TKR Wish i wouldnt have had it done

Foreverlove

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Hi, I'm a 57 year old female and i have my replacement surgery on the 4th of may 2022. It was been the most painful thing I've ever been through and I've had 3 back surgeries. This knee replacement is awful! I was finally getting to the point the exercises at pt wasnt to bad except for sitting on the table and bending my knee. I could bend it to 90 but PT wanted to be more then that so they always push my ankle back to get a higher number. It is so painful i started to sweat and my glasses even steamed up. Yesterday it was pushed to 104 and then laying on the table to see how straight my leg would lay wasnt what they wanted to be so the Pt lady pushes my knee down so my leg would be flat. When i rasied up i had a cramp go all the way down the back side on my leg. Now the next day i can barely put any weight on my leg without feeling like charlie horses taking over my leg. I dont know what to do! Thanks for listening
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome!

I am so sorry you have such an aggressive PT. It is not necessary to go through painful PT to get a good outcome, but that is what too many of the PTs believe.

Stop going to PT for a while and let your knee recover, from the surgery, and from their inappropriate treatment. The treatment you are getting is inappropriate because it is keeping your knee swollen and inflamed, which hinders healing and the ability to bend it. Not to mention, the pain they are causing you. You don’t have to allow that. (Been there myself, before I found Bonesmart.)
Saying no to therapy - am I allowed to?

At home do very gentle bending movements, that do not cause any pain, and take short walks. This will give your knee all the movement it needs to heal well. Ice, elevate and rest.

I will leave you our Recovery Guidelines. Each article is short but very informative. Following these guidelines will help you have a less painful recovery. Especially read the articles about PT.

Just keep in mind all people are different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for you.“ Your doctors, PTs and BoneSmart are available to help, but you are the final judge as to the recovery approach you choose.

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
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​

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

5. At week 4 and after you should follow this

6. Access to these pages on the website

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 the 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 the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
 

Jaycey

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@Foreverlove Welcome to BoneSmart! Sounds like you just got off track with this recovery. It's certainly is not too late to turn things around to a more comfortable experience. As Jockette suggested, please stop all this aggressive PT. It does nothing except make you miserable and make that new knee very angry.

Focus on ice and elevation. It is the swelling (both internal and external) that is hindering your range of motion. Then gently bend the knee. No need for any forcing.

Please keep us updated on how you are doing!
 

InkedMarie

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Welcome to Bonesmart! You‘ve heard the old saying, “just say no”, right? That is what you need to say. It’s your knee, your journey....you’re the boss!
If you want to continue PT, have a talk with him/her and explain this to them. We’re here for you!

Marie
 

2hips1knee

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It is so painful i started to sweat and my glasses even steamed up.
I can relate to this. My glasses would steam up and I would be holding my breath while the PT grabbed my ankle and pushed back trying to get more flexion. The last straw was when I came off the table I was sitting on, because it was so painful. It was one of the things I dreaded most, when the PT would say, up on the table for some stretching. I would rather have this recovery take longer, then have to endure that aggressive therapy.
 

Jockette

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I would rather have this recovery take longer, then have to endure that aggressive therapy.
That kind of “therapy” does make the recovery take longer, because it keeps your soft tissue angry and inflamed, as well as upsetting the one getting such treatment.

It‘s time we patients take a stand and stop allowing this nonsense. It is not necessary. Never has been, and never will be.
 

sistersinhim

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Pain-free PT=a quicker recovery for the majority of joint replacement patients!

Would you aggressively exercise and force move a broken leg? No, that would be harmful to the healing bone. Well, you've had two cut-off bones, drilled and a foreign object hammered into them. That knee requires very gentle treatment. When it's painful then it's being moved more than it's ready to be moved. This action inflames those already traumatized soft tissues and keeps them swollen and painful. A swollen and painful knee won't bend or straighten well because all that fluid is inhibiting it from doing so. Get that fluid out and let the knee heal, then worry about PT.
 

Samsrf

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I concur with all above. I was put through that PT ringer too and I walked away. It’s ok to do that! At 11 weeks I am back to my normal life with way less pain than I had before surgery. Wrecking yourself in PT does not help you get back to feeling/living normal, being able to stay awake past 8pm and cook AND clean dinner without pain does. Give yourself some Grace and be gentle with yourself & your knee. It’s ok to lean into healing.
 

