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TKR Summer2020 recovery thread (RTKR 1/13/20)

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Summer2020

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Summer, I experience exactly what you describe..and it prevents the knee from completely flexing...I will say the numbsess / tightness has lessened on the exterior side of knee, while bottom and medial side is still numb and tight...I also feel a bruise like condition on the medial side as well....icing has not done anything for this...best of luck...
I just talked with my therapist about it. He said it’s probably swelling and people don’t realize this is a major surgery. You won’t have your new normal for up to a year. I asked him if it could be scar tissue. He said it could but you’ve got good movement so he doesn’t think that it is. He had them fo ultrasound on it to try and heal the tissue or if it is scar tissue maybe break it up some. Also showed me how to rub it at home to try and loosen things up.
On a good note.
I drove to PT today :yes!::yes!:

I touched the wall with my knees while pushing forward in a wheelchair :yay:

And most of all my extension is at 0, straight leg and my flexion is at 115:wowspring::spin::dancy::loveshwr:

I’m doing good. The only thing I really want is the pressure of that band around my kneecap to go away.
 

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8 weeks is still early days in this year long recovery. Things will heal and ease up, it just takes time. Lots of time.
 

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I still walk with a limp which really bums me out.
Before my tkr, I had walked with a limp for over 20 years and I found that I can still go back to that limp sometimes. Not because of pain or tightness but that old habits are hard to break. I imagine yours is caused by swelling and past habits.
Could this be scar tissue? or is it just specific tissue swelling? Is it eventually going to go away? If I could just get rid of this limp I’d be happy.
That tightness around the kneecap is probably coming from swelling inside there. A little be of fluid in there will cause restriction in movements. Be sure and do enough icing and elevating to try and get that fluid out of there.
 

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Summer me too with the stiffness you and qdogpa are talking about. I had my left knee PKR so for me the numbness is on the left outside of the knee and tenderness is inside. It’s strange because it’s as if the incision divides the sensation of the knee almost exactly— one side hard and devoid of feeling or touch and medial real tender.
 
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Summer2020

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Summer me too with the stiffness you and qdogpa are talking about. I had my left knee PKR so for me the numbness is on the left outside of the knee and tenderness is inside. It’s strange because it’s as if the incision divides the sensation of the knee almost exactly— one side hard and devoid of feeling or touch and medial real tender.
Yea my doctor told me that there will be a circle about the size of an orange on the lower outside of my knee that would be numb forever. That the surgery requires them to cut a nerve causing permanent numbness. I’m sure that will take some getting use to.

I think the circle around the kneecap has to do with swelling. Cuz when my foot has swelling in it that circle feels tighter and more painful.

I’m sure with time it will get better. I’ve stopped going to PT and the swelling in that leg and foot is going down. Along with the pressure in that circle.
 
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Summer2020

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Well I went back to work last week Tuesday , March 31. Doing half days for 4 days, and now this week working full 8 hour days. I won't lie, it's tough. I sit at a desk all day, so I try to get up about every hour and walk a bit, but boy am I stiff when I do that. I would hate to see what I would be like if I sat all 8 hours! I still have that band around my kneecap (not so much on the inside of the knee anymore) it wraps around in a C shape on the outside of my knee, and I have started to have swelling on the front outer part of my café/shin area. If I put my feet up when I get home, the calf part will go down, and the C around my knee a tiny bit, but then the next day the cycle starts again. I am taking Aleve around the clock(twice a day), if I skip a dose, lots of swelling and pain. I know I am only 2 1/2 months out from my tkr, but this is really getting old!!

So when I first went back to work all but my boss and one other person (in an office of 9 people) were working at home. My boss wasn't sure if I would be able to do my work from home, so she had the other payment posters (I post insurance payments to patients accounts) working from home to see how it went. I begged her the first week I was back to please! please! let me work from home. Not only would it help with my knee, and make it easier to put ice on it, put it up etc. but I have a compromised immune system and I am really scared to catch this covid19 stuff.( I work in a hospital/clinic) We are wearing masks all day even in the business office. Not only did she joke around with answers every time I asked her to work at home, but now she avoids the subject with me. One day her answer was, "well if you have a weak immune system I suggest you don't leave your desk, I will give you permission to eat a lunch from home at your desk, don't go to the cafeteria, and don't go PEE!" We don't have a bathroom in the office, we have to go out to the patient area to go to a restroom out there. I decided I was going to stop begging. I just don't understand why she gave everyone else in the office the option except me!

