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[TKR] Snowdrop here, two years later with new knee #2!

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

  1. Denny39

    Denny39 senior

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    Being able to lift that leg is definitely a break-thru moment! For almost 2 weeks, even sending a “lift” signal to that leg was rewarded with no movement whatsoever, accompanied by a #10 lightning bolt of pain right thru the center of the knee. You and I are 3 days apart. It appears we both got “liftoff” about the same relative time.
    Good job. Now we can start working on gaining some altitude (just don’t get too pushy; it’ll come).

    I’m sure you are able to have your grandson with you:SUNsmile:; enjoy him.
     
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  2. Denny39

    Denny39 senior

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    @Celle, I love that recovery progress analysis. Couldn’t be more right on. I think I’m currently just above and slightly to the right of center in the Reality route.
     
  3. snowdrop

    snowdrop member
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    Today marks 16 days out. Pain is under control and I am still finding that ice and extra strength tylenol can get me through most days. The nights, however, as for many of you, are a different story. I think I have finally figured out the right timing for my tylenol and hydromorphone...with my ice machine on, I am getting a solid four hours before I wake up and need more meds. I can usually fall asleep for a couple more hours after that.

    The big news about sleeping is that I spend most of the night in bed! With my last tkr, my recliner was my bed until week 4 or so. It was simply too painful to lie down in any position. But this time, I tried the bed on Day 13 and have been there each night since! I am back in the recliner by 4am, but that’s okay! What a relief to be able to stretch out on my side....ahhhhhh!

    The leg lift is coming along...slowly but consistently. Baby steps! I still need help with pillow positioning and exercises, but one day I will be able to get it done on my own! Walking is a different story. I still rely heavily on my walker when I walk. My leg simply doesn’t feel strong enough to hold my weight, although I think it is slowly improving. I always feel like my knee will buckle when I walk. Does anyone else have this happening, or is this considered a normal thing in recovery? I honestly can’t remember the progress of walking from my last tkr.

    My big news for the day was being able to shower and dry off all on my own...yay!
     
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  4. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    This is a big milestone!

    You’re also doing great in the sleep department!

    What exercises are your husband helping you with?
     
  5. snowdrop

    snowdrop member
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    @Jockette , my exercises are very simple...heel slides, leg lift (3cm up and hold), leg lift with roll under knee (3cm up), lying on side and lifting leg up and back. He helps with my straps and roll placement, and spots my leg lifts. I do these once a day, sometimes twice if I feel like it.
     
  6. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I never had to do a side leg lift. In fact, I didn’t do specific leg lifts of any kind, just what I had to do to get my leg up on my foam wedge, once I could do it myself. Before that my husband would put my leg on the foam wedge, or on the ottoman if I was on the couch.

    Once I found Bonesmart at 4 weeks I stopped the list of exercises I was given. I won’t do them next time around, they caused me a lot of unnecessary pain. My quad and ROM came back just fine without them, as I healed. I just did my regular activities as my rehab.
     
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  7. snowdrop

    snowdrop member
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    So folks...any expectations on that walker dependence? At this point in my recovery, I wouldn’t even consider a cane! My knee still feels like buckling when I put weight on it.

    In other news, I am making the four hour drive to the big city today. I see my OS tomorrow for xrays and staple removal. Hoping to get more hydromorphone too.
     
  8. dogwalker2

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    Wow, sounds like knee2 is going very well. Very encouraging for those like me who are going to have to get knee 2 done sometime soonish!!
     
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  9. Denny39

    Denny39 senior

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    @snowdrop I could have written about 1/2 of your 16 day out post. Pain under control during the day, but big problem at night. Still relying on my walker for the same reason, but not as much. It seems that most of the day, I can just kind of “have it with me”, but not lean on it. Then there are those times when I just cannot depend on my knee to support me. But not very long ago, I was still relying on it most of the time. You are 3 days behind me, and I suspect that within a week or so you will probably see a difference.
     
  10. snowdrop

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    @Denny39 , glad to hear you’re doing reasonably well! I hope you’re right about the walker progress. As with most of this journey, I guess I am just being too impatient with the progress, at times thinking I will never walk/bend/move normally again.

    Someone needs to issue all of us a gold star for patience :angel:
     
  11. Denny39

    Denny39 senior

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    @snowdrop you are so right on the mark with the impatient comment. During my first recovery someone commented to me that “This recovery journey is NOT for the impatient among us”. I immediately had to acknowledge my charter membership in that group :tantrum2:. I think my wife has reminded me 15 times already that I’m not even 3 weeks out yet in the 8 - 12 week “Short-term recovery” phase. When I find myself wondering or doubting if I will ever walk normally again, I stand on my Left leg, bend and rotate it painlessly while remembering that 6 months ago, it was just like my Right one is now. How did your first one turn out?

    My biggest problem now is an unrelenting “toothache” feeling in my Tibia. Nothing else has touched it, so I am trying a heating pad at the moment. Maybe I can bake it into submission . . .
     
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  12. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    At only 16 days post-op, you aren't "walker dependent". It's perfectly normal to still be using a walker, and some people use one for months.

