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[TKR] Steelergal's Recovery Thread^

FitGal

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@Steelergal - You got this! Keep your spirits up and stay positive!

You are doing great if you are using a cane! I am down to one crutch and will eventually progress to a "combat cane".

(P.S. - Take a drive for me.... I am still dependent on hubby for the next few weeks - and his driving is not the greatest! :heehee:)
 

luvcats

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Now that you're on your own, remember to reach out a lot to friends and family so you don't get stir crazy. Healing feels sooooooooooo slooooowwww, especially once you get past the initial big leaps.

At least we're in a place where you can more or less get 24/7 delivery on just about anything you can think of, often with just a few hours notice, so provisioning won't be a problem.

Sometimes just ordering something fun and different to eat that I wouldn't make for myself can lift my spirits for a while.
 
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Steelergal

Steelergal

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@FitGal Thanks! I am using a cane but it’s SLOW. Plus it’s one of those canes with 4 feet on it so it’s very sturdy. It is nice to have a free hand. I’ll definitely take a drive for you today. It will give he a goal to achieve today!

@luvcats You’re right, ordering food is helpful. It’s nice to know i can order groceries too if needed. I’ve had friends reach out about needs and visits, plus i have a strong, supportive church community. I’m happy to be a little service project for a couple of weeks, haha!
 
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Steelergal

Steelergal

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I went to church today for an hour. It was nice to be out and surrounded by people. But I’m exhausted and plan on taking a really long nap now.

I am feeling slightly stronger but there’s still very little (if any) improvement to the flexion. I know i have to be patient but I’m starting to get really worried that I’m never going to get it back to my normal. I’m not expecting vast improvement each week, but some improvement should be happening right?!?
 

Jockette

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You are only 3 weeks from surgery. There is no need to worry about ROM. Your knee is still trying to figure out what happened to it!

Just so you know, my ROM continued to improve after my one year check up AND it has improved since my 2 year anniversary and I noticed today, at 2.5 years (next month) my ROM is even better.

It happens very gradually, not always in weeks, but in months.

Put thoughts of ROM out of your mind, relax, watch TV, rest ice and elevate, walk a little, and as you heal you’ll be able to do more activity and your ROM will take care of itself.
 

kneeper

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It's not unusual to feel like you've hit a plateau but usually things improve as the swelling continues to come down. I'd say my "plateau" was around week 3-4. Then week 5 improved slightly and week 6 quite a bit.
 

luvcats

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I just hit 6 weeks out and I'm finally feeling like my ROM is coming back more easily. The swelling is a huge barrier to progress, and that will pass in its own annoying slow time. lol The biggest problem with week 3 is you're starting to feel better, but you still aren't really and I was constantly frustrated about lack of progress and that slippery fine line between doing and over-doing. It will keep getting better!
 
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Steelergal

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Yes, yes, yes, I'm trying not to worry about my ROM, but it's SO HARD. Then of course, my mind wanders to thoughts of being one of the very few who have to deal with a frozen knee and painful manipulation later on. Especially when it feels like there's absolutely no chance it's ever going to move

@luvcats You're so right, I'm feeling much better and am reducing pain meds so my brain is less foggy. I just want to get back to life and I can't. In many ways I feel so independent, but I still can only carry things with one hand as I SLOWLY make my way around with my cane. I know my ROM will continue to increase for a long time, but it's so annoying that in 2 and a half weeks I've only seen a 5 degree improvement!

I'll just continue to concentrate on what I CAN control and try to push the worst case scenarios out of my mind!

On a happier note, the tape has started to come off and I'm excited for that to be GONE!
 
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Steelergal

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Well, i went out to dinner with friends tonight and thought I’d test out wearing jeans.
NOPE! :rotfl: :bignono: The knee was not having it. So back to shorts and skirts or very loose pjs!
 

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@Steelergal - omg - can't fathom wearing jeans right now. My darn scar and the area all around it is ridiculously sensitive....I've bought a few large/x-large knee sleeves to cover it without seriously compressing....but I can't keep the sleeve on very long. Hoping the sensitivity goes away soon.... gotta wear pants next week!!!
 
