20 days post PKR - Anyone feel this way?

Posted , 8 users are following.

Hi All - this is my second time posting. I posted a week after my surgery and your responses really helped. All of the discussions are really helpful. Anyway, it's been 20 days since my PKR on left side. On the day of surgery I also sprained my left ankle because a nurse told me to walk after the nerve block in my leg hard been completed. 

Last week I had my first pt session. I cried through most of it and I am not normally a crier (or at least I wasn't). I find myself crying at least once a day in private. Not sure if it's the pain, frustration or me just feeling sorry for myself. I know, there are people worse off than me. 

The sprained ankle is really making pt tough. My therapist has to redo the program because the exercises hurt my foot too much. I can do what she gives me, but when I get home I am finished for the day. Too tired and in pain to do anything. 

My knee feels like a weight is tied to it and I get random pain that just shots through it. Is this normal?

Sleeping is still hard, but getting a little easier. My therapist recommend that I use a full body pillow when sleeping. Has this helped any of you?

i guess I'm asking if what I am experiencing is normal? Is the heaviness I am feeling the swelling? Does the swelling come and go? It seems to be better sometimes. I have stopped for using the walker ano moved onto cane. When should I stop using an aid?

i'd appreciate any advice. Thanks! I hope each of you are experiencing less and less pain smile

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16 Replies

  • Posted

    Not sure what you mean by a full body pillow?

    Just 3 weeks ago is very early days.

    It does get better

    Take care and keep in touch


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    • Posted

      Hi Sarah - I was using a pillow between my legs to sleep and the therapist recommended a full body pillow (the really long ones).  She said using a shorter pillow would throw off my back, make the alignment wrong. My back has started to bother me, so maybe she's right. I know 3 weeks doesn't seem that long, but it seems like forever right now. I am in my early fifties, so I thought I might progress a little faster 
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  • Posted

    This is all nornal i am 4 month out and still have a few problems i have been back to hospital had exrays and every thing is ok he said i will see a result after a year so keep your chin up hope every thing works out for u xx
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  • Posted

    hi sandybug yes being teary !! is ok we all have had this i could have had a shower in all the tears ive shed froms these ops but it will pass ,swelling is another of the things we all get just make sure your icing it often and putting the leg up for periods of time during the day . use the cane as long as you need it and make sure the cane is on the other side what i mean is if your pkr is on the left leg then put the cane in the right it will balance you better ,also when you feel stronger you could stop using the cane at home first as if you feel unsteady you can hold on to something once you feel well balanced walking around the house try a short walk outside withut the cane take your time you will know yourself ,i knew when i didnt need the cane it was out walking id hold it up for awile walking and when i got tired i put it down and kept doing that till i didnt need it anymore
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  • Posted

    Hi Sandy,

    I never had the depression or crying after my surgery but my sister had the crying and the doctor changed her medication and that is what was causing hers.

    As far as pain and swelling, my doctor required that I use a walker with only 50% weight on my new knee for 6 weeks.  He says that what my knee has been through, he treats it as a broken bone and if you'd broken a bone you'd be in a cast for 6 weeks!  He said if I listen to him, I wouldn't have any issues.   I didn't have any bruising, swelling was manageable, and even though I couldn't wait to put the walker away, I really have done well.  It amazes me to hear all the exercises that people are doing so quickly!  Especially you with a sprained ankle!  I would say take some time to heal and quit pushing so hard.  I still had exercises to do and did them religiously but they were sitting leg lifts and knee bend exercises while sitting or laying.  I started using a stationary bike some at 3 weeks which I think helps my knee the most.  I really started out slowly with this because it felt like I was ripping my knee apart with the first few rotations.  Now I'm doing about 4 miles a day.  This is my 10th week and I think I would be doing amazing if my left knee didn't hurt so back.  Back to surgery on December 17th to get that one fixed too!  

    Hang in there and maybe change meds for your mood but I think you need to take it a little bit easier and ice alot.  You really are in early stages and I think what you're describing is normal.

    Good luck and keep us posted!

