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Revision TKR Sondrals’ Revision

Jamie

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I’m so glad to read your positive report. Keep remembering all you’ve been through and know that recovery is just going to take some time. Slow and steady improvement is what we want, so try not to get impatient and overdo things.

I’m so sorry about the loss of your family member to COVID. You are dealing with a lot for sure. But I have faith in you. You’re strong and you’ve come so far already. You are very early still in this recovery and there is plenty of time for things to improve. I think by spring, you’ll find you’re a completely different person.
 
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sondrals

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I swear this whole recovery thing is for the birds, it's literally an all out roller coaster. I feel ok for a few days then I'm down in the dumps again. I felt pretty ok after my last appointment. Then I missed PT last week to do a job interview (yay for zoom). I did something in the days before Thanksgiving that have irritated my Achilles tendon and it's super sore, then Thanksgiving day my foot decided to swell up, but just over my ankle bone. I imagine I over did... something, though I'm not 100% sure what and the swelling was gone by the next morning. My Achilles tendon however, is still pretty sore, so add that into the list of things that aren't super painful but just painful enough to be annoying and it all just seems a bit hopeless.

My boyfriend got exposed to covid at work two weeks ago, which in turn exposed me. Thankfully we both tested negative and continue to have no symptoms so we appear to have dodged a bullet. But the city here has basically went into a month long lockdown for December. My boyfriends job has all but laid him off... I think he worked 6 hours yesterday and 3 today. So prospects there aren't great.

To top it all off I saw my mom Sunday, who is walking around with virtually zero limp and here I am still walking like I have no idea how to use my leg, where my foot is, and like I'm never going to walk normal again. So feeling majorly disappointed there. I really can't decide if it's weakness, fear, or just going to be the way things are forever now. It's all a lot to take sometimes
 

Jamie

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I know it seems like you've been in "recovery" forever, but please try to remember that your poor knee has undergone 2 surgeries in 7 months. You're only slightly more than 2 months out from this latest surgery. Your recovery is very, very normal! You're correctly identifying that those bouts of swelling result from overdoing it a bit. But, you rest and take care of yourself and they clear right up. This is exactly what you should be doing.

Your Mom is not you. Please don't let yourself make comparisons to anyone else. Your body is healing on it's schedule and you need to allow that to continue. Recognize that COVID and all it's bringing to everyone may be impacting your mental state as well as being in recovery. When you feel yourself slipping into a funk, find something that you enjoy and do that so you stop the cycle. You have come so far. You're stronger now than ever - both mentally and physically. You will get through this!

Sending you ((((HUGS))))....hang in there!
 

sistersinhim

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This recovery's rollercoaster ride is a real pain. You are so early in your lastest journey that experiencing ups and downs is normal. I know it's frustrating, but you will improve.
 

Jockette

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If I remember correctly, your mother had a hip replacement, and they are less complicated to recover from than a knee that has only had one surgery, let alone knees that have had several, like yours. Please try not to compare your recover to your mother’s.
 
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sondrals

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Yes my moms surgery was a hip replacement, she broke her femur prior to that.

I know I’m doing better because Iwas able to walk around Costco, with a cane, for over an hour last night. My leg is still weak so I’m really hoping the limp sorts itself out as I get stronger
 

Jamie

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Remember.....if you're limping, you still need some type of walking aid so that you can walk without limping until you regain your strength. Trying to limp along can delay your recovery and allow your body to learn an improper gait. I know you want to be healed as quickly as possible, but if you're limping with a cane, you need to use crutches or a walker until you are strong enough not to limp with a cane or when walking independently. Limping puts stress on the soft tissues around your new joint that is not helpful and can actually result in additional pain for you. Using these aids is just temporary so try not to think of them as a bad thing. They will help you get your best recovery possible if used correctly and for the full time they are needed.
 
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sondrals

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Sorry I should have clarified, I have to use my cane because I walk with a limp without it, with it I do fine. Well that and the ice here is just flat terrifying. Anywhere else I would have used my walker to get to the building and then switched to my cane but Costco is really good at maintaining their parking lot.
 

