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

FCBayern

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I was still 4 degrees from flat at a year @bertschb. Probably because of the way I limped on it for years. During my second year of recovery I got past the zero mark. Your extension will come with time, it doesn’t need to be forced.
 
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bertschb

bertschb

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2 month update-

ROM is around 90 degrees now. I can just barely walk down stairs "normally". Just not enough bend yet.

One thing I'm noticing with this TKR that I don't recall from my first TKR five years ago is "instability". When walking, my knee will suddenly buckle forwards. It doesn't hurt when it does this but it's very unsettling and catches me off guard. I have to pay attention to every step and I definitely do not recall doing that last time.

The other thing I'm noticing is more pain after walking or standing for extended periods. We're driving around the west right now in our RV and exploring many places with great hiking trails. As much as I'd love to be able to hike some of the great trails nearby, I'm finding I can only walk about one mile max on easy trails and when I return, I need to elevate my knee and take some Tylenol.

I know from my first TKR that recovery is sloooooow but I don't recall the instability and discomfort from "extended" walks. What I do remember was it took for.ev.er for ROM to return. In my case, it took six months to get to 110 degrees. Based on how my right knee is doing this time, I think I'll hit 110 in a month or two.

Hope all of you are doing well in your recovery! This TKR business can sure be annoying at times but the payoff is worth it!
 

Sisterpat

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This TKR business can sure be annoying at times but the payoff is worth it!
Yes, the recovery can be agonizingly slow, but it IS worth it! Remember, this is a year long recovery and every knee is different, as you are finding out. Hang in there!
 

Pumpkin

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Glad you are able to get out and travel, let your surgeon know about your instability.
You may be interested in One STEP, they will work with you on your walking.
 

BBCG

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Instability would be a drag, admittedly! glad to hear you're out exploring in the West... if you end up near Eugene, OR, let me know here and I can send you (paste in) links to some nice, not-too-crazy-steep but gorgeous, hikes in the area!
 

Kneeophyte

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As much as I'd love to be able to hike some of the great trails nearby, I'm finding I can only walk about one mile max on easy trails and when I return, I need to elevate my knee and take some Tylenol.
At the two-month point, that sounds quite good to me. I managed my first easy trail walking, maybe 1.5 miles, at 11 weeks & I definitely needed ice, acetaminophen, & a rest day before going at it again. Think many of our knees just take their time losing stiffness & swelling & until there's major improvement with those, we limp & we struggle with uneven surfaces, even on trails that have almost no ascents or descents.

But I would check on the buckling, that would get my attention.
 

BBCG

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I agree Kneeophyte (great login name!), I would also check out the buckling thing, too... when you get back. That's the kind of thing my pre-TKR knee would do, and it was known to drop me in my tracks one too many times! I'm thinking about how the knee is constructed, so buckling could theoretically mean that the quadriceps somehow wasn't holding on to what it's supposed to hold on to...

But, as for the distance you're able to do hiking or walking, that's about where I think normal might be.... I'm just past 11 weeks and did 1.33 miles today, but came home and iced, used my herb/CBD salve, then elevated my knee this afternoon for a bunch of time (since I had to get some computer work done anyway.

Brian, I don't know if you have and or use hiking poles? Back in the day, I taught Nordic Walking using very lightweight poles that had hand gloves that fit your hands well and you used the poles to help propel yourself forward as they push off behind you as they move backwards. I've begun using them again now to get better results from my walks. Their use aids posture straightness, helps condition the upper body some because you do use your triceps to push your arms forward, plus the posture aspect is proving very helpful. I wonder if you used hiking poles if that would help your upper body take some of the load and give your knees a bit more ease? I bet you could find a pair in any REI or outdoor-oriented store in a town you pass through?
 
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bertschb

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Well, it's been five months now since surgery. ROM is around 115-120. My first TKR was 90 at this point so I'm pleased with the improved ROM this time around. Stability has improved a lot. Going down stairs is no problem.

My knee still aches after I stand on it for any length of time. A couple days ago we spent a few hours walking around looking at houses and my knee was getting pretty sore by the end of the day.

I tried riding my bike about three weeks ago. I could make full revolutions on the pedals but it was really stretching my knee to the point of being uncomfortable. I'll try again next month.

So there is my boring update. As with my last TKR, ROM is slow to return. Way slower than most other people. In fact, my friend had a TKR one month ago and he told me last night his ROM is 133. After one month! Sheesh! My body apparently doesn't like knee implants.
 

Pumpkin

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bertschb
Great update, thanks for updating your progress. Glad to hear your newest knee is coming around a little faster than your first TKR.
Give it some time and you will be back out mountain biking.
 

BBCG

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Glad to hear your knee is coming along better these days, @bertschb! I'm just a few weeks ahead of you and this second one for me has healed much better and faster than #1 in 2016. I haven't tried out my Elliptigo yet, as we got a puppy from a rescue situation so my main exercise has been keeping up with a hyper puppy! Gets me out walking every day, though! Just this week, I realize I'm going down and up the stairs almost normally! I still feel the stretch in the front of the knee, closest to the incision, but it's quite manageable. I still run out of "juice" (aka energy) toward the end of the day and go to bed earlier since I"m often awake in the middle of the night after taking the puppy out. I still put the herbal/CBD salve on at night to aid sleep and reduce discomfort, but I'm back to being able to walk a couple of miles each day if I want, which is nice to be able to do to wear out the pup!
 

hawk2go

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I still put the herbal/CBD salve on at night to aid sleep and reduce discomfort
I assume this is the muscle relief salve. When did you start applying it (at what point the recovery)?
 

BBCG

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It's a salve made here locally (Eugene OR) by a company Entangled Biome, that has a couple of herbal components as well as CBD oil in it. I used it prior to surgery and then right after on muscles nearby but not directly on the incision. Once the incision closed, though, I've put it right over that area as well as down the outside of my lower leg which also gets achy at night. My PT suggested it about a year ago so I used it prior to surgery, too.
 

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Thanks. I use a similar CBD+herbs salve for general aches and just wanted to hear your experience with The Knee. I've been saran wrapping my knee at night, so adding a little salve may be helpful. Stay tuned ...
 

BBCG

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@hawk2go, I hadn’t heard about that here until recently, so I never tried it, but it’s an interesting technique! Wonder if anyone has an idea why it works?!
 

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Wonder if anyone has an idea why it works?!
I believe the notes with the original post mentioned moist heat at the right time in the recovery. Saran wrapping is just one way to achieve moist heat and it's the one I prefer. I've been doing it for a few nights and it definitely helps me with The Knee waking up more flexible in the morning. Some have tried it with no positive or negative outcomes - just meh.
 

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