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TKR Susie-Qs recovery thread

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Susie-Q

Susie-Q

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Well, isn't it funny how the body knows it's nighttime! My knee definitely hurt more last night because of the PT. Not too bad, I was able to sleep fine. I did add an extra half an oxy to my 9:30 and 1:30 meds. Now to try and perform these exercises today. They are all fine, it's those heel slides that really get me.....
 

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The PT also noticed when I'm lying on my back I tend to let my left leg turn outwards, I'm trying to avoid the tight stretch of the back of my knee lying flat on the bench. So I'm trying to make sure when elevating that my leg is flat and not bent or turned/rolled out.
That stretching at the back of the knee is so uncomfortable. I’m forcing myself to sit with my leg outstretched with a towel under my ankle several times a day but it’s difficult to do it for long due to that pressure/pain. I had been at 0/-2 extension but now it’s back to 2 because I’ve been avoiding this stretch. Now I know I have to keep at it.
 
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@SZone , my PT wants me to put a rolled towel under my ankle and just let my knee try and be flat for 5 minutes as part of my exercises before I do any quad sets. We'll see how it goes today. :chinstroke: Trying to get my extension to 0, slowly but surely.....
 

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Today my PT had me do that a couple of times while he was here and now I am back to 0. Moving forward, htold me to end each set of exercises with that stretch and hold it for 1-2 minutes.
 
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That's good to know, @SZone . I've been ending my PT sessions with that towel under the ankle and hold too but mostly it's because for my other exercises I need the bed or I need to stand. Knowing I can get back in the recliner and just hold that position for 5 minutes and then do some quad stretches means I'm almost done and can ice!

Well, dare I say it, but while a few of these PT exercises are downright uncomfortable (the heel slides with ankle pumps and balancing on my operated leg) when I'm done my knee feels better, stronger! I managed to do two sets yesterday and no lasting effects. I helped my daughter make tortilla pizzas last night, I mostly prepped the veggies from a bar stool with my leg up and icing but I did put the pan in the oven and stir the veggies in the pan a couple of times and put toppings on my own pizza.

I've been going to bed around 10ish. I take my pills around 9:30 so I guess I'm ready by then. (normally I go to bed around 10:30 so this isn't too much different) Hubby gets the ice machine ready, I put my pills out for 1:30am and then I fall asleep fairly easily. Not sure why as on my back is my least favorite position but I guess I've adapted. The problem is my bladder won't make it 4 hours so I end up getting up an hour early and have to unwrap that ice machine knee wrap. Then right before the 5:30 pills I'm usually awake again and I get up and go pee and then to the kitchen to get more frozen water bottles. Today I woke up again a little after 8. I remember during the first 6 weeks of my last TKR that sleeping was a lot harder. Not sure why this time it's easier? Not complaining!

They're pretty amused by me at PT. I had to buy new balls for my walker and grabbed a folder for all my paperwork on Monday but didn't realize my walker bag is purple, my walker balls are purple and so is the folder. They asked me if I loved purple, I didn't even realize I had coordinated myself! :heehee: I've got PT again this morning. Wish me luck!
 

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@Suzie-Q, tell me more about the balancing exercises. My PT has not been having me do anything like this. Do you just stand on one leg and try to keep your balance? I did a lot of work like that pre surgery. I still need to get tennis balls for my walker. right now I hate walking across tile with it because of the noise.
 
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Yes, standing in front of a counter or your walker. I balance on one foot, bending the other heel towards my butt. Of course my right leg has excellent balance, I could stand there indefinitely. The left is more trouble but I can balance if I put my hands out as if I were on a tight rope. It's a little painful, pain goes right through the knee joint, and I'm a little wobbly but I am able to balance for 10-15 seconds. I only do this twice during each exercise session. I'm also holding on to my walker/counter and raising up on tip toes to exercise my calves, slowly lowering under control keeping legs straight. 1 set of 10 reps, 2x a day. I have a couple of other standing exercises too.

I had new balls on my walker when I got home from the hospital. Walking on the wood floors wore off all the tennis ball fuzz and I was scraping the rubber part so it was dragging a bit. New tennis balls and now the balls skim across the wood floors with ease. You might need some strong scissors to but the slits in the balls bigger as mine wouldn't fit on my walker legs at first. Hubby helped me. My dog got the old balls and was very happy! (until we had to take them away because she was ripping them more)
 
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@Suzie-Q, tell me more about the balancing exercises. My PT has not been having me do anything like this. Do you just stand on one leg and try to keep your balance? I did a lot of work like that pre surgery. I still need to get tennis balls for my walker. right now I hate walking across tile with it because of the noise.
I just wanted to mention, @SZone , that my PT gave me these exercises because I could tolerate them. I don't want you to do them unless you have permission from your PT and can tolerate them. I'm not a doc or PT (but I do play one on tv :heehee:) so I don't want to lead you astray.......
 

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My in home Physio had me doing the balancing exercises the 2nd week and they weren’t painful just tricky as I don’t have great balance. After my disastrous first Outpatient Physio I have not gone back and do the exercises my Physio gave me those first 3 weeks. I’ve been cleared to resume all activities so am thinking of going back to Yoga aquarobics. Can I ask why you don’t have wheels on your Walker? All protocols seem different but I was told to keep the wheels on to develop a steady walk and not be lifting the Walker-is that what the balls replace?
 
