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TKR TKR Recovery Journey

Jockette

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I chalk the slow progress to the advanced osteoporosis the surgeon found when he opened me up. I'm just literally going day to day.
You are not having slow progress, this is how this recovery goes, as it takes an average of a full year for complete healing.

We recommend a phased return to work. Try not to let your boss pressure you to come back before you’re ready, he/she is not the one who will deal with the pain and swelling if you do.
 

FCBayern

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I have to agree with Jockette @Dedou, you are right about where we all were 6 weeks in. A lot of people come into this surgery without really knowing what to expect in recovery. You already know you can't work as soon as next week. You need to listen to what your body needs and then be your own advocate. You've got this! Brighter days soon! :walking:
 
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Dedou

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Thank you both for the encouragement! I have been taking Gabapentin for the RLS these past two nights and I've enjoyed two long nights of uninterrupted sleep. Insert Hallelujah chorus here!
 

allin1

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One note of caution on the Gabapentin, I went on it after my knee replacement and someone here mentioned it is strong medicine. When I tried stopping it I had a bit of a hard time quitting off the 300 mg pills (anxiety). I got the Dr to prescribe some 100 mg pills and was able to wean off that way. I'm glad it is allowing you to get some good rest!
 
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Dedou

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One note of caution on the Gabapentin, I went on it after my knee replacement and someone here mentioned it is strong medicine. When I tried stopping it I had a bit of a hard time quitting off the 300 mg pills (anxiety). I got the Dr to prescribe some 100 mg pills and was able to wean off that way. I'm glad it is allowing you to get some good rest!
Yeah, it does seem to be strong, but last night it didn't even touch the restless leg until I ended up taking 3 (300mg) caps! Then, I didn't wake up until 9:45 this morning! I'm not sure if that's bad or good, but at least I'm getting sleep.
 

Celle

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One note of caution on the Gabapentin, I went on it after my knee replacement and someone here mentioned it is strong medicine. When I tried stopping it I had a bit of a hard time quitting off the 300 mg pills (anxiety). I got the Dr to prescribe some 100 mg pills and was able to wean off that way. I'm glad it is allowing you to get some good rest!
Yes, BoneSmart also recommends tapering slowly when you come off Gabapentin.
 

Jockette

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Yeah, it does seem to be strong, but last night it didn't even touch the restless leg until I ended up taking 3 (300mg) caps! Then, I didn't wake up until 9:45 this morning! I'm not sure if that's bad or good, but at least I'm getting sleep.
If this is more than the recommended dose you need to speak with your doctor, or maybe your pharmacist, to be sure that is a safe dose for you.
 

Jamie

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Gabapentin is not a sleeping pill, so it may be that you need to take small doses throughout the day for it to be effective for you. As Jockette suggested, talk to the prescribing doctor before you take more than is prescribed on the bottle.

You can also have problems with restless legs if you try to do too much during the daytime. Be sure you're not pushing yourself beyond what your body is ready for at this stage of your recovery.
 
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Dedou

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She prescribed 300-600 mg to be taken at bedtime. Last night, I took 600 mg and slept well. I woke up once, changed position and then went right back to sleep. As long as I can get to sleep, the RLS doesn't bother me. I hope the Gabapentin continues to help me sleep, even though it's not a sleeping pill. She did tell me I could go up to 1200 if need be, but she wanted to start me out on a low dose. I don't take any other meds.
 
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Dedou

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You can also have problems with restless legs if you try to do too much during the daytime. Be sure you're not pushing yourself beyond what your body is ready for at this stage of your recovery.
I did too much the night I had problems, so I'm sure you are correct in this. Trying to figure out what will be "too much" at this stage is difficult. I try not to aggravate my knee to swell more than it already is. I wake up with it already swollen a bit every morning. Trick is to keep it from swelling more. Elevation and icing doesn't seem to make much difference. The leg seems fine other than that, meaning I don't think I have an infection.
 

Jamie

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Are you elevating and icing at night when sleeping? You can certainly do that and it might help more than just doing it during the day.
 
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Dedou

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Are you elevating and icing at night when sleeping? You can certainly do that and it might help more than just doing it during the day.
I wish I could, but after trying several times, I came to the conclusion that I just don't get comfortable to sleep with my leg up. I'm a side sleeper and sleeping on my back is not an option if I want to get real sleep. I do use a pillow between my legs for comfort. This morning when I woke up, I immediately put on a Chopat brace and I'll see how that helps.
 
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Dedou

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Dear Mods, would you please change my thread to something like TKR Recovery Journey? TY!
I read somewhere recently about moving from walker to cane too quickly and it was a post that I am so happy I ran across!! My surgeon's office had a written handout with my post-surgery appt. on it that I was discharged with. On it, it states that my surgeon would be expecting that I would be walking without assistive devices at this appt. That was for my one month appt.! I am almost two months into recovery and yesterday pulled out the borrowed walker again. I have log leg after sleeping or sitting for a length of time and the cane was difficult to balance with. My leg is doing SO much better using the walker! I'm not going to bother going back for the surgeons visit until I'm good and ready. If anyone is struggling with excessive pain and swelling, try going back to using a walker and see if it doesn't make a difference for the better! I am so grateful for this site!
 

Jamie

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I'm so glad to hear you were comfortable going with what your body was telling you rather than some arbitrary milestones set up by your surgeon or a therapist. Bodies follow their own schedule and you'll know when the time is right to lessen the use of a walking aid. That would be when you find yourself taking off and leaving it behind without thinking! It will come. In the meantime, the aid - especially a walker because it provides balanced support - provides a great tool for you to work on lengthening your stride and walking correctly heel-roll to toe with each step.
 

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