On a good note. Well kind of a good note, in one way but not in another. I live in Iowa, no big wave of covid19 where I live. The clinic and hospital have so few patients that they cut everyone's hours. Instead of working 40 hours a week, I work 32 now( at minimum through the end of April). While its a great sign that the covid19 has not taken over here, after living off of short term disability for 11 weeks, it sure would have been nice to have a full paycheck again.

Stay safe everyone!
 

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I'm so sorry to read that your boss doesn't want to work with you and let you stay home. She's being very inconsiderate, and that comment about the no bathroom visits...well, all I can say is I'm glad she's not my boss!

Having your hours cut is good for you during this very rough recovery time. Getting up and walking every hour is the best you can do.
 
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Summer2020

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Hello everyone,

Just thought I would check in, it's been a while. I went back to work on Marc h 31. I work at a desk, and I do insurance payment posting on patient's accounts at a hospital. It has been a crazy time since I have gone back to work with this Covid19 going on. My mind has kind of stop focusing on my TKR recovery and I've been focusing more on work.

So its been 17 weeks since I had my right TKR. Things are going ok, but it seems I have kind of reached a stand still, not a lot of improvement has happened in the last few weeks.

I am extremely stiff all the time. Not just that knee but my whole body, knee being the worst. I get up in the morning and walking to the bathroom is a struggle. Once I am up for a little bit the stiffness gets better but never goes away completely. I sit all day at my job, if I sit more that an hour at a time, Its difficult to get up and walk right at first. If we are having a meeting , standing in one place for more than 20 minutes or so, I have a lot of pain. When I go to work, I'm stiff so walking across the parking lot is hard (employees have certain spots they can park in, and they are far from the door), when I get done with work, I am sooooooo tired that walking to my vehicle is difficult. I am always soooo exhausted every night I'm in bed by 8 pm every night.

I still have a feeling of tightness on the outer part of my knee. It was all the way around my knee cap like a rubberband around the knee cap, not around the leg, but in a circle around the knee cap. Now it has gone down to just the outer right side of the knee. So that is some improvement! But I am still taking aleve, tylenol, or ibuprofen every day. Not all at once of course! LOL

I try to walk around the block every evening, but I don't always get that done because of my exhaustion. I just want to sit on the couch and relax. No energy left by the end of the day. How do I get myself moving. The stiffness doesn't really affect my ROM, I can straighten and bend my knee fine, its just more stiff at times, and takes an effort to straighten and bend sometimes.

Also I was shocked at how much this surgery affected me mentally. There was a time during my first 12 weeks of recovery where I was very depressed, angry, disappointed, and feeling worthless. It really hit me hard. In a lot of ways I wasn't really expecting. My son and I ended up in a big argument with him telling me I didn't appreciate what he was doing for me, and that I was making him feel like he wasn't doing enough. (which I am sorry that is partially true). He did well helping me for about 2 weeks and then after that I was pretty much on my own (or got help from my significant other after he got home from work). The argument with my son ended up with him leaving(he was living with us at the time, with no job) in a big huff and puff and moving out within 2 hours and left the state. He wouldn't answer my texts or my calls for over 2 weeks, so I had no idea where he was, where he went or even if he was ok. We finally talked a couple weeks ago and that is when I found out he felt I didn't appreciate him and what he was doing.

So anyways, I guess I wrote all that to let people know that this surgery affects you mentally almost as much as physically. Be sure to have a way to keep you mentally healthy through all of this. Have people you can talk with on a daily basis, come on this forum!!! and don't be ashamed to say you are having emotional problems during your recovery. I was embarassed to say anything before now. I always was proud of myself for being a strong person, and this surgery brought me to my knees real quick. Don't feel bad that you can't do everything for yourself and have to ask for help. And if someone who said they would help, gets angry with you about that, don't take it personally and find someone else to lean on. Having physical and mental support during this is more important then you think, especially if you feel you can do everything yourself and refuse to depend on anyone else.

