6 Weeks out from TKR and wishing I’d never done this ...

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Hello there, I know I am not going to say anything new on this board. I found it by chance a week or so ago and it has definitely been encouraging, however, having said that… LOL

I am six weeks out from TKR and definitely wishing I never did this. I absolutely have more pain now than I ever did prior to the surgery. I was getting injections for the pain and they did help, although I walked with a limp for the last three years after a failed meniscus surgery. Anyway, I guess I am fortunate because I stopped walking with a walker or cane within 10 days of surgery, I have been driving since three weeks out, and generally walking isn’t too bad. But don’t get me wrong, I am living with severe pain. I have been taking Percocet since surgery (but of course I do not take them if I know I’m going to be driving). keep thinking I’m going back to work (I'm A real estate broker so I can make my own hours ) but then morning comes and I just don’t feel up to it, between my knee and my head (emotions...)

My range of motion is OK, I guess, for my timeline. I am past 90° on the bend and have been from the beginning, but it changes daily. And I still cannot straighten my leg all the way. I am very swollen and stiff and have sharp pains on the sides of my knee, especially the outside. Sleeping is impossible with pain meds. . I feel like I am going to be one of those who doesn’t fully recover though, which I think is in my head because of the failed meniscus surgery.

The thought of having pain for months on end is really depressing. And let’s not even talk about how the lower back hurts from everything else going on. I'm 59 and was very active prior to my original knee injury 3 1/2 years ago but it just seems that life will never be the same. I’m dealing with all the depression everyone goes through too. I hate being such a whiner but I’m glad I have this board where at least someone can understand. if I had known what a long process this was, I don’t think I would have done it. As it was, right up into surgery I kept saying I didn’t want to do it. I am not normally a negative person but that sure brings the negative out in me . I guess right now I am just venting to cyberspace but it’s good to know there are people out there who understand this journey better than I do .

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  • Posted

    Hi Tomkat....I could have written your thread. At least at 6 weeks you still have percocet. My surgeon cut me off at 3 weeks. Luckily my GP gave me Tylenol 3. I thought something was wrong with me at 6 weeks too. This is a major operation that takes up to a year to heal and is one of the worst surgeries. I am at 18 weeks and starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Sleeping has become easier. i still wake every two hours but most of the time pain free. I take 2 benadryl before i go to bed. it makes me sleepy and helps with my allergies. Before the Benadryl it took forever to fall asleep. HANG IN THERE!

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    • Posted

      Hi im about 18 weeks too and really needed this op as i could hardly walk with the pain from the state of my leg. I found it really rough at 6 weeks and was only just driving then. My PT told me not to push myself. I am doing really well now and only have aches when i overdo things. I do not regret having this op at all and i know it will get better with time, the depression it seems is common and especially if you were active before. I spent a few days gardening and oh boy, i dident know what to do with my leg after but a days rest and im okay now. I agree with Jean, and have been told it is a major operation and recovery will take time and patience. Dont be too hard on yourself, keep taking the meds for the pain and do what you can, i realized that rest is needed too. Just started swimming again. Hope you feeling a bit better soon, vent out all you want on here, it's good to talk, and listen to other peoples experiences of this

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    • Posted

      oh JEAN, I cannot imagine not having the Percocet. Of course, there is a good and bad side to having it because there are other side effects, but I really cannot function without it. 18 weeks and seeing the light... gosh, i’m so glad you are at that stage but I just can’t believe how long it takes to see the light

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  • Posted

    Don't despair, it really does get better. Everyone recovers differently so it is not possible to compare one recovery with another. I think most people who have had the op wish they hadn't at some time during recovery. See your doctor and discuss your pain and medication, he/she may be able to change it for something more suitable. I had my left knee done 20 years ago and the right 18½ years ago, many years of pain free knees, and both appear to be fine still. You should have many pain free years to look forward to.

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  • Posted

    sorry to disappont but its been over three years now since I had TKR and I wish I had never had it done.

    i was lead to believe that I would be better in six weeks. This was due to the fact they kept saying you cant drive for six weeks which lead me to believe thats when I Would be better but they should have added you probably wont walk properly again for six years if ever again. I REALLY Wish I could turn back the clock. LIKE YOU I could get by with injections - and it was just my knee - now its my whole body thats affected. i hope you dont have the same experience x

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    • Posted

      I am So sorry for what you are going through. It is my fear is that I could be the same. I just don’t understand why the doctors do not prepare us for what lies ahead until it is too late. I know we are all different in our recovery so there is no two people to compare to but I just have this nagging feeling that I am going to endure pain for a long time .

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  • Posted

    I was on pain meds for 3 month, hardly ever taking the highest dose I could have I am now 6 1/2 months post op. my pain comes and gets less, stiffness the same at 6 weels I WAS STILL SLEEPING IN A RECLINER Sorry for caps, this site is funny with them on my iPad. I was compensating so much my back and other knee suffered Hang on there, we have all felt the way you do Good luck

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    • Posted

      Compensation

      So very typical. I ended up having to get past sciatica at 5 weeks. We all do it subconsciously as our brains shift the weight. Avoid one pain, cause another. The only way to totally fix this is to do the muscle rebuild as all the musculature that supports the new knee has atrophied. Gotta get quads, glutes and core back to full strength. Then there is no more compensation.

