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TKR Susie-Qs recovery thread

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Susie-Q

Susie-Q

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Some of you long-timers, those that are a month or more post-op, do you remember when you were able to go to bed and not ice all night long and still be comfortable with your knee? Right now I'm still doing the same as I have been since surgery: lying on my back, leg propped up on two pillows with the ice machine wrap around my knee. I can't shift or move much. I am sleeping fine but when I wake up to use the bathroom or take pills I am SO STIFF because I've been in this one position for 4-8 hours. The last couple of hours from 6am on I turn off the ice machine and unwrap it's cold wrap and my knee is finally free to move around. I also take one pillow out and just elevate on the body pillow. I can get another couple of hours of sleep then. Wondering when I'll be able to do this all night but afraid to try because the ice machine is probably making my knee more comfortable with its pain-relief. I know this is early days and I should not be rushing things.

Sorry for being so wordy......
 

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Still icing and elevating all the time at almost 2 months out. At first I was doing it for pain control and swelling. Now, I do it just for swelling because pain is minimal. I too am very stiff when I wake up.
 
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Still icing and elevating all the time at almost 2 months out. At first I was doing it for pain control and swelling. Now, I do it just for swelling because pain is minimal. I too am very stiff when I wake up.
So still icing all night too?
 

Rain Dancer

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Yes, still icing at night. I use gel packs and not a machine. It isn’t constant because the gel pack is warm before I wake up every 3-4 hours.
 

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I’m not icing at night when I sleep. I do a good icing right before bed and then first thing when I get up. I’m still uncomfortable all night long and can never seem to get comfortable. I think I’m only getting about 5 hours of sleep per night and that’s with big gaps of being awake in between sleeping. My pain level is fantastic though and I am only taking Advil and Tylenol. My swelling is really pretty minimal. Here’s a pic of my knee just after my staples were removed on Wednesday. For reference, the picture was taken on Day 14 and I am now on Day 17.
 

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Yes, you have very little swelling, @SZone , looks good!

Hubby did some online research and today we bought a recumbent bike on Amazon. It will get here on Tuesday. My PT will be happy even though I may not be able to use it yet, I certainly will soon. It has an easily adjustable seat so anyone in the house can use it.

Not using the walker anymore, only at night when I'm really stiff and need extra support to go to the bathroom. Speaking of which, I'm still going to the bathroom a lot at night. I can't even wait the 4.5 hours until my next pill time. I'm not drinking a lot during the night but I'm sure it's fluids from during the day and maybe fluids from my body/knee from all the elevating I'm doing? The swelling in my knee seems to be about the same.

Anyone else's dog seem to be extra protective post-surgery? I don't know if she's just going through a phase but my lab is extra on edge lately, barking at any strange noise. She didn't used to do that. She's young, (19 mon) and I noticed she likes to smell my knee a lot (through my pants). Maybe she's figured out I'm injured and wants to protect? :chinstroke: She wants to sit at my feet and doesn't like that I always have the couch reclined.....
 

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@SZone your knee looks great, I'll be glad when mine is done as yesterday on my way to way into to have a 2d echo done due to a heart murmur my knee buckled some and is sore today. Seems I have a leaky valve which I never knew I had. always something can't wait to see what cardio says
 
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Good luck, Jaspa. Crossing fingers that nothing prevents or delays your surgery. :prayer: :fingersx:
 

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My Dr does not recomend ice machines as they worry about tissue damage That can occur from excessive cold. They send you home with 2 large ice gel packs instead. Can’t get into trouble with that. I had mine done at the big M clinic. Don’t know if you are supposed to promote institutions
 

SZone

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My Dr does not recomend ice machines as they worry about tissue damage That can occur from excessive cold. They send you home with 2 large ice gel packs instead. Can’t get into trouble with that. I had mine done at the big M clinic. Don’t know if you are supposed to promote institutions
It’s really not that cold. I think it’s less cold than an ice pack and I always use a barrier of some sort between the pad and my knee. Usually I use a section of an old pillow case but you could easily use a kitchen hand towel for a little extra thickness.
 

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Hi SZone i am 5 months post op from Medial PKR and still ice regularly I have bought a table top freezer for work and have ice packs there as well its a life saver.
 
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I agree with @SZone , of all 3 (ice machine, ice packs, blue ice packs) the ice machine is the warmest. It's really a gentle cool and I never put the wrap directly on my skin. It definitely makes a difference if I use frozen water bottles in with the water as opposed to just ice, which melts quickly. The ice machine will be cool almost all night long, usually until around 5am when I noticed it's pretty much body temp and I turn it off.
 
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I think I'm going to need one more refill on my oxy so that I can effectively taper down. I've stretched it to one every 4.5 hours and I need to go to 1 every 5 hours today. I'm still taking Advil and Tylenol around the clock, I was taking them at the same time as the oxy but I'm realizing I need to stick to that every 3 hours alternating so there's something there when the oxy wears off. Otherwise there's too long a stretch of no pain meds on board. The pain is much better but still there and lots of stiffness too which is relieved when I get up and walk.

I have a hair cut today and am going to get my disabled pass for the car. My son is taking me. PT is Wed and Fri this week.
 

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I agree with @SZone and @Susie-Q that the icing machine is less "icy" than an ice pack. The one I'm using lets me set the target temperature. I found the default setting of 34-degrees was too cold, so mine runs at 40-degrees instead. What I like most about the machine is that it cycles on and off, making it easier to ice frequently.
 

Lisako76

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Yes on the big toe! I had it with my thr. I think it's because you are lying on your back so the pressure from blankets and such is weighing on your toes. My big toe nail hurt and then actually cache of a month later. When I just had my tkr I knew to plan ahead and propped the blankets at the foot of my bed up. No nail issues.
 
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@benne68 , it sounds like you have a fancy ice machine! Mine is just plug in to turn it on, unplug it to turn it off, no settings. It holds around 2-1/2 quarts of water plus the 4 frozen water bottles. Hubby has been using the rapid ice setting on our fridge's ice maker which turns down the temp in the freezer and so those bottles are VERY frozen. I've noticed the water temp is a bit colder than usual, which makes me cold during the night so I've got two blankets on. I'm borrowing the ice machine from my BIL, who had a TRK a couple of years ago.

The hair cut was nice! My knee didn't like not being elevated for that long but an ice/elevation session when I got home was just the ticket. I got another refill from my doc and today I took my oxy every 5 hours. I will transition to 1 every 6 hours in the next day or so. I also got my disabled pass, good through Dec 31st so that will be perfect for Christmas shopping and parking closer. I even walked up to the mailbox today (by myself, no dog), 2 houses up and across the street and back. No cane or walker. I was tempted to cross the street and say hi to my neighbors but resisted as I knew the extra standing would wear me out. Sure enough, when I got home I could tell that was "just enough". No limping and walking with less pain than I was pre-op, strange.... I will only do one set of exercises tonight because of all the other activity I did today.

Post-op blues.....boy are they real and crazy. This morning I felt like crying a few times, frustration with myself and others, but then this afternoon I felt great! Really whacky.....
 
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As we all know, our knees are very good at telling us how they feel and my knee told me last night and this morning that the walk to the mailbox was a little too much..... I had some extra soreness and discomfort last night and stiffness this morning but not too bad. Stiff from my upper thigh down to my foot this morning but it's working it's way out. Taking it easy today. A friend is bringing me lunch and I don't have to go anywhere until tomorrow's PT.

Baby steps!
 

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