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Mary0987 Mary0987

2nd TKR

Well had my 2nd TKR on April 11. I believe it when they say no two are the same. With this one I became hyper sensitive to touch. I couldn't lift my leg at all No one could touch my leg and my thigh swelled up to two times it's normal size. I'm black and blue from top of thigh to bottom of calf. I am just now able to lift leg with no help. Walking has been easier then last time and as long as I'm in the house I can walk unassisted. My biggest problem is the swelling. I have been icing twenty four seven. And I'm still swollen from my thigh to my ankle. What should I do? Pain wise it is a lot less then the other one. I am also taking ibuprofen for the swelling. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

47 Replies

  • suziec3 suziec3 Mary0987

    You only had your op 7 days ago? I had mine 10/2/17 & still got loads of swelling down whole length of leg & thro to foot. Physios told me not to ice all the time, only for 20mins 3-4 times day. Its something to do with blood cells renewing or something like that. Specialist Nurse practitioner at hosp follow up apt told me that swelling was normal & it's still early days. I don't find ice eases swelling either, jus relieves pain a bit. If u can lift your leg already you're doing well. Took me alot longer to do that. I was also told that swelling should start improving after bout 3mnths. Take it easy, rest & lay off the ice.

  • suziec3 suziec3 Mary0987

    You only had your op 7 days ago? I had mine 10/2/17 & still got loads of swelling down whole length of leg & thro to foot. Physios told me not to ice all the time, only for 20mins 3-4 times day. Its something to do with blood cells renewing or something like that. Specialist Nurse practitioner at hosp follow up apt told me that swelling was normal & it's still early days. I don't find ice eases swelling either, jus relieves pain a bit. If u can lift your leg already you're doing well. Took me alot longer to do that. I was also told that swelling should start improving after bout 3mnths. Take it easy, rest & lay off the ice.

  • pam92068 pam92068 Mary0987

    Mary,  Tkr Feb 2016.  I also had massive swelling and bruising.  Ice 20  minutes on 20 minutes off.  I also move my bed so that I could rest my legs up on the wall....elevation was a key for me.  Still too.  2x daily laying in bed with legs elevated above hear for an hour.

    best of luck to you!

    just remember leg will swell and resting, hydration and exercise and time will heal all.


    • Mary0987 Mary0987 pam92068

      Hey Pam, they had me on the ice machine all the time in the hospital and had me move it around. I go to pt tomorrow and see if they have changed the rules since I did it five months ago as I'm doing as I did then. Thank you

  • pam92068 pam92068 Mary0987

    Mary, by all means do what you were told.  We are all different.  I was iced 24 at hospital also.  The extreme wall elevation was good for me.  I did this 45 minutes before bed.  I remember thinking my leg would pop it was so swollen and shiny.

  • pam92068 pam92068 Mary0987

    Also rest laying in bed for 1 hours 2x a day and elevate above your heart.  I think we are all different.  I know a lot of us have been told ice 20 on 20 minutes off or the ice will not help.  My hubby had rotator cuff surgery and we did 24 hour ice for first 4 days.

    not sure how you are keeping ice but frozen water bottles in ice machine with ice works well.

    good luck!

  • marilyn10235 marilyn10235 Mary0987

    Hi Mary

    I never found too much relief with ice, but I reiterate what Pam said, elevate, elevate, elevate.

    Did the same surgeon do your 2nd op?

    Take care



  • chris00938 chris00938 Mary0987

    Mary, are you wearing compression socks that go up to the knee?  I wonder if that saves some swelling.  I wore mine for just over five weeks (should have been six but I was pretty active by then so it didn't seem a risk).  Are you keeping the leg well elevated too - above hip level?  All in all, it sounds as though you're doing pretty well though!:-)))))  What were the differences between the first and second, would you say?

  • jenny80029 jenny80029 Mary0987

    The leg lifting matter will improve.  I am almost 6 weeks post op and have only been able to do a straight leg raise  (easily) about a week ago. Slowly it will get stronger. Up til then it felt like a large elephant was sitting on it AND it was superglued to the bed!    I massaged mine gently... I am not sure if it helped with the swelling but I thought in theory it should.  While elevated I would gently massage towards the heart, maybe your physio could show you a technique for doing this or google on the internet.   

  • cheryl90571 cheryl90571 Mary0987

    Hi Mary!

    I had A LOT of swelling with my first TKR. Ice didn't help much although I kept at it faithfully.

    The GameReady machine at PT helped a great deal. It compresses your leg while icing it. Great machine! I would have bought one , but they are $2000, so forget THAT!

    Our son is an elite athlete who runs Ultramarathons, does Crossfit and Ironman competitions and ALSO regularly lays on the floor after workouts with his legs up the wall. He suggested that I sit on the bed and then turn and put my legs up against the headboard to elevate. Using a looped belt around the foot helps the leg get up against the headboard. This elevation produced instant relief. You are safe because you are in bed. (I couldn't use my son's method as he does ON THE FLOOR, but this adaptation worked great for me.

    Compression stockings ( thigh-high) help, too.

    Drink lots of water to rid the body of toxins. It helps relieve swelling.

    Ibuprofen helps.

    Watch salt intake.

    The body swells as it protects itself from trauma Knee surgery DEFINITELY is TRAUMA!

    Walking around each hour throughout the day and often throughout the night, too, was a help to me in those first month's.

    Sending prayers tonight that you will feel much better very soon!❤️

    • Mary0987 Mary0987 cheryl90571

      Thanks Chery got the swelling down. Now if pt had not sat and rubbed the bruise until I couldn't stand anymore and was crying. Now the bruising is worse. Thank god I don't go back till next Thursday. Hopefully by then the bruising will be better.

