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[TKR] Steelergal's Recovery Thread^

Poctdb

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@Steelergal
This is a off the wall recommendation.

At first, I cut one leg (non-surgical) off of a pair of old leggings and wore that under pants. They are soft for the scar and are usually thin enough that they don’t show under pants. The compression was not as a sleeve would be, but it went on easier also.
 
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ElanorG

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My doctor did not want me to cover the scar at all. He wanted it in the air. I have pretty much worn shorts all summer so the scar is always exposed. When I have to wear slacks next weekend I will probably cover the scar with a big bandage somewhat like the waterproof one they had on it if I find it is still too sensitive. The PA gave me a few of those but you can get them at any pharmacy.
 

FitGal

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@Steelergal I’ve been wearing two different brands - but I got XL and, as my knee swelling reduces, I will prob order next size down...

fullsizeoutput_4253.jpeg fullsizeoutput_4256.jpeg
 
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Steelergal

Steelergal

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PT this morning, first time in almost a week because of the holiday. I’m beyond discouraged because I’m still hovering around 80/8 ROM. I know i need to still be patient but there’s been NO change in the last 6 1/2 weeks. It just DOES NOT want to bend or straighten. :censored::headbang::tantrum::hairpulling:
 
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Steelergal

Steelergal

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Quick question for everyone. For the past few days I’ve notices some minor tingling and numbness in my foot on my op leg. Mostly if I’m sitting too long but also if i prop up my leg. My foot also felt cold when i was sitting on the sofa last night with it elevated. Is this normal or should i now worry about nerve issues? I’m hoping it’s just swelling or nerves rebuilding but it’s freaking me out!
 

Ladyala

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I have no idea but I'm sorry its happening & I vote for nothing to worry about!
I know that's easier said than done - I worry about everything myself.
:dubious: :doh:
 

sistersinhim

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I think you're OK if your foot goes back to normal when you put it down. Mine did the same thing. I stayed cold almost the whole time I was icing and it was in June and July!
 

Poctdb

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@Steelergal
Oops posted before I was ready.
I would ask the OS at the next visit about tingling and coolness of extremities.
I am the ultra cautious sort though.....
 
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Steelergal

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@Poctdb Yes I’ll see him next week and ask him. I have a list of questions started. I still have a tiny little pinhole at a spot on my incision from that stitch that worked it’s way out. It looks ok but i want his reassurance. I also want his assurance that my stiffness and annoying lack of ROM will eventually get better. Fingers crossed he doesn’t mention the dreaded MUA. I’m pretty anxious about that one. I’m just tired of being anxious every day about something involving my knee.
 

FitGal

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@Steelergal - I get some tingling (or just feeling that the toes and feet don't feel stretched or something) at times. Lately, I have begged my husband or teenage son to help massage that foot to see if it would feel better and it usually helps a little. Warm showers help me with better feeling in the foot as well. It almost feels that my leg was re-aligned a bit during surgery and it is weirding my foot out... even how I place it on the ground when I walk. I guess it was just years of dealing and compensating for a tore-up knee.

I know you are stressing over your ROM. Hang in there and try to stop stressing. Over the past couple days, my knee seems to have relaxed a bit helping with the bend and I've reduced the OTC drug. However, it is still real sore. Have you been able to use the bike at all? This seems to help me.
 

FitGal

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@Steelergal - I used a little bit of strategic influence when I went to my OS appt last week. I was dressed like I just went out on a run..... Nike Running shorts, Army 10-miler Racing Shirt (you know, with all the sponsors on the back), running shoes and a cool compression sleeve on the knee. Though shallow, sometimes it's better to look good than feel good. :loll: I think this jazzed the OS up and he was like "you are doing so well".... I think my OS is a big runner, etc. LOL!

I brought up my concerns with my ROM and he was encouraging, giving me a new exercises, and then we had fun looking at my X-Rays. Hoping this for you - keep the faith and the patience!
 
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Jockette

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I also want his assurance that my stiffness and annoying lack of ROM will eventually get better. Fingers crossed he doesn’t mention the dreaded MUA. I’m pretty anxious about that one. I
Some of us just take longer than others to regain ROM. It just takes time and healing, and that healing rate is different for each of us.

My ROM was not impressive my whole first year (though my records show otherwise because it was always force bent to measure) but in my second year my whole leg relaxed more which gave me better ROM. I’m in my third year post op now and I’m still feeling improvement in my ROM.

You are still really early in this recovery and you have a lot more healing to do.

