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TKR Onwards and upwards - my journey continues

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robynhood

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Having come home completely confused by what to do and when I have found this site so helpful. Just to read other peoples experiences and think ' thats ok to be feeling like i do' family are trying to be so helpful but dont really understand the pain involved and how vunreable you are. I will defnitley look on this site on a daily basis for the hurdles I have coming like getting my staples out on Wednesday.
 
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robynhood

robynhood

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sorry meant TKR see what a newbie i am. Total not Complete knee replacement. Bear with me. I will get used to all these titles etc. My mind is mangled at the moment with painkillers, what physio i should be doing (Really??? so much already) and the multiple colours of the bruises on my very swollen leg.
 

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Bruising is normal.
As far as PT, you should only be doing what you can comfortably do. Icing and elevation is what is important to you right now.
Hang in there :)
 

Florida 1

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According to my physical therapist and the info I got from my doctor, I should be doing the exercises twice a day 7 days/week. However, after reading this forum I know that if I push things too much, I could set myself back. I usually only do the exercises (except ankle pumps - I do those all the time as they feel good) when the therapist is at the house. He is very happy with my progress, so I don't think I need to inform him that I'm not exercising more. If he was unhappy with my progress, then I would do them more often.
Good luck to you, and let us know of any more questions you have.
 
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robynhood

robynhood

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Thank you for the articles to read skigirl. At the moment want to soak up as much information as possible.
 

Dhare63

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Welcome to Bonesmart! Congrats on the new knee!

You sound like most of us in the beginning; confused, challenged and dazed. This will sort itself out over time, but that is what is most challenging is the time aspect. The recovery process is just that, a process. It will move at the pace your knee sets, and nothing else. I have found that the advice here that less is more in recovery truly does work. Slow, steady, manage pain, ice and elevate are the most important things to do.

Something else you might consider is keeping a little journal of how you feel and what you do each day. Especially when you start with pt. with drug induced brain fog, I found it hard to remember everything days after when questioned by pt or OS. It also can be a source of comfort when you hit a plateau and feel like you haven't made progress. Just a suggestion.

Do bring your questions and concerns here, as this is a very knowledgeable and compassionate group. While we are connected by cyberspace, I have never felt more supported in any challenge I have faced.

Be well and let us know how the staples removal goes!

Dawn
 
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robynhood

robynhood

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one question to all out there, before the op and with arthritis in both knees i rubbed iburofen gel to both knees before going to bed. Obviously i cant do that at the moment to my left knee but i have been putting it on the back of my knee and further up where the muscle is still quite sore. I am ok to do this arent i. its 10% iburofen gel. They didnt really comment about this whilst in hospital.
 

skigirl

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I used an aspirin cream during my recovery. It did seem to help a little with the swelling. Just be sure that you count the Ibuprofen in your daily allotment of anti-inflammatories. It is probably a very small amount, but you need to make sure that you do not go over the recommended limits. Many folks use Voltaren Gel which is a prescription gel. Your OS can give you a script if you want to try it.

Yes, of course you should avoid putting anything on the incision right now. Putting it on the back of the knee and on a sore muscle seems like a good idea to me too. Are you taking an anti-inflammatory? I took Celebrex after my surgery, for instance. Just remember that as Aristotle said, Moderation in all things is good. A little gel is good--too much might push you over the anti-inflammatory limits, so be careful with all drugs! And, remember too, that if you have a drug related question or concern, you can call your OS's office and ask to speak to his nurse. He/she will be very helpful with information, I am sure. Kelly
 

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You might want to try Arnica gel--Arnica Montana is a wildflower that helps reduce inflammation and especially bruising. The brand I've been using is "Arniflora." (Two days after a painful cortisone shot to treat trigger thumb caused brusiing and swelling, I was able to play guitar in the studio by using it and holding an ice-cold can of soda pop between takes). Some brands have only a tiny amount (homeopathic dose), some a bit more. There's also an herbal cream out there called "Traumeel." All of these are available in natural food stores (including Whole Foods) and vitamin/supplement stores (I think GNC and The Vitamin Shoppe may carry them). The homeopathic versions probably derive much of their efficacy from the cooling sensation from evaporation of the witch-hazel gel base after application. The caveat, of course, is to NEVER apply them to broken skin--especially if you still have staples or the incision still has scabbing after staple removal.
 