Celle

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I know I’m doing better because I was able to walk around Costco, with a cane, for over an hour last night. My leg is still weak so I’m really hoping the limp sorts itself out as I get stronger
I have to use my cane because I walk with a limp without it, with it I do fine.
That all makes perfect sense.

Your leg still needs the support of the cane - which isn't unreasonable at only 2+ months after a revision. You've had so many surgeries on your left leg and they all take their toll.

Your muscles and tendons are gradually going to get stronger, to the point where they will support you, without you needing to limp, but right now you haven't healed to that extent yet.

Give yourself time and give your knee and leg the time they need. Where you are now is not where you're going to end up. Remember that it takes at least a year for complete recovery.
Slow and steady progress is what you should be aiming for, not a fast recovery.

If it's icy or slippery underfoot, by all means use a walker. There aren't any prizes for giving up the walking aids early. They're only tools and it's much better to use them than to risk having a fall.
 

Jamie

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One of the best things I’ve found for navigating ice are the products like YakTrax that you put on your shoes or boots. You can get them from most sporting goods stores, Walmart, or Amazon. We have a lot of ice here in Kansas City and I wouldn’t be without them.
 
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sondrals

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I’ve used the Yaktrax here before. Sadly they have a tendency to want to roll on ice that’s very hard rather than bite in and can end up being a bit slippery. It’s -2F here so our ice is rock hard. I’m also having a hard time stretching anything over my foot, seems to tweak my knee a bit too much. Maybe that’ll get better in the future. I have a pair of ice bug shoes which have carbide studs in them. The downside to them is I have to carry a second pair of shoes as you can’t wear them indoors. But I find it easier to swap out shoes than try to stretch something over my foot especially when there’s no where to sit down.
 

Jamie

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It sounds like you have the situation under control, even if you do have to change shoes when you get inside. I’m not good at stretching my Yaktrax over my boots either. I leave them on the boots and change shoes too if needed.

They do make metal tips for canes (they might work on walkers too) that might help if they dig into that hard ice you have. If you try them out, please let us know how well it works.
 
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sondrals

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Starting to get really nervous about my upcoming surgery, the lateral release. I don’t know why I’m so much more scared about this one and perhaps I should have stayed off google. I’ve read a lot about them being unsuccessful now.
 

sistersinhim

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I've had two lateral releases on each knee since 1983 to help with my kneecap tracking. The first one lasted at least 10 years each. After my TKR I had to have a medial release, so the lateral was still working! After my first lateral releases on each knee, I was put into an immobilizer for 6 weeks. I don't know if you will or not.
Lateral Release Explained
 
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sondrals

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@sistersinhim Thanks, makes me feel a little better, still nervous. I think he said immobilizer for 2 weeks but I'm not 100% sure I guess. I'm really not even sure it's going forward as my insurance still hasn't approved it and the hospitals here are filling up. But as of right now I'm proceeding like it is going to, until I hear different.
 

sistersinhim

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I think you'll do just fine. Hopefully, this virus will slow down and you can get it done.
 
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sondrals

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9am the day before I’m supposed to have surgery. Still no insurance approval. I’d jumped through all the hoops on my part. Turns out the surgeons pre-approval team didn’t submit it until the 14th, 2 days ago! Ugh. Gave them a piece of my mind. Called me at noon to let me know it’s been approved and my surgery check in time is 5:30am. So guess I’m all set but the nerves. No brace after, have a post op appointment the 21st, can drive and possibly go back to work after that. I hope they’re not minimizing the recovery for this surgery. Now all left to do is deal with my nerves :gaah: I’m more scared of this surgery than any of the others.
 

Jamie

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@sondrals .... I know it's difficult, but try not to worry. Take a couple of Tylenol and go to bed early. Tomorrow will be here before you know it and you'll be on your way. All the best to you!
 

sistersinhim

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I pray for a successful and final surgery for your knee! We're here for you cheering you on!
 

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