If you really don’t want an MUA, just decline the offer. They can advise but you do not have to agree. MUA is not a magical guarantee of improvement. If your low ROM is due to swelling an MUA is not going to fix that.

Your knee has been through a very traumatic surgery. Give it the privilege of sorting itself out.

One of our members, Bertschb, kept a record of his ROM process. He agreed for us to post it for those of you that are afraid you're stuck. The key is to have patience! Bertschb says:

“I'm 12 months out from my surgery and have some advice based on my experience:
1- Stop going to PT (all it will do is make your knee swell and reduce ROM)
2- Don't worry about your ROM
3- Be patient - VERY patient!!!

Here is my ROM history (more or less):

1 month - 60 degrees
2 months - 80 degrees
3 months - 85 degrees
4 months - 90 degrees
5 months - 90 degrees
6 months - 110 degrees
7 months - 120 degrees
8 months - 125 degrees
9 months - 130 degrees
10 months - 135 degrees
11 months - 140 degrees
12 months - 140 degrees

I spent waaaaay too much time worrying about ROM. I thought I'd be riding my bike a couple months after surgery but it took SIX months! Looking back on my surgery, if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have wasted my time with PT and I wouldn't have worried about ROM.”
 

kneeper

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Sometimes ROM will stall for a while and then seemingly mysteriously improves. (Likely it is just that the swelling finally gives up. ;) )
It is not common but sometimes people are truly "stuck" and MUA is helpful. Just be sure you've tried the ice, elevation and gentle motion route and not tried the feverish exercise route ;) first.
 
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Steelergal

Steelergal

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@FitGal and @sistersinhim I'm glad I'm not the only one with some tingling or cold feet. It's on my list of questions to ask my OS. Luckily I really like my OS and feel comfortable asking him for advice on how to keep progressing. I'm not able to pedal on the bike, but I'm still rocking back and forth to stretch. But, like the other stretches I'm doing, nothing seems to be working.

@Jockette and @kneeper Thanks for that info. I know I shouldn't stress about my ROM, but it's so hard to be positive when it feels like it will NEVER improve. It's SO helpful to see examples of others in my situation. Right now I'm on the same schedule as Bertschb, so I'm thrilled to see he got there eventually!

As I hit week 7 today, I've had some fun new soreness as the parts of my knee that have been numb are starting to get feeling back. Not on the surface level yet, but underneath (and when I apply pressure). It's not horrible, just the newest change that's causing my anxiety this week. At least before there were parts of my knee that didn't hurt because I couldn't feel anything! :)
 

Carole4815

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I loved Jockette's post just a few posts prior to this one, where she talked about ROM.

So I wanted to talk about my hunches regarding the relation between swelling and ROM.

I swell a LOT, as many of us do. That's how my body deals with injuries, even much more minor injuries such as a sprained ankle. There can be considerable swelling while the injury is being healed. I am not a medical professional at all, but I am pretty sure this is part of the body's completely normal healing process.

My ROM seems pretty dependent on how much I iced that day to cut back on the swelling somewhat. Because of that, personally I would be extremely reluctant to agree to an MUA being done on my tremendously swollen knee.

Luckily, due to icing like crazy, I had a good increase in ROM the day before my 3-week-after-TKR OS appointment. (Then my knee swelled back up. LOL) So anyway, at my appointment with the OS the subject of swelling never arose. My sweetie was amazed. Later sweetie said, "Did you notice the OS never mentioned all that swelling?" I think the reason is that swelling is something my OS sees day in and day out, and while my swelling is extreme it is not impeding circulation to my knee. When everything is all healed up and the swelling goes away, I feel certain that I will see an increase in ROM.
 
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Celle

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When everything is all healed up and the swelling goes away, I feel certain that I will see an increase in ROM.
Exactly. It's usually swelling that prevents your knee from bending more easily.
 

luvcats

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I was discussing ROM with the home care nurse who came yesterday. I have become more invested in the Bonesmart PT approach. She was asking what I prefer for time for my appointments and I said I didn't really care. I told her I thought it was ridiculous how much effort people put into short term ROM, which is completely limited by swelling. There isn't anything to do with PT that isn't limited by early swelling. So I will do my gentle exercises and I'm only having home PT come so my insurance doesn't get stroppy.

Now that I have a knee at 2 months and one at 6 days, I have excellent perspective on how well the leg can move when it isn't swollen. I am significantly less worried on sorting the ROM at this early stage, and I saw how quickly I will get some back with a bit of work.
 

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