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TKR Whoops

Ashgav

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Hi I am new to the forum , didn't know this existed . I had surgery 7th feb original was going to be partial but turn into full knee replacement on left knee , and basically covid 19 hit and I have seen no one since 11th feb . I seem to be getting more movement but I am struggling with swelling , so when I get up on a morning it's good then it really just swells on and off all day I rest with my knee elevated but the minute my leg is vertical it begins s to swell . How can i think of returning to work i work at a desk all day by 3pm i lose all feeling in my foot , i cant bend due to swelling. The elevation has to be quite high to have any effect and this itself causes
 

Sara61

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Hi @Ashgav :welome: to BoneSmart. Swelling is caused by too much activity or exercise it is your knees way of telling you to stop. Are you icing for at least 45 minutes several times a day and it is important to elevate your knee frequently too.
Here is a list of our recommended guidelines- I found them extremely helpful in my own recovery x

Knee Recovery: The Guidelines
1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary
2. Control discomfort:
rest
elevate
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)
don't overwork.
3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.
4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these
the BoneSmart view on exercise
BoneSmart philosophy for sensible post op therapy
5. At week 4 and after you should follow this
Activity progression for TKRs
6. Access these pages on the website
Oral And Intravenous Pain Medications
Wound Care In Hospital


The Recovery articles:
The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
Energy drain for TKRs
Elevation is the key
Ice to control pain and swelling
Heel slides and how to do them properly
Chart representation of TKR recovery
Healing: how long does it take?

Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

There are also some cautionary articles here
Myth busting: no pain, no gain
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds


We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery. While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
 
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Ashgav

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Hi thank you I am making my way through the articles however I might only be on my feet 1\2 hour and it swells , i would think by now i should be able to do some exercise , walking without excessive swelling , how can i think about returning to work when i cant get through an hour at home without ice and elevating. On numerous websites return to work i should be thinking about this now ?
 

Tykey

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HI, its always good to have more Brits on here. Especially if you are from Yorkshire!!!!
You've already had excellent advice from Sara, rest, elevation and ice are key factors in controlling swelling.
Never believe anyone who tells you stories about fast recovery. I guess you've got several more weeks ahead of you before you can effectively return to work, even with your foot up. You aren't doing badly, you are doing normally.
Remember, this takes about 12 months before you will feel fully recovered, although you will be back enjoying life's activities some time before this, Lockdown permitting.
Be patient
 
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Ashgav

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Thank you x. I am actually from sunderland so a Mackem lol . Thanks for calming my nerves I feel I have had no support , no physio , no follow up it's a bit scary however in the whole scheme of things with lockdown I am safe and well
 

Tykey

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This place is brilliant for support and encouragement. When we are isolated, our imaginations run riot.
When it's 3am, and you can't sleep, there is normally someone on here to help.
 

Rockgirl4

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Some of us simply swell more than others, and it can be a challenge to deal with every little activity adding to the swelling. I was the same as you. Any time I let my leg be down or vertical for the first 4 months, my swelling increased tremendously. I couldn't go for a 1/2 mile walk without my knee refusing to bend that evening and the next day. I couldn't do real walking for exercise until the 6th month post-op. Only now at 11 months post-op can I walk for exercise. The swelling still increases some, just not as badly.

I think anyone who expects you to be able to moving or walking normally at 9 weeks is just expecting WAY too much from this recovery. Not only is everyone different in their recovery, but many drs and physical therapists downplay the length of recovery and it's challenges. My TKR was my 11th knee surgery in 20 yrs, so I thankfully already knew how badly I swell, thus it didn't surprise me. Most people don't have that knowledge ahead of time though, so it makes it VERY difficult to plan on a return to work/activity.

I'll be thinking about you, and know that you're definitely not alone. More people here will understand and sympathize with your situation than anywhere else. :) All because we LIVED it!!! :)
 
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Ashgav

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Thank you , I just feel very alone due to all appts stopped for covid , all my advice is coming from the internet. Your story makes me feel better I think its time to tell work to back off and let me get a grip on this recovery .
Can I ask what activities did you do to maintain your recovery in the swelling periods i
 

sistersinhim

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All I did was normal things to take care of myself, such as taking care of the house and yard, feeding my cats and cleaning litter boxes, & taking care of me. These were done only as my knee allowed without increased swelling and pain. At your stage I'd do one major thing like vacuuming and then rest the rest of the day. If my knee acted up that night or the next day, I just rested the whole next day.

What took the longest thing to recovery from was cutting the grass with a riding lawnmower. My knee hated that vibration and bouncing! That took a few days to recover from.

