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[TKR] Recovering in Canada

Lindylee

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@SnowHare That's great that you have that mindset now and taking back some of your independence - don't overdo it though. I tried the clingfilm wrap last night and it did seem to help. I didn't have the ache behind the knee that usually wakes me up and my knee wasn't as stiff in the morning - might be worth trying.
 

Josephine

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She also told me to keep using the Acetaminophen, and what is considered a max limit.
Pleased you found that article helpful. The maximum per 24hrs for acetaminophen is 4,000mg but do be extra careful that acetaminophen in any other medications - such as cold remedies and such - get subtracted from that total.
 
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SnowHare

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@Josephine

The doctor told me that there are revised limits in Canada for acetaminophen - 3000 units. I haven't found anything on the internet, so it might still be in the works, and she is just recommending the sometime-to be revised limits. She also reminded me to check what is in any other OTC medications for acetaminophen.

I have a very, very efficient liver and normally have to take higher doses than the average person, but I'm not going there with the Tylenol. I want to keep my very, very efficient liver.
 

Josephine

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That's why I said about other remedies that have acetaminophen in them. The governments got a bit nervy in case people 'might' take them in addition and end up taking an overdose. So I explained it to you to show that it's perfectly okay provided to subtract the extra from the total, if you get what I mean! It's not a law, it's a recommendation!
 
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SnowHare

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Today was my 6 week, more like 8 week check. The only problem the clinic physiotherapist identified was, no surprise here, that my extension is awful. Awful as in pretty much what I started with pre-op. The surgeon is sort of happy with my recovery, the extension being the biggest problem. The surgeon wants to see me in April.

They want me to go to the pool and flutter kick, then sit in the hot tub and stretch.

I have switched from the walker to the cane, although I use the walker out in the snow. My walk looks good, so they say.

Restless legs, day and night. Pain always, if I am not sitting up with my feet on the floor.

And the good news is, the surgeon says that my other leg does not need a TKR. Maybe in 10 years. As my operated knee becomes stronger, it will be literally pulling its own weight, instead of the other side doing all the work.
 

sistersinhim

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Extension can take a lot longer to come in. Since your knee's extension was bad before your surgery, it will take a while longer for yours to get better than what your leg originally had. Be very patient. Those large muscles and tendons on the back of the knee will take a while to stretch out. But, the good news is that you are where you were before your surgery! Now, to slowly stretch those shortened soft tissues out. I helped my extension come in by walking with long strides, with a heel to toe foot fall. If you want to try that just be sure to have something to hold on to in case you lose your balance.
 

Lindylee

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Sorry to hear you still have a lot of pain. It's just a thought, but is sitting with your foot on the floor more comfortable because of the lack of extension and is that then contributing to the problem because it's keeping those tendons short instead of gradually stretching them? I only mention it because my leg is happier straight, much as it was before surgery. It's always been the bent knee that's given me grief and, even now, sitting with my foot on the floor for 45 mins is more than enough, although I'm trying to extend it. I hope the water helps. Great news on the other knee though!
 
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SnowHare

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@Smokey253
I am soooo out of shape, I will likely flutter kick for 20 sec, rest, repeat, rest.

Right now I'm doing DeskCycle to start building up stamina. The surgeon was in favour of going to the pool, and he also said I should sit in the hot tub too and stretch. Fortunately, the pool that is designed for the disabled, read nice and warm, is not too far from us.
 

Lindylee

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Ooh relaxing in a hot tub sounds bliss. I can't wait to submerge myself in water. I wish these last scabs would hurry up and fall off.
 

Zommom

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I am also looking forward to soaking in my hot tub!
 
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SnowHare

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My body is in REVOLT.

Last night was the living end. My left leg, the not operated on leg, decided to have all the muscles go into spasm at the same time. Imagine engaging every muscle at once. I can't do that normally. I miss a muscle, or two, or three. But last night, my body said "SPASM!!!" and my leg co-operated. The only way I could halt it was to press on my left gluteal muscle. Today, my left leg is not wanting to straighten much, nor bend.

I had a couple of full leg spasms on my right leg, but they subsided. I am exhausted. Between the muscle spasms and the inability to get comfortable, I'm not getting any quality sleep.

Walking is murder. I've been slowly trying to reduce the Dilaudid, but I think this is not the time. I'm taking the Tylenol arthritis as well.

The only difference in my life is sitting up for half an hour for harp practice, which is necessary for my peace of mind, and 15 minutes on the desk cycle. I'm thinking I should cut the desk cycle back to 10 minutes.

