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

KneeHelp

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I understand completely! My tkr was 18 months ago and I still do not have good ROM. I'm so tired of the comments to get new doc, etc. I stopped going to a social group because of constant comments about my surgery, slow healing,and cane use comments. I HATE being told I didn't do my physical therapy correctly or I wouldn't be having lingering problems. You are correct, they insinuate I'm doing this to myself!!

I like to think people don't mean to be cruel, but it's hurtful!

My knee still swells and I ice nightly, sometimes more. Stairs are painful and difficult.

My hip surgeon told me he much prefers hip replacement surgery 'cause the recovery is much faster. Knee replacement surgery has to be extremely precise or it causes problems. He said hip surgery had much more flexibility.

I was much better off before the knee replacement and I regret having the surgery.

I know more people regretting the surgery than the 'super healers'. I read a medical article stating 30% of patients are not satisfied with the surgery.
 
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Rockgirl4

Rockgirl4

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15 MONTH Update----Again, I'm Always Full of Suprises:whistle::heehee:

Many of you know I've actually lost range of motion since last winter. I had 104 degrees of bend in October and have lost down to 85-90 (maybe 95 after some rough biking). I was fed up and made an appointment with the surgeon's office for Aug. 5. My back was giving me fits and won't stay aligned....it didn't take a rocket scientist to know a knee with restricted bend is making it difficult to maintain things in my lower back. My back has been more problematic since May, but my usual PT is furloughed due to the virus, but something HAD to give. This couldn't go on indefinetly.

SOOOO- I saw someone new for my back, and she agreed a restricted knee at 85-90 degrees HAS to be part of the back problem. She knew I was seeing my knee surgeon Aug. 5 to discuss more options for my knee..... So on Aug 5, the PA at my surgeon's office agreed with my frustration in the knee having lost range since last winter. I've lost over 15 degrees. :yikes: I knew it, but hadn't had anyone measure since last November. She let me have the desired script for PT on my knee, to go along with helping my back. We know it's ALLLLL connected, and it's what MY body needs.

THE VERDICT---SOFT TISSUE PROBLEMS!!!!!! :tantrum: :xmark: It's NOT Always about the knee......
It's worse than I suspected. Not only is my IT Band super-tight, but my quadriceps muscle is a tight, knotted mess of dense tissue with zero "give" or suppleness. It's literally hard as a rock. Both the PT and PA suggested lots of massage and lots of foam rolling. We're also doing dry needling, and I've seen a little improvement in the last 2 weeks already. I can FINALLY drop back down to the #2 setting on my stationary bike after warming up the knee, but each day is still Ground Hog day upon waking. Both agreed this is a "MONTHS-LONG" process and will show tiny results over time. My goal is to get the 105 degrees back I had in October. My upper leg is loosening some, and the lower quad is a little less tight/firm.

The PT is amazed at the density of the muscle tissue in my leg. I've always been built---a muscled machine from the waist down. This is part of the problem now though, as the density is extreme. I wasn't surprised and have battled soft tissue issues after almost every one of my 11 knee surgeries. The right leg is always worse though, maybe because I'm right handed.

Regardless, it's been crazy these last few weeks between getting ready for my 14 yr old to go back to school, juggling all of his health issues & appointments, plus my own medical junk. I get so tired of taking care of ME, but it has to be done. All I want is to hop on a bike and go for a ride. THAT'S my goal!!! Now I have hope. None of the Drs at my surgeon's office do MUAs at this point in recovery, and I agreed it would likely just start another inflammatory cycle anyway....I'm eager to get past the soft tissue issues and see where things lead.

Thanks to anyone still keeping up. I mostly want people to know it's NOT ALWAYS ABOUT THE KNEE!!!!! :) There can be sooooo many things keeping us from a 100% TKR recovery.
 

