’ll be able to do all those things again later. I’m sorry to say that, too often, our really active members get impatient early on and push the new knee’s limits and end up setting their recovery back. Please don’t make that mistake, it’s not fun!


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.

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.
 

sistersinhim

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Welcome to Bonesmart! Jockette is right. Now, is the time to take things easy and slow. If you try and do too much too soon, you have extra pain and swelling. Then you'll have to recover from that before you can get back to where you were before the extra pain and swelling occurrence. The better and gentler you treat your knee now, the better you will recover.
 

sistersinhim

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You are being very productive. I couldn't think straight enough to do anything like that.
 
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WhenImOld

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Well it's been another week of progress. I need to remind myself of that. I do see the progress.
Early in the week, I was plowed over by the puppies. They've been really good at keeping their eyes on where I'm at but they lost their minds. I bounced off the couch, which greatly cushioned things. Just a bit of extra swelling so I canceled PT Tuesday in favor of RICE.
This morning I walked around the block, which is about a mile and a half. I put my headphones on, poured a huge cup of coffee and took my time. I was a bit irritated when I was lapped twice, and it was a bit more than I should have done but I did it.
Recliner and ice for the rest of the night.
 

sistersinhim

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Yes, that was quite a bit more than your knee might be ready for. You are doing the right thing with icing and resting.
 
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WhenImOld

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Yeah, I've got the ice machine packed with frozen Capri Sun drinks (great ice blocks by the way!) and I'm doing nothing more than marathon-ing Criminal Minds while waiting for the husbands plane to land
 

sistersinhim

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It sounds like you have a perfect routine going there! BTW, I big out on Criminal Minds about once a week.
 
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WhenImOld

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Well I'm definitely paying for my long walk yesterday with a bit of extra inflammation and tenderness but nothing terrible. Enough to remind me to take it easy today tho!

Big win of the day, I drove. Yup! I can now point myself in a direction and my body moves there instantly.
 

Celle

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Being able to drive yourself is a big gain. You've got your independence back. :yes!::happydance::yay:
 
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WhenImOld

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Too bad there isn't anywhere to go during a pandemic! :heehee:

I'm definitely contemplating a drive in the convertible tomorrow, if the leg isn't feeling too moody. :loveshwr:
 
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WhenImOld

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Yesterday was a busy day. I had a lot to do and did a lot more walking than I've done so far. I came straight home and elevated & iced it with a break or two of hot tub time. It was pretty sore and definitely required some medicating for me to sleep. I thought I'd pay for it today but woke up, stretched a bit and then soaked it in the hot tub again. When I got out, it was like a whole new knee. I took my walk around the block, with just a slight limp, and no stopping for a break. After finishing up my errands I needed to run this morning, I'm now icing and elevating and we'll see how tomorrow is. :loll:
 

sistersinhim

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Normally, we suggest no hot tubs until much later in your recovery. It sounds like you are doing OK with yours. If you notice increased swelling you might want to stay out of the hot tub for a few weeks. Are all your scabs healed? You definitely don't want to soak in any water if you still have any.
 
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WhenImOld

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Normally, we suggest no hot tubs until much later in your recovery. It sounds like you are doing OK with yours. If you notice increased swelling you might want to stay out of the hot tub for a few weeks. Are all your scabs healed? You definitely don't want to soak in any water if you still have any.
Definitely all of the scabs are healed. I got clearance from my OS before getting in. It most definitely helps me get the joint moving in the morning. We keep it around 97, (we live in Tucson. It's hotter outside than in the hot tub most days!)
 
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WhenImOld

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So I'm perched in the recliner with my coffee this morning, leg up, morning ice, relaxing before I head out to my followup with my OS. I'm expecting another several weeks before I can return to work, at the least. I think that's one of my biggest worries, going back to work too soon. I work on a shipping dock on my feet 11+ hours a day and rarely have days under 15 miles. Light duty just doesn't exist.

On an exciting note, I'm heading to the mountains for the day for a drive and picnic after my appointment. We are getting rain, but time, up there today so me, my youngest son and his dad and heading up for the day to play. :loveshwr:
 

sistersinhim

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The mountains have always been like a Sabbatical to me. What peace and joy I find in them! Have a blessed and relaxed trip!

Have to work 11+ hours on a new knee will be awful if you go back too soon. Be sure to explain to your OS what all is involved in your job. Hopefully, he'll keep you out for a couple of more months.
 

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You said you worked at Amazon. Have you thought about applying for short term disability if you're not ready to go back? My daughter works for them also, had surgery and was out for awhile, and collected 60% of her pay for a period of time. You may want to check that out.
 
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WhenImOld

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The mountains have always been like a Sabbatical to me. What peace and joy I find in them! Have a blessed and relaxed trip!

Have to work 11+ hours on a new knee will be awful if you go back too soon. Be sure to explain to your OS what all is involved in your job. Hopefully, he'll keep you out for a couple of more months.
The mountains are for me as well... Well, the mountains and the beach. Can you tell I'm from Southern Cal originally? Lol we normally camp at least every other weekend all summer but I'm not ready for that yet. We went for the day, to our normal campground and I just soaked it in.

I explained it to him today but I don't think he's necessarily hearing me. I had a small abscess from one of the stitches working it's way out. He says it's definitely not from the hot tub, because I definitely asked. But, no hot tub until this heals.
You said you worked at Amazon. Have you thought about applying for short term disability if you're not ready to go back? My daughter works for them also, had surgery and was out for awhile, and collected 60% of her pay for a period of time. You may want to check that out.
I actually am out on STD. I've got another 3 weeks until I see my OS again and we'll reevaluate.
 

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