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[TKR] Rockgirl4's Recovery---already full of surprises.

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by Rockgirl4, May 23, 2019.

  1. kneeper

    kneeper FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    At 4 weeks I'd say my proportion of feet up to feet down was about 90%up/ 10% down. By week 6 it was probably 70% up. But I really didn't keep a schedule. I just got up periodically and moved around, took a walk etc.
     
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  2. Rockgirl4

    Rockgirl4 senior
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    Thanks @kneeper. I think I rushed things last week because I thought I could. It's really trial and error, isn't it?! I wasn't trying to please my Dr or even myself, just trying to find my new normal. I spent most of yesterday with my legs propped up, and it felt wonderful. I need to just keep finding a balance being sure I don't overdo.
     
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  3. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    It most certainly is. Unfortunately, when we error it's painful. As long as we learn from it, it's a good thing!
     
  4. Rockgirl4

    Rockgirl4 senior
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    Hi everyone---7 week update!! It's been exactly 7 weeks today since my right TKR. Every 3-4 days I notice something has changed. I'm afraid to jinx it, but I remind myself to keep celebrating the little things as they happen. I wish my bend was increasing sooner (of course!!), but I can easily put my clothes on now and only struggle with taking socks OFF at the end of the day when I'm more swollen. I knew this "bending thing" might happen at a snail's pace, considering my history. I'm happy for any progress, even if slower than I wanted.:heehee: These are my recent "mini" milestones though:

    1) I pivot better and am able to walk on slightly sloped surfaces, as long as it's not wet or too steep. I avoid those circumstances but easily find myself tolerating uneven surfaces better this week than last.
    2) I don't wake up as sore in the morning and don't need time to loosen up.
    3) Getting in/out of a car is much improved since last week. Late in the day is iffy if I'm more swollen or tired.
    4) Driving is easier, though I haven't attempted sustained trips >10 minutes in one direction....meaning if I go anywhere, there are numerous stoplights or it's only 5-6 minutes before I'm at my destination. If I'm going somewhere requiring my foot on the accelerator for >10 minutes, I simply don't do it and have my husband or mother-in-law drive me. I'm trying to build up slowly/safely.
    5) The walking aspect of short errands is more tolerable. I did try to walk one grocery store Saturday but headed to the car while my husband/son checked out. I do okay while moving, but standing still for too long is very uncomfortable and quickly leads to increased pain. This is what I miss most though. I look forward to eventually standing and talking to someone I come across at the store or even a neighbor outside. I know it will come in time, but it's been a 10+ year frustration I'm more than eager to move beyond.
    6) I'm finally able to ride my stationary bike with no rocking of the pedals to warm up, and no need to go backwards at the start of the ride. I pedal forwards the entire time with just a little hip hike the first 2 minutes. I have lower back/hip issues anyway, so this is part of just my normal knee recovery M.O.:umm: It will resolve when I get just a bit more bend, as I'm <this> close. I'm up to 12-13 minutes each day in 1 session and am loving it!!! :yahoo:Notice I'm not concentrating on ANY numbers for flexion or extension. My PT doesn't need to measure for 2 more weeks anyway, as my 9 week checkup with the surgeon isn't until July 25th. We're enjoying the functional progress and know a lot can still improve in 2.5 wks.
    7) No strength training yet except for adding upper body weights (while sitting on a chair or exercise ball for core stability). I don't walk to rock the boat. I notice my right hip/glute is super weak, thus walking up stairs is not fast nor easy without holding on to the railing. I'll address that next in my recovery, as I don't feel safe being this weak.

    I like having this as a way to document all the little things I take for granted sometimes. It's also a nice reference for when I have the left knee done down the road. :)
     
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    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  5. lovetocookandsew

    lovetocookandsew FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Great to read your positive report! It sounds like you're progressing well and doing great. All the little things and successes add up and help us see how much better we're doing. :yay::flwrysmile:
     
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  6. Rockgirl4

    Rockgirl4 senior
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    Awesome Surprise! My PT was looking at my knee today after I warmed up. She asked if she could go ahead and measure today instead of waiting any longer, as she suspected I'd hit 100 degrees. I was fine with it.....I knew 8 days ago that I was around 94 degrees......

    Sure enough, with NO forcing and NO pain---I was at 105 degrees.:wow::yahoo: All I can say is there were definite high-fives that followed, along with some happy tears.:yes!:
     
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  7. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Great! :yes!: :happydance: :yay:
     
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  8. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    What wonderful news! Yippee!
     
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  9. dogwalker2

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    Wow that is such great news!!!! You must be soon pleased xxx
     
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  10. dogwalker2

    dogwalker2 member

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    That should of course say "so" and not "soon" xxxx
     
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  11. kneeper

    kneeper FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Great report--all good signs of progress. :friends:
     
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  12. Rockgirl4

    Rockgirl4 senior
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    Thanks for ALL the well wishes, guys. :friends::loveshwr:

    I think most of you knew from the very beginning how terrified and worried I was about a repeat performance of my ACI in 2015/16 with severe scarring and no bend. It ruled my life from Sept to May, especially after I had to cancel the original surgery last Dec when my mom died. Just having this fear gone is like a huge weight off my chest. I can actually relax now!!! :bath:

    ......and some might think I'm crazy but my mom's birthday would have been day after tomorrow, and it's been a rough few days knowing that's coming. It kind of feels like SHE gave ME a birthday gift in reverse, just to make my week better, you know???.:angel:
     
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  13. skigirl

    skigirl FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I am happy to hear of your progress--it is trial and error. Often at 4 weeks we begin to feel better, think we are cured and then overdo!! A painful lesson!!

