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TKR Through the Black Hole

Jockette

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My husband had concerns when I let up on exercises after finding Bonesmart. I did go with the Bonesmart approach but we had way too many discussions about it. He’s never had a knee replacement but has had sports injuries. I think he finally accepts the common sense of the Bonesmart approach, but in the end it’s my knee and my decision.
 

Lilli215

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@Bobbyk , loving your sense of humour and believe it or not it will help you through your recovery. The most vital thing you need to aquire by fair means or foul in this recovery is patience, and you need bucketfuls of it. It’s a deranged recovery, it goes up and down, backwards and forwards and occasionally loops the loop but you will get there. My first TKR was two years ago at end of January and the following September we flew to USA to have a holiday with friends. My knee was absolutely fine by then and coped with transatlantic travel no problem at all. :egypdance:
 
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Bobbyk

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Bionic I'm interested in how your physio appointment goes Pls let us know. I too have limited knee bend.
I think you are right about the need for patience before overseas travel.I could go to Oz first (only 3 hrs or less) stay the night just more expense.
FC BAYERN I think now that I'm using the cane round the house and going out for small walks has appeased the worrisome one somewhat.
 
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Bobbyk

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Jockette your husband ultimately trusts your judgement.Good for you sticking to your guns Are you happy with your recovery so far.
Lilli like your description of "deranged recovery" and "looping the loop" are you implying that we are magnificent aviators and keen? The deranged recovery elicits a deranged sense of humour on my part.
My main fear now is that i somehow get an infection however if the leg was to be amputated it could mean a whole new prosperous career as a professional beggar!! One door closes....
You are right about patience.That is so true.
One thing that helps me is meditation.I felt a bit depressed post op but meditation and singing a bhajan lifted my mood.
 

Lemondrop

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Hi Bobbyk. Your ROM is urgent, for the PT lady. It's an insurance thing. They have to prove you are improving within a certain time frame. I'm glad you didn't fall for it. :good-bad:
 
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Bobbyk

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Well it's 3 weeks and 4 days post op and I'm still getting pain.Last night woke at 2ish and had to take a tram and para also woke at 6am the same.Slept well though 8 or 9 hours.I had to ask for more tramadol as the District nurse and Dr said they try to wean you off after 2 weeks.Then just 4000mgs of paracetomol in 24 hrs.This seems absurd!!!
I've graduated from crutches to cane and love not having the dammned crutches.I've done quite a lot of pottering around the house.Perhaps the transition has caused the pain?
Lemondrop in NZ the operation and p/t is free paid for by the state.Also our meds are subsidised-we pay a maximum of $5 for one med and occasionally they are free.Perhaps she needs to work on a quota system.
My nightmare scenario is an infection.I often look at the knee for any redness.So far so good.
 

Lemondrop

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Infection would be a scary thing. Glad to hear your knee hasn't any redness. I figure the PT's must answer to someone, a boss at least, to show they are effective. :flwrysmile:
 

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We were advised not to fly short haul for 3 months and long haul for 6 months after TKR. There is some info and advice on flying on Bonesmart, maybe in the library? Week 4 saw a big improvement for me and then I overdid it and week 5 was not a good place to be. By week 8 I was feeling a lot more optimistic and now I'm at 11 weeks and things are much better, but I still have the odd day, like yesterday, that isn't so good. It's most definitely not a linear progression!
 
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Bobbyk

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I'm at 4 weeks 3 days post op and I am still very aware of the "mechanism" in my knee.I feel this strange alien block is in my knee and I have this fear that the knee joint will fail.I use a cane to support my knee; today I went for a walk to someone place; possibly 7 minutes each way. To try and confront my lack of confidence.
Does anybody else have this same ubiquitous foreign body feeling and fear of the joint failing?
Is it normal to feel like this this far into my recovery?
 
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Bobbyk

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I was disappointed to not receive a reply oh well but fortunately I may have found the solution to my problem.
Ever since my TKR I've had a painful left thigh especially when getting up in the morning.I've also had a hyper sensitivity to the knee hardware as explained in my previous post.
While looking on the internet I read of ITB basically the muscle from the hip,outer thigh to the knee. I started massaging it and hey presto I can walk a bit without the cane and with far less sensitivity to the hardware.The pain and tension in my thigh is still there but the massage seems to relieve things enough to make walking easier
and my gait more confident.
Does this make sense or ring bells?
 

Lindylee

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Yes, I found massaging the thigh helped a lot. I used a lambswool paint roller and simply rolled it back and forth. I still get the sensation of something alien in my leg from time to time, especially if I do more so I might try using the roller,again. Thanks for reminding me about it!
 

Jockette

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I didn’t worry about the stability of my knee. In my pre op class they told us not to be afraid to put weight on our new knee right away, that it would be strong from the start. It gave me the confidence for those first walks in the hospital.

I think as far as it feeling alien, yes, in fact I still feel that at 2 years post op, but I think I’m the exception to the norm.