    The walker is just a tool, to help you when you need it, and to prevent falls. Since you feel as if your knee will buckle without the walker, you should keep using it.
    That feeling of insecurity and possible buckling will gradually go away, as you heal and your leg muscles get stronger again.

    There are no prizes for giving up the walker early, but there are drawbacks to giving it up too soon - from falling to continuing to walk with a limp. So don't let anyone talk you into giving up the walker before you're ready.

    Complete recovery from a knee replacement takes a full year, although you'll feel much better long before then.
    There's no need to rush to achieve anything, because you have plenty of time.
     
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  13. Denny39

    Denny39 senior

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    When my surgeon came to see me in the prep room before my second surgery, he checked the first one and asked how it was doing. I told him it was doing really good, that I could walk on it almost as if nothing had happened. He said, “You’ll be really happy with it after a year and even happier after 2 years”.

    When I went for my 5 week check-up after the first one, I asked about the “lingering” muscle and soft-tissue pains. The PA told me there are 3 (I’ve also both heard and read there are as many as 6) layers of stitching beneath the staples (or “zips” on my second one) that take 6 months to fully dissolve. I have found that there are certain exercises that if I do too many of, or get too aggressive with them, I pay a price in higher pain and more stiffness for the rest of the day. So, I have eliminated some, and moderated others, and the results are much more satisfactory. I read Josephines article on ADL’s (Activities for Daily Living) as a substitute for a formal exercise program, and I am doing many of those also. I’m OK with combining the two, and I’m happy with the results. I am NOT however, happy with the rate of progress, but I guess that gets back to the “impatient” thing, and reinforces the necessity and therapeutic value of accepting the full realities of this sometimes erratic and crazy journey.

    I am still using my walker whenever I feel that I need it, and treating pain meds the same way, using them at the request of my knee and surrounding area. I think everything is moving along just fine. It sounds to me like you’re doing great as well, and I am happy for you.
     
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  14. kneeper

    kneeper FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Awesome milestone!:yes!:
     
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  15. snowdrop

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    Day 18.
    I survived my 4 hour trip to the city this weekend, but only just barely. There was simply no way I could get comfortable in the back seat of our SUV no matter what I did. It did not help that one highway was full of partially re-paved road and construction, while the other was filled with crazy cottagers racing (though not quickly through all the congestion) back to the city for the start of the new work week. In case you were wondering, Toronto and its surrounding suburbs has a current population of 5.9 million....I think half of them were on the road! This is why we moved four hours away where our small town has a population of 6,000.

    After a really, really horrible night of sleep, I was at the hospital by 8:00am. Saw the OS who said all looks great...just keep bending that knee! The staples came out with quite a few ouchies, but I survived, lol. No more bandages, and I am cleared for showering as of tomorrow! For the trip home, we were more prepared with pillows and ice. Most importantly, I had my new prescription of hydromorphone in hand! The journey was much more comfortable, but I am exhausted. It will be an early night, then back to the business of recovery in my own home! Feeling very sore but oh, so much better without the staples and dressing!
     
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  16. snowdrop

    snowdrop member
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    Today marks 3 weeks post-op. Progress still feels impossibly slow, but it is moving forward nonetheless. Pain is under control, but sometimes takes my breath away in the middle of the night. It’s amazing how your knee wakes you up almost precisely when it’s time for your next dose of meds! I am still managing most of the night in bed, but by about 4am or so, I am ready for my recliner :yes:

    At pt on Tuesday, my ROM was 95/6...a small improvement on the bend, but extension was worse. I’m sure the hours of traveling I did on Sun/Mon did not help my ROM. I spent most of yesterday elevating and icing, but the knee is more swollen and stiff today. It is hot and humid, with thunderstorms expected...I am not too surprised by the complaints from my knee...even the other knee is unhappy today.

    I try to walk around the house as much as possible, using my walker the whole time. My leg lifts are getting stronger, hence the feeling of my knee buckling is becoming less frequent. Yesterday, I even made some egg salad. It was supposed to be for lunch, but because I did it in stages (like, all day long), I ended up having it for dinner instead...it was delicious! Wow, could I EVER feel the energy drain throughout the day! But, at least I was able to accomplish something, even if it took forever, lol.

    Heading out to PT today. I am thinking I’ll give it another week. My hubby thinks I should keep going until they are happy with my progress, but if I can be doing all the same exercises at home, I don’t see why it’s necessary other than to get my ROM measured. Getting myself in and out of the car is still a huge undertaking that I would rather be without. :bored:
     
  17. Jockette

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    I totally agree with you about PT. I said the same thing. Next time I do this I won’t bother going to PT. I’ll do better on my own without all the pain and set backs my PTs caused me.
     
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  18. TortiTabby

    TortiTabby junior member

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    Me too. I stopped going to PT after the 3rd visit. All the exercises were things I already knew - not worth the co-pay.
     
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  19. kneeper

    kneeper FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Doing things in stages is exactly right, IMHO. I did a lot of that. Like you say, then you still are doing some "normal" things, you're just being smart about it. Sometimes if I knew I was going to do some activity or other I'd reduce or skip some exercises. But I'd still take a nap. :yawn:
     
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  20. Benay

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    @snowdrop reading about your egg salad I've bought the fixings and I'll be making it tomorrow! Hope mine is as good as yours.
     
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