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Bilateral TKR Post op week 14

Bilateralbabe

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I’m 4 weeks post op and anemic. I am getting iron infusions this week. This weekend, I have slept a lot and cried a lot. PT says my motion is good, but I feel like I’m stuck in this anxious, depressed feeling and wonder how normal this is? Of course Covid 19 isn’t helping, but I hate feeling this way. How much longer should I anticipate feeling this way?
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome, we’re glad you joined us!

Feeling emotional, anxious and depressed is, unfortunately, very normal after this major surgery.


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 and should help to answer a lot of your questions.

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.
 

bikinglynn

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I got so tired of not sleeping at night, of every little thing being an effort, of not feeling good. I also had an expectation that I would feel better after 2 weeks. Maybe I did, but not that much.

This process has been slow, but every little positive change helped my mood.

Your anemia has probably contributed to your tiredness and feeling down. Worrying about your feelings being abnormal is one thing you can put aside. They are normal. It is going to get better. Just keep writing on Bonesmart. You will get a lot of support that really helps.
 
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Bilateralbabe

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What are your thoughts on aquatherapy? I have access to a therapy pool that has not closed due to Covid. My MD said I could get back in the pool after 4 weeks. I used the pool pre op to exercise.
 

Jockette

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PT put me in a pool at 4 weeks and it caused me a lot of pain. It was a 50 minute session, way too long, and way too early in recovery, so I don’t advise it.

Also, I’m surprised that pool is still open. Even if I was recovered enough to go in a pool, I would not, with the threat of this virus so strong.
 

Jamie

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The governor issues a stay-at-home order for the state of Tennessee on April 2. I don't know what kind of pool this might be you're talking about, but I cannot imagine it would be considered an "essential business" and it should be closed.

Water therapy is fine following joint replacement surgery. It's actually easy on the joints. But because the water gives you support when you're moving, it's quite easy to overdo things. Once the virus threat is over, you could consider it.

But for now, you need to plan to do your exercises at home. You really don't want to risk getting this virus. Since you've just had major surgery, your immune system is still somewhat compromised. Please take the stay-at-home order seriously.
 

Celle

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@Bilateralbabe

Protect yourself against catching Covid-19 - stay home. Your knee will recover without aquatherapy.


You'll notice that I have merged your two threads together as we prefer that members in recovery only have one thread.

This is for three reasons:
1. if you keep starting new threads, you miss the posts others have left you in the old threads
2. it often ends up that information is unnecessarily repeated
3. it's best if we can keep all your recovery story in one place so it's easily accessed if we need to advise you.

Please keep all your questions and updates on this thread. If you would like a new thread title just post what you would like it to be and we'll change it for you
 

Tykey

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We've not had many positive comments about Aquatherapy. I tried it and all it contributed was increased swelling and stiffness. Once everything has healed, maybe it will help building up muscle strength.

I certainly wouldn't be out and about in these virus times. How long does a virus live in a pool?
 

aperture

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Four weeks seems like a long time to feel the way you do, and it is so frustrating to feel tired and in pain day after day. I am nine weeks post op and still frustrated with the slow improvement, but as everyone here tells you we just have to hang in there and little by little we gain strength and movement. Some days are much worse than others. Roy is right, in another four weeks you will look back and see how far you have come. As for PT, I found that simple walking, minding “heel to toe” and not limping, were the best way I regained strength. And fortunately spring is just about here. Nature is great therapy.
 

Cjackso21

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I started swimming at 4 weeks before Covid 19 restrictions and it did hurt my knee but helped everything feel better including my mood. So I used a buoy to start so I just dragged my legs. But after a few more weeks, I gradually kicked and it felt great. I have a small pool at home and swim every day and it has helped my stiffness and swelling (not heated and is cool) considerably. I do some of the exercises in the pool too using the water as resistance.
 

Cjackso21

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Whoops, so sorry, replied to the wrong thread. But swimming does help you depression and things will get better!
 
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Bilateralbabe

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Thanks everyone. I have changed my PT to walking, have been taking pain meds more as scheduled, and swelling is improving. I had a 2nd iron infusion yesterday, so I am hopeful that will help my stamina. This forum has helped me see that all my experiences are normal. What a relief!
 

Sara61

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Best PT you can do I wholly believe in walking, remember to stand tall, use the heel to toe method and try to look straight ( I still look at the ground, but then I usually walk cross country haha) I'm 6 months today and all swelling and tight band feeling has gone- I put this down to following the sensible advice given on this forum xx
Happy Easter to you xx
 
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Bilateralbabe

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What product do you recommend? I’m 6 weeks post op and have been using pillows, but I don’t usually sleep on my back.
 

Pumpkln

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@Bilateralbabe
You'll notice that I have merged your newest thread with your original recovery thread. For several reasons, we prefer that you only have one recovery thread:
  • That way, we have all your information in one place. This makes it easier to go back and review your history before providing advice.
  • If you keep starting new threads, you miss the posts and advice others have left for you in the old threads, and some information may be unnecessarily repeated
  • Having only one thread will act as a diary of your progress that you can look back on.
So please post any updates, questions or concerns about your recovery here. If you prefer a different thread title, just post what you want and we'll get it changed for you.
If you need an urgent response to a question, just tag a member of staff.

Many members bookmark their thread in their computer browser, so they can find it when they log on.
 

Pumpkln

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There are a lot of wedge pillows available, the ones with memory foam may be more conforming to your back. You can find them on Amazon and Bed Bath and Beyond.
 

Jockette

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I was always a side sleeper before surgery. I became a back sleeper more easily than I thought I would, and that was because I was elevating my legs. I still sleep that way, 3 years later!

Here is an article that was in the Recovery Guidelines, about preferred wedge pillows:
 
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Bilateralbabe

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Ok, guys. I was planning on going back to work (nursing) this week, but I’m terrified I wont be able to do my job. I still have difficulty going from sitting to standing and my gait is still pretty stiff-legged. I am taking another 3 weeks, but I have to go to work then, financially. I know everyone says it takes a year to totally recover, so, I’m really going to focus on my walking and water therapy. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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