Lounge Doctor
Ask the Expert Webinar

Bilateral TKR Tim's Recovery Thread

TMyers

new member
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
7
Age
64
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
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

MODERATOR
Moderator
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
7,309
Age
68
Location
Essex and London
Gender
Male
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
: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

MODERATOR
Moderator
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
7,309
Age
68
Location
Essex and London
Gender
Male
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
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.
 
OP
OP
T

TMyers

new member
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
7
Age
64
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
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

SENIOR FORUM ADVISOR
Senior Forum Advisor
Joined
Aug 29, 2017
Messages
18,608
Age
64
Location
Delaware
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
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

MODERATOR
Moderator
Joined
Dec 4, 2015
Messages
22,424
Location
Virginia
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
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

junior member
Joined
Aug 11, 2018
Messages
94
Age
62
Location
Connecticut
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
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

MODERATOR
Moderator
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
7,309
Age
68
Location
Essex and London
Gender
Male
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
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.
 
OP
OP
T

TMyers

new member
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
7
Age
64
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
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.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
OP
OP
T

TMyers

new member
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
7
Age
64
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
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

MODERATOR
Moderator
Joined
Dec 4, 2015
Messages
22,424
Location
Virginia
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
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.
 
OP
OP
T

TMyers

new member
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
7
Age
64
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
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.
 
OP
OP
T

TMyers

new member
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
7
Age
64
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
OK time for an update,

I am coming up on 11 months post Sx, and can tell you that working from home has actually helped my knees. I am one of those fortunate enough to work from home , and have not missed any pay during this Virus Event.

My office is in the basement and I have found that making 20 to 30 trips up and down the stairs has been a big help to building up my quads. In the process I have less and less swelling which give me more and more flexure.

I truly have days where I get up and have forgotten that I had the surgery.Well not quite there but very close.

The last real issue I have has to do with kneeling on a knee. I have read that some never get this back and wonder if I am one of them. What have others experienced with kneeing on a TKR Knee?
 

Jamie

ADMINISTRATOR
Senior Administrator
Joined
Mar 24, 2008
Messages
61,250
Age
72
Location
Kansas
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
So great to hear an update from you and it sounds like you are doing wonderful with your new knees. Each person is different with their recovery and it's wonderful to hear that your "step exercise" is beneficial. Things will just keep getting better for you in the coming years. Recovery can be very, very gradual and improvements seen over years instead of just months.

As for kneeling, it is possible to "train" your knee to kneel. You have to start slowly by practicing on something very soft like the bed for several weeks. Then move to kneeling on something just a bit harder, like maybe the couch or an upholstered chair for another couple of weeks. You want to stay with a particular surface until you feel you're comfortable kneeling there before moving to something harder. You eventually graduate to carpeting (maybe with a foam pad or folded towel to start), the lawn (like for gardening), wood floors, and finally to the hardest surface which would be concrete or bricks.

When you're kneeling, try to involve your whole lower leg and not just the knee joint itself so you're not putting all your weight on the joint. You'll have to experiment to see what's comfortable for you. You don't want to ever move around on your knees while kneeling (like spinning around or "walking" on your knees). You want to try and protect your patella as much as possible.

It's okay to decide that you can only kneel on certain surfaces or even not at all. This is not something that everyone considers mandatory to be able to do. People find all types of accommodations to do things that normally require kneeling and that may be the route you choose to go. You'll just have to give it a try and see how things feel. Let us know how it goes!
 

bikinglynn

member
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Messages
146
Age
66
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
I'm glad to hear that you are doing well and continue to improve through the year of healing. Although I'm so glad I did it, I look forward to the day that I forget I had the surgery.
 
OP
OP
T

TMyers

new member
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
7
Age
64
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Before my Bi Lat TKR, I had a good set of knee pads that I used when having to do anything at ground level. they are in the Motor Home and I need to go get them and see if they will work for me.

Fingers crossed!!!
 

Donbmt

new member
Joined
Apr 16, 2019
Messages
15
Age
58
Location
Texas Gulf Coast
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Had my BTKR on March 11, 2019. I was on a cane for 4 months, never thought they were going to be "normal". One day my right one would act up and the next day my left one would. I walk construction sites for a living and am blessed to be "essential" during this time. Just in the past few weeks I have noticed that I am getting around with no pain and yesterday walked down a flight of stairs normally for the first time in over a year. The guys on the jobs are also complimenting lately about how well I'm getting around. HANG IN THERE! No two people heal the same, time is your best friend. Listen to your knees, they know what's best.
 

New

Active Antibacterial

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
52,569
Messages
1,399,457
BoneSmarties
32,790
Latest member
Postive
Recent bookmarks
1

Top Bottom