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TKR SZone's Recovery Thread

Susie-Q

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I'm so sorry you are dealing with diarrhea! I had a bit of that because I was using too many laxatives and prunes in order to try and keep constipation at bay. I've had good luck with drinking that Smooth Move tea and taking the occasional dose of Miralax. I'm glad you are checking it out with your doctor.

Yes, I've done the same thing. Just started off walking to the kitchen without the walker! That's how I realized I didn't need it as much anymore. Still using it at night to go to the bathroom and frankly it's handy because of the attached bag to bring my water, tablet and phone back and forth from the bedroom every day/evening.
 

Scanne

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It's so good to hear you are sleeping better, as it does start to mess with your head a bit when your exhausted all the time. Hope your results are all clear.
 
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SZone

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Day 16

All of the tests came back negative but I am still having non stop cramping and diarrhea. The diarrhea seems to be worst in the morning hours and then tapers off in the afternoon. But the cramping is kind of constant. At my appointment with the surgeon yesterday, she thought there was a chance that all of medications thrown at me durning and after surgery could be the cause. After googling, I think my symptoms sound like classic IBS. Now that I know my tests are negative, I am going to take some Imodium.

It feels so good to have those staples out. I had PT this morning and now my ROM is a little over 90. He wants me to be at 95 when he comes back next Wednesday. Then I will only have one more session with him and will move to outpatient PT. Since I’m done with blood thinners, I was able to take Advil before PT which is waaaaay better than Tylenol for pain relief.

My surgeon said they like people to be at 90 by week 4 but the PT says I should be at 90 by week 2. That‘s a big difference but either way, I have met the 90 by week 2. I’ve healed enough at this point that my pain is much less and I think that is really going to help me with my PT moving forward. This is the first PT session I’ve where I felt energized afterwards and not just swollen and in pain. It‘s a nice feeling.
 

sistersinhim

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My surgeon said they like people to be at 90 by week 4 but the PT says I should be at 90 by week 2. That‘s a big difference but either way, I have met the 90 by week 2.
That is outstanding and way above the average timeframe. Most OSs don't expect 90 degrees until 6 weeks. Your PT is being unreasonable. As the swelling goes down the bend naturally gets better. It is hard to bend a knee that is full of fluid!
 
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SZone

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Yeah, I’m taking him with a grain of salt because I don’t think my surgeon would steer me wrong. Today is Day 17 and I finally feel a little more like my usual self. I can bend my knee easily enough now that I can sit in a chair with both feet planted on the ground flat footed and feel 100% comfortable. That’s a game changer and I am sitting on my front porch with coffee watching the squirrels at the feeder. Sometimes it’s the little things. I also seem to be tolerating my PT better and am not immediately swollen and in pain afterwards. This alone is going to speed everything up as I won’t be avoiding completing my stretches more than once per day.
 
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SZone

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Day 17

Here is my brilliant, low-tech solution for keeping a pair of rambunctious dogs from jumping on my knee. It works really well and bonus! my icing machine pack fits under it. I’ve been spending most of my time alone in our upstairs bedroom and have been getting pretty lonely. Now I can hang out in the family room with the rifraf.
 

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Jockette

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Necessity is the mother of invention! We’ll done!
 

Susie-Q

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Great idea with the box! I had a moment yesterday where both of my nurses (the two cats) were sitting either on my lap or next to me. Luckily nobody was on my knee. They take their nursing duties seriously! (this only happened because the old cat was facing away and didn't see the young cat sitting there or there would have been a tussle and hissing!)
 
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SZone

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Day 21 - 3 Weeks!

