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TKR Post TKR surgery

Bluesteel

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Hello all. Just found this forum. I had my knee surgery September 30. Tomorrow I go for follow up and to remove surgical bandage. First two days home were a bear. First week was rough but doable. Today is Day 11 and doing well except getting the knee to bend to 90 degree. Any suggestions on what helped? Prayers to everyone that is healing.
 

Sara61

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:welome: to BoneSmart. Please read the guidelines, then we're ready for specific questions

Your knee will bend in its own time, don't try to force it otherwise you will only cause more swelling, take time to heal if you look after your knee it will reward you in the end, it was a major operation and it will take a few weeks months to recover, but it will.

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
elevate
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)
don't overwork.
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
the BoneSmart view on exercise
BoneSmart philosophy for sensible post op therapy
5. At


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 a 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 history before providing advice.
 

Jockette

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Today is Day 11 and doing well except getting the knee to bend to 90 degree. Any suggestions on what helped?
The suggestion here is, don't try too hard to bend your knee. I know that’s not what we are normally told, but it’s true. You can’t bend your knee right now because of swelling. When the swelling goes down, the bend will get much better, all by itself.

There is no date by which you need your knee to have 90 degrees, or any other degree. We all heal at different rates.

Regaining our ROM is more about Time than repetitions of a list of exercises.

Time to recover.
Time for pain and swelling to settle.
Time to heal.

Our range of motion is right there all
along just waiting for that to happen so it can show itself.

In the general run of things, it doesn't need to be fought for, worked hard for or worried about. It will happen. Normal activity is the key to success.
 

benne68

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Today is Day 11 and doing well except getting the knee to bend to 90 degree.
Hi @Bluesteel and welcome! I'm coming up on the 4-week mark and I didn't get to 90 degrees until this past week! I found that icing and elevating are key to getting the swelling down and that has helped the bending improve. Read through the Bonesmart advice; it really has helped me be more realistic in my expectations.
 
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Bluesteel

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Hope everyone is progressing through post op. Saw my Ortho NP on the 12th. Sent me to PT because I cannot bend need 90 degree. PT was great first day. Sore afterward. Does anyone have a specific area in knee where it is painful? Mine feels like the joint is going to pop out interior side on top. Prayers for everyone's healing
 

Susie-Q

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Don't worry that you can't bend to 90 yet, it will come in time. This is very early days for you and your tissues will be healing for some time yet. I know one of our moderators will be coming along with a list of articles for you to read. Welcome! :wave:
 

Jaycey

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@Bluesteel Are you icing for 45-60 minutes several times per day? Icing will help ease the swelling that is limiting your bend.

But as everyone has already said - very early days for you. There is no timeline for this recovery. That knee will bend when it is ready. If anyone is telling you to force it or if PT is pushing at all, please tell them to stop. Forcing will only result in more swelling and pain.

You will notice that I merged your newest post 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.
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 will 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.
 
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Bluesteel

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I'm not going to push it. Frustrating but heal the right way! Sorry for starting new thread. Thanks for all the advice....it really does help!
 

benne68

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Does anyone have a specific area in knee where it is painful?
Hi @Bluesteel. For me, the location of the pain keeps changing; shin, calve, quad, medial side below the knee, then lateral side next to the knee, then under the patella....etc. It seems to be a moving target, but I guess that's part of the healing process.
 
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Bluesteel

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Hello Benne68
Yes I guess my pain shifts around also. Worse pain is that darn medial/top side which hurts worse with straight leg lifts or bending. But yes, part of the healing!! Keep our eye on the end result!!
 

hawk2go

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Worse pain is that darn medial/top side which hurts worse with straight leg lifts or bending.
Yep, that's me. Also behind the knee when I straighten or around the front when I sit. I read my surgical notes and found that they did the surgical cuts and pounding from the medial side and it made perfect sense why that area hurts more, it received the most stretching and general trauma. You're just over 2 weeks into what could be a 52 week journey with the first 6-12 weeks being a bear.

Others have said it but I echo, be patient. You'll be glad for it later.
 
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Bluesteel

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Thanks hawk2go. I appreciate the feedback.
 

dogwalker2

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Sounds to me like you are doing very well! Yes, shifting pain is par for the course, but mine also localised just under and on top of the knee on the medial side - it will go in time. Pain is the body's way of saying "take special care". This is my 2nd TKR and I have had great results both times by following the bonesmart way and using my ADLs (activities of daily living) as my main physio but take it very slow and steady in the early weeks. You will get there, for now use rest, ice and elevate. Be kind to yourself.
 
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Bluesteel

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Thanks dogwalker2. It brings comfort hearing from people who have had surgery done...twice! Hope all is well with your knees and again thank you for the feedback
 
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Bluesteel

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Day 18. 3rd PT session. Yes he beat me up but not to bend knee. Therapist said that will come. He is working on straightening leg so I don't walk with a limp. Switching to cane from walker.
Still have pain especially after PT and night time. I have been using Motrin and occasional Tylenol. It helps to massage leg especially the calf and then apply warm compress ( not on incision). Hopefully this may help someone else for night time.
Still ice and elevate as often as possible. Sending positive thoughts to everyone healing!!
 

newlybionic

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@Bluesteel If you are having pain during PT and afterwards you might be doing too much. Do they ice your knee when you are finished with PT? Your knee will swell even with them working on straightening your knee. If the PT isn't icing your knee nor icing it for a short time then make sure you ice your knee when you get home. If you have an ice machine you could set it up to ice at night. The machine that I have you can set it to cycle on and off all night. Or if you are using ice pads bring one to bed with you.
 
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Bluesteel

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Hi Newlybionic. I bring ice and Ice pads to therapy with me for the ride home. He had me walking a lot today which I understand. But the exercises to straighten the knee I had to tell him to stop at one point. Hope you're coming along nicely.
 

eaglemom

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Ice is your friend, followed by elevation. After a PT session make certain to do both for a minimum of 45-60 minutes. If PT is causing you pain you have the choice to say no and stop. If your knee is swollen its very difficult for it to bend or straighten. Sometimes less is best.

As for using your walker or cane - if you feel you need to use them, please do so. There isn't a schedule on when to stop using them. PT wants to tell you to stop - but again you’re in charge. Personally I walk much straighter, heal toe using a cane. I've accepted that sometimes I'll be using a cane. Always using something if you‘re extremely tired or unsteady - they are to help you be mobile.
 
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Bluesteel

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@eaglemom Hello and thanks for tips. Yes ice is definitely your friend! Looking forward to using cane but keep walker handy...especially nighttime bathroom trips.
 

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