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[TKR] SuzyQ58 in recovery

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by SuzyQ58, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. SuzyQ58

    SuzyQ58 junior member
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    Hi I am also on my 2nd knee replacement. My right knee was replaced May 31, 2018 and my left knee was replaced on Dec. 6th, 2018 so I’m almost 5 weeks out. I had what was called the minimal invasive surgery. Have any of you heard of this? It’s supposed to be quicker to heal. My right knee went very well but my left knee has been more stubborn. I’ve been driving for a couple weeks. My PT was only for 2 weeks but I’m continuing the exercises 3 x a day at home. My problem is swelling!! It doesn’t want to go down. When I wake up in the morning it has minimal swelling but by the end of the day it is bad! My foot and lower leg is not swollen , it’s all in the kneecap. I’m icing a lot!! And elevating!! Anybody else have issues with swelling?? Thanks so much!
     
  2. Jaycey

    Jaycey SUPER MODERATOR Moderator

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    @SuzyQ58 You might notice I moved your post to a thread of your own in the knee recovery area. Please keep all your updates and questions about your recovery here so that we have a history in one place if we need to advise you.

    I'll post your recovery reading list here. Lots of information you can refer to through this journey.
    Knee Recovery: The Guidelines
    1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary

    2. Control discomfort:
    rest
    elevate
    ice
    take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)
    don't overwork

    3. Do what you want to do BUT
    a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you
    b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​

    4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these

    5. At week 4 and after you should follow this Activity progression for TKRs

    The Recovery articles:
    The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
    Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?

    Energy drain for TKRs

    Elevation is the key

    Ice to control pain and swelling

    Heel slides and how to do them properly

    Chart representation of TKR recovery

    Healing: how long does it take?

    Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
    Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

    There are also some cautionary articles here
    Myth busting: no pain, no gain
    Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
    Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds

    We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

    While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
     
  3. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hi, Suzy, Welcome to Bonesmart!
    For a lot of us there is very little quick in this recovery. Some techniques may give a bit of a head start in the beginning, but a knee replacement does take a full year, on average, for complete recovery.
    This increase in swelling as the day goes on means you are doing more activity that your knee is healed enough to handle.

    Keep in mind, it’s not exercising that gets our range of motion back, it’s Time:

    Time to recover.
    Time for pain and swelling to settle.
    Time to heal.

    Our range of motion is right there all
    along just waiting for that to happen so it can show itself.

    In the general run of things, it doesn't need to be fought for, worked hard for or worried about. It will happen. Exercise as in strength training is counter-productive and in the early weeks does more harm than good. Normal activity is the key to success.

    I am going to tag @Josephine
    our forum administrator and nurse director to address your concerns.
     
  4. SuzyQ58

    SuzyQ58 junior member
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    Thank you so much. I just heard from my doctor’s office and they want me to come in today to be checked for a possible blood clot just to rule it out. Hopefully it will be negative
     
  5. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I hope it will be negative, too! Let us know.
     
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  6. SuzyQ58

    SuzyQ58 junior member
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    Thanks so much Jockette! I sure will. Going in at 3:30 this afternoon.
     
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  7. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    The question is, are you doing it enough and the correct way. Elevate your toes above your nose and ice the whole time you're sitting or laying down. Also, swelling is an indication that you are doing too much and your knee isn't ready for it. Slow down your activities and be sure and read those articles left for you.
     
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  8. SuzyQ58

    SuzyQ58 junior member
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    Thanks sistersinhim! This knee was very swollen before my TKR for some reason. The only thing that would ever calm it down was a cortisone shot. My doctor said I was bone on bone due to arthritis. Hopefully I will get a negative on the blood clot test today. He said if I’m still this swollen at my 6 week checkup he will start me on prednisone.
     
  9. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Please let us know what you find out.
     
  10. SuzyQ58

    SuzyQ58 junior member
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    Just had my test. No blood clots!! I’m super happy. Now I just need this knee to not be so angry!!
     
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  11. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    That is great news!!!

    I really think you are doing way too much for your stage of recovery. Some of us can handle that, but many of us can’t. I sure couldn’t!

    Try backing off the exercises and other activities, and rest with your leg(s) elevated and see if it feels better. You said the swelling is less when you wake up in the morning but gets worse as the day goes on.

    This is a long recovery and our knees can become quite the drama queen when they’re not happy. As it heals you’ll be able to do more, comfortably.
     
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  12. donnag1108

    donnag1108 senior

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    So wonderful no blood clots!!
     
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  13. NavyGunns

    NavyGunns FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    @SuzyQ58, I personally think your knee is telling you “give me a break!” Maybe your right knee was a bit more tolerant and you were able to do the things you are now with no issues. Maybe your right knee wasn’t quite as bad as your left. It doesn’t really matter. The issue is your left knee is not happy. So, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to keep doing what you are with exercises thinking you will “beat” your knee into submission? Who do you think will win that battle? I know who I’m putting money on! Sorry, but your knee will win, one way or another!

    Give the exercises a break. Back off just a bit on your activity level. Once your knee swelling has gone down, gradually, emphasis on gradually, increase your activity. Add one exercise. What happens? No swelling? Great! Stay that way for a few days. Then add another new activity or exercise. What happened? A bit of swelling? Give it a day or two rest. Swelling back down? Great! Reintroduce the extra activity. Now what? Keep this up. Might take weeks or even months. So what! The key is your knee is happy. You are happy. A year out, everything is rosey! The alternative is you don’t change and a year from now you are miserable, your knee is no better than before surgery and you wish you had never gone through all this.
     
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  14. SuzyQ58

    SuzyQ58 junior member
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    Last night I had the best sleep I’ve had in 5 weeks. I slept 10 hours straight!! I feel so refreshed today. I’m icing my knee before I go volunteer at a local nursing home. The residents there fill my soul. They are such a blessing to me. They lift me up when I need it the most:)
     
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  15. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    It's really much too soon to be doing that volunteer work. Check your activity against the suggestions in this article:
    Activity progression for TKRs

    However, since visiting the nursing helps to fill your emotional needs, is it possible for you to go, but rest your leg at the same time? Maybe you could sit and talk to people, with your leg elevated on a stool?
    Doing too much at this early stage of recovery is bound to increase the swelling in your knee.
     
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  16. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    When my mom was in assisted living and I visited there, there was always a way for me to prop my leg up. These precious people need to talk to someone who cares and I think what you're doing is wonderful. Just baby that knee of yours the whole time!
     
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  17. SuzyQ58

    SuzyQ58 junior member
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    That’s exactly what I did today. I volunteer in an area where people are in hospice and need extra care. I teach a bible study. I was able to sit and prop my foot up at the same time. The halls are short and no steps too;)
    I’m feeling good tonight. Now time to ice and elevate :)
     
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  18. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    God bless you for caring for others, even with your infant knee! It has earned the rest, ice and elevation tonight!
     
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  19. SuzyQ58

    SuzyQ58 junior member
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    So last night before I went to bed I did 10 heel slides. They felt good as I was doing them. No pain at all and I had a good bend! I slept great again but woke up to a very swollen knee‍♀️ No idea why? I only walked a little yesterday and then added those heel slides last night. Today I’m elevating and icing. Just took 2 extra strength Tylenol for pain. I’m also feeling a slight clicking when I walk. Has anyone ever experienced this clicking?
     
  20. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    You went to the hospice, as well as doing heel slides. Maybe that was just a bit too much for your knee? It's still just a baby, so it will be easily upset.

    Yes, the clicking is normal:
    Clicking/clunking knee joint after surgery
     
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