TKR Sept. 21 total knee replacement

np7

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You are doing great! It is especially wise to listen to your body. First things first DOGS... Obviously yours are Golden Retrievers and there is no greater companion than that. Our current golden is a rescue: an ex-street dog from Taiwan brought to CA by a rescue group here with ties to a shelter there. He is probably 12 - 13 and very much deaf so we worked out some hand signals; we have had him two years now. One thing I had to be careful with was getting out of bed at night as he was usually right there where I wanted my feet to go. Be careful around the pup--you know how rambunctious they can be. One of mine (gone now) and I were a certified Pet Therapy Team visiting patients at hospitals, nursing homes etc. My wife nicknamed her Nurse Tess as she was so gentle and sensitive to what was happening to you.

Good Luck! You will make it through.
 
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Freestyle

Freestyle

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Dogs came home today. The seven month old pup immediately jumped on my operated leg. I was prepared--the knee was under several layers of blankets and a pillow so no damage done. I now have the walker blocking my side of the bed, so that will stop her. The five year old immediately took up his position next to me and at one point did a close inspection of my stitched up knee. He even looked worried--which I greatly appreciated and then told him it is going to be all right. Np7--great advice about being careful getting up at night.

Ihavetwins--yes the ice cuff has become my best friend. The best relief of the day is the icing and elevation after my exercises. I am making small gains but I just can't wait for the day when I don't feel like I have a very tight rubber band around my knee...

P.S. Re swimming -- looks like they are going to shut down the community pools in Toronto because of the growing second wave of COVID. I do feel like I managed to get my surgery done during a small window of opportunity--and for that I am grateful.
 
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Freestyle

Freestyle

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Had my surgery three weeks today. Thanks to Bonesmart, I have been able to understand how utterly normal my recovery has been. I still have trouble sleeping at night--I can fall asleep easily but always seem to wake up in the middle of the night because I can't find a comfortable position. But I'm learning the range of shifting positions and just don't fuss much about it.

The really pleasant surprises: 1) my balance is much better than I expected. I was terribly worried about that but about a week ago, I suddenly understood how much more stable a platform I have in my new knee. That was a moment of great zen. 2) if I'm paying attention, I can see the improvement almost on a daily basis. I've had moments when I've forgotten to bring my cane with me in the house--and I suddenly realize that I am walking unassisted. 3) I have already had a few times, when friends are visiting, that I stopped thinking about my knee altogether. My knee is not shy about letting me know when I need to change position or get up, but it has been nice to experience moments when I am having a normal conversation. 4) I am really liking the PT. All my sessions are by zoom, which means that no one is touching my knee. I start out every day wanting to see how much I can do, but knowing I can back off if my knee lets me know I should.

I got on my stationary bike a couple of days ago--still can't do a full revolution. But it's thrilling that I can get on the bike at all.

The weird surprise has been the rollercoaster of emotions. I'm a pretty accepting person, but some days, I just seem to get blue--tired of the monotony of post-op or just plain low energy. Often, it is connected to how little I slept.

What helps me tremendously is to think back to how bad things were before my surgery. Standing for any length of time was agony and walking the dogs was painful every day. I have no doubt that the TKR was the right thing to do because for the first time in a couple of years I have hope--hope that I can get back to doing the things that I love without pain.

P.S. The dogs have been wonderful. They seem to intuit that I am recovering from some sort of trauma. They spend most of their time at my side and are great about getting out of the way when I walk. The five year old brings me toys to try to make me feel better. I keep telling them that this is going to be okay and that we will be taking long walks together in the future.

PPS It is Thanksgiving in Canada today, so I just wanted to express my gratitude for this community. Thank you for your sage advice and support.
 
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Jaycey

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@Freestyle Great report for only 3 weeks out! Yes, post op blues are a reality. This too shall pass. Such sweet dogs! Pets are such a comfort during this recovery!
 

sistersinhim

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I am a cat rescuer. At the time of my tkr I had 13 kitties to take care of. One of the biggest ones jumped up on my lap right on my newborn knee. I screamed and never did another cat jump up on me until I invited them!

