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TKR Sky Blue's recovery - both TKRs

luvcats

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@Steelergal just had a MUA and as of her last post it has helped a lot, but she had some very bad issues.

I had my knees done at 9 weeks apart and it's been fine. I think it might be a little extra exhausting and you'll want to work hard to avoid feeling shut in because at a little over 4 months since my knee replacement journey began, I'm pretty tired of it, but it's better than having the horrible pre-replacement pain, so I try to keep that in mind.

I recommend you find some extra things, new hobbies, maybe some holiday charity work? Things that you can do to stay busy in a little challenged mentally while you really rest physically.
Is it normal for your knee to "slip" or "buckle" a little?
I felt like this was happening at first after the left replacement. It wasn't actually in my case, but it was a perception issue. My knee had gone from seriously skewed and permanently bent to straight and that felt like a massive hyperextension to me with every step.
 

Steelergal

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@Steelergal just had a MUA and as of her last post it has helped a lot, but she had some very bad issues
Yep, I had my MUA just over a week ago and it was a huge help for me. I was stuck in the mid-70s with flexion for over two months. My OS and I had multiple conversations about the MUA and decided it was right for me (I was at 14 weeks from surgery). It took about 10 minutes and I was in very little pain afterwards (like I had a strong workout). The soreness only lasted a couple of days. The next morning in PT I was measured at 89 degrees (with no pushing) and a few days later was able to do a full rotation on the bike. This past week I've gotten to 96 degrees and hope to continue to improve. It's easier to walk and I can find a comfortable position to sleep now that I can bend my knee more. I know it's not for everyone, but I had multiple adhesions, so it worked well for me.
 
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Sky blue

Sky blue

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This is part of why we tell our BoneSmarties to always remember that everyone's recovery is unique....you cannot compare yours to anyone else's.
Jamie, thank you so much for your detailed reply. I understand now... it's an individual thing.

Thanks also for the assurance that the "slipping" feeling is a soft tissue problem. I'm working on strengthening, but slowly. Yesterday, however, I pulled my left calf muscle and now feel a sharp pain with each step I take. Of course, this is causing me to have a NEW limp, but I'm trying hard to walk normally rather than favor it to avoid a compensation injury. Hope it's back to normal by Thursday (right TKR).
 

sistersinhim

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Try and rest that calf as much as possible. It has a big job coming up.
 

Jamie

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@Sky blue, especially since you have hurt your calf, be sure you are using your walker when you move about. You need this extra support to enable you to walk with as close to a normal gait that is possible. I know that might seem like a step backwards if you were trying to move away from using it or other walking aids. But all this is temporary and very important until you get your knees stabilized.
 
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Sky blue

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Try and rest that calf as much as possible. It has a big job coming up.
Thank you; I have been putting off a couple of errands for 3 days now, just resting my calf. I also used the foam roller on it for 2 days in a row and I can feel a big difference now. My calf only hurts now as I am getting up, but once I start walking, it's much more comfortable. Yeah, I keep telling it how important it'll be come Thursday!!

@Sky blue, especially since you have hurt your calf, be sure you are using your walker when you move about.
I am; promise! Thanks for your concern, Jamie!
 

Jamie

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:thumb: Okay....I'll be able to sleep well tonight knowing that. :console2:
 
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Sky blue

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Am I using this forum correctly? When I have a question, am I doing the right thing by posting it in this same thread instead of in a thread where the subject is already being discussed?

Like, I have a question about other people's experience with getting enough pain medication to last them the first few weeks. Should I ask it here, or do a search on that topic and ask it in the applicable thread? :what:
 

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I had my TKRs done seven weeks apart, and I’m very happy with the results. I struggled a bit, because I had more pain with the second surgery than with the first - and I got discouraged. After three weeks and some PT, I’m feeling great, and SO glad to have it finished. I hope that you have good results, as well!

As for pain medication, I was able to request a refill at my 2-week appointment with no problem.
 

sistersinhim

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Am I using this forum correctly? When I have a question, am I doing the right thing by posting it in this same thread instead of in a thread where the subject is already being discussed?
This thread is a diary of your tkr's journey. Everything can and should be asked right where you are right now. Someone will see it here and answer you in your own thread.
 
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Sky blue

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As for pain medication, I was able to request a refill at my 2-week appointment with no problem.
Thanks for writing, @lindakay. My problem with the medication is that when I left the hospital, I had a written Rx for only 6 days of hydrocodone (7.5 mg). So I had to ask my poor cousin to take off work early so he could go across town to my doctor's office and pick up a Rx for a refill that would only get me through one more week. As I got close to running out of this refilled amount, I tapered off and quit the hydrocodone with about 3 or 4 left in the bottle-- in case I had a real bad flare up of pain. So, during the day, I filled the gap with plain Extra-Strength Tylenol, a 50mg Tramadol (which did practically NOTHING) and at bedtime, one Tylenol-3 that was left over from a dental procedure. I kept that up for about 4 days, I think. Finally, during the 4th week, I quit everything except three doses of Extra-Strength Tylenol (once every 6 hours) and 2- Aleve at bedtime, which I'm still following now (this is my 6th week).

The reason I call this a "PROBLEM" is because it doesn't seem very safe to me-- you know, to be coming up with my own combinations of meds simply because either the doctor, or my insurance, won't approve the dosages and the length of time I'm allowed to take what I actually may need. GRANTED, as it turned out, it was fine-- there was apparently no harm done, and I managed to stay out of any real bad pain. Was I just lucky?

