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MUA TKR 9 Weeks Post Op Tired & Frustrated

Kneeasles

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Been 9 weeks today and thankful for finding Bonesmart.

Like many, I have struggled with recovery and have relied on my surgeon and physical therapists for the best pathway to recovery.

At 2 weeks post op physical therapist said I was in the top 5% in my recovery and having prior orthopedic surgeries (rotator cuff & ruptured bicep) and recovering quickly I thought I was on the fast track to recovery from TKR. How wrong I was!

Beginning with my next PT appointment it was downhill fast with extremely painful forced stretching and exercises that caused pain, swelling and prevented full extension and a real fight to get to 90 degrees.

I was going to PT 3 times a week and believed the therapists knew what was best but continued to struggle with pain, swelling and lack of sleep.

At my 4 week post op with surgeon he decided I needed a MUA which I had two days later. MUA provided no additional ROM and the vicious cycle with PT continued.

On Saturday I had PT and was directed to perform painful exercises including squats with a 20 pound weight along with forced stretching by physical therapist.

Yesterday I was in so much pain I started searching the internet for answers and came across BoneSmart and today I will be cancelling my remaining PT appointments and dramatically backing off on my home exercise routine as well.

Per PT direction I was riding stationary bike 30 minutes per day, elliptical 15 minutes per day and also several exercises including using 4 pound ankle weight to work on extension.

My knee was not getting any rest and clearly not getting better. As of today I will be following the BoneSmart recovery protocol and am hopeful I will finally get beyond the vicious cycle of swelling, pain and struggling to sleep.

Thank you to all for sharing your recovery experiences.
 
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Rubyroo

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Wow! Those PT folks were really off the chain! Glad you are figuring out what is best for you and your knee. Some exercise is good but jiminey cricket! I'm 11 weeks out- so just a tad in front of you. This forum is so very helpful to share experiences and get support. Hang in there and keep us posted how you are doing.
 

Helizabug

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Someone wiser than I will stop by soon with lots of good information and support, but I’m here to tell you that you came to the right place. BoneSmart will be very helpful in understanding what can be understood about what’s going on in your new knee.

One thing I know you’ll hear, no matter how many days or weeks out you are, is to rest, ice, and elevate, so, if you’re not already resting comfortably with your knee a little higher than your heart, and some ice nestled like a beloved pet around your knee . . . What are you waiting for?!

That PT sounds awful! I’m glad you’re taking a break, and, if you go back to PT, I hope you find someone who can help you heal.
 

Amyi

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I'm so glad I found this !! Going thru a similar situation! It's horrible. I had the manipulation two weeks ago and was given an "every day for two weeks PT regime". It's been horrible. Constant state of Pain. Never healing. I'm no better off (90°) than two weeks prior. In fact the muscle pain is beyond tolerable. Can't sleep 9 weeks in. Going to try letting it rest.
 

Macknit

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I'm at 5.5 months and only recently can I tolerate 30 minutes on my recumbent bike..Even one month ago that was too much for my journey! Ice and elevate with gentle daily stretches, is about all that is needed. The PT I had was so wonderfully gentle, I luckily found BS before my surgery...So take good care and rest that poor overworked knee!
 

Celle

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Hello @Kneeasles - and :welome:

Please will you tell us the full date of your knee replacement and which knee it is, and also of your MUA, so we can make a signature for you? Knowing the exact date will help us to advise you appropriately in the future.
Thank you.:flwrysmile:

I'm sorry to read that your PT and your surgeon have put you and your knee through hell. All that pressure and pain really wasn't necessary. I'm glad to read you've cancelled PT. Once your knee settles down, you can rehab it with gentle exercises at home.
Saying no to therapy - am I allowed to?

Your poor knee has been through one of the most severe surgeries you can have and it needed gentle treatment, so it could heal.
Please don't allow weights to be used and don't do squats until you're much further into your recovery.

Your surgeon and your PT therapist are really impatient.
There's no need to rush to get ROM (Range of Motion) because it can continue to improve for a year, or even much longer, after a knee replacement. There isn't any deadline you have to meet:
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR

It's not exercising that gets you your ROM - it's time. Time to recover, time for swelling and pain to settle, and time to heal. Your knee has the potential to achieve good ROM right from the start, but it's prevented from doing so by swelling and pain. As it heals and the swelling goes down, your ROM (both flexion and extension) will gradually increase.

This is a year-long recovery, no matter how young or fit you were before surgery, so there's no need to rush. Treat it like a marathon, not a sprint, and learn to pace yourself.
 

Celle

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Here are the recovery guidelines we give to everyone with a new knee:
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. Try to 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.
 