Having pets is a wonderful incentive to have a good recovery. They are a lot of work but also a lot of love.
 

leejaa

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Happy Thanksgiving to you. Wonderful report. You are doing so great with listening to your knee and body. The blues are real but they to pass and thinking of the pain pre surgery being gone was also something that helped me. I was so grateful for the technology that would enable me to get my life back on track without pain as well as this forum which I found before my first replacement and so many others here sharing their experiences.

Have a wonderfully peaceful day.
 

doodlebug60

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Happy Thanksgiving, glad to hear you are doing well. Hope you continue to have a great recovery
 
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Freestyle

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The dogs kept me moving before surgery when my own instinct would have been to stop. And now they seem genuinely happy to see me up and about. They truly are a great comfort!
 
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Freestyle

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Just had my six-week post-op appt. with the surgeon yesterday. This was a big day--I was cleared to drive and to go swimming. I am a masters swimmer and missed it terribly--got in the pool today for the first time and was surprised that I could swim for 30 minutes without getting tired. I even put on fins for the final 400 m. and it was all good. I drove myself to get a haircut, then went grocery shopping (10 minutes). It was the most normal day I have had in a long time.

I've been off all meds for two weeks now, though I still wake up in the night for about half an hour with discomfort. I was advised to try an anti-inflammatory with muscle relaxant (Robex) and that has really helped. I'm still working on getting my knee extension to 0, but I'm not fretting about it.

My big breakthrough came a week ago when I did a full revolution on the indoor bike. It's funny how you can plateau for days/weeks and then suddenly something gets way easier. (I had been on the bike for three weeks before I got to that point.) It was the same day that I began going up the stairs using both legs.

I really feel like I have turned some sort of big corner. Considering how hobbled I was before the surgery, I am very pleased with my progress. I think the most important thing I learned from reading BS is to accept the discomfort and pain as normal, to be patient, and to wait for better days. I enjoy doing my daily exercises but back off if I get sore.

At this point, the hardest thing to do is to sit for any length of time without moving. That's when my knee reminds me that it is still healing. But I have learned to love my new bionic knee and look forward to our future together.

P.S. after reading all the horror stories, I was happy that my surgeon and physio therapist were so gentle with my knee.
 

Nancan

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I am so happy for you to get back in the Pool. I have been a pool rat since 10 years old . I taught swimming for many years thru the Red Cross and was involved in marathon lap events for Charity. The pools here are basically closed so I am not able to go. I’m wondering how your knee feels/looks after swimming. Swollen ? Purple? After I shower these days I get both not sure why.
 

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Hey @Freestyle
I'm guessing your stroke is freestyle. Mine was breaststroke and I pretty much quit swimming as my knees did not like the frog kick. And my flutter kick is useless. Not a lot of swimming options now but I'm wondering about doing a frog kick with new knees. Too much twisting?

It sounds like you are doing great, reaching lots of milestones.
 
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Freestyle

Freestyle

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I've only been swimming once so far, though I am scheduled to go every day this week. I thought I might have to swim with a pull buoy yesterday but my knee felt so good that I did my usual light flutter kick. Nancan, my knee was fine after I swam -- no swelling or stiffness at all. in fact, I suspect that one of the reasons that I was able to put off surgery for so long is that swimming in cool water regularly kept the inflammation down. My physiotherapist said it's a great way to loosen up and recommended doing my exercises immediately afterwards.

Fortunately for me, the indoor pools remain open in Toronto--the protocols they have had in place since July (one person per lane for 30 minutes) seem to be working. So as the gyms have all closed, community pools remain open. My masters swim club started swimming again in October with lots of restrictions. But I'm not planning to rejoin them until the New Year.

Bikeknit--I have read that the breaststroke kick is not a good idea for people with TKR. If I had to do breaststroke I would put fins on and do a dolphin kick...That's always a blast and great for the core.
 

Jaycey

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I have read that the breaststroke kick is not a good idea for people with TKR.
Not a good idea post TKR or THR.

Great that you can get back to your swimming @Freestyle ! That's what this surgery is all about - getting your life back.
 

sistersinhim

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I do the breaststroke with the flutter kick. It works OK for me.
 

kneeper

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Congrats on the full rotation!
 

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