TKR Starling's Staged TKRs Recovery Thread

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Starling

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Hi all, found this site while looking for any info on what to expect status post Bilateral Total Knee Replacement 4 weeks today.
I had staged left on 8/16 & right on 8/21 the day of total Solar Eclipse.

Anyway I stayed in hospital and was given a few options for my pain meds...I took the Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) option 2mg or 4mg every 3 hours, and believe me I used it as a vital tool in my recovery, guilt free.
By day ten I could go every five hours and then gradually spaced out to about every 8 hours I needed the pain meds to my amazement.

I encourage the staged method (5 days apart) if you need both done. I stayed in hospitsl for entire time (9 days) then straight to Sub Acute rehab facility for 3 weeks. They had the Game Ready Ice Machine with left and right sleeves waiting in the room and I used that 4x a day, the OT therapy was in morning and PT straight after and then more therapy in afternoon.

The worst was flexion and extension. By week three I had 100 degrees in right knee and 90 degrees in left. It helped that family came round each day and my brother rigged the tv somehow where I was able to catch up on missed Games of Thrones episodes.

Now I am home and feel great, still pain and stiffness, swelling but this is all normal and expected they tell me. I enjoy walking with walker around the block and each day climbing another step on our stairs. Therabands are used to lift the legs up and into bed after a full day because they do still feel heavy and stiff after use.

I no longer feel the locking debilitating pain my old knees gave and am very grateful for that. What I feel today at week 4 is surgical pain and this will go away the other pain was progressively getting worse and walking was begining to get extremely difficult.
I will try and upload pics of my journey, but this journey will continue for a year I was told.

I found this process a lot easier to deal with then my upper Cervical spinal surgery where I have a titanium cage with 6 screws (one of which broke) that I was in rehab for 6 weeks ambulating by wheelchair only.

Wishing all of us the best healing journey possible~
 

Celle

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Hello @Starling - and :welome:

I've started a recovery thread for you, so we can talk about your knee without taking other threads off topic.

You are doing well and I'm glad to read that. I'm looking forward to reading how you continue to progress.

Here is your copy of the post-op reading:
Knee Recovery: The Guidelines
1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now; they are almost certainly temporary
2. Control discomfort:
rest
elevate
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)
don't overwork.
3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​
4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these
5. Here is a week-by-week guide for Activity progression for TKRs


The Recovery articles:
The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?

Energy drain for TKRs
Elevation is the key

Ice to control pain and swelling
Heel slides and how to do them properly

Chart representation of TKR recovery
Healing: how long does it take?

Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

There are also some cautionary articles here
Myth busting: no pain, no gain
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery. While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
 
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Starling

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Celle thank you so much and hello this info is going to be a great reference for me and my new knees!.
I would like to give updates so its nice hat you started a new thread.
I am new to online support groups so please excuse my ignorance if I hit the wrong button or end up in the hip recovery area!. I'm still roaming this site. Are you a double or bilatetal knee replacementee as well?. How is it going for you?.
 

Red's Mom

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@Starling welcome! You are doing well for two new knees! The BoneSmart mantras work! Please don't overdo anything and rest elevate and I've often. Good wishes for continued success with your new knees.
 

Celle

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Are you a double or bilatetal knee replacementee as well?. How is it going for you?.
I've actually had three knee replacements. My first one was a partial (right knee) in 2000. That lasted for 11 years and I had it revised to a total (TKR) in 2011.
I had my left knee replaced in 2014.

Both my knees are fine now. I only get an occasional niggle from them now and then. Mostly, they're completely pain-free. I can straighten them both fully and bend them to over 125 degrees. They're strong and reliable and I can do anything I want to with them.
Actually, as I've grown older, I feel that my knees are more fit than I am.

Recovery each time was hard, but totally worth it. I'd be in a wheelchair by now if I hadn't had my knees replaced. I'm so thankful I live in an age when knee replacement is possible.
 

SusieShoes

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Hi Starling. :hi:

I had bilateral knee replacements back in May and can honestly say this surgery changed my life. I went from being in such pain I could barely walk to where I can now walk for miles without a problem. My knees just this month became completely pain free, with only a little stiffness when I get up from sitting for a while, and that slight stiffness goes away within a few steps.

Thanks to being able to walk and move again like a normal human being, I am more fit than I have been in a decade and have lost weight. My husband says I am a happier person. I've always been cheerful, but now I'm joyful too.
Hope you, too, are enjoying your new knees! :welome:
 

gertie

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@Starling Welcome! I, too, had staged TKRs, although mine were 6 weeks apart rather than a few days. There are several of us on here with multi-week staging of our TKRs. I'm 7 and 13 weeks out and doing well--here's looking to a bright future for you.
 
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Starling

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gertie hello!. Thank you and I'm glad to hear that you are doing so well (smile).
Sometimes the mornings feel like that movie "Groundhog Day", same day as previous. I am home a week now from rehab and missing all the activities and people. So today I'm going outside for a walk with my husband (he is off a few weeks to help out) soon that always lifts me up, but sometimes it's isolating staying in the finished basement because I cannot safely climb our stairs yet and our 3 dogs are up there and I can't take the chance of tripping over them. I tell myself each day that this is only temporary.
Have a nice healing day!.
 
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Starling

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Hi SusieShoes! Thank you! That is exactly what I hope to be like, able to move about pain free and loose the weight. I so appreciate you sharing that experience with me and anyone else who is early on in tecovery. I am missing getting nicely dressed and going to Church, sitting in the pew and standing without getting stuck or locked because of the knees, I suppose until my flexion and extension improves I'll be excused for a while.
Wow you all sound so positive and healthy, it's so nice to read your remarks and hear about your journeys.
 

sistersinhim

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It was a month before I was able to get back to church. I took ice packs and elevated with a pillow in SS and church. Unfortunately, I was unable to teach Ss for about 6 weeks because of my brain fog. But, just getting back was such a huge blessing! You'll get back, too!

Be sure and read all the articles left for you. Doing it the BS way is the quickest, less painful way! Be sure and not let anyone hurt your knees, not PT, and not even yourself! This is the best place you can be because we are all experienced in what you are now going through. We want to help you get the best recovery you can!
 
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