Today at PT my ROM is 0-105. Yay! I finally feel like I’ve got this under control and will come out on the other side with full ROM. I am happy to say I followed BoneSmarts advice on how I conduct my PT and have settled into a good rhythm. Now that the acute pain phase has passed and I am on minimal pain meds (only Tylenol and Advil as needed), my schedule is to take Advil approximately 1 hour before I do my main set of exercises. Then I primarily do foot slides while sitting in a kitchen style chair, pulling it in until it’s uncomfortable but not painful. Then I hold it for at least a minute. Release, rest and repeat. Pulling it in a little further each time until I finally have reached my max before causing pain. This takes a while. The second exercise I do is to lay on my back on my bed with my good knee bent. I hold my bad leg up with both hands and let my foot slowly drop until it won’t go further. I let it hang for a bit and then release, relax and repeat. I seem to be making a lot of progress doing just these two exercises. Then I elevate and ice for awhile. Throughout the day, depending on how I feel, I will do a smaller sets of the chair foot slides just to keep everything from stiffening up too much.

Friday is my last day of in home PT and I can’t say that I’ll miss it too much, lol. He’s going to have me try my spin bike. I’m not sure my ROM is enough for that yet but we will see. I have a referral to go somewhere for outside PT but I think I am putting that on hold until I have regained my full ROM. Unless any of you have a compelling argument, I may skip skip it altogether.
 

Jockette

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I have a referral to go somewhere for outside PT but I think I am putting that on hold until I have regained my full ROM. Unless any of you have a compelling argument, I may skip skip it altogether.
No compelling argument from me. You already know what exercises are working for you, and you have your own bike at home. You’ll do fine with those, at your own pace.
 
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SZone

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Day 22

Ugh. I’m not sure what I did in the night but I woke up with more pain in my knee than I’ve had for over a week. I don’t think I overdid it yesterday so maybe I just tweaked it in the night while trying to sleep on my side. I’m still only getting between 4-5 hours of sleep per night. I’ve been icing and elevating since I got up this morning and I guess that will be my entire day.
 
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SZone

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Day 26

I have question regarding just feeling generally run down, low energy and out of sorts. While I think my knee is recovering and my incision is looking fantastic, overall I just feel so subpar that I’m starting to worry about it. Everyday I wake up hoping I’ll feel more like myself, but I just don’t. Am I the only one who is experiencing this? Is it normal, or should I really be concerned? Thanks!
 

Gingerbread

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You aren't the only one!
I hiked a tiny bit on a mountain yesterday (heaven in my book) and later that evening when I went in the basement to change the cat litter I could barely make it up the stairs, I was so winded! My husband stopped me and took over the chore.
I get tired over the littlest things, even over 2 months out.
 

Jockette

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You are very early into a recovery that takes an average of a year. You are still feeling the energy drain of early recovery. Yes, it’s very normal. While this article mentions a bilateral surgery, it applies to a singe knee replacement also.
 

Susie-Q

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Yes, I am just two days ahead of you and I have had many days of just fatigued and tired, tired, tired! I know what you mean. Try and take naps if you can if you're feeling tired, it will help!
 

Starsfan22

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I remember being where you guys are. At about 4 wks I was what I felt unnecessarily fatigued. Next came the lovely depression. I realized this was a temporary thing as I've not expierenced depression before. Mood swings are also a part of recovery but rights itself quickly. I recall laughing at myself many times and when feeling this way I would distract myself with silly sitcoms or upbeat music. I expect more of the same with my upcoming revision!
 
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SZone

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Last night I ended up having the best night sleep I’ve had in eonsand got just short of 8 hours. Today I felt so much better. @Starsfan22, I too have been experiencing bouts of depression and that is just so unlike me. I understand it’s just part of the process, but I’ll sure be glad when I get past it.

Today after doing my stretching exercises, I went for a 1 mile walk outside. It felt nice to be out in the fresh air. I managed fine and did not have pain, but towards the end my knee really started to stiffen up. One of the most frustrating parts of all of this for me is the way my knee stiffens up over and over. Each day feels like Groundhog Day, where I start out stiff, stretch and stretch and finally gain some ground where it feels good and is not painful, and then 30 minutes later I am so stiff that I’m back to ground zero. Lather, rinse, repeat. When does this repetitive process ever end? Will there ever be a day where I’ve regained my full ROM and it’s still there the next morning when I wake up?
 

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