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Revision TKR Totally recovered at last!

newlybionic

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I had a left TKR July 13, 2015. I had a tough time of it in the beginning because I wasn't able take pain meds. They all made me so sick. I'm still in therapy working on stamina and going down stairs. I'm starting back to work in a week and a half and I'm going have to be on my feet for 10 hours or more a day. It definitely has been 2 steps forward and 1 step back. I cried twice at PT. Once was when my frustration on how slowly I was improving pushed me to the edge. The second time was when I had developed scar tissue that my therapist had to work through. I haven't given up, but as of now I have no plans to ever have my other knee done! Just keep at it and the only schedule on recovery varies between everyone.
 

Celle

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Hello :welome:
You'll see that we have given you a thread of your own, so we can talk about your own recovery.

I'm sorry to hear you'v e had such a hard time and I hope that going back to work isn't too hard.

I know it's been a while since your surgery, but I'm still going to give you our recovery reading list. There are some very informative articles there.
First are the BoneSmart mantras ....
- rest, elevate, ice and take your pain meds by the clock
- if it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physiotherapist (PT) - to do it to you
- if your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again
- if you won't die if it's not done, don't do it
- never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, never stay awake when you can go to sleep!
- be active as much as you need to be but not more than is necessary, meaning so much that you end up being in pain, exhausted or desperate to sit down or lie down!

Next is a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) thread.

And here are some very crucial articles
The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
Myth busting: no pain, no gain
Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
Activity progression for TKRs

Healing: how long does it take?
Chart representation of TKR recovery
Energy drain for TKRs
Elevation is the key
Ice to control pain and swelling

Home physio (PT) and activity progress: suggestions
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds
Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

And then some wise words from members who have shared their experiences ...
Where are you in recovery?? (TKR)
Five “P’s” of knee recovery
TKR: work “smarter” and not “harder”
Recovering a knee - from one who knows!
It's never too late to get more ROM!
It's worth the wait for ROM

We usually recommend 12 weeks recovery before a Phased return to work
With nursing shift work, that's probably not possible, but is it at all possible for you to negotiate some lighter duties initially?

When you have time, please will you create a a signature, in which you put you knee surgery and its date (use the international method of writing dates, as you have in your first post). Doing that makes it easier to see what you had done, and when, without going back to your first post. Here's how to do it:
How to create a signature
Thank you.

I'm looking forward to hearing how you're getting on. Best wishes. :flwrysmile:
 
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newlybionic

newlybionic

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I am 3 months out of LTKR and I have been having IT band problems. My therapist suggested to me to make sure that when I am laying down or sitting that my left leg should be straight and to not let my foot to turn outwards. I have been monitoring that and have been getting massages at therapy and it is,slowly getting better.
 

Slainte

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We are glad you are here. I had my first TKR on July 9th, so we are surgery sisters! For financial reasons I went ahead and had knee #2 done Oct. 1st. (had met my insurance deductible). It is quite an arduous journey, for sure. Going back to work at such a physically demanding job will be a challenge. The fact that you are an RN tells me two things about you. One, you made it through a tough curriculum and clinicals to become an RN, so you are strong and smart. Two, you care about people and once you get back to work your focus will shift from yourself to your patients. That is where you need to be careful to continue reserving your energy as much as possible. We are here to cheer each other on, and I will definitely be doing that for you. I work in home health and I have the utmost respect for nurses. Good luck!
 
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newlybionic

newlybionic

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Good luck with the second knee. (My username changed). I am so scared to have the other knee done since I couldn't take pain meds. I was so sick I couldn't eat or drink. My lowest point was about 3 weeks out. I was home alone with three dogs, hurting, sick and defeated. It was so hard to make the conscious effort to get up and going. I can't have the other knee done this year since I used up all 20 of my therapy visits for the year. Are you still going to therapy?
 

Celle

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@newlybionic
All narcotics make me vomit like crazy. However, thanks to having anti-emetics prescribed to take routinely (IV at first and then orally), I was able to achieve pain relief.

This is something to discuss with your surgical team prior to surgery. Surely there is something you can be given, because you do need the pain relief, as you found out.
 
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newlybionic

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I tried that plus additional medications for my stomach plus stool softeners. It took almost a month before my stomach finally calmed down. I had a tough workout today and I already know I won't be able to sleep due to the pain and swelling.
 

Josephine

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I cried twice at PT. Once was when my frustration on how slowly I was improving pushed me to the edge. The second time was when I had developed scar tissue that my therapist had to work through.
Well, honey, you're only 14 weeks out now so I would imagine when you were getting frustrated by slow progress, you were only about 6 weeks out, yes? No-one ever makes much progress in the first few weeks and it's counter-productive to even try. I would also suggest that the 'scar tissue' your PT was working on so diligently was not scar tissue at all but just swelling! It's an all too frequent error that these people make, they don't see to know the difference! Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
I haven't given up, but as of now I have no plans to ever have my other knee done!
Oh that's a very common reaction! Bless you, you're far too early in the process to think otherwise. You wait, in another 6 months, you'll be thinking differently, in 12 months you'll only be aware of the great outcome you've had!

