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Two months after TKR

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TitaniumMan

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Hello everyone. Its been a bit over 2 months since my TKR. I must say that the pain and depression was almost unbearable at first. Today I find that the pain has turned to discomfort and the knee itself seems to be doing well. I do have some discomfort in the patella area when I exercise but that is due to stretching it. I have dropped another 20 pounds and I do my PT religiously, to include hot tub at 102 degrees to stretch and Ice 2 times a day. To cut to the point, I am experiencing discomfort in my calf that had become atrophied and it travels to the back of the thigh into the left buttock area. In the last few days, I am having lower back pain and now pain between my shoulder blades. The Doctor said I have "Stenosis" a degeneration of the lower spine that comes with age. I was told that serious surgery triggers lots of underlying problems. Can anyone share common problems or thoughts?
Respects,
Chuck W.
PS: My ROM seems to be stuck at 113-115 when the PT "pushes" it.
 

lyn

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I also have spinal stenosis and it effects my walking for very long and sitting also, butt hurts too, but I just won;t have any more surgery, even though my knee is great the surgery was very hard on me. I just walk 10 minutes and sit a bit and then walk some more, I guess I just mostly deal with the pain, I did not know that the surgery could have got it going worse. I am hoping losing some weight will help, although I am not losing much, being home and bored i nibble to much. I am grateful I can now walk without knee pain and limping. I sit all day at work, but if I get up and wander around frequently it seems to help. Lyn
 

Josephine

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The total relaxation during the anaesthetic and all the pulling around in the surgery are responsible for a lot of that. Contortions ain't the word for it! And then there's all the shuffling around with the walker, doing things in ways that your spine has never been accustomed to before. Little wonder the spine ends up complaining bitterly!

Either of you tried a TENS machine? I swear by mine!
 

jannd1053

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hi everyone, I am new to this site and so glad that I found it. I am 8 weeks post bilateral tkr and some times I think that I'll never be normal again. Progress seems so slow now that I tend to forget the progress that I've made. I gave up my cane 2 weeks ago and am now able to drive. Thank God! Cabin fever was making me crazy. I still have considerable discomfort in the left knee when I stand for longer than 30 min.,butmI'm trying to force myself to be mobile for longer period of time. Con grats to everyone out there on their progress. It's great to know that i'm not alone. What a trip this has been so far.
 

Josephine

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Hi, jan. Welcome to the site. Come join the group therapy! Promise you - it works!!
 
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TitaniumMan

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Hi JAAND, Your right, your not alone. I thought I was alone until I met others like me, and found this web site. From what I know Bilateral means you had two knees done at the same time? Well, your a Trooper and have alot of courage. I will NEVER have the other knee done unless it is a life or death situation. Just thought Id mention I am discomfort free this morning and feeling pretty chipper. I am going for my 6 month Dental check up today and have to begin an anti-biotic medicine just to get my teeth cleaned. Then Im going to get my Taxes done (I feel stress already) and Then to 2 hours of Physical Therapy. I have not taken a pain pill yet today! LOL. Anyway, just wanted to congratulate you on your progress and my feeling on knee replacement is-we did it, we must progress, quitting is not an option and in the words of one of my PT's "Lana" NO PAIN, NO GAIN. PS: Im just over two months PO. ROM is 113. 115 if the PT assists in pushing.
 
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TitaniumMan

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Josephine, I know that ICE is the key to swelling. What do you think about using a hot tub spa at 102*to stretch? I find I can stretch more and the pain is less. Have you ever heard of this type of warm water therapy for stretching? My Dr. basically said whatever helps get the ROM back. Being weightless in the water also gives me great releif to any discomfort. However, my PT says ICE, ICE, and more ICE. Thanks,
Chuck W.
 

Josephine

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Oh my goodness, yes! Pool therapy is the best. And if you have one, make good use of it.
 

MissB

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I had my first TKR Aug. 7 07, and am scheduling the second for early March.

I started getting deep tissue massage about once a week, beginning in Dec. 06, and I'm convinced it has saved my life. I don't know if it's advised with the stenosis, but my experience with massage therapists suggests that a good one would work around it if it's a problem -- of course consulting a doctor's in order. But it has made MAJOR difference for me with the muscle cramps in my legs and hips and lower back pain caused by having to walk with my arthritic knees bent. (Now only one bent, the "unoperated leg" as they called it in the hospital.) It has helped me physically, but I think the biggest difference it has made was helping with depression. It helps on many levels: the relaxation it induces is similar to meditation or the deep relaxation of yoga, so I assume it changes brain chemistry in helpful ways. It improves your circulation, and that effect feels to me something like after exercise and its feel-good surge. It helps to know you're doing something good for yourself, fighting back against the pain and disability. (And you don't have to work at that part!) I think it also helps to lie there and have someone paying total attention to you for an hour or 90 minutes. Deep tissue massage is painful at times, but ya feel so good afterwards that you essentially forget that. And my m. therapist thinks I'm so used to pain, I don't seem to mind it as much as some do when a sore muscle complains when he works it over. I saw an article recently that cited a research report that showed massage helps people manage chronic pain more successfully. I'm a complete convert, and think the medical profession should make more use of it.

It isn't cheap, but some health insurance policies now cover it. My guy works at a day spa, but I have a friend who gets her massage afterwards from her acupuncturist. I took a break from getting the massages for awhile after the surgery, because I couldn't lie face down comfortably, and at first we put a folded towel under my thigh to protect the knee a bit. But he would have given me a massage without having to lie face down on the table, even said he'd come to my house if I needed him to. In retrospect, I think I should have. Anyway, knowing I had it to look forward to was one of the things that cheered me on in that grim time after the surgery when I thought I'd never have my life back, never quit hurting, never be able to bend my knee ever again enough to do things like get in and out of a car, never sit comfortably, never sleep more than 90 minutes and always wake up in pain for the rest of my life.... Gosh, and I'm doing that to myself again next month?!?!? I'm telling myself that knowing what to expect and how to cope with make it go better. BTW, I iced a lot more than twice a day. And I swear by my NSAID, etodolac (commercial name Lodain). It's been on the market long enough to be available as a generic, so is dirt cheap and has had time for side effects to show up (basically the ones similar to ibuprofen), and is relatively easy on my stomach -- less bother than ibuprophen for me, and the doctor who originally prescribed it said the Veterans Affairs had conducted a study that showed less gastric irritation with it. Though I take it with food and water and try not to take it right before going to bed, i.e. lying down. I went back on it after I went off blood thinners because of the arthritis in the unoperated knee, but it also helped a lot with the swelling in the operated knee.

Glad I found this site. I read entries a couple months after the surgery, and wished I'd known about it before the surgery. People I'd talked to who'd had the surgery, all but one, glossed over the bad bits afterwards, and I think it made it harder for me because I wasn't psychologically prepared. And thanks, Josephine, for the advice and cheer. Nurses are the reason any of us survive hospitals, and I think do more real good than the doctors.
 

garth

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I had TKR 9 weeks ago. My doctor says I'm doing well, but my knee(and lower leg) is still very swollen. Icing helps a bit , but doesn't last for long. My PT says the swelling is keeping me from getting my full range of motion back. I've stayed the same for 2 weeks, despite regular PT. Could my being diabetic be causing this or the pain and stiffness I still feel. Five min after exercise and felling good, I am back with a stiff and painful knee.
Garth
 
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