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TKR RTKR Done Looking Forward to the Future

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jul

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Hi I am new here.

I had a TKR on the 22nd of July 2014. After a long battle with arthritis in both my knees I chose the left knee first. Not sure why. I think I thought it was the worst.

I'm not a very athletic person or one that gets out a lot, I think partly due to the pain of the arthritis. I lost the will to bother I think. Finally had enough of the pain.

Left hospital 5 days after as surgeon won't release you unless you have 90-95 ROM which I did with a bit of help from the PT. Once home I settled myself in a comfy part of my house. Wish I had a recliner but I don't. Did a few exercises. Tried to keep up the ice and also elevate when possible. My husband had the time off to care for me. He cooks, cleans and other duties.

I felt a little bit lazy like I need to get up and do something. Also felt that way in hospital. So I tried to help with a few things then tried to rest and ice if I could. Then I think hubby was a bit bored and wanted to go out. So I did it wasn't too bad. But I got very tired. So had a rest on return home.

Tried to fit in exercises, but limited as either tired or trying to do something. I think my husband thought that the recovery would be different with me up and about doing things. I still use crutches out side but try not to at home.

I have returned to work just over a week ago now and that alone is very challenging. I don't really find the time to exercise and when I get home I just want to sit, eat or go to bed.

I feel like I am being weak and not trying hard enough. I have been for a couple of walks in the park - not far or long and rested at times. I will be 6 weeks but not sure of my ROM or flex as the PT just give new exercises and send me on my way.

I now think it could be infected as it's very red around the whole scar. I'm getting it checked tonight.

Can someone tell me am going to fail at this or is this all normal feelings and struggles through the first few months? I have read a few things but a lot of people seem to do better. Oh and I do try to get on the exercise bike a few times a week. I can get full rotation and I do about 15 min at the moment.

I am 51

Jul
 
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Pumpkln

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Welcome to Bonesmart, glad you found us.
Sounds like you are doing way too much, too early.
Try to slow down
The Bonesmart Mantra is Rest, Ice, Elevate and Medicate!
Someone will be along to post the recovery articles for you.
Hope you are resting this weekend,


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Pumpkln

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First are the BoneSmart mantras ....
- rest, elevate, ice and take your pain meds by the clock
- if it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physiotherapist - to do it to you
- if your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again
- if you won't die if it's not done, don't do it
- never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, never stay awake when you can go to sleep!

I will try to post the rest later, having trouble with the app.




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Roy Gardiner

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The trick with mobility exercises is 'little and often'. For instance, you only need 2 mins on the bike -- you put the saddle low enough to make one rotation a challenge, then pedal gently, no resistance, for a couple of minutes or until the rotation is nice and easy, whichever is the shortest.

You are back to work early, that alone is enough to make you very tired.
I feel like I am being weak and not trying hard enough.
No, you definitely are not. Trying (too) hard is the way to fail!
 

vallee

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@jul sorry to hear you are feeling a bit fed up. you only had you op on the 22nd July a week after me and I am not back at work yet. as my surgeon told me last Wednesday this is major surgery and it will take time and your new knee will tell you how long everything will take
my ROM is still only 85 so I have a month to improve it before a possible MUA. I have worked so hard at exercises but due to a possible infection and wound issues haven't been able to bend
listen to your knee it is telling you it needs TLC as you do too. many of us have had moments of despair wishing we had our old arthritic knees back but do we? that pain is beyond belief every step is agony that is why many of us have this surgery hang in there xx
 

Celle

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Hi @jul

No, you're not failing. And yes, you are trying to do too much, too soon. Since you went back to work so early, it's not surprising that you are always tired.

Here are the mantras and articles that Pumpkln tried to post for you.
First are the BoneSmart mantras ....
- rest, elevate, ice and take your pain meds by the clock
- if it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physiotherapist - to do it to you
- if your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again
- if you won't die if it's not done, don't do it
- never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, never stay awake when you can go to sleep!
- be active as much as you need to be but not more than is necessary, meaning so much that you end up being in pain, exhausted or desperate to sit down or lay down!

Next is a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) thread.

