TKR Two TKRs and a broken kneecap - on the mend now!

@EalingGran , I know nothing about the state of my MCL - I have never thought to ask - but I imagine it was pretty stretched, since it was so unstable that I’ve been unable to put weight on it for a year.
I will try to ask. Interesting to know you’re having problems; I did wonder if I might, too.
I knew in theory my surgeon was skilled - he’s the head of orthopaedics at a leading teaching hospital - but it’s impressive seeing that skill proved on my own leg!
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Thanks! I hope you might be OK having a TKR- it may be possible to tighten the MCL in some way.
The MCL is retained though in all knees I think. I am now doing lots of quad strengthening and it is improving slowly.
It only gives me twinges on stairs or on getting up from a very low chair/ toilet- especially if my knee turns inwards at all.
@EalingGran Yes I think you’re right. My surgeon did tell me that my anterior cruciate ligament would be taken. I suspect that they have to do a lot of damage to this to access the knee joint at all, so that it’s generally not savable, and that’s why so many of us have extra-tight posterior CLs - perhaps they even tighten these to compensate?
Day 11 headline: OUCHY! I had forgotten that I have muscles. Today they are reminding me!!
I have had really limited mobility for a year or two now, and I’ve been unable to walk more than a few steps even with a Zimmer frame for the last six months, so my muscles have not had much to do. Even the gentle exercise and very modest walking (just round my sitting room on crutches a few times) I have been doing over the last few days is waking up muscles that have been asleep a long time! My right quad and glute are really making themselves known!! Oh how I wish I could get into a pool!!
Hello and Happy Saturday Fiona. I hope you're having a good day!
While those sleepy muscles waking is a good thing, I'm sorry for the discomfort you're dealing with.
You can try heat on those sore stiff muscles which may bring you some relief, taking care to stay AWAY from the area of your incision. Gentle massage may help also. :fingersx:
It makes a huge difference when your orthopedic surgeon has very high skill levels. I had excellent surgeons for both tkrs. Two different surgeons. They both did great work on my damaged knees. I attribute successful recoveries to their skill and experience.

Those muscles are definitely a work in progress! At 3+ months post op I still have muscle aches in the right leg. Hang in there, you're just 3 weeks out of surgery!
Not even 2 weeks, actually @beachy ! Just coming to the end of day 11... Though I did just have to count the days on my calendar to check! :loll:
@EalingGran, I came across this academic paper about different techniques and approaches to fixing a valgus deformity alongside a TKR. It’s very technical, and my brain is still quite blurry, so I’m making slow progress with it, but I think the headline is that there are *lots* of options, and which is best depends on factors including but not only the degree of damage and how functional the ligaments and tendons still are. I thought you might like to see it too.
This is a fascinating paper. It certainly seems as though the valgus knee is particularly complicated to correct.
It seems that the MCL is tightened in some surgeries and in others they use a 'more constrained' implant ( presumably this prevents post operative joint looseness??).
I wonder if you had your MCL tightened?
I certainly haven't. In fact I really wonder how on earth my surgeon managed to straighten my leg as well as he has, given I only have a 3- 4 inch, lateral PKR scar.
Yeah, it’s really impressive isn’t it, the amazing repair they do?! My TKR scar is also lateral and only about 5 inches long.
I assume ‘more constrained’ means screws or a stem? I know my prosthesis is uncemented…
Update, day 18 -
Hello everyone, hope you’re all doing ok
Well, it has been quite a boring week, which is good isn’t it?! I’m still mostly resting and my pain is under good control. I have reduced my pain meds more than I expected at this stage, to 4 doses of Paracetamol/Tylenol per day plus 1x10mg dose of Oramorph at bedtime.

I’m doing the bed-based exercises the PT told me to do, and managing them all, plus doing laps of my small living room on crutches a couple of times a day - that’s not far at all - maybe only 10 or 20 m/yards - but I’ve been housebound and on a walker for the past seven months, and not able to do even that, so I’m happy. I am mostly on my own, so I’m pootling about looking after myself too.

I’m sleeping ok - no worse than before surgery now - which means quite restlessly, up 2-4 times for the bathroom, and almost always awake for 1-2 hours halfway through the night. But I’m sleeping 7-10 hours most nights, which I know is unusual and lucky!

I have had 2 big events in the past 24 hours: one is that I found a bargain secondhand electric recliner (which I could afford!), which friends collected for me last night, and can now sit/recline comfortably somewhere other than bed, for the first time in many months. I can’t tell you how wonderful that is!

The other is that this afternoon I went out with my son for the first time since I came home from hospital two weeks ago. We went for a fairly short walk, and I was mostly on my mobility scooter, but I took my crutches and when we got to a level bit, I walked. I managed 40 or 50 m/yards, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s the first time I’ve walked outside AT ALL since last September! Then I came home, sat back in my new recliner, iced and took painkillers. I am exhausted and sore, but satisfied.
managed 40 or 50 m/yards, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s the first time I’ve walked outside AT ALL since last September! T
That's brilliant- well done!
Getting out of the house is such a big boost.
Sounds like you are really doing well.
Thanks @EalingGran . It’s a really, really big deal for me, because I haven’t been able to get a disabled parking space outside my house, and I haven’t been able to drive because I haven’t been able to walk as far as my car. As a result, I have become housebound. :sad: I can’t guarantee parking directly outside my house, but I can pretty much guarantee being able to park within 40 or 50 m… So if I can safely and reliably walk that far, on my own, even if I then need to sit and rest, I will be able to drive again in a few weeks, and that will make a huge, huge difference to my independence and my recovery.:fingersx::praying:
You don't have to tell me about the joy of an electric recliner!
Isn't it the best? So happy you got one!
Congrats on your outing! That must have been great!
I'm amazed that you can drive in a few weeks. Took me close to 8 weeks. Just 4 weeks, though with lefty.
It all sounds good, Fiona! Happy for you:happydance:
@beachy , I was using the phrase ‘a few weeks’ very loosely! I haven’t been able to drive since I stopped being able to get to my car, which was seven months ago. I had my right knee done nearly 3 weeks ago and I’m having my left knee done in May provisionally, and my car is an automatic. So by the time I’m four weeks out from my LTKR, I’ll be about 10 weeks out from my RTKR, and providing I am off narcotics, I should be able to drive around then… I reckon there’s a good chance I’ll be back on the road by July, and since I’ve been off the road since September, that feels like ‘a few weeks’!
It’s definitely all relative, @beachy ! I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. I seem to be having an easier time than lots of other people - I’m sleeping better than many people manage, and I’m taking fewer painkillers than I expected to need… But actually, I suspect that this is because my pain and sleep and mobility and function have become so very bad over the last year, that my first TKR hasn’t made anything any worse, and it’s already starting to be an improvement. I hope I’m right, because I have my other knee still to do!

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