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TKR Pain on the journey

Curious2

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I had TKA 9/2/2020. PT 3 times week and pt daily home routine taking aleve or xtra strength Tylenol daily. Not terrible pain but definite discomfort which limits range of motion if no meds. Is this normal?
 

Pumpkln

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@Curious2
Welcome to BoneSmart, glad you joined us!! :welome:

Pain and swelling are limiting your ROM, your knee needs time to heal, your ROM is there waiting to be revealed as you heal.
Taking pain meds mask the pain and swelling so you have some additional ROM, when the meds wear off the swelling and pain come back and limit your ROM.


Suggest you stop pushing for ROM, and let your knee heal. Trying to rush healing, will only set your recovery back, as you have found when your pain meds wear off, swelling and discomfort limit your ROM.

You can do these two gentle ROM activities yourself for ROM 1 or 2x a day, with gentle being the key word.
Heel slides and how to do them and Extension: how to estimate it and ways to improve it .

Here is your copy of the Knee Recovery Guidelines, the articles are short and will not take long to read.

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 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.
 

Celle

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Hello @Curious2 - and :welome:

You're still only two and a half months into recovery from major surgery, so some pain is still to be expected. Complete recovery of all your tissues from a knee replacement takes a full year, although you'll be able to do most things long before that.
This isn't a surgery you can bounce back from in just a few weeks.

In a way, the pain is a good thing, because it prevents you from doing more than your knee is healed enough to do.

As Pumpkln said, forget about the ROM for now.
There's no need to rush to get ROM (Range of Motion) because it can continue to improve for a year, or even much longer, after a knee replacement. There isn't any deadline you have to meet:
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR

In any case, It's not exercising that gets you your ROM - it's time. Time to recover, time for swelling and pain to settle, and time to heal. Your knee has the potential to achieve good ROM right from the start, but it's prevented from doing so by swelling and pain. As it heals and the swelling goes down, your ROM (both flexion and extension) will gradually increase.
 
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Curious2

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Thank you Pumpkin and Celle. I appreciate the support and voice of reason. Patience is definitely not one of my virtues but listening to my body and not pushing myself needs to be thank you so much for the resources and I am grateful to have found this group
 

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