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@FitGal
Put leggings under your uniform pants (assumption on my part)
This will provide a bit of soft compression but won’t rub.
 
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Steelergal

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Part of the tape at the top of my knee is finally off! I got my first look at the scar and it looks much better than i anticipated. It’s lumpy and sensitive but I’m sure that will go away eventually. It’ll be great when the rest of this stupid tape is gone. :yes!:
 
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Steelergal

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Well I’m at 1 month today! I’m still on an extremely slow and frustrating journey with my ROM. I’ve been hovering between 68 and 75 flexion and 10-12 extension for the past 2 weeks. PT focused on a loosening up a spot of scar tissue today (not fun) so I’m hoping that helps. Still working on the fine line between helpful stretching and pushing too far. The knee is getting stronger though, i find myself leaning less on the cane for support and i can move around the house a bit without it. I think I’ll switch to the single footed fold up cane next week. I’m back in the office a few half days and working from home the rest of the time. It was so good to be around people for a few hours today! I’m trying to remember to be patient... :bored:
 

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Hi @Steelergal:

Hang in there. I know it is hard to be patient. Things will get better.

Be careful with work. I was surprised how even working half days wore me out. It took a while to get some stamina back.
 
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Steelergal

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@Chemist Yes i know i need to be careful going into the office. I have a VERY understanding boss who is flexible with my needs. I’m trying 3 half days this week and we’ll go from there. I’m so grateful and know how lucky i am to have a job that allows me to work from home, plus a supportive team. It’s been nice to have one less thing to worry or stress about.
 
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Steelergal

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I went into the office for a bit today and about an hour after I got home, I noticed my ankle and foot were swollen (but not my knee). Is that normal? Could it be because I wasn't elevating most of the day? I have my leg elevated now and I'm hoping the swelling goes away. It's freaking me out a bit. Any input would be great. Thanks!
 

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My ankle and foot swelled, too, if I didn’t elevate.
 

Ladyala

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Congrats on going back to work!! Its great to have an understanding boss, makes a world of difference.
Sorry you have swelling in your foot. Hopefully it's just adjusting to the change & goes away with some good old ice & elevation.
Praying it gets better for you!
 

Celle

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@Steelergal
You've gone back to work very early. I know you probably didn't have a lot of choice about that, but it is going to have an impact on your recovery.

Your leg will swell more, as you've already discovered, and that swelling will slow down the progress of your ROM.
It's physically impossible for your knee to bend or straighten more until the swelling goes down, and no amount of exercises can alter that.

Think of your knee as being like a garden hose that's full of water. It's stiff and hard to bend, right? That's what your knee is like. But, let the water out of the hose (and your knee) and it becomes more flexible.
So, when you're not at work, spend as much time as you can resting, icing and elevating your leg, to try and reduce the swelling.

Since you're going to work, that is plenty of exercise for your knee. You don't need to do PT on top of that.
Have a look at this article, especially where it says how much activity going to work entails:
Phased return to work

It's not exercising that gets you your ROM - it's time. Time to recover, time for swelling and pain to settle, and time to heal. Your ROM is there right from the start, and it will gradually increase as your knee heals.

There's no need to rush to get ROM, because it can continue to improve for a year, or even much longer, after a knee replacement. Time is on your side. There isn't any deadline you have to meet:
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
 

FitGal

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@Steelergal - just going back to work for two full days this week turned out to be a nightmare for my knee with pain and swelling. I had swelling above the knee to the ankle - with some weird swelling right in the middle front of my leg (middle tibia).

Anyhoo, I had to take yesterday and today off to work from home. I was upset, as yesterday was a big day for me to be at work, but my staff managed without me. Most people that know me, know how hard-headed I am and that I will push myself to prove myself. I actually had to call the Docs office yesterday in order to get a note for a handicapped placard....as I just learned that we don't have to pay for parking on campus with a placard and it will allow me to park closer to my office.

So, anyway, don't be like me - take it easy - as I have been forced to! :)
 

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