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Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by Denny39, Dec 24, 2018.
I miss dancing too! Once I master walking again look out!
@Rockgirl4 The engineer in St. Louis was Ostendorf, not Oberbeck. It came to me sometime in the middle of the night. My brain does that sometimes.
My PT tried to coerce me into pushing my knee down with my heel supported on a pillow on day 5 after surgery. Her exact words were, “It will hurt like hell for awhile, but it is the only way to get your extension back to 0”. Having learned better (MUCH better) the first time around, we got that resolved very rapidly and moved on. She was not real happy with me, but reluctantly complied. I spent 8 days in rehab this time. Overall, it was good, but I was very glad to get home.
It is both sad and infuriating that “Professionals” can be so stupid and seemingly in some cases self-motivated. It is very important to keep the knee moving, but within its own limits, which will expand with time. I am absolutely amazed with some aspects of the recovery on my second knee. At 5 weeks, I can comfortably bend my knee enough to put on a sock or tie a shoe. At 8 weeks I was still struggling with that on the first one. I drove for the first time yesterday, with almost no trouble getting in and out of the car. Yet, while I have been able to eliminate the Hydromorphone from day-time meds, I still need them at night. There is still a pretty sharp pain at the center and inside of my knee. And of course, the stiffness and constant “toothache” feeling in the bone.
Although the details vary, this is still a long and sometimes brutal journey, and the first 8 weeks or so just ain’t much fun. But even so, now at 5 weeks post-op with all of its complications, pains, inconveniences and discomforts, I’m, still very glad I did it. Because I know I will be able to keep that date I put on the calendar for my first Waterfall hike. I tried that one 3 years ago and didn’t make it.
Hang on; much sunnier days are in the future.
PS - My extension was 8 when I left the hospital, 6 when I left rehab, 1 when I was discharged from home PT. All with no forced straightening of the knee.
So happy to hear how well you are doing! You’re right about the differences between two surgeries. Even though it’s hard not to compare between the two, I just can’t help myself. Like you, I am finding that my first recovery was much slower than the second one.
I look forward to hearing about that wonderful hike you’re going to take!
2 TKR 12 weeks apart, like night and day, mentally and physically. Both were still a horror show I’m in my 11th week on # 2, and starting to feel alive, such a great feeling
Enjoyed reading your posts , your am excellent writer
5 week check-up today. Good timing because I have had a couple of backward days. Pain and stiffness getting worse. Doc says everything looks great and I’m ahead of expectations at this point. I think I have gotten a little too pushy and ahead of myself. Once again, paying a price for that minor little problem I have of getting impatient. I forgot that I am only half-way through rotten, not even to miserable yet. I haven’t been elevating and icing much lately, and going up and down stairs quite a bit. Busted again!
So, I iced and elevated (and napped) for an hour this afternoon, and it seemed to help a lot. Lesson: 6 months is 180 days, not 36. We all know that, but having read the posts, I know I am not the only one that needs to be reminded now and then. And my knee is the most un-ignorable reminder I have ever dealt with. Big S i g h . . . . .
Yikes...I think I know what you mean about paying for being impatient. The baby knee quickly reminds me of its fragility. Sadly, it takes two days to make up for 15 minutes of impatience! As I read your posts, I am quickly reminded of how early into this journey I really am.
@snowdrop Yup! Hang in there - It WILL get better. Two day penalty for 15 minutes of impatience; that ratio sounds about right. Well worth keeping in mind.
So pleased all going relatively well. Gives me courage. Seeing my surgeon next Thursday, determined to book the next one and get this nightmare over with. At least I know what lies ahead the second time. That helps, doesn’t it?
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@Didot, Yes, it does help. But although you know in general what to expect, it will not be a carbon copy. It won't be a bit more enjoyable or pleasant than the first one, but having been through it once, you will not tend to be as concerned about things you didn't expect, or have any idea would happen.
My second one has been very different; not worse not better, just different. One thing quite different this time is that at 5 1/2 weeks, although I have a very good ROM, and it's not very painful to bend, it still is quite painful to put my full weight on it when walking for any significant amount of time. One particular muscle group has just decided to stay in a bad mood for a while. And, in fact, it has gotten worse over the last week. That is no doubt because I got too feisty and overdid things. So, based on what I learned last time, I'm dealing with it with more elevating and icing, stay away from the stairs, and using my cane more. I think I abandoned it too soon. And sure enough, it's slowly getting back to where it was a few days ago.
I approached the second one the same way you describe. Call my surgeon, book it, get it over with. Now, I'm glad I did, and I'm sure you will feel the same way. It's much better looking back on it than forward to it, even while going through that tough first few weeks. I hope it goes very well for you.
7 weeks today, half-way through miserable. And miserable it is, but surprisingly (and thankfully) less and different than last time. The worst part now is that I’m still not sleeping. My knee is still a long way from recovered, but I am pleasantly surprised at it’s overall progress. I have to admit that the first 4 weeks had me running at a little bit “over-concerned”. At 4 weeks, I was still using my walker, and barely able to do leg raises. Then, things began to improve at a much better pace that before. Now, I rarely use my cane at home, I can go both up and down the stairs normally, (using the handrail of course), I am driving again, and can get in and out of the car with little more than normal effort. I do however, still have that unrelenting dull, “toothachy” feeling down the Tibia, along with some stiffness and a 2 or 3 pain level, and not a full day of stamina. And I’m sure that ain’t going away for a while.
