8 weeks post TKR- strange occurance- please help...

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Hello! I am 8 weeks post right TKR-- I am 6 months post left TKR and 3 years post left hip replacement and am just 42 years old. The major US hospital I have used has NEVER had me in PT with any of my surgeries- they have given me a sheet of things to do at home and I have done them. Without seeing the scar I can amazingly say I would never know my hip was replaced. My left knee can fully bend and straighten-- but on occasion yet It does let me know if it doesn't like a movement I make- but the discomfort goes away right away. My right knee now though is SO different. My bend is very good and I can fully straighten it- the slight discover in that part is the same as my other knee. I have a fair amount of what I call "charlie horse" type pain in my knee and leg as I had with the other one.. but this time it is going on alot longer. What concerns me and I have spoken with my surgery team about it and they are puzzled as to why I am experiencing this. As before my TKR I would get a very tight- painful feeling in my knee-- I would barely be able to put pressure (step on the leg) on it and it felt like it was going to give out on me. With that-- the handful of days I have had this occurance- I get redness and slight purplish bruising that shows up across the bottom half of my knee into my front lower leg (about a sauce plate size) this feeling goes on for several hours-- then slowly will subside. The bruising takes a couple of days to fully go away. The surgical team says nothing in my x-rays show why this should be happening- they are baffeled by it-- and are just chalking it up as part of this knees healing process. I go back to work in 1 week- I am on my feet all day.. This knee was in very bad shape when they replaced it- I know I am probably going back too soon- but I need my job and with 2 knee replacement within 1 year- the choice is no longer mine as to how long I can be gone. I am worried about what has been happening-- I don't sleep well at night-- the constant aching in my knee and leg keeps me up. I don't take stong pain killers anymore- but do take a muscle relaxer-- I do see swelling off and on in the knee- and it is always hot to the touch. I know every replacement is different- and don't expect the sucess I had so quickly in the first TKR. I don't know if the pain will ever fully go away in either knee- but it is much better than how I started out. I am just very worried about this strange occurance I have been experiencing several times in the past 5 weeks. Any thoughts would be very appreciated. Sorry for the "book" story here-- just haven't been able to "talk" with anyone going through TKR at all until I came upon your Discussion group- Thank-you for being here!!

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    I had my TKRs done three months apart and have been going to physical therapy since August 2106. I cannot believe they didn't give you a script for PT. It's usually done at home for a few weeks then at a PT location. The surgeon usually requests reports from the PT so they can review at your six week post op. Anyway, I have had cramping, restless leg, tightness around my knee, tightness is using stairs and at times the feeling of bruising around my knee. I am bending both extremely well, but have trouble getting up from chair and using stairs. My PT kept having me the same thing every week, no matter what my concerns or complaints. Well, I just chained PTs to a progressive ptactice that treats sports injuries for local colleges and sports teams. What a difference!! They assessed my quads as being very weak, causing all my discomfort. Every muscle the pressed on or massaged was painful. I also had some scar tissue buildup that was causing some scar problems. I am not a doctor, but it sounds like you may need some serious physical therapy to help your muscles and ligaments stretch, move, strengthen and support you. Massage therapy will also be a big relief and may help with all the soft tissue as well. Good luck with going back to work. Try icy hot gel massaged into you knees and legs before you go, as well as an anti inflammatory.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your response- I have always been very surprised I never did Pt either... I dont see my surgeon until 12 weeks post surgery- so next month.i imagine if I am still having the problems maybe he would give me a script fot Pt then? Something is not right here... Pt could make a big difference! Thank-u for sharing your story!
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    • Posted

      hi I'm 5 weeks into TKR a and have been to Pt from 2nd week.  she told me that exercise alone does help but until you get the main muscles in your body which all connect down your leg relaxed healing will it take place successfully.  she manipulates under my breastbone into my hips a slower abdomen, which are very tight on my surgery side leg.  She explained that your leg muscles are like a twisted towel and they needed smoothing out to allow blood and fluids to pass up and down the leg to help healing.  She also uses a small needle type machine Iunderstand pioneered in South Africa, a bit like acupuncture but these are usedon the skin and do not puncture.  This situated the nerves to interact and heal.  my knee is tight but I hope to be easing soon.  i can walk without sticks and Cumb stairs.  I've been to the pool, use exercise bike and climb stairs but this feeling of tightness is very annoying.  feta good PT they will help.

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    • Posted

      PT is VERY VITAL in your recovery & strengthening all areas of leg. Heck the day I got home from the Hospital post-op Home PT was @ my door. Complete case write up & PT evaluation & my first exercises after all 5 knee surgeries.

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    • Posted

      Thank-you for your comment- I did just call my surgery team for them to call me back-- I was again told they typically never order PT- but I will get a call back as to what else they may suggest.
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  • Posted

    Use ice frequently. I have found the large blue gel packs to be best for me as you can wrap the leg. The refreeze quickly so can be used often without the mess of thawing. Add an anti inflammatory such as Aleve. I can't imagine a hospital not having you in PT. That's generally the 1st step. I'm in the US and use a university medical school hospital due to having a rare tumor and needing the care of an orthopedic oncologist when the tumor blew up over 14 years ago. I might suggest you find another hospital, either a teaching or research type, and get a different pair of eyes looking at your problem. I understand your pain and the fear and hopelessness it can cause. Pain starts working on the brain and soon it engulfs your very being. Even though you are going to try and work, rest every chance you get. One other question, have they ever done a biopsy or an MRI? X rays only show bone or structure problems. Soft tissue abnormalities have to have additional exams. The tumor I have (PVNS) is very difficult to detect and on me affects 2 in a million. The original group of orthopods consisted of 8 docs with over 100 years experience combined and none had ever seen a case, it took the ortho oncologist to coverage diagnosis.

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    • Posted

      Thank-you for your reply-- I do have ice packs- but haven't been using them as much lately... I will definetly start using them more. I do take ibuprofen on a pretty regular basis. I don't know if I should name the hospital I use on here- but it is in Minnesota and US presidents have used it.. it is a Major hospital. I could bend over  95% before I left on day 2 post surgery- I assumed that is why they never suggested sending me. I don't see the surgeon until 12 weeks post surgery- but after all of the replies and concern of no PT I will be calling them today. I have not had anything done in either knee than a bone x-ray. Thank-you for bringing more things to my attention-- I really appreciate you taking the time to respond.

       

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    • Posted

      I can't imagine that out of Mayos....see...you didn't have to say a word. That's one place you can get the head of the department to look into your situation if need be. Scream and yell but don't stop till you are heard. I had to take my wife there years ago and we were treated like royalty. Went for the customary 4 day stay and stayed 14. They made a preliminary diagnosis which later proved to be correct, unfortunately. She now is in advanced stages of Parkinson's and the dementia has started to take over our lives. Nothing anyone can do from here on out. I've told her I would take her back any time but she is to frail now for the trip from our home in the Kansas City area. Hope they listen to you and understand you are in trouble.

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  • Posted

    Have they ruled out cellulitis infection? Had this infection on right knee (but had TKR in left leg 7 weeks ago). Very painful, heat is isolated to just the spot of infection which not only appears red but "dis colored".

    Also really shocked about no PT. Hang in there!

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