If anyone has any advice about working through this stiffness and exhaustion I would really appreciate it. I know part of the answer is to exercise. But I am really struggling with energy to be able to do so. Please help!?
 

Flpickleballer

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My two cents: PT often does more harm than good. It is your knee. No one should be pushing on it or causing you pain. PT is completely oversold in this country for TKR. After my surgery I was just handed off to PT with no advice or counseling from my OS or my PA. When I have the courage for my next one I will skip PT. Listen to the advisors on this forum. They saved me a lot of pain. Best of luck,,,,,
 

Wolvesfan

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@Summer2020....I just found your thread, and I totally agree that the mental/emotional recovery from this surgery is almost as challenging as the physical process. The Bonesmart article on post surgery blues has really helped me understand that the anxiety, fear, doubt, and discouragement I’ve experienced are pretty normal feelings after a major surgery. I’m 8 weeks post op today, and beginning to feel normal...with the emphasis on “beginning.” I just started PT, and I’m lucky to have a surgeon and therapist who are in agreement with a more measured, gentle approach to recovery. But the most helpful advice I’ve received has been from others on this forum, which is to be easy on yourself and give your knee time to fully heal. And, no wonder you’re exhausted! Going back to work (especially with an unsupportive boss, at a healthcare setting during a pandemic) coupled with a challenging time with your son are probably huge contributors to feeling so tired. You’re physically and emotionally overwhelmed. I can still feel exhausted after a shower and just drying my hair! It’s crazy, isn’t it! I By the way, I grew up in Iowa, and while I haven’t lived there for many years, I wore my “Iowa is Home” tee shirt to PT on Friday. Best wishes to you for a continued, but gradual and complete recovery!
 

sistersinhim

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But I am still taking aleve, tylenol, or ibuprofen every day. Not all at once of course!
Be careful to not take Aleve and Ibuprofen at the same time. They are both NSAIDs, which are bad for you. You can take either Aleve or Ibuprofen with Tylenol since Tylenol isn't an NSAID. I actually found Tylenol to be a better pain reliever for me after my surgery than ibuprofen was.
 

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If anyone has any advice about working through this stiffness and exhaustion I would really appreciate it. I know part of the answer is to exercise. But I am really struggling with energy to be able to do so. Please help!?
Walking is very good for our new knee, so the long walk to and from your car, at work, is all the “formal exercise” you need. (And may actually be too much, but there’s probably nothing you can do to shorten it.)

I had all the issues you mention, at your stage, too. They are par for the course. So when you’re home, rest as much as you can.

At 17 weeks you are 1/3 the way healed. It will get better.:console2:
 
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Summer2020

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Well I’ve been home sick all week. Had a covid19 test done on Wednesday and it came back “undetected”. My doctor says they don’t like to use the word negative because basically no virus was detected in the sample taken but that doesn’t mean 100% that you don’t have Covid19. She still feels that I have it due too all my symptoms. So I have been self quarantined since Tuesday.

One of my biggest symptoms has been extreme headaches and extremely tired. So I haven’t gotten off the couch much and have been sleeping ALOT! I basically get up to go to the bathroom or to the kitchen for water. With that said. My knee has become very stiff and that band around my kneecap is almost completely back! I feel like I’ve done 5 steps backward. I still have good range of motion. But I’ve been so sick that I haven’t done my peddling machine at all, and no exercising. I’ve just been too worn out. I try to bend and flex it a lot while lying on the couch but again no energy.

I’m so disappointed. ☹ And all I want to do is feel better and be able to move again.
 
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Summer2020

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Well it is now Monday and I am feeling a bit better. Still have extreme headache, and low energy, but I suspect that will linger. So I am in self quarantine , what have you guys done as far as exercises at home to keep the stiffness away? I was in bed most of the time last week, and now my knee is soooo stiff, and that tight rubber band feeling is back, dang it, I was to the point of having it almost gone.
 

sistersinhim

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When you feel like moving around a little more, your knee will loosen back up. You are not having a setback, it's just not as happy with less movement. When I was non-weight bearing after my foot and ankle breaks, my new knee wasn't very unhappy. These new knees like to be used, but not abused!
 

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