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[TKR] TrueNorth’s new knee!

Jockette

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Once the swelling is gone your ROM will improve. It does take time though. I continued to gain ROM 12-18 months post op.
I am another one with ROM still improving and I’m 2+ years post op. As time goes on my whole leg continues to relax, allowing more bend.

My ROM numbers were great early on, but I was never measured by being allowed to bend on my own, my bend was always pushed for measurements, even by my surgeon. So I honestly don’t know what my true numbers were. Nothing like what was reported.

Then I had a major set back at 4 months due to over activity which drastically reduced my ROM, and just as I was beginning to improve, my son got married and it was a busy weekend and out of town with little ability to properly take care of my knee and I was back to square one again.

My ROM was very poor the rest of my first year and I was so stressed about it because ROM was my surgeon’s main focus.

In spite of all that, now my ROM is fine.

4 weeks is still early in this year long recovery. Please try not to worry. You have lots of time to improve, and you will.
 

Denny39

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@TrueNorth As I said before, our nights are almost carbon copies, so is our 5 week check-up. I could have almost copied and pasted yours. The only difference is that I have more flexion, 117 at discharge from home PT. But don’t worry about that, there could be many reasons. My surgeon did say I was beyond normal expectations in that area. But, I was losing flexion, and stiffness and pain wasn’t improving. So, yesterday, I disciplined and behaved behaved myself. Boy did that hurt! (Behaving myself.) I basically gave my knee the day off. Elevated and iced 4 times, stayed away from the stairs. I slept better last night than I have all week, and when I got up this morning, the pain and stiffness were notably less than the last 2 or 3 mornings. Still, after walking around for awhile, it became clear that I must extend my “good behavior” streak.

Quoting you, “trying to take it easy and get back on track this week”, is exactly the conclusion I came to. So, now our focus has to be not only getting back on track, which may take another day or two, but staying there and s-l-o-w-l-y working our way through this recovery process the way it really is, instead of the way we would like it to be. I say that with myself (admittedly having a bit of a problem with patience) as the primary target.

My surgeon gave me a prescription for out-patient PT. I had not planned to do that, but I guess that will have to be part of my capitulation. PT, within of course, the Bonesmart guidelines. I’ll be very interested in your progress. I know you’ll get there, and I hope your (our) journey smoothes out.
 
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TrueNorth

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Just back from PT. I enjoyed the session and she has given me a few different and modified exercises for homework, including rocking on an exercise bike which I do happen to have in the basement. Left leg measured as being swollen by 2.5 inches more than the non-operated one so def still some swelling to deal with.

Right now though, it is time for afternoon lime therapy... enjoying a ice cold Bud Light Lime out on the deck in the sunshine!
 

KarriB

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Afternoon therapy sounds good, just be sure you elevate/ice while relaxing.

I think @Denny39 has found the pot at the end of the rainbow. Sometimes we have to “work” at not doing anything because it’s actually what’s best for our TKRs. At just over a month post op your new knee needs lots of TLC.
 
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TrueNorth

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Six week check in today... I can't believe that six weeks have gone by so quickly! The pain and fog of the first two weeks has receded into the mists of time (thankfully!). My ROM is up to around 80/-5 so improving very slowly and I'm only taking pain meds as needed. Some days that's only a couple regular Tylenol, but some days it still means a couple pairs of T3s.

Unfortunately, a problem with my right foot popped up this weekend (might be gout) so walking is very limited but had a PT session this morning, and keeping up with home PT stretches and exercises as tolerated. Down to using the walker only occasionally at night and can do short walks (like around the kitchen when making lunch) with no aids. Stairs are still strictly a strong leg leading thing although I've caught myself unconsciously starting to try to do them regularly. So, basically seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
 

KarriB

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That’s a good report for 6 weeks post op! Sleeping for me didn’t come until I went back to work part time at week 12. I think I was so exhausted my body just gave up at bed time.
 
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TrueNorth

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June 17 seems to have been a popular day! Right foot is a bit better today but still taking it super easy as I am anxious to get up and busy! Still off work for a few more weeks so I want to actually enjoy some summer vacation time as opposed to summer recuperation time!
 
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TrueNorth

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I can't believe it's been seven weeks this past Monday since my surgery! I eagerly read @Denny39 's seven week update as it's fun to compare how we are each doing, given that we had identical surgery dates. The past week has seen some progress... flexion is up to 85/-5--still lagging, but I can finally believe that it is improving. Still taking occassional Tylenol or T3s for flareups, like after too much activity (like that one mile walk last week, which was followed by two days of soreness :elevate:) but knee pain at rest (seated) is typically 0 or a 1. Still some pain while standing, especially after sitting for a while and it takes a moment of walking to loosen up. Sleeping is almost back to baseline for me as I usually awaken a couple times anyway. The early morning knee pain of the first few weeks that made me get up earlier than I like just to relieve the pain is almost gone--maybe a 2 to 3 that dissipates once I am up and moving. Still have occassional pain on the front centre of the lower implant area... this is where the surgeon had to do a hardware removal from a 10 year old tib/fib pleateau fracture repair so may be some additional healing that has to happen there.

