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Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by Denny39, Dec 24, 2018.
It still beats the alternative though! Are you sure the snap, crackle and pop wasn't your breakfast cereal?
I hadn’t had breakfast yet. That’s where I was headed.
Not walking so good today. I suspect it is because of a sharp drop in barometric pressure. Is this likely to be a permanent situation? Never had this problem before.
@Denny39, some folks are much more sensitive to weather changes than others, especially during the first months. In my case, I’ve noticed I’m not quite as sensitive any more as I was pre-PRK. Not sure how it would have felt during my early months as that time period of my recovery it was late Spring / early Summer.
Thanks. I guess only time will eventually tell. It’s not really all that painful, but very annoying.
I still have a weather knee with my tkr knee, but it's much better than it was in my early recovery. Yours will probably lesson, too, and maybe even go away. My old knee is an even better weather predictor, so I'm glad my new one is much less!
TKR - Week 11
Monday was 11 weeks. It turned out to be an absolutely miserable day. By late afternoon, I was almost ready to pull out my walker again. I decided to share this, not to vent, complain, or get sympathy, but because I realized something that I think will help a lot in my next TKR recovery (provided of course, that I don’t chicken out, which still isn’t out of the question).
I, like many others, not too seldom wondered if I am really making normal, satisfactory progress, or am I just kidding myself. I have been assured by many people that I am doing very well. But by late Monday afternoon, there was no way I could convince myself that I was walking any better than I was pre-surgery. I could barely walk at all. So, what is going on here? Do I really want to go ahead with the other one? From everything I have heard, I shouldn’t still be having this much difficulty.
So, with some input and guidance from my wife (who is a certified Life Coach), I resorted to a last resort; a logical assessment of the facts and realities. There’s something inherently difficult about having your knee catastrophically demolished, then being optimistic that it will repair itself as well as all of the chaos surrounding it, and all will be well again. So, I focused only on my
I put ALL of my weight on it alone. There was virtually no pain whatsoever. I sat down, and stood up without pushing with my arms. That was painful, but NOT from my new knee. The pain almost all came from my other knee, and my back, and it was severe. I still have minor stiffness and pain when I use it normally, but nothing that would seriously limit normal mildly demanding use; such as walking, sitting and standing, bending over, getting in and out of the car. The stabbing pains I often had from where the implant joins the Tibia are almost gone, rare and mild. I have at least a 135 degree painless flexion and use the stationary bike without pain. My new knee is INNOCENT! It is in fact, doing quite well.
The real problem is that there are 2 other major factors. The other knee is just as bad and just as urgently needs to be replaced. Also, I have a chronically bad back (L4 & L5 self-fused about 6 years ago). Since my new knee still isn’t anywhere near up to full recovery, that means I have a very bad back, supported by 2 bad knees. Conversely, it means that I have 2 bad knees depending on a very bad back for alignment and strength.
If I were a car, my differential would have a cracked Cluster-Gear with a few missing teeth, and 2 frozen bearings. Translation for the non-mechanical: My whole drive-train is out of whack, and I ain’t going very far until I get it fixed.
The component I did get fixed is doing quite well. Two more to go. But having to favor 2 weak knees is very hard on the back. I saw a Chiropractor yesterday, and that made an amazing difference. I’m walking much better today, almost with no pain (although some soreness and a bit of stiffness). But it really leaves me no option to leave the other one undone. The end result of that could well be more serious and permanent back damage.
The lesson is, I was too focused on, and too worried about the wrong problem. I just assumed that the trauma of surgery was the problem, when actually it was only PART of the problem. I am much better off today. I will most likely have to see my Chiropractor on a regular basis, and there is no doubt that I will have to walk up to the admissions desk and sign on the dotted line this June.
I hope this may be some help for others who are worried more than they need to be. Considering that most of us who are going through this experience are as I am, at least middle age, or in my case “upper middle age” (OK, 79 may be crowding the limits just a bit), there are quite possibly one or two other contributing factors.
@Denny39, love your analogy! I have a lot of sympathy for members such as yourself who are dealing with more than one issue which tends to affect how you recover. As you have realized, the frustrations you have may not always be due to the knee you’ve had replaced, but instead, due to other factors. Additionally, age can also be a factor as it can add its own set of limitations depending on ones activity level before surgery.
All of the above need to be taken into account when deciding whether and when to have a TKR. I know it was for me. I didn’t want to wait and get to a point where my good knee started to suffer because it was compensating for my bad knee. I also wanted to get it done while still relatively young and active as I felt it would help my recovery. Of course, not everyone has those options, that’s why it’s important to keep those factors in mind as you recover.
