TKR Pain at 15 months post op anyone?

@patriciad @Catalien45
Thanks so much. A year ago, with my tkr in mind, I bought an adjustable tempur-pedic bed. Shortly afterwards I fell while playing with my grandson and fractured a vertebra. After that I found the new bed, even with a medium mattress, really hard on my back. So I invested $250 in a 2in Bloom cool topper. Princess that I am, I found that way too soft. Five months after the fall I had cement injected into the fractured vertebra, which resolved 75 percent of my pain. Since the knee surgery I have been sleeping downstairs in a spare room next to the kitchen. We have a really old house with narrow stairs and this has made it much easier for my husband to schlepp ice around. So I am temporarily sleeping on a regular mattress.

Your responses reminded me about the topper I shoved away in a cupboard. Will try that tonight. There has been a positive note to this story: my remaining back pain has totally disappeared, likely thanks to all the enforced rest post tkr. Last night I wore an elastic compression sleeve to bed and took two of my last few tramadol. I was sure I would wake up to remove the sleeve if it felt too tight but I slept right through, with no ill effects. What a wild ride.
I'm glad someone suggested a memory foam topper. I was going to say the same thing. We got one from Costco a couple of years ago and it really makes sleeping feel like you are being cradled on a cloud. We have a CA King Sleep Number bed so we can make each side as firm or as soft as we want. I find that if I keep mine fairly firm and then have the 4 inch memory foam topper on top, it's really comfortable. In fact I get spoiled by it and when I'm traveling, I really miss my bed at home. It took me awhile to be able to sleep in any position except for on my back and I got soooo sick of it. My knee didn't like side sleeping at all but gradually I was able to. It took awhile for that middle-of-the-night really bad stiffness to subside too, when you've bent your knee for a long period and then switch and that knee really hurts..... That memory foam might help your hip and make sleeping on your side something that happens sooner..... As @patriciad says, it's that four letter word, time that is the real problem.

I also found that using this pillow (one we'd had kicking around the house prior to my first TKR) with the channel in between my knees (length-wise) really helped me be able to side-sleep more comfortably...I still sleep with it, more out of habit than necessity.....

@Vida - such good news that you managed a good nights sleep. I’m hoping the topper you have will help with that regular mattress you are currently sleeping on. Let us know. Sending zzzzzzzzzzzz’s
@Vida..... I’m so glad you are getting relief from your back pain! That has to have been hard, along with the TKR recovery, I’d think one is bad enough. Now if you can just get to where you are comfortable at night, that would be so good. I slept on our couch downstairs for a looong time.... when I finally was able to sleep in our bed, all 3 of us slept better! ( I include Miss Felicity kitty; she felt it her duty to check on us both, & was up & downstairs much of the night.....). My “ new knee” does hurt when I wake
up during the night, but is better once I get up & move around , same in the morning. I’ll keep those positive thoughts, & prayers for your situation to improve.... and soon!
I had been slowly moving forward in a positive way until last week when my 97-year-old mum, who still lives independently, managed to smash her glass shower door to smithereens while climbing out of the bath. I should note that we have tried to get her to install a walk-in shower in her apartment for years but she is incredibly stubborn. Fortunately she was not injured and managed to throw a towel down on top of the glass and climb out to safety. Sadly my husband was not around to help and you can imagine the effort involved in clearing up all the tiny shards of glass. The one good thing that came out of this drama was that she finally admitted vulnerability and agreed to use a walker. So I ran out and rented one before she changed her mind. We will replace her shower/bath setup with a walk-in shower. Better late than never. At the end of it all I was exhausted and my knee was screaming. Again.

Luckily my surgeon had renewed my tramadol prescription so I have had help with the big pain at night. And I have, after struggling to sleep on my back for three months, found a decent solution. As I snore heavily when sleeping on my back, I wake up multiple times an hour with dry mouth. I have resolved this by buying some adhesive strips specially designed to stick closed lips together…. ergo no more snoring. It isn’t at all uncomfortable. I have a feeling that my knee would be healing much faster if I had thought of this sooner and avoided months of painful side sleeping. I hope my discovery helps other people who have trouble sleeping on their back.
Oh my goodness!! I'm so sorry about your mother and so glad she's not hurt! I know what it's like to have stubborn parents, they can't get out of their own way sometimes.