I'm also feeling grumpy, because people keep telling me about someone they know who was doing this, that, or the other at 3 weeks, or 4 weeks, or blah blah blah. It's the unsaid comment about what's wrong with you?

This is the first time, so far, I've felt down since the operation. I take 2 different anti-depressants, so I'm raking this up to sleep deprivation.
 

liam2015

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oh that must have been painful. i'm not sure exactly what a desk cycle is and how it compares to pedalling on an upright exercise bike, but i think cutting back or even cutting out altogether for awhile might help if you're having to push it with pain in the rotation. for comparison, i couldn't do a full rotation on my city bike which was on trainers until 7 months post op. every so often i would try and could only go so far and it hurt ~ too frustrating for me to do even though i was being encouraged to go back and forth. after the 7 months, i could pedal perfectly with no pain. you're only around 8 weeks post op. i seemed to be taking longer than others to increase my range of motion but eventually i got there.

try to ignore unsolicited comments from people ~ we all heal differently. please be kind to yourself and to your body. your knee will cooperate when it's ready. on another note ~ you play the harp? wow, it's a beautiful instrument.:flwrysmile:
 

Celle

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Yes, cutting back on the desk cycle sounds like a good idea.

Try not to take any notice of the stories other people tell you. They don't really know. Either the person they knew didn't have a knee replacement, or their rapid recovery is over-stated.

There are many stories about a friend's aunt's grandmother, or some such distant connection, who walked off the operating table, danced down the corridor, and was playing foot ball a week later - or something like that. They're always second-hand stories, and I think they're just part of urban myth.

It's hard for other people - and sometimes for us - to accept that complete recovery from a knee replacement takes a long time, sometimes even as long as a full year.
 

Lindylee

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Oh don't you just love those comments? I tend to reply that they are so lucky because I've been hearing of people still struggling after a year and I'm hoping to fall somewhere between the two.

Those muscle spasms sound awful. Are you drinking enough? It might be worth trying to drink more water and even sprinkling a little salt on your food to see if it helps.
 
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SnowHare

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@ liam2015 : A Desk Cycle is a pedaling device that sits under a desk. I sit as close as I can, without creating pain, when I pedal. The trouble is, I lose track of time. I feel good afterwards, but I'm guessing it's catching up to me. My physiotherapist tried me on the upright bike, but it didn't work out so well.
 
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SnowHare

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I got a somewhat reasonable sleep last night. First, I moved to the spare room, I took my lounge doctor to keep me company, I took 2 mg dilaudid, 525 mg of tylenol (1/2 of a 650 mg tablet and the 200 mg in the robax), and one robax platinum. Robax extra strength has ASA, but the platinum has ibuprofen and 500 mg of Methocarbamol. From what I've read, this particular formulation is only in Canada.

I did not sleep like a baby, but I did not have those crazy muscle spasms, and I just had to wake up to change position.

Not having the cat with dementia sleeping on me probably helped too.

I've noticed that the ligaments at the back of my knee are much smaller and harder to find than the ones on my other knee. I guess there's been a fair bit of atrophying going on. Maybe that's why the extension is so water poor.
 

Zommom

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SnowHare I am so sorry your left leg went in revolt muscle spasms are the worst! Like you my unoperated knee has decided to start acting up (I guess it’s seeking attention) so as my operated knee is starting to feel a bit better this one’s now torturing me. Getting comfortable is tough one knee wants to elevate and the other wants to lay flat :shrug: I had to smile about your cat with dementia I have a 13 year old rescued yorkie that feels the best place to lay on me is with her head on my belly! She also is mentally diminished but makes me happy!
 
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SnowHare

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@Smokey253 It's so nice to know that my miserable legs have company. It amazes me how much they seem to be in accordance with each other.

After my first knee surgery, my physiotherapist would measure my thigh at the same place on both legs. Then we'd do the exercises - much more miserable than these ones - send me home. The next week, he'd measure both knees. Amazingly, the injured one grew muscle, but so did the uninjured one, but not to the same degree. This was back in 1974. Think doing leg raises off the table with a boot with a weight bar through it. Sometimes, he would put electrical stimulation on my thigh, wait for me to get to full extension, then turn the electricity off. The goal was for me to lower my leg down to 90 degrees. Oh, the good old days.

I like that "mentally diminished" description of your puppy. My cat has full blown feline dementia. He sounds like a baby wailing.
 
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SnowHare

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I went to physiotherapy today, and my physiotherapist said that my walking with a cane is excellent, and my walking without a cane is pretty good. I don't have a lot of confidence walking caneless, in part because my quads are shaky.

So now we are doing quad work. YAY! I've been waiting for this
 

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