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TKR RubyWhitesocks TKR recovery

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RubyWhitesocks

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I don't know if there is anyone on here who has had the experience I went through today, where I overdid it just a bit because I was up early and had a late afternoon PT session, but it was such a nice cool morning where I couldn't resist taking the longest walk I've taken outside since my left TKR surgery. I feel like I am pushing myself to get the left knee and leg as fit as possible in order to have it become my good leg on the 13th when I have my right TKR. Every day I'm pushing it just a little bit, but I think I need to be a bit more laid back tomorrow. Generally, I have purposefully taken it a bit easier on myself on days where PT is scheduled, figuring I'd do the hard work under supervision, but I keep getting good reports and don't want to slack off. Went from 113 on flexion last week to 116, and the goal is 120, so I'm making progress. I think I just need to be kind to myself because man am I sore tonight. Took a pain pill and getting ready to go to bed. I guess it will all work out, just need to be a little more careful.
 

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I feel like I am pushing myself to get the left knee and leg as fit as possible in order to have it become my good leg on the 13th when I have my right TKR.
4 weeks is rather early to be pushing it, which you can tell by the soreness you now have. You cannot push yourself to heal faster. If we could, this recovery would not take a year.

but I think I need to be a bit more laid back tomorrow.
This is a very good idea.

 

beesknee

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@RubyWhitesock I had my PKR a day after you. While things are going well, there is no way I could do a TKR on my other leg in a few short weeks. I love my non surgically assaulted leg. You are a fast healer and much tougher than I am.
 
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RubyWhitesocks

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@RubyWhitesock I had my PKR a day after you. While things are going well, there is no way I could do a TKR on my other leg in a few short weeks. I love my non surgically assaulted leg. You are a fast healer and much tougher than I am.
Well, I will have to admit that my "non surgically assaulted leg" has been serving me fairly well during the healing phase for new knee number one, it still gives me the occasional reminder that it used to be one with a knee that traded places frequently for my pick of "worst knee today". So in my case, there is no reason to delay the inevitable and I am looking forward to two good knees in two healing legs, because it can only improve the quality of my life once that healing occurs. I've had a couple days of taking it fairly easy and I know it just needs me to pull off a balancing act that I haven't totally got the hang of yet, but it seems like the goal posts are always moving just a little bit anyway. Best of luck with your PKR recovery.
 
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RubyWhitesocks

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Now five weeks and one day out from my left TKR, I am finding that when I shower and rub a bar of soap on my surgery leg, the whole leg feels bruised. Is that a common feeling amongst those of you who have had TKRs? I really don't notice it at other times, my main surgery/healing feeling now is just the tightness on the outer side of my thigh, the IT band, and the tightness on the outer side of the new knee. Given that my bone on bone arthritis issues were both on the insides of my two god-given natural knees, that is at least a relatively new/novel place to have knee issues. I am pretty much of the mind that if your pain moves around that probably is better than just always hurting in the same damn spot, but maybe that is just me.
 
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RubyWhitesocks

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Today is final PT for left leg before my Friday right TKR. Sometimes you have to have something happen to you before you realize how much it is important to NOT let it happen. Last Thursday is the first time my PT guy took it on himself to push my new knee past where I was getting it to go, and I've been paying the price in the days since with swelling and pain that I would not have had if I had simply told him NO. I had 116 degrees of flexion on Monday with using the strap to pull my knee, and only had 113 on Thursday. He put his hand on my knee and pushed it to 121, and I just didn't catch it in time to tell him No Thanks, I'm okay with how this feels without your "assistance". Please take heed of the warnings on here and tell the therapists whatever you can do on your own is plenty good enough for that particular day. The therapist won't have to live with the pain from what they do, you will.
 

Atkinson8

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I totally agree, although my left knee is a partial replacement--- it had better hold up for another 20 years or so, because I'm not going through this again either (fingers crossed)!
 
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RubyWhitesocks

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Well, I'm hopeful that everything that I learned from TKR number one will help me to have as smooth a transition to TKR number two as possible at the end of this week. Family members have assured me that I'll soon be as good as new, and I am hopeful that with time and dedication to towards the healing path that will be true. On the other hand, I am old enough and wise enough to know that I will never be as new as I am good. May your healing paths be as smooth as possible and may you regain pain-free legs that carry you far in regaining your lives.
 

Jewlz1

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Hello RubyWhitesocks! I'm anxious to hear how your surgery. Keep us updated when you can. Keeping positive thoughts for you!
 
