Bilateral TKR Week3 post-op

JojoFitness

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BTKR April 8, 2022. 4 weeks out. Left new is doing better than right knee. Wasn’t able to use my right leg much 3 months prior to TKR quad muscle is very week. Bruising was bad first 2 weeks entire leg and foot was purple. At week 4 bruising is gone however now the skin is flaking and itchy at times. First 3 weeks after surgery home PT was gentle. Started outpatient PT week 4 and PT said I started late and I have to catch or or my both knees will remain stiff.

Went to PT 3x this week (4) lower back aches, after PT knees get very stiff and ache at night. Did not have to take any pain meds but during week 4 had to take oxycodone at night for the pain after PT. Ice and elevate legs during day about 4x 20 minutes and elevate with lounge doctor. After outpatient PT ROM left knee 95 right knee 90 with PT bending back. Left knee is straight right knee is almost straight. Cannot do full rotation on stationary bike yet. Should I continue with PT?

I walk in my house unassisted most of the time if I stand in one place too long both knees start to ache, 10-15 minutes. I was given permission to drive so when I go out i use my Walker.

Since April 8 I have lost 10 pounds don’t have much of an appetite. Don’t get to sleep much at night either maybe 3 hours max and knees get sore and stiff when sleeping. I am always cold. During the day don’t take any medication knees are are just tight and stiff. Will be starting Celebrex today (may 7) 2x day 200 mg, hoping that helps with inflammation.

Been on this planet for 62 years and this by far is the hardest thing I have done both physically and emotionally. I pray a lot for myself to get through this and think this too shall pass. I had no choice I had to get this done because I had bone on bone in both knees, and I am thankful that I have health insurance for this process.

When does it start getting better when I don’t have to think about my knees? The tight and stiff feelings are constant reminders.
Hi Townie Girl - my RTKR was three days before your BTKR. I agree - it's by far the hardest thing I've ever done, physically AND emotionally. I'm laser-focused on my knee, and look forward to the time when it's just a fleeting thought. But I AM getting better, though it's still stiff and very sore most of the time. I just received the Lounge Doctor I ordered and that is helping. Best of luck to you. This site is wonderfully helpful! I applaud you for getting both knees done at the same time - just give yourself TIME, as Bonesmart suggests. Happy Saturday!
 
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TownieGirl

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@JojoFitness thanks for encouraging words, yes I am getting better too. I have to keep that in mind giving myself time and to accept the pain as part of the healing process. Wishing you a speedy recovery,

take care!
 
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TownieGirl

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@Layla Hi Layla, I got the 20 minute icing from the doctors office, I will give it a try and ice longer.

thanks!
 

lovetocookandsew

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Don't forget to keep a cloth between your skin and the ice. Icing and elevating really do help with pain, it was my only source of pain relief and it really did help.
 

Roy Gardiner

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PT said I started late and I have to catch or or my both knees will remain stiff.
The BoneSmart view is that this is TOTAL RUBBISH and you can continue to improve without time limit
had to take oxycodone at night for the pain after PT
PT should not cause more pain, it's doing damage when it does.
Should I continue with PT?
In my opinion, not when it hurts
Cannot do full rotation on stationary bike yet
If your leg is stiff and swollen then using an exercise bike for training is not a good idea; but you can still use one for mobility exercises - even if you can't make a single rotation!

  • Set the bike to zero resistance
  • Set the saddle as high as possible and rock the pedals back and forth as far as you can with discomfort but no pain
  • Repeat several/many times a day, but don't go mad. Diminishing returns will apply; my guess is that half a dozen reps would be enough
  • And if you get any pain or swelling in the 24 hours after doing this, cut it down until you don't
Here is a bit more chat and some pix and how 'healing' and 'training' are different

then when you can rotate:
  • Set the bike to zero resistance
  • Set the saddle low enough so that a single rotation is a challenge; difficult but not painful. When a rotation becomes easy right from the start, lower the saddle a max of 1cm.
  • Gently turn the pedals, through discomfort but without pain.
  • Continue until the knee is 'warmed up' and the rotation is now easy, or for 2 minutes, whichever is the shorter time.
  • Repeat several/many times a day, but don't go mad. Diminishing returns will apply; my guess is that half a dozen reps would be enough
  • Do not pedal fast or for more than 2 minutes, this is a stretching exercise, not training.
  • And if you get any pain or swelling in the 24 hours after doing this, cut it down until you don't
Here is a bit more chat and some pix and how 'healing' and 'training' are different
 
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TownieGirl

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@Roy Gardiner
PT said I started late and I have to catch or or my both knees will remain stiff.
The BoneSmart view is that this is TOTAL RUBBISH and you can continue to improve without time limit.

