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Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by TortiTabby, May 13, 2019.
Thanks Jockette and TimeBuster. It's a relief to hear that.
At 3 1/2 weeks a bend of 75 is good. What's even better is your extension of 0! Many of us find the extension much harder to come in than the bend. The more your swelling goes down, the more your knee will bend. So, concentrate on getting rid of that swelling. Icing and elevating, toes above nose, is the best way to bring that down. You should be doing that almost all the time at your early stage of recovery.
Hey TortiTabby! I think you are doing great and are putting way to much pressure on yourself. Even though you are working from home every other day you are still working and having to sit in a chair. And when you are in the office I bet you can’t elevate you leg sufficiently. I get that sometimes we have to do what we have to do to pay the bills even when it isn’t ideal. But that said, factor that into your progress of your flexion! Finally, please look back on the flexion schedule that Jockette shared with you—at 75 you are still ahead schedule so I say TortiTabby is rocking it and not behind in anyway!
As folks have said your doctor works for you. YOU have the right to say no to any procedure you don’t think is in your best interest. There is lots of information about the pros and cons of MUA here at BoneSmart so you can make an informed decision and feel confident in it.
There is no way you are not exhausted! Most of us couldn’t dream of working so soon after TKR. And hats off to you for managing such a feat but there is a price tag of fatigue. And exhaustion tends to cause all of us to be less than optimistic and quite hard on ourselves.
Finally, go cuddle you kitty and drink a cup of tea and indulge in whatever restful activity that sounds good to you (and will not discommode the cat of course). Consider it medicinal self care! Thinking of you, pulling for you and think you are doing way better than you realize.
Thank you Mzzzcat, I really needed to hear that.
It will be five weeks since the surgery tomorrow. Yesterday I went and got a massage by a very good massage therapist who is really knowledgeable about anatomy and was very cautious around the incision. It felt so good to get a good massage at this point. She said I was holding so much tension in areas I wouldn't have expected (upper thigh on surgery side, hands, neck...). I really recommend treating yourselves kindly and doing something nice for yourself after a month - massage, pedicure, etc. It takes it's toll holding onto so much pain for so long.
That sounds so good. I'm at four weeks tomorrow.
Just a word about Oxycodone: I was taking one 5mg pill every four hours for about a month and then tried to go to one every eight hours. Boy, did I ever have a scare - shaking, crying, restlessness, runny eyes and nose... it was horrible AND at work nonetheless! I called a pharmacist who said weaning off by going from every four hours to every eight is too much of a jump. So I went to one every six hours for a couple days and then one every eight and now, today, I'm going "cold turkey". Slight nausea and shaking and crying, but not as bad as before, and I'm at home working today so that's better. Just a warning to all to be careful with going off the strong painkillers after being on them a long time - withdrawal can be uncomfortable to say the least.
It's never a good idea to come off heavy-duty pain medications cold turkey. Getting withdrawal symptoms is almost inevitable if you do that.
Here's an article that suggest how to wean off those meds:
Weaning off pain medication
Wow @TortiTabby, our stories sound a bit similar. I my TKR was on April 2 and I went to work on week 3....not a good idea, but it’s done now. I have been very hard on myself and don’t know how to control it. I am now almost 9 weeks out and I am just tinkering on 90 degrees bend....horrible. I absolutely love your massage idea . I hope you recover soon.
5 and 1/2 weeks out: Totally off the heavy duty pain meds now - just two Tylenol every six hours. Yesterday I was finally able to get a 90 degree flexion without forcing too much. I can also go up the stairs normally, but not down without a cane. I meet with the surgeon tomorrow so I hope he thinks all seems well. I feel better about walking without a cane and I feel the flexion will slowly improve if I keep the joint moving daily but also resting/ice/elevation. I also have a second massage scheduled - that felt great the first time! Thanks everyone for your continued support.
Here’s my favorite mantra:
It’s not exercising that gets our range of motion back, it’s Time:
Time to recover.
Time for pain and swelling to settle.
Time to heal.
Our range of motion is right there all
along just waiting for that to happen so it can show itself.
In the general run of things, it doesn't need to be fought for, worked hard for or worried about. It will happen. Exercise as in strength training is counter-productive and in the early weeks does more harm than good. Normal activity is the key to success.
@TortiTabby we are exactly The same place timewise, I go to the doctors in two days. Things are going OK, I’m at 92 with a -5 so that’s pretty good I’m having good days and bad days, off Oxy but taking Tylenol with codeine as needed maybe to three times a week slow and steady good luck at the doctors
Warning; the following is my personal opinion only.... I'm not a doctor, or medical professional, but my opinion has been formed through hearing and reading about MUAs and patients who've had one, plus my own common sense.
I think in most cases I've read about or heard about, an MUA seems to be done for the benefit of the doctor, not the patient. Doctors can be impatient at times, and want to see nearly instant results of their work. But, IMHO, that isn't helpful to the patient early on, if ever. Think about a nice, thick hose in your garden. You turn the water on, and fill it while shutting off the sprayer on the end to keep the water in the hose. Then you try to bend it when it's fully inflated and loaded with water. What happens? It doesn't want to bend, it will bend eventually if you put enough pressure on it, but it will leave a permanent mark in the hose at the place you forced it to bend, and some hoses, I'm picturing those with a weave pattern in them, will possibly begin to pop some of those woven threads, and may also leave a kink in that spot. The hose may have bent under a lot of force, but it was harmed in the process. Next, you turn off the water and remove the sprayer end, allowing the water to drain out. The hose now bends easily and without harm.
