TKR So happy Surgery is behind me!

Good news to report! I had my surgeon visit today. I went in without a cane after stretching/bending my knee all morning. He asked what my pain level was which is zero (unless I’m trying to bend). Also I told him I sleep 8 hours a night with no pain (got Apple Watch for my bday and the last 2 weeks I’ve been getting 7-8 hours every night with the help of 2 Tylenol PM’s). I showed him my flexion which is about 100. He said to just keep working on bending and see him again in a year. He had “threatened” me with manipulation under anesthesia at my visit two weeks ago unless I came in at 120 today. I guess these were all scare tactics which I don’t appreciate. Anyway, he seemed to suggest that I try hard for the bend every other day and rest in between or work on walking or strengthening instead to give the joint recovery time. Finally, I can move on with healing and bending and life without so much anxiety. I was glad to have all of your assurances along the way. I know I am by no means at the end of my recovery. In fact I canceled a trip to the Smokies in November knowing it would be more walking than I could handle. But I feel like I can take the reins now of my own recovery with the support of a really good PT team and continue progressing.
Going out to dinner tonight with my partner and friends to celebrate!!!
I really wish my surgeon had “discharged” me as early as yours has. Obviously we know we can call them if ever have any issues. I had too many follow up appointments which caused me so much stress.

Finally, I can move on with healing and bending and life without so much anxiety. I was glad to have all of your assurances along the way.
You’ll do fine. Best wishes!
I went swimming for the first time since surgery (indoors) today. I thought it would feel so freeing and wonderful. Instead my knee felt heavy and odd. And the loss of flexion more obvious. The unnatural feeling made me almost nauseated. I got used to it after awhile but then felt very odd and heavy again when I got out of the pool. Can anyone else relate to this?
I tried swimming at about 4 months out and didn't like it. I waited another month and then felt OK in the pool.
Hey thanks. That makes me feel better. Maybe I need more time!
Oh yes, I can relate! My replaced knee always felt very bulky in the pool in my recovery.
Thanks for letting me know. I was surprised by it. I leave for FL in January and hope I’ll be far enough in my recovery by then.
Happy Three Month Anniversary, Bridgy!
Wishing you a Merry Christmas too.
Aaah, Florida in January sounds like heaven! This coming from someone that lives in the frigid North. :snow plough:
Safe travels, I hope you enjoy!
Thank you so much Layla. I’m still struggling. I have reached 110 flexion which is functional supposedly. But I still have trouble with stairs even though I have been doing them repeatedly for over a month. I have an elevator bc my house has so many stairs. Maybe I’m doing too many stairs a day. Why don’t they ever get easier? I also think my left knee appears abnormal compared to my right. It’s swollen above and takes a deep bend below the patella area. My knee is still warm and my scar is flat but purple. I’m still going to PT but expect that to end in a week or two. My surgeon let me go at 6 weeks - next appt in a year. I feel like I will not know what to do if I have problems in FL. I thought I would be more stable by then. I will not need to use stairs there but beach walking can be challenging. It definitely was with my former knee. I guess my overall feeling is that my function is still worse than before surgery. Sorry to unload on you after your cheery message. I wonder if I should try to see the surgeon again before I leave or if this is all still normal at 3+months?
You're welcome, Bridgy. I am sorry you're still struggling, but really not surprised by much of what you shared. I say this because you're only three months removed from the controlled trauma of major surgery and it will take time for your body to fully recover. It can take a full year for some and even longer for others.

While your range of motion may currently feel limited, it will naturally increase as the swelling subsides and the pain eases. Give it time. As for the appearance of your knee, it's not surprising it differs in appearance from your natural knee at this point of the healing process. I will be curious to see if you notice improvement after a few weeks with no PT. Sometimes PT further aggravates healing tissue in the area and we're not aware until PT ends and the discomfort eases. It's not too late to ice and elevate when you're struggling with discomfort, pain or swelling. Maybe try using the stairs less, then slowly building again and see if it makes a difference.

You are correct about beach walking and I think I'd limit that if possible. Your gait changes while walking on sand.
It's more of a workout. Beach sand provides an unpredictable and uneven walking surface. This can place increased stress / strain and loading on your joints. Walking in the softer sand requires increased energy expenditure, forcing you to work harder, compared to walking on an even, firm surface. The foot will sink slightly into the sand. This will provide the least amount of stability, which forces you to use muscles throughout your legs more.

