So, I am giving my walker a rest while I make my way around the house using my cane. At pt yesterday, I was shown the proper way to use it, and despite my fears and reluctance at first, I found it went quite well. It’s all about being confident that that new baby knee can do the job! What a relief not to be clunking through doorways and hallways anymore!
Yesterday was pretty amazing in several ways...I did my exercises all on my own (no hubby to lift my leg or hand me straps), showered, dried off and got dressed on my own...aaaand put my socks and runners on by myself!
Getting some independence back is a wonderful thing! It is still too draining to do anything in the kitchen or around the house, but I can do bits and pieces here and there...wipe a counter, make toast, even boil and peel eggs, lol. (so glad to have inspired a few of you with the egg salad)
My ROM changed from last Tuesday...it went from being 90/6 to 88/2. That bend is still an effort. I finally got on the cycle and am hoping that will help loosen things up a bit. I have decided to do another week of pt...they are good correcting my positioning during exercises as I am not aware of when my leg is out of line etc. They also guide me with my walking gait, again, a thing I am not aware of when I’m focusing on not falling over, lol. So far, there has been no forcing of anything I don’t want to do, and no touching or pushing of any kind. I am comfortable there.
I think helping with gait and that kind of thing is one of the good things about PT. I would use the exercise bike to "loosen up." You don't have to do loads of time on it at once, but I found it helped.
I'm so glad your PT experience has been good and gentle. I admit I'm worried about starting mine on Wednesday. Only 2 weeks post op. I think it's crazy. On the other hand, I'd like to be on a bike or something.
Day 23 post op...no more walker! It has officially been folded and put away! I don’t know why I was so hesitant to try the cane, but lo and behold, I am perfectly fine with it! It even makes my knee feel stronger and more confident. I just try to slow down and focus on my walking now. I am even managing a few steps without it when in the bathroom or kitchen.
I am able to do some small things in the kitchen now, which is a great relief to my husband (he can burn water, lol). Don’t worry...most of my day is still spent elevating and icing! Each day is better than the one before!
Good for you @snowdrop! Sounds like you are coming around nicely. You’ve got me craving an egg salad sandwich which is great since I have had no appetite since the 9th. These second round knees are sure being hard to understand I think I have it all figured out and then a change!
Good job @snowdrop. I just read your 3 week post followed by your 23 day post. Good progress over a 2 day period. That’s also a very encouraging trend. Things do tend to start moving along faster as those first few weeks roll slowly by. That is the point I was trying to make when I characterized the first 8 weeks as beginning with 2 REALLY, REALLY rotten weeks, gradually improving to 2 just plain miserable weeks leading up to “short-term” recovery. And from my own experience as well as the many, many posts I have now read, that seems to be a fairly good summarization of the process, even though the specific details are best described in this “chart” previously posted by @Celle
. But the general trend is still upward and onward.
I had 7 - 10 days of not being able to raise my leg or bend my knee at all without excruciating pain through the middle of my knee, and I was becoming concerned that something unusual may be going on because that was so different from last time. Forgot Rule #1, “Don’t compare knees”. BIG problem with Rule #2, “Be patient”. Then, over about a 5 day period, it improved to the point where I could make leg raises a regular part of my exercise routine. Now, there is almost no pain at all. I think you will begin to see good things happening at a more rapid pace now. You (We) still have a way to go, but we’re on our way.
A possible word of caution. It may be different for you, but although I now walk around the house mostly with neither cane or walker, I still keep my walker by the bed at night. I find that sometimes when I first stand up in the middle of the night, my knees still need a little bit of time to figure out what’s going on, and exactly what they are supposed to do next. I usually tend to postpone actually getting out of bed until there isn’t a lot of time to spare, so the walker still comes in handy now and then.
By the way, I L-O-V-E Egg Salad. I like it in sandwiches and on Saltine Crackers. Now I’m hungry.
@Denny39 , thanks for your thoughts on recovery. Like you, I have a huge problem with Rule #2 as well. In fact, I think I spend the majority of my time focusing on slowing down and reminding myself that time is the big healer here. Seriously, I am in no hurry to do more damage to my poor new knee. As for Rule #1...I have two advantages over you. One...it’s been 2.5 years since my first tkr, and two...age has allowed me to forget many of the details, so I have a hard time comparing! This is one of those times that I am glad for my lack of remembery, haha.