I'm glad you figured out a way to help with your snoring. I do the same thing when I sleep on my back and wake up with horrible dry mouth. Luckily I can sleep on my side now.

I hope you are able to rest and let that knee settle down.
Hi everyone. I am at 5.5 months and in quite the mess. My swelling is as acute as it was immediately post surgery. After a bad experience with a physio at week three that laid me out flat for a couple of weeks, I opted to do my own rehab. But I have had regular setbacks.

With no improvement and still needing opioids to handle big pain days, I finally sought out a physio with tons of tkr experience. He persuaded me to go back to my surgeon to discuss the pain and swelling. At my last visit in early March he just recommended patience. I saw my OS again 2 weeks ago. He was sympathetic and sent me for x rays and blood tests. Everything came back looking perfectly fine, so he put me on the anti inflammatory Vimovo for a month. The physio measured me at zero and 127 so no one is concerned about my ROM. And as I look good on paper, I should be doing well. My physio thinks my soft tissue never healed post surgery and has told me to stop all exercise except minimal walking. I am naturally a b positive person but this is so depressing. Before the op I used to walk daily fir an hour and do Pilates regularly. Now I pretty much lie around icing and heating my knee. I do very few stairs and confine my activity to minimal shopping and cooking. My uber supportive spousal unit constantly polices me to stop me from overdoing things. I am currently whingeing because today I got on the scales and discovered that due solely to inactivity, no dietary changes, I had gained 8 pounds since my tkr. I am resigned to a slow recovery but the last five months have been just awful. A kind word or a slap with a wet fish would be appreciated….
I’m so sorry you’re having such a tough time. :console2:

What an awesome physio you have that told you to stop all exercises except minimal walking. Walking is very good, as long as it’s not to excess, and will gently strengthen your knee and just give good, gentle movement for it, while giving everything time to continue to heal, without over stressing your leg. The fact that X-rays and bloodwork are good, is good news!

Try to hang in there! :console2:
Your rom is better than my 100 but I'm happy with mine and my doctor is too since i only had 80 on right 65 on left before surgery. I can swim and get over 2000 steps now and the 10#s i put on from October is slowly coming off. Be easy on yourself
a slap with a wet fish would be appreciated….
Ok, this made me laugh and think of Monty Python. :heehee:

I'm sorry you are having a slower recovery. It's good you are taking it easy and hopefully only time will be main factor now.
Hi, Vida. I’m so sorry you are having such a rough time right now. It sounds like you have a good team..your Drs And, your Physiotherapist. I had a very fortunate, good start with our local PT, she has done TKR rehabs for some years now, & she never pushed me beyond my limits. When I had my 2nd surgery for infection, I had home therapy for 3 weeks. He was pretty good, in general, but also young, & too aggressive at times, too. His methods actually set me back for a while. But then I was back with my wonderful local gal. Yay! But a bad experience can set you back for a while.
I’m like you.... I’m pretty positive, & like to be active. It’s So easy to overdo! Our weather has finally warmed up sufficiently to start our garden. Lately, I’ve been Really busy. Probably Too busy.....ouch! I’m fortunate that, like you, I have an “Uber supportive husband”. ( I’m gonna have to steal that phrase!). Yesterday, noting that I was really tired, and my balance bad lately,he commented, “ you need to slow down. I think you are pushing yourself too much. Tomorrow, you need to just Rest.” He’s right. I often find myself going like a house afire, then wonder why I’m finding a spot on the ODIC bench. As we were getting ready for bed last night, he stressed, “ you know, this is not a “Watch”’s a “Warning”. Our weather can be crazy here. If the weatherman says a “ watch”, it means conditions exist that “ could” turn into something serious. Be alert. If he says “Warning”....the something serious is likely imminent. Woke me up. I’m taking it easy today. We did walk , 30 minutes, which was nice, and a lovely day. We’ve had terrible winds a lot lately, and, I had a bad reaction to our second booster shot, so we have missed walking for a while. I’m hoping this will help get my balance back on track.
I was just re-reading some of your earlier posts. You have had several other things that probably slowed you down a bit. Sometimes these things happen, and, we just do what needs to be done. But it isn’t always the best for our own recovery. I’m thinking you have had several of those, & they most likely are impacting your longtime recovery.
I’m hoping your back is improved. Back pain can be tough. I think it’s extra good that you have a husband who can help to protect you from yourself. In my case, it’s good in that I can be a bit stubborn ( well, really, bullheaded..), but he has a gentle yet firm way of seeing the situation with more wisdom, & I listen. I often say that he must have the patience of Job to be married to me for 52 years! I think we are very fortunate, you & I.....
Do take care, know that you are very much in my thoughts.
Here’s looking to that rollercoaster on the way back up again.... it Will happen.
So. It has now been six months since surgery. A month taking anti inflammatories has reduced my swelling by about 15 percent. Enough for my OS to renew the prescription. And, thankfully, my tramadol, which I take once in a while at night, if the day was especially rough. At the physios recommendation, I stopped all exercise except walking. Feel incredibly blobby but have followed instructions. We have had a soggy spring so it wasn’t hard to stay in, or walk in an indoor mall. I am back up to 10 blocks now that the sun is out and that has helped me stay positive. My husband has also accepted a little help in the garden, although I am under strict instructions to keep it short and avoid too much bending.

