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[TKR] TrueNorth’s new knee!

TrueNorth

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Long time lurker, first time poster here. I found the pre surgery information on this site very helpful and as of June 17, 2019, I have a new shiny metal left knee! This is post surgery day 2 and I am perched on the bed anxiously awaiting for the nurse to arrive with my release paperwork and prescriptions.

I was having moments of doubt the previous couple of weeks, imagining that it was feeling a bit better and maybe I should just postpone the surgery... maybe it’s too soon and waiting it out for another couple of years would be better, etc. Ultimately I went ahead as scheduled and I have to say that things have gone well. Attentive and compassionate care and advice but it feels GREAT to be heading for the comforts of home!

I had a -1/127 bend in the knee before and only have about 55 in it now which was described as tight but not abnormal. I’m looking forward to leaning on this community for support as I work on recovery.
 

sistersinhim

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Welcome @TrueNorth! You have come to the best place to all things knees! Everyone of us has been through a joint replacement and have combined our experiences to come up with the best way to do it. The following are our basic guidelines and should help get you started. As you read more on other members recovery threads, you’ll get a better perspective of what to expect and what not to do, especially regarding PT and home activities.

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
elevate
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)
don't overwork.
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. Here is a week-by-week guide for Activity progression for TKRs


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 a 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 history before providing advice.
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome to Bonesmart!
I had a -1/127 bend in the knee before and only have about 55 in it now which was described as tight but not abnormal. I’m looking forward to leaning on this community for support as I work on recovery.
Your ROM will come back as your swelling goes down, so don’t stress over it. By the same token, your ROM will go down if you overdo and your swelling gets worse, both are par for the course. It’s a balancing act you will figure out.

Keep in mind 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.

Best wishes for your recovery. Try to relax and just go with the flow of it. We’re here if/when you need us.
 

Woodpusher

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Just know you have a long journey, do what Bone Smart advises, and you will be fine.
Unfortunate but probably true. I'm a couple days from a month post-op and still having pain, but nothing I can't manage. Hopefully you have nice seasonal weather in Canada and can get outside a little. Like a friend of mine told me, better days are ahead.
 

winemama

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@Woodpusher I’m from Ohio, we have had nothing but rain, which doesn’t help my knees. Just do one day at a time. Honestly I feel like I have 2-3 good days, and Bam 2 days down
 

lovetocookandsew

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Welcome @TrueNorth and congrats on the new addition! When people tell you this recovery is a roller coaster, believe it! You will have days where you're on top of the world, and days you come flying down the mountain. But the good days will eventually outnumber the not-so-good days, until one day you notice you hardly even think about your knee anymore. The recovery for this surgery is, on average, a full year, although most people are feeling much better by three months or so.

The best thing you can do right now is read the articles sistersinhim left for you, spend a lot of time each day icing and elevating, and follow as closely as possible the Activity Progression for TKRs. That one was my BFF for some time after my revision; I read it daily to make sure I didn't do too much, or too little, at any given point in my recovery.

We're here for you, whether you need advice or need to whine a little; we have all been where you are and understand. Good luck and please keep us posted on your progress!
 

Sunnyo

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Welcome to a fellow Canadian. I'm two weeks out tomorrow and doing ok. I know the feeling of putting off the surgery but it is good to have a stable knee. The discomfort we have now will be gone soon not like the previous pain that only gets worse.
Hope all is going well.
 
OP
OP
T

TrueNorth

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Thanks to all for the warm welcome and words of encouragement! Trip home was uneventful except for a few bumps and pot holes that elicited the odd yelp! The afternoon and eve were a mix of napping and gentle stretching... nothing too crazy. We live in a two story house but with sturdy handrails so I was able to navigate upstairs to sleep in my own bed last night. Trying to find something that works to keep condensation from the icing machine’s pad off the dressing but not so thick that it insulates too much and weakens the effectiveness. Any suggestions?
 

RAD

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I put my leg into an old pillowcase and then wrapped the ice machine pad around. Still felt the cold since the pillowcase was not very thick.
 

Benay

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I use a hand towel wrapped in such a way that one side is double thickness and the other single so it can be alternated depending on how cold it feels. It's worked well for me.
 

Woodpusher

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I like the cold on my knee so want only something thin between me and the ice bladder. I use the extra long compression sleeve issued to me in the hospital.
 

lovetocookandsew

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I like it cold, so I used a tea towel. I generally doubled it when the ice bottles and ice in the machine were fresh; as it gradually got less icy cold I unfolded it and used a single layer, until we replaced the bottles again..
 

Atlas_aus

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Welcome. Sounds like you are doing ok so far. Same as others I use a tea towel or similar for the ice... Not sure you can do much about the condensation unless you move to a warmer climate :heehee:
 

LaxMom

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Welcome @TrueNorth

I can relate to the feeling of wanting to put the surgery off. And there might be times when you wish you did. But have patience and soon you will be saying it is the best thing you ever did for yourself.

Know you are never alone in this. Your Bonesmart friends have got you.
 

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