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RubyWhitesocks

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It's the day before TKR number 2, and I guess the main thing is that I'm going into this one with my new awareness of what that really entails. Before the first one I was just thinking in terms of: this surgeon does this all the time, I need to free myself from the ongoing pain of bone on bone, I have to improve my quality of life if I want to keep living in this 3 story Condo and keep up with my younger wife and stay healthy and happy. Now I'm thinking more in terms of the recovery process, the mending of muscles and nerves and the Physical Therapy and dedication needed to get from walker to cane to relying on the new knees to do their job as I give my attention to healing. Six weeks ago tomorrow I had my first TKR. Hopefully six weeks from tomorrow, the second TKR will be at least as far along as the left knee is today, and in the meantime, hopefully the left knee will continue to improve and show the right knee the ropes.
 
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RubyWhitesocks

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Day one after TKR surgery number two has been rough. I know that I had pain and swelling with the first one, but don't remember it being this bad. That said, I did tell the anesthesiologist about my bladder and urinary woes following the first surgery, so he said he would do the nerve block and general anesthesia but not the spinal this time, so not having the spinal could account for the increased pain, but at least I don't feel like I have to get up as often to pee as last time. I guess that there are always trade-offs. This time I remembered to put the compression stocking on immediately after removing the ace compression wrap, and after fitfully trying to sleep it dawned on me to check the paperwork and it says I can have the compression stocking off to sleep, so I'm hoping that little bit of relief with elevation and ice will allow some little bit of sleep.
 

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Here’s a refresher course for you:

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!)​

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.
 
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RubyWhitesocks

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One week and a day out from my 2nd TKR (right knee), 7 weeks and a day out from the first one (left knee), I'm seeing some positives and some negatives to having the surgeries 6 weeks apart.

Negatives are mainly that I just was starting to come out of the need for a strict schedule of pain meds for the first operation, and the week before second surgery had stopped them entirely, and now I'm back on them already, and in fact, finished the higher level pain med last night. But at least the positive is that I know I can do this and wean down to lower level pain meds.

On days when the new surgery leg is giving me fits of swelling and aching I can look at the other leg and see that this too shall pass. The first couple of days it was sometimes momentarily a task to remember to switch up for "Good leg up, Bad leg down" on stairs, but I'm already mostly walking without a walker and switching back to a cane.

Although PT sessions are focused on the new leg, I'm still doing the PT "homework" on both legs in order to keep "senior new knee" improving as I work to get "junior new knee" to the requisite functionality.

On the Positive side, I'm managing to keep off fifteen pounds that I've lost since surgery one, and am certain that once surgery two is healed up as well as surgery one, I'll be able to exercise and lose even more. I want to be kind to these new knees and make them last even longer than twenty years if possible, hopefully to the end of my lifetime.

A possible negative that I'm starting to wonder about is that I'm noticing more hip related pains in my recovering right side than I experienced on the left side. I'll try to talk to my therapist at PT on Monday and see what I can do to work that out before it becomes a thing. Maybe all it will take is returning to my tai chi as soon as the new knee can handle it, I'm trying to keep positive and not build it up in my mind too much at this point.
 

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Congratulations on the success with your second knee!
I agree. I would love to have this knee last longer than 20 years. Hopefully by then the science will advance such that our recoveries are enhanced! I'll be nearly 70 at that point and I applaud those here and older who have the surgery.
 

MARYCOOL

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Congratulations I hope your knew knee heals quickly! I am scheduled for #2, in November, so 10 months after my first. I don't think I would have even considered 6 weeks out! Keep us posted on this recovery!
 

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Congrats on your two new knees! Don't be surprised if your first knee starts to throw a fit because of the extra work that it has to do now. You know the remedy, rest, elevate, and ice! You should be doing that to both of your knees now.
 
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RubyWhitesocks

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Congratulations I hope your knew knee heals quickly! I am scheduled for #2, in November, so 10 months after my first. I don't think I would have even considered 6 weeks out! Keep us posted on this recovery!
Thanks for the well wishes. I think I overdid things a little today. Today was the first day I got a look at the incision and changed the dressing, and it looked so much better this morning than it did this evening. I was concerned enough by the blood coming through my compression stocking that I called the "on call" person at my surgeon's and they said to me that the second surgery is almost always worse than the first one, and not to be overly worried about more blood and redness than I saw on the first TKR. I guess it makes sense that surgery number two is putting even more stress on the body to do the necessary healing, but who knew it was going to be such a balancing act. Obviously, I'll have the PT person assess it on Monday, but tomorrow is mostly going to be about elevating, icing and taking it easy, resting.
 
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RubyWhitesocks

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Congrats on your two new knees! Don't be surprised if your first knee starts to throw a fit because of the extra work that it has to do now. You know the remedy, rest, elevate, and ice! You should be doing that to both of your knees now.
So far, the senior new knee is behaving itself, but I'm definitely prepared for it to balk at some point. the muscles in that leg have started signaling that they wish to register complaint.
 

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