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TKR SpaceDust in Recovery

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Spacedust

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I don't want to underplay it too much. It's stillsignificantly challenging. My advantage is in the ability to break up my day a bit, because I still do much better if I grab a nap in the afternoon! I can tell you that I probably wouldn't be able to do anything close to full time if I couldn't flop in a recliner with my laptop, work for a few hours, take a break for lunch, work for a few more hours, take a nap, and either work out the rest of my day or do personal stuff and finish in the evening
 
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Spacedust

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Continuing to make good progress! I walked a little over 1.5 miles on Sunday, and while I definitely feel like I pushed myself and was a little achy, it was a "good" ache. I iced a bit more than usual, and took some ibuprofen Sunday evening and Monday during the day to help with an incidental increase in inflammation, but overall, didn't suffer from it.

Today was a good PT session. At exactly 3 weeks PO today, I have hit 0 extension, 106 flexion without any pain involved, and I suspect I'll make 110 this week. Today was my first day with the stationary bike, and I was able to fully pedal without more than minor discomfort to start with (and once I was warmed up, even that went away.) There was no resistance, naturally, since it was my first go-round with it, but it felt really good!

I'm fortunate enough to have a great PT who also subscribes to the "push to discomfort, not to pain" philosophy and very cheerfully expects *me* to drive when it comes to how far is far enough. Believe me, I would fire my PT if she pushed me or tried to override me beyond what I want and expect! The advantage to having outpatient PT at a PT clinic is access to the equipment that I don't have at home, like a recumbent stepper and a stationary bike, coaching through plateaus, plus that hint of accountability from going 1-2x a week.

By the way, this isn't to say that I disagree with the idea of doing one's own PT at home - not at all! If I hadn't been able to find a PT I was happy to work with or if it wasn't covered by insurance, I fully expect I would have been successful going that route, too. But I wanted to show that outpatient PT can certainly enhance your recovery when it's done correctly.
 
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Cococay

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How have you been doing over it the past few days?
 
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Spacedust

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Check my post right before yours - that was actually from Tuesday. I'm doing well, although I am having a bad night sleepwise tonight. I just can't get comfortable and I have some deep aches that nothing is really touching.

I continue to work, but I do break up my day still. I had PT at noon so didn't get as much time to rest as usual, but normally I try to take a short nap in the early afternoon to recharge.

How are you feeling, @Cococay? Your date is coming up soon!
 
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Spacedust

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Progress continues - I'm now at 0/115 today. My PT expects I'll be at 0/120 by end of week, if not sooner. I'm also completely released from using any assistive device (well, except if I get up in the middle of the night for a bio-break - my PT would like me to grab my cane as a just-in-case since I may be a little stiff and sleepy).

The best part is that it isn't requiring anything painful to get the flex - some discomfort as I increase stretches, but no more than that. I don't do a lot of preplanned exercise sessions at home, other than stretching, heel slides and ankle rotation before I get out of bed in the morning. I do much of my "routine" while I'm doing something else - I'll slide my foot back under the chair to flex to discomfort and hold it for 10 seconds while I'm sitting at my desk, or do some step-up drills at the bottom of the stairs if I'm going to head upstairs for something, as examples. It just makes the "exercises" a fairly natural part of my day.
 

sistersinhim

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I do much of my "routine" while I'm doing something else - I'll slide my foot back under the chair to flex to discomfort and hold it for 10 seconds while I'm sitting at my desk, or do some step-up drills at the bottom of the stairs if I'm going to head upstairs for something, as examples. It just makes the "exercises" a fairly natural part of my day.
This is an excellent way to rehab your knee. Daily activities are exercise and you're adding just a little something else without causing extra pain or swelling. Very good!
 
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Spacedust

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My flex continues to improve - I was at 117 on Thursday. Today I took a nice stroll down the block to the mailbox and back in between rain showers, and didn't bother to bring my cane - it's pretty level, and I'm walking pretty well at this point as long as I haven't overdone it. It felt good to do something so *normal*! Truth be told, I've been mostly released from assistive devices anyhow, although I do toss my cane in the car if I'm going to somewhere that will have me on my feet for any extended period of time or if I'll be walking on surfaces that are more uneven.

While I still have pains that pop up, and plenty of discomfort trying to settle into a sleep position at night and get good sleep, the amount of pain has definitely decreased. From a medication perspective, I generally only use oxycodone on PT days, if I've really pushed myself too hard, and very occasionally at night depending on need. However for the most part, it's Tylenol, ibuprofen and an evening muscle relaxant to try and help with the discomfort. Of course, ice and elevation are still part of the treatment arsenal, as needed!

I am still pretty easily tired and it's a tiny jump from tired to exhausted, so I do have to be aware of how I'm feeling. For example, just a shower, a few hours of working at the computer (with regular breaks to get up and walk a little, of course!) and that small walk to the mailbox and back did leave me tired enough to choose a 30 minute nap as part of my lunch break today. It's interesting that it's generally easier for me to find a comfortable position for a short nap than it is at bedtime. After my nap, I was able to hop back into work for another few hours, and even socialize online with some of my friends for a "Holiday Party" in Zoom, so I *am* finding a bit more energy than I was able to even a week ago.

My biggest annoyances right now (and ones I know will eventually improve - I'm just venting):
  • Stairs. I still go up and down one step at a time. I have started working on going up foot over foot, but I can't do a full flight yet.
  • The feeling that my knee is bound up in an elastic bandage all the time!
  • How stiff and resistant to movement my knee is when I first get up in the morning or if I've been seated for an hour.
  • Being unable to consistently find a reasonably comfortable sleeping position. Some nights are pretty decent and I'll actually sleep for 4-5 hours straight. Other nights, even in the same position, I am not comfortable and may sleep 45 minutes at a time. Ugh!
That's it for tonight!
 

sistersinhim

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I can't imagine doing steps foot over foot at only one month out. I was at least three months out before I even tried it. Of course, the going up was much easier than the coming down. It was probably another month before I could do that.

Be careful about going out without a cane or some other assistance device. If someone bumps into you, it can cause you to lose your balance and fall. We do not want to fall, especially you at one month out!

It sounds like you're having a good recovery. Unfortunately, sleeping problems are a very common thing. I would sleep in the bed for a while, then get up and sleep in the recliner. This went on all night long for a month or so. Sleep whenever and wherever you can. While you are sleeping your body can concentrate more on healing that knee of yours.
 
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Spacedust

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I can't imagine doing steps foot over foot at only one month out. I was at least three months out before I even tried it.

Be careful about going out without a cane or some other assistance device.
Thanks for being the voice of reason! I'm going slowly with the steps - there's no rush, but based on the things I'm able to do at PT with minor discomfort, my therapist and I agree it's a good time to start working in that direction.

As far as the cane, I do pick and choose where and when I'm going somewhere. The mail excursion yesterday was on my VERY quiet block. Other than that, if I'm without my cane, I'm likely pushing a cart at the grocery store during non peak hours or my husband is immediately beside me so I can grab his arm if needed.
 

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