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[TKR] Steelergal's Recovery Thread^

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by Steelergal, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. Steelergal

    Steelergal member
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    @FitGal I'm so glad to hear you're getting a handicap placard. I'm sorry your OS didn't give you one from the beginning! It's saved me so much. I'm going into the office roughly 3 days a week, but only for a few hours a day. Luckily my knee isn't swelling, but my ankle was not having it yesterday. It's a bit better today, so I'm elevating all day long. I was going to try grocery shopping for the first time this weekend, but opted for grocery delivery again today. I'm glad you took the time off...I know it's hard. I'm ready mentally to be back to normal and hate that my body is not cooperating. But we'll get through this!!!
     
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  2. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Mine did, too. Without elevating your knee, the fluid can't go up so it goes down. I'm glad you're elevating today. It's going to help!
     
  3. Steelergal

    Steelergal member
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    I ventured out with a friend today for a manicure and pedicure. My poor feet feel so amazing now! I made sure the tech was super careful with my op leg. I’m tired from the outing but at least i have pretty toes!
     
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  4. Ladyala

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    Oooh, I need to do that soon!
     
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  5. Poctdb

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    @FitGal
    Good for you.....a placard will save your knee many steps.
    You obviously have well trained staff....it’s that leadership thing....
     
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  6. Poctdb

    Poctdb senior

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    @Steelergal
    What color....not black and gold I hope.....:loll:
     
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  7. Steelergal

    Steelergal member
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    I felt pretty good this weekend and was ready for PT today, but my knee had other plans. My ROM has actually gotten worse since last Wednesday. I also saw my doc today to have him check my incision and he’s concerned about the lack of extension. My leg just doesn’t want to be very straight. I’m beyond frustrated and don’t know what else to do. So I’m just icing and elevating and trying not to panic. I know everyone is tired of hearing me complain, but this is so much harder than i anticipated. And to see such little improvement (plus now some regression) in 5 weeks is really weighing on me. My knee isn’t swollen, it’s feeling stronger when i walk with the cane, but it won’t bend or straighten very much. And scar tissue is apparently a problem now. I guess I have no choice but to keep going and hope things get better. :gaah:
     
  8. Poctdb

    Poctdb senior

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    @Steelergal
    We are not tired of “hearing you complain “ we are sympathetic and are listening.

    We have all worried and wondered during this process.

    Did the doc give you any hints on what to try for your extension to progress? Can you ask your doc if you can try some aquatic therapy in a warm pool if the incision allows it?
     
  9. Ladyala

    Ladyala member

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    Oh I'm so sorry!! I agree with poctdb, nobody's tired of hearing it...we are all dealing with something & getting support from those who get it is so valuable.
    I wish I had words of wisdom but I don't. I like the pool pt idea...that has been so helpful for me. Praying you can find a solution...:console2:
     
  10. Steelergal

    Steelergal member
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    Thanks @Poctdb and @Ladyala for your concern and support. I'm trying to be positive but it's been a really tough week. I'll ask my doc and PT about the pool option. My PT office doesn't have a pool but there may be another location that does. I don't think the incision is ready for that yet, but maybe soon. I have a small spot in the middle of the incision that's looking not quite healed (my doc thinks an internal stitch is trying to poke through so I have to keep an eye on it).

    I guess it's just hard for me to understand why the knee is feeling so much stronger, it's not swollen or that sore, but the muscles just DO NOT want to work properly. I can't figure out how to fix that. One moment it feels great, the next it feels like someone poured cement onto the top of my knee and it's stiff, and then it'll be fine again. But regardless of how it feels, it still has lousy ROM (I keep hearing everyone talk about scar tissue, which is scary). I just wish I saw some continued progress, even if it's just a little. Instead I'm stuck in this same rut. I know I need to be patient, but I'm running very low.

    I have to fly in 3 1/2 weeks, so that's scaring me now too. I really thought I'd be in a better place by now, but I'm not so it complicates everything. I just bought some compression socks for that trip and have to think through how I'll ice/elevate and keep moving during the flight.

    I'll take any good thoughts/prayers/magic spells about getting this knee to start working better! :angel:
     
  11. Carole4815

    Carole4815 senior

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    I'm not tired of listening to you, either! I know I have had my share of ups and downs during this recovery process. In fact, I think almost all of us feel like you do from time to time. It helps me to know that I am not the only one. And yes, I know EXACTLY what you mean about your muscles feeling set in cement some days, but not others.

    I discovered this emoticon which I think is hilarious, because it shows the see-saw of recovery and emotions we go through:
    :good-bad:

    My PT reminded me yesterday that recovery from TKR surgery is a long process that continues for about a year. But we WILL get there and get our lives back! It just takes longer than one might at first expect.

