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[TKR] Through the Black Hole

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by Bobbyk, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. Bobbyk

    Bobbyk junior member
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    Hello Kneesies and Hipsters.Had TKR on 19th of March so this is my 15th day of recovery.Knee still moderately swollen and i have been using crutches.
    I hobble out to make tea and go to the toilet.Decided to ditch physio after first session- felt nauseous.
    I'm in NZ and we have district nurses who take stitches staples out post op.My tramadol is running out and i was told by one we only give that for two weeks.So i would just have the 4mg of paracetomol for pain.
    I saw the Dr today (to get more pain meds) and he reiterated the same creed i told him i had read case histories of many people overseas and some were on pain meds for months.He gave me the tramadol- i just dont think one size fits all!!
    Why support needless suffering?
    NZ is at heart a conformist little place and i think my questioning didnt go down well.
    Anyway Hipsters and Knees best of luck to you all and thanks for this site.
    Also, for anyone out there who has just had op the pain seemed somewhat alleviated on day 11.
    Arthur
     
  2. FCBayern

    FCBayern member

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    Welcome to BoneSmart. The Mods will be along shortly to give you wonderful links to articles that are very helpful. Glad you got more pain meds, I had the same issue in the US, they don't want to give any pain meds past week 2. The whole opioid addiction problem has made it next to impossible for people that need pain meds to get them. When I had my ankle replaced I had Oxycontin for the first 2 weeks and Norco for about 4 more. Maybe that's why that recovery seemed so much easier.
     
  3. Pumpkln

    Pumpkln FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    @Bobbyk
    Welcome to BoneSmart, glad you joined us!
    Sorry to hear you are not getting the pain relief you need, seems to be happening everywhere.
    They should be giving you advice on non opioid pain relief, ice, TENs, elevation, massage etc.
    TENS machines for pain management

    Here is your copy of the Knee Recovery Guidelines, the articles are short and will not take long to read.

    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 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 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.
     
  4. Bobbyk

    Bobbyk junior member
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    Thanks, as i said i'm in day 15 of recovery should i now be trying to use a cane or one crutch? If so which side do i use?
     
  5. Irish471

    Irish471 senior

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    :)Hi @Bobbyk , I had surgery just one day before you and I use both the walker and a cane depending on what type of day I am having. If I am feeing good, I use the cane. I use the walker first thing in the morning when I get up because I am pretty stiff. It all depends on you .

    I had similar issue with pain meds here in the US. They give you two weeks of the heavy duty stuff, then give you some refills on the lower dose ones. My insurance wouldn’t even cover the heavy duty med. I am appealing that decision to see if I can get reimbursed. It’s ridiculous to expect someone to go through such an extensive surgery without pain relief.

    Hang in there! I look back to how the first week went and wow, what a difference a week makes. Hoping that will continue and things will keep getting better and better :tada:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Bobbyk

    Bobbyk junior member
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    Thanks. This is maybe a silly question but on what side do you use the cane? The gammy leg side or the good leg?
     
  7. Bobbyk

    Bobbyk junior member
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    I also have a red rash on my operated leg side and my stomach some of which are infected with pus; the Dr gave me some antibiotics for this as he's concerned it will infect my leg.
     
  8. Bionic

    Bionic post-grad

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    @Bobbyk
    You use your can on the good leg side. When you step forward with your bad side you move the cane forward at the same time so that it supports you. Your good leg then steps forward between your bad leg and your cane
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    You should not switch to the cane until you are sure you're not unstable. All these walking aids are just that, walking aids. Use that walker until you're secure to ditch it. You do not want to take the chance of falling. I used the walker when I was in public for at least 6 weeks. People can be unaware that you're not really stable on your feet and bump into you. That's throws you off balance. Something no one needs shortly after this surgery!
     
  10. Bobbyk

    Bobbyk junior member
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    Thanks for the advice.
    I am still getting pain.Yday i tried using the cane and could for a short shuffle but last night had a lot of pain.
    My knee still feels like a big lump of plastic is inside- which is the case.ROM poor; when i sit at the table i stretch my knee out.
    I'm taking it easy just walking round the house for a meal or cup of tea or go to the toilet usually with crutches.
    My wife picked up a compression bandage which gets cold but i was a little concerned that the chemicals in the bandage could effect my wound.
    Its hard not to compare yourself with those who are steaming along.However the nurse who took my stitches out said my wound looks really good.
    Aftet 16 days I'm still hobbling around on crutches and still get some pain; not as much as the first 11 days but i get it if i exercise a bit like with the cane.
    Is my slow slow recovery normal?
     