And here are some very crucial articles
The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
Myth busting: no pain, no gain
Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
Activity progression for TKRs

Healing: how long does it take?
Chart representation of TKR recovery
Energy drain for TKRs
Elevation is the key
Ice to control pain and swelling

Home physio (PT) and activity progress: suggestions
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds
Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

And then some wise words from members who have shared their experiences ...
Where are you in recovery?? (TKR)
Five “P’s” of knee recovery
TKR: work “smarter” and not “harder”
Recovering a knee - from one who knows!
It's never too late to get more ROM!
It's worth the wait for ROM

Most of the articles are quite short, so don't feel overwhelmed by them.

It does take a long time to recover fully from a knee replacement - a full year before everything is back to normal, although you should feel almost normal by about 6 months. (Not 6 weeks!)

Keep posting and we'll help you with all we can.
 

happymum

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Hi Jul, I think you are doing heaps! Respect for going back to work so quick. I don't think I could of. You are probably feeling tired because you are doing so much and of course recovering from major surgery. From what I gather here, you must try to rest when you can ( don't feel quilts about it) elevate the knee and ice. Do gentle exercise but don't hurt yourself. It's great that you can do full resolution on the bike :)
Cheers from Deb
Take care
 

marmora

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@jul
Hi Jul,

I had my LTKR on 17 July, Flexion at present is 90-95 degrees.
Using no cane inside my own home, but OS said 1 cane any time outside of the house.
Going to PT twice a week, and icing & elevating a lot throughout the day & night.

The advice and articles from @pumpkin @Celle and from @Roy Gardiner are a very good starting point.

Couldn't imagine going to work, as like you would find it exhausting.
As Deb @happymum says "Respect" for going back to work and she also says the exhaustion is to be expected after such major surgery.

@vallee shares the same feelings that you have of feeling you should be doing more - but know that you can't and the knee won't let you.

Recovery is different for each of us and glad that you have found the BoneSmart site.

Take care,
Cathie :flwrysmile:
 

tiredwife

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@jul Welcome to bonesmart. Exhaustion is a very common side effect of TKR and pain meds. If you had a broken leg you wouldn't be feeling lazy! This is even worse, your bones were cut and pounded on, tissue is bruised and cut, muscles are hurt. Take it easy on yourself. Can't imagine you would have any energy with being back to work already.
 

Jamie

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Jul.....welcome! I hope you have read the articles by now and are putting the information to good use. You were pushing yourself and the pain and fatigue you were feeling is the result of that. This is a very time consuming recovery and you will need to give your body the rest it needs to recover.

You didn't mention any pain medication....what are you doing for pain (drug(s), strength, what dose you take and how often?
 

referee54

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Welcome to the forum!

You have been given some excellent advice.

When I take a look at the title of your thread, I have to comment that recovery does not happen because you "try hard"---it just happens on its own.

While there is nothing you can do to speed it up---there is plenty that you can do to slow it down, and it sounds like you are doing too much right now.

Recovery is not about working harder---it is all about working smarter.

Your knee has sustained major surgical trauma---two bones were sawed off! Total recovery can take upwards to a year---mine was close to eight or nine months, so you need to be patient.

I returned to work at eight weeks---I went back to the classroom way too soon, and I was stiff, sore, and exhausted by the end of the day---and you have returned to work sooner than I did. Your knee is still trying to deal with the surgical trauma so you need to slow down and ice, rest, and elevate.

I have read a few things but a lot of people seem to do better.
Never, ever compare yourself to anybody else---you are setting yourself up for frustration---we wll recovery differently and at different rates. you are a unique person, and so is your recovery.

I feel like I am being weak and not trying hard enough.
Again, recovery is not something that you work at---it just happens.

This is a case---recovery---where "less is more"

Please take a look at those articles that have been posted---and understand that you need to slow down, cut back, ice, rest, and elevate. Patience is a must, and you have a ways to go, but you will indeed reach your destination of being fully recovered---it just takes time and patience.
 