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Kneeasles

Kneeasles

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My TKR Right was performed on 12/16/19 and the MUA was on 1/15/20.
 

sistersinhim

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I am so sorry you didn't find Bonesmart before you went through all this unnecessary agony. But, now you know and can let your poor knee start to heal. All this aggressive PT has kept your knee inflamed and set back your recovery. Once it settles down, your healing will become much easier.
 
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Kneeasles

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After going through a tough time with PT I have taken the last week off and have seen the swelling dramatically reduced. Tomorrow will be 10 weeks post op and I’m concerned that I still can’t straighten my leg. I can walk up stairs but going down is difficult. I have done a little light stretching and thinking maybe it’s time to make a solid effort without pushing to the point of pain. I see my surgeon in a week and will be introducing him to Bonesmart and hope it’s well received but believe he will be very disappointed with my lack of progress.
 

Helizabug

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Ten weeks is still early in your recovery, and that MUA probably set your progress back a bit, temporarily. I know mine did.

When you say it’s time to make a ‘solid effort,’ you make it sound like you haven’t been making a ‘solid effort,’ all along. Even choosing to rest is part of a solid effort. The trick is finding the effort that supports your recovery, which might be tricky since you’ve been subjected to some pretty harsh treatment so far.
 

Celle

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I'm glad to hear that taking time off PT has reduced some of your swelling.
Keep treating your knee gently, with lots of icing and elevation, and it will improve even further.

You're only 10 weeks into a 52-week recovery. There really isn't any need at all to be concerned about either not yet being able to straighten your leg fully, or to bend it more. I've told you before that ROM can continue to improve for at least a year after surgery. It's not at all unusual for extension (straightening) to take longer to develop than flexion (bending) does, and many people can't descend stairs one foot at a time until about 4 months post-op.

Don't worry about your surgeon being disappointed with your progress. If he is, that's his problem,not yours. Just tell him you're confident your knee will continue to improve.

Above all, don't let him talk you into having another MUA. The first one did no good and the second one won't, either. All it will do is expose you to the risks of another anaesthetic.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that you should now start to make a solid effort to increase ROM. Let your knee take the time it needs, It knows what it's doing.
Knee recovery - Lose the Work Ethic!!
TKR: work “smarter” and not “harder”
 

Jockette

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Don’t think of cutting back on PT and giving your knee more rest as being lazy, or not trying, look at it as giving your knee the best possible circumstance in which to heal.

You can’t hurry up this recovery, but you sure can slow it down by doing more than your knee is ready for.

Many surgeons are impatient with our recoveries, but we need to respect our knee’s uniqueness and give it the time it needs to recover.
 
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Kneeasles

Kneeasles

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I’m now 13 months post op and knee will not fully straighter nor bend beyond 90 degrees. Knee is always hot and swollen. Simple tasks like putting on socks or walking down stairs are very difficult. Saw my surgeon last week to discuss scar tissue removal and he stated that in 21 years he’s only removed post TKR scar tissue 2 or 3 times and thought if it went perfectly I might gain 5 degrees. He cautioned me about infection, didn’t paint a positive picture but said he’d be willing to give it a try and to expect a painful recovery as the tissues are not happy due to the replacement surgery. At this point I don’t know whether to live with limited range of motion or go through another surgery. Would love to hear from anyone who’s been through this.

Thank you.
 

Jockette

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he stated that in 21 years he’s only removed post TKR scar tissue 2 or 3 times
I think it’s time you got a second opinion. You really don’t want someone doing a procedure on you that he’s only done 2 or 3 times. And, a different surgeon, experienced in looking at problem knees, may suggest something different.

Look for a surgeon who does revisions and/or complex joint issues. The busier the area, the better, as in close to a decent size city as opposed to a smaller town area.
 

sistersinhim

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I agree with Jockette, you need to consult a surgeon that specializes in problem knees. Have you been tested for an infection? Hot and swollen knees at 13 months are not normal.
 
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Kneeasles

Kneeasles

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I was tested last week for infection and lab results came back negative. I live in the Seattle area and thinking I’ll take the advice and see another surgeon who specializes in problem knees. I’m way to young to be this old
 

sistersinhim

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Be sure to look for a surgeon that has had lots of experience with problem knees revisions.
 

Jamie

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Your knee is 13 months old. Have you had this problem the entire time or is it something that's popped up recently?
 
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Kneeasles

Kneeasles

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Been a struggle the whole way. Tired of not being able to get up from a chair, in and of a car, walking down stairs or putting on my socks. The lack of mobility has taken a toll and looking for viable options.
 

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