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turtle68

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[i]Had my RTKR five weeks ago. Had GA as I've had lumbar fusion, and they will not do spinal if with metal in back. So far, so good. I've had lots of good days and some bad ones as well. I was so thrilled to find this site and realize I'm not along, especially when I went through the "post op blues" as you all call them. My poor husband didn't know what to me with me. I've had four weeks of physical therapy and am doing well with 119 flexion and -1 extension. It seems the pt is so hung up on these numbers, but thanks to what I've learned on these pages, I have not let him push me too much.

I had my surgery in the medical center in Houston, TX, and the care was excellent. They did emphasize the 6-8 week "window of opportunity" we're supposed to have to get our flexion back, and it scared the heck out of me. So I've been relieved to read that it will keep getting better for some time to come.

I will post more later as that old fatigue is setting in, even though I just woke up from a brief nap. It's amazing how one can feel great one minute and then be down for the count the next. It's been so much help to read everyone's journeys. I see so much compassion and understanding here, it makes me want to cry.(I was being a little facetitious there.

Dorothy
 
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easter welcome 3.jpg
Dorothy, so pleased you have joined us here on the forum.

We are here to help in any way we can: answering questions and concerns; supporting and encouraging you from start to finish; giving you a place to vent, whine, complain if you need to; sharing experiences with one another; and having fun and some laughs along the way.

I have found an avatar that I thought you might like to use. It is already sized to fit perfectly as I have tested it. Just right click on the attached picture and "save image as" in your picture files. Then hover your mouse of your user name at the top of the page and from the drop down menu select "Avatar". The click the browse button and find the picture in your files and double click it. Then click "Okay"and you are done. If you are not interested, my feelings will not be hurt. I just enjoy doing this. Here is your turtle avatar.
cute turtle 1.jpg


Take care and keep us posted. We care. easter hugs 10.jpg
 

speccybecky

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Welcome Dorothy. Sounds like you are doing great.
It's the start of a long winding road but you've set off on the right foot!
 

Mutley

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Hi Dorothy :)

I've been on some journeys in my time but goodness, nothing beats this one! Up one day, down the next, happy, crying over my cornflakes (English breakfast cereal!) 17 weeks post op tomorrow & still my journey continues :gaah: What I have read on this FABULOUS forum is that you need patience & lots of time as NO ONE can tell you when you will be better, except your knee. You sound like your doing everything the right way. Rest a bit, ice a bit, exercise a bit & elevate a bit! Thank goodness for supportive husbands, even if they don't quite understand the emotions involved! Wishing you all the very best for your continued journey :flwrysmile:
 
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turtle68

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6 weeks post op today. I am so grateful I found this site. It seemed like I had turned the corner for the last few days, then I had pt today, he put me back on some leg press kind of machine, plus 1½ lb. weights for 45 leg raises, and now I am swollen, my back hurts, and I have a little bit of groin pain. I'm curious about the weights on the legs. I know I used them in pt after my lumbar fusion, but I don't understand why I need more weight on my quads - I mean how much does a leg weigh? Is this protocol?

I had been doing much better using the bonesmart mantra - I told him that on Monday (and had a 5 degree increase in flexion, which is now at 121, with no pushing by the therapist.) Needless to say, I see my OS tomorrow and I'm going to ask him about discontinuing the formal PT and continuing to do it on my own, which I feel works much better.

I love expression "roller coaster ride", which exactly what this recovery is. My OS told me he doesn't get a hug until 3 months post surgery and now I understand why. Realistically though, I don't miss the arthritic pain at all and am so looking forward to being active again. I had almost quit doing anything around the house, and find I can do more now than before surgery.
 

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Congratulations on you great flexion. Like you I was very happy to have found this site. It does feel great to start reclaiming one's life again and be able to do things -enjoy.
 

Roy Gardiner

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Hi, welcome to BoneSmart.

6 weeks post op today. ... I had pt today, he put me back on some leg press kind of machine, plus 1-1/2 lb. weights for 45 leg raises, and now I am swollen, my back hurts, and I have a little bit of groin pain.
- You don't need to train at 6 weeks, you still need to recover.
- The jump from nothing to 45 reps of a new exercise is anyway far too great. The fact that you have backache and groin pain shouts that very loudly.
- And it's contrary to the mantra


- 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 - to do it to you
- If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it.
- If you won't die if it's not done, don't do it.
- Don't stand if you can sit; don't sit if you can lie down, don't stay awake when you can go to sleep
 

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Hi Turtle, Hi Roy!
So, Roy, does the admonition about swelling and stiffness still apply at 12 weeks? I'm just wondering, since any PT I do for ROM always causes some rebound stiffness next day inter-compartmentally.
In general, my operated knee is about 1&1/2 inches bigger round than my real knee, same with the calf measurement, whereas the quad is a little smaller than the non-operated leg. I'm hanging in at 90 stubborn degrees ROM, too. It hasn't budged in 5 weeks! I do bike pedals, (the floor kind without the actual bike), and I hang a 5 lb barbell off the end of my leg while hooking it over something, for awhile each evening. I am up and down stairs all day long..a bit of a hitch in my hip, since the stair risers are steep, which gives me a good stretch, but no progress. I'm not sure whether to keep abiding by "less is more" or to be stricter with myself at the 3 month mark. Could all the stairs not be a good thing? They don't hurt me and I probably go up and down 20 or 30 times a day, minimum since my home office is on the second floor.I'm one of the people who has refused MUA because I just cannot handle another iota of pain, or any more PT, plus I have a sick Mom to care for and she needs my time now.
What say you?
 

maryo52

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Number one, you are not a turtle. It took me over 6 months to get 120.

