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

    Trust me you are not a lone, and this surgery does improve but very slowly. Everything you said you are going though I have been though too and a lot of other people so don't think you are going crazy, it very normal. I am at 6 months now and still swollen and stiff and sore , I am hoping to go back to work in 2 more month. I so miss working and being around other people ,so I can take my mind off this knee. Take each day with an open and positive mind and keep working on it.

    Jeannie

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  • Posted

    I am 11 weeks postop I know how you feel Please use ice ALOT! Ice actually takes my pain away. Try to obtain an ice machine from a friend or online They work excellant I borrowed my neighbor's Couldnt get one even with good insurance! I felt like I would never get better Had a horrible experience with a physical therapist who tried to put me on an elliptical machine with no demonstration first! Was never on one in my life! I'm 66 yrs old I quit her & found an excellant one I almost quit going altogether I was so emotional , didnt care if i ever walked again! Just discharged from PT! I go to aqua therapy which really helps Every week gets better Please keep talking to people with same experiences It really helps Take care and God bless!

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    • Posted

      Totally agree with the aqua therapy. Most excellent. Rehabbed a new hip in six weeks with a therapy pool and gym. However, I am nowhere near such a facility or even a "Y" right now. So...

      Metal knee, metal hip, two metal spine fusions, lower back pain. My wife has knee and hip issues plus a twice-repaired rotator cuff. We invested in a LONG-TERM solution. Two person pure hydrotherapy tub...62 jets. This is NOT a party spa!!! This is just therapy for your whole body.

      If you have no alternative and can make the investment then it is highly recommended. Get the most jets for your money plus limit the tub to two people. Small, compact and it's incredible to spend 20 minutes in 102-degree water 5-6 nights a week right before bed. The jets are directionally and power adjustable so they hit all the right places with just the right amount of force.

      If you can't get to water and want LONG-TERM relief, bring the water to you. At 71, this is our gift to ourselves and our future health...

      image

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  • Posted

    Yep, at 6 weeks I was debating whether I should have left well alone, but then things slowly began to improve so I hope it might be the same for you. At 10 weeks I'm still on painkillers, between 3000-4000 mg paracetemol daily, but sleep is back to normal. What helped my sleep was taking an antihistamine and wrapping my knee in clingfilm (need to wrap kitchen towel/paper round it first if you still have sutures, scabs or any open areas). I don't know how the clingfilm works, but it does. I also used a pillow lengthwise under the whole of my leg. I was told to expect pain, clinks and clicks for 6 months, so there's a way to go yet. I can't be sure it will all turn out ok for either of us, but working on statistics that 5% wish they had never had it done and a further 10% feel they are no better than before surgery, I remain optimistic.

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  • Posted

    Thank you everyone for your encouragement and for chiming in on my 'woe is me" post. I know we all feel sorry for ourselves at some point during this journey and it’s nice to know a lot of you understand where I’m coming from.

    I know that water therapy will do me good. We have a swimming pool but it’s a little too cold to go in yet. Having said that, I have stepped in it and moved my leg around for 15 minutes or so. The cold water felt good along with the water movement. But yes, that night I really swelled up . Yesterday I also did some leg presses with no weight on the machine. It did not feel too bad. I have also done my elliptical a few times. I have a bike but I’ve only gone on that a couple of times. So I am working out it… I have learned from some of you on this board and Google searches the exercises I should be doing and I try to do those. And I see a PT a few times a month only because of the cost .

    I also take antihistamines (sp?) at night and have for most of my life because of allergies and they also help me sleep so I am still doing that now. I called in a new prescription of percocet yesterday so I should find out today if my doctor is giving me more or not and if he doesn’t, he will definitely be getting a phone call from me. . It’s very discouraging to not see your surgeon after surgery until seven weeks later. I am very upset about that. It would just be nice to know what he thinks is going on.

    Like I said in my first post, I feel very fortunate because I have been driving since week three and have not used anything to help me walk since 10 days post op. I can walk around fine. Sitting is what seems to hurt more. Being isolated in the house is hard for all of us, I know. I have been getting out a little bit though. I’m going to do my best to accept that it is a long journey and pray for a good outcome. Thank you all again for chiming in and I wish the best for all of you who are still suffering as well.

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    • Posted

      I watched so much netflix my first few months that I had to go to unlimited internet. i kept my ipad beside my bed and if i couldnt sleep watched or listened to TV shows. i would fall asleep listening to them. It made nights more bearable.

      Where are you located. Our pool is still frozen. It will be mid to late May before its usable.

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    • Posted

      Yes I have watched a lot of movies as well. I tried to keep them up-best. Also watching entire TV series. I am located in Southern California. Of course our pools do not freeze over, LOL, but they are still chilly. for Southern California we have had a pretty significant winter which we really needef (lots of rain ). The gloomy weather can get you down as well .

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    • Posted

      Watch a couple of videos about the TKR operation and you will realize what serious surgery you have had. It really is a very serious operation, very brutal in parts which may explain why the recovery can be so difficult. Channel 5 in the UK did a live operation, worth watching if you can download it.

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    • Posted

      My surgeon makes everyone watch a video prior to surgery in a group setting. I closed my eyes though through the gory stiff because I could not bear to watch it. Even still, for some reason it did not sink in. Like a friend of mine put it, you had your Flippin knee amputated!

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  • Posted

    Hi TomKat,

    I promise you it will get better. I had my TKR 4 years ago. It was pure hell for the first 3 months. The best thing I can recommend is ya gotta keep moving. Make sure you go to physio everyday to make progress. That percocet will latch onto you and your neurosystem so try and wean off it. I weaned myself slowly off the oxycodone they gave me only to discover that my body was addicted to them. I was shocked. Give yourself some credit. You are through the worst part. It will start getting better.

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    • Posted

      Hi jimmiego, When did you start weaning yourself off of them? Right now I take four or five a day. Mostly to sleep but I find I am waking up and taking one now to start my day so I can move without so much pain. But yes, it has me a little bit alarmed. My doctor will not prescribe them after three months post op. I have always hated drugs but I hate the pain more. you are right though, I do feel like moving is the best remedy. I find myself walking around my house in circles ! lol

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    • Posted

      TomKat, Well I got a late start on my physio which started 30 days post op. I noticed after 60 days that the Dr. was delaying my prescription renewals by a few days then the next time I renewed he had a few more questions. Because some of my scar tissue had built up, my range of motion was not as advanced as it should have been. So I doubled down on my dosage prior to physio just so I could really push against my knee. I was loving that the opioids totally took the pain away. To answer your question, my TKR was March 30 and my last 5mg I took after weaning down was August 12. Thinking everything was fine I went on a road trip. 2 days later my body totally caved and I went into full withdrawals for the next 3 weeks. So really I was on the pain meds for way too long. So glad you are moving. I did the same thing as you and made lots of circles all around the house. I found also its good if you have someone to talk to as you go thru your experience. It just lightens the load and helps keep you from going insane. Keep on keeping on. Just keep movin like you are. It keeps your head straight. Life is tough, but we are tougher lol 👍👍

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