30 days post PKR - much better

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hi again everyone - today was my 30th day post PKR and I'm doing so much better. I'm hoping to never go through this again and feel for people who are going to do other knee. Anyway, PT hurts, but. I have been pushing myself.  The PT was so happy because my ROM is already 130.  It hurts to get there but I can do it. The knee still feels heavy, like there is a weight attracted to it. It's painful but not like it was for first 3 weeks. I was told to work hard at rebuilding my quad because it's very weak. Any suggestions? I'm not using a cane, but really anxious about falling. Sometimes during PT it feels like my knee is locking up or just really fatigued. I'm not sure, but it scares me. Did this happen to you?

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  • Posted

    Hello Sandybug

    Like you I hope I dont have to go through this again,though mine was the total right knee. Im also doing the exercises,have been since the first day and now its just over 2 weeks,around17 days. Im not getting any locking feelings but though im new to this stuff and totally in the dark about it,i wonder when you say youre pushing yourself if youre doing too much? Id have a word with my physio if i were you. However,from my very limited knowledge you seem to be doing well. Im expecting to be using crutches a lot longer than a month. Havent been outside at all since i came home on monday and before that only from one place to another. All the best.

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    • Posted

      Hi John - I thought I would be using an aid longer too and I still using a cane sometimes. I think the therapist work me a little harder because they are used to their patients being a bit older. I am 54 and they think that's young. My best advice for you us to post here often. This forum is one of the reasons that I am doing well. When I tell other people about the locking and the feeling like a weight is on my knee they look at me funny. I think most people around me are thinking that its been a month so I should be doing better. Anyway, take it at your own pace and post often. Take care 😊
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  • Posted

    I am 11 weeks post PKR and I would say it was 6 weeks before I really felt like I was doing good.  Each week now I feel better but I still have the tightness above my knee that reduces the bend as the day goes on and maybe I've over done it a little!  I can ride my stationary bike and loosen it up again.  I have been doing quad exercises daily but I still feel a little weak going up stairs.  I don't use a cane or anything but still have to use the railing for stability.  I would really appreciate any input on buiding this muscle too.  At 8 week visit with surgeon, he said I can do stairs but don't over do it!  I didn't go to PT because I was told with a partial knee it wouldn't be necessary.  I am having my left knee done next week.  Not my idea of fun but it hurts so bad when I walk that I think I would rehab better if I wasn't hindered by this.  Glad you're doing better!
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    • Posted

      Hi Retha - Thanks for the reply. My PT told me that every 2 weeks I would feel a little better and that is what seems to be happening. It does hurt more and get tighter as the day goes on. I'm so grateful for all the advice from everyone, it made me feel better. It's hard to explain this to people who have not been through it. I hope everything works out for you. Are you in US? I was told that they don't differeniate between a partial and a full, but I think a full is probably a lot worse. I remember not being able to walk a month before surgery. This pain is worth getting our mobility back. Thanks again!
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    • Posted

      HI Sandy,  Yes I'm in the US. I was told the PKR is a faster rehab because they don't have to cut through tendons on one side as in TKR. I'm glad I was a candidate for it!
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  • Posted

    Hi there

    I'm 13 wks post op PKR and I can barely remember all the pain smile  I started driving at 3 weeks post op (had it been my left leg I wouldn't have been able to) and I got rid of my sticks that week too.  I've always had good ROM and both my Consultant and Physio exclaimed 'wow' when they saw what I was able to do.  However ........ around the 6 week point I got a little bit too confident, went on a night out with friends, even danced, had more wine than I should have (having been on the wagon for quite some time at that point) and when I got home and found myself unable to get up off the floor of the bathroom realised that actually I wasn't Superwoman after all.  

    I understand your anxiousness about falling; I started by not using canes at home and only when I was out because I wanted to give people the heads up to steer clear.  The thought of someone backing into me with a trolley made me feel very nervous indeed.  You are still only 4 weeks post op, maybe you need some more time to get confident?

    I know the heaviness you are talking about, I still feel this even now.  In a strange way I feel as though I have gone backwards too, as now I don't feel as though I straighten my leg very well, it feels tight when I walk and unless I really concentrate I end up limping.  I can't say I'm pain free, but I stopped taking the painkillers week 6 and I can manage.  The other thing I feel is as though there is an immovable rod going through from my ankle to my thigh and when I mentioned this to my physio she said it's probably due to the fact that now my knee is fixed and not unstable any longer.  That kind of made sense because before my op I always felt as though my knee was going to give way (it never did) but there was definite movement and I think my leg bowed slightly.  Now, it's straight and fixed and that feels odd.

