Advice please about TKR recovery symptons - dangerous or normal?

Posted , 17 users are following.

Hi, could anyone advise me about a problem that my mother is experiencing after her tkr surgery please?  She's nearly 83 and had her operation three weeks ago tomorrow.  I know that it's early days but I am worried about a new symptom that she is experiencing.  I hope that it's normal and others have knowledge of this problem, but I have not been able to identify it on the internet.    Approximately 4" from the top of her leg, down to just above her knee (a band of approximately 8*), she is experiencing a tight feeling like a tourniquet or a heavy clamp.   Otherwise, everything seems to be reasonably normal for a tkr - hot knee, swelling, stiffness, lots of pain (sometimes seeming to improve and then returning with a vengeance).  Last night and today, the knee has been causing a lot of pain.  From reading other posts this might be to be expected, but I am concerned in case this, combined with this new feeing in her thigh / upper leg, is a symptom of something more sinister.  Any advice would be appreciated please.  Thank you!

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  • Posted

    This is a really big surgery at any age. Three weeks is not time at all.  There are many parts to recovery from a TKR. At 83 her healing is going to take longer.  The tight feeling is probably from the swelling. She needs to keep her entire leg elevated higher than her heart when she is not stretching or exercising. While laying with leg elevated she can do ankle rotations, and try to tighten her thigh muscles. These will help to circulate fluids in her leg to reduce swelling and prevent blood clots from forming. To prevent scar tissue from limiting her range of motion she needs to do her stretches 5 times a day.  She needs to ice after she stretches each time.  It is important to increase protein intake for healing, and to stay well hydrated. Is she wearing the anti embolism stocking?  My doctor wanted me to wear they for a month to prevent blood clots and reduce swelling. My doctor told me that the first month I would hate him.  The second month I would hate my PT. If any symptoms develop that are out of the ordinary do not hesitate to call your doctor. That said everyones response to surgery is different. Of course a tincture of time, or a lot of time is going to be necessary. I wish her a speedy recovery.
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    • Posted

      Hi Debra, thank you for the information.  To be honest, I'm struggling to get her to elevate her leg and all she will agree to is elevate it to a height more or less at hip level, while sitting in her chair.  Hopefully your post will help to persuade her otherwise, when I read it out to her!  My mum's wearing the stockings on both legs and has strict instructions that they have to remain for six weeks, no matter how much she hates them.  I hadn't realised that the ice would be helpful after the stretches (she's been using it regularly but not specifically after exercising), so I will pass on this information to her too.  Re the thigh tightening problem, I was in a bit of a tizz as I had visions of a DVT about to kick off, as this was a new symptom and she was worried about it.   I will also mention increasing her fluids although I will have a fight on my hands with this one as she has to self-catheterise at every loo visit and will be stressed out at the prospect of additional visits.  The protein intake can be managed easily though.  I just wish that all of the information that's being posted on this forum was available on official websites, so that we would be informed better, of the selection of symptoms to be expected.  Thanks again for your help, it's appreciated! Janine

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  • Posted

    I felt this after a little while after my TKR in March, and it was very concerning pain to me as well, until I found others who experienced this along with a more detailed explanation of the surgery. From what I gather, and it rings true to me, is that that's where a tourniquet was strapped for the majority of the surgery! I am now about 5 months post op and I still have the slightly less painful band sensation right about the top of the thigh. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Janine, it does sound normal, I was just to check Approximately 4" from the top of her leg, down to just above her knee (a band of approximately 8*)  do you mean 4" from just above the wound to the lower part of her leg?

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Cheryl, the area that feels very tight (like a heavy clamp or tourniquet, in her description), is on the thigh - about 4" down from the groin area to just above the knee.  Other posters have mentioned that this is where there is a tourniquet applied during the operation, but also that the muscles and nerves in this area will have suffered trauma and will be weakened after the operation.  This all makes sense, thankfully!  I'm so grateful to everyone who has posted as it has eased my mind.  All I could think about was the possibility of a DVT, so was very worried especially as I've just moved back to my home after staying with her and don't really like leaving her alone.  Thanks for your post, Janine

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  • Posted

    All good responses here but I would certainly mention to a professional and get them to check. Probably no need to worry, but while forums like this are a great help there is no substitute for a professional opinion. Is there a discharge line or similar at the hospital she had it done at? Someone with professional knowledge will know exactly what questions to ask your mum.

    I do believe in following instincts, and if your mum is anxious about it, then no harming following it up.

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    • Posted

      Hi Jenny, I will ring the hospital to discuss this but at least I have additional information courtesy of this forum and am now in a position to ask questions with more understanding of the process and the possibilities for after-effects.  Thanks for your post! Janine
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  • Posted

    Hi Janine

    The tight band feeling is more than likely from the operation , where a tight band was put during the operation.

    If your mother is worried see a doctor

    Good healing 

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    • Posted

      Hi Clive, thanks for your reply, it is appreciated.  I will be phoning the hospital and thankfully, after reading the information available on this forum, will be in a more informed position to ask better questions.  Thanks again, Janine
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  • Posted

    Hi Janine.

    I had the same experience along with an indentation from the tourniquet which took weeks to go away. The tourniquet is fastened very tightly from what I understand in order to stop the blood during the surgery.

    As another poster said- I would call her surgeon just to make sure this is normal.

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    • Posted

      Hi, thanks for your comment.  I don't think that my mum has an indentation, but the from your comment and those of others, it looks as though this problem is normal.  I'm currently waiting for a phone call back from my mum's GP, after the surgery has finished.  As luck would happen, my mum had her appointment at the hospital physio this afternoon, she came back about 20 mins ago and the physio also said that the problem was normal.  Hopefully the GP will confirm this, so all should be well.  Hopefully!  Thank you again for your reply, it was appreciated.  Janine

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  • Posted

    What does her Dr. and or PT say?
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