TKR Unsure about my progress.

Wolvesfan

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@KMLknee ... I did use a little pedal exerciser, and found it to be helpful. My surgery was on 3/9, and shortly after that, everything closed...so I had no access to my gym and couldn’t go to PT. I didn’t have room for a full-size exercise bike, so I asked my OS about a little peddling/under desk type machine and he approved. For me, it was a gentle way to warm up my knee and even regain some stamina.
 

Mrs. Ciz

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Hello everyone. I hope you are having a good week so far. They approved another 5 therapy visits. I'm done after that. I am no longer letting her push on my knee at all. I told her that it was just too painful and wasn't helping me to get the active extension, even though she can push it to zero. We are working on balance, stability and getting my vastus medialis to do what it's supposed to do. It is engaging but it's really weak. I wanted to ask, had anyone used a pedal exerciser (the under desk type, just pedals with adjustable tension since I have no space)? I am thinking about using one to help strengthen my quads and to keep my knee loose since it seems to tighten up so much throughout the day. Especially at night before bed. Speaking of bed, has anyone else experienced muscle spasms and what feels like electric shocks through the knee when trying to go to sleep? It's driving me crazy. Thank you in advance for your input and guidance.
The electric shocks/jolts - yes, I’m getting those when I am falling asleep. They started in the hospital. I had bilateral TKR on 7/6/20. It’s not just my knees that jolt though; it’s my whole body. I googled when it started happening and found this:

“Hypnogogic jerks are also known as sleep starts or hypnic jerks. They're strong, sudden, and brief contractions of the body that occur just as you're falling asleep. If you've ever been drifting off to sleep but suddenly wake with a jolt and a jerk of the body, you've experienced a hypnogogic jerk.”

The thing is the body jolts really hurt because my brand new knees are still swollen and healing!!!
 
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KMLknee

KMLknee

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Yes it really does hurt. Sometimes I have this sensation late at night but I'm wide awake. It's like a jolt goes through my entire leg. It stiffens up ant I get this zap like sensation in the nerves of my knee. I don't have this through my whole body, just my right leg and knee. I hope it stops soon. And I hope yours stops too.
 
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KMLknee

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My second (Left) knee is now scheduled for September 9th 2020. That will be 15 weeks after my right knee. I'm a bit nervous about having it done since it has been 9 weeks since my Right knee was done and I haven't had the best experience. As of the last few days the swelling is gone and I have very little pain only mild discomfort. I still can't get full extension and the limp continues but it's less pronounced. Also, in the last couple of days there is a loose clunky feeling in my knee when I move it a certain way or take a longer stride. I don't know if this is normal or not. I feel it like a plucking sensation behind my knee and a shifting kind of clunking sensation on the outer aspect of my patella. It doesn't hurt it just feels like something is loose in there or somehow getting caught on itself. I see the surgeon next week so I guess I'll see what he says. I would wait longer to have the left knee done except it is killing me after having to compensate for the right knee the last 2 months. Plus I really want it over with so I can maybe be more than functional by Christmas or early next year. By the way, I am really enjoying the forum. It helps to get reassurance and advice from those of you who have been there already. It also gives us newbies a place to commiserate with and encourage each other. I'm so glad I found you!
 

Sara61

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@KMLknee, On recommedation of my PT instructor, I purchased a mini peddler, for the first few weeks I diligently used it, then slowly it started to gather dust and it is now almost totally ignored, :heehee: unless you are extremely disciplined, which I'm not, in my case it was a waste of money. Do make sure you buy a sturdy one, they need to have good suction to the ground, mine albeit being expensive has to be put in front of a block or wall to stop it moving on the floor tiles.
Muscle spasms at night are most common, usually caused by over activities during the day, for leg cramps I try to eat a banana daily or you can take a magnesium supplement this will help reduce the frequency.
Two nights ago I experienced the most awful hamstring cramp:flabber: I often get calf cramps but this one was out of the blue and never before had I felt do much pain:flabber::gaah:Thankfully it only lasted seconds, more bananas for me. Noise, clicking and clucking of the knee are normal unless there is pain, if it's painful consult with your surgeon, otherwise with time, (lots of time) it will usually go away. I'm now, nearly 10 months post surgery and despite it being less noticeable, now only certain activities it gently reminds me, my clicking started immediately after surgery to the extent I thought my surgeon has misaligned my knee. Thankfully fellow Bonesmarties put my over active mind to rest.
As I said, unless it hurts there is no cause to worry - great to hear you have got your new surgery booked :yes!:
 
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Seatides

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lift that the therapy office recommended was "The Clearly Adjustable Heel Lift"
Now that I think about it, I remember now that a PT I saw after my TKR said that my legs are different lengths. I wonder if I call them, if they'd have that information in their records? Or maybe I should go to a PT or to my doctor, as you suggested, to see if this is a problem for me. Thanks, @KMLknee!
 
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KMLknee

KMLknee

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Bananas would be great except I can't stand them. Yuck
But broccoli has potassium and magnesium so I will eat more of that I guess. Sorry to hear about your hamstring cramp those are the worst. I think I will go ahead with the mini peddler device since I think it might help with the quad muscle and if nothing else it might loosen up the overall tightness. Thank you so much for your help.
 
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KMLknee

KMLknee

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lift that the therapy office recommended was "The Clearly Adjustable Heel Lift"
Now that I think about it, I remember now that a PT I saw after my TKR said that my legs are different lengths. I wonder if I call them, if they'd have that information in their records? Or maybe I should go to a PT or to my doctor, as you suggested, to see if this is a problem for me. Thanks, @KMLknee!
I would definitely check into it. Especially if you are still limping or otherwise having trouble with your walking. This can also cause hip and back pain if it is a significant difference. I hope it helps.
 