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  • Posted

    Fear then regret then joy. Those are the stages of a TKR. You feat the op, then regret you had it during the first 90 days of recovery and then you celebrate at the one year mark. So common...so typical. We've all been there. The title of this post says it all...

    I Wish I'd Had Another Kidney Stone

    You know this will be really tough...you know you have to endure it...you know you will get through it. But "knowing" is different from "feeling". You FEEL exhausted, discouraged, depressed, out of options and more. But you're really not. Six weeks is so very early as you're in the middle of the worst of it...the first 3 months which is typically the first big milestone. Off the drugs, got your ROM back, sleeping a little better, etc. Everyone feels/felt the exact same at only six weeks.

    The big problem is expectations...and these are ludicrously communicated to you by the doctor. So you've been set up to "expect" to be a certain way in a certain amount of time. It doesn't work like that. Yes, "typical" is a word we use a lot but everyone is different. So the best thing you can do is rid yourself of all expectations. The knee controls your recovery. Do the work, treat it with respect, LISTEN TO IT, and you will be fine. No expectations...

    Personally, I completely and totally rehabbed a new hip in six weeks. Spent 5 hours a day, 6 days a week in a therapy pool and gym. Figured I'd nail the knee just like I did the hip. I EXPECTED it. Then I ran into a brick wall day 2...and beyond. I had to think differently and, once I did, I found the strength to use the tools available to me and get through it. Sciatica at 5 weeks didn't help but I fixed that in a few weeks with a chiropractor and continued on. At 3 months, my ROM was -1 / +123; at 8 months, I was doing 11,000 steps in a day with no adverse effects. Slow and steady... Time, work and patience...

    Post this on your fridge...

    Reality

    PS: Don't forget to bring your oars for the boat part...

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    • Posted

      THANK YOU chico. I know you are a source of comfort and sound thinking on this board.

      I do understand that we are all different and we have to just accept that the recovery is what it is. I am just afraid of living in pain for a long period of time, or tragically never getting rid of it. I feel like my life is completely on hold and it is so frustrating ! people keep asking me how I’m doing and it’s so hard to explain that I am not going to wake up one day and say 0h, I feel so much better today! It is going to be a gradual process. I will admit that I would never have understood this pain and recovery if I weren’t going through it myself .

      Oh and as for the caps, I know, this computer system has a mind of its own

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  • Posted

    six weeks out IS really early. after my surgery on Dec 3rd, my surgeon told me I should be ok to drive at the end of December. what a joke!! My PT told me to drive when I figured I was able to stop the car in time to not hit a child. that was about 9 to 10 weeks out. I believe your pain will subside. I thought mine would never end. just saw my surgeon today...April 2nd. I still have some swelling and warmth on the knee and stiffness. all perfectly normal according to him now. before the surgery, he made this out to be easy.

    I am back to my volunteering and normal social life. it still takes me a bit longer to do things at times but my PT was not a "no pain no gain" guy. it was uncomfortable lots of time...but never excruciating. it didn't have to be. I worked hard so that now I'm moving along ok and hope at my year anniversary, things may be even better. give this more time...another month at least and re-evaluate your situation.

    I think a lot of us were in your shoes.

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    • Posted

      " I worked hard..." That's the key. Get out of the "oh woe is me" mindset and focus on the work you need to do. Stiffness goes away so gradually over 9-18 months that you never even notice it after a while. I'm 3+ years p/o and have zero issues...except for kneeling on hard surfaces but that's nerve pain that you just have to live with...

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  • Posted

    HI, 6 weeks is SO depressing. I had been very fit until my L meniscus completely detached posteriorly! Full reco, 2 more meniscus tears then a TKR and basically i'd been on crutches for 2years.

    Honestly i didn't know what had hit me after my TKR, ( I'd already had artificial joints in my feet, and many surgeries on my other knee plus a R ACL reconstruction.)

    SO this was a whole new level of pain and total misery. My L TKR op was NOV 2018.

    Keep doing your best, and no more. Ice often and only elevation(above your heart level, so in bed!) helps with swelling. Take meds as you need hem. A t 6 weeks i still needed long acting plexia SR morning and night.

    Water physio is great early on, but boy, it's a silent sledge hammer. You work harder than you think!

    I'm at the gym, walking well, I have no pain, but the muscles ligaments quads etc are tight around the knee. I have a pilates reformer bed at home too which scexcellent.

    Intermittent nerve pain, occasional kneecap pain and numbness i'm ignoring as irrelevant till one year.

    COPY ALL of CHICO_MA information. It is accurate. Follow his muscle rebuild exercise programme. I've added a balance board as i was a professional snowsports instructor. Get some frequent massages to help with the back pain..all compensation.

    When i look back now, I have no pain walking, though it's tight and slightly swollen after, I can sleep well, and realise that 'm going to be OK.

    I'll be skiing (no longer working) in late AUGUST(Australa) so i'll let you all know how that goes. ⛷⛷

    YOU'LL BE OK TOO. x

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