PKR One Year Out - Pleased With Outcome

I thought I’d be in my 80s before things started giving out. I had my LTKR in 2011 and then the RTKR this past Aug.
Agree- but perhaps it's for the best. This has been a tough enough journey in my sixties.
 
Will be 19 weeks on Tuesday from my PKR.
The knee is doing well although I am still struggling with antibiotic side effects following my recent sepsis. Due to see infectious disease doctor on Thursday for review and lymph node scan/ ? biopsy the following week. Although lymph nodes shrinking- so hopefully won't need biopsy.
Regularly walking over 10000 steps/ day with only minimal warmth/ swelling by night. Managed 15000 steps a couple of days ago when I walked almost 2 miles to my GP for medicine review and then walked back. If I do a longer walk I generally walk along a bus route- so I can stop at any point and catch the bus.
A milestone of a sort recently- I was walking and noticed a twinge in my knee. I then realised the slight pain was actually in my good/ unoperated knee!
The medial pain is definitely diminishing with strengthening my medial quads.
I still like to sleep with the cool cryocuff resting on my knee- but it is a bit of a comfort blanket habit as I don't really have much discomfort at night any more.
I still can't go up and downstairs normally all the time but doing it more often.
Stairs are still a bit uncomfortable by evening time and I will then revert to one step climbing/ descending.
 
Wow EalingGran, you’re doing great! Especially considering all the extra challenges you’ve had on top of your recovery. A 4 mile walk! Amazing! Very clever walking along the bus route like that too. The stairs will come. Yours sound very steep too. Try not to overdo them in your quest to improve! But really you sound great and it’s exciting that you feel your medial quads are strengthening :thumb:
 
Wow, you'll be five months post op in a blink. Hard to believe. You've made wonderful progress and you're doing great! Best wishes for your appointment on Tuesday. Please let us know how it goes for you.
@EalingGran
 
Five calendar months on the 25th.
Just been reading my posts to review my progress.
Still slower than I would have hoped but I think there are gradual improvements.
I can now walk outside more confidently without my stick. I don't bother taking it out for short walks if I have my husband with me. I still use it if I am going out alone/ using the bus or tube/ will be standing for long periods or if the ground is very hilly/ uneven.
I am doing 10,000 steps pretty much every day. Definitely managing over 70,000 steps per week. Doing 30-40 minutes of pilates ( legs and back exercises mostly) most days. My husband assures me my walking is faster and my gait better than pre-op.
I find standing too long more uncomfortable than walking. I get stiff/ sore and need my stick to lean on.
My lower back pain is improving with regular pilates/ extensions and I am planning to stop naproxen shortly.
I have little or no pain on walking fair distances ( 2 miles+). I have had no recurrence of my pre-op sciatica since my leg was straightened with the surgery and barely any hip stiffness ( apart from after a long car journey).
I still get mild soreness by the evening and my knee is a bit warmer than the other side- particularly in the evening.
I still like an afternoon rest with ice if possible.
My main issue is some residual medial pain on stairs. I can go upstairs normally 2-3 times/ day and downstairs normally maybe once a day without much discomfort. We have a lot of stairs and I am often doing 15- 20 flights/ day. The pain is not severe- twinges of no more than 2 -3 out of 10, but I don't push it.
My sleep is still not great but probably back to my 'normal" - waking 2/night for toilet. I still have very slight stiffness/ discomfort at night and use the cool cryocuff to rest my knee on.
My scar is great- not much over 3 inches and beautifully healed.
My knee is much less swollen than pre- surgery when I had three large bursae ( supra patellar/ pes anserine and Bakers cyst).It is still slightly bigger than the other knee and there is a smaller painless swelling at the back- I think this is now permanent.
The numb patch is definitely shrinking and feels less numb. If I tap it with my finger nail I can feel more. I get occasional prickly pins and needles in it but not too bothersome.
We are doing a bit more childcare for my two baby grandsons. I still find getting up and down quickly a bit awkward/ uncomfortable. I can kneel for short periods on a padded surface to do back exercises but have to be careful. If I do it too long or too quickly it can hurt.
My ROM is excellent. Zero extension and now well over 140/145 flexion. It does vary a bit with position. I can bring it back almost as far as my good knee if I am lying down on my back - but definitely not as good when standing. I noticed it is still improving as I can cross my foot across the other leg more easily to put socks on.
I am still far too preoccupied with my knee though. I worry when it is warm and think about infection or allergy. I still spend too long Googling knee research!
I just wish I could be sure that the residual pain is just soft tissue/ ligament damage from my long suffering MCL and will eventually improve.
Sorry for the long post. This is mainly for my own reference in a month's time- but hope someone else might find it useful for comparison.
 
20230317_073705.jpg
 
Great post, @EalingGran!