  11. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Yes, your slow recovery is normal. You've recently had one of the most major surgeries it's possible to have. It's not a surgery you can bounce back from in a few weeks.
    Complete recovery can take as long as a full year.

    Slow and steady is the way to do it. Give your knee the time it needs, so it can heal properly.
     
  12. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I wouldn’t even consider that your recovery is slow, at only 16 days post op. It is well within a wide range of normal. Most of us were right where you are at 16 days.

    As Celle said, this is a very long recovery. It is way too early to label it as slow.
     
  13. Bobbyk

    Bobbyk junior member
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    TKR PATIENT 2 DAYS OUT OF SURGERY SOARS PAST BOB BEAMONS 29 foot jump.
    TKR PATIENT 1 DAY OUT OF SURGERY SCORCHES PAST USAIN BOLT FOR A NEW OLYMPIC AND WORLD RECORD WITH CATHETER STILL INTACT.
    TKR patient in NZ still hobbling round the house-you've gotta laugh; somehow the gruelling nature of the process has a real comedic side.
     
    • Funny Funny x 7
  14. Irish471

    Irish471 senior

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    Too funny, @Bobbyk ! I used my cane to walk into my physical therapy appointment today and I feel as slow as a . At this point, PT consists of massage and gentle stretching and flexion and extension exercises. Just sitting in a chair with your leg extended to a nearby chair (you should be close to the edge of chair and have you heel near the edge of the second chair) feels like a workout. It is so helpful, though. Really helps with walking and loosening things up. Hanging up my running shoes for the day to sit and watch some tv :) :-) (:
     
  15. Bobbyk

    Bobbyk junior member
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    Oh it seems things are going well. I'm pleased for you.
    I will try it.How long can you stay in this position for?
    By the way thanks for advising and encouraging me before.I really find this forum helpful.You can really feel isolated in what you go through.Unless you've gone through it......
     
  16. Motherbone

    Motherbone member

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    This is a great place to get support, bounce ideas off of others, and ventilate when the need arises. Take it easy. Do you have a deadline by which you have to be recovered? To return to work or something like that?
     
  17. Bobbyk

    Bobbyk junior member
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    Dear Motherbone I have joined the pensioner ranks so there's no pressure re work however i was hoping to go overseas but will hold off until i feel I'm well enough to enjoy myself.
    How about you?
     
  18. Bobbyk

    Bobbyk junior member
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    Things changed for me around 2 weeks.Less pain a lift in my mood. Now I'm at 3 weeks 1 day post op.I'm using the cane a bit but find my concern about knee stability holds me back.
    After one visit to the physiotherapist i haven't gone again.A few days ago the PT rang me.I told her i didn't want painful therapy.She agreed.I'm doing the occasional heel slide.I agreed to go again at the end of April.I intend to do a few heel slides and increase walking.If i do a bit of exercise i do get pain especially at night.I'm still on the tramadol 3 a day and 4mg of paraceomol(tylenol).I had to ask for more pain meds and debated with the Doc why i was told to go off the tramadol after 2 weeks.Medical professionals don't like to be queried.
    Today i went to a cafe with my wife and two relations.It was fine.Afterwards went to my Aunties for tea.It was good to get out of the house.
    The P/T said over the phone there was a limited time to achieve ROM ( like its urgent or lost). I know from Bonesmart its at least a year!!
    My wife is going overseas in May but I'm not going to rush international travel.To be honest one of the major difficulties has been when my wife wonders how long the recovery is going to take.And her concern at me holding off P/T.
    I'M elevating,icing and resting the knee.I feel lucky that i don't have to return to work as I am a pensioner.
    I may not go overseas until late June.
    I see my surgeon on May the 1st.
    One of my main concerns is losing strength in my quadriceps especially the inner quadriceps.
    Anyway thanks to everyone who contributes their experience and advice to this group.It reallyis a great help.
     
  19. Bionic

    Bionic post-grad

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    @Bobbyk
    I had my TKR on 1st March, so 6 weeks post op on Friday. I have very little knee bend and am worried about it. I have a physio appt tomorrow (they are not hands on) followed by an appointment with my OS so it will be interesting to see what they have to say.
    I am looking forward to going overseas too. I havent booked anything yet but am also thinking late June and something short haul. 2-3 hours as I am not sure how the knee will stand up to being bent for that long.
    As you are in NZ I recognise that there there isn't anything short haul for you so you might want to delay your trip for a while longer
     
  20. FCBayern

    FCBayern member

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    My wife had some of the same concerns, I sent her several of the links that they give you when you first join so she could understand the BoneSmart approach.
     

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