4 weeks post op right TKR

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Hi.I liuve in the UK and am 4 weeks post op and thought I would share my experience so far. I am 56 and had grade 4 OA in right knee , so considering I am a big walker and own a Springer Spaniel I decided surgery was my best option. When discharged I was given Apixaban to thin the blood to prevent DVT, unfortunately, as I pushed myself to soon , this caused a secondary bleed, the pain of which I have never suffered anything like and ended up back in hospital for rest, ice and elevation. This has set me back about 7 days ! I now have approx 85 bend and struggling to straighten my knee but this is coming , through gritted teeth and tears . walking wise, just did about 1/2 mile today with 2 crutches, but only using one around the house.

Would like to hear other peoples stories to compare.

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  • Posted

    Hi I am 10wks post op with my 2nd knee op in 6 mths my first one was totally pain free but took 3 wks to get the bend my 2nd one I had the bend straight out of theatre  so it's funny how same op can be so different in fact I went back to work as a nurse on Tuesday tiring but ok with ice and pain relief. 

    I was walking without crutches at 2 wks both times.

    Total knees are the most painful of all joint ops and recovery is one of the best provided all excercises and advice are followed. My left one the most recent is still sore if I push too much so listen you your body and only do what it allows. 

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  • Posted

    Sue, I'm so sorry for your setback. These are frustrating surgeries to come back from:-( Comparing yourself to me...I am 5 weeks post op from a partial knee replacement.  My pt only has me walking 10 minutes a day on the sidewalk. Go up 1 minute a day. I use a cane. 1/2 mile on crutches sounds like you are still pushing yourself too hard.  I do a little shopping, going out to dinner etc., but not all on the same day.Exercises every day.  Slow and steady keeps being drilled into my head. Lol!  You, I think, are in too much of a hurry. Your setback should have made you slow down, instead of trying to recover the seven "lost" days. I'm in the U.S. so maybe protocol is different here.  My surgeon and pt are all about "baby steps".  I am starting a swimming pool class next week with others in the same situation. It's just walking, some easy marches and stretches all in the water. Could you find something like that nearby? Water is such a good healer.  Good luck to you! I wish  you all the best😊

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    • Posted

      Thanks Susan. Yes probably pushing myself too hard again. Will take your advice and slow down a bit. Getting through it quicker only means back to work quicker. And yes, I am going to enquire about some re hab aqua aerobics too. Thanks for reply

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  • Posted

    Hi Sue

    Apart from the obvious gender difference we are the same age, live in the Uk with the same conditions.

    I am 17 days post op.

    Like you I tried too hard on the pt when I got home and ended up losing time and patience once my knee had swelled up further.

    I am self employed and was eager to rush back completely underestimating the pain and recovery required from this op. The knee commands respect!

    I have now learnt to take things more slowly but still in pain and having no sleep at nights.

    I have just been to my GP to review my meds which were essentially ibobrufen and paracetamol. He has given me some stronger tablets now and some sleeping pills so fingers crossed for tonight. I was getting no more than an hour's sleep per long night!

    Now the swelling has gone down I am making steady small incremental steps with regard to rotation and bend but it requires will power and pushing on. It's not easy to know how hard to push but if it really hurts I stop.

    The lack of sleep and pain are making life very difficult but I can feel some progress.

    It's a tough journey for us but there is no easy fix and we have to take solace that everyone is in the same boat.( ignore the miraculous stories of recovery on youtube- they are the exception to the rule if they are true.)

    Good luck with your recovery and don't lose heart.  You question your own character as you go through this  test but I have known nothing worse and I have had a number of painful procedures in the past too.

    Stick with it- we all need some emotional comfort that we are not on our own in this.

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    • Posted

      What a lovely reassuring reply. Sleep also tricky but am fairing better than you with the help of over the counter "sleep aids" from Asda. I have just ordered a new script for codeine as although paracetamol are a brilliant all rounder they don't really touch this. Yes , unfortunately we all read/hear of people with terrific bend in a few weeks, walking without crutches and the star patients who manage without pain relief, but we are all individual, we just need to believe that ourselves ! This forum is great though and I think we should keep our eye on each others progress for support. Luckily my hubby is supportive and so far hasn't minded all the running around and fetch me carry me. Hope this doesn't ping an alert and wake you from a decent slumber. !

