TKR Pulled Ligament in Week 6 recovery

Please consider this. You had two really bad arthritic knees. You’ve only had one replaced and it sounds as though you may have struggled to allow that knee to heal by trying to resume your normal activities a bit too soon. Pushing your new knee put strain on it and possibly kept the soft tissues somewhat angry. In addition to that, your new knee has been trying all this time to make up for your other knee that is weakened and probably painful. Your body is now out of balance with one repaired knee and one bad joint. This further puts stress on your soft tissues as it’s impossible for you to achieve a normal gait under these conditions. Depending on how your knees have deteriorated, it is possible that your bad knee is causing that leg to be slightly shorter than the surgery leg. If this is the case, your gait and body alignment will definitely be off. This imbalance can be at least part of your problem.

Please don’t put off getting the second replacement. It will put your body back in proper alignment and you will have a much better chance of doing things normally again. In the meantime, stop trying to push yourself to be somewhat normal again until your second surgery is completed. Consider yourself still in recovery until you are past that second surgery and its recovery. Only then can you accurately assess how well either of your knee replacements has worked.
Sorry to hear all of what is going on with you. I am only 3 months out from my surgery, and I get frustrated like you do, and this group has helped me so much to be able to vent and think about the slow healing process. That is the one aspect of all of this that I wish surgeons would tell everything about this surgery and recovery when they make the recommendation for knee replacement. Maybe if we were better prepared by the medical community for what we are getting into then we would have a better recovery. I had to get my knee replaced (I was hit by a car when I was in middle school and had 5 surgeries on it until replacement) so I have years of undoing of bad walking, muscle realignment and body realignment. But, it would have been nice for my surgeon to say "hey this is going to be a long tough road for recovery for you but in the end it is worth it". Sorry for the rant but getting second or even third opinions before more surgery might be helpful.

Listen to your body and give yourself grace.
@Jamie ... Wow. I think you nailed it. Of all the things I've heard, all the plans and solutions I've been trying...I believe this makes the most sense. This has been crossing my mind the last few days because of the fear of another replacement...I am just stressed. However, I've been watching my gait and I do have to watch myself of not rolling my TRK in or out to compensate on how I walk with the unreplaced knee. It does throw my gait off. In fact, I had described to the surgeon it was like having two different sides of the body.
Right now I have a pulled lower butt muscle and I had even thought - my whole body is out of whack.
Thank you SO much for your input and understanding. As @Jockette and quite a few folks have been saying. Slow down, slow and steady wins the race. I am fear driven right now and even though it sounds counter-intuitive - more exercise is not my solution.
On the second knee...I just DO NOT want to go through that painful PT again. ROM did improve over time and it was not the PT exercises. It was when I slowed down and did the flexibility exercises which were gentle and painless.
I will SO take in what you have said and contemplate. I think you nailed it.
@MichiganGal ... thank you for your sharing and caring. I hope YOUR recovery continues and I love what you said...Listen to your body AND GIVE YOURSELF GRACE. I wish for you the same! This group of saints are wonderful.
I just DO NOT want to go through that painful PT again
I will never go through painful PT again. One of our newer members, @Nivea , has a surgeon who doesn’t send his patients to PT, he tells them to just use the new knee, and she’s doing very well, as have his other patients.
As @Jockette said, I have not done any PT. My OS has said to just use it and it will all work out. I was a bit shocked as I assumed everyone went to PT! My OS wants you to get up and out of your chair at least 10 times per day, that’s about all he has on his instructions! For me, it was easy as I had to use the bathroom a lot, lol. When I got up, I walked around the house a little bit and that was it. If the weather was good and not too hot, I’d walk outside and very shortly was walking around the block. I am nearly 8 weeks post op and sometimes forget I had TKR. My doctor said he is very pragmatic with how he approaches things. I trust him and he hasn’t let me down yet. He was my OS for my LTHR and I did great with that as well. Same philosophy, go home and use it. I had no restrictions at all and no PT.

I know everyone is different, all knees are different. But it seems to me that the slow and steady wins the race is very true. My knee told me if I did too much and PT seems to be making a lot of knees voice their opinions, lol.

I am having my RTKR October 23rd, so will be going through this all over again. If you have your other knee done, take control and take it easy.
@Nivea ... how inspiring. Wow...what a difference in knee journeys. I was just reading your journey since @Jockette recommended. All of it makes total sense since my RTKR has been quite a challenge from the beginning.
And to hear the words..."I am nearly 8 weeks post op and sometimes forget I had TKR." That is so far from my experience it sounds like a dream. I'm not sure what has gone wrong here with my TKR, however, one difference in our healing is what your doctor advised. Just use your leg and like you - getting up 10X per day was NO problem. That bathroom was used a lot. hahahaha I drank lots of fluids.
Well, you guys have given me food for thought. Especially for the upcoming LTKR in January. Right now I am doing as I said for this aggravated knee and doing only ADLs and reminding myself throughout the day...this builds muscle and strengths also. Even in just a couple of days, the ache is a bit better in the movement.
The support of this forum and you guys is just out of this world. I've been so stressed and I just do not feel so all alone now.
I printed out your doctor's instructions....LOL. Food for thought.
Also - my surgeon did the robotic knee replacement.
Good luck on YOUR upcoming knee replacement! Just around the corner.
@BlueSkiesHere It sure is a journey. We will all get there, some sooner than others. Hopefully, the ones that are still struggling, will find relief soon.