You make a very valid point Denny. It's all too easy to put the blame for our pain on the poor old knee (or poor new knee!) Funny enough I was out for my walk this morning. When I started out I had a pain down the outside of my leg from the knee midway down the calf, but after a few minutes I realised it had disappeared and the pain I was experiencing came from my hip instead - not that there is necessarily anything wrong with my hip, I think it more likely down to an altered gait.
That is exactly what I realized was happening. My “good knee”, the repaired one, is being dragged down and held back by both a bad knee and a bad back. The back is a lifetime issue that has always been manageable by Chiropractic treatment, sometimes months or even years between treatments. But when both knees team up to make it impossible to walk normally, the almost immediate result is an imbalanced and strained situation for the back. I now realize that if I don’t get the other one done, I may as well not have had the first one done. I would be risking more and possibly unmanageable damage to my back.
I really was adamant that I would not ever have KR. But as my wife so effectively pointed out, it had become a quality-of-life issue. I am very active for my age, and that was going downhill fast. Way. Too. Fast. Having the first one done removed any other options for the second one.
So . . . June 17, here we go again. I can hardly wait. Yeah, Right!!!
That pain down the outside of your knee is probably the same one I had until fairly recently. If so, it originates where the implant in pressed into the Tibia, and manifests itself exactly as you described. It can go in both directions, up and down, but for me it usually went down to my ankle. You’re about 6 weeks behind me, so that will probably bug you now and then for awhile. I haven’t felt it more than a very little now for a couple of weeks or so.
@Denny39 Thanks Denny, I guessed it was something like that, but it's reassuring to have it confirmed. Sharing our experiences puts these sudden different aches and pains into perspective. I haven't got to the stage of confirming my intention for the second knee yet. It's still behaving at present!
@Denny39, in Scotland your situation would be described as ‘no two pounds of him hangin the right way’ and I should know because that is me to a T!!! Have got fused discs, mushed up discs etc and have refused surgery. Got first TKR two years ago, after that op my leg was slightly longer than other one. Last March I had an op on my opposite foot from TKR to rectify hammer toes and high arch which involved lengthening the achilles tendon on that leg. So picture it if you will, prior to the latest TKR two weeks ago, I had two legs of different lengths, two feet with different shaped toes and mismatched arches and two legs with mismatched achilles tendons—and as my general practitioner doctor said to me- you wonder why you’ve got back ache!!!! Next op on the agenda is a hip replacement later on this year then after that the other foot to be done. After all that not only will I be like the bionic woman from the waist down but I might even have matching limbs- my backjust wont know what to do with itself
Yes. A word of caution about that knee that is “still behaving”. Was it bothering you before surgery? My other knee, which is also running bone to bone, “behaved itself” for a while also. I was thinking maybe it saw what happened to the other side and got scared straight. But what didn’t occur to me for some reason or other was that all of those very strong pain killers I was taking was working on BOTH sides. So, my optimism eventually wound up as somewhat illusionary.
Don’t give up all hope however. A friend of mine had one done 5 years ago, and had the other one scheduled for shortly after. But he never had to have it done, which was the primary basis for my optimism. So, don’t give up hoping, but don’t be jolted too badly if it winds up needing to be done. Mine is scheduled for June 17. Yay!
Your right knee is scheduled for June 17, 2019, Denny? I've added that to your signature, so please correct me if I've got it wrong. Thank you.
You definitely fall into the category of having a few “peripheral issues”. After reading your post, I almost feel normal. I hope and pray that after these last 2 (we hope) procedures, your poor back will just have to adjust to being normal again.
@Denny39 The right, unoperated knee was the first one to cause a problem some 26 years ago, but the left overtook it when I was knocked off my bike 20 years ago. The right seems to be catching up in the past few months though, X-Ray showed both bone on bone and there was talk of RTKR in May. I'd forgotten painkillers are possibly masking a continuing problem. Time will tell! I'll keep hold of a little bit of hope though.
@Denny39, glad my poor old joints make you feel more normal, at leadt they’re good for something as they’re useless at the jobhey were created for
12 weeks today, and I really believe that if it weren’t for my bad back working in cahoots with my other bad knee, I would be walking almost normally; probably enough that most people would not realize anything was amiss. It has not been all that long ago that I was still having a very hard time convincing myself that would ever really happen.
I still have some stiffness, numbness (which may never go away), and sensitivity to touch. It still is a stretch to put on a sock, tie a shoe, or trim nails. But it is easier and less painful than before surgery. I can go up and down stairs normally, although I still use the handrail, and I might even soon try an easy, short hiking trail.
For those still in the early days and weeks, I know how difficult it is to be optimistic. And I am guessing that when I have the second one done, even having been through it once, I will experience it again, at least to some extent. But your day will come! You will be yourself again, able to again do and enjoy things that had become impossible. That, will have made it all worthwhile.