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TKR The long and winding road - round 2

Rather

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Got home a few hours ago from surgery Monday morning. Yesterday wasn’t too bad except for repeated vomiting from oxycodon. I was switched to Tramadol and Tylenol about the time the nerve block departed for parts unknown. And then we had a 1 hour drive home. Not the best of times, but not the worst either.

Now that I’m icing and elevated and nausea-free, I am starting to realize what recovery is going to be like - unpredictable and uneasy. But all of the Bonesmarties and information here has been great for preparing me. The PT in the hospital was as if the therapist was reciting lines from the play that everyone else has attended. I was so glad that I was prepared not to be frightened by all of the dire predictions.

So here I go down this well-travelled road following those of you who have gone before.
 

Jockette

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Welcome to Recovery!

You have a great attitude and I’m so glad you were well prepared for all you were told.

I will leave you our Recovery Guidelines. Each article is short but very informative. Following these guidelines will help you have a less painful recovery.

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
6. Access to these pages on the website

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 the 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 the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
 

winemama

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Take it easy, I named my new knee Sydknee, Syd for short. I blame everything on Syd, Syd is tired, Syd needs some pain meds. Syd needs to go to bed. You get it. The whole world should revolve your new knee for the next 4!weeks. Good luck
 
OP
OP
Rather

Rather

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I had great sleep last night. I set alarms for every 4 hours and around 4am I thought that I might call my knee Sweetie. But right now I think a better name would be Traitor. I like the idea of a name; just need to find the right moniker that won’t be too negative. Maybe after my next pain pill my creative side will take over and a name will come.
 
OP
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Rather

Rather

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@Jockette just a quick note of thanks for the message of recovery information. I have been reading on the forum for 2 years and have read your notes many times, but it never hit home for me until I was in the same place as others. Thank you and the other folks here who spend so much time supporting all of us.
 

sistersinhim

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I thought that I might call my knee Sweetie.
I called my The Brat because it wanted my undivided attention and threw a temper tantrum if she didn't get it. Every so often, even now she'll throw that tantrum if I mistreat her. Though, certainly not as severe.
 
OP
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Rather

Rather

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I’m now three days out and wondering about the ratio of rest to getting up. I’ve been elevated and icing all of the time except when I need to go to the bathroom or to take a 3-minute walk around the house. So I’m guessing my ratio of rest to doing something is about 98 to 2. Is this reasonable for the first week? I feel like I should be doing more, but I’ve read so much on here about rest, iced and elevate that I’m trying to convince myself to just sink into my recliner and not move

I don’t have PT scheduled until a week from tomorrow, so I am wondering if I should be doing more that a few heel slides and a short walk around the house.
 

Jockette

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What you’re doing is fine. Try not to look at it as “doing nothing” but instead think of it as giving your knee the best circumstance in which to heal.
 

winemama

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I had great sleep last night. I set alarms for every 4 hours and around 4am I thought that I might call my knee Sweetie. But right now I think a better name would be Traitor. I like the idea of a name; just need to find the right moniker that won’t be too negative. Maybe after my next pain pill my creative side will take over and a name will come.
I named my first knee. Tiffaknee. Tiff for short. Everything that happened or I felt I blamed on Tiff she used some rough language on Facebook. My second knee is Sydknee. Syd fo short.
 

FCBayern

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[QUOTE="Rather, post: 1300561, member:] I don’t have PT scheduled until a week from tomorrow, so I am wondering if I should be doing more that a few heel slides and a short walk around the house.[/QUOTE]

You're fine, no need to rush anything, Ice and elevation are your best friends right now.
 

Atlas_aus

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Hey mate,

From what I have read on here you seem to be doing everything just right... If it ain't broken don't try and fix it.

Good luck on your recovery.
 
OP
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Rather

Rather

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I haven’t posted for a couple of days as things kept changing. By late Thursday night, the Tramadol was only managing the pain for 3 hours. Tylenol helped a bit, but not enough to let me sleep. By Friday morning, I was hurting in places that hadn’t hurt before with pain up to a 7. At noon, I called my OS. He decided to switch me to Hydrocodone, 1-2 pills every 6 hours. I was nervous about getting nauseated after my experience with the Oxy in the hospital, but with the first dose I did just fine. The pain was under control and I could eat without having my stomach roll. I was even feeling a bit sassy that I had all of this under control.

Flash forward to 4am this morning. I was in agony from what felt like deep muscle pain on the inside of my thigh. And every way I tried to move or stand up made areas clamor for attention. I started crying and couldn’t stop. Everything was so hard to do - get the leg lifter, use the grabber, move the walker, stand up, sit down, try to get comfortable sleeping, reposition the lounge doctor, make sure that the ice machine had ice. I just wasn’t sure that I could do this, but I also couldn’t think of an alternative. And that is not like me - I always have a Plan B and a fearless willingness to abandon one direction for another. For the first time in my life, there was no choice but to continue on this path no matter how hard it was going to be. I kept crying.

