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TKR Sharon’s second knee recovery!

Sks1997

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I am new here and unsure if I am doing this correctly! I am 10 wks post op of a RT TKA. My leg feels like a tree. I was discharged from PT after 8 wks but I am still limping because of pain when I bend the small amt that you need to walk. I can sit at 90 degrees without a problem. I am not in much pain at rest but when I walk I have pain and the longer I am on my feet, the more painful it is. I still take 2 sometimes 3 pain pills per day. I am blessed that I am able to sleep at night.
I do ice and elevate a few times a day and still do stretching exercises twice daily. Evening seems to be my worst time. My husband is not very supportive and I think he thinks I am faking this pain. My daughter has brain cancer and I try not to burden her with all this. So here I am! I’ve been reading on this forum the past few weeks. It gives me hope! I’ve been in tears again this evening just because I am sick of this recovery and I know I have a long way to go! I am happy that I have been retired a little over a year and I don’t have the pressure to get back to work. I was an RN.
 
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Jockette

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Hi and Welcome!

You have come to the right place! Bonesmarties are a wonderful group!

I’m sorry you don’t seem to have much support, but we will be that support for you!

Hang out here with us, Bonesmart has a wealth of advice, information and support.
We will offer helpful suggestions, :idea:

Cheer your accomplishments :happydance:

And send hugs when you are feeling down. :console2:

Best wishes!
 

Jockette

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I will leave you our Recovery Guidelines. Each article is short but very informative. Following these guidelines will help you have a less painful recovery.

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.
 

ski_bum

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I am new here and unsure if I am doing this correctly! I am 10 wks post op of a RT TKA. My leg feels like a tree. I was discharged from PT after 8 wks but I am still limping because of pain when I bend the small amt that you need to walk. I can sit at 90 degrees without a problem. I am not in much pain at rest but when I walk I have pain and the longer I am on my feet, the more painful it is. I still take 2 sometimes 3 pain pills per day. I am blessed that I am able to sleep at night.
I do ice and elevate a few times a day and still do stretching exercises twice daily. Evening seems to be my worst time. My husband is not very supportive and I think he thinks I am faking this pain. My daughter has brain cancer and I try not to burden her with all this. So here I am! I’ve been reading on this forum the past few weeks. It gives me hope! I’ve been in tears again this evening just because I am sick of this recovery and I know I have a long way to go!
Sorry you are having a difficult time. I can only suggest when you walk, try Heel & Toe. It sure helps me when I find myself in a limp. Good Luck. They say it gets better. I'm still waiting.
 

Jockette

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Please give us the dates of both of your surgeries, and which knee goes with which date, and we’ll make a signature for you. :flwrysmile:

My leg feels like a tree.
This is very common and is due to swelling. Ice and elevation will help. I’ve highlighted the following articles from our guidelines:

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

These are also especially good to read:
Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?


Evening seems to be my worst time.
This is often an indication that you are doing too much activity during the day. It could also be a sign of under medication. What are you taking for pain?
 
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Sks1997

Sks1997

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My first surgery was a L partial knee on Jan 29, 2016. Just had a total knee on Rt one Aug 23, 2021.
I use Norco for pain. I can’t tolerate NSAIDs but can take occasional ALEVE. My Dr has started weaning me down on the Norco. I think they falsely believe everyone’s pain is down by 3 months .
 

Jockette

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Many of our members have found Tylenol to be very helpful for post op pain.

The most effective way to take Tylenol is 2 x 500 mg tablets every 6 hours, to a total of 4,000 mg (4 doses) in 24 hours. You need to take it regularly, to keep up the levels in your bloodstream. If you just take the odd dose now and then, it's far less effective.

Check all other medications you're taking, to make sure there is no Tylenol/Acetaminophen/Paracetamol in them. If there is, scale back one or two of your regular doses, so you stay within that safe 24 hour limit of 4,000 mg.
 

ValleyGirl

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My knee feels like a stump all the time after activity. It doesn't take much activity to make my knee swell which causes that stump feeling. My PT has been good at moving the inflammation out (to a degree) with exercises and giving me some relief on some days.

Maybe you can continue PT to help you with positive movement?

My ROM is only 70 so I envy you. But I am not giving up! I just got a CPM machine and used it for the first time tonight. I started at 20 degrees and moved it up to 50 degrees over time. Only went 20 mins tonight but will increase the duration, slowly, and add more stints over time. I know the movement is good for me but my knee was a stump afterwards. I think I am not going to be able to avoid inflammation due to arthrofibrosis...but I am trying to carefully move the needle forward. Just sharing my story so you know you are not alone.

I cry too...many of us do. Some days I just get up and walk around and around the house until my optimism returns. A big hug to you!

You are going get through this. There are many on this site who can help you. Just keep sharing your experience and you will hear from us!

Patty
 
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Sks1997

Sks1997

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I am sorry about your flexion! I was 118/0 at end of 8 wks of PT. Hoping the CPM works for you.
My leg is stiff all the time. That is my worst problem!
thanks for the encouragement!
 