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  • Posted

    Hi there Sandybug, glad you've come back to us 😀

    How awful that you have your ankle to deal with as well as your knee, as if you didn't have enough on your plate!

    I would say that everything you're describing is par for the course. I'm on day 26 from left TKR, and almost 8 months out from the right (when I'm talking about knee symptoms, I'm talking about the most recent one).

    I also get shooting pains through my knee - scares the cats half to death if they're sitting with me when it happens cos it makes me squeal! My knee/leg/foot is still pretty swollen, and the degree of swelling varies. If I've done too much, or not elevated and iced enough, then I know about it!

    I go for physio and occupational therapy twice a week and make sure that I work really hard, and yep, when I get home that's me done for the day, really worn out.

    As far as using walking aids goes, I'd say that you'll know when the time is right to discard it. There are times I can manage without in the house, sometimes I kind of "forget" that I should be using it and find that I've walked into another room without it, but conversely I wouldn't yet try and use the stairs without it. You'll know when it's time. A lot of it will be down to confidence, but also, when you're out and about, you might find that you want to hang on to it for a bit longer, as it alerts people to the fact you might need a bit more time or space to manoeuvre.

    My knee and leg also feel heavy, but it will pass.

    I've been fortunate with my sleep this time around, although the past couple of nights have been a struggle. Again, perfectly normal. The same with the crying - not as bad as first time around, but I certainly have my moments!

    I haven't used a full-body pillow, but I do use a fair few pillows in an attempt to get comfy on bed - that's one of my biggest challenges. My leg had been bent with arthritis for many months prior to surgery, so now I'm battling to try and get it to straighten, and in bed is the place I find it most difficult (and painful!!). So I end up propped in some odd positions, just trying to get comfortable!! So all in all, I think everything you mentioned is perfectly normal.

    Here's to a happy, healthy recovery, and do keep popping on here - I find it helps loads xx

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    • Posted

      wow, I don't know how anyone says yes to the second one. Thanks for replying. This is such a good place to say things that I may not want to say out loud to family. Hope you are feeling better soon. I got my pillow today, so I'm still trying to figure out how to use it
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  • Posted

    You had it rough.  There are a lot of things going on and none of them pleasant.  I had a really hard time with my right knee PKR.. but my body didn't take well to the surgery and I spend the first two months crying and feeling aweful.  I agree that the full body pillow will do you go.  Your are being hit from all ends but It will get better I promise.  I felt so bad that I didn't think it was every going to get better.  I'm 3 months in and its started to get better.  Be Well!!


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  • Posted

    All sounds very normal, unfortnantely,!  the heaviness seems to last for ages. . and the feeling of tightness even longer (ten months, and I'm just about feeling that it may be going!!)  How long should you use a cane?  Well, using it is not doing you any harm so as long as you feel it;s helpful.  when out and about I used it for a long time, as much for my own balance (which is never good) as to warn peiople not to bump into me! Doctors vary on their advice. Some say six weeks, some say chuck it away almost immediately.   Crying is very normal, even for non-criers like most of us think we are!  I don't know if it's the pain, the shock to the system, the feeling of being pretty unable to cope, the lack of sleep or the pain killers, but most of us go through it, so don't feel ashamed of it!  Yes, the swelling does come and go, although it takes ages to go completely, and when it does, you'll notice a sudden big improvemennt in the bend. Don't be too hard on yourself  . .but don't give up on the exercises either. JUp to the pain threshhold, but not beyond . .unless you want to get to 150.  I achieved 120 without too much pain (after the first two weeks, when I decided I had had enough of the physiotherapist's pain routine . . )  It took time, it took perseverance, but not the sort of agony she wanted.. . . .I used a fairly big pillow between the knees for sleeping on my side, and that worked quite well for me. . .the shooting pains are probably the nerves waking up, and not generally any sign of probfems . . .there is a lot of healinbg going on in there, and the nerves are sometimes the most painful part. . . three weeks is just the beginning!  But in the end, you will be so glad you had this done!


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