But when you do get around to having your other knee done - and you will eventually (which is assuming that this is on the cards in the first place!), I do urge you to read my recovery threads to see how little exercising I did!
First knee. Knee recovery - UK style
Second knee. Josephine's 2nd knee story - short version where I did even less!
It is possible to get a good outcome without all the boot camp stuff! It's a myth and I've exposed it - twice!
Don't be victim to it again!
 
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newlybionic

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It was about 6 or so weeks out I cried at therapy. I do believe there was some scar tissue buildup because after he worked on my knee I was able to go up stairs and get around immediately after. I had decided in my mind a time frame for my recovery. It was very unrealistic. I had looked online for info on recovery postop and found some sites where I would see they were walking up and down steps in 1 week and back to regular activities within 3 weeks. I'm glad I found your site. I'm getting so much encouragement and info from 'real' people. My therapists have been very good and very encouraging. I'm never pushed to do more than I can handle. Fortunately they don't want me to experience any pain while working out. They have let me dictate what I can do. This knee has been damaged for over 40 years and won't get better in a few months.
 

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I had looked online for info on recovery postop and found some sites where I would see they were walking up and down steps in 1 week and back to regular activities within 3 weeks.
That site must be where all the mythical people who have miracle recoveries hang out. I've yet to meet anyone like that!

I have a friend who did go back to work at about 10 days after his knee replacement. He boasts about it now.
What he's forgotten is that although he did work, he was in a wheelchair and he made a few unwise decisions at work.
His wife helped get him up, showered and dressed and she drove him to and from work.
When he came home from work (early afternoon) he would fall into bed for the rest of the day, completely wiped out.
He suffered a lot of pain and slept very little, refusing to take pain medications, as he said those were for wimps.
Needless to say, he was pretty grumpy for several months!
 
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newlybionic

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I just remember 3 weeks postoperative. I was alone again as my daughters had to go back to work. I was in a lot of pain. I was having GI problems were I was nauseous and couldn't eat anything. I also had heartburn and abdominal pain. I was so depressed as I was still using a walker to get around. I had stopped taking pain medication. I finally just had to tell myself to get in going and really push myself to get up and move. It took a month more to finally have my stomach calm down. My doctor had me taking two different meds for that. I had had other major surgeries but this has been the most painful of them all. I still can't say I'm glad I did it. Maybe in a few more months I will.
 

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Yep, three months does seem like a long enough time for recovery, but many of us take upwards to a year.

My BTKR took me five months to lose a pesky little limp, and it was six months before I was at about 89%-85%. It was not until eight months that I was about 90%-95%.

These recoveries do test one's patience.
 

louie

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Hi there, and believe me, everyone on this site can relate to what you are going through! I had my second knee done July 22, and first one oct 2014, so the first is just 1 year!
Going through this recovery period is challenging, for sure, and you still have to give it time! And one thing I noticed was with having pain in my non surgical knee made me use my new knee more, leaving it stiff and it wouldn't bend cuz I was over doing!
I thought when I had hit the 3 month mark, on the first one, I would be as good as new! Well how wrong I was, it just takes time, really!
My job, as a pet groomer, is very physical, on my feet all day, and bending lifting, and it wears me out! So, when you go back to work next week, you just need to listen to your body, and sit when you need too! Don't be discouraged, it does get better!
 

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I got sick on meds. I backed off some and it helped. Doc changed med's after two weeks and that helped. It's tough the first few weeks. But it is so worth it believe me..Having my RTKR done 3 1/2 yrs ago. LTKR 1 1/2 yrs ago I can tell you it takes all of a year or more to get to that point of pure bliss.. I have been hiking for years now and did 6 miles with a 1000 ft gain on a very rocky slippery trail yesterday and didn't feel a thing in my knees. I remember going on that same hike at different periods and having to limp back in pain before my TKR's.
 
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newlybionic

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I'm moving better every day but I still have nagging pain at night that makes it hard to sleep. Is this normal? My health insurance plan limits my total PT visits to 20 and then I have to pay anymore out of pocket. I can't walk down stairs step over step yet. How will I know when I should stop going to PT? Is swimming a good exercise to increase range of motion? If anyone has these answers I would love to hear from you.
 

Celle

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Swimming is good exercise anyway. I don't think it does anything specific for helping gain ROM.
However, you could probably stop PT any time now. Just the normal activities of your daily life, particularly walking, will be enough to continue your progress. Don't overdo the walking.

You will be able to do stairs normally, as time goes on. It's not unusual to find it difficult at your stage of recovery.

I know it sounds weird, but you really don't need to work in order to get ROM. In fact, too much PT can slow it down. Just concentrate on keeping swelling down and the ROM will come. You do know that it can continue to increase for a year, or even longer, after a TKR, don't you?
It's never too late to get more ROM!
It's worth the wait for ROM
 

jmdearras

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That site must be where all the mythical people who have miracle recoveries hang out. I've yet to meet anyone like that!
I seem to live with those unicorns. Stairs at 1 week, driving back to work at 2. :)
 

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