    At seven weeks, it is much more comfortable and it sounds like your rom is great!

    I always used swelling as my guide---ride 10 min on bike--no swelling, then ride 15 if swelling! ride 5, etc! It sounds like you are doing that too---more rest is always better until 12 weeks, so, if in doubt, through your legs up and rest!
     
  14. Rockgirl4

    Rockgirl4 senior
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    @skigirl It's so interesting you say this....as of yesterday afternoon, my swelling had definitely increased in my ankle and lower leg...then by nightfall the knee was extra swollen too. My PT told me to elevate more the next 2-3 days to get the swelling back down, then be sure to go "toes above nose" at least once every day, if not more. Our weekend was so crazy that I was putting my feet up, but I had stopped so high ("toes above nose"). Now I know it was giving me much more benefit than I'd given it credit for.:whistle:
     
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  15. Rockgirl4

    Rockgirl4 senior
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    Odd Question-----The guys might want to skip this unless one is used to "girl stuff":rotfl:

    Did anyone completely skip a period after their TKR? I had one around 10-11 days post-op, right on schedule. Now I'm easily 2 weeks late for my next one. I've only been 2 wks late twice in life, and that was a suspected miscarriage 20 yrs ago, then again when I WAS pregnant 13 yrs ago. I had my hormone levels measured last winter and know I'm nowhere near Menopause yet, thus I'm guessing it HAS to be surgery-related, as there's no chance I'm pregnant.:rofsign:

    I had a different and equally painful/stressful knee surgery in 2015, and this didn't happen. I figure a TKR likely has much more blood loss than during my ACI surgery though.

    Any thoughts???
     
  16. Atlas_aus

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    Good to see your progress and so happy you have passed the 100 deg mark. Standing still is also the hardest for me at this stage and I am not sure how long it will be before it goes away... Other than that I am tracking well and getting a little better every day.

    Keep up the good fight.
     
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  17. lopat

    lopat junior member

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    Thank god I don’t have to do that anymore. What I will tell you (have raised and shown dogs for 30+ years) after a female has had anesthesia, they will usually skip a heat cycle and they’ll blow coat. I kind of had a coatblow myself. So I’d say, odd are good for that being you’re reason.

    Nancy
     
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  18. newpartial

    newpartial junior member

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    Must be honest I was all over the place for a few months after any surgery I have had ..skipped a couple then erratic .. took a few months to get back into the rhythm. Think is more related to the stress on the body rather than blood loss? Sure an advisor will know more.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  19. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I think surgery does muck around with your hormones, so a missed period or one out of sync is probably fairly normal.
     
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  20. Rockgirl4

    Rockgirl4 senior
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    8 Week Update----Things are going well. Life is getting back to normal and I've tried more the last week to see what will/won't cause any pain or swelling. I'm still surprised I don't get sharp pains anymore, and I'm assuming it has to do with all of the arthritis being gone in that knee. Thus, I'm assuming the dull aching is all surgical pain. Swelling comes and goes based on activity or if I spend too much time outside in the heat/humidity. Other notable observations are:

    1) Sleep is an annoyance. I can sleep just fine once I get to sleep, but I'm in a nasty pattern of sleeping 2:15 AM to 8 AM, as I just can't fall asleep before 2 AM no matter when I get up in the morning. :sigh:
    2) My extension was perfect until the weekend. I sat a lot in the car Saturday while running errands, then again during a movie on Sunday. My calf and hamstrings tightened severely last night, and no stretching would help. I had gotten out of the habit of doing my one really beneficial extension exercise every day, and I'm paying for it. Back to the daily stretching I go!!! This is my knee and my norm. I'm not one who's motion just shows up to stay. I always have to work at keeping it the first few months after every knee surgery by biking and stretching.:headbang:
    3) I called my surgeon's office today as I have 3 days left of the Arthrotec (mega anti-inflammatory for joint stiffness and swelling). His PA says he won't refill it. I will be off of it for 6 days before seeing the surgeon for my post-op visit, which was worrying me. They actually want to see if my motion changes much in those few days. If so, I'll probably go back on my old Celebrex (that I took the last 5 yrs anyway before the TKR).....I know it's just paranoia setting in, but I'm worried my leg will stiffen up and lose everything I've gained these last 4 wks. :sad: I plan on having my PT measure this Thursday, so we get the flexion measurement WITH medication, then next Tuesday (the day before the appointment) in case it drops considerably. That way I can argue it's NOT scar tissue, but swelling/inflammation. I shouldn't be so negative as to expect an argument, but I want to prepared for the awful MUA conversation in case it comes up. I doubt it will, but I'm a girl who likes to be armed with information.:whistle:I would never agree to an MUA at this point, but I also don't want the subject to even come up!!
    4) I've just been in a funk the last week or so. Last Thursday was my mom's first birthday since she died at Christmas time, and it was rough leading up to the day. I thought I'd be fine afterwards, but nope---it just brought it all to the surface again. Time will fix things again though.
    5) I'm still not handling socializing well. Church people and other friends wonder why I'm not back in the world yet. It's exhausting to keep explaining why I don't want too much activity adding more swelling and restricting my motion---especially here right before my post-op appointment when I'll be stopping the anti-inflammatory meds anyway. I'm trying to only get out to do what I absolutely have to.

    This is the problem we "young-uns" face---people think at my youthful age of 46 I should have been normal by now. Apparently their parents/grandparents only needed longer to recover because they didn't have my "youth and vitality" on their side.:holysheep: What a load of :censored:!! It's like talking to a wall sometimes!!! :banghead:

    Sometimes it's easier to not answer the phone or show up on Sunday mornings. :bored:
     
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