My dear darling wonderful husband came to my rescue with a frozen gel pack that we positioned on my thigh and another for my shin. All of this is in addition to the larger pad that covers my knee and is connected to the ice machine. He covered me with a couple of down throws since my leg was now a few degrees shy of frozen. He removed the TED stockings for the first time since I came home. And I began to feel better.

Accepting the unpredictability of this recovery and my inability to exert any control over my knee is much harder than it sounds when you read the wisdom from posters on these pages about the knee being in charge. And I am guessing that I will have to revisit that mantra on a regular basis like some sick version of Groundhog Day. But the experiences of the past couple of days led me to my knee’s name. Meet Journey who is deciding what my path and experience will be like and who has no customer service focus at all. No, Journey is running this show and I’ll do my best to survive it to the end.

Hope everyone has a good weekend.
 

DLR

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@Rather oh I so identify and you have hit that first of many overwhelms where tears and frustration happen..but know this it is normal and there are many of us who understand. This is a safe place to be honest.
So glad to hear your husband is supportive, mine too! They truly get to see the good the bad and the ugly during this journey. By the way great name! Hope you have a restful weekend.
 

winemama

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I haven’t posted for a couple of days as things kept changing. By late Thursday night, the Tramadol was only managing the pain for 3 hours. Tylenol helped a bit, but not enough to let me sleep. By Friday morning, I was hurting in places that hadn’t hurt before with pain up to a 7. At noon, I called my OS. He decided to switch me to Hydrocodone, 1-2 pills every 6 hours. I was nervous about getting nauseated after my experience with the Oxy in the hospital, but with the first dose I did just fine. The pain was under control and I could eat without having my stomach roll. I was even feeling a bit sassy that I had all of this under control.

Flash forward to 4am this morning. I was in agony from what felt like deep muscle pain on the inside of my thigh. And every way I tried to move or stand up made areas clamor for attention. I started crying and couldn’t stop. Everything was so hard to do - get the leg lifter, use the grabber, move the walker, stand up, sit down, try to get comfortable sleeping, reposition the lounge doctor, make sure that the ice machine had ice. I just wasn’t sure that I could do this, but I also couldn’t think of an alternative. And that is not like me - I always have a Plan B and a fearless willingness to abandon one direction for another. For the first time in my life, there was no choice but to continue on this path no matter how hard it was going to be. I kept crying.

My dear darling wonderful husband came to my rescue with a frozen gel pack that we positioned on my thigh and another for my shin. All of this is in addition to the larger pad that covers my knee and is connected to the ice machine. He covered me with a couple of down throws since my leg was now a few degrees shy of frozen. He removed the TED stockings for the first time since I came home. And I began to feel better.

Accepting the unpredictability of this recovery and my inability to exert any control over my knee is much harder than it sounds when you read the wisdom from posters on these pages about the knee being in charge. And I am guessing that I will have to revisit that mantra on a regular basis like some sick version of Groundhog Day. But the experiences of the past couple of days led me to my knee’s name. Meet Journey who is deciding what my path and experience will be like and who has no customer service focus at all. No, Journey is running this show and I’ll do my best to survive it to the end.

Hope everyone has a good weekend.
I named my RTKR Tiffaknee Tiff for short, Blamed her for everything, run on Facebook what a complain she was, anything bad that happened it was her fault, and when I felt weak and depressed it wasn’t me who was that it was Tiff. My LTKR is named Sydknee Sid for short. Same thing. right now Syd is making me miserable
 
OP
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Rather

Rather

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I’ve been icing my knee and thigh for 22 hours a day. I just stop for trips to the bathroom and short walks around the house. (Except for the hour it took me to do a shower yesterday. I couldn’t figure out how to get into the shower, but that was nothing to trying to get out. By the time I was done and reclothed, I was so exhausted that I slept for 4 hours.)

Anyway, my knee and leg stay cold - we change the ice every 3 hours even throughout the night. My skin looks ok, but I am wondering if I shouldn’t be using so much cold. Is there any downside to this?

And happy mom’s day to all of the mothers with new knees or helping those who have new knees!
 

sistersinhim

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I iced as much as you do and I had no problem with it. I remember how tiring a shower was in my early days of recovery. But, they felt heavenly.
 

tylermit

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@Rather I have had my ice machine on me for almost 4 weeks at least 20 hours a day. I have 2 different towels that are of different thickness that I use between the cold pad and my leg. When it gets too cold I put the thicker one on. I switch to the thinner one when I need more cold when the ice starts turning to water more. I was just told not to put the bare pad next to the skin without something in between them so it would not damage skin.
 

winemama

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I feel like I am chained to my ice machine, but I know how I feel when I skip a day Shower day is amazing, but I’m like everyone else, take a shower, take a nap
 

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