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TKR Sky Blue's recovery - both TKRs

NewToMe

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You sound like me! I was reviewing my first month post op medication and pain log today. I was curious about the entire process of healing!

My experience was and still is, what hurt 3 days ago won't hurt today and today's new pain won't hurt in a couple of days.

Also, the drugs that works for you don't work for me. It is so amazing how a like and yet individual our recoveries are!

:good-bad:

Hang in there!
 
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Sky blue

Sky blue

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I think it's great that you're now taking your meds on 6 hour intervals instead of 4 and you've dropped to 5mg of Hydrocodone. When you're ready to try the Tramadol again, substitute a dose where you know you'll be fairly inactive so you have the best chance of not needing the stronger meds. Be sure and use your ice frequently, especially when starting with the Tramadol/Tylenol.
@Jamie , Sorry about the typo-- unfortunately, I DIDN'T mean to type "5mg" either-- I meant to type 10mg! So, in fact, I'm NOW taking 10mg Hydrocodone every 8 hours (first it was every 4, then every 6, then every 7, and now every 8 hours, and tomorrow I should "graduate" to every 9). Of course, if I have too much pain while waiting to take the next Hydrocodone, I'll take the Tramadol/Tylenol combo. So far, I haven't had to do that, but I know I will eventually 'cos the Hydrocodone alone is bound to fail if I take them too much further apart!

A couple of days ago, I tried substituting the Tramadol/Tylenol combo for a dose of Hydrocodone again, but it failed again-- the T/T didn't seem to do anything for me. I wonder why. Anyway, I decided at that point to just stick with the Hydrocodone but wait an extra hour every-other-time I take it.

When I get up in the morning, I can bend my knees so naturally to walk, but once I'm up for 30 minutes or so, my knees look like I'm wearing floaties and they're real hard to bend. I wish the effects of ice and elevation were longer lasting! Will they ever reach a point where they WON'T swell up after being on my feet???
 

Jockette

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Will they ever reach a point where they WON'T swell up after being on my feet???
The answer is yes, though we all felt that day would never come!

You are about 1/12 of the way healed in this year long, on average, recovery. :console2:
 

Jamie

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Jockette is right. It will get better. I know it's hard to be patient, but that's what you must do. Just keep doing the things that work and you will see improvements with time.

You're doing well with your pain meds. Remember that you can break those Hydrocodone tablets (assuming they are tablets and not extended release capsules) in half and go to 5mg doses. If you do that, you may need to take them a bit more frequently to start with. The 10mg dose is fairly strong it it would probably be a better taper to be able to drop down to 5mg per dose. You could also discuss this with your doctor (surgeon or GP) and possibly obtain a prescription for the lower dose Hydrocodone. I'm actually a bit surprised that your doctor hasn't stepped you down already.
 
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Sky blue

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@Jamie, I didn't think of breaking the hydrocodone tablets in half and tapering down that way. Unless I hear differently from you or another *PRO*, I think I'll take half a pill (so, 5mg) every 4 hours for the time being. Does that sound like a good idea?
 

Jamie

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That should work just fine. I have done the same when I was tapering off with my second knee. I had the 5mg pills, but would use half quite frequently. It's not always safe to break pills in half as you can sometimes get the wrong dosage that way. But that's normally the rule for capsules or time release medications that give you more than 4 hours of pain coverage. They should never be divided or broken into in any way.
 
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Sky blue

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Would an elastic compression sleeve feel good or help with swelling and/or pain at this stage in my recovery? I'm 4 weeks post-op. What about while sleeping?
 

Sara61

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The information I was given was never to wear compression stockings/socks at night only day time xx
 
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Sky blue

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The information I was given was never to wear compression stockings/socks at night only day time xx
Wow, really? I've been wearing my compression stockings at night for about a month!

I was actually asking about a compression sleeve that is worn over the knee, like what I used to wear when playing sports with arthritis. A lot of them are made of neoprene, sometimes other material. Just wanted to clarify.
 

Helizabug

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For compression, so far, I’m still using my Ace bandage. Actually I switched from the big one to a shorter one. I like that I can adjust the tightness easily.