I tell this primarily to reinforce the encouragement offered to those still in the very difficult first few weeks. Even on my second round, I was unable to forge ahead as unconcerned and fearlessly as I had planned. I even called my surgeon’s office once with a concern, (which is quite appropriate if you have a concern), and ironically was told almost exactly, word for word, what I myself have said in previous posts. “As long as you aren’t experiencing any of the specific symptoms described when you left the hospital, you are probably doing just fine.”
This is a very difficult and traumatic experience. But at some point, which will vary from person to person (and even from knee to knee), you will be very happy you did it, and even happier that it’s behind you. This time, I can say that at 7 weeks. Last time, I wasn’t so sure until about half-way through the 4th month.
This will pass, it WILL get better, MUCH better.
Good to read your update; I've been wondering how you're getting on. It reinforces that no 2 knee's are the same, even on the same person, and that knees will heal in their own good time. How's the other knee holding up? Mine has decided to moan at me today and I have no idea why!
@Lindylee My other knee is holding up quite well in general. I'm glad I waited long enough for it to by my "good" knee for the second surgery. However, it also still decides from time to time to moan and groan and let me know it still needs a bit of TLC now and then. It very well may have something to do with the crazy up and down weather patterns we have been experiencing lately. I never had a "weather-knee" before, but now it looks like I have 2 of them. I may have to fly to LA soon; I wonder how it will do at a higher altitude. Interestingly enough, the first one has stopped popping when I walk. I hope the other one does too. Sounds like a loose U-joint in my old car.
Hope you are doing well. You should be feeling pretty normal again by now.
@Denny39 - well for better or for worse, I have bitten the bullet and am booked in for my second one on 19 August. I think it will do my operated knee a favor too, in that it will be given a chance to prove itself. I tend to be over protective and "scared" at times - especially since I'm still battling with the foreign-ness of it all. So please you're getting along steadily.
@Lindylee - I'm keeping a watch for when you are going to go ahead as well!! We did out first one in the same time frame and I recall following your progress closely.
Yes I feel pretty much back to normal as far as the knee goes. PT is working on the IT band and it objects still to standing in one position for long or too many stairs. Walking far is still an issue with back and hips that feel really tight, but the chiropractor is working on that, although I think it might be an issue until the other knee is done. I hope your knees behave if you do have to fly to LA.
@Didot I'm ready for the next one now and was thinking of booking it for either October time (although I'd need to see the surgeon now for that) or next January, but my husband is having investigations and I want to make sure he's going to be ok before I go ahead. We can't have 2 old crocks at the same time! I'l be watching your progress to see how you get on. I hope it all goes well for you and wish you an uncomplicated recovery.
So glad to see that your recovery is steadily moving forwards! This surgery is not for the faint-hearted, that’s for sure.
@Didot I know you are not really looking forward to that. Mine was June 17, and in the week leading up to it I thought of quite a few “Really good” reasons to postpone it. But as you said, I “bit the bullet”, walked up tp the admissions desk, signed on the dotted line (right below where it says something like “Yes, I really do want you to do this to me”), and laid down on the table. Now, after 7 weeks, I’m looking thankfully back on it. It was a bullet worth biting.
It will give both your operated knee and your back a good break because now, it finally, after a long while, will be able to carry its own load. I have had chronic back problems all of my life. After my first surgery, my bad back was being “supported” by 2 bad knees. For about 8 weeks, the back pain pretty much made me ignore the knee problems. After my second surgery however, my back pain has been very mild, almost negligible. Two strong and properly aligned knees seems to have made a very big difference. I think, and hope, you will find a similar benefit. I started having knee problems about 15 years before I had no real choice. Now, as someone told me would happen, I wish I hadn’t waited so long.
I wish you the best, and hope your second recovery goes well.
Hi all. Sorry I’m way behind on my reading and posting. I have taken on a project with a massive amount of paperwork up front, with a brick-wall deadline. I will be traveling to Los Angeles soon. Should be interesting.
OK, 8 1/2 weeks, beyond miserable and settled into the endurance phase of the marathon. Everything is temptingly and tantalizingly OK, but still demands adherence to the limitations inherent with this recovery process. I walk so good now that I had to buy a new cane yesterday to replace the one I walked off and left at an unremembered location, again (That makes 2 I have had to replace ). I don’t use it very much at home, but I always take it with me because my stamina is still not up tp par, and I still don’t do too good on uneven ground. The good thing about all of this is knowing that even though I’m still quite obviously “handicapped”, I have no nagging concerns for the future. What is primarily required now is, Yup — patience; not one of my strongpoints.
I hope everyone is doing well. I know at least 2 are scheduled for #2 shortly. I hope everything goes well and your recoveries are as smooth as possible.
Denny, thanks for taking the time to update your first and second TKR's.
I am on my first and hopefully only TKR, but a 2nd is always possible I suppose. I struggle knowing that recovery is a long slow process - I am about 1/3 the way through miserable. Of course, I want it all to happen much more quickly, like that guy who snow boarded 3 weeks after his surgery. ( I would love to know the particulars behind that activity.)
At four weeks I still struggle with my knee being swollen and stiff, like there is a big thick rubber ball surrounding the joint, that does not want to change shape no matter how hard I try to squeeze it. But, I soldier on, keeping the small victories as a reminder that I am slowly, very slowly, getting better.
It's good to read you accounts of your recovery. I do thank you for sharing and ask that you continue to do so.