4 weeks is very early in this recovery. As you heel and regain the ability of doing things, you will most likely lose that alien feeling.
 
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Bobbyk

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Nearly five weeks post op and I've made strides in the last few days. Massaging the IT Band seemed to help my knee have more stability and the overly hypersensitive awareness of mechanism of the implant is not nearly as overt.
I can now walk without the cane although I still use it sometimes.My knee feels more sturdy.
I seem to have a reaction to tramadol. Some abdominal pain and wind and diahorrea feeling without diahorrea.Thankfully in the last couple of days I have had no pain so I've ditched the tram.
I feel more inclined now to make pots of tea and do small tasks as I feel more confident with my knee.
I have been pretty recalcitrant re the heel slides a few and a couple of sitting in a chair and taking my leg back.Compared to some of the positively gruelling reports of toddles around the Hindu Kush or solo ascents of Kilimanjaro I have been positively languid
My knee is a Libertine a Lotus Eater.
Maybe, when I meet the OS at the beginning of the month he will despair at my ROM but I am pretty good at doing nothing.What are wives for after all? Men just look warrior like and enigmatic and the tea,cuddles and kisses will continue!!
 

Jodingers

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@Bobbyk hi there, I had my tkr the day after u. My knee defo feels like there is a big chunk of alien material in it! I just accepted that there is and that in time it will become the norm. It certainly clunks + clicks but not in a painful way. It does generally ache + still tight + stiff. I still elevate + ice numerous times a day.
Have u tried massaging the actual wound + knee , mine is sensitive to contact + massaging it directly really helps. My thigh aches + I wonder if it's because it's getting used to working again, my thigh was very wasted pre op.
Sounds like ur doing great. :)
 
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Bobbyk

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Hi Jodinger I still have some small scabs on my wound so I'm afraid to massage it at the moment.
I still have a bit of paranoia about my new knee. Every time I launch out on it I feel like Captain Cook (or is that Captain Hook) not sure if I'll return.
I'm grateful though for the skill of the Surgeon; I liked him immediately when I met him a humble unassuming man. Grateful for the skill and humanity of the Anaethetist, operating room staff and the nurses at the hospital.Grateful to be in a Country that provides this operation for free and provides my wife with a motel for a week and pays for my petrol. Grateful that touchwood so far I have no infection or complications.
So far so good and all the best to you all.
 

Irish471

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@Bobbyk , I used the same description just this past week about feeling like Captain Hook! Yes, it feels like my knee is not my own. I know we will all grow into it over the next year. I get kind if worried when I feel pain around the tibia area. Every day brings a new ache or pain in various other areas, so it’s hard to keep track. I am always very sore on the medial side. I asked about it at my 2 week appointment and was told there was a special cut that is made over there. It’s not gone away.
 
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Bobbyk

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I feel that reconditioned knee feeling on the lateral side. I'm not getting much pain just a weird alien feeling of a retread knee. I feel pressure on the lateral tibia.
When I saw the surgeon I didn't have much to say to him but would you submit to a breath test. I'm kidding. I asked him and looked into his eyes "please do a good job".
Just imagine if just before the operation you smelt the liquor on his breath or he asked you if you had any meth!!
The glass half full is they got the right knee the glass half empty is it doesn't matter.
I think the grimness of this ordeal effects people differently. My reaction is to laugh,sometimes.A few days after the operation I was thinking what have you done!!! I had the obsessing about infection; checking for redness.Then an alien inhabits my knee feeling.
It's a journey.
My wife goes overseas in May. I don't know when I'll travel.
I hope your knee settles and your pain fades.
 

Celle

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I feel that reconditioned knee feeling on the lateral side. I'm not getting much pain just a weird alien feeling of a retread knee. I feel pressure on the lateral tibia.
I had the obsessing about infection; checking for redness.Then an alien inhabits my knee feeling.
It's a journey.
It's still very early days in your year-long recovery. You're going to get odd aches and pains in various places for some time yet, as your whole body heals and adjusts to your new gait.

The feeling that you have an alien, foreign body in your knee will fade slowly. At first, I was very conscious of it. Now, I'm thankful to live in an age when such surgery is possible. Both my artificial knees work so reliably that I usually forget they're not the original product. I get quite a shock when I see the hardware on an X-Ray.
 
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Bobbyk

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It's been nearly 11 weeks.I feel more confident on the knee now and found that one session of p/t helped as I was limping.The p/t cured the limp.
My pain went after 5 weeks.
I found the first two weeks really gruelling.
My knee clicks on the lateral side but little pain the occasional twinge.
My problem is that today for example my knee was really puffy and stiff_so much so that i hobble limped rather than walked.
I didnt do much exercise just a short walk but i did stop the naproxene and my knee got swollen.
I have a stationary bike but didnt use it much today as the knee was so stiff and puffy.
I'm a bit worried. Is this normal?
 

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