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TKR TKR Scaredycat10's recovery

Scaredycat10

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One week and one day post op.
Wonderful consultant. Thank you.


The joint was in a bad way, bone on bone and the patella in poor shape. A diagnosis confirmed after the op. I wasn't in huge pain and had no sleep problems before the op, just couldn't walk very far and short of taking occasional pain relief for the rest of my life, needed to do something about it. I was terrified and had put off 'the day' for a while. Everyone I spoke to said how painful the whole thig is but I'll be glad I did it. I had a spinal block and a nice sleep and didn't feel a thing.

Well I would say it's uncomfortable rather than excruciating, but then that could be the meds. I came out of hospital after four days [BP tanked so had to stay in for observation].

I am taking my meds [codeine phosphate and paracetamol] as directed and naproxen too. The Aircast cryo cuff is used four or five times a day and I'm trying so hard with my exercises. I see my physio face to face [we have zoomed] tomorrow.
I can easily get a 90 degree bend after I've been up a bit and I can fully straighten the leg. I need to see a professional though as my knee is so swollen and tight across the thigh, I'm sure that's all natural as a band was put across the thigh to slow the blood supply but boy, it does ache when I do the knee bends.

I came out on two crutches. I can manage with one around the house and I can shuffle around the bathroom without but I am being very sensible and first thing in the morning, getting up in the middle of the night and going outside, it's always two crutches. One crutch does mean I can carry a cup of coffee from the kitchen area to the kitchen table though so that's handy.

I am waking up after a couple of hours as I need a wee after drinking enough water for the last pain relief and the night time blood thinner and last night and the night before, managed to ignore discomfort and go back to sleep for a couple of hours. Success there I think.

My consultant mentioned bone on bone and high pain threshold so I'm a bit lucky there I think and whilst I have no intention of rushing things, I am a carer so would like to be up and at 'em sooner rather than later. I am aiming to be stick free at my 6 week check.

I will see what my physio says tomorrow. She has played a big part in my 'prehab' in the gym over the last few months since Covid allowed so we shall see if she thinks the regime has paid off.
 

benne68

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Hi @Scaredycat10 Welcome to the other side. Sorry to hear about your BP problems, but glad you are home.
I am aiming to be stick free at my 6 week check.
I just passed the 6-week mark and was able to lose the cane this week. I was also bone-on-bone (in fact, I had end-stage Grade 4 arthritis in The Knee) and my leg was so badly bowed the surgeon had to do an osteotomy in addition to my TKR. I did not let my PT push me to do exercises that hurt. I focused on stretching and walking and did lots of icing and elevating. My flexion is only 115, but ! can walk smoothly and comfortably.
 
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Scaredycat10

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Good to hear. I have been warned against pushing to the outer pain limit. I can't face the leg extension yet [although I kept up the machine in the gym as best I could pre op] but I am quietly pleased at the rest.
I keep having to remember, it was major surgery and I have little to compare against until I see my physio later on today. I am relying on her to give me a status report.
Disturbed sleep last night but still got around four hours so that's better than nothing.
 
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Scaredycat10

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Physio came today and brought her portable treatment table with her and gave my quads and IT band a good going over. She called it 'loosening'!
Really helped the walking.

She is very pleased and reckons all my pre-hab with her is paying off. She had me sitting on her table, which is quite high, and swinging my legs back and forth. It was amazing the momentum I built up,

Her comment re two exercises I have been advised to do by the hospital but find very painful was, leave them for the time being. Work to your outer comfort level but don't cross over into any actual pain area.
I am aiming to see her three times a week for treatment and also very light gym work, eg walking around the track and maybe the static bike.
I told her of my goal of walking into the 6 week check with no sticks. She said your knee is stable enough to allow you to walk a bit without aids, and proceeded to hover around me as I walked a few yards without aids.

Then she said, do NOT do that again until I say so. Use both crutches so you are balanced and don't exert undue pressure anywhere but you WILL be walking without sticks come the 6 week check. She had me doing very shallow knee bends and I know I'm chocca with codeine and paracetamol, but no way could I do those two weeks ago. Interesting.

My swollen knee apparently is mildly swollen and not the huge lump I think it is and basically, what I want to say is, find a good professional and not only are they your new best friend, but they don't half bolster your confidence whilst tempering it with common sense warnings.
 
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Scaredycat10

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I think I overdid it yesterday.
Not quite a full revolution on an upright static bike in the gym one day short of two weeks post op was probably, in hindsight, a bit adventurous and walking a few laps round the gym track probably didn't help. OOPS. :) :-) (:

I am icing at the moment and am going to build myself a proper elevation on the bed as I have an inkling my electric recliner isn't enough.

Trouble is, I feel fine [with the meds, obvs] but must learn to crawl before running.

Wish I could sleep more than a few hours.

A question.

I have dissolvable stitches. A nurse friend is coming round tomorrow to take the dressing off. I haven't wet it at all and it's in good shape. Do I leave the dressing off [I'm almost scare to take it off] or do I put a clean one on for safety?
 

