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Second Kneecap replaced - Matching set complete

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Racewalker45

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Hello everyone,

I had a patellofemoral arthroplasty on October 13th, so I thought I would start my recovery thread now that I am lucid enough to form a coherent thought. My left kneecap was replaced back in March 2013 and I had a surprisingly smooth recovery. Looking back, I guess it makes sense since I didn't have a TKR.

The surgery itself went smoothly as far as I can tell. I underwent general anesthesia instead of a spinal (I have had epidural injections for back problem this year), so I suspect that was the reason why. Waking up was a little more challenging as they gave my Benadryl post op in case I had a reaction to the shot of Lovenox they gave me (I developed a rash to Lovenox with my first knee). I was so loopy that I got dizzy when I tried to walk in the floor with the physical therapist. They quickly put me back to bed. The physical therapist came back a couple hours later and cleared me for discharge. I had surgery at 7AM, I went home that same day at around 4pm.

This knee was much more mobile than the first, in that I could bend it more. I also didn't have a bulky bandage on it either. With that said, I have used my walker daily as this knee is much more painful this time, and as much as I am anxious to get moving again, I know from hours of reading this forum that more isn't better and pushing it too much will slow my progress. So, I am taking my pain meds around the clock, icing, elevating and doing the gentle exercises my PT gave me. I started outpatient PT on Wednesday. My therapist has been adamant about using my walker for now, so I am following orders. She is the same therapist I had for my first surgery; I liked her so much I asked for her again. Surprisingly, during my first PT session, I had 101 degrees ROM.

It is hard for me not to make comparisons between knees. The only other difference I have noticed is that my new knee has no staples. It looks like I have internal sutures and some glue. Fine by me. I just need to be patient right now. I am so excited about finally having both knees done that I have to remember that I just did have surgery and I need to take it easy. My recliner is my friend right now.
 
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Racewalker45

Racewalker45

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Hi skigirl, yes, I am in my recliner with pillows and ice when I am not in the CPM machine or in PT.
 

kneeper

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Congratulations on being done with the surgery. Looking forward to your next report.
 

skigirl

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Glad to hear that---so many of us try to rush the recovery when we need a few weeks just to heal the tissue that is disturbed in surgery.
 
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Racewalker45

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Week 2 post op: I had a bit of setback in PT this week. I have received some treatment for recurring back issues, specifically facet joint syndrome and a herniated disc in my lumbar spine. I had a flare earlier this year that rendered me unable to stand up straight. I was literally crawling upstairs on my hands and knees. With two sets of injections in my facet joints and epidural space, I am much better overall. What I have found is that any strength training I do to work my legs will aggravate my back, so I have to be really careful.

Immediately after surgery, I had no back pain whatsoever, probably because I was well medicated. Week 1, no pain. Week 2, not so much. On Wednesday this week, I was put on the machine that incases Rom and then the recumbent bike and I could not complete the warm up as my back and right leg started to bark (sciatica). My PT immediately shut me down, consulted with her colleague who specializes in back rehab (I had seen him last year), and modified my plan. No leg lifts, no hamstring stretches or any thing that requires me to bend over. She wants me to monitor my back and resume back PT if need be, before I progress my knee therapy. I'm cool with that. She is not concerned about losing ROM, I am already at 110. She's really concerned about my back after seeing my MRI. So, back to the recliner, ice, elevation and pain meds for the weekend. I can't do much walking without a lot of discomfort, so food shopping will have to wait. My PT reminds me that I am still very early in my recovery, I'm taking it easy.
 

Jane B.

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I have learned more about the human knee than I ever would have imagined. And now I've learned about Patellofemoral replacement surgery. Thanks for posting.

I am so sorry about your back issues. They are tough.

I hope your recovery is speedy and as easy as possible.
 

Lovestoread

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@Racewalker45, I think my back bothered me more than my knee post-surgery! I've had lumbar spine issues for years and elevating and doing leg lifts really messed up my back for months. Muscle relaxers and my pain meds for the knee were of no help. Hope your back feels better soon! (And your knee!)


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Racewalker45

Racewalker45

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Thank you both! I am hoping the back does not decide to misbehave any more than it has already. The pain for me was worse than my knee pain before surgery.........
 

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I'm glad to know the PT is aware of and taking care of your back. Great on the 110 ROM! :friends:
 
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Racewalker45

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Three weeks out: My knee rehab continues to be slow to allow my back to recover from this latest flare. I did see a physiatrist last week who showed me my most recent MRI showing 2 bulging discs in my lumbar spine. They are not herniated per se, and I would like them to stay that way as long as they can. My back pain has been bad enough, I can't imagine what a completely herniated disc feels like.

Functionally, my knee is overall doing better with regards to pain and mobility. I am walking up and down stairs better and need my cane less and less. When I attempt to do heel slides lying on my back or if my PT tries to flex my leg while lying on my belly, I get no further than 100 degrees at best and shooting pain from my hip to my ankle. By the way, my therapist does not force the issue in attempting to bend my knee, but I have lost some ROM from last week (110 last week to 100 today). I was supposed to see the back therapist today, but he had to go home because he threw his back out! :bawl:I certainly hope he feels better. In the meantime, I am not allowed to bend over, twist or do any heavy lifting, which is a challenge. I have also noticed that I cannot stand for longer than 10 minutes before my back starts to hurt. Needless to say, I am frustrated, but glad that overall my knee is doing better, I guess. I just want my back to cooperate. I will stop whining now........
 
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