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KMLknee

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Update- Good evening everyone. Here's today's update. I had physical therapy today and I'm still stuck at 2° extension. The therapist said that it may never get past that point and I may always have a little bend to my walk. I didn't let her push down on it again today. We just stretched lightly and worked on quad strengthening. My hamstring is super tight. Hopefully that is what preventing full extension. I still have some significant weakness in my vastus medialis (inner quad) but I am working on it. I hope it gets to zero in the next 6 weeks before my left knee replacement or I'm really going to be walking with a bend, lol.
The good news is my flexion is at 125° at least there's that. Thanks for listening to me whine. You are all appreciated.
 

Sara61

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With time your extension will come, mine improved greatly just by walking, I concentrate and widen my stride using a heel to toe movement, try to walk tall but remember to look where you are going, a few months back I walked into a tree, I didn't half feel silly. :heehee:
 
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KMLknee

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:heehee: That's hilarious. I will try to be careful. Everyone on here says all is not lost and that full extent will come. I believe you all since after following your all's advice to not push to hard and stop with pain and so forth, my pain is almost zero and my swelling is almost completely gone. And meanwhile my flexion continues to increase. I believe I will eventually get there but hope that it happens before second surgery so that it is not a hindrance to that recovery. But, whatever will be will be. :shrug:
 

Starsfan22

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My final extension didn't come until I was able to walk more, no exercise helped it, just longer strides. I actually forgot about it for a couple of months then noticed it was flat when my leg was stretched out on the couch! It was probably 10 months or so. So keep the faith.
 

Jamie

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The electric shocks/jolts - yes, I’m getting those when I am falling asleep. They started in the hospital. I had bilateral TKR on 7/6/20. It’s not just my knees that jolt though; it’s my whole body. I googled when it started happening and found this:

“Hypnogogic jerks are also known as sleep starts or hypnic jerks. They're strong, sudden, and brief contractions of the body that occur just as you're falling asleep. If you've ever been drifting off to sleep but suddenly wake with a jolt and a jerk of the body, you've experienced a hypnogogic jerk.”

The thing is the body jolts really hurt because my brand new knees are still swollen and healing!!!
@Mrs. Ciz .... the hypnogogic jerk description you found via Google isn't quite the same as what patients experience after a knee replacement. Anyone can experience hypnogogic jerks and they don't usually have the type of pain that is frequently felt following a TKR. It's just a full-body jerking sensation.

@KMLknee....what you're experiencing in your leg is normal. We refer to it as "the zingers." It's a sharp nerve pain that shoots through your knee or leg suddenly without warning and then disappears. It is normally related to the nerves in your knee working to reconnect. It is also possible to have something slightly different called Restless Legs, where you have an uncontrollable need to move your leg or legs that can be accompanied by some pain or discomfort. Here is an article from our BoneSmart Library that may help with Restless Legs if you get them. There isn't much to be done for the zingers except to have patience. They eventually stop.

Restless legs following knee replacement surgery
 
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KMLknee

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Jamie- That's exactly what it is, zingers. It's sharp and painful and causes my quad muscles to contract very hard for just a second and it's over, but it may happen several times a day. Usually at night. Which I guess makes sense since we do most of our healing while sleeping.
 

Sara61

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@KMLknee have noticed your replies as I am following your posts, however just a helpful tip...If you want someone to see your reply, then it would be best to tag them ie: @Sara61 on typing the first few letters, a drop down box will appear and all you do is just select the person you want to see your post just remember to put the @ first.
Also If you are appreciative of the said posts a "like/funny etc" at the bottom of their post will also bring it to their attention xxx
 
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Sara61

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@KMLknee your welcome ! it took me ages too and at 10 months, I'm still learning new tricks on this forum too.
Have a good day xxx
 
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KMLknee

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Good evening all. I just want to vent a minute. I did it again. I clearly have done to much. Today I have pain and a little pocket of swelling right next to the outside of my knee cap. I did mostly stretching and cycling yesterday in Therapy. There were some straight leg raises and quad strengthening exercises trying to gain complete extension. I'm miserable. For some reason I just can't seem to listen to you guys. I have got to start following your advice. I have therapy again next Tuesday and Thursday. If I didn't have to see my surgeon I wouldn't go at all. I am going to ask him Thursday if I can quit. I have 4 more approved visits but I'm starting to agree that it is doing more harm than good. Rest and ice and elevation in my weekend plans. Nothing more than daily needs and dog walking for me.
I promise I'm going to get it. Even if I am really hard headed.:oyvey:
 

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@KMLknee ... I just read your update, and the timing was perfect, because just a few minutes ago, I reread the journal I kept during my first 8 weeks of recovery. At the time, I was so worried that the quarantine, which meant no PT during those first two months, would have a really negative effect on my recovery. My journal entries reflect so much anxiety about my recovery, and my fears that I’d never recover my strength and mobility. But now I’m so grateful that I had that time, because it gave my knee the space to heal, with no outside pressure to reach any certain measurements. Does that make sense? Anyway, I’ll be five months out on 8/9, and while my new knee still doesn’t always behave, I’m amazed at the progress compared to just two months ago. I even took a photo after my walk this morning and texted it to my sister with a “can you believe this is the same knee?” caption. Hang in there! Even though it’s hard to tell sometimes, incremental improvements are happening!
 

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