TKR RTKR Recovery Thread (Nov 1st Surgery)

rdsandjs

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Had surgery today and doctor said everything went very well. Doctor also reported a lot of arthritis in the knee which he was expecting

7 hours out of surgery and feeling good right now. Only one dose of of pain medication but the nerve block has not fully worn off.

Already took two shorts walks to the restroom and in my recovery room. PT nurses came in and gave me instructions on exercises in the bed.
 

Jockette

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Welcome to the Recovery side!

I will leave you our Recovery Guidelines. Each article is short but very informative. Following these guidelines will help you have a less painful recovery.

Just keep in mind all people are different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for you.“ Your doctors, PTs and BoneSmart are available to help, but you are the final judge as to the recovery approach you choose.

Knee Recovery: The Guidelines
1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary

2. Control discomfort:
rest
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​
If you want to use something to help heal the incision,
BoneSmart recommends hypochlorous solution. Members in the US can purchase ACTIVE Antimicrobial Hydrogel through BoneSmart at a discount. Similar products should be available in the UK and other countries.​

3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you​
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​
4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these

5. At week 4 and after you should follow this

6. Access to these pages on the website

The Recovery articles:
The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
Energy drain for TKRs
Elevation is the key
Ice to control pain and swelling
Heel slides and how to do them properly
Chart representation of TKR recovery
Healing: how long does it take?

Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

There are also some cautionary articles here
Myth busting: no pain, no gain
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

While members may create as many threads as they like in the majority of BoneSmart’s forums, we ask that each member have only One Recovery Thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
 

panammaniac

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Glad you had a successful surgery! I’m four weeks ahead of you. If there’s one piece of advice I can give you now, it’s take the full dose of pain meds starting now even if you don’t feel like you need it. Once that nerve block wears off it’s no fun, and then you find yourself chasing the pain and it takes a while before you catch up. Other than that, take the time to rest and recover. We are all here to support each other!
 
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rdsandjs

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Day 2 after surgery and the swelling is really starting to set in on the knee and calf area.

No real pain to speak of and only on Tylenol, doing lots of icing and elevation. Also doing the exercises as instructed by PT, straightening the leg and heel slides.

Walking is fine however having a really hard time straightening my knee when walking. Have a lot of numbness in my shin area and the quad muscles are very painful.

With all that said, I'm very happy with where I'm at two days into this long recovery. I can do most functions such showering, walking, getting around the house, eating meals with the family, etc.
 

sistersinhim

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It sounds like you are doing really well for only two days out!
 

Neysa423

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I'm 19 days out, you are doing great! Day 3 and 4 went a little downhill for me. Just listen to your body and take it easy.
 
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rdsandjs

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Overall the knee pain has been minimal however the issue I'm experiencing is bloating / gas to the point where it woke me up while sleeping around 3:30 am. Doctor has me on Colace however the only pain medication right now are Tylenol and Tramadol. I've been eating normal meals and appetite is fine but the stomach bloating is pretty bad.

Anyone have suggestions?
 
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Flashlight

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Are you sure you aren't constipated? You just had surgery and were given narcotics and you are taking tramadol. My OS just ordered colace too but the nurses on the floor suggested senna and miralax.
 

VegasGirl

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Sounds like you are doing great! I also had a TKR on November 1 and am doing well, just a little pain.
 
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rdsandjs

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Are you sure you aren't constipated? You just had surgery and were given narcotics and you are taking tramadol. My OS just ordered colace too but the nurses on the floor suggested senna and miralax.
Thankfully today got back to normal with the bloating. Still taking the Colace and Tramadol & Tylenol. The pain today has definitely increased however still manageable.
 
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rdsandjs

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Day 4 post op - pain is still barely even noticeable except when walking and moving around the house.

With that said I have developed a fairly severe pain on the inside middle part of my knee when attempting to go up stairs. It feels like the bottom of my kneecap and it's so painful I was not able to do stairs today. I'm step up my good leg first however when trying to put most of my weight on my right leg (replacement knee) there is extreme pain. The day I left the surgery center I was able to do stairs without any pain. The swelling has obviously increased significantly since surgery day however wasn't expecting the pain from going up stairs.
 