Roy Gardiner

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Hi Robynhood, welcome to BoneSmart
what physio i should be doing (Really??? so much already)
No, do less.
At the moment want to soak up as much information as possible.
Here's the short version :)

- rest, elevate, ice and take your pain meds by the clock
- If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physiotherapist - to do it to you
- If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it.
- If you won't die if it's not done, don't do it.
- Don't stand if you can sit; don't sit if you can lie down, don't stay awake when you can go to sleep
 
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robynhood

robynhood

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well here we are at day 10. Certainly not as swollen as it was and the bruises are disapearing making it look less frightening. My first walk at six oclock to the loo is the worst ever after being in one position for so long. I keep trying to turn over in my sleep with my bad leg and wake up with a start. I am certainly using ice more often after all your advice and that is certainly helping. When i elevate the knee it seems to make it more stiff when i try walking with crutches again. is that normal. Going up and down stairs getting better. I am taking co-codamol and iburofen for the pain. I was offered tramadol for night time but refused as they didnt agree with me making me light headed and feeling sick. I am not looking forward to the staples being removed tomorrow. They do cover it again dont they so you dont knock the scar. I couldnt look when they changed the dressing in hospital as i am very very squeamish so wont be looking tomorrow either. The nurse did say it was a healthly looking and neat scar. At the moment taking each day as it comes and finding this forum the best thing ever for help and advice.
 

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Good luck with your follow up visit. I must say that I was amazed that I could look at my scar it was much cleaner and not as frightening as I thought it would be. I did keep mine covered for a few days after they removed my staples because my leg was still leaking a little.
 

skigirl

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Robyn, I don't think the staple removal is very painful at all. My incision was glued shut! But everyone seems to think that it is virtually painless. But, if you are worried, take your ibuprofen right before you go.

I think the stiffness is a form of pain---you are really not taking a very strong pain relief combo. I used to stand and then take a minute or two before I walked, which seemed to help. Also, if you have a stationery bike, you can ride it a little in the am and it seems to take away the stiffness.

I managed to borrow one from a friend who was using it as a clothes hanger in her bedroom. Kelly
 
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robynhood

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Staples taken out this morning.:) It was more like a stinging sensation more than pain. It wasnt pleasant but it was over quite quickly. The nurse did put another dressing on but advised me to remove this Monday. I start my physio on the wednesday so now feel the worst part is over and now my journey to recovery will start.
 
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robynhood

robynhood

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well really thought i would have a better sleep tonight with the staples removed but here i am 4.45 in the morning and cant get to sleep. cant get comfortable and the scar still stinging as the nurse said it might with all the messing about today. I have used ice for most of the day and culd do with some now but cant face the walk downstairs to get a new ice pack. Guess i will take more medication and hope for the best.:cry:
 

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I am so sorry you are hurting! Having to go up and down the stairs so soon after surgery is a killer especially when your leg is swollen. When you want to lie on your side put a pillow between your knees. It will help quite a bit! :)
 
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robynhood

robynhood

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Thank you Sonja I did try to go downstairs eventually but my husband heard me and told me to go back to bed and he got me the ice which worked straight away. I went out twice yday after the stapls were out and i think i did too much. Had a little sleep and will catch up with naps today. Just to be able to have a little moan helps dosent it.
 
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robynhood

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I am a little confused still on medication. A lot of the brand names i dont recognize here in the UK. maybe i would sleep better with more meds. I am taking co-codamol 30/500 every 4hours and iburofen strength 400 3 times a day. The iburofen dosent really agree with me and i get indegestion even tho i take it after food. tramadol didnt help in hospital. made me feel lightheaded and very sickly. Can anyone suggest other meds i can take esp at night.
 
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