    • chris00938 chris00938 marilyn10235

      I've got to admit, if I went to a physio who made me cry there is no way I'd go back again!!!!!  It would be 'end of' as far as I was concerned.  But having said that, my experience of physios, for various problems, has never been anything but bad.  I've always ended up with more pain than I started that needed dealing with in other wasy (TENS etc).  So it might just be that I've got no faith in most of them.  My physio in hospital was wonderful though - they are so gentle there and encouraging - it worked for me!

    • marilyn10235 marilyn10235 Mary0987

      Yep & that's the problem we are having to deal with. They come out of uni, know it all, but no life experience. I think all physios who treat TKR patients should have endured the procedure themselves! Lol! It's all very well for them, they have no real idea of the pain involved & the fact that it doesn't just go away when we go home!!!



    • jenny80029 jenny80029 Mary0987

      If you see that physio again tell them firmly that they are not allowed to cause you pain.  short and simple!  There's no need for additional pain. If they say you need to have your legs rubbed ask them how to do it and tell them you will do it yourself!  You will have more compassion for you limb I am sure! mad

    • jenny80029 jenny80029 chris00938

      Yes, agree completely!   I had very good physiotherapists in hospital and a wonderful community physiotherapist.   But pre operatively, physiotherapists I saw were very well intentioned and did their best, but didn't have the experience necessary, I don't feel, to work successfully with 50 plus people with chronic joint degeneration. Not only did I get the distinct feeling that they felt I was over exaggerating the pain, but they seemed to putting me in a category of not needing to walk and be mobile...???  Quality of life seems to go out the window as a consideration for anyone over 40 in many young physiotherapists thinking.  It's not good, but I have to say, when I think about how I was before 30 I probably would have been the same.  Anyone over 50 was an old person!!!!   cheesygrin

    • marilyn10235 marilyn10235 chris00938

      Having never gone through anything like this they just do not understand!

      And yes we are stoical because we have lived a life & most of us in the Boomer generation been brought up to not make a fuss!!

      I don't know the younger generation eh?? Lol!

      I still think most physios are trained by torturers r us!!



    • jenny80029 jenny80029 Mary0987

      Well, hopefully it will be a pleasant surprise.  It could be.  Often they simply don't know any better.  At least telling them, which can be done nicely, gives them a chance to improve their understanding.  In the end, the only way they can learn is from what patients tell them. Some can listen and just not hear...just not "get it" and others will completely understand.  I personally feel that people who are really able to listen to their patients are likely to be the best at their work. biggrin

    • cheryl90571 cheryl90571 Mary0987

      Hi Mary!

      Why would anyone RUB A BRUISE? What was the point of doing that? A bruise is evidence of injury and trauma to the tissues. Bruises go away on their own as the body heals and the excess blood gets reabsorbed.

      Tell the PT "Hands OFF!"😬

  • chris60619 chris60619 Mary0987

    Hi Mary, like you into my 2nd omg I had forgotten was the pain was like, I am icing heating, taking coding 30/100 and 400 ibroufern, but nothing seems to help, doing my exercises, but all I keep thinking is the outcome of the 1st it's amazing no pain. This time I have cronicnic pain not only in the knee but in the hip. My last leg bruised terrible, but this one hasn't. Good luck and hopefully soon all tkr patients will become pain free.

    • Mary0987 Mary0987 chris60619

      Hey Chris, I haven't had this me to forget about the pain as the first one still hurts. It has only been 5 1/2 months since the first one. I agree they need to come up with better pain control and pt that have a clue about how much pain there is in a TKR. Hope yours heals fast and the pain lessens. I believe we are a rare breed to go thru this not once but twice.

  • jenny80029 jenny80029 Mary0987

    Did your PT have any useful suggestions? Some people find massaging helpful, might be worth a try in a couple of weeks time?

    • Mary0987 Mary0987 jenny80029

      I don't know at that point her digging her fingers into the worst bruise hurt so bad I couldn't even listen to her. I just wanted the pain to stop. The next day that bruise was so painful and solid deep purple all I could do was cry. That was last Thursday and it is still dark purple and painful to touch. But I don't have her this week and hopefully the other person won't be so rough.

    • chris00938 chris00938 Mary0987

      Mary, I've got to say it.  If it were me, I wouldn't see the other person who did that to the bruise.  I'd be off!  This just all makes me SO grateful that my hospital had the physio come round the day of the op to introduce you to the walker and the exercises, and the next day to change the walker to crutches and make sure you can get about, and those with stairs could manage them, then send you off with the leaflet and cd to get on with it and go back at 6 weeks to show them you can walk without aids and without a limp.   So the responsibility is down to the patient.  It worked for me!!!!

    • Mary0987 Mary0987 chris00938

      Unfortunately I take pt at a private site. The hospital is a half hour drive away and pt is 2 minutes from my home so that is one difference. And believe me no one is going to do that to me ever again! I will walk out and issue a complaint. My normal one I had last time was full but I've put in a request to switch as soon as she has an opening. I go Thursday morning and will issue a complaint about her. I go to the doctor today to have stitches removed and asking for different pain relief as I have been up every night for two weeks and can't take the pain anymore. Thanks all for listening to me vent. Good and fast healing to you all!! ♿️

    • chris00938 chris00938 Mary0987

      I was surprised when I asked the hospital where they did my knee (over an hour's drive away) if I went to a more local place for physio - hoping they didn't want me back at the actual hospital once a week or whatever.  So was surprised when they said they just gave me a leaflet and cd.  Maybe I was even shocked.  But I guess they're finding this isn't normally a problem for patients, otherwise I do think they'd be changing their policy.  They have a very patient 'pro' policy there and I do think they do everything they can for them.  But again, it's one of those things that various things work best for various people, no doubt:-))))

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