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Bilateral TKR Tim's Recovery Thread

TMyers

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Good morning All,

Been lurking for awhile and decided to take the plunge. I had Bi-Lateral TKR 5/23/19, so have passed the 6 month mark. My surgical experience was a rough one. While the blocks in my legs worked the spinal did not and I awoke with full on pain, not the 24 - 36 hours of block promised.

Day of Surgery efforts to get up and move only resulted in a couple sidesteps before my BP dropped.

Day 2 Same result and Day Three the BP dropped to about 70/40.

Day 3 Same

Day 4, I received two units of blood which helped a great deal

Spend a week in In Patient therapy for a total of 13 nights in the Hospital.

Pain was almost unbearable and while it all makes for a great story I am past all of that.

Without going through all the minute details here is where I am.

I still have that full feeling in my knees almost like there is still some swelling. When I am sitting my knees look great, scars are at this point minimal. However when I stand it still hurts and my knees look like the face of someone that has been punched a few times, all puffy and lumpy. I am walking well but with random periods of pain that last for a coule days then goes away. Going up stairs still bring discomfort. and going down still painful and slow.

I know I have read so many times to not expect to feel totally normal till 6 to 12 months post surgery, but just curious to know if what I am experiencing is normal and expected.
 

Roy Gardiner

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:welome:

First the standard message:

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
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​

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. Here is a week-by-week guide for Activity progression for TKRs
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.
 

Roy Gardiner

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Your progress seems reasonable. Avoid things that cause pain is the best advice, I think. Just do a bit more every day, if you can.
 
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TMyers

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Thanks Roy, from what I have read I thought things were going ok but have had family members fussing over my lack of progress and that I shouldn't still be hurting. I will keep up with my low impact exercises and walking.
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome!
but have had family members fussing over my lack of progress and that I shouldn't still be hurting.
There are no “shoulds” in this recovery, we are all different, each of our knees are different so we won’t progress the same as everyone else.

Complete recovery takes an average of a year, and for some of us, 2 or more years.

I got real tired of the comments of others judging my progress, or the lack thereof.

Hang in there!
 

sistersinhim

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have had family members fussing over my lack of progress and that I shouldn't still be hurting.
I would tell them that my knee was different from anyone else's and had it's own schedule of healing. That pretty much shut them up!
 

jeffjob

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Hi and welcome as well.

No two recoveries are the same so it’s really hard to compare. I am at the 7 & 8 month mark and my worse knee is still loosing some swelling. I just told my wife last week that I can see more definition in the knee because the swelling in down.

To my experience, your swelling and pain seems normal / high. But again, everyone is different.

I wanted my OS to do bi-lats and he wouldn’t. I know concerns with blood loss / levels was a big reason. So I had mine done 6 weeks apart. That worked for me and I believe made my recoveries faster as my body could focus on healing one knee at a time.

You will get there. It takes time!
 

Roy Gardiner

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had family members fussing over my lack of progress and that I shouldn't still be hurting
How many of them (a) have had TKR or (b) are orthopaedic knee specialist surgeons or (c) qualified physiotherapists? Right that'd be zero, their opinions are worthless. But I expect they're nice people anyway.
 
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TMyers

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Hurting is mostly just discomfort. I have read of others saying it is like there is a band around their knees which I have as well., but it is always getting a bit better each week.

I have noticed that for a two or three day stretch I will have a medium sharp pain in a specific spot. After a few days that goes away and the knee feels like it is moving easier then a week or two down the line I will get tht pain in another spot and the cycle repeats itself. Almost feels like scar tissue is letting go but what do I know.
 
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TMyers

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had family members fussing over my lack of progress and that I shouldn't still be hurting
How many of them (a) have had TKR or (b) are orthopaedic knee specialist surgeons or (c) qualified physiotherapists? Right that'd be zero, their opinions are worthless. But I expect they're nice people anyway.
yes nice well meaning person who happens to sleep in my bed, LOL
 

sistersinhim

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Also, tell her to go to Youtube and look at a live knee replacement. I did that about 6 weeks after my surgery. That video explained why I was still hurting.
 
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TMyers

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She will not look at the photos or any of the You Tube videos. I did watch a full operation on you tube before my Sx because my Engineering mind wanted to know what they were going to do. This helps me process and understand what I am going through.

Don't get me wrong, I love my wife and to be honest had it not been for her I don't know that I would have made it. She stayed with me 12 of the 13 nights and the only reason she wasn't there the last night was because she was trying to get the house ready for me. Unfortunately she was part of the no pain no gain group and rode me hard to walk better. All good stuff, but you are all correct she doesn't have a clue as to what TKR patients feel and go through. I think it is easier to watch a grown man break down in tears as his knee is forced to bend more than it wants to, when you can't feel that pain.

Again, I am past that now, and everything is much better, I just needed some reassurance that my progress is acceptable.
 

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