You are doing really well for 5 months out. Please don't fret too much about some lingering pain and a bit of warmth in the knee -- you are still healing. Remember, you aren't yet halfway through this year-long recovery.

Walking over 10K steps/day and doing all those flights of stairs is amazing; I couldn't do that until much later in my recovery. Clearly, you've found the right balance for you.

Hope your recovery continues to go well.
 
@EalingGran. You are doing so well, and your incision looks great. I don't know how you do it going up and down the stairs so many times a day. I went upstairs and down maybe 6 x today and I am feeling it. Yes, I agree the end of the day my knee and I are tired. Last week I had a doctor's appointment on the 3rd floor and decided to try the stairs going down thinking I could always turn around. I did it and thought that wasn't bad. When I got out to the parking lot, I started to feel it. After a 45 min drive home, I was sore. Good luck with the grandchildren. I have my grandson tomorrow for the day. I hope everything goes well at your appointment.
 
Thanks @Flashlight.
I do find stairs tough still, but we have so many. I used to get my husband to fetch me things but I feel it's too long after my operation to keep doing this!
I have bought a little cross body bag that I carry my glasses and phone in- as I was forever going up stairs to get them if I forgot.
All my doctors appointments are now finished thankfully. Discharged from the infectious disease clinic after my sepsis and the lymph node scan was clear- no biopsy needed. So fingers crossed - no more hospital trips....
Good luck with your grandson tomorrow!
We did a nursery pick up today for the 2 year old we don't see so often. He is not that familiar with us and I was a bit nervous- but it all went well!
 
I am still far too preoccupied with my knee though. I worry when it is warm and think about infection or allergy. I still spend too long Googling knee research!
I just wish I could be sure that the residual pain is just soft tissue/ ligament damage from my long suffering MCL and will eventually improve.
Time will take care of this, but try to relax and enjoy in the meantime. You're doing great! I agree that walking 10,000 steps daily, in addition to all of the flights of stairs is amazing! :egypdance:
 
So many stairs! I can’t imagine…I have a one story very small (almost tiny) house. But you have lots of built in pt! I could use more practice on stairs. Too bad you can’t share some of that stair climbing with me, all the way across the pond over here! It really does sound like you’re doing great! Try not to worry. There are so many aches and pains and twinges that pop up with this recovery! And you know your soft tissue is having to make major adjustments with having your leg straightened. The future is bright! So good to read your update :)
 
I have a query and wonder if anyone else can answer and give their experience?
Overall I am doing pretty well- managed 17,000 steps yesterday out with friends in Kew Gardens without any real pain and only mild soreness/ warmth by evening.
But I do still have this residual medial pain (2-3 out of 10) at times- particularly on stairs. My surgeon and a physio I saw in hospital recently think it is my MCL which was very stretched pre-op.I also have very slight tenderness in the MCL area. I am doing everything I can to strengthen my quads.
Has anyone tried low dose ultrasound therapy for ligament/ tendon pain? If so- did it help? There does seem to be some evidence to support it promoting healing of ligaments and tendons.
Are there any risks for knee implants?
 
@EalingGran I had ultrasound therapy years ago for ankle/foot pain. It worked for me! Only a few treatments and the tight areas eased.

I believe my colleague @sistersinhim has also had ultrasound treatments.
 
I have used ultrasound on my IT band and my pes-anserine pain. It helped quite a bit! There are many available for us lay people to use. I recommend you research it.
 
Is your experience with home ultrasound wands or with a physio using ultrasound machines? @sistersinhim and @Jaycey
Is the physio one stronger/ better?
How long after your surgery did you use it round the joint area. One site I read suggested that it can generate heat and not be good for a newish implant.
 
A PT used it on my per-anserine for 6 visits about 2 years after my surgery. Then when my IT band flared up, I bought my own. I have used it on my band, shoulder, hip, and neck.

You need to ask your doctor about using it.
 
Thanks @Jaycey and @sistersinhim
I think I will carry on with working my medial quads and hold this in reserve until I can check it out with my surgeon.
It does sound like a potential next step if this doesn't continue to improve.
 
Finally beginning to feel a bit better but still very variable 10 weeks post PKR.
Just interested to ask a couple of questions.
1.When on average did most people manage to walk upstairs normally, one foot after another? How long after before you could go downstairs normally?
2. When could you manage do get in and out of a bath? I have a walk in shower but long for a really nice soak but don't think I could get out of a bath safely yet.
I had a PKR 12/12/22, i started going up & down stairs at 8 weeks, now at 15 weeks I can usexstairs w/o pain, but daily stiffness & inability to walk normal is still a struggle, as you may know, some days much worse then others. I gave up an agressive PT schedule at week 11, now walk, bike stationary 3x a week, and stretch often, light PT, up to 8-9,000 step a day, I just pray this knee gets relatively normal some day… airports & travel are the worst
 

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