I'm having the right knee done this Thursday. I can follow the same self-prescribed regimen, but I really don't like it. WHY AREN'T OUR DOCTORS FREE TO WRITE OUT A PRESCRIPTION FOR, SAY, 3 WEEKS WORTH OF WHICHEVER PAIN MED THEY PREFER, with instructions for tapering off that 3rd week?
 

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I'm sorry you had so many problems getting your pain medications.
We would have advised you about an effective way of combining Tramadol and Tylenol, to get good pain relief.

For future reference - and for other members - here it is. The first chart is for 4-hourly doses and the second is for 6-hourly doses:


The most effective way to take Tylenol is 2 x 500 mg tablets 6-hourly, 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.
 
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Sky blue

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I got home this evening from the hospital. My right knee replacement was done on Thursday morning. I had to stay 2 nights/3 days because of a lack of pain control. It was a surprising experience and so different from my left knee's TKR six weeks ago. The second I "came to" in Recovery, I felt a crushing pain, like a truck was sitting on my knee rolling back and forth. The only thing we did differently this time was that I had a nerve block in the OR right before they put me under. It was presented to me in pre-op as "optional, but recommended." I frankly thought that I must have had one that first time, because I didn't experience ANY pain the day of surgery. Whether I did or not, I don't know... but I did have one this time, and something must've gone wrong with it, because it didn't block ANY nerves! So, after telling the Recovery nurse that my knee hurt a LOT, she gave me the maximum amount of morphine (I THINK this was her first choice), but it didn't do anything. Then she tried Fentanyl but "maxed out"on it. I was crying and couldn't get my breath and she kept telling me to relax and take deep breaths-- boy, it was frustrating. The next thing she tried FINALLY helped. I don't remember what it was, but I think it was a 2-syllable word starting with a "d"... well, I'm not even sure of that, but if I heard the name, I'd recognize it. She wasn't telling me the stuff she was trying as she treated me, but I heard her tell a couple of other people about it, so that's how I remember the medications.

Once I got into my room I was OK. But that night I had a bad flare up and the pain just wouldn't stop. It was the same "crushing" pain I'd had earlier, but not quite as bad. I sat in my room crying from 4:30 to 5:30 a.m. A nurse came in and administered an NSAID called toradol through my IV, which he said would attack the incisional pain. How they know these things, I don't know, but it worked like a charm. It even helped the other stuff like hydrocodone- work better.

I was told later that morning that the doctor didn't want to repeat the toradol because it's so rough on the GI tract. So the next time it flared up, they gave me a muscle relaxer with my hydrocodone. Besides knocking me out, it was pretty good at taking the sharp edge off my pain.

By this time-- halfway through day 2-- I had gotten up to go to the bathroom or to walk down the hallway about 8 times, and my LEFT knee (TKR 6 weeks ago) was starting to hurt badly as it bore most of the weight in the standing motion. It felt like my knee cap was going to pop off. I had nurses and aides to help me each time-- really exceptional people at that hospital! Now I'm home, and I have no one to help me with that motion of standing up. It usually takes two tries-- the first try gets my bum about 8" off the bed, but then I fall back on the bed because BOTH knees hurt. I sure wish I had something to PULL myself up with. I usually rest a second, get repositioned, count to 3 and stand up. But OH, it hurts so bad.

IF ANYONE KNOWS OF A SOLUTION FOR ME, PLEASE PASS IT ON! I'LL TRY ANYTHING!
 

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Well done on both your operations xx
I can't relate as I only had 1 TKR just over 5 weeks ago.
Is there any possible chance of raising your bed that way you do not need to pull yourself up and out. Or If not, maybe sit on some cushions prior to trying to get off the bed.
As I am tall, my toilet seat was very low so a friend very kindly loaned me a seat extension it's been a godsend as basically I can almost walk on and off it without having to push myself up.
Wishing you a good recovery xxx
 

Jockette

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I kept my walker next to my bed and was able to hold that to help me get up. With any chair I needed to put my hands on the chair to push myself up.
 
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Sky blue

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Is there any possible chance of raising your bed that way you do not need to pull yourself up and out. Or If not, maybe sit on some cushions prior to trying to get off the bed.
Sara, you're so schmart. That's exactly what I ended up doing... SO, once I get both feet on the floor, I grab a fat wedge pillow (the kind without armrests), and set it behind me so it's leaning on its edge against my back. Then I bend forward at the waist as though I'm gonna tie my shoes, and when I do, the pillow falls somewhat under me... enough for me to grab and scootch forward under my bum even more. That raises me at least 8 or 9 inches higher. Then I make my hands into tight fists on the mattress next to each thigh and simply lean forward as far as I can (since I'm sitting so high, that leaning forward action practically gets me on the balls of my feet already!) and push up with my fists. I was amazed how easy it made standing up! In fact, it barely caused any pulling on my patella tendons. After 2 days of doing it like that, it's given my "good" (left) knee a chance to mend itself after all the extra force placed on it from Thursday after surgery until Sunday morning.

All I can say is Praise the Lord and "thank You, Jesus!"

It's funny how creative we become when placed in an impossible situation!
 
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Sky blue

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I wanted to add that when faced with the same problem on the toilet, I haven't used an elevated seat, BUT, the sink is on one side of the toilet, and on the other side of the toilet I placed a tall stool with a folded towel on top (to pad my bony elbow). When I get ready to stand, I put both feet underneath me as far as possible. Then I place one hand on the edge of the sink and my whole forearm/elbow on the stool and push myself up like that. Thankfully, I have enough upper body strength that I can get plenty of leverage without needing to use much leg strength.
 

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