6 wks post op-physical therapy is a nightmare

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I am able to bend my knee to 102 degrees on my own after the knee excercises in today's session. However they manipulated it to 117 degrees cause that's the correct number to be at. Each time I go, they want me to add 3 more degrees. I have been told it makes the therapist look good on paper but it sure as heck does not make me feel good. I know there is pain in the recovery but not the kind to make you scream stop and bring you to tears. I'm ready to switch therapy groups. So what if they make you get to the desired bend at the end of your visits, how is that helping anyone if they are manipulating it? I have pain everyday and swelling and can't stand to even ride in a car or lay on my side yet in bed. Everyone is different I know in the healing process. Looking for any advice on this and everything else on this road to recovery. Thanks!

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  • Posted

    Six weeks is very early in your recovery and, yes, ten weeks of PT is insanely hard.  Unfortunately, there's no easy, painless way to break down the scar tissue.  Took me 10 weeks @ 2x/week to go from -14 / +84 to -1 / +123..  Lying on your back and having the PT leaning down on your knee, putting you on your stomach, knees on the edge of the table and then hanging your leg off the edge (and then adding a 2# ankle weight) letting gravity do the work, and more...  Oh yes...just the kind of fun I actually want to pay for!

    BUT...  It's gotta happen or you'll never walk without a limp again...for the rest of your life.

    Now...do I agree that you MUST attain "x" more degrees every visit?  Not a chance.  TKR recovery is NOT a linear process.  There are advances, setbacks and plateaus.  I got stuck at -4 for weeks...frustrating.  If this is what your PT is doing...demanding...find another PT who really understands what it takes for a TKR patient to get their ROM back.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the advice Chico Marx! After that brutal last pt session, I called around to other therapy groups and asked how they worked with the tkr patients and if they manipulate the knee every session and answers I received was they do not do that every session unless you are not progressing, but I would never leave in tears. So I went back to one more session to speak with my therapist and I seen his

      assistant instead, and told her If I can't get

      to where my knee is to be on my own I

      didn't want it forced. She said she

      understood but they do need to keep the

      knee bend going. And when I couldn't get it

      on my own to 117, she helped me by massaging my knee and calf, had me to sit on the side and worked with it until I achieved it on my own and didn't hurt near as bad. I asked to only be seen by her since her methods is better but when I have to be re-evaluated I have to see the main one who is a drill sergeant. Happy to say since this last pt session on Monday, I've had less pain and swelling until today. I know it takes time and there's good days and bad. I'm just now getting where I can sit somewhat comfortable in a car and enjoy a meal out without being in agony.

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  • Posted

    Love the name, you must be a Outlander fan.  Chico has the best advice.  It takes time.  I was at 100 when I left PT and was in tears that I wouldn't get past that.  My PT sessions had to stop because my Medicare was almost out.  I just measured and now I'm almost 120.  I started private exercise with a personal trainer.  My swelling is down a lot and that helps,the bend immeasurably.  I'm entering my 5th month so hang in there.  It takes a long time but it seems as if all of a sudden things start to come together and you feel better.  

     

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    • Posted

      I'm coming up on 16 months.  0 / +133.  Except for some nerve tingling when I kneel on it and a touch of stiffness when I sit too long, it's like it almost never happened.  Oh...the clunking never stops...at least not yet.

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    • Posted

      It's tough early on...especially the first 12 weeks (3 months).  Lots of people report big differences at 3, 6 and 9 months.  It's not unbearable.  Look!  You're handling it!  No, it's not easy sometimes but you ALWAYS get past it no matter what your brain tells you.  Just don't listen to it.  Do something else and get your mind off the pain.  I promise it will get better...really...just takes time and patience.  Use the opportunity to become stronger.  You already know that all of this is temporary so why get your head all messed up.  Kick it to the curb and focus on your PT and then rebuilding your strength.  The pain will beat you down ONLY IF YOU LET IT!!!  Don't let it!!!  You're better than that...

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    • Posted

      Duckfan, yes I'm a big fan of Outlander!

      How long before you where able to get a good nights sleep in bed? I still sleep most nights in my recliner cause I can't sleep on my side even with a pillow(s) between my knees. Feels like I have a lot of pressure on that knee and it shoots pain like crazy. I can only handle so much then I'm up headed to the recliner. I'm at 95-110 on my rom on my own with just the exercises they give me before they measure it, but I'm still having trouble just stepping over something here in the house (grandsons toys when they visit/play) unless I stop and make myself raise that knee up high enough. I guess I'm wanting it to be like a reflex to just raise it and go on. Tomorrow I will be 8 wks post op and according to my family at times, I should be walking perfectly fine by now. But let me start to show them a video of a knee replacement to show them what I've been through and they are like gross eww no.

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  • Posted

    I had to change PT after my 6th week. Because she did too much it made me cried. I was so in pain I drive home from PT. So I changed to much more sense PT. I'm at 10 weeks and I'm now at 107.

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  • Posted

    Oh Sassanach, CRUD. That made me hurt reading that. We were all at different stages at 6 weeks. I was,at 95 degrees. The Dr ordered for PT to take me from 95 to 105 over six more weeks.. I don't buy into the " you should be here now" anymore. Chico is correct, it's HARD, it HURTS. but into my 2nd six weeks I started crying more, hyperventilated a few visits. As you know NO amount of pain drugs will stop that pain especially if they are forcing you that hard.

    Talk with them, if they won't stop when you ask, you may want to try another Therapy place. Mine would tell me to say stop and they would.. I would try to grit and bear it. But let's face it! You just had bone cutting major surgery Lass! 6 weeks ago. As we say: Early Days!! I know this process is consuming you right now. You're not getting time enough for swelling to go down and back to the Torture.

    I never did recieve any muscle relaxer to take before Physio. I took 10-15 mg of Percocet. It helped.. till the force bending began. Thankfully my PT broke the activity into small blocks of bike, force bends, Squats, stairs.

    Hang in there. Look else where for Therapy if needed. On the bright side, if they passively got you to 117 that's more than I was at 12 weeks PT! I think your bending well at 6 weeks.

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    • Posted

      They start me out with the bike and knee stretches and they started me on climbing two flights of stairs just outside the pt room and she said I did great at that. But yet I have trouble stepping sideways upon to a step stool. I take a pain pill 30-45 min before I go to therapy but by the time I leave there I can't tell I had anything. They are having to tell me to breathe and not hold my breath when I feel the pain. I don't even know I'm doing it lol!

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  • Posted

    I am on my 18 week and progressing well.

    On my 6th week I was crying from the intense pain of PT. Hang in there, it will get better!!!

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  • Posted

    One more thing to say. I'm a side sleeper. That was hard for me. I use a lot of pillows now. Like a nest. At 4 weeks laying on my side my knee would start hurting in 5-10 mins. As healing goes on, I can side sleep again now at 5 months. Patience. It will happen in time. The tissue still needs to heal..

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    • Posted

      There are these GIANT, U-shaped "maternity" pillows...amaz on...  Put your head at the bottom of the "U" and it wraps around both front and back.  Find any comfortable position.

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