6 months post right TKR and in trouble ... Not going well

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Hello .. This will be a long moaning, worried posting. I have not posted for a while and am feeling very low about my progress. I am six months post right TKR due to osteoarthritis and have been slowed down by ongoing recovery from a back fusion done just over a year ago ... So a back fusion followed by the knee at 7 months, a lot to take on, I have been worried about my progress ... Straightening the knee has been pretty good, degree of bend not so good. The best was 115 and now not just stalling, but regressing, I saw my surgeon who said he was happy enough with me ... X-rays were really good. He said to just keep going .. That was about three weeks ago. 

I have had sciatica on and off for a couple of months now and I am sure that is because of my knee. I have been seeing a physio who has given me ultrasound and other treatments for the back and the knee but I am still not able to increase my degree of bend very much. I can get up the stairs but coming down is still very difficult. I am trying to walk more but the sciatica prevents me going far and the knee exercises are not 'cracking' through the progress barrier, and I know I have to try harder.

Lastly .. And really what has made me write here is that last Thursday was particularly cold and I got very chilled. My husband suggested I have a bath to warm up ... The first bath rather than shower in years! Getting in was ok but getting up and out was nearly impossible despite his help, I tried to stand on the good leg but couldn't get all the way so then, with the good leg semi bent, had to bend the operated leg and put my whole body weight through it Very painful and since then I have had shin bone pain again and the outside of the knee at the back and the calf have been painful and sometimes will not bear my weight. I am trying to walk to keep moving but the first steps are awful. I am waking at night with pain again after getting better nights for a while now.

i decided to see my rheumatologist last night who said the leg is just generally inflamed and he gave me a steroid injection in my behind which will go around my whole body and help to calm everything down. He doesn't think I have done anything catastrophic to the knee, just badly strained it.  I have had these steroid injections the past and found them helpful. I have physio today so will get more ultrasound,

These setbacks and general lack of progress make me feel depressed as I cannot see being better than this with the bend and strength in my leg. I am wondering if getting some hydrotherapy to push on a bit might be the way to go? Is it too late to get the improvement I need? Should I start icing again? 

Any suggestions and encouragement greatly appreciated.  We are going to Lanzerote for a week mid-April and I am hoping that some warmer weather and moving in the pool will be a help. Thanks for reading all this ...

.

 

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    I'm sorry you feel so very down - I too have had setbacks, & I'm now waiting for next Monday, when I see the surgeon again, as it seems my patella is not in the right place, & I need a revision operation (I'm 5 months post TKR). However - re the bath (which I didn't have until 14 weeks - I had showers, but there is nothing like a long soak in bubbles), you are supposed to put both hands on the side of the bath, with your body leaning along the bath side, then raise each leg one by one over the bath to get in, same method to get out, believe me - it does work. Thank goodness for this forum - I'm so very scared re more surgery, but it is a strange relief to know not everyone is what they call "text book" recovery!
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  • Posted

    Hi I am 27 weeks post op. Like you my bend is not brilliant although straightening is not an issue. My knee is still swollen and i think that is part of the problem. Is your knee still a little swollen. I have had 3 baths but like you getting out is not easy. I lift myself using both hands on the sides and then let my good knee take the weight. That way I have managed to get out. Hope the above helps
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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear of your experience with the bath!  Even before the operation, I was finding it almost impossible to get out of the bath, and now only use the walk in shower, which is so much easier.!  Not the same though, is it.   Hope the steroid injection has worked for you.  115 isn't bad is it?  I have less than that and am managing, albeit very slowly, to come down stairs.  I found that practising on a single step helped a lot, because there was not the fear of falling right down a flight of steps I kept doing that until I overcame the fear of the knee giving out, or something like that.  It's still very slow going though (I'm at ten weeks)  Enjoy Lanzarote in april. I hope the weather improves, because we live in Tenerife and this Winter the weather has been most atypical for the Canaries. . cold and wet!  We live in the north, mind you,which is a lot colder than the south of the island.
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  • Posted

    Hallo! Do feel for you - it can be so hard some days! Hope you feel better soon and in time for your holiday - nothing like a bit of sunshine to give you a much needed boost!! I'm 10 weeks post op and my hubs and I have just booked a holiday in France end of June and our favourite beach is at least 3/4 mile from the carpark!! An.d days when everything hurts and wonder if its ever going to get any better - that's when the upbeat blogs help cheer me up and the thought of that beautiful beach spur me on again.

    All the best to you x

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  • Posted

    Good to have you back....sorry its not necessarily for all the best reasons. As for icing, generally speaking, it can do no harm as it reduces swelling and increases blood flow. As far as the bath, you have already found that this along with many other things is something you don't want to get into unless you are sure you have an absolutely flawless escape. You may have to back off your excercisrs quite a bit and then start again gently and patiently as things loosen up and strengthen
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  • Posted

    Hello and thanks for your replies.  I had a rotten night with pain, aching and having turned on to the 'wrong' side, had hip pain where I have bursitis.  However ... saw my physio today who gave me more ultrasound and another 'electrical' treatment and he said I have badly strained the popliteal tendon by getting the knee into a sudden unexpected bend/angle when I tried to get out of the bath.  He thinks it will take a couple of weeks to really settle.  I think last night's injection is already kicking in .. the leg is not collapsing in pain as much and the arthritis in my fingers is better today as well.  I have decided to investigate prices of further hydrotherapy to get the knee moving again and also been advised to using ice again ... which I have done very little lately.  So .. slightly happier than yesterday.  Will keep you updated .......
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  • Posted

    Poor you. I think hydro will help but can also lead to temporary swelling. I would definetly start icing again sends messages to brain and brings relief . Makes you feel that at least you are doing something! Sounds like a lot of setbacks so frustrating for you. But fingers crossed will get sorted. I still find high elevation is best cure for when knee is like a football .
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  • Posted

    See if you can get a bathboard. You can then raise yourself to the board to get out and sit on the board.

    Yes moving in the pool will definitely help.

    I was back in the pool after 6 weeks and swimming breastroke again after 10 weeks.

    It really takes about a year before you can feel the benefit of the op so you are half way there.

    Keep going. Do not give up.

    I had TKR nearly 3 years ago and now I feel it is like having my life back.

    Take care and keep in touch

    Sarah

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