If you try a neoprene sleeve, I’ll be interested to hear how well it works for you. All of these wraps bug my skin. If there’s a better approach, I’d live to hear about it.
 
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Sky blue

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One reason I'm asking is because I'm supposed to be going out to eat this coming Thursday evening (which will be exactly 5 weeks post-op), and I'm afraid that after sitting in a dining chair for 2 or 3 hours, I won't be able to walk out of there because of the swelling. Currently, after elevating, my knees (especially the most recent one) swell up to an uncomfortable level in about 15 minutes. Would an athletic/sports knee sleeve keep it from swelling to such an uncomfortable degree?
 

Sara61

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I actually find that wearing my skinny jeans (stretchy fabric ) work as a compression and keep my swelling under control- I was out at a lunch party today sitting at a table from 1pm to almost 7pm ( long lunch :heehee: )and my knee behaved so well and hardly any swelling. Might be worth trying xx
 
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Sky blue

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I actually find that wearing my skinny jeans (stretchy fabric ) work as a compression and keep my swelling under control- I was out at a lunch party today sitting at a table from 1pm to almost 7pm ( long lunch :heehee: )and my knee behaved so well and hardly any swelling. Might be worth trying xx
REALLY?!?! That's great, Sara! How many weeks post-op are you?

Oh, I just checked your thread... you're about 2-1/2 months ahead of me. Shoot, I was hoping that we were closer together in recovery!!
 
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Sky blue

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@Sara61 By the way, it sounds like you enjoy eating out with your friends/family as much as I do. Several months ago we were at a restaurant for 4 hours! But 7?! WOW! :egypdance:
 

Sara61

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I'm just at 9 weeks post op so only 1 month ahead of you - however I started wearing skinny jeans at about week 5 so you should be ok x
Yes our friend is a chef so many courses are presented- lol they even wanted us to stay for dinner after haha...:rotfl:
 

Celle

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Would an elastic compression sleeve feel good or help with swelling and/or pain at this stage in my recovery? I'm 4 weeks post-op. What about while sleeping?
The information I was given was never to wear compression stockings/socks at night only day time xx
Wow, really? I've been wearing my compression stockings at night for about a month!

I was actually asking about a compression sleeve that is worn over the knee, like what I used to wear when playing sports with arthritis. A lot of them are made of neoprene, sometimes other material. Just wanted to clarify.
I have never been able to understand the logic of not wearing compression hose at night. We're given TEDS to wear, to try and offset the danger of getting a deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

When is the most likely time for us to develop that? When we're lying, still, in bed. That's at night time.
What reduces the likelihood of getting a DVT? Being up and about.
So why wear the compression hose during the daytime and not at night?

I can only think that some surgeons regard the compression hose simply as a way of reducing swelling, which does increase when you're up and about.

@Sky blue I think a neoprene sleeve would still be too thick for your knee this early in recovery, but you could try it when you go out to dinner - but not overnight.

Or, if you still have above-the-knee TEDS, you could use those when you go out to dinner. I've used them on long-distance flights.

Can you talk to your hostess before you go, and tell her that you'd like to be able to sit and elevate your knee most of the time? From painful experience, I remember that sitting on dining chairs for any length of time is not at all comfortable.
 

sistersinhim

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From painful experience, I remember that sitting on dining chairs for any length of time is not at all comfortable.
Sitting at a table can be very uncomfortable after even just a few minutes. I used my cane to prop up on while out in a restaurant. It's not great, but better than the foot being down all the time.
 
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Sky blue

Sky blue

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I have a question-- I realize I should've asked the surgeon today when he showed me the x-ray, but I was concentrating on taking a photo of it instead of really looking hard at it! See the DIFFERENCE IN THE "SPACING" BETWEEN THE COMPONENTS IN THE LEFT KNEE VERSUS THE RIGHT KNEE?

Can anyone tell me why they look different?

Thank you!!

20191218_x-ray knee replacements.jpg
 

sistersinhim

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It looks to me like the spacer is a different size, but I am certainly no doctor. Josephine is away from the forum for a while recuperating. I will send these to others on the staff to see if they can read them.
 

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