Thank you for letting me know that this is not true!


If your leg is stiff and swollen then using an exercise bike for training is not a good idea; but you can still use one for mobility exercises - even if you can't make a single rotation!

Yes, will use the bike for mobility. Thank you so much for the great and useful advice .
 

lovetocookandsew

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Often when you first start using the bike, you'll find you can't make a full rotation-a light back and forth motion is perfectly fine. Also, you may find, as you heal, that at some point you can make a full rotation backwards, but not forward for a while. Also very normal, so don't stress over it.

I agree that your PT is completely incorrect, there is no time frame for healing and recovery. Every knee is different, and each knee heals at a different pace. The best thing to do as you recover is to have patience; the other thing that is very important is to listen to your knee and let it tell you what it's ready for. Mild discomfort is okay and expected; actual pain is a sign it's not ready for that activity yet. Extra swelling and/or stiffness immediately after, or in the next day or so, is another sign of overdoing what your knee is ready for. You're not in training for a marathon, your knee is injured and needs time to heal. This doesn't mean we want you to be a couch potato; on the contrary, we want you moving and doing as many ADLs as your knee allows. Over time, as it heals, you'll naturally move more and more and do more and more. Forcing it to exercise in ways it's not yet ready for is setting yourself up for more pain and swelling, which is counterproductive.
 
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TownieGirl

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April 8, 2022 bilateral TKR
5 weeks out, developed lower back pain, went to the chiropractor 5/13 found the spot on my lower back, the dr thinks it is a tendon that runs along the spin. He adjusted my cane to make sure I was standing straight and fitted me with a back brace. I wear the back brace when I am doing things like ADL and the pain subsided.

Last night (Friday 5/13) was the first night since my operation where I was able to stay in bed all night long. Hope it stays that way. My right knee started to hurt and I just changed positions and it stopped.

I would say both knees are at 90- 95 degrees with gentle persuasion. Knees are still stiff and swollen but the swelling has gone down some. Taking the Naproxen 500 mg 2x a day. Am getting out of the house and socializing, yesterday went to the salon to get my hair cut and this morning went to the women’s prayer meeting breakfast.

Bought a gadget from Amazon called the knee glider you put your foot on it and are able to move the foot back and forth to bend knee passively. Each day is a new adventure in terms of something positive or negative about the knees. Hopefully more positives than negatives as time goes by.
 

benne68

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Hi @TownieGirl

Thought I'd share a little trick I used to help me get through the rollercoaster of ups and downs during the first few months of recovery:

Once a week, I would make a list of my "accomplishments" -- things I can do now that I couldn't do before my surgery. I listed everything -- even the little things. I also wrote down things I was still looking forward to being able to do in the future. (I shared some of these in my recovery thread).

Not surprisingly, as the first list got longer, the second one grew shorter. Keeping track of all the small gains helped me realize I really WAS improving! It also made me more optimistic about my continuing recovery.

Give it a try! :flwrysmile:
 

InkedMarie

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To the moderator who removed the negative post, thank you so much!
Was that the person who said you have to inflict pain upon yourself? If yes....that’s why I’m glad I get email notifications so I saw it.

Marie
 

sistersinhim

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Am getting out of the house and socializing, yesterday went to the salon to get my hair cut and this morning went to the women’s prayer meeting breakfast.
Getting back to these normal things is what this surgery is all about. You are doing great! When only 6 weeks out to be able to do these is a blessing. Add to that, you had a bilateral! Now, that's a huge blessing! Enjoy those new knees. You'll continue to have those up and down days, but soon the down ones will become fewer and fewer. You go, girl!
 

Layla

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Impressive update! It feels so good to get back out of the house, engaging in the things we love. You’re doing great, enjoy the week! :)
@TownieGirl
 
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TownieGirl

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Hi @sistersinhim, it is a blessing thank you for reminding me. I have been focusing on the negative, it is a blessing when others give encouraging words.
 
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TownieGirl

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hi @ Layla, Yes I am doing great thanks so much for the support!
 

Ghostpipe

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I had bilateral 15 months ago. I just saw that you are having problems standing for more than 10 minutes. It does get better! Takes a long time though. I felt like mine were going to explode if I stood still. I can stand for hours now.
 

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