4wks post op

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I am 4 wk post op and miserable! I have a blood disorder called factor v and also my heart has gone into Afib before. my blood levels are finally after being bridge off Coumadin to Lovenox then after several dosages of lovenox my INR levels are where they need to be . Heart is controlled with meds. Mnory knee was injured 13 mo ago.. after 1 year of treatment they decided to do tkr. I'm in pt 3 days a week. but i cant extend my leg bend knee much. They think it maybe due to me compensating how i walked to avoid pain..It is like learning to walk again. i try so hard in therapy my knee doesn't want to bend. I'm so frustrated.

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  • Posted

    You have had a rough time. I didn't start PT until 6 weeks and my ROM is great. . I had some basic exercises from the hospital and did those at home 3 times a day. Bending was difficult at first, but eased gradually. Maybe you're doing too much PT? Some doctors are advocating no formal PT for 6 weeks now other than gentle walks, leg raises and heel slides so that it gives the tissues time to start healing. I know people who have done no formal PT and have a great ROM? The tissues surrounding the knee have had a lot of trauma and need time to heal before we start asking too much of them. If knees swell they're unlikely to bend. Think of a hosepipe full of water.

    I'm not sure I'm brave enough to do none. You don't say whether your knee is painful or swollen now, but if it is, maybe take a break from physio, give it plenty of rest, ice and gentle exercise and see how it goes.

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    • Posted

      In that case I would spend as much time as possible icing and elevating toes above nose on 4 pillows with a slight bend in the knee, at least 4 times a day for an hour each time. It might also be worth taking a break from physio to see if it helps and just do some simple leg extensions and heel slides together with sone gentle walking. Are you using walking aids?

      When I saw my surgeon's registrar 8 weeks after my surgery he still advised not to do anything that caused pain that was more than discomfort. At 4 weeks I was feeling quite good, did an exercise that hurt and it took me over 2 weeks to get back to where I had been. Now at just over 5 months you would think I know better, but I was given another exercise that I did query whether it was appropriate at this stage. After being reassured I went ahead with it and ended up with a very hot, swollen painful knee that's taken nearly 3 weeks to get over.

      This isn't a linear recovery. It's two steps forward and one back. I kept a diary to begin with just so

      I could record any simple victories, like finally being able to do a leg extension unaided or sleeping more than 2 hours! You have a year to get your extension and flexion and, on another forum I joined, there are people who did no formal PT and managed a great ROM just by walking and doing their normal activities so hang on in there and hopefully things will improve soon for you.

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  • Posted

    dont give up hope. i had such limited movement but over time i am bending it better. im at 4 months and still lots of pain but able to walk better you are still early in healing best wishes to you

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  • Posted

    Poor you, it sounds awful. Have they got your painkiller right? A lot of the time it's your brain saying your leg can't bend / straighten due to pain signals.

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    • Posted

      Also, you are only 4 weeks post op. I have only started to feel significant improvements in the last few days (I am 6.5 weeks post op). At the 4 week mark I was stiff, swollen, had problems bending and felt thoroughly fed up - I still do some days. Slow and frustrating are the best words to describe the whole process (chuck 'painful' in there too!) Keep positive!

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    • Posted

      docs said i could drive by 3-4 weeks now it will be 6-8 wk. They say you should feel better by week 4 i sure don't! i hate relying on people I'm usually a very independent person. but im nit going to give up. thanks for support

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    • Posted

      Yep, pre-op I was told categorically by my surgeon's registrar that I would be able to return to work after 6 weeks. I'm a secondary school teacher (literally on my feet all day), and there's more chance of me sprouting wings than that happening! I'm now signed off until the end of July and praying I'll be ok by September! I also expected to be driving by 6 weeks but I can't see that happening for a few weeks yet as my leg is still too painful and unstable to be safe. I think for many of us these 'great expectations' we have are part of what makes it all so hard, particularly if you are an independent active person. It's been such a shock for me because being fairly young (46) and a fit and active person, I genuinely expected to breeze through and be pretty much back to normal after 6 weeks - ridiculously, I had even considered booking a walking holiday for August as I thought I'd manage it (what a laugh - so glad I booked a week lying on a beach in Menorca instead but not even sure now how I'll manage that!!). I was totally and utterly unprepared for the reality, and to be honest, I have often felt angry for being misled, dismissed and uncared for by my doctors along the route. I have felt dreadfully guilty for taking so much time off work as I was so adamant I'd be back in July and even reassured parents of my GCSE students that I'd be out for no more than 6 weeks (I feel I've let them all down). And I feel guilty that my poor husband is doing EVERYTHING for me and the kids as well as working full time. I hate feeling so useless and just want to be normal again! These are normal feelings I think, but they aren't helpful.

      I went to my GP depressed around the 4 week mark and cried a lot and explained how useless, frustrated and frankly terrified I felt (would I ever be normal again???). He told me to stop being so hard on myself and rightly surmised that I am the type of person who sets very high standards for myself. He explained that everyone progresses at a different rate and age, prior fitness etc etc is often irrelevant. Yes, some lucky buggers do bounce back quickly (my neighbour had a double knee replacement and was horseriding again after 6 weeks!?!) but for most of us it's a long hard journey which hopefully will all be worth it in the end. We have to try and accept it's a long term goal (after all, full recovery is generally about 12 months so you are only 1/12 of the way there.

      Why not think of progress in 2 weekly chunks - consider what is better now than 2 weeks ago (however small) and celebrate it - and in two weeks from now do that again. I think we're wanting to see progress everyday and that's putting too much pressure on ourselves and leads to fear and frustration.

      And finally, a little reassurance: I really have suddenly started to see significant improvement at the 'magic 6 week' mark and 2 weeks ago I just couldn't perceive that happening as progress to that point had been so slow. It DOES get easier and faster. WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS!

      Best of luck!

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  • Posted

    hi julie...i remember feeling so worried about my lack of bending and straightening. at pt they would push and pull and measure...and repeat... the doctor even gave me a splint to help straighten, which i would try to wear for 20-30 minute intervals a few times a day. Looking back, (it's been 4 years) i worried too much! it is just a slow, slow process. your leg WILL heal... after 4 months, i went back to work even though i still didnt have the perfect range of motion. That actually helped my knee the most! walking, working, and NOT worrying so much. So my advice is just go with the process. do what you can and dont worry about what you can not do.

    I bet you will be climbing up and down steps in no time! Every day is a new chance to breathe!! ❤

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  • Posted

    thank you..

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