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[TKR] Snowdrop’s Second Knee Adventure

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by snowdrop, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. snowdrop

    snowdrop member
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    Slept well last night, but still in the recliner. Oh well, you do what you have to do.

    My sweet hubby helped me with my exercises this morning. I did not do any yesterday at all because I wasn’t up to it. But after a good sleep, I feel more energized and more determined to get this leg going! Still not able to lift, but I can feel the fuzzy signals starting to fire in the old brain. They probably have to find their way through a lot of dense matter up there...a very confusing trail indeed.

    Before surgery, I managed to find one of those heel slider tools...the board that you put your leg on, with a cup for your heel that slides up and down a track along the length of the board. This makes the heel slides sooo much easier. You don’t have the friction to deal with, so you can maximize the bend without hurting yourself. I also bought myself a small lumbar cushion that I am using while lying down. My back muscles have become shortened from all those years of sitting with the bad knees...I feel a huge pulling while doing leg exercises, and placing the lumbar cushion under my back has helped enormously.

    I have also reduced my pain meds...2mg hydromorphone before bed, 1000mg tylenol about an hour later...in the morning, 1mg hydromorphone, and then 1000mg tylenol a couple of times during the day. I am elevating and icing with the cryo cuff for most of the day and night.

    Just a quick question...how long have you needed the toilet seat riser? I know I can keep it on indefinitely, but in 8 days, I am making the four hour drive back to my OS for a check up and staple removal. I will be spending the night at my SIL’s and was hoping I wouldn’t need to travel with a toilet seat helper! :dubious:
     
  2. Benay

    Benay graduate

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    You sound so organized! Good for you.
     
  3. snowdrop

    snowdrop member
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    ...one of the very big benefits of having a previous TKR to learn from :flwrysmile:
     
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  4. luvcats

    luvcats senior

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    That sounds very useful! Can you say where you found it, or if it has a specific name like the "lounge doctor" pillow? Like you, I'm having both knees done, so investing in good tools is definitely worth the effort.
     
  5. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I don't think you need to spend money on one of those boards. If you put a piece of paper under your foot, that will help it to slide more easily.
    If you're doing heel slides while sitting in a chair, putting your foot on a skateboard helps, too.
     
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  6. kneeper

    kneeper FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I used my "throne" riser :wink: for a few weeks with knee #1; less with knee #2 since I now had a good leg. I might have been able to use it for less time, but it was helpful to have it.
     
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  7. Denny39

    Denny39 senior

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    I think that “achiness” is actually worse than the sometimes shooting pains through the surgical site itself. As I was reading your post, I was fighting the same thing, trying to find a comfortable position in my recliner. No luck. I did find that I get some relief when I go to bed, laying on my Left side at about a 45 degree angle with the surgery leg up, and putting a thin pillow between my legs. That lets me bend it a little bit and relieve some of the downward pressure on the knee.

    I remember this from the first one, but I really don’t remember how long it lasted. I haven’t tried the ice/warmth combo, but I will. This WILL go away, soon I hope. I hope you can get back into your bed soon. I tried sleeping in the recliner one night and failed miserably. I found it easier to thrash around in the bed than it was on the recliner. Hang in there, we’ll get there!
     
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  8. snowdrop

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    Thanks everyone, for your advice. Today has been a fairly good day pain-wise. I’ve decided to add Advil to my med combo...we’ll see if it helps. Like many of you, the worst pain begins to set it near dinner time. If I can get that under control before bedtime, I find I can get a fairly decent sleep. During my last TKR, sleep was almost impossible due to the pain, so I am pretty happy that it’s much different this time.

    I did my exercises twice today (for the first time). I am frustrated at the very slow progress that I am making in my ROM and get discouraged at times. That’s when I do my self-talk and remind myself that I am only 10 days out. I focus on the tiny things that are getting better each day...less pain while sitting on the throne (my legs are short, so I don't have solid footing on the floor. I need a small block under my surgical foot to sit comfortably). I no longer need that small block! I can also sit down in a chair without my surgical leg being stuck out like a log as I am sitting down. My movement to my bed for exercises is much more fluid and I have hopes of attempting that bed soon. In the meantime, my recliner and I have an understanding.

    Things I am anxious for include more bend in my leg and being able to lift my leg by myself. My poor, wonderful hubby is being so patient with me while he exacts the duties of “Royal Leg Lifter”. I look forward to doing a little cooking again, or at least making coffee! Oh, and hey, I actually folded the towels from the dryer today, although my beautiful stack is still piled on the dining room table. But I am biting my tongue and just hoping that they eventually make their way to the linen cupboard where they belong!