Jaycey

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The swelling has obviously increased significantly since surgery day however wasn't expecting the pain from going up stairs.
Sounds like you need to just focus on getting that swelling reduced. Ice and elevate as much as you can today. Don't worry about any exercises or stairs. Once you get that swelling under control all other activities will follow.
 

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The day you left the surgery center and did the stairs you still had narcotics in your system and the nerve block. I remember going up and down the stairs using my cane so that I didn't put a lot of weight on my operative leg. That's why it is so important to use your walker and give your knee a chance to heal. I know people heal at different rates. I am starting week 12 and I still have difficulty going down the stairs! Going up isn't a problem. If you don't have to go upstairs wait a couple of weeks there will be plenty of time to work on it. Keep the ice on. Soon your whole leg to your foot will be swollen. Elevate above your heart at least twice a day. A wedge helps.
 
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rdsandjs

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Day 8 PO - The recovery is going very well. I'm getting 5 -7 hours of sleep each night in my bed. As of two nights ago I've been able to sleep on my side with my surgical knee on the bottom and using a pillow between my legs.

Still taking Tylenol, Tramadol, & Gabapentin every day. I've tried to ween off Tramadol however the pain in my calf and knee was too much to stay off the Tramadol. I'm using a walker and have tried the cane a few times but still need the walker.

The biggest issues I'm having now is pain at the inner side on my kneecap at the bottom of the kneecap. If I go to put all my weight on the replacement knee I get shooting pain in the kneecap. Secondly, been having a lot of calf pain. Feels like I pulled my calf muscle and it's very sore every morning. I've been stretching, messaging, and applying tiger balm a few times a day however the calf pain is also impacting my walking.

The bandage was removed last night and outpatient PT starts in one week. Been doing my own PT exercises to work on knee extension and knee straightening. I'm very happy with the progression after one week but have a long way to go.
 
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sistersinhim

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Been doing my own PT exercises to work on knee extension and knee straightening. I'm very happy with the progression after one week but have a long way to go.
You are only a week out of surgery and the only thing you need to worry about at this early stage is healing that poor knee. Just walking around the house to the kitchen, bathroom, etc. is all the exercise it needs for the first month or so. If you do too much your knee will swell more and increase the pain.
 
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rdsandjs

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4 weeks post op today:

Have made a ton of progress over the past few weeks. ROM is 105 / -8 as of this morning at PT. My extension prior to surgery was not 0 as I was bone on bone for a few years.

Almost off all narcotics, only taking one Tramadol during the night for sleeping. Only taking Tylenol extra strength during the day.

As of last week I was able to make full rotation on recumbent bike at PT however still not able to do full rotation on my home stationary bike.

Overall, I'm very happy with the whole recovery process at this point. The new right knee already is feeling less achey at night or after long walks.
 

benne68

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Great report, @rdsandjs! You are doing really well for just 4 weeks post-op.

Don't worry too much about the bike -- it will come with time. Be sure you seat is as high as you can set it and still reach the pedals and continue to rock forward and back as far as you can. You'll surprise yourself when one day, the pedals go all the way around.
 

Layla

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Wonderful update! It sounds as though you're making nice progress.
Happy One Month Anniversary and best wishes for a great Christmas and happy, healthy New Year!
@rdsandjs
 
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rdsandjs

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8 weeks PO as of yesterday:

The ROM for both flexion and extension have been progressing well although haven't progressed as quickly as I was hoping the past 4 weeks. I was able to start riding a Pelaton a week ago and have been riding the bike for 15 minutes on top of doing regular PT exercises.

The pain throughout the day is very minimal and only taking Tylenol when necessary. Yesterday walked 3 miles total throughout the day and even had a PT session in the afternoon.

The issue currently has been sleeping. Over the past week sleep has been horrible. I have not been able to get to sleep before 2 or 3 am and only able to stay asleep for 45 or 60 minutes at a time. I've tried melatonin, magnesium, Tylenol PM, heating pad, tiger balm, however my knee has just been achey and uncomfortable at night. I've also tried icing, elevating, on my side, on my back and almost every position to sleep.
 

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