Jockette

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My leg is stiff all the time. That is my worst problem!
Stiffness/Tightness is a normal occurrence after this kind of major surgery. Your surgeon did major carpentry work and disturbed every millimeter of soft tissue in this area. You aren't tight because your muscle is underused and needs to be stretched and rehabbed. You're tight because your tissue is healing...and full healing takes a full year or more.
 

kneeper

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I couldn't take NSAIDS at the time of my second knee but found acetaminophen (tylenol) helped quite a bit. I found it worked best to take it on a schedule (no more than 3,000 mg per day.)
 
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Sks1997

Sks1997

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I have started taking the Tylenol on a schedule and hoping it helps. Had a very rough night. I’ve been lucky this time and been able to sleep pretty good since about week 3 so I don’t normally have rough nights.
You all have helped me to realize it isn’t a horrible thing that I still have a bit of a limp at 10 wks out. It is because of the pain. I don’t know why therapists and others want to shame us for using an assistive device. Also frustrating when people act like something is wrong when I haven’t recovered like they did or someone they know. I know that each person has a different experience with knee replacement.
 

Jaycey

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I don’t know why therapists and others want to shame us for using an assistive device.
Because many are in the "auto pilot" mode. One size does not fit all - but they sure try and make it fit. Be firm - there is nothing wrong with needing a walking aid. There is no time line for not using it!

Are you icing that knee? Ice will ease that stiffness.
 

Scaredycat10

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I have started taking the Tylenol on a schedule and hoping it helps. Had a very rough night. I’ve been lucky this time and been able to sleep pretty good since about week 3 so I don’t normally have rough nights.
You all have helped me to realize it isn’t a horrible thing that I still have a bit of a limp at 10 wks out. It is because of the pain. I don’t know why therapists and others want to shame us for using an assistive device. Also frustrating when people act like something is wrong when I haven’t recovered like they did or someone they know. I know that each person has a different experience with knee replacement.
I seem to be recovering reasonably well, at the moment but I know it's early days for me and this might go off kilter and so I'm going to rent a CPM machine because I think anything which can possibly help, can only be a good thing.
It's what's good for you as an individual, not what anyone else has done/is doing. Fingers crossed, now you've found this wonderful site, things will improve and chatting with those who have had the experience we are now going through, is fabulous.
 
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Sks1997

Sks1997

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Jaycey, yes I ice several times per day!
thanks!
 

ValleyGirl

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I don’t know why therapists and others want to shame us for using an assistive device. Also frustrating when people act like something is wrong when I haven’t recovered like they did or someone they know.
You are the leading lady in your recovery and you will write the script. My PT says there is NO timeline for each of the milestones because every recovery is different.

Others are anxious to see us recovered and I've noticed they are measuring recovery based on my unassisted walking. I know the walking will come..I am concerned with flexion and sitting (for today). People want us back to normal...just don't know what the new normal will be.
 

Catalien45

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I have started taking the Tylenol on a schedule and hoping it helps. Had a very rough night. I’ve been lucky this time and been able to sleep pretty good since about week 3 so I don’t normally have rough nights.
You all have helped me to realize it isn’t a horrible thing that I still have a bit of a limp at 10 wks out. It is because of the pain. I don’t know why therapists and others want to shame us for using an assistive device. Also frustrating when people act like something is wrong when I haven’t recovered like they did or someone they know. I know that each person has a different experience with knee replacement.
I haven’t had to deal with this ( shaming); I was 4 weeks yesterday from my surgery. I’ve been able to walk without any assistance for some time now.... in the house! We take our kitty into our backyard, & I ALWAYS take my cane! Shortly before my surgery, I was out ( alone) to check on something in the garden. Forgot my trusty cane. My limp was really bad at that time & I moved Very slowly. I tripped & nearly had a bad fall. I could have got back on balance with the cane. So, when I Do venture out, it will be With that cane! Or any time I feel unstable, for that matter. Used it the other night when I was having a rough patch due to my participation in the “ over-did-it club”! No shame... as I keep reading, this is Your knee, Your experience. You are the boss!
 
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Sks1997

Sks1997

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Man oh man, I slept until almost 11am this morning. I was up on my feet WAY too much yesterday and I guess my body needed the sleep!
I am at the stage where progress is sooooooo slow and I certainly don’t see it on a daily basis! I know that I am making progress though. One positive thing that I’ve noticed is it doesn’t hurt nearly as much when I rise from a chair. It used to feel excruciating when I first stood up!
I have to just laugh sometimes because it seems every day there is a specific different pain. I tell my husband it’s the “bonus pain of the day”. One day it’s the back of my thigh, next it runs down my calf, sometimes my foot has so much pain. My hips and back remain hurting and I know it’s my gait because I still have a slight limp. We deal with so much more than just the knee pain!
I am thankful for all of you who give me hope and encouragement as you have went or going through the same things!
 

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