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TKR SZone's Recovery Thread

benne68

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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
Wow! Impressive that you were able to walk for a mile! Can't wait to get there!

Did you use a cane or crutches?
 
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SZone

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Wow! Impressive that you were able to walk for a mile! Can't wait to get there!

Did you use a cane or crutches?
In retrospect, 1 mile was too much, too soon. I ended up paying for it with extra swelling and pain in the night. I carried my cane with me but I did not need to use it.
 

Susie-Q

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I asked my PT about walking today and she asked how far have I walked in the neighborhood thus far. I said 3 houses up and 2 after turning the corner. She said to add one house a day, always making sure to listen to your body to see if that was too much. Remember, you have to walk the same amount going back so it's good to keep the increments small!
 

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It's easy to get overly ambitious and overdo. Just take it a bit more carefully next time.
 
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SZone

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Week 4!

The way I felt the first two weeks, I never thought I’d make this far! Yesterday I had to go to a drs appointment for something unrelated and then had to go to the dmv to get my temporary handicap card for my car. Our dmv has been relocated to the mall for some reason and there was not a convenient door. I was already sore from my walk the day before but had to suck it up and hoof it in and out. I was limping by the time we got out of there. I came home and iced and later in the evening felt good enough to get a good round of stretching in.

I woke up this morning not feeling incredibly stiff for the first time since surgery. When doing my stretches I measured just short of 120! I’m not sure what happened, but things have magically loosened up a lot. Another first for me is that I drove my car today. It was a short trip to the butchers and back and it went really well. My knee is feeling sore now so I’m icing and will take some Advil. I’ll measure again tomorrow during my morning exercises to see if I can replicate the 120 degrees. Since I ended in home PT last week, I have 100% been following the Bonesmart mantra of, No Pain! It’s much easier to do without someone standing over you telling you that you’re behind schedule with your ROM.
 
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SZone

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Today is Week 6!

My ROM is very close to 130 as long as I am stretched before measuring and my extension is getting closer to 0 but is not there yet. Overall, I think I am doing well but am struggling with all the things others post about daily. I have good days, where I then tend to over do it, followed by a bad day where I pay for it. Sleeping is easier but not the best.

I do have a question on a situation that may be unique to me. When completing my pre-surgery lab tests, they found blood in my stool. Now I need to have a colonoscopy and the presence of blood makes it likely that there may be polyps that will need be removed. My concern is the possibility of causing an infection in my knee joint. Does anyone have knowledge of when it is safe to have a procedure such as a colonoscopy following a TKR? I have to admit that infection is one of my biggest fears following this surgery.
 

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I need to have a colonoscopy and the presence of blood makes it likely that there may be polyps that will need be removed. My concern is the possibility of causing an infection in my knee joint. Does anyone have knowledge of when it is safe to have a procedure such as a colonoscopy following a TKR? I have to admit that infection is one of my biggest fears following this surgery.
You should be fine having an colonoscopy within 2 to 3 months after your knee replacement. But it's always a good idea to verify that with your surgeon just to make sure. You may be asked to take some antibiotics prior to the procedure, but you should be just fine.
 
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SZone

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Thank you! Once I adopted the Bonesmart philosophy of No Pain, everything got so much easier. My PT wanted me to do exercises 7-8 times a day and to really push it to the point of pain. Because of this group, I said no way to that. I started doing just a couple of key exercises once a day and only worked to a point of discomfort. Then later in the day if I was feeling good, I would do additional stretches while sitting in a chair, pushing my foot back as far as it would go and then holding it there as long as I could without feeling actual pain. Prior to surgery, my flexion was 145, so I’m still a long ways away from that.

Now that I’m trying to work on strength, it seems as if I’m in more pain overall and especially in the night. Almost everything I try seems to be too much right now, so I’m ramping it back and trying to be patient. I did some step ups and step downs on a low step and yikes. The step ups weren’t so bad, but the downs were rough. I’m definitely not ready for those. It was very apparent how much strength and control I’ve lost.

I heard back from my OS regarding the risks of the colonoscopy and potential infection in my knee. She said to wait for 3 months from the date of my surgery and said that I don’t need to take antibiotics. My other dr won’t be happy because blood in my stool is a potential sign of cancer. It’s quite a dilemma, but I am going to take the advice of my OS and wait the full 3 months.
 

Susie-Q

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I'm sure the mods will come in and give their two cents but why are you working on strength this early? You are 6 weeks post-op. I will never forget the healing chart I read here that said it takes your bones TWELVE WEEKS to completely heal. That's 3 months. This is why you are in more pain. Your body is not ready for what you are doing to it. Remember what was done to those bones during surgery.....

Your quote: "Almost everything I try seems to be too much right now, so I’m ramping it back and trying to be patient."

Listen to your body. it's trying to tell you something.
 

FCBayern

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6 weeks is way too early to worry about strength exercises @SZone. You are still in the heal and recovery stage, not rehab. If you broke your leg you wouldn't try strengthening it before the bone had healed right? Same principle here, gentle work on ROM that doesn't cause additional pain or swelling is what you should concentrate on for now. For me that meant just Activities of Daily Living (ADL), I did no formal PT.
 
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SZone

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I'm sure the mods will come in and give their two cents but why are you working on strength this early?
I'm only attempting exercises recommended for my current week. But, obviously I'm not ready for some of them and will try again next week.

On a positive note, as I have now reached 6 weeks PO, I was able to have a bath. It felt like heaven to have a nice, long soak. :)
 

FCBayern

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The guidelines are just there to help, but the most important thing is listening to that new knee and letting it tell you what it's happy with. Once you know what you can do without upsetting it you can gradually add things, being careful to listen to your knee that night and the next day.
 

patriciad

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I safely had a colonoscopy a few days ago. It was the closest I could get to 12 weeks out. No antibiotics needed.
Maybe get it booked at least just in case they want you in for a consult prior to procedure. Good luck with healing and getting that needed colonoscopy.
 
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SZone

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@patriciad Thank you! That's just what I'm going to do. It's nice to hear that you had the same guidelines as me with the 3 months wait and no antibiotics.
 
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6.5 weeks update

Two weeks ago we drove to our second house that is a 3 hour trip. By the time we got there, my poor knee was stiff and in soooo much pain. I iced right away but I limped around for a couple of days. Today we drove back home. When we pulled into the driveway, I hopped right out of the car and started walking with very limited pain or stiffness! it’s funny how day to day I don’t really see much improvement but then something like this shows me how far I’ve come.

I've been practicing getting up and down from the floor and now feel pretty comfortable with it now. This has also helped considerably with getting in and out of the bathtub. Taking baths again feels like the most luxurious thing ever and I’m so thankful that I’m able to again.

Mu biggest update though is…..drumroll please……tonight I walked up our entire staircase using both legs! It was so exciting, lol. I was a little shakey on the last few steps, but it felt great and there was no pain. I tried one step down and decided, Nope. Not today! I’ll try again in a few days.

Tomorrow is my 60th birthday and I see that my age has already rolled over on my profile. I’m not sure how it’s even possible that I’m 60 now!
 

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Happy Birthday!!! :flwrysmile:

Walking upstairs foot over foot is quite an accomplishment, and you managed it quite early in recovery! :wowspring:
 

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