Number two, and this is for everyone reading this, we enable physical therapists to become better when we don't let them push. Seeing how that works is hopefully something they will remember, and apply to future clients.
 
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turtle68

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Thanks Roy. I saw OS yesterday, and he agrees with you. No more outpatient PT, just do what I've been doing at home and live life as I can. It brought tears to my eyes when I saw the x-ray of my beautiful, perfect new knee, with all that wonderful space where I had bone on bone before. It's interesting that I really don't remember much about the post-op pain, but I can still remember well the pain of my old knee.

Did a lot of walking yesterday (for me). After going to dr.s, which is about a 45 minute drive, stopped at COSTCO to buy my new exercise bike - yeah!!!, and did some walking there. I could feel it this morning, but after icing, then stretching exercises, it feels great. It's a beautiful sunny day here in Houston, TX - it's been cold (for us), but supposed to be 74 today so hope I can get outside for a short walk.

Also, going to look for a new mattress. My husband and I are both waking up with backaches, but like anything else, it's just too confusing to know what to choose.

Have a beautiful weekend!!!

Dorothy - 2/20/13
 

scaredinCA

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Good luck with buying a new mattress. I bought a sleep number bed and have never regretted it, even though its expensive.. Well worth the money!
 

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Never thought of that before Dorothy. Forgetting the post op pain which was really quite bad but not the bone on bone pain. Bit like childbirth I suppose. Thanks for pointing that out tho. Take care
 
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turtle68

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Roy, I appreciate all your great advice. Have a question. We just got a new exercise bike. I am through with outpatient pt (per my doctor), and don't want to get carried away on the bike. I was on the bike 8-15 minutes at pt, was able to make complete forward round 1st time I was on it. I just wondered how long and how many times a day I can be riding it now. Just curious, as I do plan on listening to my body. Also, my back has been giving me major problems (muscle spasms when I get up in the morning), and I don't know what to do about that.

On a lighter note, had a great day yesterday. It's such a thrill to be able to things around the house with major bone pain. I can now bend a little bit and empty dish washer comfortable, run laundry through, and I love picking up, as we have a nice-size one story house which gives me room to roam around in. Also, went to Thai food with some friends, then walked around a street faire where people were standing around to get their tastes of wine. I do have to be careful, though, because I forget myself going off a curb and tend to not think and put full weight on my right knee.

Have a great day.
Dorothy 4/7/2013
 
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turtle68

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By the way, we bought a new temperpedic split king, adjustable mattress Friday, so looking forward to better sleep.
 
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turtle68

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It's hard to know what to do sometimes, isn't it? I think sometimes you just have to listen to your body. I've found doing the exercises slow and steady, especially on weekends when I was in PT and needed to recover, worked much better for me. Just an idea.
Dorothy 4/7/2013
 

Roy Gardiner

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We just got a new exercise bike. I ... don't want to get carried away on the bike. I was on the bike 8-15 minutes at pt, was able to make complete forward round 1st time I was on it. I just wondered how long and how many times a day I can be riding it now. Just curious, as I do plan on listening to my body.
OK it's the difference IMO between training and recovery -- what you are doing is recovery. For this, you just get on the bike and turn the pedals round, no resistance, for a minute or so. At the start your leg(s) will be a bit resistant to making the revolution, at the end turning easily.

When the legs turn easily from the start, lower the saddle by 1/4". Keep doing this whenever you can, every week or so.

You can do this exercise several times a day.

If your knee swells up, stop doing it!
Hi Turtle, Hi Roy!
So, Roy, does the admonition about swelling and stiffness still apply at 12 weeks? I'm just wondering, since any PT I do for ROM always causes some rebound stiffness next day inter-compartmentally.
IMO, then, you should do less.
In general, my operated knee is about 1&1/2 inches bigger round than my real knee, same with the calf measurement, whereas the quad is a little smaller than the non-operated leg. I'm hanging in at 90 stubborn degrees ROM, too. It hasn't budged in 5 weeks! I do bike pedals, (the floor kind without the actual bike), and I hang a 5 lb barbell off the end of my leg while hooking it over something, for awhile each evening. I am up and down stairs all day long..a bit of a hitch in my hip, since the stair risers are steep, which gives me a good stretch, but no progress. I'm not sure whether to keep abiding by "less is more" or to be stricter with myself at the 3 month mark. Could all the stairs not be a good thing? They don't hurt me and I probably go up and down 20 or 30 times a day, minimum since my home office is on the second floor.I'm one of the people who has refused MUA because I just cannot handle another iota of pain, or any more PT, plus I have a sick Mom to care for and she needs my time now.
What say you?
Less is always more, in recovery. Being 'stricter', if by that you mean doing more, will always be negative.

Without anything else interfering (e.g. adhesions, which is unlikely) your regaining flexion is being hindered by doing too much - going up and down stairs 20 or 30 times!! Come on!

Don't worry about the quad being smaller. When healing is complete and training doesn't make the knee swell, then you can fix it. Not before.

I'd recommend getting a bike or skateboard for flexion stretches.

I don't like the weight thing (for extension I presume?) and have illustrated the simple pressure exercise I used in my exercise thread (below in the sig).
 

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