Jockette

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My doctor took my dressing off before I was 2 weeks post op and he never said to cover it again, so I didn’t.
 

hawk2go

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Once my dressing came off, I never covered the incision again. My incision was clean with no oozing or angry spots. I think your nurse should be able to assess and decide.

eta: I had staples
 
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kate97497

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PT took my dressing off one week post surgery. I have dissolvable stitches too. That allowed me to shower, soap and water can run over it but no rubbing or scrubbing. I felt it was much easier to move and get comfortable once it was off. I could even sleep on my side with a pillow to support.
 
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Scaredycat10

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Thx all.

The great reveal this afternoon. And then, a shower!! Looking forward to the shower.
 
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Scaredycat10

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Wow
Really neat. Very thin line and a sort of railway track in felt tip which I assume started life as horizontal lines so the skin could be matched up after the op.
Very basic and very clever and almost spot on.

Now I have to have faith I can bend it without the line splitting. :) :-) (:
 

Catalien45

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A word of caution... I somehow, looking back, was able to “ push it” early in my recovery ( my surgery was Oct 6); I would be extra tired, but nothing serious. This past weekend I overdid myself pretty bad - nothing big, mind you, but I guess it all accumulated. I was literally, exhausted! Yesterday ( Tuesday), I felt strong enough to go to my PT session. I was pretty tired by the time we got home. Resting today, but Still not fully “ up to snuff”. So, pretty much resting again tomorrow, & hopefully make my PT session Friday. One of the Moderators reminded me that I’d been through major surgery less than a month ago, & my body was already using a Lot of energy. So there isn’t much left. It catches up.
So Do take care of yourself. I’m doing good, in general, my walking with no assist is good. I still take a cane outside ( our yard). A phrase my sister’s mother in law always said, as her kids reached 50’s and on.... “ you’re not a baby anymore “. And that particularly applies after major surgery. I’m So looking forward to getting down & playing with our grandson, cooking up a storm in my kitchen, next year working full steam in our garden, so many things without that awful bone on bone pain. But for now, I have to remember, and abide by that rule Hawk2go reminded me early on..... slow & steady, slow & steady.
Sounds like you have a very good PT. My best to you!
 

Booger

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Now I have to have faith I can bend it without the line splitting
Have faith. Mine didn't split and it was awfully swollen. Still swollen and tight but nothing compared to what it was. Your gonna hit it outta the park. Just take your time. If your like me you'll probably screw up and water the knee off. when that happens just rest elevate medicate and ice.
This is just a story in our library. Full of ups and downs.

Booger
 
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Scaredycat10

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Again, thx for taking the time to read my comments and give your helpful replies.

UK Thespian and National Treasure Dame Judi Dench joins her surgeon on a YouTube video entitled 'What I wish I knew abut TKR'. In it she talks about taking a book, sitting on the loo and swinging her leg to help the rehab.
I'm no National Treasure but I have come up with an alternative which can be used around the house rather than just the bathroom.
A perching chair.
It's a semi sit chair [which we just happened to have lying around the house...as you do!!] and I have it raised so my feet don't touch the ground and I take my book, read and sit and swing at the same time. I got some real good momentum going after my shower. In fact, I almost got the leg under the chair. Far less discomfort than sitting on a dining chair hoping to achieve the same.
 

hawk2go

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I'm glad you found your solution to the bend goal. I sit in my rocking chair/recliner and I rock. Sometimes I scooch my butt forward to improve the bend before I push off. :)
 
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Scaredycat10

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Little things mean a lot

I realised last night, that when I sat down to dinner, I no longer had to stretch 'the' leg out in order to sit down. It bent! Not a lot but enough that I didn't think about the pre sit stretch out.

Now I want to know, at what stage, if ever, do we stop saying 'ooof' when rear end meets seat! :loll:
 

hawk2go

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My PT had me repeat a stand/sit exercise with my hands crossed on my chest (3 sets of 10 when I was about 5 weeks -which was too soon). That helped strengthen the muscles needed for sitting, without the ooof :heehee:
 
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Scaredycat10

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@Scaredycat10 :heehee: I think the OOOF you mentioned is a side effect of adding on years to one's age. Along with the "creak and slight groan" when standing up.
I can [OK, Used to] stand up without a groan but the ooof has been part of my sitting for years. My Mother used to OOOF. and pass comments on our lovely, elegant LOW sofas.

Sofas have been replaced and I now know why she oofed and commented. :) :-) (:
 
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Scaredycat10

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My PT had me repeat a stand/sit exercise with my hands crossed on my chest (3 sets of 10 when I was about 5 weeks -which was too soon). That helped strengthen the muscles needed for sitting, without the ooof :heehee:
O.M. Goodness.
NO WAY for me.

Off for a sports massage as I think my hamstrings are preventing a greater knee flex.
Passed on the codeine this morning. I shall see how I go, pain wise.
 

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