In an effort to help myself I have just started trigger point therapy and laser acupuncture. Am keeping an open mind and will report back if it helps with pain or swelling.
@Vida Good Morning, sounds like you have a working plan. I had extreme swelling in my LTKR but found out it was due to vascular issues which at this time can't be resolved as my knee surgeon wants no surgery on that leg. So I wear a thigh high compression stocking instead and it is reducing the swelling and my ROM is 100 which is fine with me since it was only 65 before the TKR. My quad still yells at me if I don't watch my motion walking but otherwise all is good especially when I can go swimming for an hour in the morning, which I just returned from.
It takes time to heal as my RTKR often tells me going on 8 months out from surgery. Take care.
@jaspa Glad to hear your ROM is better. I am sure you will keep gradually improving. I was worried about my flexion going backwards after halting all exercise but my physio said that won’t happen. We will get there. Sorry to hear about your vascular issue… did they give you some meds to help? You have motivated me to try the pool again. I have bought several different knee compression stockings plus tried the tubular elastic stuff you buy by the foot but they all hurt my hamstrings and I really don’t need that right now!
@Vida I use the Jobst stockings which were recommended by the place where my doctor sent me to be measured for them they feel great on most days. The medical supply place measured my leg in 3 places and based on the strength the doctor wanted for the compression they sold me the stockings. They weren't cheap $85 a pair but then I was able to order online the same ones for half price so I have 2 pairs. I usually only wear the stocking on the left leg. My doctor and PT really strongly recommended swimming or just walking in the pool for the legs and I have found that it does keep the swelling down and no pain too. Always remember to be "easy on yourself", I still have to remind myself of that at times as this is a journey.
So at 8 months I am still struggling with severe pain and swelling. X ray and blood tests are fine. It feels like something is ‘catching’ on the exterior of the knee, making much activity impossible. My OS said he would happily scope me to see why this is happening but can’t because of my swelling. He gave me prescription strength diclofenac to apply twice daily and more tramacet. Also urged me to take ice baths to help reset my inflammatory system. Um, nope, although I do spend lots of time dangling in the pool and have daily cold showers, in addition to icing and elevating. I have stopped all physio and at the suggestion of my surgeon, am doing only what I enjoy doing. I see him again in September. It’s dispiriting but I have accepted that I will be one of those who recovers slowly. I am just afraid the swelling won’t abate so the soft tissue can’t heal. And the prospect of living with this pain is frankly unbearable. I could ease the pre op arthritic pain with exercise. post op, nothing I try seems to help. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has been in a similar position.
I had a very slow first year. While I did continue to have swelling through that first year, I also had a lot of tightness.

5 years later I still don’t have a good outcome, but, I did have a lot of improvement in my second year, as my whole leg continued to heal and relax. 2 second opinions were not able to help me, so I’m managing with what I have.

Not the outcome I expected, but I could be a lot worse. For me, it is what it is.
Are you elevating while you're icing? That might help.

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