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TKR Second TKR complete! Hoping I can ride my Mt bike again soon!

Jockette

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You are not sitting around doing nothing, you are giving your knee the best circumstance in which to heal!
 

Celle

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You are not sitting around doing nothing, you are giving your knee the best circumstance in which to heal!
Or, as @Roy Gardiner told us:
Try not to think of resting as "lying around, doing nothing." Instead, think of it as working hard, to give your knee the best possible chance of healing well.
In other words, when you are icing and elevating and watching TV, you are not 'lazing around' - you are "engaging in a carefully considered, proactively designed, heuristically programmed, dynamically structured recovery programme".
 
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bertschb

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3 week update:

Not much new to report. I can walk around a bit easier. I'm sleeping fine. But, as expected, ROM is horrible. Maybe 70-75. Such sloooooooooow progress. That's to be expected so I'll just deal with it. I'm so glad I don't have a third leg because if I did, I'm not sure if I'd have this surgery again. For some reason, my body just doesn't like joint replacements. I see my surgeon in two weeks and he's not going to like what he sees :)
 

Jockette

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Walking around easier is progress, and sleeping fine is huge, many don’t have that!

I’m sure you’ll handle your surgeon fine, it’s your knee and you know the way it heals. He doesn’t need to like it.
 

Sisterpat

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Amen Jockette! It’s your knee bert! Take ownership. And yes, you are really ahead of the game sleeping well. I am still struggling!
I agree about being happy we have only 2 knees :heehee: .
 

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Hi again, I’m just a bit over 4 weeks out and still knee is swollen, stiff, etc. and when I see the PA for my surgeon on Monday, he won’t like my ROM either, but I’ll explain I heal slower then their ideal patient so we just have to wait until it’s ready to reveal itself!
I’m glad for your sake you have been through this before, as it gives you more of a “leg to stand on” when arguing for patience!
 
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bertschb

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Yeah, I'm not worried at all about what my surgeon says. I've heard it before - including what my PT said last time about the "window of opportunity". Hah! Whatever. I think last time they did an x-ray at the five week follow up just to make sure the implant looks right. I'm fine with that. But, I'll cut him off at the pass when he starts mentioning my lack of ROM and needing to see a PT.
 
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bertschb

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I'm noticing every couple of days now some slight improvement in the strength of my knee. Ever so slightly easier to walk. One weird feeling I get is a tightness under my kneecap when I try to bend my knee while walking. It's like the muscles are all attached there and are way too short. It's no wonder my knee doesn't bend very far.
 

BBCG

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I don't know about you, but "Before TKR" my leg was very knock-kneed and I definitely couldn't get it straight or bent to 120°! So, it makes sense to me that the areas that were foreshortened before, especially the lateral side, would be achier now, and feel tight and swollen or stretched, and they do.

So, in your case, perhaps the tendons and muscles under your knee cap were those most shortened and are having to do the most stretching now?
 
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bertschb

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3 1/2 week update-

Not much improvement in walking the last 3 days. My knee just seems really unstable. I don't remember this from my first TKR. Did anybody else have trouble walking without crutches at 3 1/2 weeks? I can walk but I have to be very deliberate with each step.

I try to get up every 90 minutes or so and just walk around for a couple minutes. After that, I leave my leg lying flat and try to straighten it for a couple minutes. About twice a day I walk for maybe 5-7 minutes. The rest of the time my knee is elevated. I'm still icing several times a day but I don't think that's really doing much at this point.

I'm not worried about my slow ROM but I wasn't expecting this instability. 3 1/2 weeks seems like an awfully long time to have a wobbly knee!
 

BBCG

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I also feel a need to be very conscious as I walk indoors without crutches, etc., too. I do still take my crutches when I’m out at the grocery store or elsewhere outside, but I mainly use them as a deterent to fast-moving people who seem to be hurtling pell-mell through life! They tend to slow down when facing me with crutches! Plus, I could stop a cart from hitting me, etc!

My knee doesn’t feel so much unstable as I feel my balance isn’t really there yet on that side. I definitely feel more safe and protected when I have my crutches with me out of trails and such, too!
 

Mar

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Bertschb, I’m having same issues. Almost 6 wks, see my surgeon on Tuesday. My range of motion is lousy as well so I also wonder what his response will be, lol. I also get this occasional buckling sensation and it always takes me by surprise. I’m not using any device but if I walk too long I have an increasing limp.

