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

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Rockgirl4

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I forgot to add I'm still convincing my husband DAILY that I'm not pregnant.:rofsign:No period and no sign of it showing up anytime soon. What's hilarious is he knows it's not possible without a weird freak of nature after the last 12 yrs, but his paranoia cracks me up anyway.:rotfl:
 

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Im exactly the same with the sleep-no way before 2 am. I feel best around 8-10 am so stay in bed late. Can’t do this when I go back to work! Im just over the 6 week right now.
As to the period (or lack of) I went through menopause at 48-you never know. I guess you will find out one way or the other soon enough!!
 
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@suejan I was able to go up to my husband this afternoon and say "I told you so.....it was only 3 wks late!!!" :heehee:

Last night I think I was asleep by 1:45, so maybe I'm making progress. Today was the first time in 2 wks I've needed an afternoon nap though. These weird hours are catching up to me. :)
 

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Hi Rockgirl4! I was excited to see your age! I am scheduled for LTKR in Sept (on the 11th of all dates) and am 2nd guessing and scared to death! Can you tell me, so far 2 months out are you glad you did it?
 
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@mtsumomm22 Hi and welcome to Bonesmart. Forgive my novel, and I tried to shorten this, but there was no quick way to answer your question. :) Yes,I am glad I had it done, but keep in mind I had enough structural issues going on to help make my decision. I wasn't in constant pain before-hand, so it's harder to find direct comparisons for improvement this early on, especially considering my unusual start to recovery (see below) ....but so far, here is where I'm at:

The Good ("Thank God I did it!" ):
1) The grinding/sticking pain is gone, especially when driving. I used to have to sort of "unstick" things if I'd driven more than 25-30 minutes or when sitting in certain chairs.

2) The only true pain I have is from ongoing swelling (and I swelled "severely" resulting in lots of unusual and large fracture blisters), plus muscular tightness/soreness and occasional cramping. I do have very sensitive, borderline "painful" areas on the medial side of my knee, but that's also where I had the most intense burning and pain as soon as I woke up from surgery. It increases when I try any new exercises that puts lots of stress through the joint, so my PT thinks that's likely where the most surgical work was performed. Keep in mind that medial side had also been through 7 other knee surgeries, one of which was extensive and brutal pain-wise. I think it's ALL part of why that area will hurt longer.

3) The ankle problem I developed in December has only flared once since the TKR--and that was as soon I began walking and being on my feet more for laundry, cooking, etc at 6 wks post-op. I still shift a lot of weight to that other leg, but straightening the TKR leg/knee HAS helped that ankle. Even my ankle surgeon thought most of the ankle problem was brought on by how I was walking due to this knee needing replaced.

4) Shopping/walking is easier in a way---it's a different kind of pain, making me think it's swelling and inflammation still (see below!!).

The Ongoing Frustrations of Recovery (Notice I didn't say "The Bad" :) )
1) I had what my surgeon calls a "severe inflammatory reaction" to my TKR surgery, resulting in 14 large fracture blisters and severe swelling. Not your usual range of TKR swelling, but severe swelling. I was basically on bedrest from Days 5-9 with only bathroom breaks allowed---no PT, no standing/walking/bending or even sitting in a chair with my legs down. :bignono: Even at 4 wks, I still had major swelling, so my surgeon put me on a strong anti-inflammatory (Arthrotec) specifically for joint stiffness.

2) Because of #1, I was told to think of my recovery as beginning at 3 wks post-op instead of Day 1. My PT agrees I'm currently more like a 4-5 week post-op patient at the low end of "normal progression" instead of an 8-weeker. :bored: I've made loads of progress since week 4, and she and I are super happy with the progress. She says I'm catching up quickly. I still worry about how stiff I am at times from the on-going swelling. I was told not to compare myself to anyone at ANY stage after TKR though, because like the crazy past that got me here, I'm Just.Not.Normal. :banghead:

3) Because of #1, I've avoided ALL strength training. PT is very gentle--only stretching, soft tissue massage, and balance work. Thus, I can't yet say if I can do my usual fitness/exercise activities without pain. Time will tell. I see my surgeon next Wednesday for my next post-op visit, and he wants to see what happens without the anti-inflammatory in my system.

