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TKR Recovering and Starting Over

Sisterpat

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RTKR on Jan. 25th. Staples out, incision healing but very tender. Icing and elevating. PT 2x weekly. Flexion 93 degrees, extension -4. My question: I have a Far Infrared Sauna here at the house which I used several times a week prior to surgery. Any knowledge or recommendations about using it at this point in my recovery? I can adjust the heat so it is just a bit warm, not hot.
 

djklaugh

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@Sisterpat Has your surgeon cleared you to take regular baths? Is your incision completely healed? If not cleared for that yet I'd suggest calling your surgeon's office to check on using the sauna. And if you are still taking pain medications do be very, very cautious using the sauna as the medications may make you more susceptible to feeling light headed or dizzy. And it's not only the heat that could be a problem - risk of infection - particularly if your incision is not yet fully healed - is also a concern.
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome!

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.

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.
 

NightQuilter

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Welcome to BoneSmart! Until your incision is totally healed and you are cleared for baths, ice may be your better friend, especially since you mentioned the incision is still quite tender. It sounds like you are making good progress. We look forward to hearing how your recovery goes.
 
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Sisterpat

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Thank you all. Just to clarify, the FIR sauna is a dry one - no water or steam involved, so it’s not the same as having a bath. Thanks for the welcome! When this knee comes around I’m looking to have the other one done .
 

Celle

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It's generally not a good idea to use heat on a new joint, whether it's wet or dry heat, because it can increase swelling of the joint. Ice and cooling are better, because that tends to decrease swelling.

If you have a wheat bag or something similar, it's OK to use that on muscle aches and pains, but keep the heat away from the joint itself.
 

Nana26

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@Sisterpat Welcome! I had my surgery the same day as you did! I hope you recovery is a smooth one. P.S. I am 1 year younger than you are:thumb:.
 
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Sisterpat

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Just over 7 weeks since RTKR and have done pretty well. Walking without assistive devices and able to go up and down stairs pretty well. I have a great OS who I saw today and he totally gets it! He said “you are nowhere near as good as you’ll be in a few months”! My extension is really good though I’m frustrated with flexion, stuck around 104 or so. PT is about done for now. Still icing and elevating. Still unable to sleep in my bed . The big news is that I am now scheduled for the left knee for April 7th - so I guess I go to the Pre-op Forum?
 

Celle

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Hello @Sisterpat .

I think you're doing pretty well for only 7 weeks post-op.

Your flexion of 107 is quite OK. No need to worry about it, because there's plenty of time for it to improve.
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, so don't let anyone tell you there is.
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR

You can keep on writing about your recovery here in the Recovery area and you can also mention your other knee.

Thank you for the surgery date for your left knee. I'll add that to your signature.

By the way, you'll notice that I have merged your two threads together as it's best if members in recovery only have one thread.
This is because:
  • That way, you have all your information in one place. This makes it easier for others to go back and review your history before providing advice.
  • If you start 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 keep all your questions and updates on this thread. We won't miss your new question as, between us, the staff read all new posts each day.
If you need an urgent response to a question, tag a member of staff.
Tagging other members and answering tags

If you prefer a different thread title, just post what you want and we'll get it changed for you.

Here are the instructions on finding your thread, How can I find my threads and posts?

A helpful hint - Many members have found it useful to bookmark their thread so they don't lose it.

Best wishes,
Celle
 
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Sisterpat

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Thanks, Celle! Appreciate you all here on BoneSmart. Will keep you posted.
 

SusieShoes

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Wow! It sounds like you’re doing great. Don’t worry at all about your flexion because that’s still being affected by any swelling still going on, and you can be sure the joint still has swelling In there. Just keep doing what you’re doing and be positive. Talk about both knees right here, because we’ve been there ourselves.
 
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Sisterpat

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Thanks, Susie! It helps to get that reassurance. Some days I think I’m doing pretty good and other days I’m not as convinced...like today . It sure is a roller coaster! And now the thought of starting it all over again!
 

Jockette

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Best wishes for the second knee!

And yes, you're doing fine with the current one. As others have said, don’t worry about the flexion, mine continued to improve in my second, and even my third, year post op!
 
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Sisterpat

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Hi All!
Just got a call from my surgeon’s office. There was a cancellation for this Wednesday, March 31st and they offered me the slot, a week earlier than my original date. I took it immediately - sooner done, sooner recovered!
Celle, could you adjust the date of my LTKR to March 31st? Thanks.
And all prayers gratefully accepted!
 

Jockette

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You're welcome !
 
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Sisterpat

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Okay, all my fellow BoneSmarties, I need your good wishes and prayers for tomorrow’s Mako Left TKR! Surgery scheduled for 10:15 a.m. If this knee does as well as the right, I’ll be happy. Overnight stay and hopefully home on Thursday. I’ll keep you posted.
 

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