If you feel the need for some reassurance from your surgeon before you leave for Florida, then I think you should see him so you're able to travel with peace of mind. Also, possibly you'll feel more secure if they're able to offer the name of an OS in the area you'll be staying in while in Florida. That may help you feel more confident also.

Please don't ever worry about unloading here. After all, who understands better than those that have experienced joint replacement themselves. You're always welcome here and when you're in need we promise to encourage and support to the best of our ability. Sending a warm hug with wishes for a good day!
Thanks so much for your kind and thorough reply. Besides 2x PT, I go to strength training (mostly upper body but some leg & core) 3x a week. I’m also trying to increase the length of my walks to 1 or 1 1/2 miles but the cold is hard on it. To make matters worse, I am trying to use a dynamic splint to increase flexion. (Most of the time I’m too stiff to bear to put it on for an hour - I’m supposed to use it 3 hours a day) Maybe it is still all too much. The splint was PT’s idea but she’s supportive if I decide it’s not working for me. She just knows how bad I want a more normal flexion which was 125 on the bad knee before surgery. (I know I’m just venting here and more flexion may come with time). I guess I feel guilty when I try to take it easy. In fact yesterday I limited everything but stairs (probably 8xday x 16 up and down) and felt no relief from stiffness/swelling.
Glad you forewarned me about beach sand. I was thinking of walking sticks to help? I’m right on the beach so can’t avoid completely and unfortunately it’s what I love the most. I’ll have to take it easy and keep it short. Darn it all.
I think you are doing way too much on your baby knee, you're only 1/4 of the way through a normal healing time. I think you should get rid of the splint. Forcing the knee to bend more than it's ready to only causes more inflammation, pain, and swelling. That's the opposite of what you want. You don't have to 'work' your knee to achieve a good ROM. That comes naturally with doing just your daily activities. Cut way back on the stairs. They are rough on a baby knee. Try to just go about your day and use your knee normally and you'll find that the ROM will come right on in as the swelling and pain go down.
I do agree with sistersinhim in regard to the splint and that you're likely doing more than your healing knee can handle. I wonder if you'd be up for a little experiment to see if you take at least two weeks off from exercising once PT is over, only engaging in the activities of daily living along with some walking, but not to excess, whether you notice improvement. I'd consider curtailing the steps also since you have many, but also the good fortune to use an elevator instead. It may be worth a try. You have nothing to lose but the pain. Please stay in touch and let us know how you're doing. :)
@Bridgy , that sounds like an incredible amount of activity for a three month old knee. I bet you’d be surprised by how much improvement you’ll see if you rest that knee for a bit and let the swelling calm down. You will get there, but rushing your knee before it’s ready might just be causing your swelling and really holding you back.
Thanks everyone. I appreciate your input so much! I don’t think I realized until I was typing it, that I could be overworking my not ready for prime time knee. I have used the elevator most of today and I do think it’s a little better. I never liked the splint idea but it was covered by my insurance and I can mail it back anytime.
Does anyone have experience with hiking poles? I used them preop as suggested by my surgeon. Haven’t tried them on a beach.
I have used the elevator most of today and I do think it’s a little better.
Yay!! Maybe you're on to something. :fingersx: I do think you will benefit from some TLC in the form of dialing it back. Don't want to harp on you, just want to see you feel better for FL.

While I don't know anything about using hiking poles, because I never have, I am sure you'll hear from other's who have used them.

An option as you wait would be to type key words - hiking poles - into the SEARCH on the top right of the page and all of the threads where they've been mentioned will pop up.
It's a start!
Bridgy, it’s so funny because when I was reading your post about the beach and walking on the sand, I was thinking “I wonder if trekking poles would help?” I used mine recently when we had a bunch of treacherous ice and snow here. I have to walk around my farm to take care of the chickens and horses and the snow was lumpy and bumpy and squishy and slippery and the trekking poles were a huge help. I bet they would be great for walking on lumpy bumpy squishy sand! Let us know if you try it.
Yes! I’ll keep you posted in January. Taking care of a farm after TKR doesn’t seem easy.
Bridgy, not easy, no. I don’t know what I’d do without my wonderful husband. He’s doing most of what I usually do. Right now I’m taking care of the house, dogs, chickens, and feeding the horses. He’s doing everything else. Can’t wait till I can help more!

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