The implant your doctor put in your knee area bends perfectly well. He took it out of it's packaging and checked it somehow for function before installing it inside your knee area. Nothing happened to the implant between the time he took it out of it's packaging and the time it was implanted; what changed is your tissues, muscles and so on, are throwing a hissy-fit after being assaulted, and are showing that fit by giving you pain and swelling. Swelling after a TKR is caused by fluid building up in your leg (as I understand it-maybe other factors contribute to swelling also-as I stated I'm not a doctor, but fluid is at least part of the reason for swelling) and hanging out for a while before it slowly dissipates. If you try to force that knee to bend while it's in pain and swollen from a build-up of fluid, it's going to reward you with more pain and more swelling. Those tissues that are already stressed by being filled with fluid may also fray and/or break a little, so to speak, but the end result is more assault and injury to an already injured and stressed area. If you are very, very patient, and allow everything to heal, while slowly building up your strength and muscles in the knee again, when the swelling is gone, including the kind you can't see but is inside, your knee will bend nicely. It may not ever bend as fully as your other knee that wasn't replaced, but it will bend nicely again. Forcing it to bend before it's ready can't be helpful, IMO.
Just remember-it's YOUR knee and YOUR recovery; just because your surgeon operated on it doesn't mean he now owns it. You can listen to his opinion and advice, and the opinions and advice of others, as you choose, and in the end only you make the decision on how you want YOUR knee to recover. After you make as informed a decision as possible, those around you need to support you, regardless of what they would do. And that includes this opinion too!
I still have a lot of swelling in my knee, and even my OS isn't sure why, so for now we've both basically chalked it up to my contrary body which always reacts in the opposite way we think it should. But not once has he ever mentioned an MUA, nor have I ever asked him about one-my belief is he probably doesn't believe bending a swollen, fluid-filled knee under force would be helpful. But again, I've never asked him about it so that's just my opinion. I'm sending good healing thoughts your way; please keep us posted!
Very nicely said, Kim! It is common sense that a swollen knee can't bend easily and when forced will be damaged more than it already is. You covered that very well!
I love this!
Met with the surgeon yesterday and I was pleased with myself that I feel I'm improving. Well... he doesn't think so. He's giving me 3 weeks to get to 120 flexion or he said I'll have to chose between MUA or limited mobility. I told him about this website and the method described. This is what they wrote in my visit summary: "She reads an online website called Bone Smart which states to not push through pain following knee replacement. If she were to follow this direction, she will have to learn to live with a knee that only reaches to 85 degrees of flexion. I believe this website is very misleading." Needless to say I cried all the way home, all evening, and all this morning. It's so frustrating to work so hard and have a surgeon basically threaten you with permanent limited mobility if you don't do what he says when he says it. Right now I'm through; I'm not going back to see him anymore.
I’m so sorry your doctor was not supportive. I dreaded my check ups with my surgeon, he always pushed my knee to a painful place to get the highest measurement. He told me to do things that Bonesmart said not to. I wanted to cancel appointments but was afraid to, though I could have, as my appointments were a waste of time, in my opinion. They considered of X-rays every time that were always fine, and as I said, painful measurements. It took me until my 7 month check to not let him touch me.
I never told him about Bonesmart.
And guess what. My ROM is still improving and it’s been 2 years since my surgery.
Try to get back to how to how you felt before you went to the appointment:
This is what’s important. It’s your knee and your recovery. If you are pleased with your progress that’s all that really matters.
You are still early in a very tough recovery. You have lots of time to improve, and where you are now is not where you will end up.
Recently I compared this recovery to baking cookies. My chocolate chip cookies take 12 minutes to completely bake. If I take them out earlier, at 2 minutes, 4, 8 or whatever, they will only be partially baked, and not all that tasty, because they’re not done yet.
The same is true of our knee at 2 months, or 3 months, etc. It needs time to finish healing.
Thank you Jockette. I need to "shake it off" and get positive again.
I know very well how hard it is to shake these things off. I have a very sensitive personality and comments are hard to let go of.
Hang out here with us.
Bonesmart has a wealth of advice, information and support.
We will offer helpful suggestions,
Cheer your accomplishments
And send hugs when you are feeling down.
We understand what you’re going through.
You know the mantra here on Bonesmart, your ROM (range of motion) will continue to grow up to a year if not longer.
I can tell you why he put that into your chart. Just in case down the road you take legal action against him he can always use that against you in a case.
$1400 that's how much an OS gets paid for 15 minutes of work for an MUA, that's why they always pushing for that procedure. Personally, I wouldn't even consider an MUA until after three months and that's after all other resources have been exhausted.
Idle threats don't work with me very well, especially coming from a professional like a doctor. I think you made the right decision not to go back to him anymore. Not only would I drop him like a hot cake, but I'll be on the phone the next day calling his superiors to complain about him.
Sending hugs and prayers your way.