To you and BBCG, this is also my second TKR but my first was also a long recovery. I could actually ride a recumbent bike with full rotation at this point. Still just doing 1/2 rotation with this knee. I haven’t made any progress with flexion on this knee at all in 6 wks. What I’m wondering are either of you feeling pain in your older TKR I feel like sometimes it’s having more pain this knee?
 
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bertschb

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What I’m wondering are either of you feeling pain in your older TKR I feel like sometimes it’s having more pain this knee?
I have no pain at all in my first TKR from 5 years ago.

BTW, I have the same buckling sensation. That's kind of what I mean by it feeling unstable. Flat surfaces aren't too bad but any irregular surfaces and it's actually a little scary - and that's really hard for me to say. I'm used to doing some crazy things on bikes and snow skis so thinking twice about walking (just walking) on an uneven dirt trail is ridiculous but that's where I'm at right now. As @BBCG said, crutches makes it MUCH better!

Oh, I tried straightening my leg out on a flat floor today. No bueno! Not even close. But, I'll keep trying each day. I was able to lift my leg today for the first time while laying down. My knee was bent as I lifted it but I'll take it! A week ago I couldn't lift it 1".
 

Mar

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I couldn’t lift my leg for about 10 days. Everytime I would try I was excruciatingly painful then it just went away.
 

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I think this is, for very many of us, a very slow recovery. But, most of us DO make a complete recovery… there are some really unfortunate people who do way too much aggressive PT and fail to really recover, so from my point of view, I’m fine to be the turtle. There are far worse things than slow and steady!

What I guess my “unsteady” or unstable is, is like you, on uneven surfaces…for instance my very lumpy back yard. Tried to fill the bird feeders today and carrying heavy feeders from the table was a challenge and I DID use one crutch for its added stability. I think that I am much farther ahead this time than last time I, though! So, I’ll take it! Another challenge for me is taking out and bringing in the huge trash toters… so, I am attitudinally-challenged, in that I’m 5’ tall, so the toter things are really tall so I have to drag them, not lifting up one side. Yeah, I know I’m not supposed to, but then they gotta include lift shoes! So, I have to be super careful hauling the heavy filled ones out, step, by crutch, by step, by… I don’t think I did those things last time for at least 3 months!

Yes, my other knee is very ready for it’s sister to be back pulling her fair share, and is having some pouting sessions! She does not like trash duty at all, but that leg has been very solid once it got the bend around 9 months along and I went back to exercise again. Covid took some of that exercise away and converted it, but I mostly retained the strength so it has mostly been okay, as long as I don’t get cavalier!
 
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bertschb

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One month update:

I drove for the first time yesterday since my surgery. It went better than I expected but I did use my left foot for the brake. It was 95% rural highway so almost all cruise control. I wouldn't have been able to drive a car or SUV but we have a truck and it has a LOT of leg room (I'm 6' 4"). I put the seat and steering wheel all the way back. It's not ideal and I wouldn't drive in city traffic yet but it was nice to get out of the house and do something for myself rather than relying on my poor sweet wife.

As best I can tell, my ROM is around 80 degrees now. My last TKR was 60 degrees at this point so although most folks are probably at 100+ by now, I'll take it! In the last week I've started to work to straighten the knee (ouch!!!) and also added heal slides, leg lifts and a couple other things to help strengthen the muscles and improve ROM. I'm also massaging the knee quite a bit. Since swelling is so much lower than last time, I'm only icing about once a day - usually after walking around outside.

Things are improving at the typical glacial pace. Groundhog Day here...

@BBCG - be careful with those trash cans!
 

Jockette

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I've started to work to straighten the knee (ouch!!!)
I know you want to get your leg straight, and you will in time, as you heal, but doing it to the point of ouch is not the way to do it. Causing pain is counterproductive as it causes/ maintains swelling and inflammation, which does not encourage more ROM.
If you want to do exercises, these are the only ones you need:
Extension: how to estimate it and ways to improve it
Heel slides and how to do them properly
 
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bertschb

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I know you want to get your leg straight, and you will in time, as you heal, but doing it to the point of ouch is not the way to do it.
All I'm doing is literally laying my leg flat on the floor. I'm not pushing down on it or forcing anything. Just letting it "hang" there under it's own weight. I can slide my entire hand under my knee right now. The rest of the time my knee is up on my Lounge Doctor pillow.
 

sistersinhim

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My extension was long coming in. It was probably about 5 months before I became flat. I knew it would come but I just had to be patient. I am sure you understand yours will come, too.
 

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