Pumpkln

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@dembonescl2 ,
Welcome to Bonesmart, read the articles Tim has recommended, they are in post #6 in this thread.
You are still early in your recovery, and will need extra time to heal with everything going on with your leg.
You will find as you look around the forum that everyone heals at a different rate, some faster, and some are take longer.
Wishing you all the best,
 
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jul

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Hi guys

Thank you all for your kind advise it has made me feel a lot better.

Up date on my visit to the doctor in regards to the redness on my knee. My surgeon seems to think it may be in flamed from doing to much but is going to do another blood test in a week to make sure it's not a hidden infection so fingers crossed it will be fine.

He has said to take it easy and just walk a little and easy excises.
I really haven't done any excise in the last day as I was more worried about the redness and spent a day at the docs then hospital to have test and ex ray checking for fluid or any fractures but all clear.

I will make sure I take it more slower at work and maybe take a ice pack with me and ice when I can at work.

The things is I have been doing things at my own pace on some of your advise and didn't think I did a lot at work but it seemed to have irritated the knee anyway so not sure how less or more to do know or just look at this as one of those 2 steps forward and 1 step back approach and rest for now then once it is ok slowly get back into it.

I have been driving to work but would like to try public transport as it is very expensive to park and toll for high way. Not sure what I will do.

Tim. C please let me know what else I can tell you about myself

One thing I have not been keeping up is the pain mends and icing which I will try harder to do.
I take 2 endone 2 to 3 times a day 10mg and in between panadine and sometimes 1 slow release OxyContin 5mg at night.

Jul
 

marmora

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@jul
One day and one step at a time, there is no time pressure on recovery, we each get there at our own pace.
Just mind yourself and after work get some elevation and ice to the knee and that will provide great relief.

Take care,
Cathie :flwrysmile:
 

referee54

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One of the negatives about going back to work so early is all of the preparation for it---getting up , fixing breakfast and possibly lunch, driving there or taking mass transit, and the being on your feet all day---do you have a chance to sit down and ice/elevate your knee a few times a day?

I did that at school during my lunch and planning period, and it helped.

The other issue about returning to work when you did was then, at the end of the work day, reversing everything and coming home. Even if you have a "desk job"---you are on your feet a great deal. Gravity does its thing, and so does the body's reaction---inflammation.

Are you able to take a least one day a weekend off and do basically nothing but rest, ice, and elevate? Can you rest ice and elevate at home after work? Are you doing house work and cooking and such? All of this adds up, and you need to let the surgical knee rest and heal---let it lose its anger, so to speak. All of these normal, day-to-day activities add up---and, while they appear to be innocuous, they help to contribute to what you are feeling.
 
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jul

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Hi
Sorry I havent replied. I have been a bit tired after work coming home eatng elevatin and icein them of to bed.
My husband does most of the house work and cooks.

With my job I can sit at times but it is hard to elevate the knee but I am able to ice a little so I try to through out the day. Wne I get home I try to elevate straight away and ice the I will eat then do the same again then of to bed just so tired.

I havent been doing any of the stretches or exicise as I a just so tired at hem moment but feel with all the walking and things I am doing at work will make up for a bit of the exicises that I dont do.

I thik I did to much at the Hyro pool as the dy after as I said in recent post it got all red and sore around my scar an a little down my leg so the surgeon said that my bloods seems t be ok but he want to keep as eye on it for a week to make sure there is no hidden infection but he thinks it could be that I over did it at teh pool so that is also why I am taking it a bit easy. I keep telling myself that it will be ok and my ROM and extention will all come with time if I dont I start to worry tht I am not doin enough again.

Well I am righting this at work so I best be of thanks again for your advise Tim

Julie
 

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@jul, don't worry about not doing your exercises at this point. It sounds to me that since you are up and about and going to work, that you are getting plenty of exercise! Try not to overdo or you will pay the price.
 

referee54

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@jul, don't worry about not doing your exercises at this point. It sounds to me that since you are up and about and going to work, that you are getting plenty of exercise! Try not to overdo or you will pay the price.
:iagree: you are going to work, and all of the day-to-day activities are acting as PT and exercises. Ice and elevate and rest as much as you can---do not worry about the cooking or other housework---let your husband take care of it---now is time for you to take care of yourself
 
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