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@patriciad I have wheels on the front legs of my walker and tennis balls on the back legs. When the balls are nice and fuzzy and not worn down to the rubber it glides along nicely on both carpet and wood floors.

I am strong enough and balanced enough to not need the walker at home now. I've not been using it since I got home from PT. Now to stay put and not overdo it!
 

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Trying to get my extension to 0, slowly but surely.....
Quite a few of us had our extension lag behind our bend. The best way I helped mine was to walk with a longer stride, heel to toe gait. That helps to stretch out those big muscles and tendons in the back of the knee. Improvement isn't instant, but it does come and this way isn't nearly as painful as the other ways!
 
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Trying to get my extension to 0, slowly but surely.....
Quite a few of us had our extension lag behind our bend. The best way I helped mine was to walk with a longer stride, heel to toe gait. That helps to stretch out those big muscles and tendons in the back of the knee. Improvement isn't instant, but it does come and this way isn't nearly as painful as the other ways!
Yes, I've been practicing that when I walk, straightening that leg and having a longer stride.

My PT got my flexion yesterday to 80 from 72 on Monday. When I say she did, she had me bend my knee sitting on a bench and she gently worked the bend a millimeter at a time, stretching it and then back and then did the same on the bench for both flexion and extension. It was painful! But no lasting effects afterwards or last night so I'm assuming all is well. I haven't had to up my meds and I'm not having any agonizing pain. If anything, I feel better and stronger when I do my exercises, which I guess means they are the right kind. She said the surgeon/PA may not be as gentle today when trying to get a bend out of my knee but I'm not going to let him be brutal with me! She said they are used to bending people's knees to where they want during surgery while they are under anesthesia. I told her I wasn't going to let him do that to me. I will tell him I just started PT and we are making progress so please don't reverse that progress by forcing my knee! She says he'll probably want me at 90 by now. Well, I'm close and should be there soon. I forgot to ask what my extension was but she worked on that with me quite a bit and I think I improved to at least a 2.

Today is my 2 week(+) follow up with the surgeon's office. I'm going to talk to the PA about slowly transitioning off the oxy. My pain is really much better and I don't assume it will get worse as I work my way through PT (I asked my PT and she agreed). It makes me feel woozy when I'm out and if I want to be able to drive, I've got to get off it. It's fine if I'm just sitting on the couch or walking around the house but when I was out in the car on the way to PT (son driving) I just felt woozy. Maybe this is a bit early, I will ask. Maybe I could transition down to Vicodin (then I will have to reduce my Tylenol too). I want to ask about getting a temporary wheelchair pass to make parking a bit easier for a few months too. My last TKR I was taking oxy until week 2 or 3 then Vicodin until 6 weeks post-op but I don't remember taking all this Tylenol and Advil along with the oxy then. I've got to assume they are helping too so maybe I don't need as much of the hard stuff?
 

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Susie, that behind the knee pain plagued me too and it wasn't all that pleasant about it lol. My surgery was a week ahead of you and just the past 2 days that pain has eased for me. I hope you also get relief soon! I asked the pt if I could try my exercise bike and they Saud yes but not to force it, try just rocking it back and forth. Yesterday I did it and it hurt at first but I was able to pedal eventually. That really helped loosen it up and get me to sleep. I'm getting today to not use a pillow under my knee because it really irritates my IT band and I think it's making my knee stiffer. It's all a process for sure!
 
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I'm back from the surgeon's office where I saw the PA. They took X-rays of my knee and all is looking good. He's pleased with my progress and did NOT force me to bend my knee or do anything painful. We discussed easing off the pain medication but he said it's normal to take them for at least 4 weeks. It all depends on me and how my pain is as to how much I need to take. :thumb: He gave me a prescription to get a disabled pass so I can park closer for a few months. Only problem is I have to bring that in to the DMV in person. It's possible I can get someone to bring it in for me but somehow, knowing how the DMV works, I doubt it. I'm sure I will have to show my driver's license, etc.... Next appointment is with the surgeon in another 4 weeks.

All in all, it was a good visit! :flwrysmile: Onward and upward!
 
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Update: I don't have to go to the DMV, only the Vehicle Licensing place which will be MUCH easier!!

Also, baby knee is VERY crabby from a trip downtown, in and out of the car, up the elevator and in and out of the doc's office and x-rays. That was a lot for one morning! Icing and elevating for the rest of the day. :thumb:
 

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Good to hear your good progress report from OS. Keep up the good work.
 
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Question: Has anyone else had big toe sensitivity? My big toes don't like it if my socks are too snug or even if a heavy blanket is on them. I'm wondering if it's from the oxy. Anyway, wondered if anyone else had the same thing.....
 

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That‘s just the strangest random coincidence! I’ve been having the same issue. I have been tugging on the toe of my socks constantly over the last few days as it feels like there is too much pressure on my big toes. I‘m doing the same at night in bed. I had to untuck the blankets and sheet to loosen them up in the area over my feet. But, I haven’t had any narcotic medication in days.
 
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Well, I'm glad I asked! It must not be the narcotics then, maybe the surgery itself? I'm constantly tugging on my socks too to loosen them up too.
 

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I wonder if it is some kind of nerve issue? Things get traumatized inside our leg during this surgery. Hopefully in time, as you heal, it will improve.

I have a similar foot issue, but I had it for several years before my surgery, and I didn’t really notice an increase after my surgery.
 

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