      Best wishes. Sue

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  • Posted

    Although I have had two TKR's and I am certainly not a professional, I have come to realize that you should listen to your body and proceed accordingly. 😊Although we are all anxious to get back to our lives, patience is required! I can feel your frustration and feel for your setback but it is the long-term results that we are all hoping to achieve. I love the suggestion of water therapy and it has worked very well for me. At about 16 weeks post-op I have been able to resume my life fully with only minor inconveniences at times now. Slow and steady is the pace for me! We are all different . Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

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  • Posted

    One of the 1st tenets of recovery from this surgery...don't overdo it and you have learned the lesson early on. Rest is as important or maybe more so than exercise. You have gone through a huge trauma and telling yourself you will back to normal faster if you push it beyond the bodies limits is crazy. I've been through 11 surgeries and 5 complete rehab including having to come back from 4 months with nothing but a spacer where the prosthesis should be. (Staph infection). Do the simple foot slides, leg lifts, etc as if your recovery depends on the basics, because it does. Forget about the dog, wanting to jog and such things until the body tells you its o.k. I didn't scroll to see if the sage of Texas, Chico Marx had entered the comment section yet but look him up and scroll through his remarks. He and I both speak with wisdom that s only gained from repeatedly funding the latest Mercedes to the medical profession. Pain meds on schedule, gradual but steady exercising, icing at every possible occassion, elevation,HYDRATION, and rest..lots of rest. The body cannot heal when its dehydrated and worn out. Rehabbing is a process that everyone goes through st a different pace. To hell with what others may have done or said they ha be d one. You are you and your pace is as different as are your fingerprints. Friends and family are great a allies but can also be great pains in the butt if they start pushing you to go beyond your means. Some of this may make me sound like an old grouch and for goodbreaon, I'm an old grouch. 15 years of battling knee, leg problems had made me that way. I started my journey at age 65 and I'm now 80 so I figure I've earned my stripes.

    One other thought that you should have heard early in but apparently didn't...tkr is a marathon not a sprint. Don't be discouraged with this set back. Its slowed you down but hasn't whipped you. Get back on the horse that threw you but don't spur it to go full speed from day one. Stay with this group. You will learn many great tips and get a ton of support. Nice thing its global. Someone is on here day and night from somewhere in the world. I'm in the middle of the US, 6-7 hrs behind you. Stay strong and preservere, you'll be caught up again in no time.

    One other thing...keep a sense of humor. Being able to laugh helps a lot.

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    • Posted

      Wow. Thanks for all your advice and yes Chico has joined in. Lots to take in from this forum but I know for a fact I am going to benefit from putting my post out there. And yes, still have my sense of humour although it did go into hiding for a few days recently ! Thanks. Sue x
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  • Posted

    Hi Sue,  I am sorry that you are having a difficult time.  I am nearly 10 weeks out from TKR, and only just now feeling somewhat human again!  It was grueling for me, and I was at first pushing myself to get back to my business too.  The greatest solace was finding this forum, and reading all of the generous posts from kindred souls.  After receiving sage advice from the forum family, I looked for the "bell curve" (kindly provided by Chico) and realized that I was in the "normal" range of recovery, which gave me some peace of mind.  The best advice I have received from reading posts here, is to let yourself heal.  It does happen!  My life is a race, so I thought this surgery recovery would participate in that race too...wrong.  It takes time, patience, and the will to keep moving forward with baby steps every day.  I can honestly say that I have been able to see and to appreciate those baby steps that I experienced on a daily basis.  One day I awoke, and realized I didn't feel so crappy...what a day for celebration that was!  Keep on moving on...Blessings on your recovery.  Laura

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your kind reply. It is encouraging to receive such positive comments. This forum, like it did for you , will see me through this difficult time. We all heal differently but ultimately, want the same outcome. Regards. Sue.
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  • Posted

    The world of TKR is very challenging as you have experienced.