4) So in a nutshell, I'm unable to say "Woo Hoo---this is awesome" yet. We're all just cautiously optimistic. :) Also, I had given up ALL strength training as of last fall because the knee was so bad. This eliminated a lot of pain, but it wasn't how I wanted to live. I finish the 4 wks of Arthrtec tomorrow and fear I will regress, but I'm trying to stay positive and hope I'm over the hump. I tend to be majorly athletic and love to exercise (bike, walk, hike, weight lift), so I have a way to go to know if I can do all THOSE things pain-free. I don't just want to be pain-free---I want my life back with my son and husband, even if it's just walking, vacationing, and basic physical fitness.

I forgot to add that I was so worried over whether to go through with the TKR or wait a few more years. I had had a famous sports surgeon do my last 6 knee surgeries, and he actually lied to me many times about the state of my knee in 2016-2018, and kept telling me I was too young for TKR.

Luckily my Rheumatologist told me I seriously needed to consult someone new, and that's how I met my wonderful TKR surgeon.

I had scheduled the TKR for Dec. 18, 2018, but then my mom got sick and passed away within 11 days. She actually died the day before my TKR. Even with postponing the surgery, I still doubted my decision----until the ankle injury in at New Years!!!!!!. :yikes: All of which was brought on by mom's situation that severely worsened everything "knee."

That proved I'd actually waited too long and had let other parts of my body become affected by shifting too much weight to the other side and walking oddly....plus my TKR leg had started bending inward at the knee very quickly as of last Fall. My surgeon says once that starts, it progresses rapidly, unfortunately.
 
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Good morning @Rockgirl4 ,


......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:
Not crazy at all. I lost both my parents before I was 21.... But throughout my whole life I swear they have been looking out for me... The things that have happened just at the right time when I thought all was lost convinces me it is true.

Anyway, glad to see your progress. The different sort of pain we have post compared to what we had going into it makes me know I made the right decision, and more so having them done together. The cold is causing an unusual aching something I did not have before, but winter is short here so hopefully that goes in the not too distant future.

Good news about the stationary bike, you may find the transition to a real bike easier than you think, I know I did . :biking:

Take care :)
 
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@Atlas_aus Thanks so much for sharing your personal story with me. I cannot imagine how hard that must have been for you.

It's been a rough 2 wks overall, and it doesn't seem to take much to get me crying----most of which has nothing to do with the knee (ha)! I love hearing other people share things or experiences that also help them not feel so alone at times. :friends: I have a wonderful husband and son, but for some reason, losing my mom is 10X more devastating than losing my dad years ago. Thanks again for the thoughts. :console2:
 
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@winemama Thanks for the thoughts, and I know what you mean about picking up the phone. I almost always called my mom on Sunday afternoons, speaking for an hour or more each time. I still find myself wondering what I'm forgetting every Sunday, then I remember our phone call. It's so weird to not have that be part of my Sunday, considering we did it for over 12 yrs.
 
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It's been a while since I posted an update.....life is still slowly returning to normal. We took the "knee recovery" couch to the basement today, and I dismantled my recovery nest. I will NOT miss seeing that couch every day as a reminder of knee recovery misery. :) Other interesting improvements:

1) At PT on Thursday, my heel slide flexion was 101 with no pain or force. My sitting flexion with my knee hanging off the edge of the table was at least 104. She tried 2 different ways and the first was 110, but she doesn't trust it. I was mostly pleased with the heel slide measurement, as that has always been the thing I struggled with most in terms of bending.

2) I finished the 4 wks of Arthrotec (strong anti-inflammatory) and so far, I've only noticed more zingers and muscle soreness. I walked on some uneven, sloped ground Thursday night though when we went to see the construction site for our new home. It was worth it and an easy walk, but I suspect some muscles worked overtime after months of being off-duty.

3) I was able to lower the seat on my upright stationary bike yesterday once I had warmed up 7-8 minutes. I pedaled the last 6-7 minutes at the lower seat height. Woo Hoo!! No extra swelling today---just more zingers and quadriceps soreness. I've been trying to use my quads on the upswing motion of pedaling, instead of constantly pushing down through my toes/ball of the foot. That actually helped the motion feel less foreign and stiff.