    Do you really have to fly? Or could you somehow postpone it for a month or two? I am sure it would help to not have that extra pressure hanging over your head.

    Don't worry about your ROM, for now. So much depends on how and when the ROM is measured. Yesterday my PT measured my ROM early in the PT session, and it appeared to have gone down from 82 to 76. I whined, and mentioned that the previous time it was measured later in the session (when my knee was "warmed up", so to speak). So because of that the PT measured it again at the end of the session, and it was 90.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
  12. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Here’s an article that might help:
    https://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/five-“p’s”-of-knee-recovery.13059/
     
  13. sistersinhim

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    You don't see swelling on the outside, but that stiffness you are feeling is swelling on the inside of your knee. There is not much space inside the knee capsule and just a little bit of fluid will cause it to lose ROM and stiffen up. The stiff feeling was the last thing to leave me and that was at least 4 or 5 months down the road of healing. You are barely a month out. That's only 1/12 of a year long of healing. This surgery really requires lots of patience.
     
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  14. Ladyala

    Ladyala member

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    I'm praying!!! When I was at your stage, I was very frustrated & down. Like, why did I do this to myself?? I still get like that sometimes. I'm not a patient person...
    Hugs coming your way!!
     
  15. luvcats

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    No one here is tired of listening to your valid concerns. We're all in some variation of the same journey after all.

    I have discovered myself that even if the knee isn't painful, sometimes icing is a good idea. I haven't been and now everything is very swollen. sigh.
    I think this is one place that being on the younger side works against us. We still expect to heal very quickly and get right back to what we are doing. According to all the journals around here, knees just don't work that way no matter how young we are. And I hate that answer. :blackcloud::headbang:

    Paging the Patience Bus! @Poctdb please add another stop.
    I'm currently in charge of snacks. Do you have any special requests?
     
  16. Chemist

    Chemist senior

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    @Steelergal : how long is your upcoming flight? Do you have an assigned seat? A family emergency required me to take a 3 hour flight at 6 weeks postop and it went ok. Some suggestions: put the ego away like I did and ask for wheelchair assistance. Airport concourse can be very long and the flight alone may tax your stamina. Ask for early boarding - less pushing and shoving. Get an aisle seat where you can extend your leg. Carry a couple of empty gallon size baggies to use for icing. The cabin attendant was very willing to provide the ice once I explained why I needed it.

    good luck
     
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  17. Steelergal

    Steelergal member
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    Again, thank you everyone for your support. It's so helpful. When I'm being rational, I know all of these things. I know I need to be patient and this takes time and everything will be great eventually. But the emotional part of me takes control sometimes and then I'm a mess. @Jockette That's a helpful article, I just need to set aside the expectations (which is really difficult!).

    @Chemist My flight it just over 8 hours (to Venice). I'm flying with a good friend who will help me get the things I need. We're going for another good friend's wedding and this has been planned for a long time. My doc is fine with it. I have compression socks, a foot hammock, and am planning on taking ziplocks for ice. I'll get up and walk a lot. I have an aisle seat in Economy Plus. I'm not ashamed to get a wheelchair or early boarding. It'll be much better that way. I'm checking one bag and then will have a backpack so there won't be much luggage to deal with.

    @Carole4815 Great emoticon and I'll use that a lot for sure! :)

    @Ladyala and @luvcats Thanks for the continued support and reminder that patience is the most important! I'll take a seat on the bus for sure. I only require Diet Coke, so that's easy. I think it's also been hard for me because my hip replacements had a much easier recovery. I knew this would be harder, but I didn't realize HOW MUCH harder! And being single and the only income source for myself, I'm anxious to be back to work full time and completely independent. Luckily I have friends who are willing to help, but I don't want to push the limits of that too much. This is where I need to swallow my pride and admit I can't do it all myself!
     
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  18. Poctdb

    Poctdb senior

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    @Steelergal
    If they are friends...and they have limits....they will not be around long.
    Ask...and see who surprises you. I had several surprises in the friend category.
     
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  19. luvcats

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    I'm terrible about asking for help myself, but I do know from experience that our friends really are happy to help and many people feel honored to be asked, especially by people who are super independent. It's a compliment. So don't feel too bad about accepting the help they have offered.
     
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  20. Steelergal

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    Quick question for the group. I’ve been wrapping an ace bandage around my knee when I’m out and about to protect it and keep my “not ready for prime time” scar covered a bit longer. However, as I’m walking and slightly bending it more, I’m finding that the ace bandage keeps sliding down. So i thought it’d be better to try s knee sleeve. Does anyone have a recommendation? I don’t want something too tight and I’d prefer one that’s thin so i can maybe wear it under pants (since my scar is still sensitive). I’m also enjoying the bit of extra support from the ace bandage as my muscles continue to get stronger. Any recos would be fantastic! Thanks!
     

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