The walker is folded up in the closet and I only use the cane when going out, or later in the day/evening at home. Someing new this week is being able to go up stairs normally (carefully). The new knee feels so much solid than the piecemeal one it replaced! Still can't go downstairs normally as ROM requires a stretch beyond comfort but maybe in a couple more weeks.

My original back to work date would have been after next week :dubious: !!! But given where I am at with somewhat limited flexion and still needing to elevate and ice a little each day, I feel that would be too soon so I've moved that to early September.
 
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Ladyala

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Stairs normally? Wow, that's great!!
 

KarriB

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Sounds like you’re doing great! Even with all that progress, I think you were wise to put off work for another month to give that new knee a little more time.
 
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TrueNorth

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Eight week check in time. These weeks sure fly past. I wish I had new things to share but I really feel I'm still about where I was last week. I have been pretty much going without the cane except for going out. Was able to do a 1.5 mile walk non-stop but ended up a bit sore for a couple days so probably a bit much yet. I see the OS tomorrow for post-op follow up.
 

KarriB

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I found staying with the same distance consistently for a week helped. I tried to keep it short at first, 10-15 minutes, but walked it twice a day. Then each week I’d add 5 minutes to my walk.
 

hoopsgran

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@KarriB, I’m glad to read this. My short outside walks are going great but I think I added distance too quickly. I’m going to try staying the same for a week and see if that makes a difference. It’s amazing how two or three little walks m are me totally exhausted every evening. :bored:
 

Denny39

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@TrueNorth I just read your 7 week update and your 8 week update. I am a bit behind on a few things, like keeping up with the forum because I have taken on a project which requires up-front MASSIVE amounts of my least favorite thing to do - - - paperwork. All I see when I close my eyes is Excel Spreadsheet pages and formulas.

We really are very similar in our overall pattern. The major difference is that I am ahead in flexion, (122 degrees) and you are ahead in sleep. I have almost forgotten what sleep is (4 1/2 - 6 hours, mostly spent tossing and turning). My wife still sleeps in the spare room, and I can't really blame her since twice last night I woke up with my leg hanging off her side of the bed. But, that is almost an exact repeat of the first time around; must be genetic. Now, at 8 weeks and 2 days (finally beyond miserable) I am walking pretty good on even ground, still having the same problems with stiffness after sitting too long, and when I first get up in the morning. Still have a 1-2 pain level in the Tibia, no surprise there since that is the one where the "press-fit" component got hammered in.

I still do the same thing with the cane, almost never use it at home, but "never leave home without it". I haven't tried a 1.5 mile walk yet, but I did start walking on the treadmill 10 minutes a day at 2 mph. My first surgery is now a little over 8 months, and doing very well. Still have mild sensations in the more sensitive areas from time to time, but it has served extremely well as my "good leg" during this recovery. Will you have to have the other one done?
 

KarriB

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At just a month post op your body is still using a lot of energy to heal from the surgery. It wasn’t until month 7 that I felt my energy level was close to pre op level.

Also at a month post op your walks should be short, no more than 5-10 min. This recovery really can’t be hurried along, it takes a while (12 months) to feel normal.
 
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TrueNorth

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@KarriB , thanks for the tips on distance consistency, will give that a try.

@Denny39 , thanks for sharing your update. It’s interesting how the cornucopia of pain and side effects like sleep disruption varies so much from person to person. My sleep is great, maybe even better than before with my crumbly knee and my resting pain level is practically zero. BUT, my ROM is only increasing with tons of hard work and I find myself constantly dwelling on it. I was thinking I would offer to trade my good sleep for your ROM but I found myself pondering that we sometimes don’t value or think as much about what is going well versus what’s causing us concern so I guess I’ll have to hang onto it.

I found myself dealing with yet another setback this week with a swollen, hot and stiff knee. I initially thought I’d been too aggressive with stretching but I think it was due to spending hours at a time a few times a day in my chair in my home office as I was starting to do some work from home. I took today as a rest, ice and elevate day and already see a big improvement in it. Have to watch the sitting, especially with a planned return to work in just over two weeks. I just ran across @Roy Gardiner ’s stretching guide and will be adopting that as my new plan. Cycling is a top activity that I want to get back to and I can’t even do a revolution on an exercise bike right now! It’s been years but I hope to have many more century rides in me!
 

KarriB

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Can you find a way to elevate at your home office?
 

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