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Twelve months ago, I was sobbing,talking to myself in the bathroom mirror,asking myself why on earth had I agreed to have a TKR. I wished I never had had it done.
My leg was so swollen, the pain was so bad and the exercises were almost impossible to do. Trying to bend a knee which was swollen to twice its size is not easy.
With lots of help from the brilliant advice on here I managed to cope.
After six weeks of weekly physio provided by our NHS here in the UK I was left to continue my knee journey alone. My doctors at my local surgery just distributed painkillers.They weren't really much help.
My biggest worry was the inability to do all the exercises because of the swelling. I decided to just do what I could when I could and keep icing. After six months I still had pain and could only bend to ninety degrees.The more I walked on my knee the more pain I had.
The swelling had gone down quite a lot so I was able to do more knee bending exercises. My consultant was always there in the background if I needed him which I shall always be grateful for. He told me that he never discharged any his patients whilst they still needed him. Our NHS is brilliant when it works.
A few weeks ago I started riding my bike( power assisted) again.Yes, I felt a few painful twinges in my knee as I pedalled but I felt good.
As for walking, well I'm fine as long as I don't do too much. A couple of days ago I walked two miles up and down hills in our local country park. As I had not done that since my I had my new knee it did start to hurt.I think I overdid the hills.
The cycling did improve my knee bend so yes it can still improve twelve months down the line.
Am I glad I had a TKR? Now I can say yes I am. My knee will always feel 'mechanical' but I can walk most of the time without pain.
Recovery after TKR is not the same for everyone, we recover at our own speed.
So to all those just starting their TKR journey all I can say is just hang in there, it does get easier. Don't be put off when you read that someone is back at work, running again and pain gone after a few months. They are the lucky ones how I wish my recovery had been as fast.
The down side is that other knee has now started to 'go'. It is very painful at times but I really want to avoid another TKR but only time will tell.
PS I'm seventy eight years young.
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