Don’t worry about the night time routine for me...I tend to sit on the edge of my bed before attempting to stand. Many decades of outdoor teaching have given me a great teacher’s bladder! I admit though, that I sometimes get too zoned out while watching tv in my recliner and end up waiting tooo long! That sucker is harder to get out of than my bed!
And that recovery diagram is bang on...I am currently somewhere in the middle of the lower left quadrant of the Reality Side
@Zommom, Thought you had it all figured out huh? Yeah, me too. NOPE! Rule #1, “Don’t compare knees”. Rule #2, “Be patient”. Failed on both. However, even though this one is traveling a very different path, it is slowly beginning to get it right, and making some positive changes. Yours will as well, but there are probably a few more surprises and “What the heck is going on here” still ahead. Hang in there, you’re on your way.
On the first one, the “no appetite and no sleep” thing was a big problem for at least 4 -6 weeks. This time, my appetite was somewhat curbed for a week or so, but I didn’t have to force myself to eat. Sleep has been more of an on and off problem this time, very unpredictable. Some nights pain keeps me awake, but on others, although I have no pain or very little, I’m tired and yawning; I just don’t go to sleep. Between these 2 knee recoveries, I have watched more You-Tube videos than I have for the rest of my whole life.
Day 25 post op. I am feeling stronger each day, which is very uplifting. I remember the first days of recovery, when I felt things would never ever get better, when the pain was constant, when the frustration if losing your independence was overwhelming. I’m so happy to say that near the end of four weeks, there is a bright light that shines each day!
Small victories happen every day. I do recall how happy I was the first time I could stand up from the toilet without the aid of my walker, or the first time I could walk to the kitchen and make a cup of coffee! Today was another thrilling first...I was able to sit in the front passenger seat to get to pt! Until today, I couldn’t get enough bend in my knee to make it through the door and thought I would be lying across the back seat forever!
Don’t give up, people! Count those little victories every day...it DOES get better!
As for PT...last week, my flexion was 88. I was rather bummed that it wasn’t any better. So I made a conscious effort to sit in chairs more, bend the knee more when walking, etc etc. After some heel slides at the beginning of therapy today, my ROM was 93, so very encouraging. However, the pt had me do cycling ( just the swinging back and forth, not full rotation) followed by a new exercise with one of those giant yoga balls. With this exercise, I sat on the ball and slowly, gently rolled forwards (holding onto bars of course) and backwards. It felt so good and gentle, much more so than with the heel slides. After a few minutes of this, she measured again and my flexion improved to 101 !! I am heading over to Walmart tomorrow to get one of those babies!!
Good Job!!! You will see those occasional “little victories” become more frequent and more significant, and they will really start to add up. Heel slides and leg raises are my primary “Go to’s”, although there are others I also use. I walk often, not outside much because it is so hot and humid here lately. But we’re on our way, and it feels really, really, good!
The walking is the problem here...we have a long sloping driveway (which, of course, means uphill on the way back) that leads down to a rickety private road that is in a sad need of repair. Am so very afraid of falling on it! Being in a small town, there is no mall to walk in either. It is pretty hot and humid here as well, so outdoor activity is pretty limited for me. I move around the house as much as I can, but it would be nice to get a longer walk in. Maybe by the end of the week someone can drive me to the city in search of air conditioned corridors!
I am such a failure at Rule #2. I don't know if the second knee will be easier because I have a routine setup or if I will fall under Rule #1 and everything I've set up this time will have to be changed. Counting the days.
I hear your troubles with walking. Our house doesn't have many long clear spaces for walking, and although we are in an acceptable culdesac where I could theoretically walk, it's been in the mid 90s for weeks and the heat literally makes me sick even when I'm not in early recovery. That's a hard NO!
One of the many things that made July ideal for surgery was that it's so hot, I had no intentions of leaving the house anyway. lol
OMG...will I EVER sleep more than three hours at a stretch? It’s almost like all the pain waits until I am asleep. I am taking Tylenol and hydromorphone before bed, yet still I wake three hours later and then sleep fitfully for the rest of the night, never more than 45 mins at a time