4) Pivoting and walking is so much easier now. My extension is perfect unless I sit too long.

I'm just venting----but my biggest complaint are the back spasms that started mid-week. Between walking strangely these last 2 months, sitting so much, shifting my hips the first 60-90 seconds of my bike ride, and too much computer time (hunching over)----my posture is shot, affecting my upper back/shoulders, and my lower back is WAY out of wack.

I went to the chiropractor 5 days ago but there was too much muscle tightness to fix everything in one session. I wasn't surprised. I've been down this road many times after 11 knee surgeries and a baby, so my trick-back needs lots of manipulating and massage to get this under control. I have to get back to my core/ab stretching and strengthening routine too or nothing will get better. It is what it is.

That's all I can think of for now...
 
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:yay::happydance:for progress! I'm so glad to read your report and am happy you're improving. But I am sorry about the back spasms and hope you can get those under control.
 
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@lovetocookandsew I forgot to add I ended up with a nasty upper respiratory infection 10 days ago. After a week of coughing spasms and drainage, realizing things were getting worse instead of better, I went to the Dr. She gave me an inhaler for the coughing spasms plus an antibiotic---today is MUCH better after 2 days of meds, but I know the worst of the back spasms came from the coughing fits. I scheduled a massage for Monday afternoon, so I hope that helps. I've been trying to do more stretching too as my whole body is screaming for it. :) Most of the coughing spasms are over, so maybe things will settle down now.... I still want that massage though. I can't wait!!:yes!:
 

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Boy, your body is so creative with the different ways to test you. Super inflammation, a cycle tease, and then a respiratory infection just for kicks? She's obviously a total drama queen.

I'm excited about your bike news. I'm just about able to drive short distances and that will include the rec center where I can get back on my favorite seated elliptical. I'm so curious to see how close I am to making a circle.

I am still blessed to have my mother, but I have 2 very dear friends who do not, and you are not alone. They both miss their mother's terribly and I have grieved with them on every milestone. Mom's birthday, their birthday, every major holiday, and every major milestone unshared. I am sorry for your grief, but you sound completely normal for the circumstances.

Mmmm. Massage. My hips and my left foot are desperate for attention an I'm not nearly as far along as you!
 
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@luvcats Thanks so much for the humor AND the kind, sweet thoughts regarding my mom. As much as I hate being in the club of losing a parent (well, BOTH!!!), I know many, many people have walked this road before me. They have been awesome at helping me through it or letting me know some things just take time.

As for having a body that likes to trick and fool me----just ask my husband. :rofsign: We've been married 24 yrs but together 26 in all. I always joke that he saw more of my backside in the year before we got married than the year afterward.:heehee: I had hurt my back in a car accident but had no insurance and thought it would just go away. Nope!!! He spent many hours rubbing the knots out of my hips/glutes, just trying to help. He's been a gem since Day 1 when I met him in 1991, and I've always considered him a gift from above. We do love to joke about my weird body and all the joint problems though. What are you going to do, right???!!! :loveshwr: He has his own weird health issues, and we passed EVERYTHING on to our son, from both sides. :yikes: We just take things 1 day at a time and keep the love coming!!
 
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Well, I'm now that girl on the roller coaster!!:holysheep: I don't know what's up, but I've gone from barely having a "zinger" in/around my knee maybe once every 3 days to having 25+ today. :yikes: They're above the knee, below the knee in my shin, in the knee, etc. It's also been very achy today and feels more swollen.

I assume it's 1) from going off of the high-powered anti-inflammatory 3 days ago (per Dr's orders), or 2) the cold front moving through tonight, ending the massive heat wave here in St. Louis.

I haven't done anything new and wonder if the Arthrotec medication was masking the true pain/irritation going on in the knee. I knew I could only take it 4 wks, and it messed my stomach up considerably....but MAN, I really miss that stuff. I don't want a setback and hope this is just my knee acclimating to life without NSAID meds. :scratch:
 
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Just curious----How far out from TKR did everyone still get "zingers" in your new knee or around the knee?