    I've stepped up my physio because I know my quads are weak.  I'm now at the gym 3/4 times a week, doing approx 1.5 hrs, a mix of cycling, treadmill and strengthening leg presses (not sure what the machines are but one strengthens the back and the other the front of my quads), I'm also back to doing yoga 2/3 times a week, I'm not doing any 'exercises' per se at home any longer, but I'm also not limiting myself to what I can do, so I'm up and about doing stuff I did before the op.

    Up until 3/4 weeks ago there was a definite limit to what I could in a day, if I did too much I truly paid for it the next day, maybe the locking/fatigue you are feeling is because of the physio and your body telling you you've reached your limit for that day?

    You are still early days and I think you will be amazed how you will improve over the next weeks and months.  It's a slog, but keep doing the exercises and you will get there.  Sending you good vibes smile

    Lynne

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    • Posted

      Thanks Lynne - I'm hoping to be able to party for New Years Eve. I think my experiences are similar to yours so far. I have been doing the quad exercises they show me as much as I can. Hopefully, I won't remember this past year by spring. Thanks for the good vibes and I am sending them back to you. Take Care! 😊
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  • Posted

    Hi Sandybug,

    I am 9 mo post op bilateral tkr. My quads especially my left were very weak. My orthopedic told me the best thing I could do for my knees is get a good stationary bike and use at least 30 min 6 days a week. He said walking will not strengthen like biking. During the summer I biked outside. I have to say, I think it has really helped.

    Sounds like u are doing great so far.

    Take care

    Joyce

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  • Posted

    130 is exceptional at any stage. Just don't overdo that part and work on strengthening. It will come slowly. You are still in the early stages of recovery and may find an occassioal set back but don't be concerned as those things happen. Be sure and work on straight as that can cause trouble with limping.
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  • Posted

    Excuse my ignorance but i am new to the forum and finding it very helpful. Firstly,what is ROM please? Second,is it common to feel a "wobble" in the knee? I had total right knee 17 days ago. Third,i was told biking is good exercise. If so i will buy myself a stationary bike but at what point is it useful? Im guessing at around 6/7 weeks after the op.
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    • Posted

      Hi John,

      I think the ROM is referring to operative manipulation.  I'm not positive as I'm new to this too, but usually takes place when someone is still having issues after a PKR or TKR.  I am 11 wks post PKR and I started using the stationary bike between 3 - 4 weeks.  I could only do a few rotations at first but have worked up to about 4 miles a day.  I think this has been the best exercise for me.  Amazing after a long day and my knee has really tightened up, I can ride the bike a few minutes and loosen it right back up!  I'd say to get one.  At my 8 week appt with the surgeon he asked me if I had one and if I did to keep using it.  I asked him if I should increase my resistance and he said "not really, just cycling is good".  

      Hope this helps!  Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Thank you RethaT. Thats encouraging. I was doing a lot of walking on crutches in rehab but im more or less housebound now,though im walking with one/two crutches in the house. I think im going to aim to get a bike at around a month.I was a gym goer before the op but the stopped it in the prior weeks so i feel i had the op at the right time. Sounds like its working for you. Happy biking!
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    • Posted

      ROM is range of motion. When you hear 2 numbers given such as 110/5 it means you are bending to a 110 ° angle and the 5 would be dtetermining how flat the leg is going. 0 would be perfectly flat. This is tested with the use of a special device that is placed in the correct spot on the limb and is used as a gauge. Some people buy them so they can check themselves. I found them to be difficult to get a consistent measurement so I just let my physical therapist take a reading every couple weeks.

      So many of us have been through this so long we shorten everything when we talk to treatment or progress. Anything you don't understand just ask. The other thing, we are from so many different countries a given term in country can have a different definition in another.

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    • Posted

      ROM is range of movement.

      wobblyness in the knee means it is unstable. in turn this means you need to work on your leg mscles.  When you left the hospital your Phisical therepist should have given sheets of exercises you can and should not do.  You should still have your stitches/clips, until the come off, you are resting, buiding your strength up, gently moving your quads.  Do you need a stationary bike, yes it elps, but do you have a proper bike keep the seet a little higher than is usual,just so your toe is resting on the pedal. Lower it when you can comforatable get that knee to go through full resolutions. Good luck

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    • Posted

      Hi Sueisobel

      I wondered when i got the wobbles whether the surgeon had not done it right? Its not as bad now though. I religiously did my exercises from day one and have carried on doing them. Hads a PT to the house 3 days ago and she said i was doing well. Im doing the exercises but will be glad when the staples come out so i dont have to worry about the dressing coming off. Thats this coming Wednesday cant wait.

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