CamGram

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@Foreverlove, please don’t give up! I too took a huge step backwards after an overly aggressive PT session triggered excruciating muscle spasms. I got a prescription for a muscle relaxer, cancelled my next PT session and had a serious conversation with my physical therapist. She was extremely careful after that to NEVER push me. (In fact, I often felt that I could do more than she was asking of me.) Despite the slower pace of PT after my setback, my doctor was pleased with my progress and my recovery continued to be slow but steady.

Talk to your physical therapist and let her/him know exactly how therapy is making you feel, both mentally and physically. If he/she does not then adjust your treatment to accommodate you, change therapists. Anyone can make a single mistake but your PT needs to demonstrate that she/he has learned from that mistake. Good luck; you can do this!
 

kneeper

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I'm so sorry you had this bad PT experience. What some people seem to forget, is that particularly for people who may not have had full ROM before the surgery is that all the muscles and soft tissues are used to the lack of range of motion. Trying to force it not only inflames the knee but strains those muscles.

I agree with CamGram to talk to your PT about the pain caused. If they claim they have to force it then find a different PT.

I found that easy does it was the way to go for me. I challenged myself week by week to try a bit more (as did my PT) but there was no forcing involved and she emphasized icing and elevating as well, to bring the swelling down.
 

Tegbennett

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I am five months post surgery and finally feel like it was worth it all. It's a long and painful road but you will feel better as the weeks past by. I agree with everyone, if it's too much in PT don't do it. I made myself a torture chair, put a strap around ankle and put it under the chair, up the back and over my shoulder. I would pull on the strap to bend my knee. I was in control so if it was too much I would stop.There was a point where, I believe due to swelling that my ROM decreased but I got it back. It's never going to bend as far as my good knee but its my knee and I'm content with that. Take the painkillers regularly, use the ice alot and let the healing take its time.
 

Abbylayla

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I did not have any PT for my TKR. Couldn't do it because my hips are so bad. My knee is as good as everyone I know who had weeks & even months of PT. It bends just as much as it did when it was a healthy arthritis free knee & extension is perfect too. I put my leg out totally straight & flat with no effort at all.
I just did very simple exercises. Mostly sitting.
Don't let PT's hurt you. It's just a setback. It increases swelling which diminishes the ability to for ROM they are trying to get. It never made any sense to me.
 

Joyousbottom

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I am 6 weeks post op and still at the “regretting having it done” phase. Before surgery I couldn’t walk far but I attended Pilates, gardened, drove a car and had a normal life. Now I can’t do any of my hobbies and have pain and sleeplessness as well.
Patience is not my strong point- I hate my exercise regime - standing on my operated leg for 60 seconds 3 times daily is one of the worse exercises.
Yet I am afraid not to exercise in case I seize up.
Feel that exercises that hurt are counterproductive.
Anyway will stop my moaning just wanted to share .
 

Abbylayla

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@Joyousbottom you know your body better than any physical therapist. Don't let anyone push you. Years ago I had a severe sports related broken ankle. I had months of PT and I felt it was the key to regaining the strength in my badly atrophied leg.
My TKR was a different story. I felt PT was a step above useless. Even though everyone told me the success of my TKR was largely dependent on strenuous PT.
1st of all, PT was not a viable option for me anyway. I tried a couple of sessions but my hips prevented me from the strenuous exercises they wanted....and those exercises swelled my knee & set me back. The other exercises were basically common sense & what the hospital PT told me to do. I didn't need to pay a physical therapist for those exercises.
So I went about doing it on my own as much as my leg could tolerate & NO more! And NOBODY forcing my knee back to get ROM!! In between ice & elevation. As much as I could!!
Well...my knee is as good as those who sweat out the pain of PT for months. As a matter of fact as I sit here writing this my TKR leg is bent back under my chair at about a 150 degree angle just like my non TKR leg & it doesn't even feel like its not my "born" knee.
Look, its never going to be the knee God gave you but it's a great second choice!
Listen to your body. If it hurts too much...its too much!
 

LaJudes

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I hope you are doing better. ! I too, had a real “ wish that I wouldn’t of done that “ feeling for actually the past 3+ years. Since I had it done in 2018 . Then fighting an infection the past year and’s finally had knee revision surgery on April 19 . 8 days in the hospital , went home with a brace and pic line with vancomycin for 6 weeks . Couldn’t believe that I was having home nurses PT and O T coming to my house . I had lost all control . Then on June 28 l had the second part of the revision , what a difference ! I get rid of the brace and staples in a week , still will need the walker , or cane . There is a light at the end of this long tunnel ! I have a hinged knee replacement so don’t need PT !
 

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