I'll be 9 wks out on Tuesday and seriously thought they'd be few and far between by now. It was like someone was stabbing me in the shin over and over tonight.
 
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I'm just full of questions tonight. :)

At 9 wks post-op, would any pool exercises be a good thing or way too much stress on the joint? :swim:My neighbor has a pool that rarely gets used. She sets it up every summer though, and all of our kids use it maybe once every 2 wks. She has now reminded me TWICE that I'm more than welcome to use it, as she knows aqua-therapy is great for joint problems.:friends:

I see my surgeon Wednesday for my 2 month checkup and plan to ask him, but I worry anything extra will upset the leg. I just hate seeing my muscle atrophy and dealing with my weak glutes. Going up stairs is still a minor issue because my hip/glute is so weak. I can do it, but WOW---it is slow and awkward.

Any thoughts?
 

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Hiya @Rockgirl4 ,

Gee you are having a fun journey ! Never a dull moment :)

Just curious----How far out from TKR did everyone still get "zingers" in your new knee or around the knee?

I'll be 9 wks out on Tuesday and seriously thought they'd be few and far between by now. It was like someone was stabbing me in the shin over and over tonight.
Touch wood I have not had the pleasure ! Does not sound like fun. I make up for it with Sciatica... Touch wood I have not had the pleasure ! Does not sound like fun. I make up for it with Sciatica...


At 9 wks post-op, would any pool exercises be a good thing or way too much stress on the joint? :swim:
I asked the same thing and as long as you do not do breast stroke which is a shame as that is my go to stroke.

Good news about your stationary bike achievements.

By the way I think the weather, especially the cold, does make a difference to our joints, I am looking forward to getting back to the sun this w/e for a couple of weeks :)
 
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I'm having my own little pity party tonight and would love to know if anyone else can relate....

I stopped my strong anti-inflammatory 5 days ago. Now I realize just how well it was working. Since stopping it per Dr's orders (as I have my next post-op appointment in 12 hrs!!), the knee is definitely more sore, the area around it is super sore, there are lots of sudden shooting pains in my shin, sleep is elusive as the ache is constant again, driving any distance is very uncomfortable.....and last but not least, my PT thinks (and I agree!!) that sciatica has entered the picture and rearing it's ugly head! I'm getting pain down my hamstring, outside and back of my calf, and into the top of my foot. :headbang: She said the Arthrotec (an NSAID) was probably suppressing inflammation in my lower back/SI joint area too, and without it, I'm feeling that irritation/inflammation now, along with the complications it creates.

The back problem wasn't a huge surprise and was even expected, but the severity of it IS a surprise!!! I've dealt with a low back issue for years that flares after every knee surgery, but the discomfort always built over time. This is just so sudden. :yikes:The problem is I can't get into THAT physical therapist until August 2. :cry: She's been my miracle worker for 10+ yrs though, so I just need to be patient, as she knows my back well and can help. It just might be a long 10 days at this rate.

Mosty, I'm just very angry and disappointed!!!:tantrum: It's like the improvement over the lat 4 wks has been ripped away. I was feeling SOOOOO good the last 3 wks. I could drive easily, walk longer distances in stores, I even lowered my bike seat 5 days ago with success. I felt <this close> to normal with just some swelling and stiffness that we know will take months to go away. Almost ALL of the major pain was gone unless I tried to do too much. Thankfully, I asked my PT to measure again today, and I haven't lost any range of motion yet....she thinks I just have to deal with more pain/discomfort now. It stinks though because I feel like I'm having the same pain as at 4-5 wks, when I hot NINE weeks post-op today. :hissy: It's just discouraging and making me wonder if this :censored: knee will ever feel good.

I'm going to ask tomorrow if I can go back on my Celebrex. I don't see how this pain is helping matters. I'm tense because of it and can't relax. That's not good for my back either. I guess I have no choice but to get through tomorrow's appointment and pray for the best. If he even MENTIONS an MUA though, I'm saying no, and my PT agrees. My passive and active flexion is 101 (active) and 104 (passive), but that's up from 87 at 4.5 wks. To me, that's progress!!!!
 

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I'm sorry. Hope it improves for you, seems to have come on too fast. Your numbers are great.
 

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