    ?Your story emphasises that it takes time and you cannot rush healing, some heal faster than others do and setbacks can happen. I had a struggle with pain control, meds did not suit me, nerve pain and then scar tissue and stiffness. At 10 weeks, had an MUA to help bend - which was effective, though pain, swelling and stiffness have remained an issue and recovery has not been fast in my case. I'm in my 60s and was reasonably active, considering I worked full time and had OA in many joints, especially rt knee, for years and also went through other illness and surgery in the last few years.

    ?I have found the TKR has been a case of one step forward, then a couple back, all the way. I wish to avoid the other knee and hips having surgery for as long as possible, in the hope that better techniques, pain relief and other options may be invented to save me going through such a painful and slow time again. But who knows. I hope your knee recovery continues well without further problems.

     

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  • Posted

    You need PT to break down the scar tissue and get your ROM to 0 / +120.  Do it NOW or that scar tissue will set in and you'll never get your knee straight or fully bent.  Just walking alone will not do the job.  And you do not want the doc to do an MUA which will be your only choice without the PT.  It will take weeks (mine was 10 weeks @ 2x/week) and it's very painful but absolutely necessary PLUS your home exercises...

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/tkr-heel-slide-exercises-526213

    Again, walking alone does NOT get you your ROM back.

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    • Posted

      You are SO right about breaking down that scar tissue!! I had my left knee replaced 2 years ago this past April and I remember when my PT started working on the scar tissue. It wasn't painful but a tad uncomfortable. When she showed me how to maneuver my knee cap around and massage the area, I thought she was nuts! BUT what a difference after she was done. My bend and the straightening came much easier! People really need to be reminded about this one little bit of their recovery. That scar tissue will get you every time.

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  • Posted

    ?Slow and steady, but without the race!

    Concentrate on range of motion more than walking...

    I am one six months post op and really enjoying the benefits! Glad I had it done!

    Lots of good posts on here and you have already had excellent replies.

    Regarding walking...

    At 3 weeks post op I started doing a short ten minute walk once a day, and was exhausted after that! I was using two crutches all the time. At six weeks for every hour I was active, i.e. doing exercises or self care, I needed at least two hours of rest. I made a journey to London which involved ten minutes walk 45 mins sitting on train, ten minutes walk, one hour sitting, ten mins walk, 45 minutes sitting on train...when it got to the final ten minutes I stood at the top of the road I needed to walk down and prayed, because I seriously did not think I could make it home!

    So don't underestimate the importance of rest.

    Many people get a real drop in mood around six to eight weeks too.

    Your range of motion will improve with time I am sure.

    My biggest improvements with range of motion happened around ten to twelve weeks. In UK, as you are many people normally get given a booklet of essential exercises to do, and then need to AIM to do them as much as they are able. No doubt you have something similar? Little and often was the key for me in those early days. Also to make sure pain is well managed so the body can heal at its best.

    Push gently when doing exercises to the point of "ouch" but not to "arrrh!" And do them around an hour after taking your pain relief medication. You still feel a bit if discomfort and a little pain, but that should be it. Just enough to still hear your knee telling you it has gone as far as it can at the present time! Over doing it is counter-productive. That goes for everything. Sorry to hear about your bleed, that sounds really horrid!

    Ban the word SHOULD. ACCEPT is a better frame of mind, along side with persistent and continued application of self care, rest, and gentle exercises. Try not to compare too much because as you will appreciate everyone is very different.

    My quads took a while to come to life!

    Did get a bit worried about that!

    At three months post op I realised I did not need a stick anymore! Both legs were nice and strong...indeed, the operated one was bionic and stronger than the unoperated one! Still a bit achey walking and standing for longer than an hour, but easy enough to ignore type of pain.

    At four months post op I was whizzing around in a way I had not been able to do for two years. Had mild pain sometimes but also have a life not limited in mobility restrictions, so that is great. Process of healing takes up to two years they say. One year mark seems to be when most of the recovery is done for many people.

    You may like to go to my profile by clicking on the image next to my name. I kept a journal of my own knee replacement journey, and I have been told by several people they found it helpful to read, or skim through. It was written to convey the need for patience, something our culture in the western world is not really geared up to! It has a lot of useful suggestions and information.

    Best wishes to you...be kind to yourself and your knee. As someone has already said, respect your knee!

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