TKR Start of my knee journey

Is it normal that I can't bend my knee yet?
Most definitely. You will be swollen for at least 3-6 months. This is normal. Your knee has been through a very traumatic surgery that disrupts every bit of your soft tissues. This surgery takes up to a year or more to heal completely from. You will find that your knee will be more swollen after you are up for a little while and definitely at the end of the day.

Please read other threads and the Recovery Articles that were left for you. These will help you in your recovery.
 
So glad your pain is manageable. I just did the toe/foot flexes and tiny heel slides while in my recliner to begin with. Then of course walking to the bathroom and other necessary tasks. Stay the course, Twinny, you’re still in the roughest part. I’ll pray for decreased swelling.
 
I totally agree that you are in the very early days of recovery. All you need to do is rest, ice, elevate, take pain meds and walk a little bit when you take potty breaks. You will be able to slowly bend your knee when some of the swelling goes down.
The first few weeks are tough. Really tough. Take it easy and let the healing take place.
 
Hi guys
It's 1 week today since op.Ive being doing all the right things,I've notice the swelling has gone down a touch! But all of sudden late yesterday afternoon and all night,my knee started throbbing! I was up all night with pain.I hadn't done anything different and always on top of my pain meds.Is it because the swelling is starting to go down? Or is there something else?
 
Hi Twinny,
I am sorry you had a rough night. You can expect pain to occur off and on for weeks with the first several weeks likely being the worst. This is typical of recovery. The healing process can take a full year for some, but that doesn't mean you'll have pain for that long. Try icing during the night if / when this occurs and see if it helps, I am guessing it will. I hope tonight is a much better night for you and you're able to get some restorative rest.
Best Wishes! :sleeep:
@Twinny
 
Hi layla
That's what I did,icing all night on and off.I guess like you said,it's part of the process,
 
Dose anyone have a good sleep position? I'm sick of laying on my back.
I commiserate. I am a bad sleeper and cannot sleep on my back. Even pain meds don’t send me off. I stopped dropping off to sleep during the day after two weeks. The days and nights are so long when you can’t sleep. I’ve been getting about 4 hours broken sleep a night. I am just over 4 weeks in. At about three weeks I was able to lie on my un-operated side for about 20 mins with a pillow between my legs. Not long enough to fall asleep but it was pure heaven. Now I can lie on that side longer and last night I slept five hours straight. A small improvement but so up-lifting. I’m not so worried about not sleeping now. I know everything is going to improve, including my sleeping. Hang in there.
 
Hi guys
It's 1 week today since op.Ive being doing all the right things,I've notice the swelling has gone down a touch! But all of sudden late yesterday afternoon and all night,my knee started throbbing! I was up all night with pain.I hadn't done anything different and always on top of my pain meds.Is it because the swelling is starting to go down? Or is there something else?
Not like an acute injury. Super trauma in there with everything displaced. OS digging around removing bone and replacing it. U are recovering from many things at the same time. Ur knee is gonna go up and down with recovery. Bein impatient is super difficult.

If you do what your knee is comfortable with and expect it to answer with happy knee or sore knee then it’s all good. Rest, ice and elevation are key early on.
 
That's what I did,icing all night on and off
I iced all night long. I had a cold water circulating ice machine that I put frozen water bottles in with the water. They lasted about 4 hours. Then I'd get up and switch them out and go back to bed. Of course, I didn't sleep all this time, I wish I had, but my pain was better controlled as long as I had ice on it. You can ice all the time as long as you have a cloth between your skin and the ice pack. I was still icing into my 4-6 months as needed.

Try icing all night long. It should help with that terrible ache you have. The early days are really rough.
 
I'm 10 days post op,I start physo next week.i still can't bend my knee,is that normal? Will the physo gradually get me to do it? What do I expect in my first session?
 
Try icing all night long. It should help with that terrible ache you have. The early days are really rough.
Agree. I still like to sleep with my knee resting on my cool Cryocuff sleeve. I used to change it in the night when I woke but sometimes now I don't bother.
 
Will the physo gradually get me to do it? What do I expect in my first session?
Hello T. The first session is more about evaluation (yours and theirs). You may have some pain as the PT must move and position your knee to assess your current range. The first visit is also to find learn how your PT approaches therapy and how they respond to YOUR particular case and needs. Gradual is good. Rushing is not.

Not all TKRs are the same. Is the PT harsh? The type that makes intimidating comments about what you will DO, and when... etc. After a few visits you can ask for another PT if things are not trending very well.

I found my PT to be my champion often, not like a sports coach mind you, but some aspects of my PT were reasonably painful initially, and while we're masked in Michigan when in medical centers/ clinics, he provided good eye contact with words of encouragement. I attended 12 on-site PT sessions, doing more as time progressed.

I had 4 PT home sessions. Home PT was gentle as that was first weeks home. All of my PT included them giving me tips on how to get movement on my own terms at home. I did bend-slides of my knee while sitting in chair using a plastic bag under my foot. That helped me when alone - I liked that I could control how far I would bend.
 
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Another tip is to take you pain meds a half hour before your PT sessions. And ice/elevate afterwards. Be assertive and tell them to "take it easy".
 
We have found that if you take pain meds before PT, that the patient tends to do too much and ends up with extra pain and swelling. That is a setback. You need to feel the pain so you don't overdo it. Overdoing is not good for a joint replacement.
 
Stitches gone,12 days post op 20230326_065112.jpg
 
I've been sleeping pretty good up till now. Since a lot of the swelling has gone down in my knee, I'm now getting an ache and some stabbing pain through out the night, I'm now not getting much sleep. Is this normal?
 
Hi Twinny,
I am sorry you're struggling with pain and missing out on restorative rest.
It is not uncommon at only 12 days post op to experience discomfort and pain. Try icing as you fall asleep and throughout the night, if you're able, since it will help with pain. Irregular sleep patterns are also common in early recovery as you deal with sleeplessness, discomfort / pain, bathroom breaks etc, Sleep will regulate with time. If you're still on meds, make sure you're taking them on schedule. Hang in there, it will get better!
@Twinny
 
You are probably doing more during the day and it is causing increased swelling and pain at night. Try cutting back on some of your daytime activities. That should help with the nighttime pain.
 

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