My OS is very different, as you read on my thread, no icing or elevating. I was stunned. I had even gotten an ice machine, sent that back, but did keep the Lounge Doctor that is promoted here. Not sure if/when I will use it but seems worth keeping. His feeling for not icing is he wants the blood and oxygen to get to the knee to promote healing. Icing constricts everything. However, I am a firm believer in following your doctors protocol on all of this. PT is questionable, LOL. I read here that being gentle with the knee is the best and I agree.

It is really interesting to hear about everyones experiences and I have learned a lot. Knowing we aren’t alone is comforting.
.I just DO NOT want to go through that painful PT again. ROM did improve over time and it was not the PT exercises.
You don't have to. Many members through the years I've been on Bonesmart never took PT and ended up just fine and they did it without all the pain of PT. I was blessed to have a surgeon who never pushed PT. He gave me a prescription for it, which I threw away. My OS never even asked about PT on my 3 return checkups! Of course, he knew I was a single lady who had to take care of myself and obviously trusted that I would not be just lying around all the time.

Because of birth defects, I had to have 12 knee surgeries, so I've had lots of knee recovery experience. I knew from that experience that I did not need formal PT after my TKR, and neither do many others if they do their own daily activities and do not just sit around all day and night. My knee recovered just fine all on its own with only my daily activities. I didn't have the terrible swelling or agonizing pain that so many have after taking formal PT. I knew the Bonesmart way worked before Bonesmart was even thought of. My surgeries started in the early 80s and I never went to PT even back then. I just didn't see the need for it. Bonesmart was formed around 2004. By then I had already had 6 knee surgeries and rehabbed the Bonesmart way!
@sistersinhim ... I hear you loud and clear. What I've done so far is not working. I can tell you that. It's amazing hearing other's stories. AND you seem to be JUST fine.
Well, I'm too tired to even begin to go through that pain again. Oh my goodness.
I read your recovery with sadness. Your knee has to heal. If you get the other knee replaced in January. Do you have a choice what facility to attend for outpatient PT?
I read your recovery with sadness. Your knee has to heal. If you get the other knee replaced in January. Do you have a choice what facility to attend for outpatient PT?
I recommend she use her home for her own independent PT!
@mendogal ... hahahaha....I think you are RIGHT! I know what doesn't work now. In answer to you @Mutti3 - I can make that choice of PT and I can do research and find someone more in line with a gentle recovery but I don't know. I am thinking the Bonesmart has served me well so far. Anytime I get stuck in this cycle of exercise/PT - end up hurting and over-doing it, the answer has always been to back off, give it time.
Right now I'm just doing the ADL and my sweet RTKR is already responding with a release of pain. So I'm sticking with @Jockette sage advice and resting. Really resting. ADL only. And @sistersinhim has a very inspiring and challenging recovery and has told me before on this same knee to let it recover on it owns on with daily activity. I am not a sitter. Even though I still can't put together those 2 or 3 miles continuous walk, I am active and do get steps in by the end of the day.
I'll keep you guys posted on my ADL experience. :)
let it recover on it owns on with daily activity
You will find this approach to be a much better one and with less pain and swelling. Would anyone exercise a broken leg? Well, a knee replacement has two sawed-off ends, drilled out and foreign material pounded into it. All the muscles and tendons had to be pulled out of the way while this implant was being installed. No wonder it takes up to a year for complete healing and aggressive PT only makes most of us worse!
Update. ADL is not for wussies. So to the best of my abilities - laying off the "PT exercises" and just doing my gentle stretches which helps to keep the tightness out of my knee, hip muscles and lower back. Even those are on the floor or bed - non-weight bearing. Most are from this forum's recommendations. As I mentioned - through all this, I've pulled a lower/hip muscle. My lower hip muscle has been tight ever since surgery. It was not that way pre surgery. I think maybe this is the IT band area? Nothing severe, but I do have to stretch that area. I had a massage therapist point out the knot/trigger point there at a massage. Could contribute to my tight band replacement knee issues. That stops me for sure. Rest and gentle stretch only solution and heat.
What this daily activity has shown me is how out of shape I have become. It makes me a bit sad because I realize how much I play in my head "I can't do this" or I have tailored my lifestyle to avoid walking or to avoid pain and discomfort. None of what I am attempting to get back to now is not anything I did before surgery with TWO osteoarthritic knees! I've regressed. order for me to walk a bit more and build that up slowly I've been doing more to make me walk a bit more and walk around our house outside to fill bird feeders, etc. Of course our house has steep hills so that is why I've been "avoiding" them. For me right now it is about building endurance in walking a bit at a time. I have been doing short spurts throughout the day, but the reason I realize the weakness is in the area is...
We had tickets to a football game. Yes...walking from car parking lot to gate, walking DOWN the stadium steps inside (great seats). However, the simple and not too difficult terrain I walked was a bit of an uphill grade to the entrance and then after game, back down. My lower knee calf has been SOOO tight and sore. BECAUSE I DON'T USE IT in that way.
All this for me is common daily activities. I've scheduled a massage for Thursday to help with the tightness and patience again is required. Slow and steady.
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At our age it's imperative to do *some* usage of pretty much all our muscles in daily life - as you've noticed, not to become body builders, just to maintain tone, function, and flexibility.

Lift and carry stuff, sweep, reach to retrieve ingredients; if you've a yard, go out to rake, weed, or prune even if you just set a timer for 10 minutes at first! Focus on breathing and good body mechanics.

My morning routine after hygiene is: feed the cats (pick up three bowls, fill, replace on floor), scoop out two cat litter boxes. While the tea kettle heats, walk around tossing treats to cats. While the tea brews in the pot, sweep the kitchen floor. By the time I sit down with a mug of tea and the newspaper, I have done a nice little morning workout.

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