    I truly hope all of you are coping with this incredible journey as best as you can. This weekend we are celebrating Canada Day, but I’ll be listening to the fireworks from inside. Next year will be a different story!
     
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  9. cathyn518

    cathyn518 junior member

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    Had my first TKR on June 19th, almost the same date as yours! I also have problems with swelling and bending my legs but can keep it pretty straight. PT for me was too aggressive the second time so I am going to quit and maybe start back up when I am further along. I have all the exercises and would prefer to go at my own pace. Staples out Tuesday! Can't wait. Take care
     
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  10. snowdrop

    snowdrop member
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    @cathyn518 , so nice to see an almost-twin here! I hope you are doing as well as can be.

    Last night was a bit of a downer, as I was up with pain from about 2am. I probably (yes, very likely) overdid my exercises yesterday. I am just so anxious to get this leg moving and am terrified of it staying like this forever.

    Yes, I know the healing comes slowly...you’d think I had learnt my lesson last time. But alas, the self-doubt has definitely set its teeth into my head. I’ll be calling the OS for more pain meds tomorrow as I am almost out. My thigh hurts when weight bearing or sometimes when walking. The leg is so stiff and sore when I bend it. Swelling is minor to moderate, so I guess all the pressure is on the inside. And oh, that general ache in the leg is enough to drive one insane. One set of heel slides today and that’s it (other than moving/schluffing about).

    This recovery sure is a mind game, isn’t it :sorry:
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  11. Lindylee

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    I used a therapy band or the hook end of my stick/cane to lift my leg up until I was able to do it unaided. Also, I used a plastic bag for my heel slides. It's great that you can sleep well so early on. It gives me hope for my second time round!

    I hope you enjoyed listening to the fireworks.

    We were posting at the same time, so sorry about last night's lack of sleep. I hope things improve tonight. Mind game sums it up well. They don't call it a rollercoaster recovery for no reason!
     
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  12. kneeper

    kneeper FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I bet you'll be able to lift that leg off the bed pretty soon. That seems to happen on its own schedule and is different for everyone.
    Sounds like a nice "lazy" day of icing and elevating. (Though "lazy" is actually the "work" of recovery.) :)
     
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  13. snowdrop

    snowdrop member
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    Good morning everyone! Today is Day 12. I am sleeping fairly well, but still in the darned recliner. I seem to be able to get by on Tylenol and Advil during the day, but as evening nears, I am desperate for my hydromorphone to get me through the night. I have very few pills left and just called my OS and then my GP to get more, only to find out that both of them are on holiday until next Monday! I am trying to work something out with the other doctor in the clinic, but they don’t know me and typically require a physical visit before prescribing. Problem is, I live 4 hours away, so that can’t happen. I am still waiting to hear back...hoping they will prescribe enough to get me through to Monday.

    Bending is coming a little more easily, and I am trying to take a short walk around the house every 1-2 hours. However, leg still refuses to lift no matter how much I concentrate. I don’t remember it taking this long last time!! :bawl:

    PT at the hospital today...don’t feel like heading out in this heat.
     
  14. kneeper

    kneeper FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I hope you can get some pain meds to tide you over through the weekend. Maybe if the other doc sees your file and realizes you are being responsible with the meds you'll get some.
     
  15. snowdrop

    snowdrop member
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    Thanks @kneeper ... request is still floating in space somewhere. On the other hand, PT went well. I made sure to tell her my med situation. My ROM was much improved...60 last Thursday and 85 today. Flexion was 4. Progress is being made. Now if I could only lift that log of mine!
     
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  16. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I know it's confusing, but:
    ROM = both bending (flexion) and straightening (Extension). So your ROM is expressed as 85/4.
    Flexion = bending
    Extension = straightening.
     
  17. snowdrop

    snowdrop member
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    @Celle , thank you for straightening this out for me (no pun intended, lol)...the two can be confusing, but now I’ll know!
     
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  18. Benay

    Benay graduate

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    I used a leg lifter until I could lift it myself. Was invaluable. Amazon purchase.
     
  19. Rather

    Rather junior member

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    I was also a huge fan of the leg lifter. It was invaluable when I needed to get my leg on the Lounge Doctor. And I lived 24 hours a day/night in my recliner for three weeks. It let me also sleep with my legs elevated on the lounge dr and icing thru the night that really made a difference in the swelling and pain.
     
  20. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I used my old leg under my new leg to lift it. I works well and it's always there! You can also use your old leg to let your new leg down.
     
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