Steelergal

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@Rockgirl4 Again, THANK YOU for continuing to share your story of recovery. We're in a very similar boat with soft tissue. I only had about 80 degrees of bend for a few years prior to my TKR and my soft tissues are a hot mess. I told my OS at my 1-year appointment that I was hoping my lack of ROM was because of the mechanics because that's faster to fix than getting my muscles back in working order. He said that unfortunately, it's just going to take time. I also started dry needling, but the pandemic messed with that, so I need to get back to it. I guess it's time to call my PT and get back to work!

Good luck and know I'm cheering for you! :yay:
 

sistersinhim

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It's good to hear that you have found a solution to your bend decreases. Soft tissues have so much to do with this recovery. The first thing we think is there's something wrong with my implant when most of the time it's just a soft tissue problem.

I hope you continue to see success in your treatments!
 

kneeper

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I'm sorry to hear you're having this issue. But I do like that your PT is recognizing that it won't be a quick fix, because usually those who push over-aggressive things that make the situation worse.
Hang in there and good luck with those tissues. :console2:
 
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luvcats

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I'm really glad to hear that it's 'only' soft tissue issues. Not that they are fun, but easier to overcome than a new structural issue.
I can relate somewhat. All this time I've been trying to rebuild my right quad after the pre surgery years of being unable to walk. It's taking forever, although I think it all would have been much faster without losing gym access. Without thigh strength I don't have a good gait, which pulls out the hip, which causes sciatic issues...

I hope the massage and roller treatments at least feel nice as you work through loosening things up.
Thanks for the update!
 

Benay

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Hello @Rockgirl4 and @luvcats just taking a quick browse through the site and there you are! I'm sorry you're having some issues still, I'm sending you my good wishes for resolution. After my bout with bursitis which was a quick fix once I mustered up the courage to go back to my surgeon, my knee is again 100%. Not an easy journey with those bumps in the road we lived through together but think I'm good, pain free and have a perfectly performing joint which has even recovered from the numb areas almost completely.

You and the moderators were life savers. I really don't know how I would have managed otherwise. Always thankful.
 
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Rockgirl4

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@U2GIRL I am 2.5 YEARS post-right TKR, and I still have problems with tightness in my right calf. I have to stretch my calves diligently 4-5 days a week to make that tightness stay away. Walking on anything but flat roads/surfaces makes it worse, especially if there are hills. I had horrible tightness/pain in my calves for ~8-9 months following my TKR, so I was told this might always be part of my future, and just to keep stretching. It DOES help, though I get sick and tired of doing it all of the time.

As for the inflammation, some of us just need a lot more time to heal. I couldn't walk a 1/2 mile until the 6 month post-op point, and I couldn't manage a full mile until 10-11 months post-op. As someone who was always very fit and active, this was super hard for me and very depressing. :( I am now 2.5 yrs out and finally don't think about my knee any longer unless I need it to bend more (I'll always have only 95 degrees flexion due to arthrofibrosis from my MACI surgeries in 2015-2016), but at least there's no pain. I still have some nerve impingement and zingers down my shin because of true adhesions in the knee and scar tissue wrapped around the head of my fibula bone, but it's manageable. I can now walk 2-6 miles a day, depending on the surface and amount of hills, though I will end up with tightness and a bit of "peg leg" afterwards. It's worth it to be active again, even if the leg won't bend as much as I want.

However, it took almost 2 years to build up my leg's ability to walk that much in a day without some pain and discomfort. I didn't believe some here who said their knee could still improve into the 3rd year post-op, but I'm here to tell you IT'S TRUE!!! My knee and leg muscles improved drastically between 20-28 months post-op. I give complete credit to TIME!!!! :)

Best of luck to you, and as hard as it is, give yourself time to heal, and remember patience is key to this recovery. For many of us, it was definitely a marathon!!

--Lisa
 

Pumpkin

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@Rockgirl4
You will notice I have copied your most recent post to your thread so members reading your thread can see that with time you are doing well, a copy remains in U2GIRL's thread.


Thanks for posting an update about how you are doing well after 2+ years, hoping the third you brings you continued improvement.
 

patriciad

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Thank you so much for sharing your update and confirming that for many of us this is a long process to full recovery. May your 3rd year be the best yet.
 

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