The key to this recovery is to keep your knee happy. The happier it is, the better its recovery is. There is no rush to get at a certain level at a certain time. These time limits do more harm than good. Everybody's knee is different, even on the same person. Just let your knee's reaction be your guide.
 

Celle

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Hello @Ashgav - and :welome:

Some knees do take longer to recovery and yours may be one of those.
it won't be able to bend more until the swelling decreases.

Are you icing your knee at the same time as you're elevating it? Ice is a great reliever of swelling, as well as pain.

We usually recommend people take about 12 weeks off work and then do a Phased return to work , if possible. Even though you have a desk job, it sounds as if you'll need to take a bit longer than 12 weeks. With the UK in lockdown, you probably shouldn't be going back to work yet anyway.

Can you get a certificate from your GP, to extend your sick leave? Even if the surgery is closed, that should be possible.
 
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Ashgav

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Hi , yeah I am icing it , I just seem to be getting no where however I have had some brilliant advice tonight .
My mum passed away 3 weeks after my surgery and I spent a week by her side in a chair in a nursing home so probably put myself back a few weeks , so I have alot of grief which I am sure isnt helping my recovery .
I am not rushing back to work think I need some time to recover x
 

Celle

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My sympathies on the death of your mother. That's hard to deal with. :console2:

You're right - sitting by her bedside probably did slow down your recovery, but your knee will get over that. You won't have done any permanent harm.
You did the right thing. You were there when your mother needed you.
 

sistersinhim

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I'm so very sorry to hear about your mom. I agree with Celle, you were where you needed to be. Your knee will still heal. Just know that your mom appreciated your being with her.
 
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Ashgav

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Thank you both so much , I have lost both parents to dementia in two years my mum needed me beside her , she past the same day as my dad 2 years apart and I really believe that was because I was by her side. I knew I had put my recovery back but wouldnt have it any other way . I just now need to take some time to grief and recover xx
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome to Bonesmart, we’re glad you joined us. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. :console2:

I agree with the others, you needed to be there and your knee will recover.


Hang out here with us.
Bonesmart has a wealth of advice, information and support.
We will offer helpful suggestions, :idea:

Cheer your accomplishments :happydance:

And send hugs when you are feeling down. :console2:
 

Golfer1

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Hi from across the big pond! I too am sorry to hear about your mother passing away. I lost my mother five years ago so I have walked in your footsteps. The pain will lessen with time.

I had my total knee replacement on February 18. I also am having a frustrating problem of increased swelling when I’m on my feet. A few days ago I read on Bonesmart a post by one of the advisers which was giving advice about different ways to possibly help with swelling. In it they recommended a possible use a product called Tubigrip. It sounded like something that really might work for me. I ordered some and it came today. I put a doubled-over piece of it over my knee as described in the directions and took a quarter mile walk or so in my community. I really like it! I think it is going to help with the swelling.

if you do decide to research and try it, you will see that you need to measure your knee for the proper Tubigrip size. It comes in three different compression types, so you’ll have to choose that as well. It is not expensive. I recommend that you give it a try! If it works for you, make sure and let us know. We are all in this recovery together, albeit at different stages.
 

Tykey

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Lovely day in Sunderland today (plus the rest of the UK). A perfect day to sit In the sun, leg elevated as high as you can manage, a bit of ice on your knee, and a bottle of Newcastle Brown at your elbow. Plus a bowl of jam roly poly and custard, of course
Enjoy your day
 
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Ashgav

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Hi - so I need another sicknote from the doctor and I am concerned that my employer will want me to be thinking about coming back to work , and to be honest I dont think it will be long before I want to coem back to work , my issue is how to you manage swelling while at work , so I work at a desk but free to walk around etc , this is me planning for the future maybe another 4 weeks currently need my knee elevated at least 50% of the time at home above hip not sure that will be possible at work

Thank you iun advance
 

Sara61

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Only go back to work when you feel well enough, speak to your doctor and your employer when you do eventually go back, If you are working at your desk is there a possibility of you having a stool or chair where you can elevate your knee? Also if you purchase gel ice packs at your chemist you can buy the ones that don't need to go in the freezer, ( instant ice packs available on Amazon also ) you just shake them to activate the components. Try to stand up and walk around the office occasionally it is important to keep the joint flexible, Maybe at a later stage consider buying a mini peddler these fit easily the desk and are portable.
 
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Ashgav

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Hi I am 3 months tkr , my 35 kilo lab has just ran straight into my knee front of knee , I screamed in pain and although the initial sharp pain has gone I have pain on my inside of my knee and behind the knee , calf and slight hip pain . He seemed to push my knee right back in on itself - any advice ?
 

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